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One of a series I've got into. The number 4 is arbitrary referring just to the 'attempt'. It was completed about month ago then revised slightly the other day.

Slow and fairly atonal/abstract. 

Many thanks if you can give it a listen, and comments are always appreciated with thanks. 

Please play it quietly. The dynamics rarely rise above mp.

I've included a short score for bar number references, so no dynamics but dissected into the  orchestral sections. The full score runs into 30 staves which, given the way my daw produces pdfs would make it an absolute nuisance to read: However, the instruments concerned should be obvious. Thanks for your forbearance. 

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Very interesting composition. I don't know why, some part reminds me for the 'The shining' movie's music. Overall, it's a professional work, congrat!

I once had the notion that music in general evokes similar feelings in most people. Music is that thing which presents an outward indication of something that's going on elsewhere maybe in a different unexpected way. Cause and effect. Some music sounds to me more like a thought process than a means to an end. Not always necessarily emotional in nature, yet it can be that as well.

My hunches and general thoughts on it have been gradually changing. The "buttons" we push don't always have the same motives or glean the same results. I have  come to realize that some music seems to be for the mere purpose of existing with no real goal other than to be an example of something that is. I had a difficult time wrapping my head around these ideas.

My guess is that this music might be evoking different things in different people. For me I think it would probably pair well with some kind of visuals, but then again, this is because for me it evokes more of a process. For me it has a dimension of some kind of mysterious process. I say mysterious because I can't ascertain any direction I would be familiar with. It's no direction I would go in. That isn't good or bad. This is also likely my thinking because I haven't delved into any sort of musical constructions based on strictly atonal or abstract work. I don't think it's in my DNA. As such I can only listen with interest while my musical side tries to pick out patterns I would associate. My resolution is to simply enjoy it in the now for what it is and not try too hard to find anything in it. From that context I get more from it and began to enjoy it much more!

Hi, Leber,

Sincere thanks for your appraisal - gratefully received. Alas, uh-oh, I'm no professional. The piece is halfway between abstract and impressionist. Pleasing that it made some sort of sense to you.

Thanks again,

Dane

Leber said:

Very interesting composition. I don't know why, some part reminds me for the 'The shining' movie's music. Overall, it's a professional work, congrat!

Hi, Timothy,

Thank you for your generous comments and offering your thoughts up. Thank you for listening.

It's interesting. I feel I understand what you've said about your changing reception of music as I seem to have almost a parallel that aligns at some points. I suppose writing impressionist pieces comes with hoping that synaesthesia comes into play at some level or another. That perhaps someone can close their eyes and visualise. well, something. No doubt people do but it may not be anywhere near the mood/vision that inspired a work. 

Listeners these days have been so bathed in television and cinema that music has taken a subservient role. Their imaginations have been stolen by the screen so perhaps it's a useless cause. Can such people still imagine? I suppose I still count on that, just that I'd prefer reading a novel rather than having some syndicated interpretation of it rammed in my eyes. A pre-owned imagination. Perhaps I'm a dying breed. 

I have an ambivalent attitude toward writing. Basically modernist and atonal I play with mood; perhaps sometimes accidentally touching on something literal - programmatic, sort of. (A few people have classed me as post-modern which sounds horrible!) Then I get fed up with the genre and need to clean the slate so I turn to something tonal (like that Mozart fakery), light music or solos. That's happened now. I'm fed up with "Music for Orchestra" inspirations (although there's still a couple to offer here, if on review they seem fit for purpose) so I revert to chamber. 

Perhaps it's through listening to a wide range of music, the aim being to block influences so if I find myself listening to a particular composer a lot I'll set about writing something in a different vein - which probably, truth told, screws it up altogether!

Anyway, Timothy, thanks once again. Your comments are always appreciated.


Timothy Smith said:

I once had the notion that music in general evokes similar feelings in most people. Music is that thing which presents an outward indication of something that's going on elsewhere maybe in a different unexpected way. Cause and effect. Some music sounds to me more like a thought process than a means to an end. Not always necessarily emotional in nature, yet it can be that as well.

My hunches and general thoughts on it have been gradually changing. The "buttons" we push don't always have the same motives or glean the same results. I have  come to realize that some music seems to be for the mere purpose of existing with no real goal other than to be an example of something that is. I had a difficult time wrapping my head around these ideas.

My guess is that this music might be evoking different things in different people. For me I think it would probably pair well with some kind of visuals, but then again, this is because for me it evokes more of a process. For me it has a dimension of some kind of mysterious process. I say mysterious because I can't ascertain any direction I would be familiar with. It's no direction I would go in. That isn't good or bad. This is also likely my thinking because I haven't delved into any sort of musical constructions based on strictly atonal or abstract work. I don't think it's in my DNA. As such I can only listen with interest while my musical side tries to pick out patterns I would associate. My resolution is to simply enjoy it in the now for what it is and not try too hard to find anything in it. From that context I get more from it and began to enjoy it much more!

