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New: Sunrise Over the Rhone Complete - Avignon Suite


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Description
I finally finished a complete cut of the movement. The piece has sections to go with the music:

Predawn stillness on the river
Matins in the monastery
Echoes of the chants
Zephyrs before sunrise
Sunrise: a city of gold
Glorious light on the flowing river

Thanks to all those who made suggestions to my work-in-progress version. I hope this result doesn't disappoint. Either way, all comments are welcome as I don't think a piece is ever fully finished.

This piece is dedicated to Louise Labuda, a friend whose departure from her visit with us in Avignon got me up early enough to walk around the city walls and appreciate the tranquility and wonder of a sunrise. The piece is also dedicated to my lovely wife and travel companion through life Caroline.

Doug

PS - it's amusing to me to hear how many influences there are from other composers that have shaped this work. Amusing because I only heard them after each section was laid down (or my kids pointed them out) and the recognition made me smile.
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Lyrics
Listen to the stillness
Song Stats
Hits: 2627
Comments: 43
Fans: 29
Plays: 470
Downloads: 47
Votes: 0
Uploaded: Aug 06, 2013 - 02:40:39 AM
Last Updated: Aug 06, 2013 - 10:46:43 AM Last Played: Mar 18, 2017 - 03:25:01 PM
Song License
Creative Commons License:
Attribution-NoDerivs-NonCommercial

Creative Commons

Song Actions
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Hardware:
Mac Pro
Software:
EWQL Symphony Orchestra, SoundIron Requiem Light, SoundIron Venus Choir, Ozone 5
Comments
DWL said 1389 days ago (August 6th, 2013)
Really good to hear
this completed.

As you say, lots of influences (I even get a bit of Star Trek ;-)).

Vocal parts are nicely interwoven and the use of dynamics is beautifully controlled.

A perfect sunrise :-)

Cheers

Dick
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Doug Somers said 1389 days ago (August 6th, 2013)
Star Trek!
Wasn't expecting that one :) Still, I've watched enough of the shows and movies that who knows what seeped into the old grey matter. I appreciate the kind words sir.

Thanks for having a listen Dick and for your ongoing support for my work.

Cheers,
Doug
Check out my latest song called Coming Home - Based on a Theme by David Kneupper
davajonah said 1389 days ago (August 6th, 2013)
Brilliant!
The original was lovely, but this is totally inspired. I love how you have extended this. The voices are truly magnificent. It's a much much clearer mix too. All in all, a quite lovely piece of music.
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Doug Somers said 1389 days ago (August 6th, 2013)
Voices
I am a soft touch for adding voice wherever I can justify it (and in many places I can't). I will be doing more vocal work in other parts of the suite.

As to the clearer mix, I may have tweaked the parameters in Ozone but otherwise things were just adjusted here and there in lots of little places.

I'm very glad you enjoyed this Dave, and thanks for leaving your generous remarks.

Be well,
Doug
Check out my latest song called Coming Home - Based on a Theme by David Kneupper
KCsGROOVE said 1389 days ago (August 6th, 2013)
sunrise
Just beautiful!
It takes you through different moods
yes, this is good :-)
Very mch enjoyed!
KC

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Doug Somers said 1389 days ago (August 6th, 2013)
Different moods
part of what I was after. Feelings change with the light and the sounds of birds and breezes. I'm glad that part of that came through for you. Thanks for your kind words KC.
Doug

Check out my latest song called Coming Home - Based on a Theme by David Kneupper
Garni said 1389 days ago (August 6th, 2013)
Sunrise Over the Rhone Complete
Beautiful work! I really love this piece!

G-)
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Doug Somers said 1389 days ago (August 6th, 2013)
Thank you Garni
I aim to share a little of the joy and wonder that I felt and so if some of that comes through for you I'm happy.

Peace,
Doug
Check out my latest song called Coming Home - Based on a Theme by David Kneupper
Les_Kloo said 1389 days ago (August 6th, 2013)
Avignon
The once besieged city. I've been there -- for all of about two hours. Beautiful, full of history. Well, I was actually trying to do an ambient piece, and now I will have to go back and reconsider, having heard an actual composer at work. Each section could be a standalone piece if lengthened. You've packed an hour's worth of ideas into this relatively short piece. I think the Star Trek reference is motivated by the opening strains. Yeah, I heard it, too. (OK, OK, I used to be a Star Trek fan.) Beautiful, powerful sunrise, but my favorite part was at 2:20. I'm a sucker for anything resembling chant, and your voices sound great. Stunning piece of work, Doug. Clearly, we are not worthy.
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Doug Somers said 1389 days ago (August 6th, 2013)
Do an ambient, do an ambient uncle Ex!!!!
Seriously, anything you turn your hand to sounds like gold to me. And this 'real composer' stuff - piffle. As to your comment about an hours worth of ideas into a short piece, I agree. I hoped to balance changing moods without being too disjointed or abrupt. I also intend to use snippets of phrases as leitmotifs which can appear in not just many places in one piece, but across pieces in the suite. Just in case things were getting too easy on the creative front. :)

And if you like chant (and who doesn't - OK, maybe a lot of people!) you will hear more. Oh yes, you will hear more.

