Knights & Cathedrals - Epic Medieval Soundtracks

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mediumaevum
KVRist
213 posts since 14 Feb, 2013

Post Sat Jan 04, 2020 1:40 pm

Here's a playlist with some soundtracks I composed, suitable for a movie/game set in The Middle Ages.

I hope you like it.

https://soundcloud.com/mediumaevum-arti ... s-medieval

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thejonsolo
KVRAF
2404 posts since 13 Apr, 2008 from Charleston, SC

Re: Knights & Cathedrals - Epic Medieval Soundtracks

Post Sat Jan 04, 2020 6:50 pm

It sounds like you have the makings of exactly what you described. Nice beds where things can happen visually around them.

Have you written any themes? I think planning a good theme/lead is usually the glue that sets stuff like this apart from folks who can piece together beds but not create moving melodies.

For the projects I have worked on, having a theme was essential to sell the pieces.

Still this is good work. Some of the instruments (such as the dulcimer in The Village) could use better mixing/EQ to blend in the mix in a more transparent way (also the choir, Cantus?, could use a tuck back...too loud in the mix, for this kind of music).

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Benedict
KVRAF
3216 posts since 5 Mar, 2004 from Gold Coast Australia

Re: Knights & Cathedrals - Epic Medieval Soundtracks

Post Sat Jan 04, 2020 8:13 pm

I am with Mr Solo here. All sounds pretty typical of that thing but great music has more than a Scene, it has Story and that is in the Leads. Even better when you get into counter-melody too.

Why not take this and instead of assuming that a game that creates the "center" of your pieces for you comes along, create them yourself with melodic narrative as you seem pretty close already.

:-)

mediumaevum
KVRist
213 posts since 14 Feb, 2013

Re: Knights & Cathedrals - Epic Medieval Soundtracks

Post Sun Jan 05, 2020 5:46 am

thejonsolo wrote:
Sat Jan 04, 2020 6:50 pm
It sounds like you have the makings of exactly what you described. Nice beds where things can happen visually around them.

Have you written any themes? I think planning a good theme/lead is usually the glue that sets stuff like this apart from folks who can piece together beds but not create moving melodies.

For the projects I have worked on, having a theme was essential to sell the pieces.

Still this is good work. Some of the instruments (such as the dulcimer in The Village) could use better mixing/EQ to blend in the mix in a more transparent way (also the choir, Cantus?, could use a tuck back...too loud in the mix, for this kind of music).
Thanks for the critique. I have written many themes though, but I decided not to make a clear/simple theme for this kind of music, because:

1. I got bored with themes. Check out my YT channel if you want to listen to my themes:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yKiBcDpbP9s

2. Medieval music (authentic, sacred) does not have a simple theme as we might understand it today.

Instead if you listen to anything from early Gregorian Chant to Palestrina, there is no theme as you might understand it in todays modern world. It's developing all the time. Though I didn't want to sound like Palestrina, I did try and create some counterpoint for the settings, ie. cellos answering or replying to the choir. It's intended not as themes but as "atmospheres" using classical instruments without going ambient.

But anyways, thank you for the critique, keep it coming.

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ChameleonMusic
KVRist
75 posts since 23 Nov, 2018 from Birmingham, UK

Re: Knights & Cathedrals - Epic Medieval Soundtracks

Post Sun Jan 05, 2020 9:55 am

They do sound quite atmospheric - I enjoyed listening to them , but they lack melodic content and harmonic subtlety...all too full of 'medieval cliches' and need to go beyond simple triads and open 5ths. They rely too much on those library presets and phrases.
1. I got bored with themes
- i think the point they were both trying to make (and 100% correctly) is that underscores / beds should be based around main themes...gives continuity to the visuals. The skill is to take your theme and arrange it / reduce it in a way that supports the visual images without getting in the way of any dialogue etc.

