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Topic: On the Cusp of Insanity (4th Movement)

  1. #1

    On the Cusp of Insanity (4th Movement)

    On Feb 29, 1992, I married an insane woman. She was 22 and too young to know any better and I was 34 and too horny to care.

    I use to play a crappy old POS guitar that was very difficult to get into tune and even harder to keep tuned. It would take me about 10 minutes to get it ready to play and by that time she had had enough and said put that thing away. So for the next 10 years I didn't play guitar.

    She was manic-depressive, knew it and wouldn't do anything about it other than use some illegal depressents. Real smart.

    As things got progressively worse thru the years, I yearned to play guitar again so I started playing out in the shed. A short time later, a friend of mine would join me with his 2 better guitars and my old one got put aside. A month later, when many other people would show up to hear us play, she came out to the shed and listened and said she was amazed that I knew how to play.

    This piece deals with me "On the Cusp of Insanity" for the 10 years I was with her ( I am now divorced). The first 3 movements, (which I will post in time), lead up to this one. Many themes in this one came from the first three and will make more sense when the entire piece is posted, but I think this one is the most powerful of the 4, so I decided to post it 1st.

    I composed this last winter in sib4 and now it is from sib5 thru KP2 with all GPO.

    Here is the 4th Movement


    All comments are appreciated and welcome.


    BTW This is my 3rd String Quartet

  2. #2

    Re: On the Cusp of Insanity (4th Movement)

    That's quite a story, Ron - Thanks for telling us the sad details of what inspired this piece.

    I know I'm being influenced by the textual introduction, but it was as if it was almost painfully personal to listen.

    But it's not as if I didn't find it effective. I did. Very much.

    Here, I'll add a technical comment to get some objectivity and pull myself out a bit from the emotional reaction I had to this - Sounds like your strings are extremely close and in a tiny place, as in very little reverb. I think it would be good to let them loose some in a bigger venue.

    Thank you very much for sharing this one, Ron.

    Randy B.

  3. #3

    Re: On the Cusp of Insanity (4th Movement)

    "This is a wonderful and thought provoking work when you are aware of it's storyline. Your exploration of chordal colors and different string textures and articulations made the piece function and gave power to fuel your emotions. This is also a success on a personal level when a composer can encapsulate such an experience into something exciting and tonally pleasurable. It's wonderful to see how such "misery" can bring something "beautifully" expressive from one's heart."

    "...Wiktor's a Jekyll-Hyde personality..." - Lycos Music

  4. #4

    Re: On the Cusp of Insanity (4th Movement)


    I have so many copies of this floating around that I got confused and posted the wrong one. There was next to no reverb in that one. I have now put the right one there.

    Let me know if it is enough. I know that I show caution when doing reverb, believing that too little is much better than too much.

    This piece was very painful to compose. It has been a number of years now and I still dream of her. She was beautiful, but God was she a bitch.

    In the 10 years we were together she got supper twice. She burned some mac and cheese for the first dinner and bought a pizza for the second one.

    She broke every door in every house/apartment in which we lived, by kicking them down.

    But she was a redhead!!! My favorite flavor!!!

    I'll go dry my tears now.

    Thanks Randy


  5. #5

    Re: On the Cusp of Insanity (4th Movement)

    Hi Ron,

    The first sentence of your post sounds like the opening line of a novel; the music you came up with to reflect that experience quite effectively and provocatively tells the story; tremendously well done, once again!

    There's an obvious creative intelligence (or intelligent creativeness??) to what you do, and it "just works", all within a style and voice that is refreshing and unique. Just a couple of high points for me: the cascading eighth note patterns that converge in all the parts just short of halfway through (I can sense the emotional wretching), the poignant slower and sparser bit about three quarters through (resignation?) and the stark pizz. lines under the more emotive sustained strings a little later.

    This is distinctly very much your own stuff (a good thing!!) and I continue to be impressed!


    P.S. I'm really curious to see how your composing evolves once you get Sonar.

  6. #6

    Re: On the Cusp of Insanity (4th Movement)


    I look forward to your comments each time I post. Thank you very much.

    I got my copy of Sonar the other day and am working my way thru the tutorials. A lot to learn in that.

    I had to take a trip to Texas and my last night I called her up on the phone to say hi. She was cold and distant, so the conversation was short.
    Unbeknownest to me, when she got off the phone, she continued with her packing. When I got home a few days later she was packed and gone.

    In the ten years together, she bought me 10 birthday presents and 10 years worth of Christmas presents. She left with everyone of them plus half of my stuff that I had before we were married.

    Aint marriage great!!

    Thanks again


  7. #7
    Senior Member rpearl's Avatar
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    Jan 2005

    Re: On the Cusp of Insanity (4th Movement)


    Quite a life you've had/are having. Even without the narrative, I found this piece quite captivating. Happy/sad chirpy/pesky - a lot of conflicting characters come through; I suppose it is what you intended, and it is very effective. The way the music comes in and out of tonal focus seems to resonate with your "story line"; again, I may be reading too much (or not enough) into it, but it held my attention. Many times I give things the quick hook - not so, here.

    Sorry this period in your life was so hard. That you can use it for creative purposes is good ( I guess); whether it is therapeutic or not is for you to decide. We did, however, benefit.

    All the best,
    Ron Pearl





  8. #8

    Re: On the Cusp of Insanity (4th Movement)

    Quote Originally Posted by rpearl

    Quite a life you've had/are having. Even without the narrative, I found this piece quite captivating. Happy/sad chirpy/pesky - a lot of conflicting characters come through; I suppose it is what you intended, ,

    This was exactly what I intended. Even the worst marriages have some great times in them. I wouldn't have given away those years for anything. It was really only towards the end that things got real bad.

    I never thought that they were all that bad. She apparently did, and that is why she left. She was not a normal person, but I guess her insanity can be forgiven. I was gone a lot, working 70-90 hours a week back then and she just didn't like that I wasn't there to decide things for her.

    She actually once said that she was pissed off that I wasn't there to tell her what to think.

    Gotta love 'em, 'cause we ain't allowed to shoot 'em.

    Thanks again


  9. #9

    Re: On the Cusp of Insanity (4th Movement)

    Hi Ron,

    Sounds like you have had a very hard time. Sounds like she has too.

    Thanks for sharing this piece - it will be interesting to see how it fits with the other movements.

    I am particularly interested to see hoe Sonar impacts on the music you produce.

  10. #10

    Re: On the Cusp of Insanity (4th Movement)

    Thanks Alan

    I can get some sounds out of sonar, but I can't seem to get any GPO sounds yet. Until I figure out that part, Sonar won't help much at all.


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