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Jesse Clarkson (2)
Friday, February 11, 2011

Insomnia by Jesse Clarkson review

Current mood: creative

Views: 438
Comments: 4
Hey. I promised Jesse to feed something back to him on Insomnia,
so here it is:

First of all, it has the melody - the kind of a melody that is just
great and can provide a solid base for the whole play.

So, let us dissect the song piece by piece.

The intro (0:00 - 0:08)
It's just too short. since the author is to reintroduce this piece later,
he has to make a listener to remember it. Even more - it must
somewhat intrigue him. So I'd suggest to go for an extended intro -
make it 2 times longer and introduce the full hang drum (-like sound)
part only after the first block is played. Jesse can afford to make his
prscussion play alone since it has an interesting sound - just a small
tweak adding some basic bones for the upcoming hang drums - like
one or two hits per bar in some critical rhythmic positions.
Another little issue is the snare (-like noisy sound) which I'd put a
little back in the picture by lowering its loudness about 3-5db and
mixing it into a room/reverb bus a little more so it no longer draws
that much attention to itself yet still contains the needed presence
for the track.

Enter the pizzicato/flute part (0:10 - 1:28)
It's just relly cool. I like the dynamics change for a swifter pace
and how the flute creeps in. Also there is a great move on introducing
some kettle drums.
It has a great flow and forward movement and conclusion. I just love it.

Reintroducing the main part (1:28 - 1:58)
Here is a nice composing move of reintroducing the main part again as
if we're playing it the first time. But usually this kind of refrain
has a variation. so this is the very 1:40 part I was talking about. If
Jesse throws in some nice new melody on top of the old hang drum part -
it would sail into the 1:58 mood change just smooth.

The new stuff (1:58 - 2:12)
Aww.. More! More! - the audience shouts ;) It's a great piece and I'd
go for doubling it one more time adding some high register melody here
in repeat. One can make it even quadruple if manages to make all
the parts creep in really slow one by one - it is a nice technique.

Yet another refrain (2:12 - 2:40)
Nice! Imagine the flute part play two times in a row here (starting it
over around 2:27) so this piece seizes to be just the copy from early
in the track. It has a little quicker perceptive pace, so outlining it
more will mak it sound naturally.

A huge period (2:40 - 2:47)
Yeah it's just what it sounds like - a coda. If you end the track here
it would be just nice... But what is it? Isn't it over yet?

You bet - new stuff revisited! (2:47 - 3:00)
It's a nice way of ending but it leaves thinking there is more, but
*blink* - and it is over. it is a very strange point to make the song
end. If one is not satisfied with the "huge period" version, it's possible
to make listener understand that it's not in vain. One can bring
out the new stuff here, expand it and then make it end like some
orchestral - on a very high energy.
The thing with endings is that they must resolve - rather by emanating
and losing all the song's energy or by taking it to a peak and then
break. I think such approach really matches the song itself. I had
insomnia once - there's more to it than you are trying to tell and
there might be a place for something in a bigger scale musically, so
it won't sound awkward I think.

I really liked Insomnia and am eager to hear more of Jesse soon.
Thanks, Jesse!

Cheers. Jinx.
11:54 am - 4 comments - 2 Kudos - Report!
Jesse Clarkson wrote on Feb 11th, 2011 1:14pm

I can easily say I didn't expect this. Thanks, the first time somebody's ever made a blog post about my music. :)

Some good suggestions here here, some that I slightly disagree with but quite a few which should be useful. I'm a bit wary about extending sections, I don't think the piece has the substance to repeat any more, not without some serious melodic development anyway. I'll definitely toy with a few of your other ideas though.

I've been considering expanding on the piece, perhaps a suite of sorts. When you said "there's more to it than you are trying to tell" what did you mean? It'd be nice to hear what your suggestions are in regards to expanding on it, seeing as you have had insomnia before. Right now I'm having trouble translating my ideas into music so if I turn it into a 'suite' it could take quite a while.


Ace Carsona wrote on Feb 11th, 2011 1:44pm

Well, to tell a long story short, Insomnia exhausts. You become somewhat electrified in a social sense. You develop apathy even to your own creative activities which in turn reinforce the apathy recursively.
Also you start to make mistakes in your work, in your relationships with other people. Some mistakes you make cannot be undone, so insomnia starts to depress. When depressed, people spawn some bad thoughts into their mind. All this can lead you rather far.

To quote Stephen King: "They say insomnia doesn't kill, but they just don't count the suiciders that got their necks into a loop out of it."
(sorry, the quote may be incorrect, as I haven't read the original text.)

And I think your song *has* a substance to extend some parts. The intro at it's least as intro and outro are the most memorable parts by your listeners. Also people tend to catch really subtle things into their memory.

We can remember The Beatles on that part: "Gotta be good-lookin' 'cause he's so hard to see."



Jesse Clarkson wrote on Feb 11th, 2011 2:02pm

Thanks for that. I've actually considered a suite that sort of experiments with the psyche of a narcoleptic, or at least how that would translate sonically. Either way the ideas I currently have in my head could work well with both concepts, as neither is drastically different to the other. (or perhaps they are and I'm just showing my ignorance)

What you've said has helped though, if I go ahead and compose more I just want to really try and capture the mindset. I appreciate your help. :)


Ace Carsona wrote on Feb 11th, 2011 2:07pm

Good luck! :)


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