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Topic: Two pieces for clarinet and piano (partial reposting) - any help welcome

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  1. #1

    Cool Two pieces for clarinet and piano (partial reposting) - any help welcome

    I posted a piece, a while ago, under the title 'Jive' for clarinet and piano. EtLux suggested the material had a lot more development in it - so, this weekend, whilst at the in-laws', I decided to rework it a little.

    Ironically it's now much shorter, because I removed a slow section that was somewhat forced, but there is considerably more development of the more furious material.

    When I finished, I realised that there is still much more in the material; but I didn't think this particular movement would take any more. The essence of it is absolute unrelenting 'motoricness,' which proved impossible to interrupt. The harmonic relations are almost irrelevant, it's a piece of percussion - and I think, without, having contrasting harmonic areas to move to, I've reached the limit of how far this 'motoricness' will carry a piece.

    So I decided I would write a Sonata in short movements, all based on the same motivic material, and have made a start on a fugal scherzo.

    The two are here:-

    http://minorcrisis.net/files/Ngoma1.mp3 (Original Movement)
    http://minorcrisis.net/files/Ngoma2.mp3 (Fugue)

    I'd welcome any comments and suggestions, as critical as you like (preferably about the composition, the production and realisation are at an early stage). My problem is that I don't really have any conscious compositional tools, thus I don't sit down and plan pieces. I simpy come up with an idea, and then think, 'Right, where can it go now? And where now?' usually thinking about 3 notes ahead. To me the results, amazingly, seem to achieve a certain coherence, but I'm aware that my working method is horrendously naive, and I'm hoping that some objective ears will tell me what's worng with it.

  2. #2

    Re: Two pieces for clarinet and piano (partial reposting) - any help welcome

    Hi, Pingu

    Why do you seem to assume there's something "wrong with it"--? From your description of how you work, I think maybe you're self conscious about your method as compared to someone who is more methodical? But--the music is the thing, right?--no matter how it's arrived at?

    I just now listened to the two movements you posted and was caught up in the exhilaration of the work. Very brief and intense explosions they are!

    Working with more traditional Western Music Theory as I am--as in, I gravitate towards melody and classically grounded harmony, I'm really pretty much at a loss to give any kind of academically inclined critique on pieces as free form as yours.

    With headphones on (so as not to inflict the outside world) I sometimes let myself loose, flailing away at keys and coming up with wild unanchored bits and pieces of strung together notes--and when I do that, it seems like it's coming out about the same as "modern" "experimental" music I hear, but it's rarely anyting I end up wanting to share. It's good for my soul, and is perhaps also to be described as "naive"--the way you've characterized your output.

    But that's me, and I assume my ventures into the more non-traditional realms really have very little to do with the more academically informed music others are able to produce.

    And so forth.

    I enjoyed these short trips--How's that for nice simple feedback?

    I'm sure some others can give you more enlightening feedback.

    Thanks!

    Randy B.
    (rbowser)

  3. #3
    Senior Member rayzalaf's Avatar
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    Re: Two pieces for clarinet and piano (partial reposting) - any help welcome

    Hi, Pingu

    You write this for yourself, if it pleases you then it’s good. If others enjoy listening that’s a bonus.
    Much the same for any genre, technique etc. Some might say concert halls stand empty because they lack a program of melodic music but that’s not your concern. Do what you do and present it well recorded as this is.

    My Best

    Ray

  4. #4

    Re: Two pieces for clarinet and piano (partial reposting) - any help welcome

    Superb, Pingu! A thoroughly engaging piece, my friend,
    that I enjoyed a great deal. Several times, in fact!

    Quote Originally Posted by Pingu
    I posted a piece, a while ago... Ironically it's now much shorter...
    Pingu, having the courage to slice the fat out of a piece
    is one of a writer's most important traits. This piece has
    clearly benefited enormously by it... with the writing now
    tight, clean, and concise.

    When I finished, I realised that there is still much more in the material...
    And there's still more, too... lol! You've got plenty to
    work with here, that's for certain.

