This three-part episodic piece (currently "Untitled Preview") began with some simple string lines and then gradually other instruments decided to be a part of it. For the most part, the “orchestra” is a full complement of strings (first and second violins, violas, celli and double basses). All of the remaining instruments are solos: a small pipe organ, tuba, an abbreviated percussion section (just a gong and cymbals), solo Cello, solo Violin, solo English horn and solo French Horn.
It's on my usual Preview Page (at the top where anything new goes) and there is a link to the current score there are well.
As usual, comments, brickbats, suggestions gratefully accepted!
Thanks for you kind comments, Jerry. And thanks for Rene ("fmfgs") for his observation of a couple "stuck" (overlapping) notes in the territory of 1:28 and 1:50 or so.
I've just made some "final" refinements to the piece (it how has a title: "Elegy for the Fallen") and it is at the top of the list here .
Are people afraid to point out horrid short-comings of this piece (and others that I've posted)? I'm fairly thick-skinned and can take criticism -- especially (as the forum spirit dictates) when it's in a constructive frame. (For example, "loved the french horn, but hated the line it plays!")
Seriously, this forum should be a place of spirited comments on new and original work (or work that purports to be, no matter how derivative we sometimes get!). If those of us struggling to make new music don't get some feedback, sooner or later the will to post it just goes away.
Good job. You strongly asked for criticism,not just praise, so here's a tiny bit: the use of instruments is 'wasteful' in a way, if you'd ever think about live performance (and why not -- get a regional orchestra to perform this three times, sign up with bmi, wait two years, and you'll have a check for $1500 approximately, buy some new sample packages!) -- if you'd think about it live, then the pipe organ has to go and the harp too. Both easily replaced, the former with sustained winds and the latter with alternations of pizzicato and bowed strings.
The discipline of 4 (or 5 with bass) string parts would be beneficial, too, no doubt -- getting right down into the details of voice leading could make a very attractive piece even more powerful.
If you hadn'd ASKED I wouldn't have gone to such lengths to find something that could be improved...
Very nice build. I think especially your use of percussive and low strings beneath the surface was extremely well-executed, creating a a "space" inside the rising tension of the theme.
Guglielmo probably has a practical point, but for me part of the fun of GPO is precisely being able to access instruments that would be unaffordable in a live situation. Some of us, if we thought that way, would have to ask Gary for "Beat-up Old Upright Piano" sample that could be detuned to the point where it sounded like it had been sitting neglected in someone's garage for the last 15 years.
I'm sort of a musical Taoist, I suppose: The emptiness between the spokes of the wheel and all of that...
... and your instrumentation understands this. Great job!
Thanks to Larry Alexander, Hardy Heen/Frank, the emperor, gugliel and Quasar for listening and for their comments and observations. (If others listened and didn’t comment, I’d sure like to know why. According to the statistics from my web site, there were something like 140+ hits on the MP3 or WMA file and 7 hits on the PDF score.)
Gugliel and Quasar have hit on one of the central issues of composing today: Do you compose (and render) for the piece that you want to sonically deliver OR do you compose with an ear (so to speak) for playability by a live ensemble.
For me, there’s no contest: Damn the torpedoes and straight ahead to deliver the (more or less) final sonic result. If, at some future point, someone wants to perform it “live” those details can be figured out. Gugliel is 100% right when he says the “live performance is exciting, too” and I hope that some day a live ensemble might want to perform some of my stuff, but my primary emphasis now is delivering “finished product”.
Banish the harp? Heresy! The piece which I am working on currently features both a harp and celeste and two complete sections of strings (half pizz and half marcato) so it might initially be “impossible” to perform live, but it’s the SOUND that I am reaching for as part of the total experience. (And it's an up-tempo/150 bpm scherzo-ish piece, so I've moving away from the adagios for a bit!)
Sincere appreciation also to Larry Alexander, Hardy and the emperor for their comments and suggestions. How DO you do a true “fermata” in Cubase SX? (I punted on the fermata, Hardy/Frank, because I didn’t want to let the piece come to a complete halt at that point and used the harp as a bridging device to keep things moving forward. I confess!) As with any “episodic” piece, you can probably make the case for earlier endings, but this one just “felt” like it needed what it got in the end.
Thanks for listening! KevinKauai
[P.S. There's yet another new piece -- NOT an "adagio"! -- on my "Preview" page here and a musical "Pop Quiz" with a prize attached for the first correct answers. Void where prohibited.]
Last edited by KevinKauai; 09-06-2004 at 08:21 PM.
Reason: preview update