Home Music Articles Forums Blog Chat More...      

Progress & Destruction (from America)


by

Tom Atwood

 Genre: Classical
No artwork

Get Flash to see this player.

Description
This is an excerpt from the third section of "America," the orchestral piece that will be posted in its entirety soon. Three other parts already have been posted separately: Fanfare, Midwest Landscape (formerly America), and Hymn. Together, the four movements make up "America," which will be posted next week.

Thanks to pgreenstone, MidiOrleans, Alimar and Cameron for their ears and advice. Thanks especially to Mystified, who has been with me every step of the way. She encouraged me to write "America," and her fingerprints are all over it. Thanks, Cat.

Dedicated to Mystified.

Artwork: "Progress"
Terrence John Dyck

songs from the american plain
now available
the lost records™
Leave a Comment
You must be registered and logged-in to comment.
Song Stats
Hits: 4096
Comments: 33
Fans: 7
Plays: 160
Downloads: 45
Votes: 18
Uploaded: Aug 26, 2005 - 11:27:11 PM
Last Updated: Feb 22, 2007 - 06:49:39 PM Last Played: Jul 10, 2019 - 09:15:50 PM
Song License
Creative Commons License:
Attribution-NoDerivs-NonCommercial

Creative Commons

Song Actions
share on facebook share on twitter
Hardware:
Casio Privia PX-300
G5
Software:
GB2
Jampack 4: Symphony Orchestra
Comments
jgurner said 5165 days ago (August 27th, 2005)
That first percussion hit....
.... startled the &%$#*& out of me. I LOVED IT. This is very
cool. Too tired to make any meaningful comment now except
maybe something like "Grok like." Am downloading and plan
to listen over and over....
Check out my latest song called Mr. Moon (Woodstock50)
Tom Atwood said 5164 days ago (August 27th, 2005)
That first percussion hit....
Thanks, Joseph, for downloading this. Sorry for startling you. I played with
the intensity of the percussion hits, and decided that loud was what I was
after. Hope it was not too loud...
Check out my latest song called Vanishing Pezzicato
jfaylor said 5165 days ago (August 27th, 2005)
Very nice!
Reminds me of a movie soundtrack... great arrangement.. I
love hearing the Jampack4 being used to it's fullest.

Look forward to hearing more from you!
Tom Atwood said 5164 days ago (August 27th, 2005)
Very nice!
Glado you liked it, Joe. Welcome to MacJams!
Check out my latest song called Vanishing Pezzicato
Peter Greenstone said 5165 days ago (August 27th, 2005)
intensity
Very intense, like a busy civilization growing out of its skin.
Industrious and determined, possibly on the verge of
crashing.

I was listening to this through my speakers with the sub-
woofer and the big percussion hits actually blew puffs of air
that tickled the hairs on my leg. It wasn't just audibly
startling but it actually touched my leg. Yikes! Anyway, that
percussion works very well. Everything sounde great. I can't
wait to hear the whole thing together.
Check out my latest song called Iridium Flare (2013 Re-Release)
Tom Atwood said 5164 days ago (August 27th, 2005)
intensity
I appreciate that description, Peter. And thanks again for listening and
offering suggestions on ways to improve the sound. I have not tried the
"matrix reverb" on this version, but will before the entire piece is uploaded
next week.
Check out my latest song called Vanishing Pezzicato
said 5165 days ago (August 27th, 2005)
Killer Percussion Hits
and I like the way the sections fit together and the pacing.
I was hoping to hear something resembling a climax
(destruction), but I'll wait to hear how all the parts fit
together to see if I still feel that way.
Tom Atwood said 5164 days ago (August 27th, 2005)
Killer Percussion Hits
Thanks, Bill. When I started writing this, I thought there would be more
destruction, too. What happened?
Check out my latest song called Vanishing Pezzicato
Cameron said 5165 days ago (August 27th, 2005)
orchestral evolution
Your repertoire of orchestral instruments is expanding to
include more of a wide range of sounds. It is nice to
witness this evolution, Tom.

The music writing on this piece is imaginative and a
gratifying listen.

On the main theme, you're pretty much at the top of the
horn's range at times; those upper notes sound less
"natural" on that patch. You may want to assign the higher
notes to a higher-pitched instrument, such as the
trumpet. This would also provide some variety and
interest in that melodic theme. Perhaps have the horn and
trumpet dove-tail that line.

