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Symphony of Construction Round 2
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Most of us have played "telephone": that elementary school game where you're supposed to correctly transmit a goofy phrase of some sort down a line of line of giggling third-grader peers who think the goal of the game is to transmit the phrase incorrectly. I always loved the game telephone, so I devised a way to kick it up a notch and blend it with two of my favorite things: cinematic symphonic music and Lego. The idea is a seven turn inter-media game of telephone where a Lego creation would inspire a piece of music, which in turn would inspire a Lego creation, which would then inspire another piece of music, and so on. The second round of this unique project six months, and you can settle in to view the finished progression, complete with artist commentary, below.
About this creation


Without further ado, take a look! By clicking on the Lego creations, you will be taken to the builds on Flickr.

1. "The Wasteland" by Paul Vermeesch

The Wasteland

"In the starting build for the second round of the Symphony of Construction experiment, I wanted to introduce a bit of dark surrealism. The vignette asks more questions than it answers, and leaves a lot of room for interpretation. Experiments like Symphony force us builders to focus more on "mood" than actual content."

 

2. "Beyond Shadow" by Max Pointner



Listen to the piece here.

"I have always been a fan of programme music. Having been first introduced to the orchestral style through film score, narrative, lyrical, and allegorical music will always have a place in my heart. If you already have guessed that this piece is programmatic, you are correct. This piece, Beyond Shadow was inspired by Paul Vermeesch’s build "The Wasteland," and in turn inspired Dan Church’s build "Water’s Berth."

When I first saw photos of Paul’s abstractly symbolic build, I recognized the theme of independence. A surging pile of black greebles forms the base of Wasteland: a skeleton of a landscape. The cracked nature of the dark junk is audible in the toy percussion and pizzicato cello, and the rhythm they play evolves into a grating, repetitive pattern of notes in the low strings. Instead of being developed, this melody is repeated again and again, always repeating a fifth up from the previous phrase. By the end of the first section, there is little tonal center to the piece as all the augmented forms of the melody blur together into a jumble of sound.

And yet, walking steadily over the darkness, a white figure makes a definitive statement by defying the all-consuming greebles. In the build, this independence can literally be seen as “thinking outside the box.” The stark white figure is alone in his whiteness, his color, his path. Likewise, the solo viola finds its own song, stating it courageously in spite of the heavy pull towards ruin. This dark gravity makes a statement of its own in the bass clarinet, rumbling randomly beneath the proud string. Ultimately it peters out, and the orchestra begins to accompany the trend setting viola. The piece concludes with a melodic ascent into harmony.

Please note that most of the connections described above were intentional. All artists are tempted to let the muses inspire their art yet later blame the inspiration on a more interesting cause."


 

3. "Water's Berth" by Dan Church

Water's Berth

"For centuries, stories have been told of a magical well said to be the source of water for the entire world. Its secret kept by the monks of Aquos have hidden it from view for its protection. A prophecy foretold, as with most magical places, to protect this literal life-source until the One was to come. Only One could enter.

This is my Contribution to Round Two Paul Vermeesch's amazingly cool Symphony of Construction project. I created this based off of Max Pointner's piece, "Beyond Shadow." To me, his piece reminded my of many an adventure theme heard in my past. Thus, an amazing prophecy had to be the center of a cool, ancient setting. So, I hope you like what I've come up with in "Water's Berth."

 


4. "We Have a Story to Tell" by Mihai Marius Mihu



Listen to the piece here.

"Dan's wonderful build inspired me in many ways; it made me think of adventure, mystery, and discovery; it also offered me the possibility to experiment with a variety of instruments and as a composer, I couldn't have asked for more.

As the title suggests, I wanted my composition to tell a story. With that in mind, I divided it into three acts:

In the first act, I tried to describe the peaceful landscape and introduce the two characters with a setup of sordino violins ensemble playing a calm and emotional passage. Some additional cluster string effects were added to enrich the texture of the composition and give it a distinct atmosphere.

In the second act the music continues by introducing the water well. I chose to represent the element of water with a subtle and whimsical whispering choir and with the crescendo cymbals and various metals. The bass drum hit represents the stone which the well is made of. Then comes the flute passage which gives the listener the anticipation of discovery.

Lastly, in the third act, I represented the hero's descent into the secret chamber and the discovery of the mysterious orb. For that, I interpreted the scene using various instruments like harp, piano, vibes doubled by a celesta, a selection of metals and bass pizzicato. A boys choir was also used to give the orb a theme and echo the chamber.

Thank you for listening and I hope you enjoyed it!"


 

5. "Woods" by Dave Kaleta and Devon Wilkop

Woods

 "Devon and I were honored to be asked to contribute to this collaboration. When brainstorming ideas as to how this would be different than other builds, we thought about the task of the composer, who was being asked to collaborate on the LEGO build without using any actual LEGO. Inspired by shadow based artists, we attempted to present our image without any LEGO seen in the actual frame. The image you are seeing is the shadow cast on the wall after three separate LEGO built frames were positioned and lit.

This was one of the most collaborative builds that Devon and I have done. Devon came up with the initial concept of casting shadows with LEGO, while I helped execute the scale and construction of the frames. Together we played around with different elements to build a scene out of layers. Having the final image be a shadow (as opposed to a silhouette) meant that we could break many rules of depth and construction in favor of the final product.

The image, a deer walking through the woods, and the three levels of frames, were a direct response to Mihai's composition. After listening to the music, we felt there were three distinct movements in the piece. The first movement seemed to convey calm and tranquility - a theme echoed by our setting. Suddenly, there is an interruption, as if something has entered this scene - we chose the deer as our figure. Finally we hear a regular tempo accompanied by an etherial choir - we left this could be interpreted as the delicate gate of the deer.

