Beyond the Years

Hey all,

Haven’t posted in a while, mostly because I’m awfully busy, and if I post, I feel like I REALLY need to comment on at least a few of the contributions others have made. I’ll try to do that over the next few days.

Anyway, this is my latest choral composition, performed in a one-man-band, choral-esque kind of way. This was originally written for a trio of women who will perform it in the future. In any case, here it is in a TTB (tenor/tenor/bass) format.

Some random details:
Recorded and mixed in Cubase 6.5
I did all the singing. It’s three part harmony performed with (6) voices per part. So in total there are 18 of me singing the piece, each individually performed (no copying / delaying).
Lyrics are adapted from the poem “Beyond the Years” by Paul Lawrence Dunbar. I composed the music.
Absolutely no vari-audio or tuning was used anywhere in the piece. Not that I’m against such things. “Use the tools you have to get a polished product,” I always say, but in this case it wasn’t needed.
Composition took about 2-3 weeks (including soul-searching breaks and the usual creative hair-pulling), but the piece was RECORDED in about 4 hours. Considering when I first started doing this, it took me a month to record something like this, with results that weren’t near as good, I consider that progress…
The mixing was almost all done acoustically in how I sung the piece. Only minimal levels tweaking, some EQ, a tiny bit of compression (and of course some reverb) was used.

Anyhoo–like it or hate it, here it is:

Maaaaaaaaaaan! That’s … singing! :open_mouth: :sunglasses:
You can do it differently but not better!
Felt like I could take a butter knife and scrape off some of the thick sounds in the room!
It almost became physical object you could touch.
I started the song and continued doing whatever I was doing but I had to stop and listen.
I’ll listen again! :sunglasses:

WHAT!!!..WOW!!..just WOW!! talent in shedloads goin on here…this is a mind boggingly great piece…I’m stunned :slight_smile:
just fantastic to have such talent on this forum…

regarding your comment about not posting because you feel you should take some time to comment on other post’s…pity more posters don’t feel the same way,

great music :slight_smile:


Your work is truly inspiring to me and I love Dunbar. “The day that is to come is best beyond the years” He would be happy to hear your interpretations
I am glad to hear you again

I don’t know the poetry but the tag ‘complex chords’ is appropriate, interesting and satisfying harmonies. And 18 individual performances, even more admirable. I like how that last chord doesn’t resolve either, must have been tempting to I bet! Makes it more interesting with the theme of the poem I guess! Cool stuff from you once again.

@Kevin, I just ignore people that continually post their own things and don’t bother to even make an attempt to integrate themselves into a community.

Good point Jonathan!!..I think from now I will not comment on or listen to a post from someone who has posted their stuff without bothering to “join” the community…unless they are brand new members of course, which will be obvious from their post count…

Thank you all for your very nice comments. Oddly, when I finished composing this one I REALLY hated it. I almost didn’t share it with the women I composed it for, and almost didn’t record it myself. Once I started recording it, though, I liked it more and more. Now I’m pretty happy with it–goes to show how hard you can be on yourself as a composer. I’m definitely my own worst critic.

Thanks again.

Sorry for the delay in my responses. Again, I’m a pretty busy guy, but as promised I made a bunch of comments on others’ music today. This forum both historically and presently has some extraordinarily talented musicians. More so then a lot of other internet destinations. Can’t quite figure out why that is–but it’s impressive nonetheless. It’s a great place to come to listen to really quality (and varied) music.

Oh and Jonathan–yes it was tempting to resolve that last chord. In fact, I did that originally, but then changed it a couple of times for the exact reason you stated–to enforce the idea that the end is yet to come. That nothing is exactly resolved.

At first I just ended on the major, then changed it to a minor third with the ninth… and then finally settled on a tonic, fifth, ninth resolution without the third–again to avoid giving the final chord a hard definition of major or minor. Unresolved, but still “interestingly satisfying” is was I was going for–realizing that the lack of a full major resolution would probably drive some listeners nuts. :slight_smile:

Well, that’s a bit different! Really nice… love the multitude of interwoven vocal layers :slight_smile:

If I was being nit-picky - which I am :laughing: I’d say it got a little ‘essy’ at times and also, I wonder, scoop out a bit around 3khz-ish I reckon - just get’s a tad brash at times.

Otherwise, a refreshing listen! :sunglasses:

Thanks for the tip Sherz! I’ll definitely give it a look. And thanks for listening. :slight_smile:

This is definitely a first here at (as far as I can remember). Well conceived and executed. However, just my personal preference (and I suspect yours, too): I don’t care much for the sound of 18 instances of the same voice :laughing: Of course I realize this is a demo… but it would be awesome if for the final product you could recruit more than just three female voices. Then again, maybe that chorus effect that you get when each voice is the same is what you were after. In any case, like I said, very well written and performed. I’d like to hear more :sunglasses:


Yes, a real performance by a real choir would be my preference as well. The idea is not to get this recorded by the three women with multiple instances of them. The idea is that they will PERFORM it at some point. I’ve had another piece of mine performed by a full choir, and hope to have many more. As you say, I do the recordings with my own voice primarily as a sort of demo to show potential choir directors a proof of concept. That said, I also try to make it sound as good as possible. In some cases, this will be my only means of hearing my compositions “performed”. :slight_smile:

This is definitely a first here at (as far as I can remember).

No, not a first. :slight_smile: And there’s more on my soundcloud page–but again, I hesitate to post too many here because my schedule does not allow me to listen and comment on other contributions as much as I’d like, so I limit the posting of my own work.

very nice ,like twilight says it would be good to hear some different voices in there . i keep expecting it to go into a head banging guitar section like on bohemian rhapsody.or into a rhythm like california girls ,sorry to drag it down to something like that ,well done. just a thought if you wanted some different vocals ,you could for example post a (one)vocal with tempo or click track and ask if anyone would be capable of copying and singing and recording that particular part ,if so they would record their part and post it to you,you could do this enough times until you were happy with all the variations ,for free of course. id be up for it if i was capable, no biggie if i wasnt, i love vocal harmony but my vocals are limited my range is D#2 up to G4 on a good day on my normal voice and up to C5 in falsetto ,i can get up to E5 if someone stamps on my foot.


Awesome progression, execution. I would love to be able to sing like that.

Very nice! I love the chords you achieve with only three part harmony.
Well done!


This is so good. Really well done. Personally I love how it doesn’t resolve on the last chord.
Can’t add any techy comments but others have done that.
It brought back memories of a concert I went to in an old cathedral near the top of Scotland when the choir was singing a (?) 10 part Carver (?)
More please.

Oh, and I’m another one who’s been absent for a few months & playing catch up with people’s posts.

Thanks Neil, and all!

Appreciate the comments. I’ve got a new one I can post, but again, I’ll wait until I can spend some time commenting before I do.