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Topic: A Theme for 1st Samuel

  1. #1

    A Theme for 1st Samuel

    This was a bit of an experiment/exercise to take a basic theme and develop it as far as I could, starting with a simple theme for David on french horn.

    It moves into some ideas for:
    -His rise from a simple shepherd to a warrior, leader of soldiers, and the king's son-in-law
    -His conflict with Saul due to the king's jealousy
    -His heart for God as his Shepard and Deliverer
    -The road ahead...(I was intending to take it further but this is about where I lost momentum.)

    I'm clearly reaching beyond my level-1 skills here, but I got it to point where I could listen to it without wincing.

    The instruments are all GPO4 with the Concert Hall 1 reverb, minor E.Q. and a touch of compression on the percussion to make it audible.

    A Theme for 1st Samuel

  2. #2

    Re: A Theme for 1st Samuel

    Hi, Daniel

    The epic of David is certainly a great source for musical inspiration. I feel like I can hear your emotional interest in your subject as your piece unwinds. That's a nice accomplishment in of itself!

    I get some sense of the period, the importance and scope of David's life, the gravity of the challenges he faced. Appropriate to the subject, I can hear the drama.

    There are opportunities throughout for lingering longer, for developing the themes you introduce. It's not hanging together as a piece, it seems more like a medley of ideas intended for a longer piece or a series of pieces.

    I understand what you mean about losing your momentum during the ending section. It's the most overtly dramatic section, "the road ahead" - and that idea is established, but then prematurely ends, followed by a coda that isn't a satisfactory resolution. As you say in your text, you're aware that this all needs more development.

    When you say you lost momentum, do you mean that up until the time you wrapped it up, you were relying on sustaining your excitement as you worked - moving forward without too much conscious effort because you were feeling inspired? But then you hit a wall when it started feeling more like work, and a bit tedious? If I'm at all close to what you meant, I am sure that everyone here would be able to sympathize with that issue.

    The famous Edison observation, "Genius is one percent inspiration, ninety-nine percent perspiration" is very applicable to composing music. We can't always be "In the zone" when we're working on our pieces. We like to be there in that space where we're not conscious of time flying by, when the mechanics of what we're doing seem to take care of themselves, when we're lit up with the glow of creativity. But the reality is, it's pretty rare to stay with that kind of flow through the entire process of creating music. We hit pockets of tedium, of becoming overly conscious of the mechanics. Sometimes we're needing to spend a big chunk of time going over what we've done, improving and correcting what we have like a teacher correcting a student's test paper.

    And then there's the whole other element of dealing with, working with whatever software we're using. - So, yeah, we can lose momentum - and of course the challenge is to become more immune to the disappointment of losing momentum - we learn to keep going anyway. And so, with this piece, I'm sure you'll be able to feel freshly inspired on it again later on, and that you'll expand what you already have.

    Thanks for the music - and thanks for reading my reply!


  3. #3

    Re: A Theme for 1st Samuel

    Hi Daniel,

    I really hope you finish this. I liked this a lot. The opening horn, then the strings entrance gave me shivers, it was quite a powerful feeling.

    The horn, strings and flute combination around 2 minutes is lovely and the dramatic piano stabs are really effective.

    Well done! Keep going.

    Music... A Joy For Life.

  4. #4

    Re: A Theme for 1st Samuel

    Hi Randy, yjoh,

    Thanks for the detailed feed back. Much appreciated. As far as "losing momentum" it's more a matter not having the theoretical know how to continue the thread the piece was headed. It seemed to be headed toward some chaotic battle scene with lots of runs and cymbal crashes and what not. I'm still trying to grasp basic harmony and rhythm ideas and I haven't come to the point where I can enough finesse to pull off ordered chaos without its sounding like mush. So I just chose to tack on an ending chord to tie it down while I went back and tackle the dynamics and some nasty rhythm problems. Perhaps if I had used built up to a stronger cadence rather than abruptly ending on a weak one it wouldn't be as noticeable.

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