Sunday, February 8, 2009

New Music Appetizer Week #3 - Duchess of Malfi Court Music

Malfi Court 2 samples

Two days late, I realize, but I hope you'll forgive me. It is tech week, after all!

This week you get Malfi Court 2 samples, another sneak-peek into the sounds of Duchess of Malfi, playing Feb. 12-15 at Catholic University in DC. The MP3 contains two different settings of the melody "Rose, Red". All sounds are (quite obviously) synthesized.

The second setting, which starts after :22 or so, has some pretty crappy synth strings on it. (Just wait until that last chord... ew!) But that's what you get here on New Music Appetizer - freshly-made music that doesn't hide its first draft qualities!

See the PDF for the melody and lyrics.

You have two assignments this week:
1.) Make one suggestion for improvement, and
2.) Find one audio-tech savvy person you know, and ask her/him to listen to and comment on this sample.

Mmmm... Appetizers.


  1. My suggestion for improvement--can you diminish the volume of the violins in the second half of the recording? It makes it sound shrill to my ears. (That could be the synth sound though.) I think if you bring out the lower notes more, perhaps with the cello sound, it would be better.

    As for part 2, I sent it along to Javen, the only other music/tech person I know besides you. I've done my part to propagate the viral spreading of your music!

  2. Hey Kyle! Glad to be commenting on some of your music!

    So my thoughts... I really like first of the two versions on the mp3. I like the accompaniment (guitar/mandolin/ukulele?), and I think the synth quality is a lot better. But I like that the second version is written as a canon. My only suggestion would be to revise the ending a little bit, so it ends with something other than a simple I-V-I thing. I liked where it was going and think there's room for some kind of really creative finish.

    Nice work! Thanks for sharing.

  3. These are both great suggestions. Thank you both! The world of the intermittent blogger can sometimes feel like talking into (or to?) a vacuum, and the feedback not only helps my music, but also gives me a reason to continue sharing them!

    Isn't that second half the worst synth sound you've ever heard? :) I have some great ensemble strings synths, but no decent solos! Happily, Malfi Music 3 (see the next post) replaced this sound in the production.

    Lastly, I really like the mandolin synth I've got. It still sounds a little artificial due to lack of reverb (which kind of destroys the dry mandolin quality), but a friend suggested an ingenious solution which I will attempt soon. Expect that to show up in a forthcoming post on my favorite free VSTs. Thanks again for your attention and comments!