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Topic: Layers - for percussion ensemble

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  1. #1

    Layers - for percussion ensemble

    Hello everybody! I figured I should at least post one piece for percussion for the summer festival, so here it is!

    https://www.box.com/s/2a81edf99c01a0653fdb (primarily GPO redo)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=raVjdB1xito (original primarily-VDL with a video of the score)

    Layers is a ten player percussion ensemble that I wrote last fall to try out the Virtual Drumline samples that came prepackaged with Finale 2011. As a result, I never posted it here since it only used a few GPO instruments. The mostly GPO conversion I can say with confidence, is the longest I have ever spent exclusively working on the rendering aspect of something I have written. Before I go into details, let me break down which instruments are GPO, which are VDL, and which used to be VDL.

    GPO

    Bells (originally VDL)
    Xylophone (originally VDL)
    Vibraphone (originally VDL)
    Marimba 1 (treble clef, originally VDL)
    Snare Drum
    Bass Drum
    TamTam

    VDL

    Timpani
    Marimba 2 (bass clef)
    Chimes
    Auxiliary Percussion (I won't go through every instrument, but there are some toms, triangles, and bongos thrown in there)

    Like I said, this was a real interesting experiment for me, to see how well I could convert one set of instruments to a different library. Though the end result doesn't sound exactly like the original, I wasn't too displeased with the result

    The biggest differences between the samples I used, put quite simply, were mallet selection and sustain. I have the full version of neither library, only what comes with Finale, so my choices are somewhat limited. I typically alternate between library samples based on which mallets I want to use for each instrument. If I want a harder mallet for bells or xylophone, I go with VDL, if I want a harder mallet for Marimba, I go with GPO. (I do actually have a mallet choice as well as more flexibility with vibrato and sustain with GPO Vibraphone, which is why, since this piece, I have stuck with it exclusively).

    I had to compensate for some balance issues with the Xylophone and Bells being too soft after making the switch to GPO, but the most tedious task was compensating for the sustain pedal on the Vibraphone. Though both VDL and GPO vibes ring quite nicely, VDL (at least the sub-version that I own) cannot be turned off. However, the ring decays somewhat quickly with VDL, whereas GPO will ring and ring and ring...and some notes will begin to resonate, and before you know it, you've registered something on the Richter scale

    Another difference, which I didn't quite get to the level I wanted, was the sustain of the bells. VDL bells are much like the vibes in that they will ring for quite a while, whereas GPO will not. Though honestly, that is a common difference between models of Glockenspiel themselves, not just between samples, so I did not fret it too much.

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

  2. #2

    Re: Layers - for percussion ensemble

    Quote Originally Posted by sanyarem View Post
    Hello everybody! I figured I should at least post one piece for percussion for the summer festival, so here it is!...Layers is a ten player percussion ensemble that I wrote last fall to try out the Virtual Drumline samples that came prepackaged with Finale 2011. As a result, I never posted it here since it only used a few GPO instruments. As a result, this mostly GPO conversion I can say with confidence, is the longest I have ever spent exclusively working on the rendering aspect of something I have written...!
    A percussion fest from, Sanyarem! - Really fun, with such interesting passages, with your sure hand at driving a piece along. Super.

    I pulled the opening quote out because I'm not sure I understand why you made the GPO version-- just as an experiment for yourself? Or maybe you don't know that by group decision, this current Listening Room Summer Festival welcomes music regardless of instruments used. We just want non-Garritan instruments to be plainly listed in the initial post.

    But in any case, it sounds like you had a great time doing the first version, and working on this re-do. Sounds great to me!

    Randy

  3. #3

    Re: Layers - for percussion ensemble

    Thanks for listening Randy, I'm glad you enjoyed it. To be quite honest, the reason I made the conversion was a bit of both factors. I was a bit fuzzy on what the ultimate decision was on the GPO instrument sample discussion, plus, I did want to see what I could achieve with what samples I had. I don't feel so bad putting the VDL video link at the top with the GPO link then

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

  4. #4

    Re: Layers - for percussion ensemble

    Quote Originally Posted by sanyarem View Post
    Thanks for listening Randy, I'm glad you enjoyed it. To be quite honest, the reason I made the conversion was a bit of both factors. I was a bit fuzzy on what the ultimate decision was on the GPO instrument sample discussion, plus, I did want to see what I could achieve with what samples I had. I don't feel so bad putting the VDL video link at the top with the GPO link then

    Again, thanks for listening!
    Well, I have to say this is great. You know you are listening to a real percussionist when melody and percussion blend together. At points in the piece, it reminds me of Edward Scissor Hands--please take that as a compliment.

    Thanks for posting.

    Jim

  5. #5

    Re: Layers - for percussion ensemble

    Quote Originally Posted by jdsnyderii View Post
    Well, I have to say this is great. You know you are listening to a real percussionist when melody and percussion blend together. At points in the piece, it reminds me of Edward Scissor Hands--please take that as a compliment.

    Thanks for posting.

    Jim
    Many thanks Jim, I'm glad you liked it! Edward Scissor Hands, eh? I do enjoy that soundtrack. Though I don't think the melodies share much with it, I do know that one of the chord progressions I mix throughout shares a modulation with it - C major to E minor (though Edward Scissor Hands could be in a different key).

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

  6. #6

    Re: Layers - for percussion ensemble

    Bravo.

    Fine work. Superb production.

    Fabio
    Arrigo Beyle / Milanese / Lived, wrote, loved -- Stendhal
    Being Italian is a full-time job -- B. Severgnini

  7. #7

    Re: Layers - for percussion ensemble

    All-percussion pieces have always been one of my
    favorite venues, ever since college when I was sometimes
    allowed to play something harmless with the percussion
    ensemble... lol.

    This is very well done, Michael -- compositionally tight
    and propulsive throughout, and very well performed, as
    well.

    Great job on this!

    All the best,



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

  8. #8

    Re: Layers - for percussion ensemble

    Thanks fabio, and etLux, for you compliments. I'm glad you enjoyed listening! I know what you mean, David, about jumping over to percussion from time to time. The small school I attended constantly had to pull in some of the wind players to play something for our ensembles. For me, the ensembles were some of the most fun pieces of music to play. Though in high school band, percussion typically had at least somewhat interesting parts to play, orchestra was almost always the exact opposite. "Crash!" sit down for 50 measures.

    The percussion ensembles we played in the orchestra I was in were always entertaining. Thanks again for listening!
    Michael Obermeyer, Jr.
    youtube channel
    soundclick page

  9. #9

    Re: Layers - for percussion ensemble

    Just a quick early-Sunday-morning comment before I go off to church...

    This is just superb!

    I really like the mix of the "calm" layers and the "busy" layers.

    You are really showing people the potential for melodic and rhythmic
    percussion...and looking at the score helps too.

    This held my attention throughout--a nice balance between new material and
    "reference point" material--keeps the listener on his/her toes but anchored.

    Keep 'em comin'!! Nice way to start a Sunday morning (or any time!!)

    Snor
    Jim Williams
    Professor of Capitalism
    N9EJR
    Indianapolis Brass Choir
    All Your Bass Sus&Short Are Belong to Us.

  10. #10
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    Re: Layers - for percussion ensemble

    Impressive.... I really like this. Nice work!

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