Song: Vox Humana (2009)

Completed this piano-based piece today.


Creative Commons LicenseVOX HUMANA (2009) by Ivan Chew is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Singapore License. Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at ramblinglibrarian [at]

Composed, recorded, arranged, mixed/ sound engineered by Ivan Chew. Feel free to use/ distribute/ re-post/ modify/ sell this track, as per the conditions stated in this Creative Commons BY-3.0. Singapore license. All that is required is that you give clear and proper attribution to the original creator. Like this: “Ivan Chew.“. The track can be downloaded at

“Earthrise / Apollo 8”, uploaded at Flickr by woodleywonderworks.

The track was more or less completed a few months ago. Decided to work on sound level adjustments today (the most tedious and least creative part in producing a track, imho). Added an orchestral strings layer. Threw in an Erhu and a Bansuri flute to make the vox part more interesting.
Vox Humana 2009 - GarageBand

The words “Vox Humana” came from a sound effect setting from my digital piano. Some months back, I was toying with the C/ Am keys. Which led to me recording the basic arrangement in GarageBand. At first I used the digital piano’s “Vox Humana” effect and recorded it as a “Live Instrument”. But didn’t like the recording. So I used the GarageBand “African Voices” software instrument (from the World Music Jam Pack) for the vocal effects.

Arrangement-wise, I wanted the song to sound “inspirational”. “Vox Humana” sounds like “Voices of Humanity”. The song culminates in voices rising together.

OK, enjoy!

~ Ivan

12 thoughts on “Song: Vox Humana (2009)

  1. yes! of course.. but wat better way to complement moody music with vivid visuals? some people might look at it the other way of course… that’s where versatility, flexibility step in. 🙂

  2. Ah, speaking of which — I learned people don’t pay attention to the music as much as visuals. I did these videos for the closing of library@orchard (see this and this). Used the Starfish Stories songs as backgound music. When it was played on screen, I was happy to hear my song featured. But then when I asked people what they thought of the music, they said “what music? wasn’t paying attention!”. HAHAHA. Sigh… it’s true that people see more than hear.

  3. Listening to it in the early morning, the sky is still dark…hey its a cool dawn track. Moving. Hopeful. Warm.

  4. Hi Ivan,

    It’s definitely got the “inspirational” feel to it, as do a lot of your songs. However, I felt the opening piano chords sounded a bit too harsh and jarring, which gave me a sense of dissonance and discomfort…a sense of foreboding so to speak. I’m not sure if this was intentional?

    Anyway, I definitely preferred the way the song pans out after the 1-minute mark. Love the introduction of the Indian Tabla (reminds me of the first track “Life in Technicolour” from Coldplay’s latest album, which I like!). Also love the introduction of the erhu and other mystical elements. Nice touch.

    Overall, great arrangement. The use of strings never fails to rouse the heart.

  5. You’re spot on in a way, Jeremy! I wanted to convey a sol(but not foreboding) tone to the start. However, after recording the initial piano parts (first 4 measures) I realised I’d struck the piano keys way too hard. I wasn’t able to adjust to the levels that I liked. My control of the keys isn’t to my absolute liking, but it’ll do for now. So yes, the final outcome seemed dark and foreboding. Come to think of it, maybe that’s why I tried to add the other instrumental effects. To distract/ soften. As always, thanks for taking time to comment.

  6. Hi! overall, I like it. Can I say it’s “light” & “gentle”?
    It has a bit of the inspirational aspect, but I feel it can go “higher” to be more rousing.

  7. Pingback: Preliminary song list for our upcoming 3rd album « :: Starfish Stories :: The Band

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