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Topic: Bad string session- UPDATE

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  1. #1

    Bad string session- UPDATE (the string musicians read the posts)

    UPDATE: I just received this from the lead violinist from my recent string session and she has just read this entire discussion:


    "Dear Sean,
    I just read this....see below. So sorry to hear that you were so disappointed. We really did try to help you the best we could. I tried to tell you the many times we talked about going to hear other music and getting more of an idea of what is quality.
    I can see now that trying to work with someone who is self-trained through computers doesn't really work. We are MUSICIANS! You can't expect real people to perform like machines, i.e. repeating the same thing hundreds of times with NO variation. Haven't you heard of theme and VARIATIONS!!
    It was the topic of the children's concerts that we just gave with the Las Vegas Philharmonic as an introduction to the basic concepts of music. There is no where you can go where what you have put together will be accepted as music.
    It wasn't our fault that the one chart you had did not work out with your tracks. Why didn't you check your chart with what you had already recorded on the synth. (I hope you read music...I was starting to have my doubts. )
    Sean, lots of hard work and education goes into being a musician. You can't take shortcuts through technology and call it music unless you have a real background and know what works. I dont' want to embarass you and post this, so please remove what you have written from the web."



    There it is- my music will never be accepted as real music and no one who is self-trained and writes music via computers is a true musician. Wow, I hope all the session musicians in LA don't feel the same way about electronic musicians. "I hope you read music...I was starting to have my doubts." No I don't read music as well as I would like which is why I hired a conductor to score my music. Of course the lead violinist didn't seem to respect the conductor which didn't help matters. Me, my wife, and the recording engineer can all attest to that.

    Just to set the record straight, the string players at my session are all accomplished musicians and I'm not going to try to say otherwise. I just feel that they didn't take the project as serious as they should have and they didn't deliver the quality I feel they should.....but you I still paid them in full and I never mentioned anyone by name. I've already had numerous people tell me that I should post every minute of the session up on the web with the names of the performers. I don't want to do that due to professional courtesy between musicians (even if she doesn't believe me to be a real musician). In fact, I had no plans of ever telling any of the performers of my dissatisfaction and I wish they had not read this. I do feel that my original post had to be posted, though. If I had read a post like this before this experience I'm sure I would have taken more precautions and sought more knowledge before hiring string performers.

    Sorry for another post on the same topic so soon, but wow this is becoming even more interesting.
    _______________________________________
    "I would rather compose than decompose."


    Sean C. Dockery
    www.SeanDockery.com




    Cubase 5, Komplete 6, Alchemy, PLAY, Vienna Instruments, Spectrasonics, and much more

    INTEL|CORE I7 980X 3.33G, 12G CORSAIR DDR3, SSD 160G|OCZ for OS.






  2. #2

    Re: Bad string session- UPDATE

    This is interesting.

    A couple of members of my family are hard core musicians, they belong to respected orchestras and I've discussed the "Electronic Musician" thing with them in detail.

    Whilst they can appreciate the quality and respect the technology behind sampled arrangements, they always come back to, well, it's just a computer and therefore it's not real.

    My feeling naturally is that music is music.
    It's about passion and expression, that's all. We don't do this for something to do, it's what we have to do, at least for me.

    The overwhelming majority of people cannot tell a sampled score from the real thing, as long as it's done right of course. I never want to see real musicians go away and they won't but they need to appreciate what we try and do.
    Perhaps many of us can't do what they do but they sure can't do what we do either.
    2 X Intel i7 920 sys. 12 gigs Ram. XP & Win 7 64
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    My two passions. Music and Cooking.
    Both require just the right ingredients....

  3. #3

    Re: Bad string session- UPDATE

    I'm sorry but I'm turning rather frustrated by this...

    I hope that whoever sent you this message reads also my post. If she wishes to reply, she can post here, or she's most welcome to e-mail me (e-mail found in my website) or PM me here or elsewhere if she wishes...

    First of, for the benefit of a doubt (although I do recall seeing some scores from you, Sean), I do think that the scores could create a bit of a problem. I'm in London and classically trained composer and pianist, and can't value the word "charts" for all I care. (of course I am aware of what she and Sean are talking about)

    So this issue, could be a matter of misunderstanding or lack of communication. I consider scores to be a means of communication between composer and performer (and thus between performer and audience and composer to audience...). Having a bad score could have an impact.

