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Topic: Recollections of Christmases Past

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  1. #1

    Recollections of Christmases Past

    I try to write at least a couple of Christmas pieces each year. Here is the second one for this year. This probably won’t sound very Christmassy to you, but it is to me. It is quite personal.

    My found recollections of Christmas go back to where I grew up---- on a ranch--riding horses, chasing the chickens and pigs, waiting for a reindeer to land in our corral, expecting to find elves in the hay loft. I tried to depict these in the music. My mother had a wonderful collection of musical boxes; one in particular, had a ballerina that popped up and began dancing when you opened the lid. (also in the music).

    When I was a teenager, everyone else would be watching football or playing with their gifts in the afternoon….not me, I would sit down in front of the television and watch the Twilight Zone marathon all afternoon, nonstop.

    There is a brief reverence to the famous 4-note- theme of the Twilight Zone towards the end of this piece, which was originally written by Mariaus Constant for Rod Sterling in 1960. I’ve altered it quite a bit, but still recognizable.

    Other than that brief encounter, the whole piece is made up of just two themes, the Ranch theme and the music box theme, spun, flipped, twisted, stretched, etc, in many different ways; all depicting the enduring memories of mine of this wonderful season.

    Still needs a lot of mixing and mastering, but I won’t get it done before Christmas, so I thought I’d post it as is for now.

    Hope you enjoy,

    Cass


    RECOLLECTIONS OF CHRISTMASES PAST

  2. #2
    Senior Member bigears's Avatar
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    Re: Recollections of Christmases Past

    Hi Cass,
    My there is a lot to this. I am listening for the second time. I hear a little bit of what sounds to me like Copland references in the "ranch" portion, and then the music box winds up and I hear snippets of carols and "Rudolph". The Twilight Zone section works really well.
    I like this piece a lot, thanks for sharing and Merry Christmas! John

    After Recollections plays, the player on box.net goes on to play other songs, I don't know if that is your intention. Randy alerted me to a similar thing when I first started using box.net.

  3. #3
    Senior Member June-Bug-Dan's Avatar
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    Oct 2006
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    Re: Recollections of Christmases Past

    Hi Cass,

    Once again your music is a delight to listen to
    A really wonderful piece, i loved every note

    Thanks for shaing


    Dan.
    Trumpet, cornet, flugel player. Composer and student.

  4. #4

    Re: Recollections of Christmases Past

    Cass,


    You certainly had the right toys to play with in your childhood and youth, and you certainly know how to play (double meaning) them now…!

    What an interesting ‘salad’ you have tossed here!

    Rich in colors and moods, great use of a variety of instruments, all kinds of little surprises along the way… and all this in a quick switch as if done by a magic wand…

    I like especially the ending, starting with the grotesque part which then resolves into the pastoral ending.

    The only thing I can think of that you missed is a… horse’s neighing… lol


    Yudit

  5. #5

    Re: Recollections of Christmases Past

    My heavens, quite a smorgasbord -- Swedish Western?
    Ah, well, I think it's impossible for a New Englander to
    grok the idea of even having Christmas on a western
    ranch... lol.

    Seriously, an absolutely marvelous adventure, this piece;
    through a dozen different perspectives and contrasts and
    moods... yet flawlessly knit together. This'd be a knock-
    out in live performance, Cass, and I sincerely hope it
    finds its way there.

    Undoubtedly, this one earns a...

    Bravo!

    All my best,



    David
    -----
    David Sosnowski
    www.DavidSosnowski.com

  6. #6

    Re: Recollections of Christmases Past

    This is a wonderful piece of writing and a thoroughly enjoyable listen. Bravo, Mr. Cass. Thanks for posting.

    Merry Christmas to you and your family.

    Larry
    Larry G. Alexander
    www.alexandermusic.com

  7. #7

    Re: Recollections of Christmases Past

    Quote Originally Posted by bigears View Post
    Hi Cass,
    My there is a lot to this. I am listening for the second time. I hear a little bit of what sounds to me like Copland references in the "ranch" portion
    John,


    Yeah, one can’t help to think of Copland every time you hear a country western motif in classical type music, even more so than all the movies soundtracks on that style out there; and he lived in New York, now that’s creative composing!!


    Quote Originally Posted by bigears View Post

    After Recollections plays, the player on box.net goes on to play other songs, I don't know if that is your intention. Randy alerted me to a similar thing when I first started using box.net.

    I’m glad you liked the piece. It was a lot of fun to put together. I’m also aware of the problem with box.net, about continuing on to the next piece. I don’t know how to correct the problem. I’ve tried everything, no dice. I guess I could delete it and then re-upload it again. Never had the problem before; so if you know how to resolve it or anyone else reading this knows how to, I’d appreciate knowing.

    Thanks again for listening John,

    Cass

  8. #8

    Re: Recollections of Christmases Past

    Quote Originally Posted by June-Bug-Dan View Post
    Hi Cass,

    Once again your music is a delight to listen to
    A really wonderful piece, i loved every note

    Thanks for shaing


    Dan.

    Dan,

    This is very uplifting for me to hear that you, as a young composer, liked the piece. I don’t really write in a contemporary style, although I can, I have melodies in my head flowing out me like a dam breaking, it’s a gift, so I don’t ignore it. Most young students of composition are more into contemporary/atonal writing which usually doesn’t involve long melodic lines and I fully support it! It’s what’s relevant for our time and expected if you go on for degrees. And too, I really enjoy such music, it’s just not where my spirit or heart lies when I compose. Thank God we’re all different!

    Thanks for your support Dan,

    the best to you,

    Cass

  9. #9

    Re: Recollections of Christmases Past

    Quote Originally Posted by sunbird View Post
    Cass,


    You certainly had the right toys to play with in your childhood and youth, and you certainly know how to play (double meaning) them now…!
    Yudit,

    I wouldn’t trade my childhood memories for anything. I had an incredible adolescent period with such varied environments, I guess that shows in my music. After we lived on a ranch I moved to downtown Chicago, talk about transitions. Also traveled a lot when I was in high school and college. Went to every state but Alaska, then on to Ireland, England, Greece, Mexico and loved every minute of it. So yes, I have lots of memories instilled into me which still pull at my compositional-heart strings.



    Quote Originally Posted by sunbird View Post



    The only thing I can think of that you missed is a… horse’s neighing… lol


    Yudit
    Wilburrrrrrrrrrrrrrr…….(there, now it’s complete!)

    Merry Christmas/ Happy Hanukkah to you,

    Cass

  10. #10

    Re: Recollections of Christmases Past

    Quote Originally Posted by etLux View Post
    Ah, well, I think it's impossible for a New Englander to
    grok the idea of even having Christmas on a western
    ranch... lol.
    Oh come on David, I’m sure Copland could grok that vision. New York isn’t that far from New Enland. He did pretty well with “Billy the Kid’, “Rodeo”, “Red Pony” and such, you could perhaps come up with a piece such as…….hum………..”The Lassoing Entanglement”. (which is what happened when I tried it!! Lol)

    Quote Originally Posted by etLux View Post
    Seriously, an absolutely marvelous adventure, this piece;
    through a dozen different perspectives and contrasts and
    moods... yet flawlessly knit together. This'd be a knock-
    out in live performance, Cass, and I sincerely hope it
    finds its way there.
    I really appreciate the kudos. I’m hoping that Santa brings me a notation software for Christmas because this will probably be the first piece I’ll notate with it. It was top on my wish list, so Chances are Likely, [such as an 8-ball would prognostically reveal,] that I’ll get it! I might ring your email-door a few times for help on this once I commence.

    All my best to you,

    Cass

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