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Old 11-26-2020, 05:49 AM   #361
Galadriel55
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Originally Posted by Huinesoron View Post
The one thing I did flag is that Curufin's music starts very quietly. Is that deliberate, to put the emphasis on the vocals? The silent beat (is it an entire bar?) I can use to fade him ominously in, so no quibble there.

hS
The pause is an arbitrary length between the end of one recording and the start of another. We can make it as long or short as is pleasing and/or makes sense with the visuals.

Part of why Cur's part sounds quiet is that it's a transition from a multi-instrument fff to a mere couple-instrument f. I clearly did not spend enough time listening to these in sequence, it sounded moderately loud without the comparison. If you like it, I'll leave it as is, or give the first downbeat a little more strength. I did deliberately take out some jazzy details I had initially, going for a simpler start to allow the vocals to stand out more (this is also what a bunch of the performances do), but the volume was not really thought out. Let me know what you prefer there for singing to it, or for the feel in general.
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Old 11-26-2020, 08:18 AM   #362
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The pause is an arbitrary length between the end of one recording and the start of another. We can make it as long or short as is pleasing and/or makes sense with the visuals.
I'd say it's a bit long at the moment; watching the 2014 show, Cur's part comes almost immediately after Finrod's long note finally fades off.

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Part of why Cur's part sounds quiet is that it's a transition from a multi-instrument fff to a mere couple-instrument f. I clearly did not spend enough time listening to these in sequence, it sounded moderately loud without the comparison. If you like it, I'll leave it as is, or give the first downbeat a little more strength. I did deliberately take out some jazzy details I had initially, going for a simpler start to allow the vocals to stand out more (this is also what a bunch of the performances do), but the volume was not really thought out. Let me know what you prefer there for singing to it, or for the feel in general.
Given that it wasn't deliberate, I have no qualms about suggesting making it stronger/louder. ^_~

hS
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Old 11-26-2020, 02:50 PM   #363
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I'd say it's a bit long at the moment; watching the 2014 show, Cur's part comes almost immediately after Finrod's long note finally fades off.
That's what is would have been, if we played everything in one file at one speed. So we seem to be on the same page here. The pause now is artificial, because it's two connected recordings, but there is absolutely no issue cropping out more of it on Audacity.

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Given that it wasn't deliberate, I have no qualms about suggesting making it stronger/louder. ^_~
Will do! Also on the to-do mental list for myself not to forget, fix the intro so that it doesn't sound like a broken police siren. And get a move on with the next part.
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Old 11-26-2020, 09:01 PM   #364
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Some to-do's attended to. Any updates for that list of things to fix? (Slash are they actually fixed or do they need more fixing?)

(I am really excited that RL is finally coming together, and this song is moving forward)
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Old 11-27-2020, 03:35 PM   #365
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Some to-do's attended to. Any updates for that list of things to fix? (Slash are they actually fixed or do they need more fixing?)

(I am really excited that RL is finally coming together, and this song is moving forward)
My brain is frazzled, so I can't say whether it's fixed, but I can offer a performance:

Progress 3, sung

Finrod's second verse is an utter Frankenstein of recordings, I had to mash together about six different clips, but see previous comments on brain-frazzle. I could have re-recorded most of them to avoid the errors.

The one thing I've noticed is physically impossible is taking a breath on the "through your messes! / You alone" and "neither bards nor warriors / We're bound in Song" line transitions; there's literally no time (unless I'm mis-parsing the tune). Which is probably fine for a professional singer, it's only a couple of lines; in my case it means there's likely to always be a second clip snuck in there.

hS
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Old 11-27-2020, 08:48 PM   #366
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The one thing I've noticed is physically impossible is taking a breath on the "through your messes! / You alone" and "neither bards nor warriors / We're bound in Song" line transitions; there's literally no time (unless I'm mis-parsing the tune). Which is probably fine for a professional singer, it's only a couple of lines; in my case it means there's likely to always be a second clip snuck in there.
Hmm, yes, I can see that problem. Unless the beat is broken to speed up the first line, there's very little space for breath.

Three options that I see:
1) What you said above - patch multiple recordings if needed, no shame in that. The way I see it, if we are gonna do this by recording rather than anything resembling live performance, we might as well pick the best bits of the best recordings for the final take, who cares if it's not one single take.
2) Slow the whole thing down. I think it can tolerate being a little slower without losing momentum, but not by much. An option to consider.
3) I can add a blank bar in there. There are some performances that add blank bars in the middle of Feanorion parts throughout the musical - especially the slower and "heavier" rock/metal versions like this tactic. I am personally not a fan of the really slow pace and lyric breaks, I feel that they take away the momentum and rage without adding anything of value. However, I am willing to experiment with this if you think a break in this spot in the music would make life significantly easier.


Listening to the recording, I feel like the end of Finrod's bit ("in songs to be --- if you love me still") is odd. Almost like I have an extra bar of music there by accident. I am not quite sure what's going on or why it feels weird. The equivalent Feanorion part, with the same number of beats, sounds fine. Did it sound weird to you as well? I'll have to take a closer look tomorrow.


I have to say, I really appreciate you doing "progress" singing recordings. It sounds different sung out loud than it does in my head, and helps with the editing with some practical feedback. In previous songs too.
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Old 12-01-2020, 09:08 PM   #367
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Progress # whatever this one is, about half-way

Gettin' the swing of it - literally, and all that jazz. Perhaps with an epic movie there at the end. I have been enjoying this greatly, and dancing along to the "I have words to say" stanza. ^.^ This one is mostly as an update, but feedback welcome as always and I'll try to incorporate it as I write / edit. I haven't done anything yet to the timing of the breathless lines, but the options still stand.
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Old 12-02-2020, 04:06 PM   #368
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Right back at you!

Actual out-loud comment after listening to this through: "God that's a good song." ^_^

I've thrown a few tweaks into the words along the way, and may have allowed Curufin to play with the tune a little on his 'to death you'll go' (I can't help it - response lines always make me playful).

I've also discovered I was talking utter rubbish about the breathless lines; they're perfectly doable and should not be changed. I think I was tired last time, it's just a matter of making sure to steal a breath at the previous break, and not being afraid to push to the end of it.

