A revelation! - Superb! - A Requiem for everyone who has an inclination to film music or the symphonic genre! Here we are presented with an almost purely symphonic work created on a computer by a very musical individual!
It is clear that Bjarne O. doesn't want his listener to fall asleep! On this delightful album there is splendid alternation between forces with opposing directions - tension/release - disharmony/harmony, with the weight centered within the harmonic spectrum!
It's a matter of structure that brings to mind the classical Requiem, and with titles such as "Hosanna", "Gloria's sky song" (the 'Gloria' response), and "Prayer" the allusion is clear! But that's not sufficient because we may certainly also use our wits and listen to the texts: for example, "Always thinking of you" where an "Eleison" (have mercy on us) is sung.
We find ourselves within a very freewheeling universe where there is room for all allusions and references. Thus, "Bach and Forth", the humorous Johan Sebastian clone! In "Rebild Hills Suite" there must be a faint allusion to Star Wars in the opening theme.
And then there are the beautiful, spiritual passages such as those in "Sad Song". - Here, I must say that if it's possible for a person to master such a delicate expanse of resonant sounds so tenderly and carefully together with brilliant vocal samples, and then in addition, to vary the themes with this choice of instruments (harp, piano, strings and additional chorus), not even to mention the conclusion itself - well, then it's a question of being in a class all its own!
All things considered, the album's final numbers have a quite extraordinary beauty in my ears. Here it's a matter of joyful release. And this the listener definitely can look forward to!
In the final number, "Comba Li La", we get a demonstration of how it's possible to utilize a syncopated native chorus with triplet handclaps in counterpoint rhythm. Bravo! Again, the orchestration is brilliant. I just love that piano.
I feel like shouting out to everyone: "Listen to this album - and hear that this can be done!
With this album release, Bjarne O. has truly succeeded in creating something unique. Masterful joy of composition - completely overwhelming love for this musical genre - this album radiates with light!! I hope that many others will derive pleasure from this beautiful album - it deserves to be heard.
-- Carsten Ji., Producer
Reviews of tracks entered in the GARAGEBAND.COM contest:
"SOLEM MOMENT": Awarded TRACK OF THE DAY
Atmospheric intro, you understand this is not a "common song" since the very 1st notes. Excellent the vocal additions. Reminds me of the David Arkenstone production, with a tip of Jean Michel Jarre, both for the sounds and for the orchestration/arrangement. Delicious, with "tapping" strings, trombones, percussions... A kid voice it may recall "The lord of the rings" soundtrack and the excellent "Braveheart" style flutes of James Horner (or, better, Michael and Jeff Danna's style, which is even better). A masterpiece!
- guthorm from Unspecified on 22Aug2004
A Real Composer.
An electronic vox pad eases in, laying a bed for a femal vocal sounding melody. A rich vox & Pitz textured section moves in. The female comes back with what sounds like latin frases. I took a chance in this genera, because I don't like much electronic music, although I write a lot of it. But this is truely well done orchestration, electronic or not. It takes a real composer to understand the instruments he works with, so as to use then to their full potential. This is a real composer. Hats Off Bro.
- ajak from Port Orchard, Washington on 17Aug2004
Very melancholic!!! The chord - up is very unexpected, but great!! Very good world song, the arrangement is very interesting and innovative with these jazzy motives in flute solo. The flute is amazing, but i thing that necessary addition would be some bagpipes :)) Very good and original song, great for LOTR :)
This is the kind of style we all like best!! ;)
- AlexValkov from Sofia, Bulgaria on 26Aug2004
This song opens with stunningly beautiful operatic, slightly electronically treated female vocals, orchestral swirlings and an epic, open feel.
There are sprinkings of flute that remind me of the title track from the film 'The Titanic', which I happen to like, so all is well.
There are understated, yet over blown full orchestral swells throughout, which are breathtaking.
This is slow and ambient, yet stunningly epic at the same time, creating a dreamy, filmscape mood of sunsets and vast oceans.
It's an exercise in mood and musical imagery and would work very well as a film soundscape.
The production and arrangement is pristine and to a very high standard.
I drifted away and forgot my worries for a while and for this, I thank the artist profusely...
- Liz_lowlife from Brighton, Sussex, United Kingdom on 24Aug2004
(I feel like anything I say will be schmoozing,but I'll give it a whirl.)
