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Lottery of Life



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Ok, another AmokOpera song. A parable of our times.

Very much a rough mix at the moment. The counterpoint on the chorus isn't quite working as yet and needs some tweaking, the sound needs thickening at points, the brass needs a bit of a boost and the vocals need some work. It also needs a coda which Graeme is working on that closes the circle.

Words and melody by Graeme Hobbs from TUT. My vocal and arrangement.

It's probably one of the more outrageous things I've attempted.

As it is only a rough mix then comments/suggestions are very welcome as sometimes I simply run into brick walls and can do with some outside ideas. Any suggestions to improve the brass sound would be very welcome. I've tried separating the instruments and applying different expression and EQ but it still sounds a bit naff.

I have to thank our dog for the ending. His sense of timing is better than mine ;)


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Song Stats
Hits: 4630
Comments: 14
Fans: 8
Plays: 162
Downloads: 164
Votes: 5
Uploaded: Dec 13, 2006 - 12:12:16 PM
Last Updated: Dec 13, 2006 - 12:12:16 PM Last Played: Jul 21, 2019 - 12:32:36 PM
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M-Audio 49e, iMac 17" OSX 10.4
peacepiano said 4690 days ago (December 13th, 2006)
Great song
I like the basic song, a lot. The instruments sound good, and I think I can hear some of the things you mention in your description. This is what I am hearing (because you asked): the vocal is crisp and clear, while the instruments are very legato and almost heavy sounding. Thanks for sharing and I will be watching for more installments :)
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TobinMueller said 4689 days ago (December 14th, 2006)
Drowning sorrows in song
You've sung this as if you have been drowning your sorrows at the pub before stepping forth and singing your mind; very entertaining, nostalgic and entertaining. The melodrama of the arrangement is nice, reminds me of Monty Python stylings. You could have added a tad more Irishness to it, or pubness, or oompa, to give it more life, since it drags a bit (as a whole, in my ears); or you could have gotten even larger/cathedral and then ended it a bit faster. But I do like what you've done and adding more might ruin it. It is quite a nice bit.
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DWL said 4689 days ago (December 14th, 2006)
Thanks guys !
I 'm not totally happy with the whole sound as getting a big brass effect is defeating me at the moment. I'm working on the counterpoint as well as that's supposed to make the chorus less draggy as Tobin rightly said.

Pythons is good as they were the masters of this sort of song so if I get anywhere near it I'll feel I'm succeeding.

I did try singing this after a few beers but it didn't work and I did it completely sober :)

I like the idea of a bigger sound at the end but the limitations of GB means I can't speed up :(

Your ideas are much appreciated.



Check out my latest song called Revelation
kristyjo said 4685 days ago (December 18th, 2006)
Fine vocals
This is a really good 'pity me' type song, sung with lots of pathos.
The brass sounds like it's being played on a keyboard -- I often have the same situation with midi wind instruments. Aside from purchasing better (far more expensive) brass voices, be sure to add a breath at the end of each phrase. I sometimes get the right sound by actually breathing as though I'm playing, then lifting my hands when I have to breathe in. It really does make that sound more lifelike. Other good suggestions have been made, and I hope you get more about the production end of things, as this is a really good piece of music. I hope it's not autobiographical!
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DWL said 4685 days ago (December 18th, 2006)
Thanks for the advice!
Brass sounds are fine played separately (the French horn for instance works well) but as soon as they are combined it starts to sound like an organ. Despite splitting each line and changing expression and EQ it still sounds naff. I have tried to allow for breath but tbh it sounds even worse with the transition clearly audible. Your comments are much appreciated :-)



ps it's not autobiographical !

Check out my latest song called Revelation
Cori Ander said 4685 days ago (December 18th, 2006)
Very nice
Hi Dick!

A very sensitive and dynamic performance. I dig the vocals a lot! Also feel that the musical idea is wonderful. This one stayed in my mind a long time after listening. Thank you!
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DWL said 4683 days ago (December 20th, 2006)
Thanks Cori
Comments much appreciated.

It's part of a larger work that will get posted over the next few months.


