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Topic: Flashback - Memories: A Medley from the Past

  1. #1

    Flashback - Memories: A Medley from the Past

    For my addition to the "Festival," I did indeed go through my nostalgia folder as I mentioned. After pondering what I should bring up again, the choice was perfectly obvious! This is quite a bit longer than most of my music, but hopefully you will enjoy it, and the story behind the original post and music itself!


    First, this was originally written in Finale 2008. Every instrument used is from GPO except the Celesta in the final part, which is just Finale's built-in SoftSynth.

    This was actually my first experience with the 'O' in GPO. For those who have seen my recent posts for percussion, I did at one point post orchestral music on here . This was also my first post (though I believe it was broken up into multiple posts) for orchestra on this forum, which is one of the reasons I felt compelled to bring it back. The other reason...well, is right in the title!

    The idea for this is quite simple. I had a bunch of new instrument samples I wanted to use; I didn't know what to write, so I took melodies from pieces I had written in the past and arranged them for orchestra. Then, having recently performed Pictures at an Exhibition by Mussorgsky with the Georgia Youth Symphony Orchestra, I loosely structured the piece after his Promenade/Movement/Promenade/Movement idea. The biggest difference being that rather than having a single melody as the focus of the Promenades, I introduce multiple melodies in the first section, and use a different one in each of the transitional sections.

    Here is the structure:

    0:00 - Intro Section
    0:00 - Fanfare (not my strong suite) and introduction
    0:48 - Trans Melody A
    0:53 - Trans Melody B
    1:00 - Trans Melody C
    1:25 - Main Melody 1: Twilight River Sonata (which was not technically a sonata, but just a piano solo)
    2:46 - Transition 1: based on Trans Melody C
    3:45 - Main Melody 2: Alairon's Theme ( a theme based on a character of a silly book idea I had before realizing writing was not strong-suite...like fanfares )

    5:03 - Transition 2: based on Trans Melody A
    5:47 - Main Melody 3: The Lake at Night, which I believe I actually posted a GPO version last fall. This is the only melody used from a piece that was eventually fully converted to GPO.

    6:59 - Transition 3: based on Trans Melody B
    7:34 - Main Melody 4: Path of the Adventurer. This was one of only two pieces I have written for concert band...obviously here converted to orchestra.

    8:29 - Final Section. This section is not based on any of the melodies in the intro section or that I had written before Memories. It is simply sort of a finale that can actually stand on its own.

    I did actually make some changes to the recording from the original. The original was very wet, and lost a lot of the articulations I had specified in the score. I also originally had a choir in the final section, but I felt it didn't really add anything and seemed odd to just throw in a choir at the very end. The places that it was slightly prominent, it was replaced with strings.

    I never really liked the measure just before the beginning of Path of the Adventurer, but I left it largely the same, just took out some odd trumpet notes that didn't fit in very well.

    Anyways, thanks for listening, I hope you enjoy this and the other offerings of the festival!
    Michael Obermeyer, Jr.
    youtube channel
    soundclick page

  2. #2

    Re: Flashback - Memories: A Medley from the Past

    I enjoyed this. I must admit though, that I skipped over a little bit of it because of its length. I tried to get at least a sampling sound of each section. I have a tendency to get a little antsy on long pieces, but I thought this was nice to listen to.
    Thanks for the share. Jay

  3. #3

    Re: Flashback - Memories: A Medley from the Past

    You did it, Michael! Just as you said you might be doing, you reached into that "nostalgia folder" and pulled out something which is a perfect choice for our big Listening Room Summer Festival. And you're right, we've recently gotten to know you best as a percussion composer, so this has the added interest of hearing you working with the "O" in GPO, as you put it. Very nice.

    wow - SO much going on in this piece. I appreciate the detailed notes you posted along with this. Theme after theme - it's a true medley, and of quite a substantial length. I admire the way you've put all these pieces together into a virtual concert, even though the separate themes might be best appreciated in their original self-contained forms.

    Constantly interesting orchestration throughout - An element I especially appreciate is that as the textures and moods keep shifting, you always insure that there's a pulse to be felt. Really effective driving rhythms on piano, percussion, instrument lines. Pulse, to me, is of major importance in music, neglected at great risk.

    You said you dialed the reverb back from the original - That was probably a good decision, since I felt this recording was clear, still had space, but had none of the "lost in a reverberant wash" effect that orchestral recordings can easily get.

    I loved the 11:30 minute ride, Michael - It Is a lot, but I was entertained, and I found a lot to admire here.

    THANK YOU!--- and keep 'em coming!


  4. #4

    Re: Flashback - Memories: A Medley from the Past

    Quote Originally Posted by jaynkate01 View Post
    I enjoyed this. I must admit though, that I skipped over a little bit of it because of its length. I tried to get at least a sampling sound of each section. I have a tendency to get a little antsy on long pieces, but I thought this was nice to listen to.
    Thanks for the share. Jay
    Hello Jay, thanks for listening! I know exactly what you mean about its length. Especially when it comes to sitting in front of my computer and just listening, I have a very difficult time with longer pieces. I typically have to occupy myself doing something (even if it's just surfing the web) to make it all the way through

    Either way, I'm glad you listened!