This is just georgeous! The mood & passion you convey here is breathtaking.
Classical,archaic...ancient Ireland even. The intro grabbed me within seconds,and that flute is just stunning... I think you did a fine job of mixing all of the instruments together-this is really just a fantastic track. The heavy strings,particularly the lower ones,are quite strong. Between the heavy dominating strings,and the soft angelic singing...it's perfectly balanced...and a wonderful play on masculine/feminine.
- _TFS_ from St. Austell, Cornwall, United Kingdom on 18Aug2004
I really like the beginning. It is instantly appealing and moving, the sounds sweeping and grandiose. The vocal is fantastic, deep, lush and beautiful. There is a strong orchestral feel which gives the song a touch of distance regions, and has that transportive movie soundtrack feel. The choice of instruments is very complimentary, the woodwind especially as are the vocal choruses.
- djsiren from Soton, Hants, United Kingdom on 23Aug2004
"END CREDITS: COMBA LI LA": Awarded TRACK OF THE DAY
World beats at its best!
Oooh, I love that beat! It's like a fusion of modern Western and African.
The vocalist is an absolutely perfect match for the tone of the song, and the underlying sample is so totally ethnic that it just couldn't be any better. The transitions are powerful yet smooth. That's not something you hear too often.
Overall this is a vey powerful world-beat/ambient track. I know how difficult it is to meld this kind of fusion but it has been done masterfully here.
It's not often you come across a song that has such a full range of features, even in label-quality releases. Full bassline, keyboards, effects, strings, vocals, samples and such a full ambience that you can't decide which part of the sound to focus on.
This is definitely release-quality. Congratulations on a top-notch production!
- BailOut from Mansfield, Texas on 21Aug2004
Ticket to a Magical Place
A short lead-in of hand drums and THE voice enters -- a female voice at once plaintive and seductive, with an edge of anger sometimes drifting into tired resignation. It took three listens to realize that the lead vocalist never sings -- her speaking voice is so melodic and emotionally nuanced.
Behind her beautifully recorded voice, rhythmically clapping hands mix with a call-and-response African chorus. Above her voice soars an ephemeral soprano reminiscent of prayer calls from a minaret. Deep beneath the vocals, a richly-bowed bass lays a ominous track, lending a fearful unease of impending doom worthy of John Williams' score for Jaws.
This richly layered mix brings in synths sounding like piano, orchestral strings, vibes and church bells before ending with a few bars of squishy synth, serving to bring the listener back in place and time -- a final flourish before letting go.
Bringing all these elements together into a smooth, cohesive unit is a tour de force. The production values are top notch.
I'm unable to recognize the language (or languages) of the lead vocalist and sadly my multilingual wife is fast asleep. At times I think I hear French, Swahili, Japanese, Italian and Portuguese. My best guess is a patois of a former French colony in Africa -- perhaps Mauritania or Senegal (flaunting my provincial ignorance).
The song on first listen seemed repetitious, but paradoxically on repeated listens becomes hypnotic and frightfully compelling. By the last time through, I found it difficult not to play one more time and let the song retake me to this all-too-real place carved out palpably from the musical spheres.
In a span of less than five minutes the song carries a mixture of fear, joy, community, isolation and even whimsy. On careful examination, the song becomes an epic novel, with plot and revelation and resolution.
Although my exposure to World Beat is limited, I believe this is a work of remarkable breadth and originality.
- stonesculptor from Houston, Texas on 23Aug2004
The piano in this gives me goosebumps, and the ladies voice, even though i know not what she's singing is mesmerising. I love this its simple and very beautiful.
- Hum from Exeter, Devon, United Kingdom on 22Aug2004
The vocal line is interesting and deliciously introduces this catchy, groovie song. The indian voice (I believe it speaks indian or african, but I don't understand what language is it) well fits the unquieting, interesting melodic line. Very good use of the back instruments, such as strings, bass and backvocals. The piano addtions are just amazing. I like this electronic-world style of 1st class. the arrangement is the one you may find in an electronic orchestra finely directed/arranged.
- guthorm from Unspecified on 22Aug2004
Very successful eclectic instrumentation.
