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Topic: First of Two Short Pieces

  1. #1

    First of Two Short Pieces

    It's that time of year again when composing has to give way to endless grass cutting (well here on Dartmoor anyway!) - so thought I would work on a couple of short miniatures. This is the first of two short pieces inspired by English hymn tunes, scored for

    Flute, Cor Anglais, Clarinet, Bassoon, 2 Trumpets, 2 French Horns and double string orchestra. The latter allowed me to combine both the short/sus and lush samples.


  2. #2
    Senior Member rpearl's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005

    Re: First of Two Short Pieces


    Thanks for reminding me to mow my lawn...

    This is lovely writing, and a beautiful pastorale. You capture the English quality (couldn't articulate it) without it being a cliche; it would be easy to sound Vaughn-Williams-Holstish, but you avoid that. The hymn gives a sturdiness to melody, but again, it's never too four-square. You manage to balance all these things, sound original, and yet sound familiar at the same time. Hard to do - Bravo!

    Looking forward to the second of the pieces.

    All the best,
    Ron Pearl





  3. #3

    Re: First of Two Short Pieces

    Greetings from Oregon, Graham--which has been described as much like the UK in its pastoral beauty.

    I had a false start in hearing the piece you talk about in your post, because the default settings at the My Space page starts automatically playing the Piano Concerto. Beautiful as that is, I wanted to hear what you described--so found the correct piece on your list.

    Short, yes!--but certainly not on vivid descriptive power. The fresh outdoors are clearly depicted, and the beautiful simplicity of the execution is very admirable. I feel it would be even more effective with less reverb, but that's a personal taste of mine (one which seems to be getting infamous).

    Thank you very much! Now--The mowing can wait. Compose throughout the summer and let the weeds grow--It's much more important.

    Randy B.

  4. #4

    Re: First of Two Short Pieces

    Graham, yours is a voice I always look forward to hearing;
    and with distinct pleasure, once again.

    Clearly Keitch; but there's a sureness and maturity in this
    writing beyond what I've heard from you previously; superb
    flow and cadence and pace -- and control over your
    compositional resources.

    This pastorale is deeply satisfying and quite moving to me,
    my friend. The sole "improvement" I might suggest in the
    writing is that this would readily be taken further. There
    is a depth and scope to this short interlude that, to me,
    asks for more exploration. It presents the sensibilities of
    a larger landscape than that which you have thus far
    given us.

    On the sound, I found the rendering on this quite, quite
    good; though, were it me, I think perhaps a bit less on the

    Thanks for this one, Graham. Much enjoyed. Several
    times through, in fact.

    Always my best,


  5. #5

    Re: First of Two Short Pieces

    Thanks Ron. I appreciate you listening in to this and for your helpful feedback. BTY, I found your site (linked from myspace) and particularly enjoyed Water Music. homepage.mac.com/ronpearl/Menu1.html Quite appropriate - it's throwing it down here, so no more grass cutting for a while.

    Randy, thanks too. You're right about the reverb. I'm really struggling with this. I'll experiment and cut it back a bit later. I'm particularly pleased the writing provided a sense of the great outdoors - as I often draw upon that for inspiration.

    And David, your comments as always are a real encouragement You've thrown me a challenge that I'll gladly take up. I'll try to extend this without repetition and losing direction.

    Regards, Graham

  6. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Wilton, NH

    Re: First of Two Short Pieces

    Like Randy I ended up at first listening to the first movement of your piano concerto. I did realize the mistake but stay for a full listen – I really enjoyed it.

    Once I did get to the Pastoral I greatly enjoyed it. The harmonies and the voicings reminded me of the hymn origins while going beyond them and seeming to fill the landscape. Very nice piece. Looking forward to the second one.
    Trent P. McDonald

  7. #7
    Senior Member rayzalaf's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007

    Re: First of Two Short Pieces


    A pleasure indeed to listen to this well presented piece and yes I am reminded of this being a Sunday afternoon and Songs Of Praise due at six-thirty. Perhaps you could tell what reverb you are using here as I'm playing with my new copy of Altiverb at the moment. The sound you have here is to me of standing quite far from the orchestra.

    I also look forward the next piece, buy a goat to eat the grass.

    My Best


  8. #8

    Re: First of Two Short Pieces

    Trent, it was good of you to take a listen - and to the Piano Concerto as well. Thanks for your kind comments. Much appreciated my friend.

    Thanks for tuning in Ray. I'm using Ambience and initially started off with 'cathedral' but cut it back a bit. I wanted to get a spacious sound but I didn't get it quite right. I've been following the posts here about this topic and I'm in the market for something - but can't decide what! Hmmm, now goats - why didn't I think of that!

  9. #9

    Re: First of Two Short Pieces

    Yes, there definitely is a pastoral choir feel to this which is quite nice. Having grown up in an Anglican church choir I can certainly appreciate this. Our choir actually made an LP album back in the early sixties.

    So, please get a goat and spend more time writing and playing so you can give us more of the same.

    Thanks for sharing - Del
    Music happens to be an art form that transcends language. - Herbie Hancock


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