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Topic: Dubois: Au Jardin - Les Oiseaux

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  1. #1

    Dubois: Au Jardin - Les Oiseaux

    Théodore Dubois was a French organist and composer (1837-1924). He wrote a surprising amount of piano music, much of which is never heard. Here from his Suite "Au Jardin' (in the Garden) is the first piece "Les Oiseaux" (the birds). Listen as they chirp and twitter (and beware the cuckoo.... )

    Rendered on the Steinway Basic in Finale 2009

    Enjoy!

  2. #2
    Senior Member bigears's Avatar
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    Re: Dubois: Au Jardin - Les Oiseaux

    Hi Jon, The short piece lives up to it's name and your description. I have real birds outside my room twittering alongside your music as it plays. Thanks for introducing me to a new composer and an interesting piece! John

  3. #3

    Re: Dubois: Au Jardin - Les Oiseaux

    Thanks for listening, Bigears - I'm pleased you enjoyed the music!

    - J

  4. #4

    Re: Dubois: Au Jardin - Les Oiseaux

    Jon,

    This is a sweet little composition!

    The ending has a little surprise in it.

    I always like pieces that describe nature, so I'm glad
    that you introduced me to this composer and his works.

    Thanks for sharing,

    ~Yudit~

  5. #5

    Re: Dubois: Au Jardin - Les Oiseaux

    What nice work, Jonathan - You surely are playing this with the spritely spirit Dubois must have had in mind. It's so fun to hear music so unabashedly imitative of nature's sounds. It's a quaint notion which is well done in this little piece.

    Thanks!
    Randy

  6. #6
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    Re: Dubois: Au Jardin - Les Oiseaux

    I was expecting something between Liszt’s St. Francis and just about any Messian (the master of bird sounds) but it sounds like neither. I liked it. Nice rendering. I’ve heard of Dubois, but very little of his music. I’ll have to look some more up…
    Trent P. McDonald

  7. #7

    Re: Dubois: Au Jardin - Les Oiseaux

    Yudit - thanks for the kind words! I'm glad you liked the surprise at the end.... Mr. Cuckoo strikes again!

    Randy - Glad you enjoyed it - hope you made note of the parlor acoustics...
    . I so often write and enjoy complex music, these little miniatures seem almost like the musical equivalent of Sorbet, cleansing the palate between richer fare. I've decided to do the entire suite of 6 pieces (they're all stuff you'd find or experience in the garden) since they are so charming.

    Trent - Thanks for stopping by! Indeed, one thinks of Messiaen when emulating bird sounds, but we forget that tradition came LONG before him (although we must acknowledge he took it to a new level!). This is interesting for me, because Dubois' organ music is more formal.

    Thanks all!

  8. #8

    Re: Dubois: Au Jardin - Les Oiseaux

    Hello again, Jonathan!

    "...hope you made note of the parlor acoustics..."

    LOL! That's right - we used to have this thing going about our contrasting tastes in the use of reverb, you preferring things very ambient, me preferring things more intimate. I'd almost forgotten!

    um--now that you mention it, when I listened to this fun piece yesterday, I found it--are you ready?---too wet---but decided to skip writing the comment.

    So, yes I Did make note of the parlor acoustics - because it's So notable. The Piano is in the corner of the parlor and I'm sitting as far away as the room can allow. Actually, I might even be in the next room hearing the sound reverberate from the parlor.

    It's not just the size of a reverb room we notice, but how obvious the treatment is - I feel that as soon as we're aware of Reverb with a capital R, then too much has been used.

    Now if that parlor setting was dialed down to about half of what you have, then it would be the natural sound of actually hearing a piano in a parlor. Using our sense memories of what it really sounds like to hear a piano being played in a home, that's the guide I would go by. Right now it really sounds like you have the setting 100% wet.

    ----Aren't you Glad you brought that up? hehehehehe.

    Wonderful performance, that's the most important thing.

    Randy

  9. #9

    Re: Dubois: Au Jardin - Les Oiseaux

    <chuckle>

    So, it just goes to show you that taste is all over the board when it comes to musicians....

    Believe it or not, this was a 50-50 mix, and a very small room (and to be honest, it is drier than I really like it, but.....)

    Probably the safest thing to say is that compared to my usual cathedralesque acoustics, this is considerably more intimate in conception.

