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December Suite (complete)


by

Tom Atwood

 Genre: Classical

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Description
These four movements were posted separately during the past month or so, and I have enjoyed your comments on each of them. They were written over a two-year period as part of a suite that was recorded in December. This is the entire suite. TRT: 11:07.

I. First Movement (December) 2:57
II. Second Movement (Dusk) 2:45
III. Third Movement (Kitchen Music) 2:49
IV. Fourth Movement (Tivoli) 2:43
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Song Stats
Hits: 4640
Comments: 27
Fans: 13
Plays: 406
Downloads: 291
Votes: 35
Uploaded: Feb 20, 2005 - 11:54:55 AM
Last Updated: Feb 24, 2005 - 02:44:13 PM Last Played: Oct 11, 2016 - 10:12:30 PM
Song License
Creative Commons License:
Attribution-NoDerivs-NonCommercial

Creative Commons

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Hardware:
Alvarez acoustic guitar
Software:
Comments
tim grant said 4447 days ago (February 20th, 2005)
sounds amazing!
nice clean big sound! what else did you use to record this
if you don't mind me asking! mic's? any extra tricks you
might share?
thanks tim
Check out my latest song called alright now!
Tom Atwood said 4447 days ago (February 20th, 2005)
sounds amazing!
Thanks Tim. I used two mics, neither one very good. A Shure omnidirectional
mic near the sound hole, very close to the guitar. The second mic is a
Sennheiser directional mic pointed above the soundhole along the frets. The
omni seems to pick up bass notes, the Sennheiser has a brighter sound. I
think the key is to place the mics as close to the strings as possible. Thanks
again for listening.
Check out my latest song called Vanishing Pezzicato
Mystified said 4447 days ago (February 20th, 2005)
This is Wonderful...
So many nice contrasts and nuances. The mood and
colors you paint in each movement is lovely.
Nice to hear them together.

thank you!
Check out my latest song called Child of Yesterday
Tom Atwood said 4447 days ago (February 20th, 2005)
This is Wonderful...
Thanks Mystified. I had never put these pieces into a single recording until
today. I appreciate your kind words.
Check out my latest song called Vanishing Pezzicato
JC039 said 4447 days ago (February 20th, 2005)
Cool Writing
The writing you did here is good. At times it gets bassy
and a little distorted when it gets busy. Maybe you can
find a way to blend the tracks together instead of the
pause? Fresh tune.
Check out my latest song called Thank You
Tom Atwood said 4447 days ago (February 20th, 2005)
Cool Writing
Thanks. It's interesting that you suggest eliminating the pauses between
movements. I thought about that--and did it in the other suite posted here
today (Redwing Suite). That suite is more of a flowing, new age, one long
movement piece. I decided to make December more traditional and break up
the movements--but I could have gone either way. Thanks again for the
careful listen.

Check out my latest song called Vanishing Pezzicato
thetiler said 4447 days ago (February 20th, 2005)
Very relaxing
Thanks for sharing

I can hear that base sound in the end. Nice

There are these sounds that come out of nowhere to add
flavor.

Good Idea, to blend them all together.


Check out my latest song called They Went Underground
K.I.S.KISMET said 4447 days ago (February 20th, 2005)
Anyone would be...
..proud! I love the rawness...I was very well entertained throughout with the shift of moods. Downlowded. Thank you for sharing your talent.
Check out my latest song called Mad Lands
Tom Atwood said 4447 days ago (February 20th, 2005)
Anyone would be...
Thanks K.I.S. 'Raw' is a good way to describe this recording. Each section was
recorded in a closet, and at one point in the final movement you can hear the
guitar crash into the closet wall. I am glad to hear your interest was
sustained during this.
Check out my latest song called Vanishing Pezzicato
said 4447 days ago (February 21st, 2005)
Excellent
Good writing here. Is this standard tuning or open C? It's wonderful. Very nice pacing, very introspective. I appreciate tips on recording guitar with two mics, as you've noted in the comments. I have an Alvarez 12-string guitar. My 1st, 2nd and 3rd strings sound pretty tinny. Any suggestions for a type/weight of string to use?
Tom Atwood said 4447 days ago (February 21st, 2005)
Excellent
The tuning is a little complicated. For the 1st and last movements the tuning
is open, but not C. It is actually DADADF#, which puts a strain on those upper
strings. You could tune the guitar in C and capo up two, which I have done,
but it changes the color somewhat. Actually warms the sound a bit. The 2nd
and third movements (Dusk & Kitchen Music) are in standard tuning with a
dropped D in the bass. So, a live performance actually requires switching
guitars between sections.

