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Topic: *****A Musical Incongruity******

  1. #1

    Exclamation *****A Musical Incongruity******

    Hi everyone!

    Been awhile, I know, but when you live at 7,000 feet like I do, summers are WAY to short. So I’ve been outside pretty much since the end of May. Music is not really on my agenda. However, I did manage to finally finish this piece that I started last April.

    In April, I was reading the Aaron Copland book “What to listen for in Music” and I ran across the section discussing the Four Essential Elements of Music: rhythm, melody, harmony, and tone color. I thought, “ what a cool idea if I were to combine polar opposites of each element together into one piece. (Boy! Was I delusional!)

    So the result? Well.. I’d be the first to admit it was an experiment. As it turns out, not such a good one and it certainly will never be played. In fact, I was going to rip it up and do something else, but I had already put too much energy into it to toss it and there was something in it I liked, so I kept it…..if nothing more than to torture you-all. Lol

    Melody: I took a “march” and juxtapose it with a introverted lamenting “new age” type melody, thereby choosing a melody that was pretty much the antithesis of a rollicking march.
    Harmony: Thatwas easy, use old-school 19th century with more modern/contemporary harmony.
    Tone color: It runs the gamut from lush orchestral music, to a bombastic march, to new age, to a string quartet, to a quirky something or another, etc.
    Rhythm: from umpapa band and simple 4 meter to bizarre meters and complex oddities.
    You get the picture….(be nice,) a complex mixture!

    Not to leave “Form” out of this bag of tricks, it presents itself also as” Incongruous” in its nature. The piece is roughly a combination of three types of forms.
    It’s almost entirely made up of two simple themes, repeated over and over again with very little bridge work in-between. It roughly resembles a 1st movement symphonic work with it’s A & B themes and exposition, development, and recap. (Exposition and Recap emphasizing the “old school” harmonic structure.) However, in some sections there is very little change in the melody except in the tone color which is somewhat like Ravel’s Bolero. Finally, it can simply be classified as a tone poem in Richard Strauss ilk.

    Another totally different way to interpret this piece would be to state that it somewhat resembles the life of the universe. It starts out with “The Big Bang” and slowly expands and rarifies as it progresses. An occasional solar flare-up and supernova can be heard but as the ending approaches the melodies fracture into smaller and smaller particles and inevitably fade out into nothingness.

    You take your pick of the above intended meanings…whatever works for you! As potpourri as this sounds --with all of its extremes, it actually kind of works as a unified piece…you be the judge.

    This a multi library rendering. Strings: Lass and GOS, Woodwinds: GPO and VSL, Brass: Dan Deans and VSL, Percussion: GPO and EWQL, and it features the Garritan Steinway in much of it. I use different libraries for 1st and 2nd chair on almost every instrument for variance.

    Anyway, that’s it! Hope some of you like it.


    A Musical Incongruity

    I’ve really come to admire and respect the people here at the Garritan site. I was waiting to get GOS2 for my strings, but since it hasn’t happened yet I broke down and bought LASS. I have to agree with Dan and others that there are too many other libraries being used here to qualify as a Garritan rendering and I’m definitely one of the culprits. So this will be my last orchestral posting at this site, but I will of course continue posting my piano music here, using the incredible Garritan Steinway. There are so many people I consider good friends at this site, I wanted everyone to know that I’m not disappearing, just moving over to the other part of the forum!

  2. #2

    Re: *****A Musical Incongruity******

    That is sweet Cass, I like it.
    Producer ~ Sound Engineer ~ Musician


  3. #3

    Re: *****A Musical Incongruity******

    Excellent work, Mister Cass! Just excellent! I am proud of you!

    I have said many times in the past that you are one of the most talented and creative composers I have ever known. That opinion certainly applies again in the case of your latest work. I enjoyed it from "The Big Bang" to the end.

    Thanks for posting your fine music.

    My best to you.
    Larry G. Alexander

  4. #4

    Re: *****A Musical Incongruity******

    Bravo, Bravo, Bravo!

    Cass, this may have arrived conceptually by way
    of the kitchen sink, used carburetors, and feathers
    off your great aunt's hat... but that is, in the
    end, irrelevant.

    This is one of the finest pieces of modern writing
    I've heard in quite some time.

    My friend, you have my genuine admiration for an
    absolutely superb symphonic creation -- which has
    delighted me beyond words.

    Bring us more, more, more!

