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Music fantasy project contains different compositions for pitched percussion, soft electronic, piano, harmonica and other instruments. Most of instruments are virtual.

[2015-07-20] Mechanical cat

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In this track I applied my latest ideas of building dissonances to percussive instruments. This was interesting, because percussive instruments need more dissonances and more severe dissonances to begin to sound dissonating. So, in some places I could build very dissonating polyphony without creating chaos effect.

The first 12 measures of the track are created by choosing a short monophonic 4-note melody (all notes are eights) and modifying it several times. You can see that I use three melodies here: first in 6 starting measures, second in m7-m10, third in m11-m12. The third melody is built of 4th intervals and is then chromatically transposed with some modifications. When modifying the base melody I avoid changing its direction, while moving freely between keys and modes. I also avoid chromatic transposition, because it decreases amount of information and makes music feel more repetitive. In general, the final purpose was to make this part sound developing and not repetitive. When I heard this result, I stopped modifying notes.

After creating a monophonic melody this way I added intervals in the right hand. Most of the intervals are dissonating (2nd, 4th, tritone, 7th intervals). Each measure gets 2-3 intervals and a new rhythm is created by these intervals. This rhythm is highly syncopated and independent from bass line and main melody.

Then I add a bass line. Bass notes generally build consonant intervals with right hand notes that start at the same time. Bass line is repetitive, first moving around D and them moving to E.

Main melody rhythm is regular, while dissonant intervals and bass line form two independent irregular rhythms, creating a polyrhythm. When combined, all these techniques lead to a rhythmically repetitive but melodically and harmonically developing texture.

From m13 to m48 the same two-measure structure is repeated in the left and right hand with some elisions. Left hand is periodically transposed minor third below. Compared to the starting measures, this structure has little notes (which form mainly 2nd intervals) and more dense rhythms, created by: Ab note in the right hand, CD interval in the right hand, bass melody. These three rhythms form a percussive polyrhythm.

Beginning from m17, jug rhythm is added. m17-m18 all three drums are playing the same rhythm and then they diverge to create a more uniform 8th notes beat with some accents.

Solo uses harmonic minor intervals: H-W-H, W-H-WH, WH-H-W. This coupled with drums gives an oriental touch to the sound here. When solo is repeated, it is harmonized with additional voice, which creates many dissonant intervals.

Starting from m48 first part is repeated using new instruments. Bass line gets additional voice, which forms dissonant intervals with bass.

In m65-m74 some previous and new bass solos are played with dissonating intervals.

In m75-m86 exact retrograde of m1-m12 is played in the right hand, two pairs of new dissonant voices are played in plucked and bass. Interesting, that this place could sound a mess if played with non-percussion instruments.

In m87-m104 voice leading is used to move from dissonant harmonies to consonant, ending with absolute consonant (G in octaves). This is my extension of music resolution rules.

At the same time piano is playing minimal melody, while drums are repeating two-measure sparce rhythm, creating effect of space.

In this track I used three new piano libraries and one perccussion library.

Felt piano appeared to be extremely rich-sounding. One important thing is that it does not have loud and piercing sound at the higher end of the dynamics range, but it really doesn't have to. Using C+Co mics here.

Plucked piano is very reverberant even if you turn only close mic on. It is close to guitar, but sounds bigger and you cannot control articulations and sound. Using TAO mics here.

Tiny grand is one more pitched percussion from Embertone. It sounds realistic even when fully quantized, probably having different attacks in RR/VL samples. Very interesting instrument, but definitely having more percussive than melodic component - often you will not hear the difference between different intervals that you play with it.

Jug Drums are original and realistic, having an unexpectedly ethnic sound, which is not obvious from their look. Using standard mid+far+close(-5db) mics here.

All tracks except Plucked piano are passed through 2C Aether Medium hall.

I used about 8% Reaper timing humanization for most notes and 11% velocity humanization for drums.

When mastering I decreased 175hz (Q=0,47) and added lots of tape exciter above 809hz.

Spitfire - Felt Piano (Piano)
Spitfire - Plucked Piano (Piano)
Embertone - Jug Drums (Percussion)
Embertone - Glockenpillar, Infinity Bells, Tiny Grand (Percussion) [Tiny Grand]

[2015-06-25] Pluto Antiphone

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Every time, when I start writing a capella using modern vocal libraries, I know that result will strike me. The same was right with this piece and again I did not believe it could sound like this.