Thanks very much for your encouraging words and support over the years (and a string of hits you posted I love to revisit on my iPhone).

Doug

PS - Alice Cooper told me to pass on to you "Get up, you're worthy, you're worthy".
Check out my latest song called Coming Home - Based on a Theme by David Kneupper
Bowman said 1389 days ago (August 6th, 2013)
Exquisite!
Both Intimate and expansive. Full of wonderful details echoing and developing beautifully. Your thunderous brass section dissolving at 4:40 into a mystical sonic landscape was absolutely dazzling.

I always admired your musical ideas and taste but I also want to commend you on your imaginative orchestration. You really bring vibrant color to this that greatly adds to its effectiveness.
This is a treat to hear Doug. It's something to be very proud of and would be a wonderful work to conduct with a living orchestra… some day?
Cheers and congrats,
Charlie

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Doug Somers said 1389 days ago (August 6th, 2013)
Thanks man
Coming from you and your careful listen your words mean a lot. " thunderous brass section dissolving ... into a mystical sonic landscape" is like poetry, and as such the comment hits home. Thank you sir.

I also hope that my experiments with colour will continue to evolve so that a mood becomes a gathering of instruments in an almost unconscious way. I'm happy with what I'm learning and am having fun learning more. I expect it will never stop.

As for conducting this with a live orchestra, well that would be one of those life events that would be right up there with the best of them. Maybe, hopefully, some day.

Charlie thank you for your kindness and support. All the very best,
Doug
Check out my latest song called Coming Home - Based on a Theme by David Kneupper
lengold said 1389 days ago (August 6th, 2013)
That is
just gorgeous Doug.
Cheers
Len

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Doug Somers said 1388 days ago (August 7th, 2013)
Many thanks
Len. About as far from your post of No Dancing as one can get, but there you are.

Appreciate the listen and kind words.

Cheers,
Doug
Check out my latest song called Coming Home - Based on a Theme by David Kneupper
egobandit said 1388 days ago (August 6th, 2013)
wow
encompassing , the horns were supreme , the vocals are deep and filling I cant imagine how you composed all the element fantastic job!
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Doug Somers said 1388 days ago (August 7th, 2013)
Deep vocals
Funnily enough, if I sit back and say how do I do this I probably don't really know. That may also be the case with most of us who create.

Glad you liked the piece and that it encompassed your listening space. Thanks for the support and feedback!
Doug
Check out my latest song called Coming Home - Based on a Theme by David Kneupper
Henke said 1388 days ago (August 7th, 2013)
I'm in awe
This is such a great piece and I can't imagine how you do it. With "just" orchestral instruments at hand you expertly paint the picture suggested by those text lines, from predawn to the glorious golden light on the river. You really should be proud.

The question now is, can you do it again for the other movements ;-) (I'm sure you can, I just wanted to give you a bit of a challenge :-)

Thanks for sharing this gem and take care,
Henke
Check out my latest song called Summer (Promenade) (WIP)
Doug Somers said 1387 days ago (August 7th, 2013)
Do it again?
As much as I could feel spent with the work that went into this piece, I am already well into another piece that is from the same suite. In fact this other piece is the first one I worked on whilst in Avignon. Sadly, my little old laptop was not up to the demands and I decided to sketch the outlines of the piece and leave it for later finishing in the studio (like some painters do). I'm back at it now and have the full weight of 8 CPUs and an SSD of samples to throw at the process, which is going much more smoothly than the laptop experience.

Thanks for the challenge, and I hope it's not too very long before I can post this next movement.

Your words are touching Henrik - thank you for the listen and encouraging remarks.

Doug

Check out my latest song called Coming Home - Based on a Theme by David Kneupper
MartinD28 said 1388 days ago (August 7th, 2013)
Sunrise
You did it! Beautiful. The sunrise: city of gold passed the "goose bump" test.
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Doug Somers said 1387 days ago (August 7th, 2013)
The Goose Bump Test
Love that. Thanks for coming back to hear the finished version. It's nice to have people following the development of the music.