Vocals are appealing, beats and chorus that fades in are very nice. Production and mix is very good. The low bowed strings add tension and intrigue to the mood. Don't speak this language, can't identify the language (Creole?) but it is well suited to the mood and instrumentation. This combines eclectic modern instrumentation with organic world music very successfully, this is not and easy blend to achieve.
The vocals both sung and spoken are excellent.
Very nice. Is this Bjarne? sounds like his style.. i guess I'll see :).
- utensil from Dickerson, Maryland on 18Aug2004
If Aaron Copeland were alive today...
... he might write something like this! Terrific use of orchestral samples in a classical-dance setting. And we aren't talking just strings either; this is full-on symphonic jazz, with rhythm to boot. Nice layering of the synth pads into the production, so that they become an undertone to the orchestra rather than being out front.
The vocal samples add a nice touch, but this leads to my only two complaints. The first one (the one that is saying "cross the sky" or something similar) is very pleasant, but it gets repetitive in the area between 3:50 and 4:20. And I would have left the second vocal sample out all together because of its being off the key of the song. A lot of dance music uses off-key elements to add interest, and it often works well, but here it clashes with the complex harmonies in the orchestra.
But those are minor complaints. The whole song is a wonderful fresh take on modern classical. This one is definitely going on my playlist.
- Spacelab from Huntsville, Alabama on 16Aug2004
Leonard Bernstein in the 23rd century
neat... intro, leonard bernstein in the 23rd century... there is a safari/epic/orchestra feel, with the bright vox over the dark wash with tension/intrigue, so I'm thinking this is Bjarne O. again because of that, and if it's not that's who you sound like. Wonderful orchestral presence to all of the patches, the vocal performance and application of effects thereto very effective. Production has beautiful depth, clarity and separation.
- utensil from Dickerson, Maryland on 18Aug2004
Stravinsky and Bjork for an original tune
What an interesting intro! A Stravinsky-style orchestra plays modern classic chords, soon followed by a catchy drumline, for a very original song that it shows a very mature eared artist! Ethnic percussions, "stravinsky" strings, timpani, cellos... And a Bjork-style voice!!! I think this genre may be considered experimental, but what a good experimental is it this! Matbe the 1st transition between the orchestra and the voice is a bit "rough" when you 1st listens to this song, but the general impression is positive, structure is interesting, and great, alternative female voice. The background choir is amazing, and even if the main vocal line is a bit obsessive (a bit shorter would be perfect), this song has many different styles, a melange of originality that maybe not everybody will appreciate. But i do!!! Good job!
- guthorm from Unspecified on 17Aug2004
Run Kitty Run!
Wow, this song is very, very original. Almost has an "ET" feel. Even "Wizard Of Ozz" feel. The Female vocal are amazing. Like Bjork. Such an exploding feel throughout this song. Lots of energy in this song.
Very good song.
- blakelau from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma on 22Aug2004
What movie is this from
Great use of sounds and samples in this. The use of 'orchestra hits' was done well and provides an old 30's movie mystery vibe to it... Reminds me of a girl running scared from an unconvincing monster.... I like the composition the arrangement is very unique. When the female vocals come in it reminds me of bjork a bit- has a great dreamy atmosphere, and great beat section...
- aaronhope from Chicago, Illinois on 21Aug2004
I really like the intro orchestra sample
This is real experimental music. A nice departure from the REASON composed trance beats thats so prominant in this category. A great backdrop for a movie thriller. You've done an excellent job. I really want to expand my music to areas like this. The samples are arranged masterfully. I want to hear more of your tracks
- EminentBliss from Dayton, Ohio on 20Aug2004
Love the modern classical beginning, in fact the whole track is super.
Is this music written by you or all samples? Either way, sounds like you should be writing blockbuster movie soundtracks for sure!
Is that female voice a sample?
- spacegypsy from New York on 16Aug2004
i can hear a broadway background of the composer. the arrangement is amazing and has a great dramatic and i am sure he submits this song for musicals. well picked bass/chellos, nice drums and good keyboards
- andrei23 from Hollywood, California on 15Aug2004
Check out the artist's website:
3. On the Move
4. Solem Moment
5. Bach and Forth
6. Always Thinking of You
7. Gloria's Sky Song
9. Rebild Hills Suite
10. Sad Song
11. Strong and Beautiful
12. Gate of Changes
13. End Credits: Comba Li La