Music Composers Unite!
Here's a new work for Pipe Organ (I would call it a new piece but in Scotland a piece is something you eat with jam). Hopefully I've embedded a link to it as a fame but if not heres a link to the url on Audiomack:
It's called Moladh Obar Neithich (In Praise of Nethy Bridge), composed for pipe organ in C Major (Score attached).
It's something I'ver been working on for a while (it was originally called Fanfare and March) and its looselly in 4 parts, namely (i) the fanfare - some big chords, (ii) a sort of interlude before the march, (iii) the march, and (iv) a finale - more chords and a nod back to previous sections.
For the mp3 mock up I've used the organ patches that come with Kontakt and Sampletank. While it gives a reasonable idea of what its about its not really how I envisage the organ sound I'm after. I've actually just purchased Vienna's Konzerthaus Organ and once I've gotten my head around how it works I'll use it for all my organ pieces.
Couple of things I'm not sure of in the score: I'm thinking the downward progression in the interlude is maybe a couple of bars too long before it starts on it's upward journey again, and secondly I'm thinking the last few bars before it ends are a bit abrupt and it probably needs a better cadence to end the piece.
Comments & criticisms gratefully accepted.
I love organ music and this takes advantage of the power and delicacy available. My criticisms are not the music itself, but in the repetition and arrangement - I agree with you that the end of the interlude is abrupt as it reprises the fanfare chords, and I think in general you could profit from repeating sections less, or finding ways to spice up the repeated parts, to just tighten up the impact. Personally I would add some more polyphony and suspensions to the big chords, some movement between them, as organ is well suited to it. But hearing this live at volumes that make your lungs move in your chest, those thoughts might not occur to me at all.
I don't listen to much organ music but I enjoyed this. It's big and bold and sounds very "organesque". I liked the interlude section the best and I don't think that it goes on too long but I do think the ending of that section - a short repeat of the fanfare material - fails to match the lightness of that segment and seems a bit arbitrary. I agree with your perception of the final cadence; it struck me as being nice but ordinary. I don't play organ so forgive me if this is a stupid comment but I noticed that in several places the right hand is playing enormous chords: e.g. in the first bar you have E4, G4, C5, E5 and C6. Is that playable on the organ?
Great piece! I love pipe organ. Tried writing one myself - here's the link if you want to hear it:
Anyway, here are a few of my first impressions of your lovely piece:
1) At 1:39 in, where the phrase repeats 3 times and is quite effective at building tension, I was fully expecting thunderous chords at 1:48. In other words, if it were me, I'd delete the short bit from 1:48 to 1:52. What I'm saying is that I was expecting 1:52 a bit earlier than it arrived.
2) The passage that starts at 1:57 brings in a mid-range bass on the bottom but I'm thinking maybe this section needs the bass an octave lower like where the deep bass comes back at 3:18. I think it would help ground some of those dissonant chords. I love dissonant chords and I think they are more powerful when they have the root note in the deep bass. Just a thought.
3) Since I brought up the subject of bass, the first and last passages have deep bass but the entire middle section is a little "thin" bass wise. I very much like the delicate and lively play you've achieved through the mid-section but I had to wait until 3:18 to get some deep bass again. The middle seemed a bit too long without a low bottom end. Can you tell I love bass? :)
Great work! Thanks for posting it here.
I'm listening you your organ comp as I write - I'm hearing elements of Mr Kite and merry-go-round. Could be very psychodelic. Nice work. How ddi you realise it, what organ vst did you use, can you post the score?
Colin, Thanks! The pipe organ is out of the Kontakt 4 library. As far as a score, I can't help you because I can't read music. I know what the notes are on a staff if I really think about it but I could no more read a score than fly to the moon. It amazes me that pianists can translate all those black dots into emotions by way of their fingers. If you are one of those people, I admire you. "How did I realize it?" the beginning melodic phrase was something I made up on a piano many years ago. I always heard it as a pipe organ. Hooray for space age computers and instrument sampling!!! I only wish they had that technology when I was kid.
Many thanks for your feedback and suggestions on how to improve the work - greatly appreciated. First up is to work on the ending to the interlude and find a better transition into the march. The ending will be next on the list and then I'll revisit the music in the interlude and see what can be done to spice it up.
The last and most difficult task will be replacing the Kontakt and Sampletank patches with the Vienna Konzerthous organ vst - I'll export is as a musicxml file and bring it into Cubase. Hopefully if I get it right it will raise the roof - I might even find a friendly organist to give it a play.
After that I have another work to complete - a more instrospective piece in C minor (I read somewhere that C minor is the most poignant of the minor keys).