Be well,
Doug
Check out my latest song called Coming Home - Based on a Theme by David Kneupper
J.A.Stewart said 1388 days ago (August 7th, 2013)
Glorious
Enchanting, haunting and exhilarating — all in one piece.

Very nicely done. ;)

--- Joe
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Doug Somers said 1387 days ago (August 7th, 2013)
Glorious
Thanks Joe, you've said a lot in very little. I really appreciate you coming by to listen and leave your kind thoughts.

Doug
Check out my latest song called Coming Home - Based on a Theme by David Kneupper
PeterB7858 said 1387 days ago (August 7th, 2013)
Sunrise Over the Rhone
Really nice work, Doug. The opening is subtle and serene and the transition to the meditative chant section is really well handled. The glory and exhilaration of the sunrise is inspiring. The whole piece is so evocative. Kudos! Thanks, Peter.
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Doug Somers said 1387 days ago (August 7th, 2013)
Evocative
Thanks Peter. I'm really pleased that artists such as yourself, whose work I admire, find meaning in this piece. You're a gent to be so kind.

Doug
Check out my latest song called Coming Home - Based on a Theme by David Kneupper
ste said 1387 days ago (August 7th, 2013)
really
enjoyed the low strings that come in followed by that sparse brass and then chant from 1:30.
great work
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Doug Somers said 1387 days ago (August 7th, 2013)
Sparse Brass
I wanted to keep most of the front parts of this tune thin in terms of the number of instruments and then let it build bit by bit.

Glad you liked it and thanks for the comments!
Check out my latest song called Coming Home - Based on a Theme by David Kneupper
oldlibmike said 1387 days ago (August 7th, 2013)
Love the movements
Great movements and shifts. Sort of a symphony in miniature :) Very well done. Great dynamics in the piece.
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Doug Somers said 1387 days ago (August 8th, 2013)
Movements and shifts
Thanks Mike - I was going for all that (maybe not a condensed symphony! :) ) and I'm glad it came through.

I appreciate hearing your thoughts on the music.

Doug
Check out my latest song called Coming Home - Based on a Theme by David Kneupper
VicDiesel said 1387 days ago (August 7th, 2013)
sections
I'm of two minds. Your writing, playing, arranging and mixing are all impeccable. This sounds spectacular.

But 5 differently charactered sections of grand sounding music in a good 5 minutes? It felt a little under-developed to me. That choir, for instance, is cute, but just 30 seconds of it? And after it, the music goes in a completely different directions with that oboe and flute. It feels more like an overture, touching on a bunch of themes that will be developed on a larger scaler later on.

Also, sunrise over a modest ancient city, does that really call for full choirs, large brass sections, massive strings? I felt a little disconnect.

Just some thoughts. Again, you have my undivided admiration for how you handle the material.
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Doug Somers said 1386 days ago (August 8th, 2013)
An Overture perhaps?
Maybe there are those influences here, I don't know. I understand where you're coming from. I do plan to re-introduce themes in other pieces in the suite so we will see what happens. For now I'm happy enough with the development as it is, but who knows where it might go with new inspiration. Is a piece ever done? Moreover I'm already well into the second piece of the suite so I want to stay focused there for a while.

The brass/choir is big, no doubt. The first sunlight on the walls of the city and the papal palace/apartments had a kind of grandeur for me and that was what I was trying to express. Certainly there are lots of interpretations that could be more subdued.

Thank you too Vic for your honest constructive criticism. I really appreciate that. Kind words are always nice and who doesn't like to know people appreciate a work, and growth happens also from understanding other points of view on the work. I welcome your (and anyone else's) candour on any piece I publish.

Keep well sir,
Doug




Check out my latest song called Coming Home - Based on a Theme by David Kneupper
paul f. page said 1387 days ago (August 7th, 2013)
Gorgeous orchestration
You have really refined the elements in this number. I love all of the sections of it, even though it is quite a Short movement. I particularly like the cor anglais that you use for the opening, and the dissonant notes that you slide in on occasion are perfectly placed and have most- satisfying resolutions. You have created a little gem with this music and I am anxious to hear more. Just very beautiful. You raise the bar quite high in your concept and in the realization of your ideas. It is such a pleasure to hear such refined and beautifully executed music here.
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Doug Somers said 1386 days ago (August 8th, 2013)
Resolving dissonance
While there is all the theory on this topic, I like to play with it from a purely psycho-acoustic point of view. Should this tension resolve now or wait. Deepen maybe? I'm also attracted to these kind of harmonies in music of other composers as long as they're handled tastefully.

