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Topic: My best piece to date (atleast I think so anyway)

  1. #1

    My best piece to date (atleast I think so anyway)

    On friday morning I sat and recorded a new piano piece, straight off. I came up with the opening few bars, then turned and hit record on cubase. The following 8-9 minutes I just played and out came what you can hear, I've not done anything to edit the piece apart from delete a couple of unwanted 'bum' notes where my fingers where being lazy.

    Haunting Dreams.mp3

    I hope you like it, I personally think its the best piece I've ever written to date and after recording it I sat there almost in shock, I've never felt anything like what I did during those 8 and a bit minutes.

    I'm so glad I use Cubase to record everything as I'd not have any recollectiion of what I recorded nor would I be able to score it and use the beautiful Steinway in GPO.

    Hope you are all having a wonderful 2008 and that your creative juices are flowing.

  2. #2

    Re: My best piece to date (atleast I think so anyway)

    Hi, Dave

    It really can be so good for the soul to sit down and allow oneself to improvise like this. To work "in the flow" is where we want to be as artists, as often as we can go there.

    And the nature of what emerges improvisationally tends to make the results more a collection of scattered ideas rather than something that holds up as a composition or which can keep the interest of a listener. And so it is here in your reverie. There are measures scattered throughout that I'm sure you could be inspired to base a more cohesive piece on.

    And it would be helpful for you to think of this output in those terms, and to not hold on to the idea that this recording has to be It. It's the beginning, and that's great - You were "in the groove" and now you can use both hemispheres of your brain to build something even more effective from raw material in this virtually unedited recording.

    If you do build from pieces of this, I would avoid the most repeated chord progression you use especially in the first half of this. It's a very common string of chords and after hearing you use it once, its predictability dulls the ears. It's probably a comfortable progression for you, we all have our fave progressions that we tend to go to - and I think those are exactly the ones we need to try and avoid. Playing that progression with right hand noodling on top - a little bit goes a long ways. There was more interesting material in the second half.

    But I'm not the one doing the picking and choosing of bits to build from - I'm just saying I hope You want to do that, because this could be a very helpful thing you did for yourself - to record the improvisation. Now comes the more difficult part - editing, structuring, making the most out of what emerged.

    Randy B.

  3. #3

    Re: My best piece to date (atleast I think so anyway)

    I'd just like to echo Randy's hope that you work with this. I love it too when ideas just flow - most of my music comes this way, recording sketches which I can then play with. I know it's tempting to just let the music play itself and be happy with the pure inspiration, but I know you can use and improve on what you have here! (I just listened to some more of your work on your web site, and I can see your potential.)

    Keep listening to your sketch here until you can hear it in your head. Be honest about what sounds good and not so good. Take your time to shape it, then let us hear what you come up with. We look forward to it!

    Best wishes

  4. #4

    Re: My best piece to date (atleast I think so anyway)

    Very nice work on this improvisation, Dave. Improvisation
    tends to be a lost art these days, other than in Jazz
    venues; so it's good to hear someone still caressing the
    keys without aid of sheet music or charts.

    Perhaps you'll take some of the ideas presented herein
    and develop them more formally?

    My best,


  5. #5

    Re: My best piece to date (atleast I think so anyway)

    Hi! I listened to your whole piece and you obviously had a great time doing this with lots of feeling and expression. I don't know how long you have being doing this so please keep that in mind as you read on. I must concur with the other comments about improvisation. I used to compose the same as you and as time went on I learned to take out the good stuff and throw out the not so good. Then go to work and fix up the good stuff and refine it and develop it some more and more again. Many times as we get better with improv, we get lucky and pull off something useable on the first take but most of the time it is about lots of work and refining to make a more enjoyable experience for the listener who did not have the fun of writing the piece. Anyone who designs art or buildings etc will tell you it is a creative "process." 10 percent inspiration and 90 percent perspiration!