    Hello Randy, thanks for your comments! I'm glad you mentioned pulse, because the next piece I had considered bringing back (perhaps in a week or so) is based entirely on pulse

    Since you mentioned the recording, I wanted to bring up some more details about it I have just realized, or left out of the original post to keep it from turning into a novella. The Final Section is actually a separate file from the rest of the piece. I actually did not reduce the reverb on it, even though I had entirely intended to do so. I made a mistake in saving/copying a file over (I had two copies of the file), and overwrote the new one with the old one. I went back and removed the choir again, but forgot to adjust the reverb, in my haste

    Another note about the piece in general, as you may have noticed, the introduction actually introduces more melodies than the three I used in the transitions...those were there in case I decided to expand onto this piece in the future. (It's another reason the finale is separate from the rest of the piece)

    Thanks again for listening, I'm glad you enjoyed it!
    Michael Obermeyer, Jr.
    youtube channel
    soundclick page

  5. #5
    Senior Member Frank D's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Suburban NYC

    Re: Flashback - Memories: A Medley from the Past

    Hi Michael,

    Just getting a chance to hear some more of this great festival music and was immediately drawn to your title, having recently posted an overture/medley myself.

    I've listened to half and have it downloaded to play more as I get time. I loved what I heard. I found it interesting, but not surprisingly, that your orchestral work is rhythmically on point. Randy aptly described it as pulse, and no matter whatever you call it, your strong and evolved rhythymic sensibilities are always present in this piece. Fun to hear your choice of orchestration outside the percussion world ... very colorful!

    Nice stuff ... thanks for posting!


  6. #6
    Senior Member sd cisco's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Southern Ontario, Canada

    Re: Flashback - Memories: A Medley from the Past

    Wow! So rich in melodic and instrumental variation! A determined and dynamic sense of forward motion. Hearing this provides much insight into your musical imagination, which sounds very well developed! This could be movie music, Michael! I was getting an "as the story unfolded" sort of feeling, listening to it, my brain making up little scenes, cued by the music.
    Real glad you posted this!!

    Thank you!
    sd cisco

  7. #7

    Re: Flashback - Memories: A Medley from the Past

    Hello Frank, I'm glad you enjoyed listening! I do not really have any formal education in music theory beyond the basics, and probably at least a little for that reason, I have a difficult time with getting harmonies and melodies to sound how I intend very quickly. Thankfully, rhythm usually comes a bit more easily for me, and I'm very happy that you feel it is something I handle well, because otherwise, I'm not sure what else I could fall back on, musically .

    sd cisco, great! I'm very happy you could hear sort of a story behind this. Though I did not have a particular story in mind when writing this, (only perhaps the stories/moods behind each individual piece as I re-orchestrated them), I really enjoy reading when people are inclined to interpret what I have written, no matter how generalized of a thought it may be, because I fell that, ultimately, it does not matter what I intended the music to interpreted as, but how others see it. When I wrote this, I did have aspirations to write music in the style of some of my favorite movies at the time, so perhaps that is where that comes from. Though I have never really considered myself one to write music of a Hollywood quality, I enjoy trying on occasion, even with percussion ensembles.

    Thanks for listening!
    Michael Obermeyer, Jr.
    youtube channel
    soundclick page

  8. #8

    Re: Flashback - Memories: A Medley from the Past

    "...Wiktor's a Jekyll-Hyde personality..." - Lycos Music
    "...Wiktor's a Jekyll-Hyde personality..." - Lycos Music

  9. #9

    Re: Flashback - Memories: A Medley from the Past

    Initially, reading, I was a little skeptical of a medley of themes
    none of the listeners know... lol... but you know, by style and
    various other elements, you were quite successful at maintaining
    sense throughout. To me, it comes across as a small suite.

    I do like Maestro Wiktor's idea, too. Perhaps a single (but
    varied) bridge element to tie up in an even neater package,

    All this technical nonsense aside, an engaging piece and a pleasure
    to listen to it. Well paced, well planned, with great momentum
    and contrast and plenty of drama.

    My best,

    David Sosnowski

  10. #10

    Re: Flashback - Memories: A Medley from the Past

    Hello Michael and David! First, it is great to see stuff from the second page being pushed up to the first on occasion! A few days ago I had run out of new things to listen to, and had to visit the second page, myself, thanks to the rapidly moving festival.

    Thanks to you both for listening, and I am thrilled that you enjoyed it. I certainly agree a more unified them in the transitional sections would perhaps be a better binding glue than what I currently have, and it would definitely be more inline with Pictures and at Exhibition. One thing I had considered was to foreshadow the final section's melody in each of the transitional movements. Though the original reason for this idea was to make that final section tie into the rest of the piece more seamlessly (rather than being entirely different), I think it would also accomplish the goal of tying together the main sections more clearly.

    Thanks again for posting!
    Michael Obermeyer, Jr.
    youtube channel
    soundclick page

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