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Topic: [Finished] Unique for piano, trumpet and audio manipulation

  1. #1

    [Finished] Unique for piano, trumpet and audio manipulation


    I decided to start a new thread, in order to treat this work, as it should be (as a new finished work).

    It is a work for piano, trumpet and some electronics on the back (I call them "audio manipulation, since I'm taking the audio files and treat them as deserved )

    You can find the (finished and done) music and score in the following two links:

    There's been a bit of discussion going on, since I kept posting in another thread (THIS ONE) all information about the creation of the piece and the score. There's also been some discussion about the philosophical extensions of this piece which can be found HERE

    I hope you won't mind the new thread, enjoy the piece in all it's [reduced quality] glory.


  2. #2
    Senior Member bigears's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Central Illinois

    Re: [Finished] Unique for piano, trumpet and audio manipulation

    Hi Nikolas, I'm listening to your piece and it is really at a low volume. Maybe needs to be rendered with some overall boost. Quite a piece, but I can't hear it all well enough. Sounds like I'm in the lobby at the concert hall.


  3. #3

    Re: [Finished] Unique for piano, trumpet and audio manipulation

    Hi John,

    Are you sure there's no problem with your volume? Cause I just downloaded the piece and it sounds fine to me (not compressed of course, so a bit lower than any commercial pop release), but normalized at -0.1db... I also checked it with other tracks I had on this computer and on headphones and it sounds... loud enough I think. Also the file is mono, not stereo, so this might also be causing problems... :-/

    Thanks for listening, anyway.

    Can someone else confirm the volume issue, please? Is it, indeed low in volume or not? :S Thanks

  4. #4
    Senior Member bigears's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Central Illinois

    Re: [Finished] Unique for piano, trumpet and audio manipulation

    Hi Nikolas, I am listening again and have my monitors up higher than I usually do. Your piece has such a great dynamic range that it could be difficult to boost it without compression. The quiet parts of this are still pretty low to me but I can see where this may be the way it has to be. Great and interesting piece that I have followed all the way through your posts of it's progression.

  5. #5

    Re: [Finished] Unique for piano, trumpet and audio manipulation

    Well, Nikolas, what an intriguing solo. Range and technical ability push this to the top as an extremely difficult solo. Certainly, it is not for the faint of heart or chops! I like the way you deleloped the ideas and brought them full circle with the opening ideas returning at the end. I am a trumpet player of some ability, but I would say that this piece would be an extreme challenge for me, mostly because of the high registar playing. (The old chops just don't stay up there that long.) Some of the phrases (with no breathing available) seem maybe a bit unplayable, but then, I haven't tried to play this - this is just a score watching observation. You have certainly challenged the player to rise to new heights. The piano part is very nice and supports the trumept well. I would have liked to see the "taped" sounds or the electronic sounds scored though.

    I do have a qustion about the ad lib section where the trumpet splits into three lines. The only way I can concieve of how to do this on the trumpet is to hum while playing. Unless I have not seen it, there is no other way to get multiphonics out of a trumpet.

    Do you intend to have this piece performed live, or was this just an excercise in taking GPO to it's extremes?

    Regardless, this is a nice piece. Congratulations on a unique and well-developed piece.

    Best regards,
    We dream to write and we write to dream.

    Challenge #10 Winner

  6. #6

    Re: [Finished] Unique for piano, trumpet and audio manipulation

    John, glad to see that it's due to the range of dynamics involved. The Garritan Authorized Steinway helped to that, since it's awesome in it's dynamics (in fact I did make a comment about it, on the other thrread). Thanks for listening and commenting, once again.

    Bill, Thanks for listening.

    The piece is not exactly intended for a live performance, thus I took a few liberties (and added the electronic elements of the piece). The long lines without a breathing point, in the trumpet, have phrasings above, with slurs, which I would hope indicate where the player could find the opportunity to breath a little.

    The piece was not done with GPO, and it is my failure to mentioning so in the first post.

    The piano was played by me, live, with the Garritan Authorized Steinway (Pro edition, which is fabulous and, btw 24-bit).
    The trumpet is from samplemodeling, another amazing instrument.

