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Bedford Hill. A Cantata.

A mood piece.

Because of the file size I had to upload it to Soundcloud. 

This is the intro on soundcloud:

"A tragedy one night (long ago, now). No doubt there were many. This piece is the dark, abrasive mood of the area before it was cleaned up, the undercurrents, the closed curtains, the shady encounters.
An atonal piece. The wordless voice is the humanity in that woeful world."

Mostly it's based on motifs developed in the first couple of bars. As the tragedy unfolds the end peters out.

Thank you,


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Thrilling piece, I thoroughly enjoyed the soundscape you created. Very colorful yet not abrasive, even for an atonal work. I felt like I could easily follow the patterns and the development; to me, that speaks to the talent and giftedness of the composer.

Fine job, Dane. This is superb stuff.

An excellent extended work here.  Large group, meshing and clashing, lots of colors and drama. Moody, cinematic at times and a bit like that period of time when composers in Hollywood weren't required to be epic or insipid and could actually bring something fresh and relevant to the picture. The voice needs more expression, my only minor crit and that's always an issue with VST's. I like it!

Hi, Jörfi and Ingo,

Thank you so much for listening through and these very kind comments.

A video would be appropriate. Alas it's too late to catch the place as it was but I suppose in time I could 'synthesis' a set of scenes. I only found my very scruffy sketches during a clear-out at home here following the double whammy of a health problem last summer then the central heating needing replacement which was chaos! Collectively, the family were forced into a grand clear-out! The sketches didn't feature much in this work but reminded me of the events and my reactions. Funny how some memories hold good and it was easy to sink back into the event(s) and my woeful response. 

I accept the problems of the VST solo voice. It'll likely always be a problem, attempting to electrify this most basic of human instruments. No doubt some of it is me and thanks to these comments will strive for improvement (as I have another one in progress). 

I'm duly flattered by your reception and thank you again for listening and the valuable comments. 

Until later,


 Though this might seem a bit dark in places I think it conjures more the idea of surprise and excitement. Lots of twists and turns in a small space. It kept me interested until the very end.

Nice one Dane!

Thank you kindly, Tim, for listening and your encouraging comments. I was a little worried posting a piece like this so, great if it made sense. My original intro mentioned a "curious spark that might excite a capricious thrill-seeker". Looks like you picked that up. 

Much appreciated.

Until later,


Hi Dane,

A lot of work...  In your own style... 

Orchestration good quality...

Unfortunately the words are missing.  It really kills the piece I believe.

But nothing can be done.  Unless you record it yourself and tranform the octave

or hire somebody to sing it.

The music accompanies the voice part and the words.

It seems to be very professional at all.

In my opinion:

There is no development.

There is no culmination point.

There is no perceptible and recognizable motive,

sentence...  May be some figures...  Instrument colors

are recognizable.

As there is no development there is no strong ending.

These are all a result of your stylistic choices,

freshness depending on only 'new' material,

very short figures/motives so that they can not be

recognized, and a very varied use of rhythms...

Personally, I am on the side of Schoenberg and his 'Verklaerte...'

where he uses many many repetitions, applies the rule of third

repetition should come with change...

Small changes can get a meaning only when they are relative to some

base, it has to be a small change of something...  Why is this

important?  We human beings can only react to small changes

that we cannot identify, with our emotions.  In order to arouse

feelings we have to make small but meaningful changes.

Put all this personal stuff aside...

According to your style that you have been developing,

this orchestral piece was a big gift.  I enjoyed it a lot.

beautiful colors, gorgeous timbres. And endless freshness...

All the best.


Hi, Ali,

Many thanks for listening and your enlightening and generous comments.

True, it is through composed but there is some motif development.  I didn’t submit a score because it runs to (a minimum) of 22 staves and they’re difficult on a small screen.

There are no words to the voice which was intended as the human in a dysfunctional part of society.   (I was pleased enough when I found samples of solo voices even if they aren’t adequate for many things. They cannot compete with the expressiveness of a human singing this part, that's for sure.)

The piece just fades out into the dark as if nothing ever happened. An irony to say the least. I avoided “telling the story” in the intro as it’s rather uncomfortable (and the music had to speak for itself). I lived in an adjacent area at the time and had walked this street a few times without trouble to cut through to somewhere else but it was fairly obvious what went on there.

Your comment on the orchestration is much appreciated. 

Your observations are always interesting and it’s true that once I start a work like this I just go on composing, clinging only to the evolving atmosphere rather than what musically happened on previous pages unless a reprise seems necessary.  Now I review this piece, yes, it is fragmentary, like wadges of sound following one another without any plan. A plan evolved as it went along but nothing like the formal plans of classical works! 

I absolutely love Schönberg’s Verklärte Nacht. One of the most emotionally powerful pieces I’ve encountered let alone for string writing. Beautiful indeed. But then I also love Berg’s Lulu.

Again, sincere thanks.


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