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Topic: Is this too Messiaen?

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  1. #1

    Is this too Messiaen?

    For those of you who've followed my piece for clarinet and piano - I'm trying to make a start on a slow movement. I produced just a few seconds, so far. And I know that's not a lot to post for comment, but I'm trying to decide whether to continue or try something else. Here's the opening:-

    http://minorcrisis.net/files/slow%20mvt.mp3

    The idea is a movement based on textures from a Gamelan ensemble, with layers moving at different speeds. I've taken my harmonic language of 4ths and augmented 4ths from the other 2 movements, and composed 4 layers for piano, representing the gong, the kempul and the bonang - then I've jerked around with the rhythm of each layer. The clarinet then plays the role of the suhling, using slowed down versions of melodies from the fugal movement.

    My problem is that the result sounds to me a lot like Messiaen - maybe his Vision de l'amen, or the 1st mvt of the Quartet for the End of Time. It's been arrived at in a totally different way, (there's none of his Tals or modes in play), and my material will develop differently (I'm thinking of a process where the layers cross over, till the bottom end is really thunderously violent), but I can't get past the superficial similarity. Since I think I've found quite a unique voice in my other two movements I don't want to start doing pastiche.

    How worried would the rest of you be?

  2. #2

    Re: Is this too Messiaen?

    Hi, Pingu

    Responses from people who have enough familiarity with the pieces you're concerned about sounding too much like will be able to help you with your question.

    But even though I don't know those pieces, does it count that I enjoyed this brief bit? I LIked it. hehe--Not very helpful hmm? But I did.

    And one more thought--To be as concerned about sounding imitative as you seem to be from your post, my instinct would be that you're on to something and that you should change direction. If you have that much doubt, then there's probably a good chance you already Know that what you're doing is too much like Messiaen for you to remain happy with your work. You don't need anyone else to confirm your own suspicions. Even if everyone politely said, "no no, it's OK"--it's what You think that will matter to you. When I'm aware of having written something which is far too much like something else---I scrap it without asking for advice. Maybe you need to?

    Meanwhile---Innocent listener who doesn't know Messiaen enjoyed the brief listen.

    Randy B.
    (rbowser)

  3. #3

    Re: Is this too Messiaen?

    Quote Originally Posted by rbowser-
    Hi, Pingu

    Responses from people who have enough familiarity with the pieces you're concerned about sounding too much like will be able to help you with your question.

    But even though I don't know those pieces, does it count that I enjoyed this brief bit? I LIked it. hehe--Not very helpful hmm? But I did.

    And one more thought--To be as concerned about sounding imitative as you seem to be from your post, my instinct would be that you're on to something and that you should change direction. If you have that much doubt, then there's probably a good chance you already Know that what you're doing is too much like Messiaen for you to remain happy with your work. You don't need anyone else to confirm your own suspicions. Even if everyone politely said, "no no, it's OK"--it's what You think that will matter to you. When I'm aware of having written something which is far too much like something else---I scrap it without asking for advice. Maybe you need to?

    Meanwhile---Innocent listener who doesn't know Messiaen enjoyed the brief listen.

    Randy B.
    (rbowser)
    Thanks Randy,

    Somehow I knew you'd be first to listen, and, as usual, you've hit the nail on the head. I probably won't be happy with this, no matter what anyone else says. So it's back to the drawing board.

  4. #4

    Re: Is this too Messiaen?

    Pingu, my immediate reaction to your question, "Is this
    too Messiaen?", is -- er, well, who cares... lol? My friend,
    it's almost impossible to put pen to paper without sounding
    something or other like somebody or other to some degree.
    And, in any event, that's not the impression I got.

    This is consistent with the earlier harmonic language and
    general style. And sounds to me like a most promising
    addition to that suite is on the way!

    My best,



    David
    www.DavidSosnowski.com
    .

  5. #5

    Re: Is this too Messiaen?

    Hello again, Pingu

    I'm glad you've heard from David about this. I was ready to say, "I'm glad if my input helped at all" - But David's point is so important, that Everything sounds like something else to some degree.

    It really is all about how we feel about the work we do. If we can't live with something we're working on, well then, there's no point. But at the same time, you gotta be fair to yourself.

    Don't ya love it when you ask for advice--you can end up more confused!

    (meanwhile--I saw you over at my Beatles Quartet thread--going over there to reply)

    Randy B.
    (rbowser)

  6. #6

    Re: Is this too Messiaen?

    I'm sorry to say that I have not yet listen to your other clarinet movements. I will do so now after hearing this! Being a clarinetist myself, this piece has a wonderful character starting to develop. I can't really analyze too much because

    1) this is too brief a snippet
    2) I'd better do my homework and listen to the rest of the piece.

    I can say that I like what I hear and will definitely listen to the other movements. Good start on this, now I am curious to hear how it gets finished.

    Thanks for allowing us to hear it!
    [Music is the Rhythm, Harmony and Breath of Life]
    "Music is music, and a note's a note" - Louis 'Satchmo' Armstrong

    Rich

  7. #7

    Re: Is this too Messiaen?

    [QUOTE=Pingu]

    Hi Pingu, I'm late getting to this as I've just got back from hols. I was unable to access the file but maybe you've taken it down. Looking forward to hearing this slow movement as it progresses - so keep us posted.

    Regards, Graham

  8. #8

    Re: Is this too Messiaen?

    Pingu,

    The file is gone!

    Bring it back please. Some of us read slowly...

  9. #9

    Re: Is this too Messiaen?

    Pingu,

    I wanted to listen and got the following message:

    The Hosted File cannot be found.

    Unfortunately, the uploaded file you are looking for doesn't exist or has been deleted.

    ???

    My best,

    Gunther
    "Music is the shorthand of emotion." Leo Tolstoy

    Listen to me, tuning my triangle http://www.box.net/shared/ae822u6r3i

  10. #10

    Re: Is this too Messiaen?

    Sorry guys. I've put it back, but it really is remarkably short.

    At the moment I've stopped trying to force it and gone back to workin on the fugue movement.

    http://minorcrisis.net/files/slow%20mvt.mp3

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