A.J. Gundell

A.J. Gundell

Title: Songwriter, Composer, Music Supervisor, Producer
Genres: Rock, Pop, Singer-Songwriter, Country, All Contemporary/Hot 100 Music Library Genres
Status: Taking submissions
Song limit per member: 5
Bio: Andy "A.J." Gundell is a 13-time Emmy award-winning songwriter, composer, music supervisor and producer... and currently the… read more

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song: Heart In Vain
artist: Andre Kerek

genre: Classical - Romantic
stats: playlists: 0 | song plays: 83
General Overview
What Genre is most appropriate for this song?

What is an appropriate title for this song?
Heart In Vain

What artist does this song most remind you of?
John Williams

What best describes the subject matter of this song?
Love & Relationships - Searching for Love

What era does this song fall under?
2000 and later

What best describes the mood of this song?
Sad - Poignant

Song Analysis
Quality of Instrumentation

Quality of Arrangement

Quality of the Melody

Quality of the Chord Progression

Quality of the Instrument/Sound Selection

Quality of the Meter

Quality of Keyboards

Quality of Strings

Quality of Woodwinds

Quality of Other Instruments

Quality of Intro/Opening Line

Quality of Recording (Techniques)

Quality of Mix

Originality of Song

Overall Rating

Quality of the Title

General Comments

This is a beautiful work in progress of an original soundtrack with a gorgeous, memorable melody and an orchestral vibe that's reminiscent of film scores from feature films like The Pianist, Schindler's List, and The Zookeepers Wife. All very nice company to be in!

Further to the upside, the piece is nicely composed in an A-B-A-B-A form that works well, and is harmonized and arranged effectively to develop and maintain interest throughout. The overall emotional impact is quite striking--really effective and affecting. Per above, Heart in Vain evokes some of the poignant romantic drama and pathos of historic feature films and film noir/Eastern European works.

On the downside, the piece is compromised by the fact that it's presented in demo form as a midi file. Clearly, from the Artist's Submitted Question, the composer knows that the work needs a more fully produced rendition recorded by a legitimate orchestra. In the meantime, the demo sounds... demo'y. The sounds lack the vibrancy of real instruments; but there are better orchestral samples available than these. Of course, it also follows that the feeling of a real performance is also lacking here: it suffers from being clocked to the click and the quantizing/error correction available in midi, and really misses the real feel and the dynamics, rubato's, ritards, and sounds of a live orchestral performance.

Since a fully produced orchestral recording is expensive, I'd consider some out of the box alternatives to that investment: a school, church, or community orchestra that may be interested in doing Heart in Vain as an original work. And although it's not arranged this way, maybe a string quartet arrangement could substitute for the full orchestra, with or without piano--and, as four or five live pieces, achieve the live feel at an affordable cost.

All that said, there's a germ of something really special about the basic elements of this instrumental composition: the melody is unforgettable, and the piece works great as an idea whose time hasn't quite arrived yet.

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Artist's Submitted Question:

This is a basic midi file of my poignant or bittersweet drama film score idea. It needs a pro arrangement and orchestral studio recording. What I need to know is, can it compete in a major studio and be a strong contender before I invest in a studio recording. I can hear advanced piano arpeggio patterns and lots of string and violins in the background. My major concern is, once I have the demo, how would I approach a major studio with it. Looking forward to your suggestions, thanks Andre.

Pro's Answer/Comments:

There are two questions here from Andre. The answer to the first one is really a Catch 22. Per my General Comments, this midi demo is really only presentable as a reference for an arranger or producer, and not as a submission for commercial placement. Until a real orchestral recording is made, it's almost impossible to know to what degree the piece can compete for a place in a feature film via a major studio. In order to find out whether a recording will be successful, you'll probably have to make the recording!

As for the second question, understand that most feature films don't source original compositions from third-party pitches, they contract with a composer or a team of them to create and deliver the score. A one-off film score pitch/placement is a little bit of a unicorn--and it's a bit of a steep hill for a unicorn to climb. That said, approaching a major studio requires not only a legit recording, but also the same things any composer/songwriter has to do: pitch, pitch, pitch. Do the research required. Use industry directories and Google and all the networking, resources, and ingenuity you can muster to find your target audience and try to get their attention. And, as the saying goes--the ones who are most successful are the ones that fail the most: because they keep trying until they do succeed.

Quote From Pro:

This is a gorgeous work in progress of an original soundtrack with a stunning, memorable melody and an orchestral vibe that's reminiscent of film scores from feature films like The Pianist, Schindler's List, and The Zookeepers Wife. All very nice company to be in!