    The harmonic relations are almost irrelevant, it's a piece of percussion...
    Although I'd agree with you that this has rather more of
    a toccata-like approach to it, I'd have to disagree on the
    harmonic work -- which I thought was extremely well
    handled.

    My problem is that I don't really have any conscious compositional tools, thus I don't sit down and plan pieces. I simpy come up with an idea, and then think, 'Right, where can it go now? And where now?' ...
    Pingu, I would not be too hasty to discount the manner in
    which you write as somehow deficient. Quite the contrary,
    these two movements are clear evidence of cogent, con-
    sistent, well-built compositional techniques. For any writer,
    I think most of the bull-work is done in the subconscious;
    and failing to heed that inner voice is the quickest way to
    produce stilted, artificial work... plainly not the case, here!

    Now.

    Get back to work, my friend, and give us... more!

    All my best,



    David
    www.DavidSosnowski.com
    .

  5. #5

    Re: Two pieces for clarinet and piano (partial reposting) - any help welcome

    Quote Originally Posted by etLux
    Superb, Pingu! A thoroughly engaging piece, my friend,
    that I enjoyed a great deal. Several times, in fact!


    Pingu, having the courage to slice the fat out of a piece
    is one of a writer's most important traits. This piece has
    clearly benefited enormously by it... with the writing now
    tight, clean, and concise.
    Thanks David - I really value your opinion.


    Quote Originally Posted by etlux
    Pingu, I would not be too hasty to discount the manner in
    which you write as somehow deficient. Quite the contrary,
    these two movements are clear evidence of cogent, con-
    sistent, well-built compositional techniques. For any writer,
    I think most of the bull-work is done in the subconscious;
    and failing to heed that inner voice is the quickest way to
    produce stilted, artificial work... plainly not the case, here!
    I don't really discount it. Sometimes it's really fun. I'm not an improviser for real - so 'step-entry-improvisation' gives me the same outlet. I'm just worried that my pieces lack longer term development. It's a bit like writing a story without knowing the plot, characters or what language I'm writing in. I start with a word, and then add one that seems to sound good after it, hoping that it's from the same language, then another, etc. I'm becoming conscious - particularly in the fugal piece - that the results are a little flat in the long term. Locally some of my juxtapositions can be exciting, but the structure isn't going anywhere. I keep hoping that my subconscious knows where it's going, but I'm losing faith in it. I'm thinking if I knew where I wanted the piece to go, and understood my own language explicitly, I could tighten things up.

    Thanks again for listening my friend. I'll get back to the writing and let you know when the whole thing is finished.

  6. #6

    Re: Two pieces for clarinet and piano (partial reposting) - any help welcome

    Quote Originally Posted by rayzalaf
    Hi, Pingu

    You write this for yourself, if it pleases you then it’s good. If others enjoy listening that’s a bonus.
    Much the same for any genre, technique etc. Some might say concert halls stand empty because they lack a program of melodic music but that’s not your concern. Do what you do and present it well recorded as this is.

    My Best

    Ray
    Thanks for the support and vote of confidence Ray. You're quite right, I shouldn't be concerned about whether other people like my music. (Although I probably am). I think I was trying to get at a more objective level of criticism. To me my fugue doesn't seem to be going anywhere - it's devolving into a succession of short snippets, which follow each other convincingly, but the piece has little shape as a whole. And the problem is I don't really know how to overcome this problem, because I don't understand how my own language works. I just do it by ear and instinct. I think I was hoping someone would tell me things like 'Did you realise you're always sitting in one pitch-range' or 'That motif doesn't ever seem to get developed anywhere.'

    Perhaps the answer is for me to finish it, leave it for a few weeks and then listen to it as though it were someone else's.

    Anyway, thanks again for listening - I really appreciate it.

  7. #7

    Re: Two pieces for clarinet and piano (partial reposting) - any help welcome

    Quote Originally Posted by rbowser-
    With headphones on (so as not to inflict the outside world) I sometimes let myself loose, flailing away at keys and coming up with wild unanchored bits and pieces of strung together notes--and when I do that, it seems like it's coming out about the same as "modern" "experimental" music I hear, but it's rarely anyting I end up wanting to share. It's good for my soul, and is perhaps also to be described as "naive"--the way you've characterized your output.
    It's like you've seen me at work. LOL. Thanks very much for listening Randy.