Your words and overall support are both very generous Paul. Your mention of raising the bar high with the concept of this suite was the same thing my composition teacher said. But I figure "why not?" - if I try and it doesn't go so well I will still learn a ton.

Thanks for your own inspiring musical influence, both for me and the other artists on this site.

Peace,
Doug
Check out my latest song called Coming Home - Based on a Theme by David Kneupper
WharmtonRise said 1386 days ago (August 8th, 2013)
Fantastic
Great, great work Doug. I see you got a handle on the choir ;) Tough to stop those pesky tenors from shouting. Love the instrumentation throughout. Terrific dynamics. Belongs on a movie soundtrack no doubt. Just magical and thanks for the D/L.
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Doug Somers said 1386 days ago (August 8th, 2013)
Pesky Tenors
Actually, I was going to use the Mars male choir but they are a bit raucous even with the swell turned down. I thought that the Requiem sound was more in keeping with this piece.

Thanks Andrew for your very generous remarks and for having a listen. Oh, and also for the MP3s of your pieces you so kindly share.

Cheersm
Doug
Check out my latest song called Coming Home - Based on a Theme by David Kneupper
Char said 1386 days ago (August 9th, 2013)
I just think
you put a lot of love for music and for life in every note. I can see how tried to put to music all that you felt as your surveyed the place. It is a great listen. Thanks.
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Doug Somers said 1386 days ago (August 9th, 2013)
love for music and for life in every note
Beautiful words Charlene. Thank you very much for the kind words. Love your work with Bob Rogers BTW. Very nice to hear that side of your talent.

Doug
Check out my latest song called Coming Home - Based on a Theme by David Kneupper
jgurner said 1386 days ago (August 9th, 2013)
Wow!
Such a expressive and dramatic piece. From the subtileness of the English horn at the beginning to the build and then back to the tranquility. Very nicely orchestrated.

I read your description towards the end of the piece and was thinking of some of the influences I heard - Mussorgsky, Holst, some Copeland, Dvořák. And, like Dick mentioned, even a little Star Trek. All good stuff.

But influences only go so far. You've melded this into an exception work. I seriously enjoyed it. Thanks for sharing.
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Doug Somers said 1386 days ago (August 9th, 2013)
Influences
Joe, you certainly nailed a bunch of them. My kids pointed out the 'you shall not pass' reference to Lord of the Rings/Fellowship (Howard Shore) and I'm sure there are others too. That really cracked me up.

The back to tranquility ending is what I call a Karen (Magnatone) ending since I usually go big or go home in the finale, whereas she has mastered leaving breathing room within the piece to let the excitement and buzz of the climax start to ripple away. She's the master of that kind of development.

I'm touched by your thoughtful comments sir. Thanks for sharing your reaction!

Check out my latest song called Coming Home - Based on a Theme by David Kneupper
Vic Holman said 1384 days ago (August 10th, 2013)
completion
this sure has come along in a majestic way. concept and diversity is quite intriguing. outstanding piece doug!
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Sigmund said 1384 days ago (August 11th, 2013)
Sunrise Over the Rhone
This is really well done, and captivating. And did I mention visual? Each section serves its purpose beautifully, and the buildup to the first appearance of the morning sun is breathtaking. While I see Vic's point, I didn't feel rushed at all - I do think certain movements could be expanded, but hey, the sun rises the way it rises - we can't speed it up or slow it down. And if ever there was a piece of music to capture that variance of emotion of such an event, this work does it - splendidly. Fine, fine work - really enjoyed!
Sig
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magnatone said 1383 days ago (August 12th, 2013)
Sunrise
Hi Doug - what a gorgeous and incredible piece of music! thoroughly enjoyed and thanks for the D/L! congrats on this!
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Mosaica said 1340 days ago (September 24th, 2013)
Stunning!
Runs a gamut of feeling - starts stately & majestic, turns spine-chilling when those male voices enter, epic and tense with anticipation & trepidation, ethereal with the female voices, and finally a release of tension with the resolved chord structure at the end.
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richard13 said 1329 days ago (October 5th, 2013)
Stunning Doug!
I am in awe at/of your abilities (I'm not sure what's correct there so you choose).
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Name: Doug Somers
Location: Ottawa Ontario Canada
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I make music for pleasure, usually using a computer to create soundscapes around all kinds of music. I used to jam with a local celtic group, playing bodhran and 12 string guitar, but I find that my technical and live performance skills fall short o... [see more]

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