Two songs (vocal + piano)

Posted by: Ganddalf

Two songs (vocal + piano) - 10/31/13 08:55 AM

I have posted one or two compositions for piano here before. This time I want to present two songs (in the real sense of the word). I have used texts in "Elvish" language from "Lord of the Rings". Originaly "Galadirel's song" was written for solo soprano and piano. But when I presented the song for my vocal friends they also wanted to be part of the performance. They also "ordered" one more piece and this is why "A Elbereth" was composed. You may notice that the vocals just sing in unison.
Maybe I should also mention that I have never seen the "Lord of the Rings" movies, but just read the book. Thus I'm not influenced by any of the music written for the movies.

Here are links. Any feedback welcome.


"A Elbereth, Gilthoniel"

https://app.box.com/s/rc4y5fucagkmtvf6w4wb

"Galadriel's song"

https://app.box.com/s/rkwhv4qx8k9t6k365zh4
Posted by: Ganddalf

Re: Two songs (vocal + piano) - 11/03/13 02:23 PM

I didn't get much (actually none at all) response on these two compositions. One possible (maybe even likely) reason could be that the music is really bad, and as such not worth commenting on.

I thought, however, that the reason also could also be that the music files were rather large waw-files. Therefore I have converted them to much smaller mp3-files and still hoping for some comments.

Here are new links.


"A Elbereth"
https://app.box.com/s/oj1hkltrv399xr54wnw6

"Galadriel's song"

https://app.box.com/s/2lmkocx6jpfj2cvc8lje
Posted by: currawong

Re: Two songs (vocal + piano) - 11/03/13 04:13 PM

Well don't be discouraged when you don't get any responses straight away, Gandalf. I'm one who will be very interested to hear your songs, and the mp3 format will probably make it much easier for me with my dodgy internet connection.
Posted by: Polyphonist

Re: Two songs (vocal + piano) - 11/03/13 04:21 PM

Originally Posted By: Ganddalf
Maybe I should also mention that I have never seen the "Lord of the Rings" movies, but just read the book. Thus I'm not influenced by any of the music written for the movies.

Good, but you should see the movies; they're excellent. I don't watch a lot of movies, but LOTR is my favorite. You can't call yourself Gandalf until you've seen them. grin And this is as good a time as any for a question I've been wanting to ask for a while: why do you spell it with 2 d's?

Would you mind providing a score?
Posted by: Ganddalf

Re: Two songs (vocal + piano) - 11/04/13 08:23 AM

Originally Posted By: Polyphonist
Originally Posted By: Ganddalf
Maybe I should also mention that I have never seen the "Lord of the Rings" movies, but just read the book. Thus I'm not influenced by any of the music written for the movies.

Good, but you should see the movies; they're excellent. I don't watch a lot of movies, but LOTR is my favorite. You can't call yourself Gandalf until you've seen them. grin And this is as good a time as any for a question I've been wanting to ask for a while: why do you spell it with 2 d's?

Would you mind providing a score?


I chose my nickname because I'm an oldie, but unfortunately lacking all magic skills. The reason why I have avoided the movies is that just reading the books has given me so many nice pictures in my mind, and I'm afraid of destroying them.

The spelling with the double "d" makes some sense for a Norwegian, and if you use the correct spelling of a very popular name as a nickname, there is almost certainly someone else who already has taken it.....

I have handwritten scores of these songs, but I should clean them a bit. When working with singers, you almost certainly has to do changes, and my present notes are probably unreadable for anybody except me. I consider getting some software for score-writing, but I'm uncertain about what to choose. It should be easy to use, very efficient and very cheap....
Posted by: Polyphonist

Re: Two songs (vocal + piano) - 11/04/13 08:43 AM

Sibelius fits both the first two. It won't exactly fit the third one, but neither will Finale or any professional software.
Posted by: Tim Adrianson

Re: Two songs (vocal + piano) - 11/04/13 10:44 AM

Well, what a nice surprise on a Monday morning, Ganddalf! You have a wonderful lyrical sensibility, and they are to boot beautifully rendered. Just a wonderful sense of structure and line, particularly "A Elbereth". My only suggestion in "Galadriel's Song" is to remove the doubling of the melodic line with the singer at several junctures -- while this sometimes is justified to get a textural enhancement, here I heard it more as "trying to help the singer", which is never appropriate (although sometimes necessary!). But, musically, you have a style that I quite specially like -- a combination of power and melting lyricism. Just gorgeous, and thanks for sharing this!
Posted by: Ganddalf

Re: Two songs (vocal + piano) - 11/05/13 02:44 AM

Originally Posted By: Tim Adrianson
My only suggestion in "Galadriel's Song" is to remove the doubling of the melodic line with the singer at several junctures -- while this sometimes is justified to get a textural enhancement, here I heard it more as "trying to help the singer", which is never appropriate (although sometimes necessary!).


In fact there was much less doubling in my original version, but as you suspect there was some need for helping the singers in this case. I'll definitely follow your advice and remove the doubling next time we perform the songs.
Posted by: Steve Chandler

Re: Two songs (vocal + piano) - 11/05/13 02:56 PM

Box.net says the files have been removed, sorry I missed it.
Posted by: Polyphonist

Re: Two songs (vocal + piano) - 11/05/13 03:18 PM

That's happened with every single link I've seen posted on Box. Does it automatically take down files after a few days or something?
Posted by: Ganddalf

Re: Two songs (vocal + piano) - 11/05/13 06:18 PM

Try the links in the second post of the thread! They are active.
Posted by: aTallGuyNH

Re: Two songs (vocal + piano) - 11/21/13 09:44 PM

Wow Ganddalf, those are both very good... A Elbereth really hit the spot for me, just gorgeous. You have some beautiful voices there, and they were recorded in a wonderful acoustic environment as well.

For writing out scores, have you tried out MuseScore? It's open access, i.e. free, and is quite flexible. The learning curve can be a major pain, but that is just as true of the other "professional" software packages. (full disclosure, I've used Finale but not Sibelius, so any assertions I make on the latter are based on hearsay).
Posted by: Ganddalf

Re: Two songs (vocal + piano) - 11/22/13 03:11 AM

Originally Posted By: aTallGuyNH
Wow Ganddalf, those are both very good... A Elbereth really hit the spot for me, just gorgeous. You have some beautiful voices there, and they were recorded in a wonderful acoustic environment as well.


Thanks for the feedback. I'm glad you liked the songs. Actually we are a bit dissatisfied with the recording, and we plan to make a new one when the mezzo-soprano returns from a 6 month stay in France.

The lyrics of "A Elbereth" follow very stringent lyrical feet, and as such it is much easier to write a catchy melody for than "Galadriel's song" which completely lacks lyrical feet. Therefore most people consider "A Elbereth" to be the best of the two. Personally, however, I value "Galadriel's song" more. Some of the harmonies are a bit elusive perhaps, but I hope that they will become clearer next time we record.

Anyhow, we are all amateurs and do this just for fun.