I've looked back at the "songs to be / if you love me still" gap. It often catches me out while singing it, but actually listening sounds absolutely fine.

Still no video; I'm having too much fun singing it!

hS
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Old 12-16-2020, 06:18 PM   #369
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I have to apologize for the long wait. Initially I expected to have something new to post in "a few days", which dragged out on an on. Unfortunately, with a lot of RL stuff piling up, I haven't even been able to open the music file since a day or two after that last post. I know I will not be able to work on it much over the next two weeks, and my goal was to finish by this week - but that's just not going to happen realistically. This is gonna have to be bumped to the new year. I'm sorry about the long delay.



We are on the same brainwave with the response lines here. It's like they're not so much singing as articulating in tune. And I recall thinking that that style might also work well for the part where the bros berate Finrod, and I think I was planning to succumb to the jazzy style and give them a walking bassline for that section instead of the melody... when I get there. Uuugh, I wish I could just do it right now.
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Old 12-31-2020, 06:22 PM   #370
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...And I made it to the end before 2020 is out! (in my time zone at least)

The penultimate link

Not quite final, as I think the end can be a tad more dramatic, and I'm not sure if the transition to Quarrel would best go here or in the beginning of the next piece. But I made it to the end of the lyrics and that is exciting!

I feel that this was a bipolar sort of song for me, swinging from not being able to come up with anything workable to some sort of musical mania where I had to persuade myself that putting in a waltz countermelody just because I can is not necessarily a good idea. Anyways, I really loved doing it, especially the jazzy parts. I feel that this is another piece where a lot of the musical decorations will be lost once the voice is added (which is expected, and ok) - so I'm really enjoying it for now while it's still bare.


Happy New Year to all!
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Old 01-02-2021, 09:43 PM   #371
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Sorry for the triple post, I think the last for the next little while.

Renunciation - final

Touched up the opening and the ending, and the middle seems to be working too. Let me know if there are any spots that need adjustment (warning - occasional key changes which I am not sure I did right, so let me know if it sounds odd to you), but otherwise I think I'm happy with this as the final version of this piece as a stand-alone. It's possible to make the transition to Quarrel to overlap directly with the last hanging note, to make it very smooth, but that would probably make videoing more difficult and is also probably not really necessary to still connect the two once we put them together.

Whoa! I really love this song. It's become so danceable. However, much as I love to chair-dance along to the bros, I vote for "I wish no revenge etc" as my favourite moment.

How do you feel about jazzy Cel&Cur? Should we keep them for Quarrel, or return back to a saner version of the characters which do not threaten to tap-dance across Nargothrond's caves?
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Old 01-03-2021, 04:36 AM   #372
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Yessssss. Happy new year to you too!

This is a fantastic song - it just keeps getting zippier! It's no surprise that I couldn't resist throwing together a draft sung version as soon as possible:

The Renunciation of Jazz

I'm not at all certain I've got everything in either the right place or the right tune, so please tell me if anything's off! It all needs rerecording to get the voices right anyway.

Seriously well done - it's a difficult song and you made it shine.

I vote for keeping the Dancing Feanorians if it's appropriate. It makes me imagine a danced staging of the show, where they each come in and take a turn with Finrod before ending up in a hectic spiral with one another while he slow-dances off with Beren. (Be grateful I know nothing about dancing or I would be roughing this version out already!)

hS
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Old 01-07-2021, 09:17 PM   #373
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It's in need of saving!

Apologies for the delay in response, it was because I was waiting for an evening when I could could make this to toss back. ^.^ I can't let you have all the fun. Unfortunately I only had time for two goes, one for the second Feanorian and one for everything else on a single breath, so you can guess how it went. But it's so fun to sing!!! I spent the first couple evenings just listening to your recording, it's fantastic - I can't wait for the "real" copy!

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This is a fantastic song - it just keeps getting zippier! It's no surprise that I couldn't resist throwing together a draft sung version as soon as possible
Love it love it love it!

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I'm not at all certain I've got everything in either the right place or the right tune, so please tell me if anything's off! It all needs rerecording to get the voices right anyway.
Definitely the right place, and I think the right tune too! :-) The only spot I think is not in tune is "there's no blood on my hands, they're clear" - that's one of the confusing chord changes I was talking about, and I am not sure whether I played it correctly, but the way it's written it's higher than the corresponding line in the first and last stanzas (the same as "I bare my soul", but I think that one is in tune with the instrumental). Ugh, it will be fine regardless - it's awesome!

And the only line that I think could be done differently is "Won't you go along". I wrote it as a sort of drawl, and I think musically it doesn't work out as well if the speed is kept normal. The call-back can either go on top of it, or after - I think there are several options here, just didn't have time to play around with it. Do you prefer it back at a "normal speed"? That's fairly easily done, just two bars to modify. It's just that the notes don't match up to the normal speed lyrics, and it would bug me for the rest of time if I don't fix it to match. Or if you like the drawl, we keep it as is. Seriously, please do let me know if you think any place needs adjusting.

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I vote for keeping the Dancing Feanorians if it's appropriate. It makes me imagine a danced staging of the show, where they each come in and take a turn with Finrod before ending up in a hectic spiral with one another while he slow-dances off with Beren. (Be grateful I know nothing about dancing or I would be roughing this version out already!)
Oh no. This made me imagine different dancing styles for the different characters, debating how well swing would look like on the bros - and of course Thingol has to ballet onto the stage in full ballet gear to break up the sweet couple, and that's not an image that I particularly wanted stuck in my head. o.O


But I haven't been completely idle: The Bickering Brothers, coming soon. (basically, samples of all the melodies with their chords - hurrah for simple songs with repeating chords and no key changes!) Mainly, a check for singability (not too high or low?), and for speed. Right now it's a bit slower than Renunciation was. The issue is Thingol: if the song is too quick, he ends up tongue-twisting (V1); if it's too slow, he ends up drawn out (the rock versions, especially those that put extra break bars after each line, ugh). The solution is of course to just record at different speeds, like the intro in Renunciation - but out of curiosity I looked through a handful of performances and they all maintain the same tempo, which seems to also work for most (V1 ends up slowing down a bit, Thingol is on the verge of not being able to pronounce anything). Also out of curiosity, I just tried to sing Thingol along to V1, and it's possible - though would take a bit of practice to enunciate at that pace. The other considerations would probably be how it flows following Renunciation, and the the faster Feanorian bits (I tend to tongue twist on "kid, you must be joking" if going fast). Do you have a preference for how fast we should go here? I detest the drawn out break bars in all the songs, they slow everything down far too much and I would rather not do those, but I am fine with both a fast and moderately paced Thingol. At this time, the speed is almost exactly matched with V2 Thingol but a touch slower than in the Renunciation accompaniment - to use for reference.
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Old 01-09-2021, 08:31 PM   #374
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I did something really stupid. I told myself this morning, I will do some music, and when it stops coming easy I will transition to doing work. 10 hours later, I have a choice between finally getting a tiny bit of work done, cook some food, or trying to sing it. Guess what I chose.

