This is Eloise

Made by Naomi Sternstein

Created: December 3rd, 2014



Feedback and Iteration:

Throughout the planning and creating process, the feedback and advice that I have received has been extremely helpful. After coming to class with simple ideas of how I wanted to tell the story of Eloise that I represented with the video, Almeda advised me to create a theme to represent Eloise that could change in key or instrument (for example, from keyboard to Steinway piano) based on the mood/ section of the piece. Also, I had originally broken up the composition of the piece into sections based on the 10 second long static image breaks in the video. Through the gallery comments, Professor Sastre mentioned that planning my piece out in this way could lead to a choppy, sectioned piece, instead of the more fluid and continuous piece that I wanted to create. I still wanted my piece to take cues from the video and hint at the next status image of the video, but I wanted to make sure that it was still completely continuous. I did this by building the crescendos into the image changes, while still keeping a lot of the layers there even while the image changed. I also weaved certain melodies in and out throughout the piece, in order to create a sense of consistency.

Technical Issues:

One of the most challenging part for me in creating this was making sure that everything flowed throughout the piece, especially when new instruments were introduced. I was able to combat the sense of suddenness or any feeling that something doesn’t fit by adding fade in/fade out on the loop that I brought in. I also created a volume gradient with the Step Editor for the newly introduced melodies/instruments. I also had to quantize many parts of the piece to make sure that everything stayed in beat and sounded good together.


The Belkin readings were very useful in creating this piece, especially when I had to consider how to build up the action of the piece and how to end it. I built crescendos in certain sections through increasing the speed and volume of the instruments, and through adding more momentum into the piece. I also decided to end with a fadeout ending in which I slowly take away the layers until a single, childlike thread is left. I felt like this type of ending best fit the video, in which Eloise collapses in a childish slumber after showcasing her more crazy and silly side.

I also did outside research by listening to songs for children’s cartoons. The two videos/songs that were the more helpful and inspired me the most were the theme for the television show, Little Bear ( )

and the trailer for the movie, Ernest Et Celestine (

Critical Reflection:

I think that there is still so much to learn in terms of composing music, such as what notes sound “Good” together and the implications of certain keys, and music theory in general. The knowledge that I have gained in terms of form, though, has been incredible useful and applicable in this piece. Even though with more technical skills could come a more beautiful and more engaging piece, from what I have learned I think that I created the character of Eloise as portrayed by the video, and used the notions of beginnings, endings, and crescendos in order to follow the cues of the video and engage the listener/viewer. I think the music that I created definitely enhances the video and the takeaways from watching the video in ways that weren’t there in the silence.

Before the semester I would not have been as perceptive to all of the details that go into creating a piece such as this one, or the way in which sound completely characterizes whatever it is added to. I would not have noticed the forms of the piece, or questioned the choices in ending in a certain way (either with a lot of momentum and buildup or with a fadeout, etc.). 

Curatorial Statement:

This piece is meant to create the childish, silly and at times crazy character of Eloise, as represented through a specific sequence of six static images. Though the images are helpful in interpreting Eloise, the music has been created and synced with the video series in order to build the multi-faceted personality of this silly child, Eloise, in ways that the video alone would have left one-dimensional. Eloise is represented at various highs and lows. She is first introduced with a simple theme and melody in a keyboard. Her character is then further built as we get to see Eloise interact with others, an adult, and she takes a more polite and grand stance. From then on, we quickly see Eloise in her playful and silly moments. As these situations become even more crazy and unexpected, even for a child, so, too, does the music- which warns the audience when something crazy is about to happen, then allows the listener to calm down a little bit, before building up the momentum yet again. Finally, exhausted from a day of being the ridiculous child that she is, Eloise collapses into a sweet slumber. The music highlights the sense of return to simplicity and the “calm after a storm” through elimination of all strains of instruments, except for the singular childlike keyboard that was featured in the very beginning of the piece. 

Final Piece: