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Topic: The Meadow Lark

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  1. #1

    Arrow The Meadow Lark

    I apologize for being away for so long. This forum has always been more than just a place to post music. I’m continuously moved by the forum’s members themselves for their outpouring of encouragement, support, sharing, creativity, and most of all , genuine friendship I have missed this circle of friends immensely .


    The past year and a half has been traumatic for me. My continual poor health landed me in the hospital (twice) once for a whole month with a 5 month recovery time. The cost of such, ended up well over 200 grand. Fortunately my insurance paid for most of it, but not all of it. So I ended up selling my home so I wouldn’t be in debt for eternity and bought a smaller home in Julian, California. Being in a weakened state, the move was stressful, but it all worked out; I love it here and more importantly, I’m on the mend. I just haven’t had the energy to compose or do much of anything really until now. So I’m so thankful for another chance at living a full life, and I can’t think of a better place to start than here.

    That said , I finding I’ve completely lost my compositional mojo, and everything I write pretty much sounds like crap. But hopefully at some point it will come back. The easiest way for me to ease back into writing is to write for the piano. ( I wouldn’t even know how for orchestrate on a computer anymore at this point.)


    I decided to force myself to write again by sitting down at the piano and to write one new piece (draft) everyday for one week. I did it and I now have 7 new pieces waiting patiently to be refined into something, hence the title “The Week Effort Collection” whose double meaning is legitimate but not really meant to be a pun.


    This piece, “The Meadow Lark” is a pun however, and is not about that species of bird. It’s simply the repercussions of having a recent great romp through the meadow near my home with my dogs, …having a Lark as it were. The piece , however, sounds like what could result if Beethoven was invited over to Scott Joplin’s place for dinner and a jam session. Lol


    All seven pieces are very different from one another, and this is on purpose. I’m trying to capture in music what it means to be actively living life and not just a passive bystander… which I’ve been for so many months now. I’ll try to post the other six pieces in this collection as I finish them.

    This short piece is dedicated to Randy Bowser , really for several reasons.


    1. 1. Randy has, and continues to write insightful, encouraging and helpful posts to almost all the threads here. I’m always amazed by his willingness and eagerness and giving of his time to help others and yet, still have time to compose his own works. I really, really admire that Randy, as I’m sure everyone else does, ..you have kept this forum alive and well.


    2. 2. Such a gifted composer. I find his compositions to be amazing. He can write a stellar dramatic work (Dorian) and then turn around and write a seemingly whimsical, light-hearted work to perfection such as “Tom Sawyer”. In addition, this work proves the old adage that “keeping it simple is sometimes better” and this is definitely one of those “sometimes”. I’ve enjoyed immensely listening to both of these musicals, completely for different reasons.


    3. 3. After listening to Tom Sawyer many times, I found myself humming the melodies off and on during the day to the point of making me want to sit down at the piano and compose. In my own style of course, this piece shares the energy and frolicking good fun I have subconsciously absorbed from listening to Tom S.


    Although I don’t think this piece is up to my former standards, it certainly is a lot of fun to play and that in itself makes me thankful that I wrote it. So thanks Randy for pointing me in the right direction and hopefully again, I’ll be able to reach a level of personal satisfaction with my music; which obviously, you have already achieved with yours.

    The Meadow Lark mp3 music
    The Meadow Lark Score



    Cass (Garritan Steinway under lid perspective)

  2. #2

    Re: The Meadow Lark

    Beethoven jamming with Joplin eh? Indeed, a very spot-on characterization.
    This has been SO good, Cass. You let out lot of the dark sides of your personality and shadowy moods in your words, but your music doesn't, really. This is sophisticated, intricated, surprising, joyful.... fun really. I love your musical devices: the tight phrasing, the accents, suspended melodies and delayed cadences, and above all your rhythmical thoughts. Rhythm is overwhelming, here, it seems like you never know what happens in the next beat; while listening, the level of interest is constantly very high. As most music, there are repetitions and variations of ideas, but one never know when they'll take place, as a listener I have a hard time grabbing the full scheme and this is so fun because I am always alert.
    I do not know whether this lives up to your standards.... I did not have the chance to listen to many of your works, this one is surely a lighter (and shorter) one but doesn't fall shy on anything. It is very good music, at least to my ears. I am huge fan of yours.

    I wish you all the best with your health issues and may your "Week" Collections become stronger and stronger.
    Keep composing and keep having fun. I bet you had plenty doing this.

    Fab

    P.S. Thanks for the score, I grabbed that too. I will definitely run through it.

  3. #3

    Re: The Meadow Lark

    You said this piece was not up to your former standards. I must now search this forum to find out just what those standards were. This piece is fantastic. I love your description of Beethoven meets Joplin. This is such a unique and fresh expression of tonality. Please post more. I listened to it several times.

  4. #4

    Re: The Meadow Lark

    Cass: I enjoyed this piece immensely! I found it bright, cheery, and full of surprises, and it kept my attention from beginning to end.

    Which program(s) did you use to compose it?

