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Topic: Deianira's Lament

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  1. #1

    Deianira's Lament

    This piece is composed for

    4 Violins
    2 Violas
    3 Cellos
    1 Contrabass

    All of the instruments are from GPO 4 and the piece was composed in Sonar 8 PE.

    Here is the piece

    Deianira's Lament

    For those that are interested, Deianira was Hercules' last wife and it was her fault he had to be put into the heavens.

    Ron
    "Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one." Albert Einstein

    http://composersforum.ning.com/profile/RonaldFerguson

  2. #2

    Re: Deianira's Lament

    Evocatively lachrymose, Ron; this certainly has a quality
    of lamentation to it. Very effective scene setting.

    My best,



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

  3. #3

    Re: Deianira's Lament

    Quote Originally Posted by etLux View Post
    I had to go look that word up. Nice!

    I kind of doubt that this piece will get much in the way of responses because of its odd use of harmonies, but I was in a bad mood when I composed it and these harmonies fit the mood I was in at the time.

    So I didn't set the scene as much as the scene was set for me.

    Thank you my friend for the inspiration you provide me.

    Ron
    "Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one." Albert Einstein

    http://composersforum.ning.com/profile/RonaldFerguson

  4. #4

    Re: Deianira's Lament

    First I didn't want to comment, but now that I read about the mood you were in, let me tell you my reaction to your piece.

    I like the movement it has, the dynamics, the breathing if you like, and the texture at a few points, they really work. I didn't like the harmony/atonality, though. It made the piece sound aggressive, a comment I didn't want to make about a lament, but now I understand why. Analytically, I found the way you repeat the themes interesting, but emotionally it didn't quite work.

    One thing that might work (for me!) is to lower the tempo and/or introduce a bit more tonal ground, e.g. by having the voices clash less and less during the course of the work. I say this, because the work and the description reminded me a bit of Benjamin Britten's Lachrymae (variations on Dowlands eponymous work; I'm curious what you make of the comparison; you can find a version on Youtube).

  5. #5

    Re: Deianira's Lament

    Hi, Ron - You sent me running to the Wikipedia to read more about "Deianira"---yikes, now there's a story for you--accidentally killing Hercules and then killing herself. Of course her motivation for smearing the Centaur's blood on him was revenge for Hercules' infidelity - INTeresting story. It has possibilities as the structure for a tragic modern love triangle story.

    And your music came straight from those hugely dramatic Greek myth depths - very evocative.

    I enjoyed reading your new comment that your own dark mood guided you as you worked on this. This is what should always happen with music, I think. When music is ever reduced to pure theory during its composition, the results may be admirable in some academic way, but it's impossible for the results to move listeners beyond mere admiration for the composer's skill.

    I think it would be a worthy experiment to have this piece build more, perhaps with a suggestion of your character's lament at the start, and then her grief builds as the piece progresses. Drama in music, you know how I am about that, so that the listener is taken from point A to point B. I suggest it as an experiment because I feel this starts at the high point of grief and then stays there dwelling in the one mood for the duration. Perhaps?

    And part of this post should give you a sense of Deja Vu, eh, Ron?

    Randy

  6. #6
    Senior Member sosmus's Avatar
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    Re: Deianira's Lament

    Ron:
    Truly professional level writing. It ain't broke so don't fix it. Very interesting mixture of consonance and dissonance. To paraphrase ABC Sports, it presents "the thrill of defeat and the agony of victory."
    I'd love to be able to write like this, however, while still in school, I tried my hand at it but my composition instructor told me that every thing I wrote sounded like it needed a rhythm section. The rest is history-------

    Write on!

    Steve

  7. #7
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    Re: Deianira's Lament

    I can't use my typical "enjoyable" for this, though I did like it very much. It displays some excellent writing. Very dark....
    Trent P. McDonald

  8. #8
    Senior Member Frank D's Avatar
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    Re: Deianira's Lament

    Hey Ron,

    If it's not oxymoronic for me to say you bring brightness to darkness, I'll say it (but then maybe I'm just plain moronic ). Seriously, I liked it and it was interesting to hear you write with a limited timbral palette ... I'm such a big fan of your full-color pieces. Kinda like Herrmann's Psycho vs Vertigo ... your lines and harmonies are really laid bare.

    I have a question for you: Despite my loving the harmonies and weight of the piece, my Westernized ears aren't good enough to pick out individual chords or lines. Did you compose this linearly, where the various string lines were the driving force ... or, ... harmonically, where you concentrated more on the chordal intervals?

    Really nice work, Ron ... but I gotta go out and take a walk in the sunshine now!

    Regards,

    Frank

  9. #9
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    Re: Deianira's Lament

    Ron

    This music is very intense and dark -- I had to pause the playback so I can write this. The harmonies are modern but very consistent. There is a certain static quality but this accentuates the intensity; the mood has reached rock bottom and is there with no hope of getting better.

    Did you consider using a (French) horn? both for its ability to blend other instruments, as well for its sombre tone. But the massed strings are certainly effective.

    I don't recall ever hearing a piece so dark and involving -- it speaks to the power of non-classical harmonies -- well done.

    Herb

  10. #10

    Re: Deianira's Lament

    FLWrd

    I listened to the link you provided and see some resemblence in the 2 works so I can see why my piece brought this one to mind.

    This piece was a try at some catharsis for me. I needed to work thru the bad mood and this piece helped me to do that.

    Randy

    It's Deja Vu all over again.

    I forget what movie I heard that line in, but I always liked it.

    Perhaps at a later date I may revisit this piece and see if it can be made more palatable for a mainstream audience, but for now it has served its purpose.

    Steve

    Things have happened to me in the last 2 days that more than ever have made me feel
    "the thrill of defeat and the agony of victory."

    Actually I am in the process of waiting to see which one of these 2 emotions I get to feel.

    Trent

    I understand what you are saying. I don't know if I really "enjoy" this piece either, but it does say some dark things.

    Frank

    I wish I could say that this was composed in one way, but alas that is not true. Part of this was composed based solely on chords and then melody lines were added, whereas in other parts I started with the melody and added the Harmony. I do hope the sun got rid of the darkness.

    Herb

    There is a certain static quality but this accentuates the intensity; the mood has reached rock bottom and is there with no hope of getting better.

    That is exactly where i was when I composed this. The actual composing was 90% completed in less than 2 hours. Of course I did a lot of tweaking that took a number of hours longer.

    I do think that with these harmonies, the length of the piece is right on the verge of becoming unbearable. Any longer and no one would want to listen to it further. It may even be too long as is.

    I was thinking Strings from the time I started until it was finished.

    Thanks guys

    Ron
    "Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one." Albert Einstein

    http://composersforum.ning.com/profile/RonaldFerguson

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