I haven't forgotten about Quarrel, this was only supposed to be a couple hour side thing while I was in the mood for the grotesque. But this preliminary (and off tune, sorry!) version shows I need to rethink some of my impromptu harmony in the middle before doing a proper recording.

I will so regret my epic procrastination... But it was also so worth it.
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Old 01-10-2021, 09:38 AM   #375
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Apologies for the delay in response, it was because I was waiting for an evening when I could could make this to toss back. ^.^ I can't let you have all the fun. Unfortunately I only had time for two goes, one for the second Feanorian and one for everything else on a single breath, so you can guess how it went. But it's so fun to sing!!! I spent the first couple evenings just listening to your recording, it's fantastic - I can't wait for the "real" copy!
^_^ ^_^ ^_^ That's fantastic. There's a few lines I'm going to steal for my own version (I can't remember which now, but rest assured it will be done). I'm currently working on the video, and will re-record at some point to match it.

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Definitely the right place, and I think the right tune too! :-) The only spot I think is not in tune is "there's no blood on my hands, they're clear" - that's one of the confusing chord changes I was talking about, and I am not sure whether I played it correctly, but the way it's written it's higher than the corresponding line in the first and last stanzas (the same as "I bare my soul", but I think that one is in tune with the instrumental). Ugh, it will be fine regardless - it's awesome!

And the only line that I think could be done differently is "Won't you go along". I wrote it as a sort of drawl, and I think musically it doesn't work out as well if the speed is kept normal. The call-back can either go on top of it, or after - I think there are several options here, just didn't have time to play around with it. Do you prefer it back at a "normal speed"? That's fairly easily done, just two bars to modify. It's just that the notes don't match up to the normal speed lyrics, and it would bug me for the rest of time if I don't fix it to match. Or if you like the drawl, we keep it as is. Seriously, please do let me know if you think any place needs adjusting.
I'll take a look at all these, but I don't think anything needs to be done to the instrumental.

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Oh no. This made me imagine different dancing styles for the different characters, debating how well swing would look like on the bros - and of course Thingol has to ballet onto the stage in full ballet gear to break up the sweet couple, and that's not an image that I particularly wanted stuck in my head. o.O
Yesssssss. Though I can only imagine the look on Melian's face as he pirouettes around her.

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Took me a couple of tries to find the melody, but once I did I think it works. I haven't recorded it though.

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I did something really stupid. I told myself this morning, I will do some music, and when it stops coming easy I will transition to doing work. 10 hours later, I have a choice between finally getting a tiny bit of work done, cook some food, or trying to sing it. Guess what I chose.


It sounds like a weird twisted Christmas song; if you ignore the actual lyrics, the minions sound like little Christmas elves talking to Santa. I love it!

hS
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Old 01-12-2021, 07:04 AM   #376
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And having stolen the computer back over lunch, I've finally managed to get this done:

Renunciation of Nargothrond: The Animated Classic

I firmly resisted the urge to have Cel'n'Cur bouncing around the screen, though they do get the most animated entrances yet. I'm positively bouncing along to this one still. ^_^

As ever, any tweaks to the singing or animation let me know - I did my best on the recording, but there's always room for improvement!

Can't wait to see what's up next - I either get to continue the Madcap Feanorions, or break out Sauron again. It's a win-win!

hS
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Old 01-12-2021, 11:45 AM   #377
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And having stolen the computer back over lunch, I've finally managed to get this done:

Renunciation of Nargothrond: The Animated Classic
Squeeeee!

...And oooh, the crown! *dies*

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As ever, any tweaks to the singing or animation let me know - I did my best on the recording, but there's always room for improvement!
It's fantastic! I think my favourite singing part is the back-and-forth fight in the middle. And the favourite animated part goes to the crown! It's just so perfectly drawn and placed with Finrod fading out - brilliant! (Second favourite is the Feanorions' appearance)

If you really wanna tweak it in the sense of "Why only an A when it could be an A+", the only place I might look at is Finrod's opening stanza, in particular "to arms, people". All the stuff in the middle, the fighting and all, sounds amazing! And the ending is perfect, singing and animation and all.

I'm gonna go rewatch it again, for like the 10th time now.

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Can't wait to see what's up next - I either get to continue the Madcap Feanorions, or break out Sauron again. It's a win-win!
Any preference? They're both lying open on the table, so to speak, though I think I only got one or two lines into Quarrel so far.

I've been thinking for Minions to drop it a little lower, if that's still in your Sauron singing range, because the Minions are just a tad high for me. If it's a pitch lower I'd try to do them in a nastier voice. I hate doing that to music that's already written because it makes it sound weird, but it won't be a big drop and I think it will be worth it.



In unrelated news, I only now realized that the Nargothrond backdrop is adorned in Finrod's colours.

*goes off dancing with some words to say on this matter also*
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Old 01-12-2021, 01:25 PM   #378
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...And oooh, the crown! *dies*
The crown is staying there until Thingol occludes it at the end of Quarrel, because Symbolism.

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Any preference? They're both lying open on the table, so to speak, though I think I only got one or two lines into Quarrel so far.

I've been thinking for Minions to drop it a little lower, if that's still in your Sauron singing range, because the Minions are just a tad high for me. If it's a pitch lower I'd try to do them in a nastier voice. I hate doing that to music that's already written because it makes it sound weird, but it won't be a big drop and I think it will be worth it.
No preferences, and the drop should be fine; I can push Sauron pretty deep.

