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Topic: Plato's Horse

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  1. #1

    Plato's Horse

    Hi.

    I've recently had the privilege of adding the GPO to my repertoire of instruments. I thought I would share my creation. It is here on my blog:

    http://theurbanmyths.blogspot.com/20...tos-horse.html

    The blog describes the context of the piece, but in case you are wondering, it is a blend of GPO and real instruments.
    My interests are in blending classical styles with more popular styles and electronica. I am finding the GPO fairly flexible.

    This looks like a good forum, by the way.




  2. #2
    Senior Member rayzalaf's Avatar
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    Re: Plato's Horse

    Although I like the sound, this piece doesn't go anywhere for me but thanks for posting and allowing me to listened to some of your other work on your website. I really enjoy your intimate accordion sound on these. Please post some more tracks.

    Ray

    www.rayinstirling.net

  3. #3

    Re: Plato's Horse

    Very melancholy. I liked the esthetic of this piece. What are the instruments used here?

    Matt

  4. #4

    Re: Plato's Horse

    Hello, WJ--You've done quite a bit with two chords and the Flamenco-style guitar strumming. Interesting that a minimalist approach has been used on traditional harmonic theory. And one doesn't hear the blend of "real" acoustic instruments with soft synths very often. I admire the approach.

    Thanks for posting!

    Randy B.
    (rbowser)

  5. #5

    Re: Plato's Horse

    Thanks for your feedback.

    The piece uses very minimal material (coupla chords mostly), but does indeed 'develop', though it is subtle. I think there is quite a bit of music these days blending minimalism and traditional harmonic approaches - in a 'post minimalist' style. I like using non-traditional styles, and blending in real instruments, as I think these help avoid a 'digital' sounding piece.

    Mathew, there are a variety of instruments used. A real piano, guitar and accordian are blended with GPO double bass, cello, viola, violin, trombones, french horns, bass clarinet and clarinet. Although in the end I mostly avoided the violas as I found them a little 'thin' - has anyone else found this?

    I know musical minimalism isn't to everyone's tastes, but irrespective of tastes, I want to share the fact that GPO helped me out! I like to write in a 'classical fusion' style which blends classical instruments/styles with jazz, pop and electronica. I want the sound of a 'band' in an intimate space rather than a concert hall sound. So many commercial orchestras are not intimate enough, but in GPO you can create quite intimate spaces, which also helps me blend in real instruments from around the house.

    So long live GPO.

    I struggle with a good reverb that is 'small' enough and need something that can create more 'warmth' like treacle poured over the piece. I would love to hear suggestions. thanks.

  6. #6

    Re: Plato's Horse

    Hello again, WJ

    Thanks for the info on what combination of instruments you used. This is really exciting and ambitious!

    I think perhaps my earlier response sounded like a criticism, from reading your reply. I didn't intend it to be negative at all. I freely admit I'm a fan of Phillip Glass, and can get out right enthused by John Adams who is a "post minimalist" perhaps. What I meant to say is that it was striking to hear traditional harmonies in a way that I haven't quite heard before. It sounds original and interesting to me. Not so much of the half step shifting and pieces not tied so much to a tonic.

    You asked about the GPO Violas--In concert with the other strings, they sound and work fine to me. People often comment that the solo Viola is a bit unruly--I find he does need to be turned down more than the default setting.

    Reverb is a constant battle for us all, I believe. You want an intimate sound--Have you tried the two different Jazz rooms in the Garritan Ambience? I think perhaps you'd like results from those, especially if you play a bit with the damping controls.

    Randy B.
    (rbowser)

  7. #7

    Re: Plato's Horse

    Thanks for your clarification rbowser, and sorry if I sounded defensive . I sometimes meet people who just don't like minimalist music, but I certainly shouldn't assume it ahead of time! For me, it is about using music to express something beyond the music - so the style used is not as important (for me, it helps to avoid 'styles' and 'progressions' that will suggest to the listener in advance what to 'feel') and I certainly use electronic as much as classical instruments. The GPO instruments are lovely and expressive, which is great to dab over a minimalist canvass.