Hi Dane,

I totally get where you're coming from now. I am beginning to prefer reading to movies lately. I am a problem solver at my day job. I look at almost everything as something that's connected to something else or something that leads to a deeper answer. If I can't find anything it drives me crazy :) Even if the connection is based on an explanation that apparently shows outwardly a deeper more profound meaning without actually giving a detailed explanation. This is one reason music with lyrics that really make no sense to me also drives me crazy. I'm always trying to hone in on a definition for the words which sometimes end up with multiple meanings. I always looked at words as something to describe a thing, not as a way to create a mood. 

It's my issue. Nothing you've done :)  

Dane,

Again this is a fine work of art. All these instruments and voices might be considered trivial when played alone, but the artist brings them together with such a skill that music is born, something that is greater then the sum of all the parts.

Thanks for sharing.

Very good Dane, this may be my favorite of what I've heard of your works. I've listened twice now and will listen again soon. I think the slower tempo enhances your style; it allows us with slower ears and minds to better understand what you are doing and it is impressive. Thanks for posting.

Saul, 

thank you for listening and your generous comments. I'm glad it made some kind of artistic sense.

One tries....!

Bests,

Dane.

Saul Gefen said:

Dane,

Again this is a fine work of art. All these instruments and voices might be considered trivial when played alone, but the artist brings them together with such a skill that music is born, something that is greater then the sum of all the parts.

Thanks for sharing.

Ingo,

Thanks indeed for your kind remarks and listening through.

It's interesting - what you say about the more relaxed tempi and music with an atonal content. I agree. It gives the listeners and composers enough time to absorb the various events. Truth known it all started a couple of summers ago when sitting outside in late May I was listening to blackbird song - so pleasant yet without tune in the conventional sense...it worked because it was slow and languid - and in my recent chamber pieces I tried to mimic the thing. Then there was the poet Stephane Mallarmé, his very late works that are surreal and far from regular poetry, that rely on the relationship between events rather than just the events themselves. Difficult to explain and probably doesn't make sense. But he's a big influence too. 

No doubt academics have been hard at work analysing and describing these symptoms; come up with a few buzzwords which would baffle me no doubt. My "Bluff your way in Music" textbook defines "atonal" as: "Music written when a composer forgets, or couldn't care less, what key he is supposed to be writing in." 

But I won't go on. You're most encouraging and it's much appreciated. Thanks again.

Ingo Lee said:

Very good Dane, this may be my favorite of what I've heard of your works. I've listened twice now and will listen again soon. I think the slower tempo enhances your style; it allows us with slower ears and minds to better understand what you are doing and it is impressive. Thanks for posting.

Hi Dane,

A truly wonderful work!  Thank you for sharing it.

Thank you specially for sharing the score.

I listened it 4 times and read the score alone 2 times + analized.

Vertically you have used 1 and even two half tone added pitches.

You brake the tonal-modal effect with this.  There are a few 3 - 5

added chords but much more quarter note chords, all of them

added with half tone pitches.  You use whole tone chords also.

At some positions (probably dissonance peaks) you use completely

half tone chords.

If I am not mistaken, I could not notice an established pitch set,

but music dictates some references to the past chords.

The ending uses the same set of pitches as seen at the beginning,

at least the percussion pitches.

Rhythm-wise nothing new based on your previous works.  But the

instrumentation attacks are softer/weaker in comparison.

I appreciate that you have shared this with us.

Brilliant!

Ali

Good evening Ali,

Thank you for listening and your generous comments, and looking more deeply into the piece.

As usual your analysis is perceptive and much appreciated.

Unfortunately I've been in a rut with chord layouts. They're often based around major or minor 7ths, the minor 7ths sometimes as augmented 6ths. I'm no theoretician and tend to add pitches to avoid concord based on what I think sounds appropriate to the mood of the work. I move chord parts in parallel too much really but I suppose that makes the close-spaced chords 'chords' rather than clusters.

You were right about no established pitch set, a term I'm not familiar with but assumed to be the evolving harmony. 

Good or bad the music just happens!!

I started through-composing after listening to Villa-Lobos' Quinteto em forma de Chorôs (the version for Fl, Ob Horn, Clar and Bassoon) It was huge release from what 'they' were trying to teach me, and a work I still love. I have to avoid Villa-Lobos as I find him such an influence.

Again, thanks, and I truly appreciate you giving the piece several hearings.

Bests,

Dane.

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