    Now, your violonist, obviously is missing that what she recorded could be a part of a bigger plan. (don't know if you planned to add other layers, and instruments, but I'm assuming you would). She also is not aware of minimalism, which is exactly repetition? (<-this is a tease, I'm almost certain she would know about it).

    BUT

    Since when can anyone talk LIKE THAT about a person? Whether the person critisising is a musician, a performer, a musicologist, a composer, or simply a normal human being with little or no connection to music.

    Since when can a person talk about what someone else does in such a degrading manner?

    Since when can someone decide to define if something is music or not, and actually define the future of such a work throughout the world ("There is no where you can go where what you have put together will be accepted as music.")


    ___________________

    Sean, I just hope you had permission to post this message. If not: ouch!

    Cause I just quoted it and will use it, anonymous as is, in every instance I get to prove how stabbornly idiotic and close-minded are classical performers, musicians, composer and the general public towards that.

    And to think that people are still having discussion about why classical music is dying and about contemporary music and why it's not selling, etc... HAHAHAHAHA!

    Quote Originally Posted by SHE
    "Dear Sean,
    I just read this....see below. So sorry to hear that you were so disappointed. We really did try to help you the best we could. I tried to tell you the many times we talked about going to hear other music and getting more of an idea of what is quality.
    I can see now that trying to work with someone who is self-trained through computers doesn't really work. We are MUSICIANS! You can't expect real people to perform like machines, i.e. repeating the same thing hundreds of times with NO variation. Haven't you heard of theme and VARIATIONS!!
    It was the topic of the children's concerts that we just gave with the Las Vegas Philharmonic as an introduction to the basic concepts of music. There is no where you can go where what you have put together will be accepted as music.
    It wasn't our fault that the one chart you had did not work out with your tracks. Why didn't you check your chart with what you had already recorded on the synth. (I hope you read music...I was starting to have my doubts. )
    Sean, lots of hard work and education goes into being a musician. You can't take shortcuts through technology and call it music unless you have a real background and know what works. I dont' want to embarass you and post this, so please remove what you have written from the web."
    Me ladi...

    I consider myself educated, in general, and in the field of music in particular.

    Nothing of what I've done and learnt has given me what people call "respect". They don't teach that in schools I guess. But then again I don't go about talking about people, their work, etc in such manner, do I?




    PS. As you can see, I can't judge on many things, but the attitude of the message she sent. Charts could be bad, Guides could be hazy, conductor could be drunk, and as mentioned in the original thread engineer could be doing his job, not at his best. But the attitude is what really hit me!

  4. #4

    Re: Bad string session- UPDATE

    Yet again this seems to be one of those very stupid people who believes that any involvement between music and technology takes away from the accomplishment of the composer. We just had this discussion elsewhere, but it really is deplorable that such ignorance exists. If a novelist writes a great novel does anyone assume that the word processor did it for him? Yet, for some reason, if you use a notation package there is an assumption amongst the most ignorant of musicians that you are trying to bypass learning 'proper' skills.

    Sean, I haven't heard the music in question or seen the charts (and I have concerns about the kind of musician who uses the word charts rather than scores, unless you actually were writing jazz). They may be as bad as she claims, for all I know, but it's her assumption that this is because you are working with technology that I find offensive. More to the point, if your music was really unreadable, then it should have been her job to say so and ask you to clarify your intentions, rather than repeatedly trying to perform it without knowing what she was doing. That's poor musicianship.

  5. #5

    Re: Bad string session- UPDATE

    oops,

    ....not soooo fast please!

    I think it would be very interesting if "she" would register here in the forum and we all can talk to her.

    Sometimes there are situations where real musicans can`t work together with composers who only had worked with computers..., because of a not warm situation/feeling between them and a bad comunication also missunderstandings..... . As I said in the other thread, I can`t believe that "she" and her orchestra are always bad musicans!

    I hope she will register here and talk to us! That would be great!