Check out my latest song called Revelation
echoroom said 4675 days ago (December 28th, 2006)
West end beckons
Wow Dick, this is fantastic. The vocal sounds great, really crisp, and the horns give it a lovely bottom end. I like the drums and the choir effect, but it all sounds a little too much like a hymn (maybe that's the intention).
The lyrics are bloody marvellous, but don't cheapen the puns with the 'baa' effect.

Personally, i'd like some strings towards the end to build it to a climax (bit like 'When the Tigers Broke Free' by Pink Floyd).

Gotta say, this is classy work - I look forward to seeing this in the West End.

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DWL said 4673 days ago (December 30th, 2006)
Thanks Steve,
West End? yeah it's nice to dream. I think I might be overstepping what we can actually do on stage! I have now got someone to start pulling the story together and writing a script. Finding someone to bankroll it is another thing :) Maybe I should start buying a lottery ticket and try to avoid the fate of this guy when I win ;)


Check out my latest song called Revelation
dreadmon said 4673 days ago (December 30th, 2006)
A very good launch
This is great stuff - the melody is instantly captivating, your voice captures the character in a snapshot - I can't wait to hear the rest. As for breaking up the flow a bit, it sounds to me like this particular song could use another movement somewhere in the middle, a different refrain, some kind of musical aside. With the entire piece being so reverential (it sounds as if it could be sung inside of or outside the front doors of a church, not a bad thing) and with the material being comic in nature, it sort of wants a little pushing into a different corner of the musical architecture, a shifting of gears, not neccessarily in tempo, but in tone, something that will allow the music to take a different breathing pattern.

As for the brass sounds - how many voices are you using? Have you searched outside of JamPack for some other soundfonts? Soundfont.it and Hammersound.net have some really nice sampled soundfonts. Perhaps working with a smaller ensemble of voices, mixing up some of the types of horns you're using, assigning maybe one line to a horn in F, another line to a mellophone, another to a trombone, so that your timbres are varied to begin with. When it comes to musical orchestration, think small - unless you've got Andrew Lloyd's budget. : ) It may be easier that way to blend them without them becoming *too* blended, if you catch what I'm saying. Also, and I'm a pimp for this thing, have you seen the E.Q. reference that was posted here on MJ sometime ago? It's quite magic; I'll send it off to you, maybe it will help, maybe not.

Have you seen "The Happiest Millionaire"? It's a not-well-known Disney musical starring Tommy Steele, came out after "Mary Poppins", written by the Sherman Brothers. This tune reminds me a little of some of those tunes - it may be worth a looksee or listen. I'm definitely liking what I'm hearing!
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DWL said 4673 days ago (December 30th, 2006)
Interesting comments
Thanks for the positive words, much appreciated.

I think you've hit upon something I've been considering but I saw it as a coda rather than a bridge. There is another verse that has just been written explaining why he still stays in his villa despite being used and abused. Im intending to add to the end with some different feel although I'm not sure what as yet.

I'm using two lines of French Horns, 3 of trombones and a line of tuba. Jam pack trumpets are pants and they should be cornets anyway. I'll check out the links you've given and see if I can sort out some better sounds. I did receive your message but can't work out how to see it!

I've also got a trombone playing mate to tweak the score for me as I've never arranged for brass band before and there's various parts that need tidying up.

I'll post an updated version at some point.

Thanks again



Check out my latest song called Revelation
DWL said 4673 days ago (December 30th, 2006)
Opened it!
Thanks for the EQ link. I'll study it in more detail later.


Check out my latest song called Revelation
Char said 3165 days ago (February 15th, 2011)
Your poor
old soul! You've got the accent and the pathos down pat. Thanks.
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davajonah said 2545 days ago (October 27th, 2012)
be from a musical. This is a great song! The Lottery of Life. Indeed!
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Artist Info
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Name: Dick langford
Location: Everywhere and nowhere baby
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11 years here (at time of writing!) - it doesn't seem that long ago I wrote "it doesn't seem that long ago I wrote 5 years"... Older but no wiser. The musical projects that make up Amokopera (The Lottery of Life, Celebrity Torture, and Dist... [see more]

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