    And I think the dedication to Randy is entirely appropriate!
    Arthur J. Michaels
    https://www.facebook.com/composerarthurjmichaels

    Finale 2000 through Finales 25.4 (currently using Finale 25.4)
    Garritan COMB2, GPO4, GPO5, Audacity 2.1.3
    Core i7 860 @ 2.80 GHz, 8.0 GB RAM, Windows 10 Home Premium x64
    Dell 2408 WFP, 1920x1200
    M-Audio Delta Audiophile 2496
    M-Audio AV-40 monitors

  5. #5
    Senior Member tedvanya's Avatar
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    Re: The Meadow Lark

    Fantastic! I love Ludwig and generally despise Joplin. You made me love them both together. Great!!! Fresh! Brilliant!

    Ted

  6. #6

    Re: The Meadow Lark

    I like this! It has a lot of great energy to it. I would like to have a little breathing room in this, but that's just me. I think this is an excellent piece of music. Thanks for the post. Jay

  7. #7

    Re: The Meadow Lark

    A very entertaining piece of music!!!! Right on the spot and definitely influenced by Scott van Beethoven, Ludwig's brother.

    Raymond

  8. #8

    Re: The Meadow Lark

    It can take quite a lot to truly surprise me. This morning, consider me officially Very Surprised - and actually, rather overwhelmed.

    All things in order:

    #ONE - It's like I conjured you up, I willed you here, Cass, because often is the time I've wondered where in the heck you went off to. You've been one of the most consistently positive voices here at the Forum, and it's always been an inspiring treat to hear music from you. You've been sorely missed.

    #TWO But now to know the story behind your absence - it's extremely sobering, impossible to imagine going through similar- I am so sorry to hear how difficult things have been, Cass.

    "I'm on the mend."
    No one here would be able to read a more cheering piece of news.

    Now look at you, challenging yourself to write a new piece every week - "The Week Effort Collection" - What better plan could there be to get back in the groove? And even those of us without health issues slowing down our output, we could All benefit from that kind of disciplined composition schedule. It's the kind of thing I keep trying to make myself do, but, lazy me, I keep not doing it. I'll use your example as an inspiration, and just Do It! I'll aim for at least one new project every two weeks, and maybe I can get up to your speed.

    #THREE - Your dedication leaves me, as I said above, quite surprised - and I'll add humbled. wow - Well, you've certainly made my day. Certainly cheers my heart to hear you say how much you've been enjoying "Tom Sawyer" and "Dorian." Sometimes I can even tend to forget those things are Out there, and some people are listening.

    Bowing to your applause, I guess all I really should say is, Thank you, Cass.

    #FOUR
    - This music! Your descriptor, Beethoven meets Scott Joplin - omigosh that's perfect, that's it. Incredibly inventive - sounds hard as hell to play - non-stop entertaining, wild, brilliant. I can't believe how marvelous this.

    Cass - It's an amazing post for several reasons, and now, my wish for you is that you're able to keep joining in. I look forward to see your posts popping up again!

    Randy

  9. #9

    Re: The Meadow Lark

    Quote Originally Posted by sec2 View Post
    I love your musical devices: the tight phrasing, the accents, suspended melodies and delayed cadences, and above all your rhythmical thoughts. Rhythm is overwhelming, here, it seems like you never know what happens in the next beat; while listening, the level of interest is constantly very high.

    I wish you all the best with your health issues and may your "Week" Collections become stronger and stronger.
    Keep composing and keep having fun. I bet you had plenty doing this.

    Fab
    Fab,


    Thanks so much for the kind words and positive feedback. I really NEED that conformation at this point in my musical life. Truly I did not know whether this piece was any good or just a fun experiment of mixed up styles. Having not partaken in music for such a long time (composing or listening for that matter), it is very difficult for me to judge a work for its creative merits.

    Through genuine positive comments like yours and others replying to this post, my needed assurance for such has been satisfied. After what I’ve been through during the last year, lots of layers of insecurity and paranoid thoughts tend to fester and chipping them away takes time.


    Your taking time to leave such a “thumbs up” reply and going into detail of why it was “thumbs up” in your opinion, has really made my day and helped accelerate that “chipping”!


    And yes! I did have great fun composing this. It really helped chase all the remaining cobwebs way! Well, on to the next piece—Tuesday’s effort---which is dramatically different from this one. Stay tuned….


    Cass

  10. #10

    Re: The Meadow Lark

    Quote Originally Posted by RichardMc View Post
    You said this piece was not up to your former standards. I must now search this forum to find out just what those standards were. This piece is fantastic. I love your description of Beethoven meets Joplin. This is such a unique and fresh expression of tonality. Please post more. I listened to it several times.

    Hi Richard,


    As you know, standards are really had to define, pinpoint and quantify, and most likely my concept of standards is quite different from everyone else’s. I guess where I’m coming from is the structural integrity of the piece and what it’s trying to convey.

    I tend to compose “longish” pieces which tell a “novel length” story as it unfolds, not a short story. This piece is so short and written really for the fun of it, a “flash in the pan” type feeling which I’m not accustomed to writing. So that is where I’m coming from when I question my standard level. But sometimes a quick frolicking piece is precisely what’s needed. I just have to broaden my horizon a bit!


    As for the harmony, in my music I tend to use traditional harmony and save the modern/contemporary type harmonic sections for “tone colour” here and there in the piece, not for the fundamental harmonic structure of the piece. It’s not a question of whether this is good, bad, legitimate, annoying, It’s just my style and a way of writing that works for me.


    At any rate, I really appreciate your positive words and enthusiasm for the piece!!! Let’s see which two composers I can superimpose into the next piece. Lol


    Cass

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