As for strings, I always use a heavier gauge, because again, the sound is
richer, less tinny. Harder on the fingers, though, especially if you are trying to
bend notes, which I seem to do. The problem with the way I mic, close to the
strings, is that it can also produce a bassy sound, which a couple of people
have commented on here. Like most things, it's hit or miss.

(Non-guitarists have probably stopped reading by now, or fallen
asleep...) Thanks again for listening to this long piece.
Check out my latest song called Vanishing Pezzicato
said 4445 days ago (February 22nd, 2005)
Excellent
Good info, Tom. I'm going to get some medium gauge strings for my Alvarez
12-string. Some day, I'll have to try open C tuning.

---
www.schletty.com/indwellings/
TobinMueller said 4447 days ago (February 21st, 2005)
Excellent
...and thank you for compiling this. All these pieces are
great, playing and composing; they are stylistic and
inventive, expressive and passionate. Simply excellent.
This recording, tho has some things that perhaps could be
improved: The guitar frequently saturates and distorts.
There are times when the noise gate you're using
sometimes create fade in / fade out volume issues; for
example, at the end of Part 1, when there is a slight pre-
fade and the last chord then seems too loud. Also, I could
have used more highs to capture your great finger work,
the sound is too mid, altho this setting does give a very
rich sound. Consider remastering? You may need go and
and manually fix volumes and gates instead of rely on
plugins to achieve the optimal result. This is such fine
writing and playing. Absolutely top notch.
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
Tom Atwood said 4447 days ago (February 21st, 2005)
Excellent
Thanks, Tobin. After listening to the version posted here, I do hear some of
the distortion and mid-range problems you mentioned. They are not on the
original separate recordings. It seems to have happened coming out of
Garageband in the combining of tracks and conversion to mp3. Since I am
new to GB, any suggestions? Also, could I remaster it in Garageband and
then replace what's here, or would it require a completely new posting?

Thanks for pointing this out. I hadn't listened to the entire piece after I
posted it. Should have.
Check out my latest song called Vanishing Pezzicato
TobinMueller said 4447 days ago (February 21st, 2005)
Excellent
We used to be able to update songs in the MJ database, but under the
current server configuration, we can't. You'll have to repost a new version. In
the future evolution of MJ design, they will fix this and you can then combine
versions under one song page. (Don't know when that change will happen.)
Mastering in GB is a tricky thing. I usually master using Peak software which
enables VST plugins and a wider array of easier to manipulate tools. My
suggestion is to bring down all levels to prevent clipping and perhaps apply
an EQ or specialized compression to bring out the highs and dampen the
mids, slightly. Use the LAME plug in to convert to mp3, that helps too. (See
forums.)
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
Cameron said 4447 days ago (February 21st, 2005)
wonderful!
I really appreciate being able to download this suite in its
entirety, each movement flows into the next so well, so
smoothly!

Your playing is excellent on this. I particularly like the way
your sound rings and echoes at the ends of phrases, and
the way you pause between them. This "breathing" has the
effect of refreshing the ears.

You have created an extremely pleasing, mellow mood
with this suite. The best word I can think of to describe
this listening experience is ORGANIC. Everything fits, the
mood is coherent and consistent from beginning to end;
the playing is superb, your musical ideas are very
interesting and the end result is a feeling of stimulation
and refreshment and relaxation all at the same time!

