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Topic: Oneironauts (large orchestra) - Jamie Kowalski

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  1. #1

    Oneironauts (large orchestra) - Jamie Kowalski

    This is my latest completed work. It took me over three years to write and required about 800 hours of work as it went through countless revisions.

    ONEIRONAUTS - mp3 file (14MB)
    ONEIRONAUTS - complete pdf score

    "Oneironaut" means "explorer of dreams." It is used primarily to describe those who practice the art of Lucid Dreaming. A lucid dream is one in which the dreamer is fully aware and conscious during sleep, and able to directly influence the shape and direction of the dream. This work was intended to evoke the feeling of such a journey -- the sudden and often fleeting moments of clarity, and the ever-shifting visuals and story components.

    While much of the writing is free-form, there are a few concrete thematic elements that are tied to specific images. The piano and harp represent the dreamer, only sometimes aware, attempting to exert influence on the rest of the orchestra. Tremolos in the strings mark the transitions between different dreams, while slowly shifting harmonies in the lowest registers of the winds mimic the deep breathing that comes with sleep.

    As with most of my writing in the last 8 years, all construction was done using the Piano-Roll-View of a sequencer, doing only final edits and clean-up using traditional notation. I find that I continue to make new personal discoveries this way, especially in the realms of harmony and instrumentation. It was especially useful for this work, as I found myself frequently copying a large mass of notes to a new area, layering it over existing material, or altering it in a number of different ways.

    I would like to give special thanks to David Sosnowski who with some excellent advice helped me through a very difficult time getting this finished.

    Orchestra: 3 fl (3=picc), 2 ob, E.h., 2 cl, b-cl, 2 bsn, c-bsn, brass: 4/3/3/1, timp, 4 perc, piano, harp, strings
    Audio: Sonar 8 PE; Sonitus compressor and multi-band compressor; Perfect Space (Concertgebauw Hall/multi-position, 6 instances); Soundforge 8
    Libraries: Garritan Personal Orchestra, Garritan JABB, Garritan CMB, Garritan Steinway
    Score: Sibelius 6

    Thank you for listening.
    - Jamie Kowalski

    All Hands Music - Kowalski on the web
    The Ear Is Always Correct - Writings on composition

  2. #2

    Re: Oneironauts (large orchestra) - Jamie Kowalski

    You have a great piece here, very nice and pleasing to the ear.
    Producer ~ Sound Engineer ~ Musician

    http://www.myspace.com/451525581

  3. #3

    Re: Oneironauts (large orchestra) - Jamie Kowalski

    Dear Jamie,

    Congratualtions to this orchestral masterpiece. I enjoy it and I like very much. Some very interesting moments inside. Very versatile and rich in color and melody. Very good and colorful orchestration too.

    All my best

    J.

  4. #4

    Re: Oneironauts (large orchestra) - Jamie Kowalski

    Thank you, Hippie and Jaques. I'm very glad you like it.
    - Jamie Kowalski

    All Hands Music - Kowalski on the web
    The Ear Is Always Correct - Writings on composition

  5. #5
    Senior Member sd cisco's Avatar
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    Re: Oneironauts (large orchestra) - Jamie Kowalski

    Hi Jamie;
    Very nice indeed! I liked the use of the winds, throughout, and the brass and percussion near the end. Interesting how it just sort of fades away at the end. Very subtle and introspective quality to how you have done this and very fitting with the context of the piece, as you have described it. This lucid dreaming reminds me of Carlos Castenada; where Don Juan tries to teach him how to get there, by remembering to look at your hands, while dreaming, and using that as a link to gain control and be "conscious", so to speak, during the dream.
    Congratulations and thank you for sharing!!

    Best regards,
    sd cisco

  6. #6

    Re: Oneironauts (large orchestra) - Jamie Kowalski

    I agree with the comments above: it's rich, colourful, and has a lovely use of woodwinds (and piano, I'd like to add). It has an organic quality: it's not overtly structured, but there is some relation throughout, although hard to define. At least, I couldn't really find one overarching idea, but I did notice the use of the (major) second, that seems to permeate the composition. Very nice work.
    Theo

  7. #7

    Re: Oneironauts (large orchestra) - Jamie Kowalski

    Quote Originally Posted by sd cisco View Post
    Hi Jamie;
    Very nice indeed! I liked the use of the winds, throughout, and the brass and percussion near the end.
    Thank you, sd cisco. It was fun pulling out all the stops on the brass for once. I don't often let them have that much fun.

    Interesting how it just sort of fades away at the end. Very subtle and introspective quality to how you have done this and very fitting with the context of the piece, as you have described it.
    For the end section, the dreamer remains asleep, but is no longer lucid. Whatever big exciting dream that he was just involved in disolves, and he rests peacefully until morning.

    This lucid dreaming reminds me of Carlos Castenada; where Don Juan tries to teach him how to get there, by remembering to look at your hands, while dreaming, and using that as a link to gain control and be "conscious", so to speak, during the dream.
    I'm haven't read Castenada, but if you're interested in the subject, I highly recommend Stephen LaBerge's Exploring the World of Lucid Dreaming.

    Congratulations and thank you for sharing!!
    And thank you very much for the post!
    - Jamie Kowalski

    All Hands Music - Kowalski on the web
    The Ear Is Always Correct - Writings on composition

  8. #8

    Re: Oneironauts (large orchestra) - Jamie Kowalski

    Quote Originally Posted by FLWrd View Post
    I agree with the comments above: it's rich, colourful, and has a lovely use of woodwinds (and piano, I'd like to add).
    Hi Theo -- Thank you for your comments.

    It has an organic quality: it's not overtly structured, but there is some relation throughout, although hard to define. At least, I couldn't really find one overarching idea, but I did notice the use of the (major) second, that seems to permeate the composition.
    There actually is no overall structure, which was a conscious decision when I began work on this. The idea was to give it the wandering feeling of a series of dreams. This ended up making the construction extremely difficult for me, which is why it took me so long to complete, but I like the end result.

    There are several recurring themes, however. The most obvious two are in the very first measures -- E,F#,D,E,F,E in the vlns/vla and the stacatto turn around the notes F,G,Ab in the basses. Both of these are used throughout the score, though they are often mutated beyond easy recognition. Common harmonic elements are stacked 4ths and whole-tone harmonies. I consider these two realms almost polar opposites, so I am interested in what happens when trying to work them simultaneously.

    Very nice work.
    Thanks again.
    - Jamie Kowalski

    All Hands Music - Kowalski on the web
    The Ear Is Always Correct - Writings on composition

  9. #9

    Re: Oneironauts (large orchestra) - Jamie Kowalski

    Outstanding Jamie! I really mean it. This is a meaty piece of music. I hope you get a live performance of it or at the very least a run through with an orchestra as I think that would be very rewarding.

    The opening measures sounded like Shostakovich to me. Nicely written and orchestrated.

    Steve Winkler

  10. #10

    Re: Oneironauts (large orchestra) - Jamie Kowalski

    Quote Originally Posted by swinkler View Post
    Outstanding Jamie! I really mean it. This is a meaty piece of music.
    Thank you, Steve.

    The opening measures sounded like Shostakovich to me. Nicely written and orchestrated.
    I very much admire Shostakovich, so I am flattered. I never thought of him as a direct inspiration, but perhaps he has been more than I realized.
    - Jamie Kowalski

    All Hands Music - Kowalski on the web
    The Ear Is Always Correct - Writings on composition

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