    One note on my reverb rationale here - because I have the Basic version of the Steinway, it seemed that I could hear a pan of the notes from high to low as played across the keyboard, and I found that very distracting. The classical piano recordings that I enjoy exhibit none of that sort of sound, and I tried to get it close to that sound. I increased the wetness until it became less noticeable to me, then backed it off a hair to 50-50.

    I think (and I might be totally wrong here, but...) one of the reasons you are so sensitive to reverb and room ambience, Randy, is because of your extensive theatre background. I've been in a LOT of theatre venues, and most of them are acoustically warm (but very spare reverb-wise). I remember at the Pantages in LA that the room (while not dead) is very clear-sounding and "feels" intimate acoustically (even when you have the cheap seats in the balcony!). By contrast, I am an organist, and we revel in the rolling acoustics of the great cathedrals (and indeed, find that far more pleasing). So, what is right on the edge of being too dry for me will still be too wet for you, and what is just right for me will seem like Duck Soup for you... <chuckle>

    It's all very fascinating, and I wonder how much what we are most familiar with can color our reactions to particular experiences (both musical and non-musical).

    Just for fun, I went WAY out of my comfort zone (that's the best way to learn, right?) and mixed a nearly-bone-dry version for you HERE, Randy, with only the very slightest amount of reverb to smooth and sweeten. I'm not sure I like it, but I'll listen a few times and see if it grows on me.

    What fun to gently prod and challenge one another to experiment and try new things... I've lost track of the many things I've learned musically from this wonderful group!

    Best,

    - J

    Quote Originally Posted by rbowser- View Post
    Hello again, Jonathan!

    "...hope you made note of the parlor acoustics..."

    LOL! That's right - we used to have this thing going about our contrasting tastes in the use of reverb, you preferring things very ambient, me preferring things more intimate. I'd almost forgotten!

    um--now that you mention it, when I listened to this fun piece yesterday, I found it--are you ready?---too wet---but decided to skip writing the comment.

    So, yes I Did make note of the parlor acoustics - because it's So notable. The Piano is in the corner of the parlor and I'm sitting as far away as the room can allow. Actually, I might even be in the next room hearing the sound reverberate from the parlor.

  10. #10

    Re: Dubois: Au Jardin - Les Oiseaux

    Ha! You got me, Jonathan--I listened to the special dry mix you put up and you out-dried me. That's the Sahara for sure.

    AND NOW - turn about is fair play! I hobbled together a Very Quick and Dirty mix made from swiping your dry MP3 and seeing if I could add the amount of reverb I would prefer for achieving the stated "Parlor" effect.

    I spent 5 minutes tops on this, so no promises of complete wonderfulness - But I've listened to it twice now, and for my ears, it's sounding more like what it's actually like to be in a very small venue like a parlor - a bright one still, more bright than most actual parlors with their carpeting, drapes and furniture. Let's say it's a hardwood floor in a sparsely furnished room.

    I know exactly what you mean about that huge stereo width. You're using the Basic Steinway which doesn't have all the options. That sound was designed for people who want to sit down and hear playback as if they're actually at a Steinway. It's like the Player's perspective, or maybe Under the lid - but too wide for most recording purposes.

    So in Sonar just now, I tamed the stereo spread with a couple of simple tricks, including splitting the tracks into 2 mono tracks and reducing the spread of their pans. Then I reversed the field so that high notes are more towards the left,--the piano is Facing us. I brightened the sound up a bit because I like that.

    But the most important part was I used a small room setting and using sends on the mixer screen, sent what I felt was an appropriate amount through the fully wet reverb in a bus.

    The reverb is there, but isn't it more like being in a nice room with a pianist, rather than hearing him from the down the hall? As you know, I feel that there is a real tendency to have a faulty and exaggerated concept of how reverb actually sounds in real life.

    By the way, I think your theory is sound - sound, hehe, get it? - about my life long experience in theatre being a factor in my preference in this reverb matter. BUT there's also a definitely important factor I'm conscious of - When I first started doing home recording (pre-computer Stone Age) - the first Mentor I had in the field, an excellent, experienced engineer, was horrified at how Wet I wanted to mix things. He patiently showed me how I was spoiling my recordings with too much reverb. His lesson made an indelible impression, and for that I'm grateful!

    SO - for you, J -

    the Not so Dry, but not so Wet "Les
    Oiseaux."




    Randy B.

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