    Best,

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

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

  6. #6

    Re: Bad string session- UPDATE

    Guys, I did not read her email this way. What she seemed to be saying is that composing for acoustic instruments using technology has its pitfalls because sampled instruments do not accurately represent the way a musician plays an acoustic instrument. Yes, the physics of sound is getting closer and closer every day in terms of reproducing the timbre and waveform that say a violin makes. But the actual playing, the articulations, the way one writes a melody to accommodate correct phrasing, these things can be a hazard for electronic composers who tread into the world of acoustic music. You can call me elitist but learning from formal orchestration books or else in university or college IS the only way to learn how to write for real musicians. Period. While I studied music in university, I never took orchestration and hence had to learn it by reading, listening, attending real concerts. Studying in some way, shape or form is a must, or else you get situations like this where the musicians have a difficult time playing the music.

    NOW, that said, if you wrote 100 whole notes tied together, these players were getting PAID and should have done so according to the indications on the charts. Deviation from this is all fine and well in the artsy fartsy world of academic music performances and such but this was a session and it's NOT for the musicians to dictate what you want, unless it is literally impossible to play i.e. quadruple stops. So, I do think it was unprofessional for the violinist to go on and patronize you the way she did. What if someone asked her to play a John Cage piece? Would she want to add some extra licks just because her artistic interpretation was different?

    I also do not like the connotation that every composer who works with DAWs and samples does not know how to write for real musicians. IF she dug her head out of the past and became a little more cognizant of tight time lines and overbearing, micromanaging clients, she would understand that the world of composing has moved in that direction, especially for film.

    There, I've said my peace.

  7. #7

    Re: Bad string session- UPDATE

    Gunther, davecos,

    I do see your points, but I also see the manner in which she wrote that message and it's where it hit me very hard! (and I do agree that there are dangers, etc, etc... but up to there!)

    Misunderstandings and miscommunications, after $1600 should not be there. Especially when the client IS Sean and not the other way around. I mean for $1600 (this is the right number, right?) if I did see something wrong in the charts or scores, I would have the idea of trying to work it out. When you see something not working, don't you say something?

    Either way, I'm under the impression that Sean, did not go about this whole thing alone. He asked help here previously many times as I recall and got the scores checked (if not written as well) by a conductor as he mentiones in the first post.

  8. #8

    Re: Bad string session- UPDATE

    I wouldn't mind her also registering here. Maybe I could learn even more than I have already learned in the past week. I am hoping to re-record the session within a few weeks in LA. I will report back on that experience when finished. If a similar bad situation comes out of that session then obviously "I" must be the one who is messed up. Regardless of the outcome I promise this forum that I will be 100% honest about it at.
    _______________________________________
    "I would rather compose than decompose."


    Sean C. Dockery
    www.SeanDockery.com




    Cubase 5, Komplete 6, Alchemy, PLAY, Vienna Instruments, Spectrasonics, and much more

    INTEL|CORE I7 980X 3.33G, 12G CORSAIR DDR3, SSD 160G|OCZ for OS.






  9. #9

    Re: Bad string session- UPDATE

    I do agree Nikolas that this musician's conduct was NOT very professional. She was being paid to play whatever he wrote and if that was 5 million repeated 16 notes with no rhythmic variation than that was her job. If she failed to do it and hid behind the rationalization that he's musically inept, than that's a cop-out.

    I have worked with semi-pro string players and the sessions went very well. I even wrote a repeating passacaglia for the cellist which admittedly was a kind of boring repeated 8 bar passage but she never complained ONCE and even complimented me on the use of double stops- she even went one further and added that my demo (done entirely on a Roland M-SE1 string module in 1998) was very good sounding.

    Sounds like Sean just ended up with a very prickly performer. And they wonder why the heck we predominantly use samples? NO friggin' egos that's why sweetie!

  10. #10

    Re: Bad string session- UPDATE

    Quote Originally Posted by davecos
    Guys, I did not read her email this way. What she seemed to be saying is that composing for acoustic instruments using technology has its pitfalls because sampled instruments do not accurately represent the way a musician plays an acoustic instrument. Yes, the physics of sound is getting closer and closer every day in terms of reproducing the timbre and waveform that say a violin makes. But the actual playing, the articulations, the way one writes a melody to accommodate correct phrasing, these things can be a hazard for electronic composers who tread into the world of acoustic music.
    If that's all she meant then I take back what I said, but her tone made it sound much more like a 'blanket' condemnation of computer musicianship borne out of the 'elitism' that is really ignorance.

    I work with a head of deparment who is the same. He is undoubtedly a very good 'real' musician, but no better than I am - and in many ways probably not as good. Yet he's starting to talk down to me because I also use music technology, which he believes to be beneath him.

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