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Topic: Snowfall

  1. #1



    I finally finished the piece for last year's Christmas CD! Am I too late? Actually, now that the piece is finished, I'm kind of glad that I missed the deadline. This isn't exactly the warm fuzzy feeling that I equate with holiday music.

    I have had the themes in my head for about four years, now. Last August I finally began to jot them down, attempting to arrange them into something, but kept getting sidetracked. So I've just been working on it a little bit at a time, and recently had a couple of weeks open to power through and finish.

    I have it posted on my website www.houseofblackbirds.com.

    and for those fans of direct links:

    The piece is nine and a half minutes long, so thank you in advance for your attention.

    The majority of the samples are GPO (yay! wind machine!), but I did use a few instruments from JABB (pic, flute, alto flute, clar, bass clar, trbn, bass trbn, tuba and single layer toms), and from EW Silver (trumpet, and some perc: timp, crotales, glock, sus and crash cym, wind chimes). I hope you enjoy this. Any comments are welcome.

  2. #2

    Re: Snowfall


    This is gorgeous work -- great use of the orchestra (including the wind
    machine... lol), superb control of thematic and textural contrast, and
    highly evocative writing. The sweeping, dramatic sections are stunning.

    The clarity in the writing is what struck me most, though, Joseph. Not
    the mix (which is also excellent) -- the writing.

    There's only one possible comment I can make, a fully unreserved:


    Many congratulations, Joseph, on a splendid composition!

    With admiration,


  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Penfield (Rochester), NY

    Re: Snowfall


    This is a masterful work, full of color and expression, beautiful, majestic and powerful. Well worth the 9+ minutes, hardly seemed like it though. Great use of the libraries to make the scored work come into being.


  4. #4
    Senior Member Leaf's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Dallas, TX

    Re: Snowfall


    I loved it, absolutely beautiful and inspiring with visual and imaginative appeal. I'm book-marking this! ...and your name will have 10 gold stars beside it in my web addressbook.


  5. #5
    Senior Member valhalx's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Wine Country, Colorado

    Re: Snowfall

    WOW! This is an astonishing piece of music. It is abundant with thematic material you can sink your teeth into. Those themes are well developed and you have made effective use of orchestral colors. Nice woods and great brass work. The next time you have tunes flying around in your head, sit down and work them out, lol. (Loved the wind machine)
    Never look at the trombones. It only encourages them. Richard Strauss

    My Website
    Beethoven's Eroica
    Antonio Salieri
    The History of Studebaker

  6. #6
    Senior Member fastlane's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Shelton, Washington State

    Re: Snowfall

    Quite a piece of music to my ears. I'm sure it would go over well in concert with much more than just polite applause.


  7. #7
    Senior Member Styxx's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    West Seneca, NY

    Thumbs up Re: Snowfall

    The Snow ... Oh!
    As much as I do not like winter, I do like the first snow especially during the Christmas season. This piece has captured the wonders, beauty, and magic of one special time of year.
    The orchestration is superbly balanced which lends to a nice lightness and comfort that seems to surround us with the first full blanket of snow. Excellent masterful use of dynamic so rarely captured. The brass sections ... ah heck, all the sections are alive with the brilliance of the season!
    This, my friend should be performed by a world symphony orchestra and especially featured on next seasons Christmas CD!
    Awesome! You should be very proud of this baby! A privilege to listen to. Thank you so much for posting.

  8. #8

    Thumbs up Re: Snowfall

    This is a splendid work. A very vivid illustration of the snowing scene. I love the texture and well-considered coloring of the orchestration very much.

    Thank you for sharing the music with us!

    Jun Yamamoto
    Tokyo, Japan

  9. #9

    Re: Snowfall

    This was fantastic work!!!

    Very epic in scope, with a terrific melody that flows throughout various moods and themes...A great depiction of snowfall itself.

    Congratulations on this incredible achievement!!!

    Listening to it several times!


  10. #10

    Re: Snowfall

    Quote Originally Posted by etLux
    great use of the orchestra (including the wind
    machine... lol), superb control of thematic and textural contrast, and
    highly evocative writing. The sweeping, dramatic sections are stunning.

    The clarity in the writing is what struck me most, though, Joseph. Not
    the mix (which is also excellent) -- the writing.
    Thank you, David. Okay, I must confess I began writing this as a concerto for wind machine and orchestra. But when I got to the cadenza it just fell apart and I had to start over... kidding... (Actually I can think of only two people who could pull off a stunt like that: Cage and Sondheim, but you'd probably need a spokesperson to really sell it, like Yo Yo Mah, or Bette Midler.)

    Thanks for the comments about the writing. I felt really good about the balance between everything in terms of the orchestration. I just hope the writing itself feels sophisticated enough. It doesn't have the same kind of ease and freedom like, say a piece by that Sosnowski guy, or Kowalski, or Hendricks; not the same kind of tonally adventurousness that seems to come so effortlessly. Perhaps I'm not the adventurous type. I like my modes... clean, with two olives.

    When I'm writing, I typically start by getting the melody established first in whichever instrument, whatever part is the main leading entity of that section, then continue the orchestration by fleshing out the woodwind parts first, then the brass, then strings and percussion at the end. On this piece, I began each section by orchestrating the strings first and would then follow up with whichever section had the most importance. It was a different way of working, but I got used to it. I don't know if this is a result of it, but I feel like the woodwinds might have ended up a little bit low in the mix at times, but overall I'm quite happy. Thank you for taking the time to listen! Nine minutes is not a small amount of time, and I am very appreciative of your comments!

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