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Topic: Belgium is Sinking!

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  1. #1

    Belgium is Sinking!

    Am I guilty of trying to lure you into this thread with a catchy title that isn't entirely accurate? Probably, but now that you're here, let me tell you exactly what I meant!

    A year or so ago I posted a programmatic percussion ensemble here called, "Sinking." Thanks to the magic of the internet and some incredible students with an incredibly motivated instructor, this was performed last March in Belgium. For a refresher about the piece, here are the performance notes:

    “Sinking” is a 10-player percussion ensemble. It could best be described as programmatic music. It describes the descent of a ship to the bottom of the ocean, starting just as the ship goes completely under the surface. However, any personal interpretations are always welcome.

    If possible, the layout of the percussion should be arranged in such a way that the listeners can distinguish competing motifs as originating from different areas within the ensemble. This is both to promote the back-and-forth motion of certain passages (such as the bells, crotales, and triangles towards the end), and to help surround the listeners by the more fluid parts (such as vibraphone 1 and marimba 1).

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NRe-9jhYNcQ

    (One quick note: the recording is a little quiet. The end of the snare rolls at the beginning should be a strong forte to give you some idea of where the volume should be)

    Here is a link to the original thread where you can read about and listen to the original recording, which used about 50% GPO and 50% VDL (exact instrument list in the thread). If you would like to respond, just please be careful not to post on that thread so it doesn't get bumped back to the front page

    http://www.northernsounds.com/forum/.../83879-Sinking

    I thought the comparison of the GPO and VDL instruments to the live recording was quite interesting, and better than I expected. I always fear that when something is performed live, it will sound drastically different than the recording I make with Finale, I don't think that was the case here.

    Many thanks to everyone here at the forums who has been so kind to me over the years. Your encouragements have gone very far in helping me continue to pursue music and to keep putting it out for others to hear!
    Michael Obermeyer, Jr.
    youtube channel
    soundclick page

  2. #2
    Senior Member tedvanya's Avatar
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    Re: Belgium is Sinking!

    I am the first to reply to the Sinking, and it is you bad luck, because I am, at 87, as conservative in my taste of music as possible.
    I confess that I listened only by curiosity, ready to stop the play as soon as necessary, but, I listened to the end, and was amazed what you did with your instruments. I would consider these instruments only as "sound effects" in my work, and you have produced a very nice piece, to be admired.
    Congratulation and thanks for posting it.


    Ted

  3. #3

    Re: Belgium is Sinking!

    I was a little alarmed by reading the title. Since I'm living in Belgium and with all the news bulletins about the melting polar ice and the raising sea level... I could already feel wet feet. But serious now. Your percussion piece is fantastic. The vibraphones create a very lively underwater atmosphere and the heavier percussion accentuates the distress of the moment. Written with admirable craftsmanship and knowledge of the percussion arsenal. A very good performance as well on a stage I'm familiar with. We played there with De Kleine Compagnie some years ago. Nice remembrances!

    Thanks for sharing this remarkable piece!


    Max

  4. #4

    Re: Belgium is Sinking!

    Quote Originally Posted by tedvanya View Post
    I am the first to reply to the Sinking, and it is you bad luck, because I am, at 87, as conservative in my taste of music as possible.
    I confess that I listened only by curiosity, ready to stop the play as soon as necessary, but, I listened to the end, and was amazed what you did with your instruments. I would consider these instruments only as "sound effects" in my work, and you have produced a very nice piece, to be admired.
    Congratulation and thanks for posting it.


    Ted
    Thanks Ted for sticking with it! I'm glad you enjoyed what you heard. It makes me happy to hear when people see percussion in a new light (whether from my compositions or not). I understand not everyone is going to drop what they're doing and write exclusively for percussion, but I hope that my small contributions to the percussion world can help pique the interest of other musicians (and listeners, of course ) who may not be as familiar with its versatility.

    Thanks for listening, I appreciate your kind words!
    Michael Obermeyer, Jr.
    youtube channel
    soundclick page

  5. #5

    Re: Belgium is Sinking!

    Quote Originally Posted by Max Hamburg View Post
    I was a little alarmed by reading the title. Since I'm living in Belgium and with all the news bulletins about the melting polar ice and the raising sea level... I could already feel wet feet. But serious now. Your percussion piece is fantastic. The vibraphones create a very lively underwater atmosphere and the heavier percussion accentuates the distress of the moment. Written with admirable craftsmanship and knowledge of the percussion arsenal. A very good performance as well on a stage I'm familiar with. We played there with De Kleine Compagnie some years ago. Nice remembrances!

    Thanks for sharing this remarkable piece!


    Max
    Hello Max! I thought I remembered someone from the forums being from Belgium. After I originally posted this thread and went to listen to what you had posted, I figured it out much faster than I expected! That's very cool that you have been to the same stage, it is indeed a small world!

    I'm glad you enjoyed the piece and that the performance brought back some nice memories!

    Thanks for listening and commenting!
    Michael Obermeyer, Jr.
    youtube channel
    soundclick page

  6. #6

    Re: Belgium is Sinking!

    This is quite interesting between the comparisons. You did a great job on this. The percussion at the beginning of yours is epic, felt quite warm. It has a nice military feel to it (the beginning). Thanks for the share Michael!

    Regards,

    Richard

  7. #7

    Re: Belgium is Sinking!

    Quote Originally Posted by sururick View Post
    This is quite interesting between the comparisons. You did a great job on this. The percussion at the beginning of yours is epic, felt quite warm. It has a nice military feel to it (the beginning). Thanks for the share Michael!

    Regards,

    Richard
    Thanks Richard for your kind words! I'm glad you caught the military feel. The original thought I had for this was a sinking battleship of sorts, but I was afraid that would compel me to write something a bit more emotional that would be obligated to capture the devastation of lives lost. Instead, I was going for something a bit more soothing and calming. This was written at the height of an incredible heat wave the summer before last, and just thinking of sinking in a cool ocean just made me happy. Of course, as I mention in the performance notes, I love for people to make their own personal interpretations!

    Thanks again for listening!
    Michael Obermeyer, Jr.
    youtube channel
    soundclick page

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