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By Fire Alone

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Strange genesis of this piece:
Some months ago, I watched the full first season of "Game Of Thrones." I was Not thinking about that as I approached this piece for string orchestra (actually two string orchestras that duke it out). But when it came to imagining a title, and after throwing out many possibilities, I settled on "By Fire Alone" because the number seemed to be one of great struggle (though it didn't feel that way to me as I wrote it) which finds a satisfactory conclusion, as if to say that the struggle was ultimately worth the great effort. In any event, that's what was going through my mind during the creation of this composition. ... If you are interested in a download (if the download mechanism isn't yet working here), just drop me a PM and an e-mail address and I will be happy to send an mp3 along. ... I hope you enjoy this strange little number.
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Song Stats
Hits: 1871
Comments: 19
Fans: 21
Plays: 175
Downloads: 29

Uploaded: Sep 25, 2012 - 01:25:36 PM
Last Updated: Sep 25, 2012 - 01:30:04 PM Last Played: Nov 05, 2017 - 09:19:15 PM
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Narad said 1886 days ago (September 25th, 2012)
By Fire Alone
Highly cinematic and most beautiful orchestred.
Take a bow ! :)
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Feter said 1886 days ago (September 25th, 2012)
By Fire Alone
This is exactly what I thought of it ,a true drama for a scene ..very wide !
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Philip18 said 1886 days ago (September 25th, 2012)
By fire alone
There is sense of both expectancy and calmness in the piece. It does suggest action on the part of characters in a movie (I can imagine them looking over a familiar but changed landscape, perhaps in the aftermath of some tragedy). Striking music, Paul.
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PeterB7858 said 1886 days ago (September 25th, 2012)
Bt Fire Alone
The "fight" is refined and civilised, as befitting string orchestras, Paul. Another expertly imagined and developed piece. Thanks, Peter.
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magnatone said 1885 days ago (September 25th, 2012)
By Fire Alone
this is breathtaking orchestration paul - i am so blown away by your skill. you are so good at .... everything! i love this - it doesn't feel strange to me at all - just hauntingly exquisite. i'd love a D/L - i suspect the button will be fixed soon, but if it's not, I'll email you. THANKS!!
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Soundhound said 1885 days ago (September 26th, 2012)
Very nicely done....
A taste of theatrics in all it's movements, some of the dissident notes
give a tweaking to my ear, harmonically but strings do that to me....
Now that I've listened to it I want to go to sleep in my lazyboy chair
and take a nap........ :-)

Well done.....
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davajonah said 1885 days ago (September 26th, 2012)
is it a "strange little number"? It's quite exquisite in my humble opinion. Beautifully orchestrated, a lovely composition and certainly cinematic.

Now I'm puzzled as to why there are three and a half minutes of silence at the end. The music fades out at five minute, quite beautifully as well, but then there is just silence until 8.50 when the end is reached! Is it me? Or is it something else going wrong around here?
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paul f. page said 1885 days ago (September 26th, 2012)
I have tried fixing/deleting that 3:30 and thought I had accomplished the task. Apparently not. Back to the recording, I guess, to see if I can find out what's happening. Thanks for the heads up.
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davisamerica said 1885 days ago (September 26th, 2012)
could also be a sunrise in slow motion. i'd like a copy. think u have my email. beautiful.
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alackbass said 1885 days ago (September 26th, 2012)
By Fire Alone
Really great work Paul. As good or better than any cinematic music I've ever heard.
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kassia said 1884 days ago (September 27th, 2012)
I find working with just strings very exciting and challenging. TWO string orchestras is insane! but you've done an incredible job here. an epic story being told. i can imagine that even though the music is "fun", you had a blast putting this all together.

the sound of the strings is just beautiful; great production.

i love the fermata's and slight changes in mood after each - it creates both tension and anticipation, and then resolution and moving forward. i was expecting a little more....turbulence, given the title, but it was more of an inner turmoil. very beautiful.
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Bowman said 1883 days ago (September 28th, 2012)
I love the
dissidence and reflective nature of this. You're not interested in easy pleasures but instead you give us a sombre emotional journey.
Well done my friend.
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Daugrin said 1882 days ago (September 29th, 2012)
Fire Up!
I have been asking for this for a while! Paul your on the trail. More please... bring the music closer and allow it to be larger than life. We have needs out here.

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VicDiesel said 1881 days ago (September 30th, 2012)
Lovely string writing. I'm not entirely sure though that it suggests struggle. But it is definitely cinematic.
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Ed Hannifin said 1881 days ago (September 30th, 2012)
Not so much for one of the action scenes...
...but I could hear this is in something like the scene in Henry V after the battle of Agincourt, where he sings the 'Non Nobis' while walking the field, carrying one of the dead squires...

There's something contemplative, something that gives pause, in the way that you've phrased this...
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Vic Holman said 1879 days ago (October 1st, 2012)
By Fire Alone
exquisite piece. a nice settle down piece after all the games of thrones blood letting :-)
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dave_b said 1879 days ago (October 2nd, 2012)
By Fire Alone
The sound dropped out for me @ 6:30 or so, but it is a lovely ride until then! Strings are sounding great.
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composerclark said 1846 days ago (November 4th, 2012)
It lovely, and has a spacious, open feel to it. I agree with others who have said it has a cinematic feel, although I don't have a strong sense of the tension that I might associate with struggle.

You asked for my thoughts and suggestions on this piece, so here they are:

I like that you are branching out to writing music for string orchestra, and I think, given your skills in evoking many different characters in your piano music, that you could become very good at this, and I would like to hear more.

My suggestion is this: It is important, when writing for strings (or any type of orchestra), to make the music sound as though you are writing for those specific instruments, and not as though you are playing a keyboard which happens to be set to trigger orchestral sounds.

The best way to do this is to actually score the music — write it down — for Vn. I, Vn. II, Va, Vc., and D.B. (with divisi wherever needed) — and enter it into a sequencer or into a notation programme like Sibelius or Finale. This lets you see at a glance what is going on, and might give you ideas of where and how to change textures.

One of the things strings often do is repeat notes while another instrument plays a melody. String orchestra music that has more sustained chords, such as this composition, often have counterpoint to the melody in the the other strings.

In this piece you often sustain chords in a lower register while playing a melody in an upper register; this is fine as far as string writing goes, but there are many other idiomatic ways of creating string textures that can best be achieved by scoring, as opposed to playing the entire texture at the same time (live) on a keyboard. Sometimes the melody can be given to the cellos; sometimes musical punctuation is achieved through pizzicatti. Orchestration textbooks often speak of "foreground-middle ground-background" texture, something that is fairly easy to do in orchestral music, but harder to do in solo piano writing.

Not sure if any of these ideas will help or not, but hopefully they give you some things to think about.
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TobinMueller said 1599 days ago (July 9th, 2013)
Peace within the flames
The image of Daenerys Targaryen emerging from the flames, newborn dragons on her shoulders, with all the possibilities it opened, all the magic it confirmed, all the beliefs realized... This quiet piece is about that kind of satisfaction. It is a foothold, a place to move from. It has a prelude feel. Thanks for pointing me to this!
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Name: paul f. page
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