A Schooled Pioneer

This is a song I referred to not long ago, when putting a Cubase Elements 5 “lost recording” from 2014 up here called Pioneer School. Since I thought I’d lost my master of Pioneer School in a computer crash in 2016, I decided about a month ago to do a new recording of it in Cubase Pro 11. Despite how sensible it may have been to listen to an older mp3 of it that survived the crash, I just did it from memory-only to find out that I’d basically wound up with another song, now here as A Schooled Pioneer.
I just finished this, and am happy to see how my memory of an older composition/recording turned into what you’ll hear. There are 3 acoustic guitars and a fretless bass that each went through the Helix Native plug-in. There’s a nylon stringed Godin, a 12 string Taylor, and finally, a 6 string Taylor which was put through an Electro-Harmonix Ravish Sitar effect before it went into Helix… Alongside these real instruments, there are a few Halion softsynths and Prologue. The percussion was all from Halion too.
I did find a backup of my Pioneer School master on a forgotten dvd-r after I’d been working on this for a few weeks, so I put that up here a little while ago. My original inspiration for Pioneer School had been to duplicate the feel of the beatiful John McLaughlin composition called Lotus Feet. Not sure how close I ever came to doing that. If you’re at all interested in comparing Pioneer School to it’s new relative, A Schooled Pioneer, simply scroll down a little on this board, and you’ll see it there.
Thanks in advance for listening, and for any suggestions/ideas you might care to share.

Hi John, this one has a really clear sound compared to Pioneer School which sounds more closed, if you know what I mean. I like them both overall, but they sound like background music, which is maybe what you’re going for. I kinda like Pioneer School better because it sound more natural and organic, but not sure about that.

But I can’t help comparing them to Map of the World. Map of the World doesn’t have the sophisticated mixing that these two have, or all the great sounds, but as soon as you hear it, you can’t get it out of your head. It has a clear melody (a good one), re-use of thematic material, a form and flow that works, appropriate repetition that reminds you where you were earlier, and an interesting intro and outro. I still love that song. That’s such a good one. How did you come up with that?

The Pioneer songs are more random.

Keep going! I am enjoying following your developments.

Thanks, Leon, for listening and for taking the time to comment. Comparing the 2 Pioneers, remember that this one came along in 2023, but the earlier recording dated back to 2014. There are several musical differences, but the sonics are also down to Cubase Essential 5 vs. Cubase Artist 11 nine years later.
I’m hoping there migth’ve been a bit more knowledge of how to make a good recording gleaned on my part during that length of time. I like them both, but I like this one more due to being happier with the parts I played and with the way it’s orchestrated. Not sure if you’d notice it, but there was a harmonic sophistication to the middle and ending of this that really pleased me in the sense that I felt I’d actually composed something fairly worthwhile in those spots. It wasn’t so much a case of trying to be clever, as it was a realization that things I’d heard from others and thought were cool had actually taken root and were now manifested in something I’d written. That was fun for me, and the song also represented a furthering of my still limited keyboard skills.
As far as background music, one man’s meat…I’ve had a few people tell me they like this more than anything else they’ve heard of mine. No accounting for anyone’s taste, or how music hits us. All I was going for with this was something remotely akin to John McLaughlin’s Lotus Feet from Mahavishnu’s Inner Worlds album. I know this is nowhere in that league, but that type of feel and vibe was what I’d been shooting towards.
Glad you found Map of the World to be so memorable. That song to this one is definitely a case of apples to oranges. That started on bass and had me going towards something akin to an XTC song, but this started on acoustic guitar and was definitely from a different head space. Map was also obviously a vocal track, while this wasn’t. Tough to explain and account for what we come up with, but thanks again for running this all by your musical sensibilities and telling me how you felt about it.
All the best,