Simple Truth - creating a generic, atmospheric underscore is pretty straightforward nowadays for any professional composer. Creating one that creates continuity by being based on strong thematic material is what makes you stand out from the multitude.
2. Medieval music (authentic, sacred) does not have a simple theme as we might understand it today
- tread very carefully with statements like this...very sweeping to put it mildly!

a) Medieval Music - generally regarded as covering around 900 years - a lot of development and variation in there. medieval music is much more varied than many think - I know as I 've lectured on the subject!

b) Although your music beds successfully create that 'Hollywood' Middle Ages vibe, they're not really seriously authentic at all...
i) Liturgical medieval Music - a lot of it throughout the period was monophonic - just one line of vocal music! (Gregorian Chant for example)
ii) Polyphonic music ( so misunderstood by many) didn't really grow until the very end of the Medieval period - see Ars Nova... and is much more associated with Renaissance music.
iii) ORGANUM - early and important experiments with polyphony - two lines of voices using heterophonic textures.
iv) Secular music - troubadour songs etc..sometimes accompanied, but not always.
Palestrina, there is no theme as you might understand it in today's modern world. It's developing all the time
- some of the best modern themes also develop and can be quite organic + there are some serious hooks in there amongst P's work

Note: Palestrina is Renaissance and not Medieval.

Though I didn't want to sound like Palestrina
Takes a lot of serious study to get there...possibly the greatest exponent of Renaissance counterpoint!!!

You have some very minor hints at polyphony in some of your pieces, but a true polyphonic texture is an incredibly complex beast where all melodic lines are potentially of equal importance and the way they interact is structurally very precise and exactingly constructed.
Mark Taylor, Chameleon Music - Professional composition and sound design for all media since 1994.

https://soundcloud.com/chameleon-music

mediumaevum
KVRist
213 posts since 14 Feb, 2013

Re: Knights & Cathedrals - Epic Medieval Soundtracks

Post Sun Jan 05, 2020 12:37 pm

@ChameleonMusic
Thanks a lot, I will start working on this.

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ChameleonMusic
KVRist
75 posts since 23 Nov, 2018 from Birmingham, UK

Re: Knights & Cathedrals - Epic Medieval Soundtracks

Post Sun Jan 05, 2020 3:02 pm

In hindsight, my post came across as a bit harsh...wasn't meant that way!

I've commented on your music before over the years...

I think you have a lot of good points in there, but are still composing in a bit of a comfort zone and need to break out of it if that makes sense? That's the only way you'll develop further...we all do it from time to time!
Mark Taylor, Chameleon Music - Professional composition and sound design for all media since 1994.

https://soundcloud.com/chameleon-music

mediumaevum
KVRist
213 posts since 14 Feb, 2013

Re: Knights & Cathedrals - Epic Medieval Soundtracks

Post Mon Jan 06, 2020 8:01 am

ChameleonMusic wrote:
Sun Jan 05, 2020 3:02 pm
In hindsight, my post came across as a bit harsh...wasn't meant that way!

I've commented on your music before over the years...

I think you have a lot of good points in there, but are still composing in a bit of a comfort zone and need to break out of it if that makes sense? That's the only way you'll develop further...we all do it from time to time!
Thanks for clarifying, but I didn't see your comment as too harsh.
I think you nailed it quite well.

You're absolutely right about me being in a comfort zone in compositions. But I am already working on getting out of it. Dissonances are also to be explored further, it's currently still "Terra Incognita".

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EatMe
KVRist
189 posts since 9 Aug, 2013 from The Hague, The Netherlands

Re: Knights & Cathedrals - Epic Medieval Soundtracks

Post Mon Jan 06, 2020 3:02 pm

Sounds like "product" to me. Very nice computerized classical medieval beds. Very styled to the idea of becoming part of something visually interesting. May well become an addition to the soundtrack of game 0 A.D. or become the new soundtrack for game Littlewargame..

thedeadsoul
KVRist
277 posts since 22 Oct, 2009 from Bandung, Indonesia

Re: Knights & Cathedrals - Epic Medieval Soundtracks

Post Tue Jan 07, 2020 9:01 pm

I'm a big fan of Hercules and Xena series, Heroes of M&M III and age of wonder, so you can understand how I easily relate to your music... :) I cannot really give comments about the technicalities as I am not an expert in this type of music, but I really enjoyed your work.

Best,
Adi/Thedeadsoul

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