I had to force myself not to work on my track while my family and I were away for New Year's week - not such an easy task! But the break was a good thing. It gave me time to solidify my ideas about where I'm going with all of this.
1/9 - 1/11
I decided that I definitely want to end with a return to the 1st prelude. So I sat down at my piano (the real one, not the MIDI thing) and played the two preludes again and again, trying to figure out how to get back to the 1st one. I wrote out the scales and the chords for each piece to see if they had any common ground harmonically. Then suddenly, there it was. A chord in the 2nd prelude could lead back to the 1st one with a change in only one note. All I needed to do was write one measure containing this chord, broken up to match the previous original measure, and I was back in the 1st prelude! I played it on the piano a few times to make sure, then immediately ran to my PC. I laid out the final section of the track so that it leads from the 2nd prelude into the last 5 measures of the 1st prelude. I couldn't believe how simple it was - why didn't I see it earlier? Maybe I really did need that vacation!
I've gone back over the middle section and changed and tweaked the sounds to make it more dramatic. Chopin has those piercing suspended chords that can turn your insides to jelly, and I wanted to find a way to intensify that. That means not only the climax point itself, but also the buildup. I decided it was necessary to bend my hard-and-fast rule about adding music. But that's the great thing about making your own rules -- you can decide when not to follow them! Anyway, I added a very low bass G# drone in the choir, with a volume fade-in, combined with a wind sound I brought in from Music Maker Premium.
But that was only half the job. I wanted to add something that would really sell the big moment. Suddenly, I started to hear bells. Not in real life, just in my head. I knew I was looking for orchestral, or tubular, bells but I was astounded at how hard they were to find! I had to settle for the metal bells instrument in my Kontakt library but I'm not entirely happy with how they sound. I'll try to EQ them to see if that improves things.
Stay tuned for part 5...