Music Composers Unite!
Thanks, Filip. I loved your comments. I can tell that you really listened to it. You touched on some of the big frustrations I had writing this. For the last part, I was going for a very big sound. I got some of that by switching from solo brass instruments to full brass sections and pushing the limits on dynamics, but still found myself pegging the meters way too often. Doubling the legato strings with marcato and spiccatto articulations helped give some "punch"to the notes, but there again, I had to be careful to stay out of the red.
The thing about the harp vs. the piano is an interesting question. The piano being a percussion sound made it the clear choice where I used it. the concern I had was, given that they are both pretty low-volume instruments, would they be audible in a real live orchestra without amplification?
The fugato thing is a gimmick I often use to get myself out of a rut where I'm having trouble coming up with an idea to move the music forward. It's a fun way to look back and find a sequence that I can copy-and-paste and manipulate in new ways. I will probably never have the intellect and imagination to tackle a full fugue, so I'm happy with a smaller attempt.
I had to find the Janacek on YouTube. I realized that I had heard it before, but was not really familiar with it. There are some things there that I may have been channeling. The inspiration for my piece came from the opening notes of VW's Pastoral Symphony. Any Ravel that crept in was inadvertent.
Again, Filip, I truly appreciate your attention and critique of this tune.
Filip Holacký said:
Nice! Can't understand why anybode commented it yet???
It reminds me a lot of Vaughan Williams, Ravel. Well, very folkloricSometimes it seems to be bit monotonous - maybe larger sections in another keys would help? Or some bolder articulations? I understand it's probably because of the computer sound... But even there some more dynamics could help.
4:10 is simply stuning, when the whole orchestra.
Second movement is very nice with it playful motives and very nice orchestrations. Very fresh and enchanting with its lyrical intermissions. The only thing I'm not sure about is if the piccolo would work? You know, it's quite thin sound and in your piece it has to deal with quite big sections - be careful about it. Talking about each instruments, I liked the use of orchestral piano - many composers would just write it for harp, but dividing thought between those two instruments is really great.
Ouch, last movement is very dramatic! This is the only movement where I can see a little problem. When you're writing some quick rows for solo instruments/sections, you often end it with repeting the last note. It sounds kind of weird since the development of melody didn't work with repeting of notes before.
12:40 - great!
Is the end using any kind of fugato technique? It somehow sounds like it, especially in those biiiig brass. Very nice, indeed. Although it sounds a bit like Janáček's Sinfonietta, haha :)
Very classy work.
Been meaning to get to this since forever...
... Found it quite an interesting piece. Very reminiscient of the Mercury movement in Holst's The Planets in the way the winds are used, the harmony, the mood, and the little background figures. I'm not sure if this was intentional, or if it was because of the samples you used -- I noticed that the strings have a rather weak attack, which kinda made the "artificialness" of the sound come through in a handful of places where a real string section would probably have used a sharper attack.
Unlike The Planets, though, I didn't find too much contrast throughout the piece. There were the loud and soft sections, and there were the occasional surprises such as the discordant ff passage roughly about where I think the boundary of the 1st and 2nd parts fall, and the brass fanfare at the end, but overall, I found it consistently Mercury-like throughout. Not that it's a bad thing, but having some larger contrasting sections would perhaps add more interest to the piece. Nevertheless, I liked the piece, and I think you did a good job.
Thanks H.S. The strings have been an issue with me. I had a lot of complaints on the strings, so I bought the East-West Hollywood Strings. The attacks on these samples are very weak, even at the maximum. It occasionally works to double them with either a Marcatto or a spicatto articulation, but that sometimes doesn't sound quite right.
The piece wasn't necessarily intended to reflect Holst. there's also Bliss and Vaughn Williams. (I'm not nearly cerebral enough to take on Elgar). I had both of those in the back of my head as well throughout.
I think something went wrong with the original link I provided. see if this works. https://soundcloud.com/artlowell/brits-a-concert-piece-in-three-parts
I found the correct link by going to your soundcloud home page. The new link works. Thanks!
Thank you, Susan.