Do you have any preferences for what the minions should look like? I'm avoiding Jacksonian orcs, but can go any way after that. I think most performances just go with spandex, so, y'know...

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In unrelated news, I only now realized that the Nargothrond backdrop is adorned in Finrod's colours.
Which is going to be the main animation change for the Quarrel. I has plans.

(The Finarfin-serpent border took quite a while to get right...)

hS
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Old 01-12-2021, 02:33 PM   #379
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Do you have any preferences for what the minions should look like? I'm avoiding Jacksonian orcs, but can go any way after that. I think most performances just go with spandex, so, y'know...
There is a certain part of me that is inordinately fascinated with the performances that depict Sauron's minions as being, well Minions - not Orcs, not Men, not Wolves or Telvidos, just Minions of undifferentiated species. I am not too sure if/how Speciesless Minions would translate onto a visual form; to paraphrase you, I Don't Art. But I think I would be delighted with anything that's not too recognizably Jackson-orc, whatever those petty creeps end up looking like.

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Which is going to be the main animation change for the Quarrel. I has plans.
I can hear the hands rubbing together from across the screen.
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Old 01-13-2021, 07:50 AM   #380
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There is a certain part of me that is inordinately fascinated with the performances that depict Sauron's minions as being, well Minions - not Orcs, not Men, not Wolves or Telvidos, just Minions of undifferentiated species. I am not too sure if/how Speciesless Minions would translate onto a visual form; to paraphrase you, I Don't Art. But I think I would be delighted with anything that's not too recognizably Jackson-orc, whatever those petty creeps end up looking like.
Ah, so you're thinking something like this!

No? No, perhaps not.

So I've gone through the, uh, three performances with costumed minions, and wound up pretty much drawing one from each. I've turned them all into hairless, earless white things, which are then costumed to evoke Wolf (2014), Bat (2010), or, er... Creepy (2002).



I had to remove the seams from the 2002 mask, because it came out looking like a fish-man, which is a bit too far afield. As it stands, I think they're all tolerably Orcs or Other.

Incidentally: do you prefer the title "Sauron's Creed", "Sauron's Minions", or "Sauron and His Minions"? It can go any which way.

---

Also! I decided in my madness to see whether a live-action recording of these songs was at all possible. And, er... actually kinda?

The Oath of Feanor (Live)

Lip-synched, with Curufin slightly out of synch, but given all the other issues it didn't seem worth fiddling overmuch. With a bit more time/effort I could make something decent of it, but this will do for now.

hS
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Old 01-13-2021, 04:44 PM   #381
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Ah, so you're thinking something like this!
Ah! The perfect Minion!

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So I've gone through the, uh, three performances with costumed minions, and wound up pretty much drawing one from each. I've turned them all into hairless, earless white things, which are then costumed to evoke Wolf (2014), Bat (2010), or, er... Creepy (2002).
Looks cool! And Creepy is, well, really creepy. The 2002 is more, um, Scarecrow? But this is just Creepy. In the best way imaginable. ^.^

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Incidentally: do you prefer the title "Sauron's Creed", "Sauron's Minions", or "Sauron and His Minions"? It can go any which way.
I don't feel strongly about it either way, I think they all have merits. I just really enjoy calling it Minions on here, ever since that song kept coming to me during odd times in the day, and I was very amused at being haunted by the minions. Also, minionsminionsminionsminions. It's fun. But for the official name, no particular preference.

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Also! I decided in my madness to see whether a live-action recording of these songs was at all possible. And, er... actually kinda?

The Oath of Feanor (Live)

Lip-synched, with Curufin slightly out of synch, but given all the other issues it didn't seem worth fiddling overmuch. With a bit more time/effort I could make something decent of it, but this will do for now.
Wow! Cel and Cur look so much alike, they really must be siblings!

sorry, I had to. It actually looks good! More than kinda! With a lot of potential. Erm... Step 2 of the project? Play dress up and try to coordinate dance moves? I would be absolutely up for that version of the performance... erm, once I get through Step 1. I have to remember not to get too far ahead of myself. There are still more than half the songs to write. But absolutely!
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Old 01-14-2021, 08:37 AM   #382
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I don't feel strongly about it either way, I think they all have merits. I just really enjoy calling it Minions on here, ever since that song kept coming to me during odd times in the day, and I was very amused at being haunted by the minions. Also, minionsminionsminionsminions. It's fun. But for the official name, no particular preference.
Then "Sauron's Minions" it is. ^_^

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Wow! Cel and Cur look so much alike, they really must be siblings!
-_-

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It actually looks good! More than kinda! With a lot of potential. Erm... Step 2 of the project? Play dress up and try to coordinate dance moves? I would be absolutely up for that version of the performance... erm, once I get through Step 1. I have to remember not to get too far ahead of myself. There are still more than half the songs to write. But absolutely!
Or do the whole thing in head-and-shoulders shots and call it Finrod-Zoom. Complete with between-song comedy bits.

~

BEREN: I must see Felagund your king! I must see Felagund your king!

[Beat]

EDRAHIL: Yeah, he said he was going to be here, do you want to give him a ring?

~

MINIONS: [Silent mouthing]

SAURON: [Long-suffering sigh] You're. On. Mute.

~

FINROD: How shall I stay
At Throne of Day
A witness mesmerized of other people's doom fell?...

AMARIE: Oh! Um, can everyone hear me all right?

~

GALADRIEL & FINROD: But at the end of Loss, in land released from grief and pain
The joining of our hands will light the sunrise of new day.

GALADRIEL: Next slide, please.

hS
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Old 01-14-2021, 09:42 PM   #383
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Or do the whole thing in head-and-shoulders shots and call it Finrod-Zoom. Complete with between-song comedy bits.
!!!

~

BEREN: I must see Felagund your king! I must see Felagund your king!

[Beat]

EDRAHIL: Yeah, he said he was going to be here, do you want to give him a ring?

[beat]

EDRAHIL (again): Um, Aran, you need to turn your camera on in order for him to actually see you.

~

C&C: It's just a shame to give him back his crown.

