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I'm new to these forums, but I thought you might like to hear my symphonic poem, Islay. It is scored for a small orchestra and piano. It was written to provide a musical evocation of the island of Islay in the Hebrides.



I like to work with film, so my own filming of the island is here, to match the music. Please note that the sound quality does get compressed here by youtube.

Thanks, and any thoughts or suggestions appreciated.


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I should add that the video was submitted to the Islay Website, and they were kind enough to feature it - and that is the context in which the video is posted.
Lovely composition Islay :) The sounds are kind of fake sounding but really well written, now you just need a digital orchestrator to whip it up a notch and it will be awesome!
Thanks for listening, Chris and Ray.

Chris - i have been using EastWest virtual instrument sounds, but haven't heard of a "digital orchestrator" - please can you explain what one is ?
I just mean someone that spends a lot of time sequencing. Like your clarinets sounds kind of weak. It almost sounds as if you sequenced the performance with a notation software rather than a DAW. But someone that is a digital orchestrator (and you over time of course) would know the clarinet well enough to know how to mix articulations and velocities to make them sound real, or at least more real. Re-working each individual note till the attacks, articulations and velocities are perfect and then mixing it accordingly. I'm still learning myself and its taken me 6 years of working full time with samples to get this far.

But your composition is excellent, having it played by real players would be the (ultimate!) other alternative ;-) Keep up the good work!

I agree with the comment about the clarinet. Part of the whole process of using these instruments involves re-working the instrumentation. I will re-do the piece and swap the melodic line bewtween more instruments, rather than just the clarinet.

The problem that you identify involves my choice of articulation - I chose legato throughout, whereas the sound should really have had more variety of articulation.

On the subject of virtual instruments, I am sure that you have discovered East West sounds. They are currently the only providers that I would totally trust - the only trouble is they are so good they could threaten the very future of live performers ! Their latest release, Gypsy, which features classical and flamenco guitars is supposed to be phenomenal.

I'll check your music now !
Thanks for your kind comments.

The symphonic poem is not based upon a text or poem as such. It is more a set of impressions of a landscape, in a similar tradition to the Hebrides Overture. The music actually started as two separate melodies which were composed at the piano. I decided that the melodies could be used for an orchestral piece, so the music evolved from song into a sort of minature symphony. I spend days just searching for the right combination of notes for a strong and memorable theme.

I will listen to your music now.

Best wishes

Adrian your music realy 'takes' you to the island. The film is great ... I like the way you started off with stills which have a lot of charcater in themselves then progressing to distant live landscape stills then on with closer details of the island.... but films don't interest me as much as music.

+ ses
The music was great. It set a certain 'homely' mood very quickly. It develops nicely throughout and remains faithful to the subject matter on the sceen. Enjoyed it.

- ses.

Although the music was initially inviting and captivating it sort of 'stayed' there leaving me in want of more development (and this is not a contradiction of the +ses above). That would be fine though if your intention was for your music to simply complement the film and create ambience. As a stand alone piece I would have expected more development, a more complex exploitation of the instruments and orchestrational possibilities. But as a whole, music and film as you presented them fit 'hand in glove' and I view your project as successful :-)

Best regards, Dorin Baragan
Thanks for your advice.

As I progress (and we all progress) as composers, more time will be spent on thematic development. It is probably true that Beethoven could write an entire movement on the basis of just a few notes, and it is that skill which sets apart the writers of classical music from songwriters.

I am actually re-visiting all of my shorter pieces with a view to doing this, as it is the next logical step in learning how to write music.

Thanks again - will check out your music now.

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