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Wonder

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MichaelA

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« on: January 08, 2018, 12:23:37 PM »
Hi everyone and Happy New Year. As I've done quite a few sad and frankly depressing songs over the past few months I decided to start this shiny new year with something a bit more positive. (For me!)

Inspired initially by an amazing swarm of starlings flying over my house, here's my attempt at celebrating some of the wonder of the world - and how this might help us face adversity when it comes along. The instrumentation is a bit of an experiment for me, and I really didn't know how to describe it when you have to check one of those 'genre' boxes on places like Soundcloud! But the pseudo-classical backing track is what came to mind as suitable for this starlings sky dance, lyrics and vocal melody came second.

Cheers!

https://soundcloud.com/michael-a-duffy/wonder

Lyrics:

Wonder

This fearful world
Can bring you to your knees
Can dwarf you with its mountains
Engulf you in its seas

This awesome world
Then thrills you with its might
Can fill your soul with wonder
And dazzle you with light

Chorus

Oh wonder
We knew wonder
And stardust
We held stardust
When under
Rain and thunder
Stood strong
All blessed with wonder

Beyond the world
We've grown a higher power
With love that blooms within us
The beauty of that flower

And now the world
Like starling swarms above
Is dancing to that symphony
Its heartbeat only love

Chorus (break, then rpt)

Blessed with wonder
All our lives
Blessed with wonder
All our lives
We knew wonder

crystalsuzy

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« Reply #1 on: January 10, 2018, 05:58:36 AM »
Hi Micheal, I really like the experimental backing track because I think it sounds like starlings flying  :)
It's nice when you break away from that pattern and then come back to it :)
The lyrics are fine, although maybe too many wonders, but that may be just me ::)
Vocals are strong and clear :)
« Last Edit: January 10, 2018, 12:03:04 PM by crystalsuzy »

kevysc

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« Reply #2 on: January 10, 2018, 08:46:53 AM »
I like the backing track, it has a mesmeric quality. I also like the build of  the instrumention towards the end ( it might be good to bring this in earlier?)

Also, I think doubling of the vocals would give them more depth?

Anyway, original and interesting song.

MichaelA

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« Reply #3 on: January 11, 2018, 01:08:59 PM »
Thanks Suzy, I'm glad you got the starlings idea, as I did start this as a possible instrumental where the music attempted to 'describe' the swarming birds effect!

Thanks also kevysc, 'mesmeric' is a word I like! Yeah, I could beef up the vocals, cheers.

Rightly

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  • and there you have it.
« Reply #4 on: January 11, 2018, 02:30:44 PM »
This is great.
It's I hear this kind of track. very strange for me, in a good way.

I really like the minimal begining, then the gradual build up.

Thanks for sharing.
It's either this or that, then again it might be the other. 

And there you have it. 

https://soundcloud.com/rightly/sets/tactiles-remastered

exfairy

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« Reply #5 on: January 11, 2018, 06:30:12 PM »
This is really nice and the music really captures the essence of the wonder of the song (pun intended XD). I don't think it'd hurt to get to the instrumental break a bit sooner though, maybe cut out a verse.
Also, I know this is a songwriting forum and not a singing one, and I don't know how much of a singer you are, but there are a few aspects that stand out to me that I could give you feedback on (if you want it of course)?

pompeyjazz

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« Reply #6 on: January 12, 2018, 08:20:01 AM »
Like it Michael. Very atmospheric. Your vocals have a kind of haunting quality to them and the whole thing sounds quite unstable and vunerable (and I mean that in a very positive way)

A very interesting listen  :)

MichaelA

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« Reply #7 on: January 12, 2018, 10:35:37 AM »
Thanks for those words Rightly, it's always great to hear a bit of genuine encouragement. Likewise Pompeyjazz, yes as I get older my vocals sure sounding more vulnerable for sure, but I kinda like that!  ;)

Hey exfairy, thanks for commenting and for the SC 'like'. I am trying to improve my vocal recordings, but you're right in that I define myself as a songwriter rather than performer/artist. I am no longer the youngest kid on the block by any means, so my ambition for one or two of my songs one day - if I can ever make them good enough - is for maybe a younger, more successful artist to record them. But yeah, it's important to make these demos sound as good as poss too. If you have any vocal pointers that you would like to share, I would be delighted to hear your thoughts on PM, or even on here if you want. Thanks for your helpful offer. Appreciated!  ;)

diademgrove

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« Reply #8 on: January 12, 2018, 03:50:33 PM »
Hi Michael,

great song reminds me of Van der Graaf Generator, definitely a good thing.

I agree with Suzy about the number of wonders in the chorus. The stand out for me is the Blessed with wonder segments. very impressed.

Keith

 

junkman

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« Reply #9 on: January 12, 2018, 09:46:17 PM »
The song really sounds like what you seem to say it is - a melancholic guy trying to look on the bright side, it has this kind of mournful/hopeful push/pull to it that is really effective.

I wonder if in the first 90 seconds it would be possible to give the vocal a more solid harmonic grounding? You could achieve this without undercutting the impact of the bass coming in, e.g. with a subtle pad/drone playing the root notes, pitched in medium or high octave

MichaelA

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« Reply #10 on: January 13, 2018, 12:55:02 PM »
Thanks diademgrove, that's certainly an interesting comparison, Van der Graaf Generator, and I had to Google them to remind me of their sound. Now I have done that I will be listening some more, so thanks for that!  ;)

Hi junkman, that's a really interesting technique that you are suggesting. I have got another song on the go at the minute that is maybe suffering the same problem. I don't suppose you have any songs in mind that currently use such a technique - or is it more in your composer's head. Cheers anyway!

junkman

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« Reply #11 on: January 13, 2018, 01:26:10 PM »
Sorry Mike I'm a dumbass, you already have pretty much what I was suggesting! You've got that synth-string sound holding the chords in the background during the intro. It was late last night when I posted that, what can I say.

I think what is is it gets drowned out after the first 30 seconds or so, the arpeggio synth line gets louder and overwhelms it. That's where my brain was struggling to hear the harmonic centre. Your lead synth is set with no sustain - which is fine, it makes each note more distinct - but it does mean your root notes are only present in that part for an occasional fraction of a second. So yeah, maybe just pump those background chords up a bit.

(And I had no particular song in mind, no)

MichaelA

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« Reply #12 on: January 13, 2018, 01:39:19 PM »
OK junkman, thanks for that clarification. I don't normally have backing tracks with such a high density of notes - which can of course be distracting. But this was a bit of an experiment for me - I think I will need to play around with the mix a bit! But cheers for coming back into the thread, appreciated!

digger72

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« Reply #13 on: January 13, 2018, 02:40:33 PM »
Hi Michael,

The song has a strange vibe; almost apprehensive or bewildered maybe.
Not quite happy, but not sad.
Intrguing really.

Did seem a tad long.
I know "Wonder" is the hook - but as others have mentioned - a few too many may be.

Interesting song though.

Digger

MichaelA

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« Reply #14 on: January 15, 2018, 10:02:49 PM »
Thanks digger72, fair point on the length, which seems to be a bad habit of mine of late. I think I am trying for this 'semi-epic' kind of song, and then the longer length would seem more acceptable. So not quite hitting the sweet spot yet, I realise. But thanks for the comment.