    The adlib sections are aiming to reproduce a bit of the electronics there, and the notion that, indeed, that part is unplayable by a single trumpeter. In the recording you'll hear another couple of trumpets, various other sounds, a flugherhorn and god knows what else... That's why the thing seems so complicated (plus I love drawing wavy lines inside Finale! I totally adore that).

  7. #7

    Re: [Finished] Unique for piano, trumpet and audio manipulation


    Dynamic piece of music........The first 1 1/2 minutes of it dazzle the
    listener with pianistic flourishes, but in good taste. The following
    change in tempo lets the trumpet and piano sing.

    The next section is a good interaction between trumpet and piano and
    the slower, more rhapsodic section at the six minute mark provides another,
    yet tempo change that really engages the listener's ear.

    The ending is really great. Love that long-held last chord for both
    trumpet and piano with the piano lasting just a little longer. Great close.

    Just a great, contemporary piece, Nikolas.

    Jack Cannon--Toshiba laptop, 2.8 GHz CPU, 1.5 GB RAM, GPO4-JABB3-Auth. STEINWAY-Gofriller CELLO-Stradivari VIOLIN-COMB2-WORLD, FINALE 2009/11, RME Digiface, Cardbus, V-Stack---Mac Pro 2.66 GHz CPU, 8 GB RAM, DP 8, MOTU Traveler, MOTU Micro Express.--MacBook Pro 2.2 Ghz CPU, 8 GB RAM.

  8. #8

    Re: [Finished] Unique for piano, trumpet and audio manipulation

    nikolas, this has been and continues to be what I'd say is a milestone in the Forum's history, the blog-like reporting on the development of "Unique" which has spanned the calendar since 2009 began.

    What a Large and far-reaching project for you. It's been really something to follow the various threads as you went through the long process of developing the project, stepping forward, sometimes stepping back, thinking things through, experiimenting. Those threads will remain a record of a very--well, a very Unique event here at Northern Sounds!

    Fascinating recording we can now listen to. The instruments are both sounding fantastic, if a bit more distant than what my ears would prefer. Surely you'd enjoy having musicians tackle this for a live performance. But for now, it's quite an electrically charged recording you have of your work. Congratulations!

    Randy B.

  9. #9

    Re: [Finished] Unique for piano, trumpet and audio manipulation


    I'll blame the GREAT and AWESOME dynamics to the Steinway. When I first got it I was feeling that it was a bit "low" in volume. So much that I was thinking of making a thread with a tiny complaint (you know that I can't really keep my mouth shut! ).

    But when I really started playing with it, I found out the magic of the great dynamic range of this beautiful instrument. I do think that it's largely because of the Steinway that there's so emotion in this piece and a big dynamic range (and another reason why John was feeling it was a bit low in volume, which does stand true without any compression).

    Based on an improvisation, I think that it ended great and it gave me the opportunity to practice my almost lost abilities to that. And like etlux said, in a few impros of his own, it's the Steinway that made it happen!

  10. #10

    Re: [Finished] Unique for piano, trumpet and audio manipulation


    It was my big wish to share with you as much as possible. I'm an educator at heart (and very soon with credentials YAY! ). I love sharing and I post a lot. I have taken so much from this community, so this is my way of sharing, even if it involes (a lot of) self indulgence.

    I would hope that I'll keep this up, maybe with a better format (not a blog like, or maybe linked with twitter for updates, maybe with PDF files, don't know yet), since I'm composing continuously and I strongly believe in the "training" or "education" of the audience along with our peers: After all we can't expect the audience to just follow, without any help from us, the composers. Especially in more complicated and challenging music (which is not by default a good thing for music).

    I will agree that the instruments sound a tiny bit further (could be the low quality mp3 and the mono format but I agree they are further back). This is partly due to the Steinway, the stage perspective (24-bit samples, which work great, no bugs here!), and my feeling that I really wanted to "put", or "situate" the listener in a concert hall of sorts, as best as I could: This includes a bad sitting as well. Not all of us sit in the middle of the hall to get the best ear perspective. (And honestly, I think that this is why the sound came out this way, we have way too many bad halls here in Greece!)

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