Music self-challenge: To make a 15 min song

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Zac
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Post 17 Nov 2019

I was thinking today that there are times when I want 15 mins of music (or sometimes 30 min) but don't want to change tracks or stop half way through an album.

So as a challenge to myself I am going to try and compose a track that is 15 mins long and delivers a coherent journey or emotional experience. I want it to feel like one body of music but one that develops and expands whilst all parts fit with the theme or mood.

I'm going to give myself until 15th Dec to finish it.

I'm posting because if a few people want to join this challenge we might have ourselves an hour or so of enjoyable themed music in just four tracks.
Chilled Electronica - Autumn's End : see viewtopic.php?f=9&t=7514785

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guitfnky
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Post 17 Nov 2019

love this idea. I did an 8+ minute-long song a bunch of years back, basically as a result of a similar challenge. it's a bit of a mess from a mixing standpoint because it was one of the first songs I'd mixed at home on a DAW (and before I had any sound treatment), and from a performance standpoint, since I'd just started singing, but I still like the arrangement, and it's just super-absurd and fun:


I was listening to a lot of The Mars Volta and Ween at the time, and I think it shows. :lol:

anyhoo, I won't be participating in this particular challenge, since I'm in the process of working on a concept album right now, but I'm really interested in seeing what everyone comes up with/contributes. I love when music takes you on a journey. :thumbs_up: :thumbs_up: :thumbs_up:

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aeox
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Post 17 Nov 2019

Ok
Random songs/ideas go here:
https://soundcloud.com/ae-ox/polar/s-Ocxtj

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selig
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Post 17 Nov 2019

Many of my early albums had songs 6-20 min long (ambient), so my struggle has always been to make a song under 6 min (which I CAN do now, but it took a little practice). Biggest breakthrough for me was working on TV library music that needed to be 2 min long, which took a few years to finally get to happen naturally.

Interesting project, look forward to hearing the results!
Selig Audio, LLC

TritoneAddiction
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Post 17 Nov 2019

Love the idea. And I love that you made a thread about it. I'll have a listen when your track is ready for sure.

It would be nice to join in on the challenge, but unfortunately I really suck at writing long tracks. Also I don't think I would have the patience to make a track that long, unless it was some sort of ambient track.

Maybe one day I'll be ready for a challenge like this.

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aeox
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Post 17 Nov 2019

aeox wrote:
17 Nov 2019
Ok
Never done anything close to 15 min but I could try.

Looking forward to hearing your results!
Random songs/ideas go here:
https://soundcloud.com/ae-ox/polar/s-Ocxtj

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aeox
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Post 17 Nov 2019

TritoneAddiction wrote:
17 Nov 2019
Love the idea. And I love that you made a thread about it. I'll have a listen when your track is ready for sure.

It would be nice to join in on the challenge, but unfortunately I really suck at writing long tracks. Also I don't think I would have the patience to make a track that long, unless it was some sort of ambient track.

Maybe one day I'll be ready for a challenge like this.
Yep, ambient! That's the only way I was really leaning towards when I thought about it. But maybe that isn't exactly a "challenge"? Guess it depends how good it is :P
Random songs/ideas go here:
https://soundcloud.com/ae-ox/polar/s-Ocxtj

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Zac
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Post 17 Nov 2019

Nice responses :) I think ambient is fine so long as it keeps the interest going.

I was thinking it might be nice to keep a pre-master version too so that maybe one of us could have a go at mastering them as an album if we get enough tracks.
Chilled Electronica - Autumn's End : see viewtopic.php?f=9&t=7514785

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guitfnky
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Post 17 Nov 2019

long tracks are definitely their own art form. you really need to pay close attention to how the song flows, and make sure your transitions are solid and engaging. the longer a track is, the more important transitioning becomes, because it’s difficult to make a long track based around a single part interesting, even if you’re adding and pulling out layers the whole way through.

and making it cohesive is another big struggle... using motifs is really helpful when it comes to that.

in my view, for long tunes, if you click to a few different random points in the song timeline, you should hear some radically different vibes. if you’re just going for a really slow build, you’ve got your work cut out for you—it can be done, but it’s tough.

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Zac
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Post 17 Nov 2019

guitfnky wrote:
17 Nov 2019
love this idea. I did an 8+ minute-long song a bunch of years back, basically as a result of a similar challenge. it's a bit of a mess from a mixing standpoint because it was one of the first songs I'd mixed at home on a DAW (and before I had any sound treatment), and from a performance standpoint, since I'd just started singing, but I still like the arrangement, and it's just super-absurd and fun:


I was listening to a lot of The Mars Volta and Ween at the time, and I think it shows. :lol:

anyhoo, I won't be participating in this particular challenge, since I'm in the process of working on a concept album right now, but I'm really interested in seeing what everyone comes up with/contributes. I love when music takes you on a journey. :thumbs_up: :thumbs_up: :thumbs_up:
Talented fucker :evil: Could hear the TMV influence. Ever listen to the Cardiacs.. ? The inter guitar bits remminded me of them.
Chilled Electronica - Autumn's End : see viewtopic.php?f=9&t=7514785

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Zac
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Post 17 Nov 2019

Some examples that spring to mind for me are:

