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Something I wrote this summer– it's a piece for 16 instruments (flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, horn, trumpet, trombone, harp, piano, 2 percussion, 2 violins, viola, cello, bass).  Hope you enjoy!

Here's a recording:

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Hi Lara,

Fascinating and seductive. It felt  more like  myriad fleeting sensations of mood, image and dream rather  than a logical linear discourse on first hearing. Timbre appears to be the dominant motivator and there are some fascinating moments. Although I am not a fan of  microtonal work used as a norm per se, I am a big fan of your ability to create striking texture for seemingly expressionistic intent. Your imagination is unbounded thanks to your technique and for that I salute you.

The score is professional as one would expect from you with every intention clearly marked. I hope the work went down as well as it deserves.

Yes to this piece, and still another Yes!!  The score is a work of art, the performance is an exciting journey with many guideposts along the way, and the entire experience is one I will repeat many times as I share this piece with my more advanced students. 

This reminds me of one of my favorite Norgard works - Luna.  I like Mike's description of "sensations of mood, image and dream" - well said, Mike, and beautifully written, Lara. 

Thanks Mike and Julie!  Glad you both enjoyed it :) 


Thank you for sharing this impressive composition and performance.

It is more than a little disappointing seeing the lack of response from most active members here towards your work. I say this as someone not particularly enthralled when listening to such music other than when paired with distressing video.

what do I know? Appreciating talent.


I agree with Ray.  It's sad that more people aren't commenting on this incredible piece. It does take a certain amount of informed listening (perhaps a lifetime!) to be able to really hear and appreciate a piece like this. Sometimes we're ready for a special piece and sometimes we're not.

It's hard for me to believe, looking back, but I didn't hear the Bartok piano concertos until I was in my early 40's - probably 24 years ago.  I don't know how we missed those in school, but we did.  When I heard the first two piano concertos I simply couldn't find my way through them.  The old landmarks that I knew were gone and my ears hadn't matured enough for that first listening.  Within a few weeks I listened again and an entirely new and magical world opened up for me!  Bartok and I have been kindred spirits ever since.  I used to give Bartok CDs to my sister for Christmas until she finally told me "I don't LIKE Bartok!"   It's hard to imagine how anyone could not like Bartok's 3rd piano concerto - but I have living proof!!

Maybe more folks will listen and HEAR Lara's piece.  I hope so.

Hear hear, Ray and Julie. Especially you Ray as classical modernism is not your glass of dram.

Julie, please don't get me started on what I have not heard yet! I fear I will leave this world in complete ignorance of many masterpieces. 

Lara's work is a beautiful and fascinating piece which I will comment on more when I have time.

I also would like to see more members listening to and commenting on Lara's work and contemporary pieces in general but it was not too long ago that many of the members here would react to new music with hostile and insulting language and I'm sure Gav and Mike H. remember that attitude as well.

I think that having Gav and Julie as active and concerned moderators is preventing that from happening and I am thankful for that.

Ingo, I think you’re very wrong in your second statement. Lara’s music is just plain good regardless of genre. Whether one presents contemporary music or Bach parody there is no hiding talent. There have been pieces published here as new cutting edge work that to me sound like the equivalent of chimpanzee with paint brush.

seeing as this thread isn’t the place for such discussion I’ll leave it at that.

To briefly address some of the above comments, if I feel my criticism is irrelevant to a piece and I could offer nothing useful I tend not to reply. It's not a secret that "contemporary" classical music is not my thing, and pieces like this operate on such a radically different set of musical perspectives that the critique I'd normally offer something in my comfort zone is, well, useless!

Anyway, I listened to it. It's not my thing. But I can recognise the quality. It's not the contemporary music I've heard that I'd have to describe as formless noise; there's all sorts of interesting harmonies and instrumentations. There's clearly an intent and purpose, even if I'm not the one to grasp it. As I've said before in similar circumstances, I wouldn't write this but I also couldn't.

Hi Lara

I've listened to this piece a few times and I can honestly say that I feel as though I'm listening to a Mondrian painting - I can see that it's a thing of beauty, but what it exactly is escapes me. Maybe that's your intention - to present us with a challenging soundscape and textures and invite us to interpret it in terms of our own experience? I certainly enjoyed listening to it.

Looking at the score, hats off to the players and conductor in realising your vision.

Thanx, Colin

Thanks to all of you who have listened and commented.  Thank you to Julie and Ray for the praise (and I'm flattered, especially since Ray said that contemporary music is not his cup of tea, so to speak!)  

Colin, that's really interesting– I suppose the shifting textures come from the kinds of timbres I was going for, which is sort of a shimmering, sparkly texture, although not "in your face" sparkly with constant saturation of crotales or something of that sort.  The microtonal harmonies also help add to the shifting effect, and that could also be an additional challenge for the listener to deal with.  And yes, I do invite you to interpret it in terms of your own experience– it's a piece that exists for its own sake, I suppose.  

Anyway, thanks to you all for your feedback and I look forward to seeing what more people have to say, whether it be criticism, commentary, praise, or something else!

I often have trouble to relate to this Avantgarde forms of composition, this however is very fascinating. It strikes me as weirdly supernatural and I immediately get the impression of listening to surreal paintings like something Dali would have painted or maybe Escher. Very nice.

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