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Topic: Winner of 2nd (last) Place in the GPO Composer's Contest

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  1. #1

    Winner of 2nd (last) Place in the GPO Composer's Contest

    Okay, maybe it wasn't 2nd last but it wasn't among the top 40 either.

    Pass Through the Gates

    This was my entry in the recent GPO composer's contest and my best effort using GPO up until that time. I'd really appreciate any constructive critism that could help me improve in the area of composition and production (and maybe place higher next time). Thanks.

    Brian

  2. #2

    Re: Winner of 2nd (last) Place in the GPO Composer's Contest

    Hi Brian,

    I think you did a great job. My only advice would be to use a little more contrast with both tempo and dynamics. I hesitate to give any compositional advice, because everything is so subjective. I notice all the time that music that moves me enormously moves right past other people with no apparent effect. And on the flip side, I at times have difficulty appreciating music others rave about. I think everyone knows this. Nonetheless, I enjoyed your piece, and it only confirms that the judges had to deal with a huge amount of quality music.

    As to production, I really thought (hey, maybe I'm mistaken) that the competition was all about composition and orchestration, not who is the best "GPO engineer." I'm probably wrong to some degree, because a more "convincing" performance will undoubtedly show off a work's potential, but for some reason I had the impression that the judges would try to look past that aspect to some degree.

    Anyway, I repeat: I think you did a great job. I saved your entry to my hard drive to enjoy again in the future. My ultimate advice would be: write what you like, what moves you the most, rather than what you think the judges may want to hear. I would then hope that you would find the experience more fulfilling, regardless of the outcome. And I believe that your music will be better for it.

    Look forward to hearing more posts from you in the future,

    Rich
    Richard Galbraith

  3. #3

    Re: Winner of 2nd (last) Place in the GPO Composer's Contest

    Rich,

    Thanks for the comments and encouraging words. I'll be more conscious of tempo and dynamics in my next composition.

    I agree a composer should write what he/she likes most and that this usually goes hand in hand with the music being well received by others. Thanks again.

    Brian

  4. #4

    Red face Re: Winner of 2nd (last) Place in the GPO Composer's Contest

    my personal opinion is that being your work excellent by both orchestration and musical point of view, the think to refine is the composition style:

    I say that because I write easily some baroc, classic or romantic style imitation, and in front of the wide freedom of the modern style I'm feared intimidated by the enormous number of possibilities.

    But without a brilliant modern composition with advanced harmonies and elaborate rithmic feel, we will never win a composition contest, if it's not for classical style only...

    I will do it soon. It's not a denial of my soul and instinct, I consider it a challenge.

    You will do what your soul will decide...

  5. #5

    Re: Winner of 2nd (last) Place in the GPO Composer's Contest

    Quote Originally Posted by Looper
    Rich,

    Thanks for the comments and encouraging words.
    Brian
    Hey, no problem. After all, for all I know your piece is actually number 41!
    Richard Galbraith

  6. #6

    Re: Winner of 2nd (last) Place in the GPO Composer's Contest

    I'm sorry but...

    This is one heck of a composition... I mean this is really good, professional level type stuff. Don't expect too much criticism on it. If THIS wasn't a top 40 piece, I guess it was smart of me not to submit anything at the time of the competition.

    I have just one criticism... Actually, its more of a suggestion: don't think that your work needs criticism just because you weren't one of the top 40.

    I'd like to learn more about the process you went through in composing this piece and how you went from conception to this.... if you don't mind. I've had GPO for a very long time now and I feel like I'm at a road block (at the beginning stages). I think that if you just tell me in detail the process you went through... it would help me alot.

    I'm sorry for turning your thread into a cry for help but... I'm desperate.

    Anyway, you have a very good composition. It really makes me wonder who the heck won this competition.

  7. #7

    Re: Winner of 2nd (last) Place in the GPO Composer's Contest

    I thought that it was very nice. It made me think of the Godfather movies - don't know why, but that's the place that it took me to. Very good work! Please submit more! I really enjoyed this one!

  8. #8

    Re: Winner of 2nd (last) Place in the GPO Composer's Contest

    Quote Originally Posted by 88chopin

    I'd like to learn more about the process you went through in composing this piece and how you went from conception to this.... if you don't mind. I've had GPO for a very long time now and I feel like I'm at a road block (at the beginning stages). I think that if you just tell me in detail the process you went through... it would help me alot.
    Fabio, thank you for the kind words and especially for your advice. Yes, I definitely want learn more sophisticated approaches to harmony and orchestration. I’m still at the stage where I’m assimilating ideas from the Classical and Romantic periods. I eventually want to learn more about the sound of Ravel and Debussy. Beyond that I don’t know if I would enjoy writing very atonal music but I’d like to know how it works anyway.

    88, thank you, you just gave me a confidence boost that should last til the end of April.

    I don’t mind telling you how this tune came about because when I started it I think I was feeling very much like you are now. I hadn’t written anything in quite a while and I didn’t seem to have any ideas. I just decided I had to start something...anything. So I began with a 4 bar chord progression using a plain piano sound, I tried to go for something that I hadn’t used a hundred times before. I came up with a little melody using mostly chord tones then I played the chord progression a minor 3rd higher (maybe it was lower) and changed the last chord and did some other small variations. After a full repetition of this I started working on a B section. Eventually I had about :50 secs of piano melody with block chords. I thought it would be a good exercise to try orchestrating the little tune with GPO (before this I’d only done one other tune with GPO).

    The melody and chords took about 1 evening and I wish I could say the rest of it came together as quickly but this was not the case. I didn’t know where to start the orchestration process, I just took the piano melody and copied parts of it to different instrument tracks such as flute, clarinet, etc. I spent about 2 weeks trying different instruments, rearranging parts, lengthening it, adding a counter-melody, and generally experimenting. It was hard work, I considered abandoning the whole thing at times but [this is the good part] as the tune started to sound ‘sort of’ good, it became fun to work on it, I started getting ideas, and I really looked forward to getting back at it the next day.

    I don’t think anyone will find my composition technique very revealing but really want to encourage anybody who’s feeling that they’re at a road-block to simply “start something...anything”. By doing this you’ll likely get to a point where it starts to sound good and then it’ll be exhilarating, and fun, and ideas will start to flow.

    Maybe I shouldn’t mention this part, but after this period of exhilaration it’ll just start to feel like hard work again. Only determination can get you through this stage but when do the final mixdown of your tune I believe there’s a sense of satisfaction that makes the whole process worthwhile.

    All the best in overcoming that ‘road-block’ that seems to an ever-present specter in any creative person’s life.

    Brian

    P.S. if you’re interested in seeing an early midi file of this tune I can email it to you.

  9. #9

    Re: Winner of 2nd (last) Place in the GPO Composer's Contest

    Thanks Brian... I genuinely appreciate your response and I will take your advice and start getting things done.

    Thanks again.

  10. #10

    Re: Winner of 2nd (last) Place in the GPO Composer's Contest

    the composition is top! very atmosperical....a filmscoring for a big movie.

    only the technical realization is not so good. especially the strings.

    i think for a higher ranking both sides of knowledge should have been represented: compositoral skills and maximising gpo as a tool.

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