Vangelis - Chariots of fire (the side 2 long one)
The Damned - Curtain Call
Marillion - Grendel
Jimi Hendrix - 1983 (A merman I should turn to be)
Chilled Electronica - Autumn's End : see viewtopic.php?f=9&t=7514785

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guitfnky
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Post 17 Nov 2019

Zac wrote:
17 Nov 2019
guitfnky wrote:
17 Nov 2019
love this idea. I did an 8+ minute-long song a bunch of years back, basically as a result of a similar challenge. it's a bit of a mess from a mixing standpoint because it was one of the first songs I'd mixed at home on a DAW (and before I had any sound treatment), and from a performance standpoint, since I'd just started singing, but I still like the arrangement, and it's just super-absurd and fun:


I was listening to a lot of The Mars Volta and Ween at the time, and I think it shows. :lol:

anyhoo, I won't be participating in this particular challenge, since I'm in the process of working on a concept album right now, but I'm really interested in seeing what everyone comes up with/contributes. I love when music takes you on a journey. :thumbs_up: :thumbs_up: :thumbs_up:
Talented fucker :evil: Could hear the TMV influence. Ever listen to the Cardiacs.. ? The inter guitar bits remminded me of them.
wow, thanks for the kind words! 😅 I hadn’t heard of Cardiacs, but just looking at their wikipedia page makes me super-interested—prog-punk... sounds squarely in my wheelhouse! definitely will be checking them out. thanks for the tip!

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motuscott
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Location: the new york

Post 17 Nov 2019

What an interesting song challenge.
I'll get back to you when I can finish a three minute song
You go Zac
Sometimes a cigar is just a synth that's on fire

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guitfnky
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Post 17 Nov 2019

motuscott wrote:
17 Nov 2019
I'll get back to you when I can finish a three minute song
just do five of them. 😆

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motuscott
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Post 17 Nov 2019

guitfnky wrote:
17 Nov 2019
just do five of them. 😆
and exceed my output for the last five years?!?!
Sometimes a cigar is just a synth that's on fire

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guitfnky
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Post 17 Nov 2019

motuscott wrote:
17 Nov 2019
guitfnky wrote:
17 Nov 2019
just do five of them. 😆
and exceed my output for the last five years?!?!
😂 I didn’t say it would be easy!

reggie1979
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Post 21 Nov 2019

motuscott wrote:
17 Nov 2019

I'll get back to you when I can finish a three minute song
:lol:

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Zac
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Post 11 Dec 2019

Just a quick update. I've made slow but steady progress with this. It's going to be a progressive electronic track. Not sure I'll make the 15min mark but it is going to be long. I'm enjoying the arrangement challenge.

Anyone else trying this?
Chilled Electronica - Autumn's End : see viewtopic.php?f=9&t=7514785

TritoneAddiction
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Location: Sweden

Post 11 Dec 2019

Zac wrote:
11 Dec 2019
Just a quick update. I've made slow but steady progress with this. It's going to be a progressive electronic track. Not sure I'll make the 15min mark but it is going to be long. I'm enjoying the arrangement challenge.

Anyone else trying this?
I finished a track about a week ago with the length of 3:44. That's like a personal record for me. :lol: I actually tried REALLY hard to draw things out. Man I truly suck at making long tracks. I guess my next challenge is to reach the 4 minute mark.

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Chizmata
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Post 11 Dec 2019

Zac wrote:
17 Nov 2019
I was thinking today that there are times when I want 15 mins of music (or sometimes 30 min) but don't want to change tracks or stop half way through an album.

So as a challenge to myself I am going to try and compose a track that is 15 mins long and delivers a coherent journey or emotional experience. I want it to feel like one body of music but one that develops and expands whilst all parts fit with the theme or mood.

I'm going to give myself until 15th Dec to finish it.

I'm posting because if a few people want to join this challenge we might have ourselves an hour or so of enjoyable themed music in just four tracks.
cool idea. i like listening to music in 10-20 minute sessions too. i like this album for that, it has 12 tracks but each three are grouped into a ~15 minute evolution:


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stratatonic
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Location: CANADA

Post 11 Dec 2019

Zac wrote:
11 Dec 2019
Just a quick update. I've made slow but steady progress with this. It's going to be a progressive electronic track. Not sure I'll make the 15min mark but it is going to be long. I'm enjoying the arrangement challenge.
Maybe you could lower the BPM a bit or just have a long piano reverb tail at the end like on Sgt Pepper Day in a Life to hit 15. :puf_smile: Be sure to post it when you are done. :)
Zac wrote:
11 Dec 2019
Anyone else trying this?
No. I haven't gone past 6 minutes ever. Maybe 6.5. It just seems so unnatural to create that length somehow. For me, anyways. But I can listen to long stuff, no problem. Hmmm...

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guitfnky
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Post 11 Dec 2019

ugh, I sort of want to start on something for this now, but I’ve got so much other stuff I need to be working on first. 😑

good problem to have, I guess. 😆

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Benedict
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Location: Gold Coast, Australia

Post Yesterday

Like Selig, I love long-form. It gives you so much more space to work with an idea.

I did a pair of 22 min tracks last week to form the Sleep I + II bonus. These were actually deliberately the opposite with the aim being to stay as simple & minimal as possible.



:-)

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