Before creating this work, I studied 7 magnificent antiphones by Arvo Part and noted continuous unchanged notes, diatonic repetitive movements and dissonanting intervals usage in this piece. I used some of the techniques that I discovered in this piece, while not making it that much unearthly and tintinnabuli.

The piece starts in A minor and later F# note is added. I used less dissonant intervals at the beginning. In the end, when I start to repeat previous material, I change some notes to create more second intervals in soprano and alto voices.

As usual, setting up vocal library took a lot of time, because you need to listen to different variants of words for fixed notes. Also, in Voxos phrase builder uses strings, which means that you need to synchronize string position manually every time before you play. Alternative variant of fixing each word with keyswitch like in Shevannai seems to be less time consuming.

I found out that humanizing start of the chords was not very important, because samples already contained some time and character differece at the beginning of each sample. More important was humanizing the end ofs the chords, which I did by dragging some note ends to the left, creating a feeling that some voices stop earlier.

Also, chord connections were important. Most of the time I increased space between them from zero. In one place I use 8 legato voices, each in a separate kontakt instrument - to use transitions between notes at different moments without cutting out some the sounding notes.

I used library Cinesamples Voxos with Full Mix + Surround microphones enabled (no external reverb).

[2015-06-21] Stone

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I created this piece after studying some works by John Cage and Morton Feldman. The idea in the first part (first 4 minutes) is to create slow and small changes in sound without actual progress. The first part is uniform from the beginning to the end and does not bring almost any evolution of dynamics, harmony or melody. Texture changes a little bit, but this changes are subtle. For vertical intervals I use major 2th, perfect 4th and 5th, minor and major 3rd and 6th. Sometimes they form 7th and 9th intervals when combined. I start by using C major scale notes, gradually adding Bb, Eb, Ab notes. Start and the end of the part fades in and out very slowly, creating a pacification effect.

The second part (the last part) contains silence and sparce staccato and pizzicato notes, played by violin. The idea here is to begin listening to the surrounding sounds, while periodically adding some violin sounds to find out how they combine with surrounding sounds and to avoid stopping playback.

The name of the piece is Stone, meaning that stone undergoes very slow changes if any, and that very little sounds are able to come inside the stone.

The piece is recommended to listen in the nature environment.

The interesting thing is that I created the piece initially for string orchestra and then began looking for an appropriate library, which can make these long notes not too boring and repetitive. Then I found out Spitfire Strings Evo Grid library, which contains 48 different long slowly evolving takes for each of the string orchestra notes. This library was ideal for the purpose and also I added Mural library for lower notes and higher melodies. This is the first time I create such an ambient piece paying much attention to the notes themselves and using only real orchestra sound library.

[2014-07-29] Eagle Island Lighthouse

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Used one library: Best Service Shevannai (library reverb).

You can see Cubase visualization on youtube.

[2014-04-19] Durham

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This is the violin sonata for my brother.

I used some elements of Arvo Part style. Instruments are Native Instruments Giant (sampled world biggest upright piano) and Spitfire Solo Violin. Natural reverberation of each library was used.

You can see WhiteCap visualization and MIDITrail visualization on youtube.

Comments by Morpeheus:

Любопытное произведение, конечно, ты можешь продолжать работать над синтезом идей Парта и Гласса, пока они выглядят весьма разделенными кое-где. Произведение очень удачно начинается, но основная часть выглядит все-таки слишком плоско. Она хороша, но к концу ее уже лишаешься возможности чувствовать эмоцию. Она как бы иссякает через свое развитие. Не знаю, почему это происходит. Финал отличный, тем не менее. Вообще я довольно глубоко проник в структуру и слышу там много мыслей (может быть, ты о них не думал, когда писал, лол).

Классная, между прочим, композиция. Очень provoking thought. Я чуть не заплакал (ключевой член клуба вернулся из Китая после 4-х месячного отсутствия и я снова чувствовал нас едиными, мы такие крутые друзья втроем с этими китайцами)

[2013-08-10] Forest

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Forest was written for various pitched percussion virtual instrument and flute. Len: 02:34

[2013-08-01] March

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This unusual composition is a transfer of 3Bass ideas into the world of harmonica and melodica. Played live by myself on melodica and 3 blues harmonicas. Len: 03:23

[2012-08-18] Saturday peal

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Saturday peal was written for a carillon. Len: 02:03

[2012-06-10] A Little Circus

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Library: Old music box. Len: 03:13

[2011-04-26] Music Box Lullaby

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Library: Old music box. Len: 02:01

[2010-09-10] In the kitchen

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Some relaxed music for the kitchen flash game. Len: 01:23

You can contact me by email: rualark at

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