  8. #8

    Re: Two pieces for clarinet and piano (partial reposting) - any help welcome

    Pingu,

    This is a superb work for piano and clarinet! The 1st movement is simply fantastic!

    It shows great coherency actually! IT simply shows that it's been worked and thought very hard! There isn't a single "fault" I could find in the composition part of the piece! It is really exciting! And a great idea, additionally with very limited material (thus I actually dissagree on the ammount of material, but I do agree that there are tons of ways to handle this and the route you took is a brilliant one).

    On the contrary, if I was to advice you on anything, not that you need any advice, obviously, I would urge you to not lengthen it! It's fine as it is. The 1st part, the scherzo like is just fantastic!

    The fugue is still largely undeveloped, so I can't really comment, but it has the same aesthetic as the scherzo, so I hardly find it necessary.

    and from my (limited compaired to some members here), in composing, I have decided that there isn't always the need of balance. You can certainly have a fast paced, furious piece, followed by nothing! There isn't a need to have something peaceful so as to bring balance back. Same on the opposite. Why not write a slow paced work of 20 minutes, and nothing else? No redemtion! No closure! Nothing!

    Thanks for sharing Nogma! It's brilliant! I only wish I could work that hard with my parents in laws

  9. #9

    Re: Two pieces for clarinet and piano (partial reposting) - any help welcome

    Quote Originally Posted by nikolas
    Pingu,

    This is a superb work for piano and clarinet! The 1st movement is simply fantastic!

    It shows great coherency actually! IT simply shows that it's been worked and thought very hard! There isn't a single "fault" I could find in the composition part of the piece! It is really exciting! And a great idea, additionally with very limited material (thus I actually dissagree on the ammount of material, but I do agree that there are tons of ways to handle this and the route you took is a brilliant one).

    On the contrary, if I was to advice you on anything, not that you need any advice, obviously, I would urge you to not lengthen it! It's fine as it is. The 1st part, the scherzo like is just fantastic!

    The fugue is still largely undeveloped, so I can't really comment, but it has the same aesthetic as the scherzo, so I hardly find it necessary.

    and from my (limited compaired to some members here), in composing, I have decided that there isn't always the need of balance. You can certainly have a fast paced, furious piece, followed by nothing! There isn't a need to have something peaceful so as to bring balance back. Same on the opposite. Why not write a slow paced work of 20 minutes, and nothing else? No redemtion! No closure! Nothing!

    Thanks for sharing Nogma! It's brilliant! I only wish I could work that hard with my parents in laws
    Thanks Nikolas! Yours is another opinion which I value very highly, so many thanks! I take on board the idea that balance isn't always necessary. Maybe I'll go the other way, and see just how one-sidedly violent and aggressive it can become.

  10. #10

    Re: Two pieces for clarinet and piano (partial reposting) - any help welcome

    One of the things to me that kills the popularity of classical music in general, is the fact that "pieces" have to have a number of "movements", and if it isn't 25 minutes long, it is not worthy. I say hogwash!

    This is awesome Pingu.

    The second link is of course unfinsihed, and sounds much like a continuance of the first one. The second one immediately let me down after hearing the first one. Kind of like a second make of a box office thriller movie,, everyone walking out saying, "it was good, but not as good as the first one."

    Just my thoughts. Please do not get down on yourself because of the way you make music. I have been a looser in my mind for doing things the same way.

    I do everything by ear too,,, in fact, if you think about it.... the first time music was ever heard was not notated first, it was played "by ear". The notation took place after the music was performed because the writer wanted to document and preserve his musical ideas. Of course today, we have the luxury of not only making an audio recording of our ideas, but we have at our disposal a glamorous collection of instruments that we can play. WooHoo!

    I love it just the way it is Pingu!
    How refreshing!
    Dan

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