Wonderful job on this! I'm definitely a fan, and will enjoy
listening to this suite many times.
Check out my latest song called Trio for Horn, Violin & Piano
Tom Atwood said 4447 days ago (February 21st, 2005)
wonderful!
Thanks Cameron. Your comments, and the others posted here, mean a great
deal to me. For years--decades--I have played in a closet, literally and
figuratively. The music I play does not have a wide audience, so I have been
my own audience, until I began posting pieces here last month. So, imagine
what it is like for me to suddenly get feedback from musicians like you and
others on this site. I really appreciate it. Thanks.
Check out my latest song called Vanishing Pezzicato
drakonis said 4446 days ago (February 21st, 2005)
Ma.. drid you do that?
I hadn't seen your individual parts go by, so this is my first
exposure to your work... wow! This is right up my alley.
On the negative side, there is a little clipping and
midrange booming which detracts some... but the writing
and performance are gorgeous! Parts remind me of
Rodrigo or Albeniz and other parts are folksy and new-
age-like. Intriguing mix of styles... and very, very nice
flowing composition! Bravo (standing ovation of one)!
ttfn,
Drakonis
Check out my latest song called Miwok
bronco said 4446 days ago (February 21st, 2005)
nice
Good work. I agree probably too many pauses in this
piece but the music is very creative. I like the deep bass
followed by the treble runs.
Check out my latest song called Another Day
packosmokes said 4446 days ago (February 21st, 2005)
Ah...
One of the most intimate epics I've heard! I concur with
most about the distortion of the lower levels. A bit of a
drawback to an otherwise superb presentation.

Wonderful playing filled with different areas of emotion.
As though I've travelled a year in a little under 12 minutes.
Check out my latest song called The Future
Tom Atwood said 4446 days ago (February 21st, 2005)
Ah...
Thanks Joseph. The posted version is a bit of a disappointment. I may
remaster and post again to eliminate some of the mid-range muck.
Check out my latest song called Vanishing Pezzicato
aclarke said 4446 days ago (February 22nd, 2005)
This is terrific
I won't bother commenting on any production issues as
no new ground will be broken.

I can't express how nice it was to have all four movements
in one place... what a great way to start my cold, snowy
New England morning. What a great performance!
Check out my latest song called Right on Time 2014- feat. David McNair
Tom Atwood said 4445 days ago (February 22nd, 2005)
This is terrific
Thanks Adam. Sounds like a perfect setting.
Check out my latest song called Vanishing Pezzicato
SlimGirlFat said 4442 days ago (February 25th, 2005)
I so
enjoyed all of this track,
Beautifully played throughout.
Im no guiatrist and could possibly comment on anything
production wise.
wonderfully epic .

a real pleasure indeed
SlimGirlFat
Mystified said 4256 days ago (August 30th, 2005)
Still wonderful....
...and now on my iTunes playlist at work.

Thank you :)
Check out my latest song called Child of Yesterday
Tom Atwood said 4256 days ago (August 30th, 2005)
Still wonderful....
Thanks for downloading, Mysti.
Check out my latest song called Vanishing Pezzicato
composerclark said 4019 days ago (April 25th, 2006)
Loved it.
As usual, I'm discovering this long after everyone has, but, man, I gotta
say this is really nice stuff! You are far too talented! I promised myself
I would not mention the word "modulation" in this comment, so I
won't...

Does something weird happen to the levels in the middle of the 3rd
movt., when things slow down and the bass line descends? Probably
it's just my speakers, or it could be the after-effects of early childhood
trauma to the head region, so really, maybe it's best to disregard this
comment. Yeah, that's it.

I like the more experimental nature of the last movement. It's all aural
food for thought.

You capture moods beautifully.
Check out my latest song called A Little Song About Our Mom
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Name: Tom Atwood
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I guess I could be a 'poster child' for MacJams. I joined the site on New Year's Eve 2004, after several years of not making much music at all. A long dry spell. Since then, I have posted more than 50 songs here, collaborated with some wonderful arti... [see more]

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