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Topic: New Bitonal Piece

  1. #1

    New Bitonal Piece

    Hi everyone.

    Sorry I haven't been around much. I've been very very busy writing music. But at least now I have things to show you, like this piece....

    Circles of Misunderstanding:
    It is a piece for Cello and Piano. The two instruments are in different keys.


  2. #2
    Senior Member rwayland's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    California Redwoods

    Re: New Bitonal Piece


    Oops, for a second (3:27) the instruments were in the same key!

    Ern [/quote]

    Oops! I missed that! Well, he does accomplish his stated purpose, quite well, I think.


  3. #3

    Re: New Bitonal Piece

    Hi, Matthew

    Such drama in your piece! I think it's very successful in fulfilling what you stated on the website as your intention:

    "...The piece's two instruments chase each other around tonal areas, competing for temporal and motivic dominance. As one reaches an idea expressed by the other, that other moves on to a different idea. Finally they return to their original perspectives, diminished from their struggle with each other..."

    That's some very striking prose, along with equally striking music. The last sentence quoted above is so poignant, and expresses something we can all relate to--We've all had those kinds of moments.

    Because it's a duet, and sounds so personal, I kept wanting the instruments to be closer to me--as in less reverb. But the treatment you gave lended a perspective, like I'm watching the argument from a distance--and that's a valid concept also, certainly.

    Very glad to hear your music!--You say you've been busy, so perhaps you'll posting more--hint hint--?

    Randy B.

  4. #4

    Re: New Bitonal Piece

    Thanks for your support everyone I'm glad you like it.
    I looked over the part at 3:27, and I think I know what's going on. The piano is in the key of F#minor at that point while the cello is in C minor, but the piano chord has all the notes of an A Major 7 and C# dominant 7 chord (G#,B,A,C#,E). The cello contains the notes Bb, Ab, G in the first half of that measure. So the Cello Ab (respelled to G#) sounds like a doubling of the A Major 7 chord!! That's why they sound as though they're in the same key. I may try to fix that. I encountered numerous problems like this in writing it.

    And since Randy asked to hear more of what I have been working on.... I don't normally like to post non GPO stuff in here, but this is a Live Recording of a solo violin piece called Introspection.

    And my website has ALL of the things I've done lately under the "New Music" link


    The plugin to see the scores is of insignificant size, but even without it you can hear the mp3's.

    There is also a Violin/Guitar piece which will recieve a performance in November. Not a great GPO recording, but one of my better pieces.

    Okay PLUG OVER

    By the way thanks Randy for props on the program notes. I never know what to say in program notes!

    And also Ern asked about my software... GPO run through Sibelius is all. I had to turn the C64 slur controllers off because I needed sustain on the piano. Soon as I get software, I'll record them one at a time and really improve it.

    Thanks again for the support guys.

  5. #5

    Re: New Bitonal Piece

    Hello again, Matthew

    Thanks for coming back with more links and info.

    "Introspection" is truly a live recording, complete with a silent opening, followed by footsteps that always sound ominous when it's the only thing being heard---I thought--hmm, interesting that all this wasn't edited out.

    But then, with the very active emotions in the solo that followed--it seemed like a nice mood setting touch to begin with the silence and footsteps. Intentional or not, I like that opening!

    Well deserved applause at the end--A very professional performance of a piece that to me goes beyond "introspection" and touched on palpable angst. I think my heart rate increased as I listened, my mood being swayed so persuasively by the music.

    Randy B.

  6. #6

    Re: New Bitonal Piece

    Yeah, the recording producer, was quite a bit lazy, but I suppose you have a point about the aesthetics. I do like the "live" feel.

    Again when I get the software, I'll edit it myself.

    Glad you liked the music Randy. Is there anywhere I can hear some of yours?


  7. #7

    Re: New Bitonal Piece

    Hi, Matthew

    Sometimes random things, mistakes even, can end up being interesting additions to things we plan. And in this case, maybe it's a bit odd for me to like it, but the footsteps preceding the solo add something interesting to the listening experience!

    Do you mean that you don't have any kind of audio software at present? If so, you may want to take a look at the shareware program, Reaper--audio/MIDI recording software that you can do a Lot with.

    You asked about my music--Perhaps I should gather up the links to what I've posted here in The Listening Room since joining in November of last year, and put them in my signature for handy reference.

    Meanwhile, your question made me think of something I haven't updated in some time--my Sound Click page. I used that site all the time when I was more involved at the Cakewalk Forum.

    For the first time since I've been a Garritan Forum member, I'm posting the link to my Sound Click page:


    It's an eclectic list of pieces, I invite you to snoop around and click what catches your interest.

    Have a good day!

    Randy B.

  8. #8
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Wilton, NH

    Re: New Bitonal Piece

    I think you accomplished your goals very well here. The two parts are close enough to make this a cohesive composition while being far enough away to keep the tension level up. I listened for the enharmonic common chord (or what ever you want to call it) and don’t think it detracts from the idea. I guess you can think that the two protagonists almost got together, but not quite…
    Trent P. McDonald

  9. #9

    Re: New Bitonal Piece

    Indeed, quite successfully introverted and introspective. Good
    listening for a rainy night... dramatically gloomy and inwardly
    focused, as though seeing the world through the film of a deep,
    rich, swirlying mist of depression.

    Technically, Matthew, a highly adept execution of the concept;
    of concurrently writing in two different keys. This hangs together
    perfectly, makes sense, remains listenable, throughout -- and if
    you hadn't mentioned, I doubt I would have perceived it as an
    exercise in bitonality at all!

    Excellent job on this; some fine workmanship and thought very
    clearly evident.

    My best,


  10. #10

    Re: New Bitonal Piece

    Thanks David and Trent. I'm glad you liked it. Coming from pros like you guys, these positive comments are most encouraging!


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