[beat]

[awkward silence]

MELIAN: (muffled phrases, can make out the words "last time" and your line")

THINGOL: *Cough* Oh, uhh... *potato chip bag rustle noise* Uhh, right. Um. What's the purpose of this squabbling?

~

LUTHIEN: Now! Let him come forth from iron cage and walls!

MINIONS: Boss just texted saying he'd be happy to, er, "come forth", but his internet keeps cutting out.




(Sauron's long-suffering sigh is my favourite though)
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Old 01-15-2021, 06:22 PM   #384
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Uh, I need a bit of advice and maybe a sanity check.

So, I got to the point where there can be a good interlude between "Get you gone from me" and the Elves being spotted. The conservative thing to do would be to play the themes from the intro, which flow very easily and smoothly and will pose no trouble whatsoever to insert between the stanzas. But, I can't just do the logical thing, no. After you posted the animal-inspired picture, I had a thought that maybe I can get the whole thing to descend into an organized chaos of animal noises and other spooky sounds. So, Sauron's words are currently followed by the best mimic I could achieve of howls, growls, meowls, croaks, poltergeist bangs, and randomness, with the possibility of adding other sound effects on recording (I strongly considered ghostly wails, creepy cackles, and things that go creak in the dark among other things, but I don't have sufficient instruments going to make them happen). However, having listened to this cacophony in recording, it sounds just that - a cacophony, without any animal-inspired noises actually resembling what they're supposed to. Is it too much? Should I take out that part and just leave the conservative chaos? Or keep the backbone of that part but record all sound effects from voice rather than play them with instruments?
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Old 01-18-2021, 03:08 PM   #385
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Uh, I need a bit of advice and maybe a sanity check.

So, I got to the point where there can be a good interlude between "Get you gone from me" and the Elves being spotted. The conservative thing to do would be to play the themes from the intro, which flow very easily and smoothly and will pose no trouble whatsoever to insert between the stanzas. But, I can't just do the logical thing, no. After you posted the animal-inspired picture, I had a thought that maybe I can get the whole thing to descend into an organized chaos of animal noises and other spooky sounds. So, Sauron's words are currently followed by the best mimic I could achieve of howls, growls, meowls, croaks, poltergeist bangs, and randomness, with the possibility of adding other sound effects on recording (I strongly considered ghostly wails, creepy cackles, and things that go creak in the dark among other things, but I don't have sufficient instruments going to make them happen). However, having listened to this cacophony in recording, it sounds just that - a cacophony, without any animal-inspired noises actually resembling what they're supposed to. Is it too much? Should I take out that part and just leave the conservative chaos? Or keep the backbone of that part but record all sound effects from voice rather than play them with instruments?
I've listened through a few points trying to pinpoint what makes it not work, and I think it's that the highest instrument is just too slow. It feels like it wants to be a high, fast melody over cacophony, but it winds up playing... what, five notes over the first half of it? I think maybe it would work better if that instrument was giving the section a little structure.

hS
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Old 01-25-2021, 08:31 AM   #386
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I realised after rather too much thought that Minions is actually the start of Act Two, which explains the minute-long introduction to it. Since it's also the first time Sauron appears on screen, I decided I'd avoid just fading in the background over 60 seconds, and instead repeat the Potted History idea from the Prologue - only this time for the baddies. Something like:

-Morgoth's hands with the Silmarils
-Morgoth as a looming backdrop to Sauron
-Sauron hunting Beren
-Sauron taking Minas Tirith

& then fade to his throne room. (I would do Sauron at the Bragollach, but, er... there's no textual support for him taking part.)

And then I thought, what if 'The Death of Barahir' and 'Sauron in Dorthonion' were two halves of the same picture? So when we introduce Sauron, we do so by highlighting that he was always part of the story.

And then I drew it. ^_^



Beren and Barahir will be in both versions; the Prologue will cut off with the foreground tree mid-right, while Minions will show Sauron but not Tarn Aeluin.

Strictly speaking, this picture is wildly inaccurate - Sauron wasn't involved in Barahir's death, Beren didn't come back while the enemy were present, and he didn't get the ring while still next to his father. But symbolically, I think it works.

hS
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Old 01-26-2021, 06:58 PM   #387
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That's brilliant! What if the picture starts as a repetition of the Tarn Aeluin version and then slides over to hide the good stuff and show the evil stuff? I am not sure if that's more creepy or less creepy. But really cool picture! I will certainly not complain about the minor inaccuracies, I definitely agree that the symbolism wins out.

Also, I totally missed the fact that Minions is the start of Act 2. It just seemed to need an intro to make a very definite transition from heart, and I had a thought about how to do it without just ripping it off one of the main versions. But now that you mention it, all the performances which have Minions have a longish intro. It makes sense both ways.


I have been very busy lately and haven't made any new developments, but I will make an effort in the coming week to get the Minions off the writing table already. By the way, do you have a preference for the ending? V1 and derivatives I believe all do the "Ha! ha! ha!", while V2 does the drawn-out "entertainment", and I can't recall any other major variations on this piece. I personally enjoy the cackle, but given the versatility of cackle placement possibilities it doesn't negate the second option.
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Old 01-27-2021, 05:23 AM   #388
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That's brilliant! What if the picture starts as a repetition of the Tarn Aeluin version and then slides over to hide the good stuff and show the evil stuff? I am not sure if that's more creepy or less creepy. But really cool picture! I will certainly not complain about the minor inaccuracies, I definitely agree that the symbolism wins out.
That... is... a really good idea. ^_^ I think it'll work! Really highlights the fact that We've Seen This Before.

I've now shaded the full Aeluin picture:



And have also done the Theft of the Silmarils shot:



The scorch marks will fade in over a few seconds... I started by trying to darken the whole hands, but that wound up looking like someone with dark skin, which is not what I wanted. So I went the other way and gave Morgoth the same white skin as the Minions. (The third option was to upgrade the hands into gauntlets, but I think this is more fitting.)

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Also, I totally missed the fact that Minions is the start of Act 2. It just seemed to need an intro to make a very definite transition from heart, and I had a thought about how to do it without just ripping it off one of the main versions. But now that you mention it, all the performances which have Minions have a longish intro. It makes sense both ways.
Well, it's not like we're going to have a half-hour interval in the full video, so yes, it works both ways.

