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Hello Colleagues,

Here is a short piece I wrote for an event; the opening ceremony for some new student housing at a college I used to work at. It's written for trumpet, piano, and bass guitar, because that's the musicians who were available to perform (I played the piano). Score in the YouTube, and comments as always invited >

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Hi Ali,

There's nothing complex about it, it's all 4 bar phrases with a little bit of call and response (e.g., m5-6 is the call, m7-8 is the response). As always, I think of the audience when composing - a bunch of regular folks, so a traditional, easily graspable approach seemed best. As to how I achieve the style/various comments made about 'naive,' 'empfindsam,' I can only say that with many, but not all, of my compositions, my goal is to strip out everything superfluous and to only play what is absolutely necessary to convey the piece. In other words, I strive to be as simple as possible.

Thanks for your interest!

Gav

Ali Riza SARAL said:

Hi Gav,

Could you please give a few hints about how you do these...

I remember, you had mentioned 'whistling', anything else?

It looks simple but I have a feeling it is well structured,

am I wrong?  How do you make it look simple while

making it structured?  How do you make it look 'naive'

or 'empfindsam'?

Thanks.

Ali

Thanks Tillerich,

The Beatles is a good source to turn to for inspiration! I used to do a lot of hand drawings, and I recall in particular liking to listen to Revolver when I drew. If there's ever been better song writing in all of human literature, I am not aware of it. I think the hardest thing in the world to do is to write music simply. Most composers can write complex music, and sometimes I think get drawn in by the idea that music must be complex to be good. I recall a conversation I had with a bunch of composers once on what was the greatest piece of classical music written in the 20th century (one of *those* discussions), and everybody chimed in with various symphonies and long choral pieces. My choice was Gymnopedie No. 3 by Satie. Some folks couldn't believe it!

Thanks for your comments!

Gav

Tillerich said:

Hope it is okay, if I chime in with this one:

It's a bit like good comedy: it is actually a real skill to make it consistently look / sound relaxed, playful and easy (without becoming too obvious, simplistic or cheesy). Serious, depressed and cryptic can actually, and strangely, be comparatively "easier", I believe,

Having enough reference material in your head and ear will be important to benchmark your own ideas against these. May I say: I remember that, before trying to put together the "HymnEtude" I posted in response to Gavin's piece, I had listened many times on that day to "Yellow Submarine" by the Beatles, to tune myself into a jolly, somewhat slightly old-fashioned mood. It seemed to help.

Thanks for your comments Timothy! I have found that for YT videos, I seem to be liking animal and flower pictures a lot. Scott Joplin named many of his rags after flowers (the Chrysanthemum, Gladiolus, etc) and perhaps I picked up the habit from that.

Gav

Timothy Smith said:

An nice upbeat yet brief piece. Good combination with those instruments which were somewhat picked due to necessity as I understand it. The horse in the beginning is a nice touch. I guess you weren't horsing around :)

You seem to be good at putting together spontaneous projects with with short time lines and having them work well in the chosen contexts.

Thanks for sharing! 

Reallly a bit like a sculptor, who carefully chisels away from a massive blob of sound - with the big advantage, of course, that the composer can fairly easily put anything, that he or she has taken away, back on again...!

Gav Brown said:

I can only say that with many, but not all, of my compositions, my goal is to strip out everything superfluous and to only play what is absolutely necessary to convey the piece. In other words, I strive to be as simple as possible.

Thanks for your interest!

Gav

Wonderful passage. Although, I'm sure live it sounds much better.

Thanks Alex!

An enjoyable little piece, sounds perfect for the occasion as you describe it. I don't think I've ever heard that particular combination of instruments, ;) but they work well together. Thanks for sharing it.

Thanks Liz!

Fun piece. My only comment would be measure 24 and 28: the piano seems to be sort of echoing the trumpet, but having only the left hand is a little empty. I would have put something busy-ish in the right hand.

Interesting comment Victor, thanks. I might noodle around on the piano about this this weekend since I will be social distancing anyway. Thanks!

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