Have you studied the placement of instruments in the
symphony orchestra? The violins are generally left of
center. The strings on this track were on the right, and as
a result didn't sound quite like they would in a real
orchestra setting.

You also might want to bring out more of the high end of
the sound spectrum in the string sound to add shimmer;
the overall sound of this piece was a little "synthy".

I think that you are heading in the right direction with
your exploration and development of working with the
JamPack 4 orchestral sounds. This is the most convincing
orchestral piece you have written to date. With a few
adjustments of tone color and instrument placement
(panning), your future work will be even more authentic-
sounding.
Check out my latest song called Trio for Horn, Violin & Piano
Tom Atwood said 5164 days ago (August 27th, 2005)
orchestral evolution
Thanks, Cameron. I will respond in more detail in an email, but you have hit
upon a problem I am having with Jampack 4. Only a few instruments sound
authentic to me, and worst of all, there is no trumpet, period. There are
trumpet sections, but no solo trumpet. And the trumpet sections sound very
phony to me. So, I use what sounds most real, in this case the Jampack Tuba,
played far above its intended range. However, I agree, on the upper notes
here it sounds suspect.

I feel like I am not playing with a full deck (in more ways than one). But I will
keep plugging away, and may try panning some of the instruments to give
them more 'stage presence.' Thanks again for your help!

Check out my latest song called Vanishing Pezzicato
ledebutant said 5165 days ago (August 27th, 2005)
Are you trying to scare people?!? :-)
The drums at the beginning are just a shocker, especially
against the melody. I love them, especially in tandem with
the title and how I know you feel about progress. They
sound like giant concrete slabs slamming together.
Squashing things.

The percussion on this, throughout is really terrific. The
shaker, the triangle (?) the big drums.

You are mind-blowing, Tom.

Tom Atwood said 5164 days ago (August 27th, 2005)
Are you trying to scare people?!? :-)
Ooops. See (double) response below. Technical difficulties.
Check out my latest song called Vanishing Pezzicato
said 5165 days ago (August 27th, 2005)
Besides the wonderful music....
I am thankful for the support and input that you have
from all those you mentioned above. It speaks volumes of
what this site has created. So, with their aid, added to
your talent and technique, you have produced another
gem of a classical piece of music.

I am sitting in an audience listening and watching an
wonderful orchestral performance.

The envelope continues to be pressed...

Jack
Tom Atwood said 5164 days ago (August 27th, 2005)
Besides the wonderful music....
Thanks, Jack. You are right about what this site has created. Mysti and were
talking about it last night. Where else could you get advice and collaboration
from people with such talent? For free!!!

Well, wait. Cameron did charge union scale and took a 15-minute break every
hour. Other than that...
Check out my latest song called Vanishing Pezzicato
Mystified said 5165 days ago (August 27th, 2005)
Marvelous music
I might have encouraged you to write another movement,
Tom, but it was there all along--I'm convinced of that.

I've discussed this piece with you and so I won't go into
that here, but only to reiterate how much I respect your
ability to 'speak' so eloquently and with sensitivity in your
music.
This part of "America" certainly continues in that same
way--and the whole put together is an amazing and
beautiful work.

Genius, I think it was said in another comment...applies
here, too.

(And yes...Thank you for this.)


love the artwork, too.

Check out my latest song called Elevated--Miss Chaos/Mystified vox
Tom Atwood said 5164 days ago (August 27th, 2005)
Marvelous music
Thankyouthankyouthankyouthankyouthankyouthankyoutahnkyouthankyoutha
nkyouthankyouthankyouthankyouthankyouthankyouthankyouthankyouthanky
outahnkyouthankyouthankyouthankyouthankyou.

Now, what are you going to do?
Check out my latest song called Vanishing Pezzicato
Mystified said 5164 days ago (August 27th, 2005)
Marvelous music
Ohhhh, Pfffffft


PfftPfftPffftPfftPfftPfft..ok. I'll stop there. (but you get the idea)

Check out my latest song called Elevated--Miss Chaos/Mystified vox
Tom Atwood said 5164 days ago (August 27th, 2005)
Are you trying to scare people?!? :-)
I'm only trying to scare you, Lisa. Glad you liked the percussion.
I spent a lot of time on it (way too much on that triangle).