    I must admit that for half the piece I avoided the violas and substituted with one of the Cellos! I just couldn't get them to blend into this piece. I will try your suggestions for reverb.

    At the moment I am going through the listening room. There is some great stuff here!

  8. #8

    Re: Plato's Horse

    I admit to being somewhat less than enthusiastic about
    minimalism, generally, WJ; but this piece rather intrigues
    me. I listened to it a couple of days ago, and came back
    again today to give it more attention.

    It's rather a case of turning traditional approaches on
    their side (something I'm all in favor of, as anyone will
    tell you... rofl) -- creating motion and distance and
    development exclusive of harmonic devices, rather than
    atop of them.

    A very frank statement: at first this piece struck me
    as bland; but you know, after listening to it a few
    times, I've grown quite fond of it!

    On the mix, WJ, maybe pull a bit more toward center.

    And I have a challenge for you. Building a piece out of
    (mostly) just two chords? Isn't that overkill?

    Why not just one?

    All my best,



    David
    www.DavidSosnowski.com
    .

  9. #9

    Re: Plato's Horse

    Thanks for your honest feedback David. I see that on these forums people both get useful encouragement as well as useful comments on their music. It seems surprisingly active and I am glad I found it

    I wanted to create tension and release not through the harmonic structure (which I kept simple), but through the degree to which the simple main theme is expressed or breaks apart. There is a turbulance and lamina occuring creating tension and release that has nothing with the traditional means of creating the same. My ears are used to minimalist music though, and I sometimes forget it can sound bland to other ears (people can completely miss any sense of development) - still, it has its fans.

    I note your comments on the mix. I struggled with the sound of my fat sounding piano at home, if I placed it near the centre it muddied the entire piece!

    I warn you, your challenge of using only one chord is not so crazy

    I have been listening to your very skillful use of digital orchestras David, nicely done, I like your subject matter and the sounds are very convincing.

  10. #10

    Re: Plato's Horse

    Quote Originally Posted by WJ Kington
    Thanks for your honest feedback David. I see that on these forums people both get useful encouragement as well as useful comments on their music. It seems surprisingly active and I am glad I found it

    I wanted to create tension and release not through the harmonic structure (which I kept simple), but through the degree to which the simple main theme is expressed or breaks apart. There is a turbulance and lamina occuring creating tension and release that has nothing with the traditional means of creating the same. My ears are used to minimalist music though, and I sometimes forget it can sound bland to other ears (people can completely miss any sense of development) - still, it has its fans.

    I note your comments on the mix. I struggled with the sound of my fat sounding piano at home, if I placed it near the centre it muddied the entire piece!

    I warn you, your challenge of using only one chord is not so crazy

    I have been listening to your very skillful use of digital orchestras David, nicely done, I like your subject matter and the sounds are very convincing.
    I just now noticed, WJ, that you're new, here. Please -- forgive
    my remiss manners!

    A warm welcome to the forum, WJ!

    And yes, to the best of my knowledge, this is by far the largest
    and most active composer's forum on the 'net. We have quite
    a large and wonderful group of fine musicians -- and fine people
    -- from every walk of music, here, WJ... unfailingly supportive,
    kind, and helpful; and at the same time, committed to aiding
    each other in bringing forth the best in the music. They're all
    quite mannerly and encouraging, something for which we're
    occasionally oddly criticized; but don't let that fool you -- the
    real work of making music gets done, and there's quite a lot
    of worthwhile and useful discussion.

    On your piece, I did indeed follow what you were doing, once
    I had time to consider. The creation of "tension and release"
    is the most fundamental element of music -- without it, nothing
    moves... but though we so often place the burden of that on
    harmonic and rhythmic artifice, there are certainly other fruitful
    avenues via which to achieve it.

    The mixing end of things -- well, WJ, that's something every
    single one of us struggles with. (Most notably, myself!) In
    time, with practice, you keep getting better at it.

    I wasn't entirely joking about a piece built on one chord,
    either. Why not? I see absolutely no reason why that could
    not be done, and done successfully.

    You're already developing laminar techniques and introducing
    development and tension by juxtaposition, fragmentation, and
    variation; why not take the next logical step?

    My best,


    David
    www.DavidSosnowski.com
    .

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