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I have been very busy lately and haven't made any new developments, but I will make an effort in the coming week to get the Minions off the writing table already. By the way, do you have a preference for the ending? V1 and derivatives I believe all do the "Ha! ha! ha!", while V2 does the drawn-out "entertainment", and I can't recall any other major variations on this piece. I personally enjoy the cackle, but given the versatility of cackle placement possibilities it doesn't negate the second option.
No worries, no worries; I've been kind of slow on things myself (the pictures are being done in short bursts of creativity). I am perfectly happy to pull out a cackle, and if I can't get that to work, I can always do it as a low booming laugh. It puts me in mind of Wicked, with Idina Menzel doing her very best Wicked Witch cackle... ^_^

Speaking of musicals... it's weird (or maybe not so weird) how often I find myself singing random chunks of the Zong. I worked through most of the Meeting in Neldoreth yesterday, and now I've got pieces of Heart rattling around my head. It really is a delightfully catchy musical, and I'm really glad we've got it into a language I can sing along to; just humming tunes gets a bit boring!

hS
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Old 01-27-2021, 08:36 AM   #389
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And then I snuck in a third Minions Prologue image:



Originally Morgoth was going to just be a shadow standing behind Sauron, with the Iron Crown about the size of the central Silmaril. But... then I sketched two options for the sweep of his shoulders, and they formed the angles of these enormous glowering eyes. So I went for it. ^_^ Let me reuse my existing Silmaril art, too, and has finally let me pin down what Sauron's arm should be doing (so I'll fix his song portrait at some point).

Not the most informative picture, but all it has to get across is that the chap with the red hair isn't the one with the jewels, and I think it does that. Plus I really like it. ^_^

hS
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Old 01-27-2021, 09:24 AM   #390
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I have to speak up about the last one. I think that the concept is really cool - I wasn't sure how you'd do it, and a minimalistic background of Morgoth's face is really scary. But I highly recommend shifting Sauron's position or proportion (or maybe have either him or Morgoth fade in compared to the other). The face in the background is counterintuitive and takes a second to spot, because of its size. The connection that I made on automatic was... Sauron is doing Asian dance with fans and flowers. O.o It's like those illusion drawings with two pictures in one. It took a reframing of what I'm seeing to spot the face, and I know what this is about. Getting Sauron's hands away from Morgoth's eyes would go ways to breaking the ambiguity - I can see it either as shifting him physically away, or doing a fade in animation for either him or Morgoth (e.g. start with Morgoth's scary face, and have Sauron fade in, then Morgoth fade out, and you're left symbolically with a Sauron who is revelling under Morgoth's rule, or something. Or keep Sauron and fade in the face). Or maybe have one shrink as the other grows. Dunno. You would have a better idea of what to actually do with this, but I had to point this out early. And again, the idea itself is amazing, I wouldn't change it for the full body Morgoth. It just came out ambiguous.

I think Morgoth's hands made sense. They shouldn't be covered, because then the Silmarils scorching his flesh would be weird to draw and get the point across.
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Old 01-27-2021, 10:16 AM   #391
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I have to speak up about the last one. I think that the concept is really cool - I wasn't sure how you'd do it, and a minimalistic background of Morgoth's face is really scary. But I highly recommend shifting Sauron's position or proportion (or maybe have either him or Morgoth fade in compared to the other). The face in the background is counterintuitive and takes a second to spot, because of its size. The connection that I made on automatic was... Sauron is doing Asian dance with fans and flowers. O.o It's like those illusion drawings with two pictures in one. It took a reframing of what I'm seeing to spot the face, and I know what this is about. Getting Sauron's hands away from Morgoth's eyes would go ways to breaking the ambiguity - I can see it either as shifting him physically away, or doing a fade in animation for either him or Morgoth (e.g. start with Morgoth's scary face, and have Sauron fade in, then Morgoth fade out, and you're left symbolically with a Sauron who is revelling under Morgoth's rule, or something. Or keep Sauron and fade in the face). Or maybe have one shrink as the other grows. Dunno. You would have a better idea of what to actually do with this, but I had to point this out early. And again, the idea itself is amazing, I wouldn't change it for the full body Morgoth. It just came out ambiguous.
Hey, Sauron does song-magic, and we know Luthien used dancing to enhance that, so fan-dance Sauron might be canon!

But yeah, I mostly keep seeing Sauron's cloak as an evil goatee on Morgoth, so I agree. I think the crossfade idea should work, setting up the transition from one to the other. I'll save Sauron as a separate file to Morgoth, then I can play around with them and see what works best.

hS
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Old 01-27-2021, 12:05 PM   #392
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There is something out of order?

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Hey, Sauron does song-magic, and we know Luthien used dancing to enhance that, so fan-dance Sauron might be canon!
*imagines Sauron fan-dance-fighting his way through armies of Elves, Avatar-style*

*chokes slightly*


Aaaaanyway... started the day off with getting through to the end. It will still need adjusting to make it sound smoother, and I want to fix a couple places in the intro, but here's the full length of the tune. I decluttered the cacophony slightly, but I'm still not sure if it's worth it to keep it in some form or just cut it out. I'll post the finalized version when I can, and the singing too. But Quarrel will have to wait a while - I have some very big deadlines coming up and too much work to get done, if I start working on it again now I know I'll be procrastinating with it and this is not a run of the mill exam that I can wave off. So I'm gonna Not Do Music for a couple more weeks to make sure I actually get my RL stuff in order. And then I'm back in the game!
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Old 01-28-2021, 04:35 AM   #393
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*imagines Sauron fan-dance-fighting his way through armies of Elves, Avatar-style*

*chokes slightly*
SCENE: TOL-IN-GAURHOTH, INTERIOR

[Finrod, Beren, and the Faithful are dragged into the throne room and thrown to the floor. Finrod checks on Beren, then gets to his feet and slowly approaches the throne. It was once his throne - you can still see the carved serpent-and-garlands on the base - but now it is blackened and broken.]