As for progress, I guess I am skeptical of it, sometimes. It just seems to me
that whenever there is progress, in a physical, constructive kind of way,
something also is destroyed. Usually, it's the landscape.

Thanks again for listening, and for your support, ledebutant.
Check out my latest song called Vanishing Pezzicato
Tom Atwood said 5164 days ago (August 27th, 2005)
Are you trying to scare people?!? :-)
I'm only trying to scare you, Lisa. Glad you liked the percussion.
I spent a lot of time on it (way too much on that triangle).

As for progress, I guess I am skeptical of it, sometimes. It just seems to me
that whenever there is progress, in a physical, constructive kind of way,
something also is destroyed. Usually, it's the landscape.

Thanks again for listening, and for your support, ledebutant.
Check out my latest song called Vanishing Pezzicato
swood said 5164 days ago (August 27th, 2005)
sounds good
THIS IS A GOOD PIECE OF MUSIC , I AM A STRING FANATIC MYSELF. I WISH I COULD CAPTURE THIS STYLE OF CLASSICAL MUSIC , I TRY , BUT YOU DEFINATLEY HAVE ME BEAT, MAYBE THATS WHY I MAKE SO MUCH HIP HOP. THE SONG WAS SMOTH AND SOOTHING AND MIXED WELL , NO COMPLAINTS HERE.

I LIKE HOW YOU MAKE IT DIE OUT , AND COME BACK AT ME WHEN I LEATS EXPECT IT
Check out my latest song called WHO SHOT YA
swood said 5164 days ago (August 27th, 2005)
sounds good
THIS IS A GOOD PIECE OF MUSIC , I AM A STRING FANATIC MYSELF. I WISH I COULD CAPTURE THIS STYLE OF CLASSICAL MUSIC , I TRY , BUT YOU DEFINATLEY HAVE ME BEAT, MAYBE THATS WHY I MAKE SO MUCH HIP HOP. THE SONG WAS SMOTH AND SOOTHING AND MIXED WELL , NO COMPLAINTS HERE.

I LIKE HOW YOU MAKE IT DIE OUT , AND COME BACK AT ME WHEN I LEATS EXPECT IT
Check out my latest song called WHO SHOT YA
Tom Atwood said 5164 days ago (August 28th, 2005)
sounds good
Hew, swood, welcome to MacJams. I enjoyed your hip-hop stuff, especially
the instrumental piece. Thanks for listening and for your comments.
Check out my latest song called Vanishing Pezzicato
perceptualvortex said 5164 days ago (August 27th, 2005)
Strip mining
Very cool; love the contrast between the big hits and the gentle, flowy lines. Somehow it sounds both serene and frantic.
Check out my latest song called Mercury (RPM 6)
Tom Atwood said 5164 days ago (August 28th, 2005)
Strip mining
You know, PV, I grew up in a town surrounded by strip mines, Some of my
high school friends went to work there. The scars on the land are incredible.
However, some of the loveliest spots in that area are reclaimed strip mines,
rolling hills, ponds and trees. Pyramid State Park in Illinois is an example of
what can be done. I guess one reason why this part is not darker, more
dissonant and 'destructive' is that I think there is hope, always, that
something positive can come from even the most misguided 'progress.'
(How's that for gobbledegook?)

Thanks for your commetns Perecptual Vortex.
Check out my latest song called Vanishing Pezzicato
Codee said 5164 days ago (August 28th, 2005)
Nice!
You made one hell of a good use of GB and the Symphony JP.
Very nice counterpoints in the woodwinds. I will look forward
to hearing more from you with the rest of the movements.
It's a really nice and well paced arrangement, The heavy
percussion hit did startle the crap outta' me! Really that
wasn't a bad thing mind you. Next time warn me tho' LOL.
Tom Atwood said 5164 days ago (August 28th, 2005)
Nice!
Thanks codee. One reason I asked Mystified and others to listen to this
before posting was because of those percussion hits. The 'cannons.' I wasn't
sure how they would go over. But I guess they are ok. Loud, but ok. Thanks
again.
Check out my latest song called Vanishing Pezzicato
Cori Ander said 5164 days ago (August 28th, 2005)
Great job Tom!
Great job Tom! You are steadily working to deliver something
very interesting! My curiousity to be able to hear the entire
orchestral piece is continually increasing!
Check out my latest song called O store Gud
Tom Atwood said 5164 days ago (August 28th, 2005)
Great job Tom!
Thanks Curry. I hope to post the entire piece, with changes, later this week.
Check out my latest song called Vanishing Pezzicato
Ed Hannifin said 5164 days ago (August 28th, 2005)
Is there like a special club...
...made up of MacJammers who don't sleep?

