This composition was intended to be much shorter but I wanted to add something to the end that would make for an interesting transition. Almost like a “to be continued”. It’s a somber beginning with dynamic builds that send you through four phases.
Phase 1 & 2
I created the foundation of welcome starting with the piano part. I wanted a chord progression that would create a neutral mood from the start so that I would had room to bend that mood going into the second and third phase. Once I had the foundation built I was on to toying with other instruments from my iPad to add different textures. If you hear the part that sounds like a violin it’s actually an Erhu which is… a Chinese violin. This was used at the beginning and the end of the 2nd phase to give off this eerie feeling or a message… “turn back”. The Erhu also carries the melody in the 2nd phase (chorus) and provides a different but brighter vibe changing the mood somewhat. Notice the drums? Those were tapped in on my iPad as well ha! Being that I have neighbors and it was after 11:00 pm when I decided to add drums I had to work with what I had. I pulled up Garageband for iPad and used the kit “So Cal” which has a thicker compressed tone. I just turned on the click and tapped in a floor tom/snare build into a 6/8 rock groove crashing on the “one” and then at the end I provided punches with the floor tom and crash cymbal which when you hit the crash also triggers the kick. Once the retard at the end of the 2nd phase starts I wanted to have something that would signify change so I added the floor tom hits on top of the Ehru trill. Those hits slowly fading into the background keep the ear at attention I feel like.
Phase 3 & 4
Phase 3 begins with foley sound that I recorded on my pier at Lake Waccamaw. I used a Zoom H1 handheld recorder to capture about five minutes of water sloshing up against the limestone shore. You can also hear birds in the background and a voice towards the end that I did not hear when I was recording it. No it wasn’t a ghost… I just do not remember hearing anyone walking by, which there very well might have been. As the water begins to crescendo you begin to hear a synth called the “Helix” that enters in very mildly. The Helix sound can also be found in the Garageband app. I didn’t even change the tempo on the delay within the app to fit, it just so happened to fill in the space well as it was. When playing that part I was tapping the C key and pulling the pitch bend wheel. After a few seconds of build and listening to the water the drum loop starts to enter which leads the composition into Phase 4. Now the mood has grown into something entirely foreign.The last phase is carried by an instrument called Spectrum Echo along with the tapping you hear from a crushed drum loop. All of these instruments also came from the Garageband app and were tweaked in some way. At the end of Phase 4 the build leads us to the sound of a slammed door. This can signify a definite ending, or you could say it’s a way to leave you hanging as to what happens next.
This composition was a step away from the conventional format and a way for me to try something different. An experiment to try to tap into many different emotions all encapsulated into one. It’s definitely outside of the box and I’m excited to try other directions as my writing progresses.