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Topic: NOT for Everyone: Scherzo - "Wisps"

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Kauai, Hawaii, USA

    Lightbulb NOT for Everyone: Scherzo - "Wisps"

    I shared a preliminary version of this piece earlier today in the Garritan chat. At the time it was the second in a series that breaks a LOT of rules as to "traditional orchestration" (mainly because I'm currently of a strong mood to turn my back on the traditional concert hall orchestra because I've decided that aspiring to have things performed there -- for me, at least -- is totally irrelevant),

    Anyway, the Scherzo "Wisps" is from a developing suite of 4 (or perhaps 5) short pieces called "Eight Pianos and Orchestra" and yes, all of the movements feature 8 pianos -- arrayed in my "soundscape" along the rear of the orchestral arch at about 22 1/2 degree intervals. You can hear it from this page on AcidPlanet. If you're not registered you cannot download the 160K MP3 version, so that is here. Three of the 8 pianos are GPO (along with 2 harps, marimba, piccolo and Basic Orch Percussion also from GPO). The remaining 5 pianos are various sample sets from the Wizoo Platinum Grand 24 and the remaining orchestra elements are "other".

    As usual, comments, suggestions of a constructive nature encouraged and solicited.

    Thanks ... KevinKauai
    Last edited by KevinKauai; 04-11-2005 at 11:04 PM. Reason: correct HiFi link

  2. #2

    Re: NOT for Everyone: Scherzo - "Wisps"


    And as my last listen for the day, I hear this fascinating piece. It may not be for everyone but it certainly is for me. You've got an Ivesian vibe going here that I can't resist (I LOVE Charles Ives). Between you, Jess, and David I can now go off to sleep with echoes of some really fine music. My kind of night.


  3. #3

    Thumbs up Re: NOT for Everyone: Scherzo - "Wisps"

    Wow, A very nice one Kevin. It's refreshing to hear such non-conventional music. You dig and sweat to bring the listener somewhere out of the usual patterns. However I'm not sure it would give nice echoes in my dreams...

    By the way did you hit correctly your keyboard. Schizo would be more appropriate for the title

    Anyway, better now to stop listening your piece. Something really strange appeared through my window. It's getting dark out there... No ! not that again ! Please... no... no...


  4. #4
    Senior Member Styxx's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    West Seneca, NY

    Thumbs up Re: NOT for Everyone: Scherzo - "Wisps"

    Love listening to your work Kevin! I find it absolutely fascinating and perfectly out of the norm!

  5. #5

    Re: NOT for Everyone: Scherzo - "Wisps"

    Ooooh Lordy! lol!

    Talk about dissonance!

    I liked the piece. The piano part would be quite difficult. The orchestral part would be even more difficult, lol.

  6. #6

    Re: NOT for Everyone: Scherzo - "Wisps"

    The only gripe of mine is that it sounds like the piano is in a completely different space than the rest of the orchestra. Is this intentional?

  7. #7

    Re: NOT for Everyone: Scherzo - "Wisps"

    Reminds me a little of the type of thing Steve Reich did with "Violin Phase" ... except yours is to a specific beat!

    I loved it, but I think mix wise the pianos set up in the back (good grief that would be a big stage!!!) should probably have as much reverb as the orchestra (which sounds neat)

    Any particular scale or pitch set you used for the excellent harmonies?
    Jess Hendricks
    DMA Student and Teaching Asst in Music Theory/ Composition at the University of Miami
    Personal Website

  8. #8

    Re: NOT for Everyone: Scherzo - "Wisps"

    I LOVED THIS.very interesting approach. forgetting all about what "real" orchestras can and can't play.Is this the emerging art form of the 21st century.
    Original,and beguiling.Hats off sir!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Kauai, Hawaii, USA

    Wink Re: NOT for Everyone: Scherzo - "Wisps"

    Thanks to Tom Hopkins, Serge, Styxx, Craig Reeves, jesshmusic and joaz for the kind, observant and constructive remarks (so far).

    I was unhappy with the “presence” of the eight pianos, too, so I went back to the piece a few hours ago and made some minor changes and improvements. (The new version supplants the old in the original links, above, and are repeated here for convenience: AcidPlanet or non-AP HiFi.)

    Craig: It’s not ONE piano - - it’s EIGHT. None of the eight lines (which are mostly the same line in different keys) are really too difficult. I have PDF’d a few pages of the score showing just the first 7 pianos and the strings (for reasons of page height) and it is HERE for those who fancy a look.

    When I contemplate “my” orchestra, I realize that several who have gone before have been innovators as far as the composition of their players. Folks like Steve Reich, Philip Glass, John Adams and Terry Riley have long been “marching to their own drummer” as far as the make-up of their ensemble. Products like GPO and modern software sequencers and softSamplers allow that bold tradition to go forth in an even more bold fashion today.

    The make-up of the “orchestra” for this piece (and the rest of the “Eight Pianos” suite, when complete) is pretty much a standard orchestral grouping (2 harps, robust percussion elements and a “Mahler Hammer”) -- plus the eight pianos, of course. I’ve made the sweeping statement in the GPO chat sessions that I’m embarking on a course of considering utilizing [a] massive amounts of strings, [b] enlarged woodwind and brass sections (10 flutes, 24 French horns, a dozen oboes, for example) in future works. For this “Eight Pianos” suite (which currently has one other piece “mostly complete”, a third “sketched” and up to 2 more “in my head”) I plan to utilize a “maximum ensemble”

    I have little care or concern as to whether any of my works can be “performed” by a “real” orchestra. While others may aspire to that goal (and the laudable GPO Composition Contest aside), I see a more “virtual” audience that those derrieres in the cushy concert hall seats; as long as I can deliver “the product” to the listener in some convenient form (CD, SACD or DVD-Audio) the loop is complete.

    Thanks for listening! KevinKauai

  10. #10

    Re: NOT for Everyone: Scherzo - "Wisps"

    Actually, I would LOVE to hear this piece performed live. . . I bet it would be quite the "surround sound"!

    I enjoyed the piece too! Thank you for sharing.

    Music and humor are healthy for the soul.

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