Thank you to: Paul for inviting us to be a part of this collaboration, to Mihai for his wonderful composition, and to all the other builders who helped make this happen."




6. "Land of Leaping Shadows" by Lee Muzzy and Ian Spacek



Listen to the piece here.

"The Composing Process – Lee’s Perspective:

Hello all and welcome to the 6th installment of Symphony of Construction round two. This Moc (my own composition) was inspired by the build sent to us by Dave and Devon Kaleta. I was originally going to be the only composer, but after receiving the photo and talking to Ian and Paul about it, we decided to have Ian help me with orchestration and the like! For those who don’t know, orchestrating means filling out the piece by adding instrumentation, harmonies, and creating an appropriate atmosphere around the pre-existing themes. It turns out that Ian and I worked really well together, playing off each other’s ideas, and representing the feel of the music in the way that we both imagined. Officially I am the composer and Ian is the orchestrator and this is how we originally began to compose the piece. I would come up with a theme or melody and he would orchestrate it. However I feel that throughout the piece our ideas began to meld and that by the end we were both composers and orchestrators of Land of Leaping Shadows! When I received the photo of the deer in the woods, I immediately began hearing a wild rushing and leaping theme in my head (represented by the flute). I wrote it down and then sent it off to Ian. From there, the main theme of the piece developed and grew. The music’s story is of a deer bounding through the woods on moonlit night. His are ears pricked as he hears hunter approaching (represented by the deep dark string), a gunshot is heard, but the dear escapes and runs off into the forest. After finishing the piece, Ian sent the final draft to me and I sent it to on to Mark Erikson, who, after a few weeks produced his incredible build.

The Composing Process – Ian’s Perspective:

Building on what Lee said, I had the pleasure of collaboratively working with him on this piece! As he pointed out, I was mainly involved in the orchestration/arranging process. Lee would send me his themes and I would organize them. I added harmonies and variations and I basically turned a 2 to 4 instrumental composition into a full-fledge orchestral piece. My real time to shine was after the cinematic gun drum. Lee told me I could take his themes and finish out the piece on my own! It was good fun collaborating with Lee, and he and I hope you enjoy the fruits of our labor!"


 

7. "Temple of the Twin Jaguars" by Mark Erickson

The Temple of the Twin Jaguars.

"The musical score ("Land of Leaping Shadows") composed by Lee Muzzy with help from Ian Spacek was a thrilling piece to work off of! The low beat of the drums and haunting melody of the flute inspired me to make some Meso-American architecture in the wild and mysterious jungles."



Comments

 I like it 
  May 11, 2014
Simply Beautiful.
 I like it 
  May 6, 2014
Amazing work to all of you! Masterful!
 I like it 
  May 5, 2014
Excellent job all around! I love seeing the way in which each artist interprets music into sculpture, or vice versa. The creations are wonderful, and the orchestral pieces are inspiring! I've never tried my hand at composing myself (playing around with my cello and a loop pedal doesn't really count), but seeing this second round makes me want to give it a go at some point in the future.
 I like it 
  May 5, 2014
So many great builds...
 I like it 
  May 4, 2014
So honored to be a part of this EPIC collaboration! Fantastic work guys! :)
 I like it 
  May 4, 2014
I am very impressed at how well the combination of MOC and music composition fits together! What a wild and extremely interesting result. The quality of both the MOCs and the music were so high I enthusiastically give 5 stars on each and every component :)
 I like it 
  May 4, 2014
This is absolutely fascinating! I love Lego, I love music, how can I not love this project? :P All the builds are so great and each have their own unique style, and the musical pieces are amazing!
 I like it 
  May 4, 2014
Excellent jobs! 5/5 8-)
 I made it 
  May 3, 2014
Quoting JosephC 123 Wow!! Who knew there were musicians on mocpages! Are these peices being played live? Or what program are you using to compose these? Anyway, this is probably one of the most mature concepts I have ever seen on the pages. Amazing job! Oh, and How does one enter into this tournament, if you dont mind my asking?
Thanks for the comment, Joseph! At the moment, the event is invitation-only, but at the end of the third round, myself and The Brothers Brick are talking about opening up the concept as a contest where builders can interpret a piece of music into bricks.
Quoting BrickBuilder7622 . The Treble Clef sign looks really cool and abstract! The other MOCs looks REALLY amazing (especially the jungle one). Very nice job on all of them! 5/5! :-)
Thanks for the comment! I certainly didn't build all of these, though. Mark Erickson is the one who built that awesome jungle scene.
 I like it 
  May 3, 2014
Wow, really love all these! The idea for the well was really quite fascinating. :)
 I like it 
  May 3, 2014
The Treble Clef sign looks really cool and abstract! The other MOCs looks REALLY amazing (especially the jungle one). Very nice job on all of them! 5/5! :-)
 I like it 
  May 3, 2014
That is amazing! I am blown away. Speechless.
 I like it 
  May 3, 2014
Someone should cover Megadeth's "Symphony of Destruction" for this :'D
 I like it 
  May 2, 2014
Wow!! Who knew there were musicians on mocpages! Are these peices being played live? Or what program are you using to compose these? Anyway, this is probably one of the most mature concepts I have ever seen on the pages. Amazing job! Oh, and How does one enter into this tournament, if you dont mind my asking?
 I like it 
  May 2, 2014
Wonderful work here, both in brick and sound. I enjoyed following the transformation from the wasteland into a lush jungle as led by the music.
 I like it 
  May 2, 2014
You guys are so gifted. Well done!
 I like it 
  May 2, 2014
Fantastic work once again guys! This is incredible!
 I like it 
  May 2, 2014
its awesome to see musical talent mixed in with your building skills guys! awesome effort!
  May 2, 2014
As expected, awesome.
 
By Paul Vermeesch
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