    I must say that I think your piece got better as it went on. I especially like the part from about half way to the 75 per cent mark. I hear great promise here and I think you do have talent and it just needs to be developed more which will take time. I hope you will be patient with yourself. We are all at different levels and I am not that far ahead. So please keep your pieces coming. That is why we are all here - to improve and polish what we like doing. After listening to our pieces so many times while composing and recording we really need objectivity which this forum gives us.

    I always let a piece sit at least 24 hours after I first start it. Many times I come back the next day and discover that my sense of what I think is good tricked me the night before. So I work and improve that part that does not quite cut it or just scrap it. Or add to it.

    Some advice that a friend gave me a few years ago (and then some) was to always use the metronome when you are laying down the base or main track. (basically when you are recording) She said when you add parts it will be a lot easier to know when to come in instead of guessing. I find it always improves the composition as well.

    So hang in there and keep the compositions coming! We are expecting great things!

    Music happens to be an art form that transcends language. - Herbie Hancock


  6. #6

    Re: My best piece to date (atleast I think so anyway)

    I understand what all the previous posts are saying, but I have to admit, I'm a fan of this sound. Yeah, the chord progression does get a little repetative, but I do the same thing when I improv (which is no where near as good as this by the way) What is really nice to hear is that you feel this is your best piece to date. It's always a good thing to recognize that there's room to grow. The greatest musicians in the world don't get to a point, listen to a performance or composition of theirs and say "Wow, I finally reached the sound I've been going for." They say something more like, "Okay, that was fine, but if i'd tweaked this, blended this in a little better, brought this part out..." etc. It's always good to experiment, and improvisation is the best way to do this. Though most experiments turn out like crap, one tends to pick and choose individual parts of the bad experiments, whether consciously or not, and improves over time. But very nice sound you have going here, and I hope to hear more of your music in the future!
    Michael Obermeyer, Jr.
    youtube channel
    soundclick page

  7. #7

    Re: My best piece to date (atleast I think so anyway)

    Thanks for your comments. I've had a few days of listening to the piece and have to admit I am starting to agree with you all. It is a little 'samey' although I think thats what i wanted. You know how when intially starting a piece you have a particular thought or emotion inside of you, that you want to express. Well it came to me yesterday that I was thinking of 2007, a pretty bad year for me, very uneventful with a few little glimmers of hope which ended pretty abismally.

    I think I will end up taking the piece and developing it some how, I'd quite like to leave it as a solo piece but am going to experiment with adding a few other instruments to see if they might add that little more interest, or even use this as the base for my first Concerto and place a full orchestra around it.

    The feeling I get from this piece now (listening to it again, whilst I write this), is that it could be a piece that can be used for a film score taking parts of it and coming back to it as the scene or whole film develops, similar to Eninio Morricones' score for the mission which has the same phrase through out.

    Once again thank you for your comments, I consider you all my peers and really do value the support I'm shown, so as to mould my techniques and abilities in writing.


  8. #8

    Re: My best piece to date (atleast I think so anyway)

    Yes, this piece meant a lot to you I can tell. "Music is the Flower of expression" I have listened to your other pieces as well and you do show promise. Also, some would tell us all to go to hell but you took it and that is the sign of maturity at any age and will really help you to improve quickly while retaining your own style. I don't always agree with comments about my music but I always seriously consider them and try to find the truth and separate out the musical taste factor if possible.
    Music happens to be an art form that transcends language. - Herbie Hancock


  9. #9

    Re: My best piece to date (atleast I think so anyway)

    Hi Dave,

    I'll chime in with my general concurrance with what's been written in the previous posts... you show great promise in your talent and have the core in place for developing a fine piece (or pieces) of music.

    To sit sit down at the keyboard and just play is admirable in and of itself; if I were to try, you'd hear large chunks of silence followed by the beginning of Colour My World followed by large chunks of silence followed by the first four measures of Imagine. You, on the other hand, easily have enough material within that improvisation to sculpt a viably creative piece from. That's where the hard work (and a TON of trial in error) comes into play -- as Randy said, engaging the whole right brain/left brain partnership thing.

    So go for it! I know we'll all be impressed with what you come up with in the future.


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