I'm playing the piece now, Tom, and MY DOG IS GOING
CRAZY...we live near a quarry, and he gets spooked when
the blasting is going on...this piece is inducing the same
behavior... (Thanks to having read jgurner's comment, I
turned my amp down before listening, but still...)

Hey, but enough about me and my dog, what about your
piece?...

What impresses me about your writing, Tom, is that it
doesn't ever end up sounding, to my ears, like 'faux
classical', just lush strings and sweet sonorities and no
"stuff" to it...

It is moving, but it's also intelligent; it has melodic and
harmonic sense to it, and it surprises, but not
gratuitously... Thus, you can listen to it, and enjoy it; it
doesn't end up gaining intelligence by confounding the
listening ear with pointlessly contrary moves and
dissonances...

Anyway, I like it, and am coming to appreciate you as a
composer the more I listen...

Must go calm the dog...

(And then turn it up and listen again...)

Ed

Check out my latest song called Chime (Alone) (Inspired by Particle Dots)
Jim Bouchard said 5164 days ago (August 28th, 2005)
Great!
This is really great, and I think you are on a great track
with this. I think I hear more progress than destruction in
this, but it's got a great sense of drama anyway.

The Jam Pack instruments are somewhat spotty, I think,
with some being very good and others just so-so. You do
a great job in using the better ones. I've heard good
things about the Garritan Personal Orchestra sounds if
you are considering an upgrade, I'd look into those,
especially for solo instrument sounds that are lacking in
JP4.
Check out my latest song called Big Yawn (Apogee One mic demo)
cs_pwns said 5164 days ago (August 28th, 2005)
Quite wonderful
Congratulations, for you have impressed a person who is not
normally into classical music! As everyone else has said, the
percussion is brilliant. I'm glad you decided to mix the drum
hits loud, because they have an astounding effect on the
listener. They are startling, but not in a "cheap scare" kind of
way... They punctuate all of the other sounds perfectly.

Well done, man. Well done.
Check out my latest song called CartoonHero's Eulogy
drakonis said 5163 days ago (August 29th, 2005)
poor horn players!
My first left-brained thought was "wow, how would a horn
player play constantly repeating staccato 1/8th notes like
that" and then suddenly it hit me! BANG! That percussion
smacked me upside the head and I stopped worrying
about it :-) I loved the playful laziness of the horns and
harp midway through (though with headphones, the
severely panned triangle & bells were distracting, should
be closer together center-left). Love the aural textures
you creat with this, nice buildup at 2/3 through to the
recap. Great use of dynamics, not sure if others noticed
how much time you put into altering the intensity of
different notes throughout, and the switch from horn to
clarinet near the end. This is an extremely ambitious
piece, and you are doing a great job of putting it together.
I hope that it is speaking to *you* too... when you listen,
does it tell you the story you want it to? When I grow up
and write a symphony, I hope I can pull something like
this off, wow! Great job, Tom!
ttfn,
Drakonis in awe
Check out my latest song called Miwok
DuoAzzoni said 5150 days ago (September 11th, 2005)
Very interesting
As you yourself said, JP4 has some major flaws, and along with good instruments suffer of a very bad brass section. Still, what you try to achieve is somehow effectively represented here. There is a vastness of conception, and very beautiful ideas, but the composition ends quite abrubtly after the reprise, which one could expect as a development section. That's a pity! It's like the chronicle of a battle interrupted at the first rifle shots. Also from the title one would expect something more...striking, maybe: the progress is well represented, the frantic pace, something delicate that is swept out by the hard logics of production...dunno...:)

OH...I have one doubt on the starting bars: won't they be too demanding for an hypothetical brass section?



Check out my latest song called Forse un Mattino
Artist Info
artist photo
Name: Tom Atwood
Location:
send a note
I guess I could be a 'poster child' for MacJams. I joined the site on New Year's Eve 2004, after several years of not making much music at all. A long dry spell. Since then, I have posted more than 50 songs here, collaborated with some wonderful arti... [see more]

Check out some of my other songs:

Chat
Who's Online
Invisible Members: 0
Visitors: 124
Links