Despite knowing next to nothing about the technical aspects of music, I once again find myself compelled to author another review of the aural arts. I’m driven by a desire to share the good stuff when I find it, even if the best I can do is offer up a piddly “Hey, this sounds, oh-my-God, amazing!”
This time I’m taking up the torch for an eight minute work of symphonic orchestra music written by Alex Otterlei titled “Wondrous Journey.”
First, a bit of a caveat emptor. I’ve known Alex for several years, and during that time I’ve come to become a fan of his music. His work can be thought of in the same milieu as Midnight Syndicate (a comparison I give to provide many readers a point of reference)—symphonic, orchestral, often using electro-synth, and almost exclusively without spoken lyrics. While the Syndicate has created several movie soundtracks, Alex (to my knowledge) has not, though this is something I could see him doing with much success.
“Wondrous Journey” opens with four particularly dark and sudden bursts of music punctuated by a moment of a silence. This apprehension bleeds into a an ominous serious of quick notes that I take to underscore the occasional dread associated with long travel. But the mood lightens and becomes one of wonder as the driving melody leads the listener down a road of beauty and brightness. The last third of the piece is quieter, as we arrive at our first stop, a place of mystery, that the composer promises to share in part 2.
According to the handy composer notes provided by Alex, the style of the piece is symphonic, neo-tonal with a strongly apparent bi-tonal harmony incorporating polymetric and polyrhythmic structures. The lead scale is B Major (various modi) interacting with G minor (aeolian), ultimately leading to the Ab Overtone scale.
Now THAT is the sort of technical knowledge of music that I was referencing in my opening paragraph!
Here is a nifty trailer for the song.