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Topic: Experiment

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  1. #1
    Senior Member rwayland's Avatar
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    Experiment

    About a year ago, I began a project/experiment, partial results of which are these three links. All are my compositions, all are GPO Harpsichord.


    Habichuelas y Frijoles (Harpsichord)
    http://www.sibeliusmusic.com/mp3/5/1/7/51762.mp3

    Harpsicat (using subject from Scarlatti, Op 30)
    http://www.sibeliusmusic.com/mp3/6/9/0/69033.mp3

    Harpsichord Uncaged (Harpsi version of Organ Uncaged)
    http://www.sibeliusmusic.com/mp3/5/1/6/51606.mp3

    Richard
    Last edited by rwayland; 05-26-2005 at 02:10 AM. Reason: Swatted the enter key too soon!

  2. #2

    Re: Experiment

    Hi Richard

    These are very interesting, but they are truly "weird" (for me, that is , and I use the word in a very non-offensive way ) Could you perhaps give some background information in order for me to understand what it all means. I would like to listen to these pieces in a more 'informed' kind of way.

    Kind Regards

    LouisD

  3. #3

    Re: Experiment

    I liked them too. I do agree that they are very different, but I felt that it was refresh to hear something on a harpsichord that was traditional.
    Tim

  4. #4
    Senior Member rwayland's Avatar
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    Re: Experiment

    Well, I admit that by most standards the pieces can be called weird, which is okay. One of my aims was simply to show that that the harpischord could be put to good use with contemporary music. I had some reservations about expression, and had some thoughts about how to achieve it with an essentially monotone instrument.

    Habichuelas y Frijoles can be translated as Beans & Beans. It is just a nonsense title to suggest the somewhat Hispanic feel of the piece. The basic idea of it was suggested by remembering the playing style of the Maricachi music I heard in Mexico in 1952.

    Harpsicat is nothing more than a new (nontraditional) fugue using the subject from Scarlatti's Op. 30, sometimes called the Cat Fugue, which, incidentally, I have never heard except as played by me.

    Uncaged was selected as a title because the work is really rather wild for harpsichord (or pipe organ, as originally composed). Other than that, I have completely forgotten what it sounds like! Quite modern, but that is all that I remember. It was mostly intended to generate a little excitement, good for a post-intermission wake-up, as one organist commented.

    My music is all intended to be quite original, while also musical. It is not very traditional, but I seem to be cut from a non-traditional pattern. Best not to try to relate it too closely to anything else. Just listen and enjoy. I have composed and arranged a few things in a more conventional style, but they are not nearly as much fun to compose or listen to.

    When it comes to my piano playing, anything beyond Mozart is Avant Garde!

    I am not sure if I responded to your comments or not, but I hope so. In any event, thank you for your interest.

    Richard

  5. #5

    Re: Experiment

    Richard, I believe many ears have difficulty "hearing" the harpsichord in a modern harmonic idiom, as it is so deeply steeped in Baroque and Classical tradition. Many would perhaps be more accepting of the pieces themselves were they played on a piano...

    For myself, I found the pieces most interesting and satisfying; particularly Uncaged.

    David
    www.DavidSosnowski.com
    .

  6. #6
    Senior Member rwayland's Avatar
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    Re: Experiment

    Quote Originally Posted by etLux
    Richard, I believe many ears have difficulty "hearing" the harpsichord in a modern harmonic idiom, as it is so deeply steeped in Baroque and Classical tradition. Many would perhaps be more accepting of the pieces themselves were they played on a piano...

    For myself, I found the pieces most interesting and satisfying; particularly Uncaged.

    David
    www.DavidSosnowski.com
    .
    David, you have stated it quite well. One of my aims is to show that the harpsichord can work well in a modern idiom if at least temporarily the baroque expectations can be erased.

    They can be played on a piano as written, but to exploit the piano sonorities, they would require some modifications.

    A similar case could be made for playing them on pipe organ, although the organ versions have received favorable comment.

    Richard

    added: I don't think I mentioned that Uncaged is for 2 harpsichords, but the sound would make it obvious, I think.
    Last edited by rwayland; 05-31-2005 at 10:13 PM. Reason: forgot something

  7. #7

    Re: Experiment

    Quote Originally Posted by rwayland
    David, you have stated it quite well. One of my aims is to show that the harpsichord can work well in a modern idiom if at least temporarily the baroque expectations can be erased.

    They can be played on a piano as written, but to exploit the piano sonorities, they would require some modifications.
    One of the additional considerations I've found with writing for harpsichord in more disonant styles is dealing with the rich harmonic content native to the instrument's sound. In some respects, this asks for thinner textures, lest the harmonic intent of the music be buried in the robust interaction of overtones.

    That again requests the listener to recalibrate their expectations.

    David
    www.DavidSosnowski.com
    .

  8. #8
    Senior Member rwayland's Avatar
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    Re: Experiment

    Quote Originally Posted by etLux
    One of the additional considerations I've found with writing for harpsichord in more disonant styles is dealing with the rich harmonic content native to the instrument's sound. In some respects, this asks for thinner textures, lest the harmonic intent of the music be buried in the robust interaction of overtones.

    That again requests the listener to recalibrate their expectations.

    David
    www.DavidSosnowski.com
    .
    Quite true. But it seems to me that because of the method of tone production the dissonances are not as stark on the harpsichord as on the piano. I mean, the sharp hammer blow vs the plectrum. The tuning is also slightly different on the two instruments, related to string tensions and inherent inharmonicities. I think I am agreeing that big fat chords should be used sparingly on the harpsichord, which is really well suited to music which is predominantly polyphonic.

    Richard

  9. #9
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    Re: Experiment

    yes! rock harpsichord...good stuff here...the first one (beans + beans) sounds like fusion, something chick corea and return to forever would have done...i like how you take advantage of the inherent "dark" qualities of the instrument...thanks for this

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