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God's Sovereignty

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Author Comments

This piece is very personal for me, and I'm hesitant to even share it.

If one is offended by its inspiration, I apologize. This wouldn't exist without deep meditation on my faith as a Christian. I wrote it for myself without really knowing how others will take it.

Musically speaking, I was influenced by the works of Philip Glass, but I only incorporated rhythms that I appreciate in minimalism. I used that influence and made it my own by creating a more linear structure in its form with a modern progression. The chord progression, albeit simple, is similar to what I enjoyed as a teen as it's a piece about growing up alone and becoming the person I am without understanding the results of my doing. Many have said that you are in control of your destiny. It hasn't been my experience. The intro in the left hand is reprised toward the end as a way to reflect that our past sometimes only makes sense when you connect the dots to the present.

"I will instruct you and teach you the way you should go;

I will give you counsel and watch over you.” Psalm 32:8

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Beautiful piece!

While I do not share your religious beliefs I do have to admit there is something extremely touching and beaufitul about this music, it truly feels like a story unfolding in front of me as I listen to it, the passing of time and going down memory lane to relfect on your past and how you got to this present moment, which absolutely matches what you described in your comments.

I feel like the interaction between the violin/viola? and the piano could be improved with some EQ, it sometimes feesl like they are competing for the same place in the mid-high range of the spectrum which could be fixed with some mixing.

Having said that, based on one of your responces below, was this recorded live? If thats the case then my comment above might be out of place.

All in all, this is a wonderful piece of music and you shouldn't ever feel hesitant to share work like this with the world. ^^


Phonometrologist responds:

Thank you for taking the time to writing your review.
Although it is intended to be performed live, this isn't a recording as the piano and violin are sample libraries. I was bringing that up to the user below because he would've liked more effects and elements added to the mix. I wanted to keep what was on the page to be the only instruments heard. The mix will sound better once I actually have an actual recording.
Regardless of someone's faiths or lack thereof, music is a universal happening. The former isn't necessary for the enjoyment of communicating. I appreciate your encouraging words.

This just sounds like the bgm from every pseudo-intellectual "inspirational" video on YT from the early 2010's.

With less production/elements.

In fact, the arpeggio part reminds me of this track I've heard 1,000 times: https://youtu.be/KaNt9izWiQQ?t=1045

Iunno man, it just didn't hit me. Which I don't think reflects your ability as a player/writer, just this feels too familiar, and has a sour taste for me because of what I associate it with.


And all 3.5 of that is my respect for your ability to compose and play this with solid fundamentals. You definitely know how to use the instruments you're using. The song itself is just so "royalty free inspirational piano music" to me, I would prefer something that has more personal character or flair to it. Something I may find elsewhere, but is still undeniably you as an artist. This is not that.

Phonometrologist responds:

Ha Yes! I appreciate you actually spending the time to say so, because it appears that the last time you did an audio review was back in 2011.

I actually just mentioned to another person that this music was intended to be written in a 2000's musical zeitgeist. It seems I was able to achieve just that based on yours and the other person's response. The only discouraging thing about your review is that the musical reference you shared sounds so cheesy to me that it's cringeworthy. Makes me wonder if that's what this sounds like to others. I can actually share with you better examples that have more similarities to what I wrote if interested, because the only thing that the reference you shared and my track has in common is that they are both notes on a piano with broken chords played in a repetitive motion, and maybe tone at some moments. I don't think you're wrong though with the feeling. It's stemmed from a similar mindset.

The lack of "production/elements" as you say is because this is intended to be performed live. Therefore, I just wanted to keep the score true to what is on paper. Personally, it sounds better as a live performance than using midi. This timbre could also contribute to the lack of emotion you feel.
Thank you

Official NGADM '20 Round 3 Review

I feel inadequate. Why am I hear giving you a review when honestly when it comes to classical composition I feel like I should be taking notes from you. I like the minimalistic style you've done with this, and the structure is definitely the focus of this piece. As for the composition, it's very tender. I would say deeply emotional, but it's not sad, and I could have said joyful, but it's still also somber. I had to look up Philip Glass since I wasn't familiar with it, but I could instantly hear the style with the first song I found. The duet with the violins makes it so both instruments compliment each other well. I feel that the rhythm choice really helped give it that style of "time continues on" feeling, and while I wouldn't have expected what you wrote based off the title alone, I get a really good glimpse of what you're doing with the description. I will say what would have been interesting, in regards to the description, if you would have made a call back to the rhythm that you started out with in the intro. With the piano staying with the triplet style it would have been like an "aha" moment hearing the regular quarter note style pop back up in something like the violins or even a separate piano part. I think I'm catching the reprise of the left hand writing but I'm not sure if I'm getting it confused with the base chord progression.