[Suddenly Finrod stops. He looks to the side; we can see nothing, but the music swells ominously. Suddenly a pitch-black fan snaps shut, revealing the pale face of Sauron.]

SAURON: How dare you to enter my domain without my leave...?

(It takes place not long after the waltzing Feanorions and Ballet Thingol. I think making the fans black actually kiiiind of makes it work, because it means His Shadowyness can appear and disappear to freak Finrod out.)

FINROD [turning slowly on the spot]: I've made my choice now
I entrust my fate to Eru
Both light and darkness
Are gifts he grants to us
I don't accept you
Or your ending in its--

[A pale hand appears out of nowhere and brushes across Finrod's cheek]

FINROD: --coldness--!

SAURON [voice only, from VERY close by]: That's fear that chills your heart.

[A fan slowly drops to reveal Sauron's face again]

SAURON: Fear that's only felt by slaves and cowards in the dark...

(I think I'm taking the Muppet Christmas Carol approach here: everyone except Finrod dances, but His Majesty plays it all completely straight. One for the Imaginary Animation Department.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Galadriel55 View Post
Aaaaanyway... started the day off with getting through to the end. It will still need adjusting to make it sound smoother, and I want to fix a couple places in the intro, but here's the full length of the tune. I decluttered the cacophony slightly, but I'm still not sure if it's worth it to keep it in some form or just cut it out. I'll post the finalized version when I can, and the singing too.
Hooray! I'll try and draw the final picture for it and start putting it together. I think the cacophany will work well if I have the minions appearing and disappearing to try and simulate their capering, but whatever you think best.

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Originally Posted by Galadriel55 View Post
But Quarrel will have to wait a while - I have some very big deadlines coming up and too much work to get done, if I start working on it again now I know I'll be procrastinating with it and this is not a run of the mill exam that I can wave off. So I'm gonna Not Do Music for a couple more weeks to make sure I actually get my RL stuff in order. And then I'm back in the game!
No problem at all! If I get my brain in gear I'll try and work on some of the art for the Prologue; there's certainly enough of it to keep me going, and odds are I'll just go 'meh, effort' for most of the time.

hS
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Old 01-28-2021, 08:25 AM   #394
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And Tol Sirion/Tol-in-Gaurhoth.



Paper cutout version, so there's shading to come (and clouds!), but I thought I'd share. Again this is going to fade from one to the other. I've used the Finarfin device on the flag rather than the Finrod one to avoid confusion (since it could otherwise be read as 'and then Sauron took Nargothrond'). The castle is actually based off Tolkien's own drawing, which fortunately was small enough that I could play with the details a bit. I was really pleased to be able to tear off the turret to make an Iron Crown. ^_^

hS
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Old 01-28-2021, 10:24 AM   #395
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Originally Posted by Huinesoron View Post
Hooray! I'll try and draw the final picture for it and start putting it together. I think the cacophany will work well if I have the minions appearing and disappearing to try and simulate their capering, but whatever you think best.
Dancing Minions? Clouds of bats? Whatever visual chaos you see best.

If it helps, the intended sounds, in order, are frog croak, bat squeak, cat meowl, growl (overlaps the cat), and wolf howl at the end. A couple bangs here and there for poltergeist noises, but I removed many of the extra sounds that were not melody or animals. The wolf and bat are plausible, the rest I think aren't as recognizable. Is there any animal/sound that you think should be there but isn't?


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And Tol Sirion/Tol-in-Gaurhoth.
Yay! That one is gonna be another creepy transition. The iron crown is perfect. ^.^
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Old 01-30-2021, 10:10 AM   #396
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After an insanely productive day, I am pleased to present not one, but two videos.

Sauron's Minions (rough cut)

With all the animations in place, and me botching up all the lyrics. ^_^ 't'ain't perfect, but it's okay.

AND, with a much higher production value than last time, I have... a live-action video!

Renunciation of Nargothrond: Live

It's... imperfect, because I kept clipping through my margins, but it's a lot better than the Oath version. Someday(TM) I may do a retake, in which case I'd push the camera further back to give myself more room to work in. Also I'd wait for a sunny day so it's not all orange.

But still! Real-life Zonging for fun and no profit.

hS
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Old 01-30-2021, 04:23 PM   #397
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Huinesoron View Post
After an insanely productive day, I am pleased to present not one, but two videos.

Sauron's Minions (rough cut)

With all the animations in place, and me botching up all the lyrics. ^_^ 't'ain't perfect, but it's okay.
OMG! First of all, love the opening sequence! Can't decide if Barahir or Creepy Morgothface is my favourite from there. Also, you can totally do an evil laugh, it's brilliant.

I totally did not expect that line placing for the last Minion stanza (upon our border), I thought it would be a nervous little voice over the quiet part just before where you sing "unidentified intruders", as a continuous piece. But this version is a lot cooler! I wanna incorporate that.

What if they go:
- Oh my Lord?...
- Oh my Lord?...
- Oh my Lord, upon our border etc.

Or, I could even fill up the quiet part with more sounds, and then keep the spacing as you have in this version. I love this idea. I'll see if I can get any trial recordings done before the weekend is out. Bonus points if I can figure out a way to make Sauron yawn.

In the meantime, I did a bit of volume adjustment / smoothing over. HOWEVER, in the middle of the process my earphones failed me: one side stopped working. For some reason earphones don't transmit pitch and timbre symmetrically, so listening through only one side is lopsided, some instruments are too loud or too quiet. And my backup earphones are also lopsided. So I am not actually sure how this turned out, I'll have to wait to get my tech in order before I sign off on this. But if you don't notice the bass or the whistles overwhelming everything else, it's probably okay.

I noticed the intro doesn't have a song number. Is that in anticipation of putting all the clips into a single run?

We should think of how to sing this. The plural of Minions means we can have many people/voices, which gives several cool possibilities. I'm happy to at some point provide a high voice and middle harmony (why not). You have a good sycophantic Minions impression too, I love the way you contrast them with Sauron. We can mix and match? I will ask Elanor if she wants to send in a contribution too, but as she still hasn't recorded Meeting I'm not sure how this is gonna go.

