Composers' Forum

Music Composers Unite!

Here is a new chamber work for mixed ensemble (nonet).

Typically, I employ a variable twelve-tone method in my music, but this work was more freely composed.  I employed various PC set-class techniques in a loose, quasi-ternary form (though it is more through-composed than strict ternary).

Cross-relations were important in this work, particularly in the dripping whole-tone (harp/vibraphone) textures behind the rich primary textures.  The viola plays a modular-modal melody above the (often heterophonic) set-derived harmony.

The title is a bit misleading as this piece is more absolute than programmatic music, at least in terms of its composition.  I had a vague memory in my head when I started writing this piece wherein I was walking alone through a sparse, hilly forest on a midwinter night.  Hence, "Winter".

Comments and criticism encouraged!

https://soundcloud.com/hayden-mcgowan-composer/winter-for-ensemble

Views: 151

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

Very well done Hayden, I enjoyed this, I was sorry it was so short actually. I like the way the piano chords pulse against the "dripping" sounds and the sustained strings, modern yet accessible.

Any chance of giving us a peak at a score?

Thank you, Ingo!  I appreciate your comments.

I am currently out of town so I do not have a score on hand, but I will gladly post a score in this thread when I return.  Thank you for your interest!

Ingo Lee said:

Very well done Hayden, I enjoyed this, I was sorry it was so short actually. I like the way the piano chords pulse against the "dripping" sounds and the sustained strings, modern yet accessible.

Any chance of giving us a peak at a score?

Interesting piece Hayden. I normally have a preference for more 'conventional' pieces but found your work to absolutely conjure up the mood of a miserable winters day. One of those days where it's just too cold and wet that you just can't warm up and are stuck waiting for summer.
I thought the balance was well thought through and the instruments sounded put together. Well done.

Thank you, Graeme!

Graeme Helliwell said:

Interesting piece Hayden. I normally have a preference for more 'conventional' pieces but found your work to absolutely conjure up the mood of a miserable winters day. One of those days where it's just too cold and wet that you just can't warm up and are stuck waiting for summer.
I thought the balance was well thought through and the instruments sounded put together. Well done.

I also enjoyed this very much Hayden--

I read what you wrote about the title, and to me the music beautifully paints the cold dreary loneliness of winter..a certain sadness of spirit matched by the change in nature.

Very well done and thanks so much for posting!!

Thanks Bob https://soundcloud.com/bob-morabito

Thanks very much, Bob!  The sorts of feelings you've described were definitely present during pre-composition and sketching.  I'm glad these aspects came through in the final product!

Always appreciate your comments :)

Bob Morabito said:

I also enjoyed this very much Hayden--

I read what you wrote about the title, and to me the music beautifully paints the cold dreary loneliness of winter..a certain sadness of spirit matched by the change in nature.

Very well done and thanks so much for posting!!

Thanks Bob https://soundcloud.com/bob-morabito

Hayden,

As I am not a big pitch-class or even a 12-tone fan, I don't have any criticism of this piece. Besides, without knowing what sets you used, it's hard to say too much about a through-composed piece. Only a question. What is the playback effect you are after? I, also, would be interested in a score so that I can make out what is happening. Sure, I should just listen and soak in the sound. That's fine. But I'm going to assume that this could be played by real musicians. If that is the case, I kind of doubt that there would be this much reverb in a serious concert hall. I know lots of reverb is cool, and if that is your goal then please ignore my comments.

Just my observation.

Hi Bob,

Thanks for your comment. I haven't been at my home computer for a couple weeks, so I don't have the score on hand, but I will post it here when I am home (in a few days from now). I can assure you it is absolutely playable. It's not difficult at all. In terms of playback, I don't really care how digital playback sounds in all honesty. I just have it online for listening purposes such as this! As such I just slapped a reverb on there without thinking about it much. But thank you for your input on that!

Hayden,

Believe me, I'm as guilty of this as anyone, but if you don't care about the quality of playback you post, how do you expect us to. In two sentences, you reduced the music you so carefully crafted to a state of un-importance. This has been pointed out to me in my own work when it seems like I could have done better at some stage of the process.

There are folks here who post GM play back because that's all they have. It's the best they can do. Yes, the notes are the important thing. Good music is good music in spite of the playback quality. But I think we need to care. Myself included. 

Or maybe I'm making too big a deal out of it.

Hey Bob,

I think this ultimately comes down to objectives.  I exported an MP3 of my piece to share it with other composers who might take interest in the pitch content etc. (i.e. the actual content of the music).  I have no interest in making a product out of a MIDI file.  That's not my primary objective as a composer.  My objective as a composer is to have my music performed in concert as frequently as possible.  THAT is never achieved through meticulously editing MIDI MP3s.  So, I don't spend time on it.

For clarity's sake: I am certainly not saying that others SHOULDNT do that, just that I don't.

Perhaps my error here was in not posting my score.  The truth is I am hesitant to share scores online - perhaps I am old fashioned in that way.

Thanks for this Bob! It's an interesting discussion to have.

Apologies for any typos/formatting - I'm walking!

A quick addendum to my last comment: Reading it over, I hope that how I expressed my disinterest in digital playback quality didn't come off as abrasive or pretentious.  That was not at all my intention!  It's any composers prerogative to put time and effort into that sort of thing.  Different strokes for different folks!

What was the motive here? Just curious. I sometimes wonder if in an effort to be modern post classical in composition we go too far the other way. If the motive was to show interesting combinations of notes and be as far different from traditional classical as you can be, I think you've probably nailed it. If the motive was to convey a melancholic and slightly odd feel associated to winter I think you nailed that one too. I say this because mixing those modes and combinations up in that way doesn't fit with the winter wonderland kinds of things we hear traditionally. I would guess your intent was to give a different slant on winter and enjoy putting it together.

My ears like what they like. I have no control over that any more than you might prefer one type of food over another. This isn't the kind of thing that's a natural inclination for me to listen to. Not because it isn't well done. Like you say, different strokes for different folks. I think you did a good job of offering a non traditional modern winter wonderland piece. If winter had not been associated with it I wonder what conclusions listeners would have had?

Reply to Discussion

RSS

Sign up info

Read before you sign up to find out what the requirements are!

Store

© 2018   Created by Gav Brown.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service