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Topic: Grainger - Shepherd's Hey

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  1. #1
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    Grainger - Shepherd's Hey

    The British folk-music settings work, "Dished up for piano" by Percy Alridge Grainger, Nr. 4 "Shepherd's Hey", Morris Dance Tune, is one of the most loved of the works of this composer and viruostic pianist. Filled with novel notations like "shortish" and "chippie", this work is sure to set the toe to tapping and uplift the spirit.

    Set here for saxophone quartet, I have used the following JABB instruments;
    Soporano Sax 1
    Alto Sax 1
    Tenor Sax 2
    Baritone Sax 1

    http://www.garybricault.com/mp3/Grai...erdsHeySax.mp3

    I wrote this for my friends of the Washington Sax Quartet, an ensemble of the highest caliber of saxophone musicianship around. You can visit them at www.wsaxq.com

    Gary

    www.garybricault.com

  2. #2

    Re: Grainger - Shepherd's Hey

    I love the music of Percy Grainger, and I like how it sounds with your choice of saxophone quartet.
    There is one problem though, at least that's how I hear it from my side, the dynamics are in extremes, very loud at times and others so low that it is barely heard. Was that intentionally?

    Yudit

  3. #3
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    Re: Grainger - Shepherd's Hey

    Quote Originally Posted by sunbird
    I love the music of Percy Grainger, and I like how it sounds with your choice of saxophone quartet.
    There is one problem though, at least that's how I hear it from my side, the dynamics are in extremes, very loud at times and others so low that it is barely heard. Was that intentionally?

    Yudit
    Hi Yudit,

    I agree the dynamics so bounce around a lot from pp to ff. The saxes react rather strongly to the dynamics and especially to the sf marking. I might try to modify the Finale markings in that piece to cut them down a little. I a real performance I agree it would not be so extreme. Even when I play it with the original piano input it gets rather looud at times.

    Gary

    www.garybricault.com

  4. #4

    Re: Grainger - Shepherd's Hey

    Hi, Gary

    You work with some of the most interesting pieces of music. I like this one very much - THanks for the fun bit of info that Grainger uses unorthodox notations like "shortish" and "chippie" in the score! hehe--What a hoot!

    It would be great to hear The Washington Sax Quartet perform this. Will they be recording it do you think?

    In this demo of your adaptation, it took me awhile to identify the instruments as Saxes, thinking that the Soprano was a Harpsichord at first. I think part of the aural confusion was that the reverb is extremely predominant in the recording.

    In your reply to Sunbird about the huge dynamic range it seems to me you're on to a good idea there, to modify the dynamic markings in Finale, since the range is so broad that I couldn't find a comfortable playback volume - the track either becoming too soft to hear, or too loud for comfort. Definitely a difficulty in notation where markings control a few levels of volume instead of the full 127 different levels of a pure MIDI recording.

    Thanks for this - You were certainly right that it's one to uplift the spirit!

    Randy B.
    (rbowser)

  5. #5

    Re: Grainger - Shepherd's Hey

    I have to say, because I have played this piece, the ensemble version, numerous times in my lifetime, the dynamics are much too extreme. But overall the fact that you brought something scored for a 35ish piece band, and brought it to life with a few saxophones really impresses me. I have waited a long time to hear something like this.

    Question: Any chance in hearing a Brass Quintet version (with a tuba) in the near future?

  6. #6
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    Re: Grainger - Shepherd's Hey

    Quote Originally Posted by rbowser-
    Hi, Gary

    You work with some of the most interesting pieces of music. I like this one very much - THanks for the fun bit of info that Grainger uses unorthodox notations like "shortish" and "chippie" in the score! hehe--What a hoot!

    It would be great to hear The Washington Sax Quartet perform this. Will they be recording it do you think?
    Thanks Randy. This piece is so much fun to play and produce. I used the original piano music, filled with dynamics and markings. Plus the special notations unique to the folk music. As for the Sax Quartet recording it, I don't know. It would be fun to hear it live.

    Quote Originally Posted by rbowser-
    In this demo of your adaptation, it took me awhile to identify the instruments as Saxes, thinking that the Soprano was a Harpsichord at first. I think part of the aural confusion was that the reverb is extremely predominant in the recording.
    I don't have reverb processing on this. I only use the Garritan Ambian, default setting and throttled back in the Diffusion and Predelay to keep it clearer. I can't imagine what you are hearing that would make the Soprano sound like a Harpsichord.