[/quote=Hui]Renunciation of Nargothrond: Live

It's... imperfect, because I kept clipping through my margins, but it's a lot better than the Oath version. Someday(TM) I may do a retake, in which case I'd push the camera further back to give myself more room to work in. Also I'd wait for a sunny day so it's not all orange.

But still! Real-life Zonging for fun and no profit.[/QUOTE]

This is neat! I love Finrod's appears to the camera-Nargothrond. Curufin is so full of douche he's about to burst. This is wonderful. I cracked up at him mocking "we're bound in Song", and the wave at the end. And Celegorm's "Won't you go along" - simply fabulous. :-D


Quote:
Originally Posted by Hui
Speaking of musicals... it's weird (or maybe not so weird) how often I find myself singing random chunks of the Zong. I worked through most of the Meeting in Neldoreth yesterday, and now I've got pieces of Heart rattling around my head. It really is a delightfully catchy musical, and I'm really glad we've got it into a language I can sing along to; just humming tunes gets a bit boring!
(belated response, sorry )

Yeah! It's super catchy and addictive, it's really good music. I really enjoy singing it in both languages, and I totally see where you're coming from. It's mostly credit to you though. :-) Best fun and no profit thing I've ever done.
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Old 02-03-2021, 07:41 AM   #398
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Galadriel55 View Post
I totally did not expect that line placing for the last Minion stanza (upon our border), I thought it would be a nervous little voice over the quiet part just before where you sing "unidentified intruders", as a continuous piece. But this version is a lot cooler! I wanna incorporate that.

What if they go:
- Oh my Lord?...
- Oh my Lord?...
- Oh my Lord, upon our border etc.

Or, I could even fill up the quiet part with more sounds, and then keep the spacing as you have in this version. I love this idea. I'll see if I can get any trial recordings done before the weekend is out. Bonus points if I can figure out a way to make Sauron yawn.
I'm fine either way; I just put it in where the music seemed to fit! You sing it, and I'll add my own voice if I can make it sound good.

(Incidentally: in my head the masked minion is Draugluin, while the veiled one is Thuringwethil. Not sure about the generic one at the back; perhaps Tevildo has fallen on hard times.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Galadriel55 View Post
In the meantime, I did a bit of volume adjustment / smoothing over. HOWEVER, in the middle of the process my earphones failed me: one side stopped working. For some reason earphones don't transmit pitch and timbre symmetrically, so listening through only one side is lopsided, some instruments are too loud or too quiet. And my backup earphones are also lopsided. So I am not actually sure how this turned out, I'll have to wait to get my tech in order before I sign off on this. But if you don't notice the bass or the whistles overwhelming everything else, it's probably okay.
I have listened with my nonmusical ears and it sounds fine.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Galadriel55 View Post
I noticed the intro doesn't have a song number. Is that in anticipation of putting all the clips into a single run?
Laziness. ^_^ Adding the title screens is a separate step, so I haven't bothered with this draft copy. I'll get it all nicened up when we've finished it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Galadriel55 View Post
We should think of how to sing this. The plural of Minions means we can have many people/voices, which gives several cool possibilities. I'm happy to at some point provide a high voice and middle harmony (why not). You have a good sycophantic Minions impression too, I love the way you contrast them with Sauron. We can mix and match? I will ask Elanor if she wants to send in a contribution too, but as she still hasn't recorded Meeting I'm not sure how this is gonna go.
Feel free to ask her! But I think it would work fine if you did a couple versions of you and I spliced in one Smeagolly me to bulk it out a bit. My assumption is that once we've got a full version of the musical, we'll find other cast members and record a full second version with no/few repeat voices (& probably with redesigned characters just for kicks).

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Originally Posted by Galadriel55 View Post
This is neat! I love Finrod's appears to the camera-Nargothrond. Curufin is so full of douche he's about to burst. This is wonderful. I cracked up at him mocking "we're bound in Song", and the wave at the end. And Celegorm's "Won't you go along" - simply fabulous. :-D
That wave is my favourite moment of the entire video. ^_^ I've also discovered that my phone camera would be wildly better for this than the webcam, so At Some Point (TM) I may redo the Renunciation. And if I can find my black cloak, the Duel is right there waiting...

hS
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Old 03-04-2021, 02:31 PM   #399
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The Shadow is passing. The ice is melting. The flowers are budding. The Eagles are coming. The Eagles are coming? The Eagles are coming??? And who am I kidding about ice melting, it's still -15 and just the other day I almost got stuck in a snowbank.

But I am sufficiently recovered from the experience that was The Last Two Months to again pick up the 2-bars-a-day tradition. Plus, having online lectures is a blast, and I was totally paying my utmost attention in all of them, of course. So I think it's high time for an update, it's certainly been long enough. I am back to bouncing along with Quarrel - and as always, any comments on speed, mood, or whatever are very welcome. I expect I'd be able to do a recording of Minions at some point in the next week, but that requires more dedicated time than computer music typing and is still a step in the future.
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Last edited by Galadriel55; 03-04-2021 at 09:11 PM. Reason: Finished the piece to the end of the stanza, so updated the link
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Old 03-05-2021, 02:58 AM   #400
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The Shadow is passing. The ice is melting. The flowers are budding. The Eagles are coming. The Eagles are coming? The Eagles are coming??? And who am I kidding about ice melting, it's still -15 and just the other day I almost got stuck in a snowbank.

But I am sufficiently recovered from the experience that was The Last Two Months to again pick up the 2-bars-a-day tradition. Plus, having online lectures is a blast, and I was totally paying my utmost attention in all of them, of course. So I think it's high time for an update, it's certainly been long enough. I am back to bouncing along with Quarrel - and as always, any comments on speed, mood, or whatever are very welcome. I expect I'd be able to do a recording of Minions at some point in the next week, but that requires more dedicated time than computer music typing and is still a step in the future.
Aaaaaaaaaa it's back! I can't remember where the Quarrel was up to before, but this is just amazingly bouncy fun throughout. I'm still fiddling with the precise wording of the 'do you wanna fight me?' sequence, but I think it actually sounds better sung than written down, so I'm not worried.

I think I had the video for this one set up (it starts with Nargothrond becoming Dark Nargothrond); I'll go chase it down tonight and make sure.

aaaaaaaaaaaa ^_^

hS
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