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Topic: Night in the Haunted Forest

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  1. #1
    Senior Member rwayland's Avatar
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    Night in the Haunted Forest

    This music was suggested by a walk along the road where I live, which, in fog, rain, or dusk, and sometimes in daylight can appear quite spooky. Coupled with the sounds of the trees in the breeze, and the sounds of the creatures that populate the woods, it is a foreboding area, guaranteeing no Halloween activity.


    Night in the Haunted Forest

    The mp3 was made using GPO organ and Fatar midi keyboard, with Sonar.

    Richard

  2. #2

    Re: Night in the Haunted Forest

    Richard -

    It's been a while since I listened to any of your music (mostly because of the limited time I spend on the internet lately). I've forgotten the general style of composition that you seem to write.

    I listened to this piece twice. To be honest, it took two listens to appreciate what I think you did with this music. During the first listen, I very quickly heard and felt the "haunted" aspect associated with the walk you had along the road where you live. Actually, the very first chord of your music presented that "haunted" feeling quite well! LOL! During the second listen, though, I appreciated what I think you did in "developing" or "varying" the major motif(s) of your composition. One thing that stood out to my modest ears was how you kept rather "inside sounding" or "tonal" the motif and surrounded it by a more discordant "accompaniment" or different "tonal center". (Apologies. I'm having a hard time remembering the correct descriptive musical terms.)

    I know I've asked you this before, but do you write out your compositions beforehand then sequence them? Or, do you compose "on the fly"? Or, do you do a combination of the two? (Which is what I do, actually.)

    I definitely have to put on my "Richard composition" ears when I listen to your music. But when I do put on those "ears" and take the time to listen, I learn. And, for me anyway, it always seems to be a valuable learning session. Most of my compositions tend to be "in-side" sounding even when I work to have the harmonies and melodies be less "traditional". I am reminded just how and how far I can create a much-less "traditional" sounding composition after listening to a piece like "Night in the Haunted Forest". For me, that's a valuable lesson to learn or re-learn. And, at this stage of my life, it's all about working to re-learning valuable compositional skills presented/taught to me decades ago. I don't write music that frequently and I DO NOT want to lose those precious skills.

    Thanks, Richard and cheers. . .

    Ted
    Music and humor are healthy for the soul.

  3. #3
    Senior Member rwayland's Avatar
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    Re: Night in the Haunted Forest

    It is not easy to describe my composing methods, but I will try.

    I almost never write a piece with melody, accompaniment and harmony. I consider it as a whole. Most of my music should be considered as polyphonic, even when not immediately obvious. Quite often, I use a theme or motif with full chords as a single voice and subject it to the usual polyphonic devices, but applied in my own way, which I can not easily describe.

    Describing tonality can be quite a task. I do not set out to be tonal, atonal, or whatever. I have some ideas to express, with whatever tonality is required to do the job. This frequently results in atonality (not serial, quite another matter), or poly-tonality. Sometimes this results in much that might be considered dissonance. Dissonance, however, has it's own integrity. The same general ideas apply to rhythms.

    I normally begin with pencil and paper for some preliminary sketches, soon switching to the computer which produces something I can read later! It is also a good tool for moving music around, easy to do transformations, etc. My primary input is with Sonar 4, using a Fatar 88 note midi controller keyboard. I never use the music roll view for input.

    I do not follow the usual forms. I simply am not so constructed. I am of non-standard construction -- can't help that -- can't change it -- and at this late date, don't want to, never really did want to. That is my life, and it is reflected in my music. It made my military career difficult sometimes, a bit risky sometimes, but never dull!

    Where do the ideas come from? I have not any idea. Why do I develop the ideas as I do? Hard to answer, but probably because that is what the music requires. One of my very important guides comes from Walter Piston, who frequently pointed out that the rules of music were derived from practice, not vice versa. I am more concerned with composing the music rather than analyzing it. I am content to leave the study and analysis to musicologists and to those who find such matters to their liking.

    Afterthought: for some years, I did a lot of piano playing for private events - weddings, funerals, receptions, parties, etc. My highly improvisatory pianistic style has undoubtedly had a profound impact on my composing.

    Post-afterthought: I don't find much benefit from composing at the piano. It does not seem to work well for me, other than an occasional idea strikes me from some of my keyboard diddling.

    That is a plethora of verbiage, for me, a torrent! Whether useful or not, I am not sure.

    Richard

  4. #4

    Re: Night in the Haunted Forest

    Richard -

    The insight that you shared on how you generally create music has been most enlightening and informative. The time that you spent in typing a "plethora of verbiage" (as you put it) most appreciated and respected.

    I've been experimenting with poly-tonality (deliberately) lately. (Nothing that I've shared here, so far.) My "target" audience is my family and friends. Any compositions that I write end up as a CD to be given for the Christmas Holiday season. So, if/when I venture out using the "sonic colors" found in "poly-tonality", I tend to control it, attempt to keep it "interesting" to my ears and yet keep it somewhat "in-side" or less dissonant. Lately, I've been finding that by having all of the instruments of an orchestra available as a "sound palette" it is somewhat "easy" to utilize or "paint" with the compositional color-mixture of "poly-tonality".

    With regards to form, I found it handy to create a very rough sketch to guide where and how I develop a composition. For example, I decided to use this as a guide for my last composition: A-B-A1-B1-(interlude)-C-D-C1-D1-D2-(interlude)-A-B-Ending. This "form" is not followed rigidly. It does help give me "direction".

    With regards to musicology. . . I very much respect your desire to just simply "compose music" and not worry about analyzing it. Obviously, I'm a bit into the "analytical mode" because that's how I learn. I wish you to know that the time that you spent sharing insight into your composition was worth the effort. Hungry for guidance and learning, what you shared was very informative and helpful for me. I am grateful for the time you spent writing all of that "verbiage". It got my brain-cells working!! LOL!

    Quote Originally Posted by rwayland
    Afterthought: for some years, I did a lot of piano playing for private events - weddings, funerals, receptions, parties, etc. My highly improvisatory pianistic style has undoubtedly had a profound impact on my composing.

    Post-afterthought: I don't find much benefit from composing at the piano. It does not seem to work well for me, other than an occasional idea strikes me from some of my keyboard diddling.
    Very cool afterthoughts. . . very helpful and informative. Thank you!

    Ted
    Music and humor are healthy for the soul.

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