    Quote Originally Posted by rbowser-
    In your reply to Sunbird about the huge dynamic range it seems to me you're on to a good idea there, to modify the dynamic markings in Finale, since the range is so broad that I couldn't find a comfortable playback volume - the track either becoming too soft to hear, or too loud for comfort. Definitely a difficulty in notation where markings control a few levels of volume instead of the full 127 different levels of a pure MIDI recording.

    Thanks for this - You were certainly right that it's one to uplift the spirit!

    Randy B.
    (rbowser)
    I modified the Human Playback to use a less abrupt response to dynamic changes and also throttled back the dynamic markings a bit. The Saxes and very sensitive to changes and they really blair out at times I agree. I reloaded the mp3 so let's see how it is received now.

    Gary

    www.garybricault.com

  7. #7

    Re: Grainger - Shepherd's Hey

    Hello again, Gary

    "...I don't have reverb processing on this. I only use the Garritan Ambience, default setting..."

    Ah! There's a misunderstanding here. The Ambience IS a reverb program. It's name "Ambience" is a nice touch, and that basically is referring to how reverberation is the creation of ambience in a recording.

    It's a fairly typical reverb plugin, better than most though. And the default setting is 100% reverb--It's not intended to be used at full strength like that, except for a rare special effect.

    One needs to use sends on a track module dialed to just a small percentage of full reverb, going to a bus which has the full tilt reverb in it.

    OR if you need to use the Ambience plugin directly on a track, then you can use the percentage sliders so it's mostly dry, with a portion of the reverb.

    That's why this recording is So hugely wet. Do you see? Just experiment, dial it Way back and I can safely predict you'll have an "OH! Now it sounds much better!" reaction.

    --I probably wasn't awake enough when I first responded. That Is a rather odd perception I had at the start of the piece when I thought I was hearing something like a Harpsichord. It was the high Soprano Sax bouncing around inside the 100% wet reverb that made it unclear to me what it was. SOrry.

    I hope this is helpful. Great music which is just too lost in the reverb!

    Randy B.
    (rbowser)

  8. #8
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    Re: Grainger - Shepherd's Hey

    Quote Originally Posted by tubajedimr
    I have to say, because I have played this piece, the ensemble version, numerous times in my lifetime, the dynamics are much too extreme. But overall the fact that you brought something scored for a 35ish piece band, and brought it to life with a few saxophones really impresses me. I have waited a long time to hear something like this.
    I reloaded the mp3 after hopefully throttling the dynamics back a ways.

    I took this literally from the piano setting of the piece. It is filled with lots of dynamic markings, extreme ranges, sudden changes all over the place. It makes more sense in the piano performance setting to make it more exciting. But the Saxes over-react to it. So getting the quartet out the work was relatively easy.

    Quote Originally Posted by tubajedimr
    Question: Any chance in hearing a Brass Quintet version (with a tuba) in the near future?
    Ahhhh well since you asked I will give you a review of a version I am going to try out with the Tuba Mirum group that I informally work with at Eastman School of Music. It has not been read yet so it does not have the bugs worked out.

    http://www.box.net/shared/7j55qiyjbm

    It is set for two Euphoniums and two Tubas. I used GPO French Horns for the Euph's here and GPO Tubas. But I expect it to be better once it has been read and revised.

    Gary

    www.garybricault.com

  9. #9

    Re: Grainger - Shepherd's Hey

    God bless your soul. Your the individual I spoke with months ago who writes for the Tuba Mirum. I knew I remembered you. You are a composing God since you have worked with them. Just thought you ought to know. I really appreciate this skill you possess.

  10. #10
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    Re: Grainger - Shepherd's Hey

    Quote Originally Posted by tubajedimr
    God bless your soul. Your the individual I spoke with months ago who writes for the Tuba Mirum. I knew I remembered you. You are a composing God since you have worked with them. Just thought you ought to know. I really appreciate this skill you possess.
    Thanks for your kind words. It's a skill that I like to share with others such as in the forum when I can.

    Gary

    www.garybricault.com

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