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I've just finished this little piece. I hope you'll find it an enjoyable listen.


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Hi Nate, I can't analyze this for you but I can say I enjoyed listening,

especially from min: 1:37 and on. I really liked the expression and vitality.

Good piece of work that I'll bet is fun to play.       RS

A little like Chopin.  I've played a few mazurka's, but never composed one.  If I remember correctly this would be a stylized Polish dance.  The meter at 144 seems a little fast.  Try about 130.  Otherwise, Chopin himself couldn't have done better.

Hi Nate,

More excellent writing. This time you have given us a taste of harmonic complexity too.

I didn't particularly go for the fugal opening, not because it was done badly in any way, it was just because it grated with my emotional conception of a Mazurka.For me,a Mazurka should be either light, joyous or melancholic, but not too cerebral. I know Chopin employed fugal techniques, but yours felt too studious for me. Perhaps you should have called it a Mazurka Fugato!

Some lovely Chopinesque harmonic  movement at b46 cf. and when you became more generally idiomatic , then it began to sing and lilt.

Still waiting for some original Fain though, simply because you have shown great contrapuntal and harmonic facility. I'd love to hear the real you. Of course if you are young, then I'll have to wait until you've 'seen the world' - which was some bloody useless advice given to a composer friend of mine when we where at the Academy by Henze.

Mike.

 

Thank you, Roger, Lawrence and Mike, for your generous comments on this little piece (even if it is perhaps undeserving!).

Lawrence, you may be right about the tempo. The virtual playback always misleads the composer on the appropriate tempo of a piece.

Mike, I'm afraid I'll have to disagree. The Chopin mazurkas are some of the most profound miniatures ever written. A good few are definitely cerebral, even if it's not always so in a Bachian sense. But I get your point about contrapuntal excess; indeed, the entire piece is a fugue, and I suppose I must have concealed my art sufficiently for you to not have remarked upon that. So goes the play of words, mutatis mutandis: just as there is the fugal gigue, there is the 'gigual' fugue ...

I'm happy to share what you call 'original music', but know that I write the pieces you've seen completely out of my own volition in accordance with my own aesthetics and with full accountability to myself. I really don't think any of us would have a leg to stand on in lecturing fellow composers what they should or shouldn't be writing.

Nonetheless, I wish to refrain from clogging up the forums further. I'll PM you a link when I can.

Hi Nate, 

You didn't conceal anything, I just listened without really studying.. 

Who's lecturing who here?  Not me , that's for sure, it's a shame you see it like that, when I see a potential talent that could flourish and come into the 21st century. But if you insist on writing in an older language, you will probably  saying nothing relevant to today, and probably wont really improve on what's been said already in an older language - just more of the same....but if that's what you want, of course it's your prerogative. Instead of being so aggressive maybe you should learn to distinguish compliments and well meant thoughts.

Well I feel like I'm being put on the spit here, being asked to justify (or worse, disavow) my own pieces. I don't see the issue of relevance here - we haven't all given up on listening to music that's older than forty years, pace Tinctoris. I do not shun my creative autonomy as a human when I express myself in received metaphors and locution in English - so why should I feel any different when it comes to the musical languages in which I have invested much time familiarising myself? I would rather remain free of the curse of 'originality', a term which is entirely contentious to begin with (18th c pastiche is uninspired but 20th c is okay? Come on!).

Sorry - I had intended to reply, but something went wrong.

No aggression intended - I'm sorry my replies gave off that air, if they did. I had only wished to clarify my position on this (admittedly tired and old) debate.

No problem Nate.

I'll just explain myself too. 

Like you, I studied harmony and counterpoint to a high level of technical complexity but then used that as a basis to try and find my own way.  I thought that you might feel the same creative pull, almost like a personal early 20thC. crises. I realise that my assumption about your compositional/ artistic development travelling the same road as mine was in error. Fair enough I wont hassle you again on that. 

I take your point about originality in it's literal sense being suspect (and God knows how I'm trying to excise the ghosts of Tippet and Britten), but history tells us it can be achieved. Sadly it's not for most of us, but there is no harm in trying.

Best..

Mike

Nate Fain said:

Sorry - I had intended to reply, but something went wrong.

No aggression intended - I'm sorry my replies gave off that air, if they did. I had only wished to clarify my position on this (admittedly tired and old) debate.

This is very well done and I enjoyed listening. I wouldn't suggest any changes except maybe to reconsider the frequent use of triplet figures, which serve to nicely articulate the melodic line but somehow to my ear become a bit repetitive. Maybe substituting some ornamentation or varying of the subdivisions for some of these might help, but this is a minor quibble with an overall excellent work.

I think this piece represents a "time lapse" from music forms dominant in the early 18th to the early 19th centuries. A seamless 100-year evolution within a single piece of music from an elegant baroque beginning to a very Chopinesque ending. I found it fascinating and delightful. Hugely innovative because the piece is so coherent in its whole.

This makes me want to hear a reverse time lapse from Chopin to a baroque fugue. Though... the thought comes to mind that the baroque structure has more enthalpy and Chopin introduces entropy which sounds more natural than trying to progress from Chopin to a fugue.That would be more like trying to press the toothpaste back into the tube. But perhaps these are all misconceptions I have.

Nate, Even though I made reference to historical time periods in my previous posts I don't endorse the concept of styles being dated. Much on the contrary I believe music - and art in general - can transcend time and can do so with huge power to speak to us in the present. Much changes over time but a whole lot doesn't. I view different music epochs as adding to a great pool of art that is all of it relevant in the present.

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