Aside from the composition / structure, there really isn't much I can say about the production quality. There isn't a lot to balance and mix since it's just a piano and some violin parts, but I can't figure out if the piano is you recording your own midi being played if it's a studio recording (I'm assuming you're playing based on what I've heard you make before). I can't tell if the violin is an expensive VST or real though lol.

All in all, very pretty. There really isn't a ton going on from a third person perspective and it also sounds like something I've heard before, but it gets to the heart of the matter which is the story of the emotions being told which I think is the important part. I definitely relate and agree with what you've stated, and you shouldn't be ashamed that your intrinsic nature and writing is Christian. I find it encouraging.

Composition 9
Production 9.5
Sound Design/Performance 9.5
Structure 8
Creativity 8.5
Total 89/100

Phonometrologist responds:

Thank you for the earnest review. I should mention that even if you feel you should be taking notes from someone that writes in this style, it doesn't mean you cannot offer critique as a listener. You don't need to understand a certain art form to offer your opinions on it. My wife knows nothing of music and yet I value her opinion on my works because it comes from a different perspective. Perhaps it's a perspective that most people have with in relation to how they listen to music.

Good catch with the structure being the focus and the emotional descriptions-- very accurate. Regarding the performance, this was the only track I did this year with midi piano. This style doesn't correlate well with the type of piano I have. The violin actually isn't that expensive: 8Dio Deep Solo Violin
In the future, I definitely want to re-record this piece with a live performance though.

Thank you for the encouraging words. All my music is as you said intrinsically Christian. I'm just sensitive to the fact that some may find offense to me speaking plainly of it.

:3 my boy all grown up

Phonometrologist responds:


NGADM Official Review for Round 3

This piece is super simplistic, and yet it really does a good job conveying emotions throughout. I think it does a good job building and keeping itself pretty unique and fresh. That intro really does bring you in to the feeling from this piece, and the rhythmic ideas are also simple but pretty good. The atmospherics also play a good role in the beginning, and honestly I thought that it was just going to be piano and atmosphere at the beginning. I'm absolutely fine with what I got, though.
That being said, there were some moments that I want to mention as points to improve upon. While the sound quality overall was really good, there were a few points where I wasn't sold too much on the instruments sounding realistic. One example is the violin, which I felt had sounded... airy, hollow, something like that. I can't put my finger on it exactly, but it separated itself from the realistic piano when it was brought in. In fact, at 1:24 I mistook it for a flute, and it took me reading the tags to figure out it was indeed a violin. The other thing I want to mention, while there is plenty of rhythmic interest within the piano, as the song goes on it feels like the rhythm becomes repetitive with little to no changes. While, again, it is meant to be simplistic, it would be of interest to look into varying that rhythm up there to maintain keeping the song fresher than it already is. Lastly, while this point does not affect your score, I would like to see the atmospherics brought through in some way past the intro, since it really is a good part of the music. Again, it's not affecting your score since it's more of a personal taste, but it's something I did want to suggest as a listener.
Overall, this is simplistic but yet charming. I understand the hesitance to share it to the world, but I think that it's a good thing to share, since it does a really good job at what a piece of music should do. Great job!

Phonometrologist responds:

Thank you for the review SplatterDash.
Just a couple points I want to respond to:
Simplicity is a discipline I'm working on lately as I tend to be all over the place naturally.
The violin part that sounds a bit like a woodwind was a certain dynamic that I can't remember the name on top of my head, but it's played with a light touch of the finger on the string to get a more harmonic, airy tone. That combined with the type of microphone will give it an interesting timbre.
Overall, I agree with your interpretation and analysis as it is intended.

Credits & Info

4.62 / 5.00

Sep 21, 2020
2:55 AM EDT
File Info
9.5 MB
4 min 10 sec

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