    With great applause,

    David Sosnowski

  5. #5

    Thumbs up Re: *****A Musical Incongruity******

    Who says this is an unsuccessful experiment? I hear a great, abstract journey. It's interesting in its conception (I empathize strongly with your thought of mixing opposites). It's sweet at some points, harsh at others, film music like here, avant garde there, has some great textures, moving romantic turns and twists, and is continuously changing (no 4 bar syndrome here). Some great rendering too (although some of the solo lines sound a bit sterile). It even made me smile a few times.

    This is one of the few pieces in the forums that I visit that would deserve a live performance. Perhaps I'm exaggerating, but it sounds like a more advanced extra movement to the "Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra". I think that if you visualize your composition's structure, people can really learn to be better listeners because of this piece. It can capture the attention and hold it.


  6. #6

    Re: *****A Musical Incongruity******

    Quote Originally Posted by Cass Hansen View Post
    I have to agree with Dan and others that there are too many other libraries being used here to qualify as a Garritan rendering and I’m definitely one of the culprits. So this will be my last orchestral posting at this site, ...
    I don't agree, really. You use GPO strings, woodwinds and percussion. Though they might be hard to distinguish, they are part of the sound. And it would really be a shame to lose you because of this. Perhaps it is because GPO is a bit of an underdog in the sample libraries, and its community is defensive. But I would say: be proud, for crying out loud! Your $100-something orchestral library can almost compete with a $1400 string library! Anyway, it will always be a sore point, I guess, but your departure from this forum will not improve it.

    But if you go, to what forum would that be?

  7. #7

    Re: *****A Musical Incongruity******


    I hear nothing but your propensity for outstanding musical landscapes which
    delight all of us.

    As I've stated before, without formal training in orchestral genres, you have
    displayed a genuine genius for combining instruments, intriguing melodic content,
    interesting harmonic structures, and rhythmic adventures that propel your music
    in such a forward direction that one truly awaits what will happen in the next
    phrase or section.

    An outstanding effort, Cass, and I loved the quiet ending. With it in place, the
    composition could close, as it did, or be appended to even greater heights with
    additional musical sections. Quite a nice bit of musical engineering.

    One of the best of them all, Cass. Your creative talent is unlimited, but best of all,
    it is immediately recognized.



    P.S. When I first became a member of the Garritan Forum, I was immediately intrigued by the
    amazing musical sounds that were crafted by our talented composers using the Garritan libraries.
    It became a personal challenge for me to try to equal or surpass their abilities using sampled
    instruments, but ONLY Garritan instruments. Why? Because here, we had a common ground on
    which to build and learn. Listening to what others created boosted my motivation to improve.
    When other libraries entered the mix, my listening excitement decreased geometrically. I guess
    it reminded me of my baseball-playing days when our team won the local championship and then
    was scheduled to play for the East Coast championship: Additional players of higher athletic
    ability were added to our roster forcing regular team members to the bench. Bottom line:
    we lost the East Coast championship. Great lesson here................Your use of other libraries
    is admirable, Cass, but I would love to hear this piece with "All-Garritan." I bet it could win
    even greater accolades........Either way, we hope you will stay with us.
    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: *****A Musical Incongruity******

    My goodness Cass. That was outstanding!! What a piece. No matter how you arrived it is beautifully written and orchestrated. Captivating the entire time.

    And thank you for providing a score to watch although I think I need to print it rather than try to scroll up and down as the music is going by.

    I also see why you need to use other libraries since the strings use harmonics and you have so many solo string divisi , etc. I don't blame you a bit. Edit: I just saw you use GOS which of course has the string techniques used in the piece.

    Anyway kudos for that and thank you for sharing it with us. Please share more of that. This is the best piece I've heard in a long time from anyone anywhere!

    One more question. Why don't you think this would be performed?

    Sincerely humbled,
    Steve Winkler

  9. #9
    Senior Member Tom_Davis's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Ellendale, ND

    Re: *****A Musical Incongruity******

    Dear God, man. This is a masterwork.

  10. #10

    Re: *****A Musical Incongruity******

    Wow, Cass, you outdid yourself this time!!!

    Thank god you didn’t rip it up and tossed away…
    what a loss that would have been for us…

    To my ears it turned out absolutely fantastic and well deserves to be played
    by the best orchestras!
    You are a natural when it comes to composing music for film!

    You write with such passion and intensity, your inner wealth is just pouring out
    in a myriad of ways that are so effective and impressive.

    Not to bring us your music because of the libraries used would be
    another great loss, although you will bring us your piano work.
    So consider this again…

    Many thanks for sharing this and taking me on this
    colorful/frightening/mysterious/powerful musical journey!



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