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Hey all again - I'm closing in on getting two short pieces recorded with an orchestra. One you might have seen in the double stop thread that's floating around. This is the other - about half the length, a rousing fantasy adventure cue.

Aside from tidying and so on there's not much else I can think of to change or fix, so before I lock things down I'm grateful for any feedback relating to balance, arrangement, notation etc. Style criticism I'll take in stride but fundamentally the music is what it is!

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It sounds like intro into some kind of wildlife documentary from 70's/80's.

That's not bad thing, right!?

Hell no, wildlife documentaries can have awesome music. George Fenton does a lot of Attenborough and his work is well worth checking out.

Nikola said:

It sounds like intro into some kind of wildlife documentary from 70's/80's.

That's not bad thing, right!?

Hi Dave,

Might be worth considering strengthening the violins for the first 8 bars with the violas. Williams does so in similar vein for his ET score - the bit at the end with the kids on their bikes going over the hills. In his score, there are 3 and not 2 harmony parts, which are closely spaced and provides a compact solid sound to the florid wind and strings. Divisis of vln1, vln2 and vlas in close proximity would help too. See the attatchment for a general idea rather than me waffling on....

Note the slurring and the addition of clarinets!..all of course just a thought as it seems a little underbalanced at the moment, the brass are very powerful.

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It's a good thought(s), and the vla and cl are either spare or not doing much 1-8. I might add your suggested vla harmony to the strings but the underbalancing is deliberate, though I might have misjudged the extent - the big brass theme and the airy, almost unsupported violins/ww underneath. When everything jumps in b5 might be a good time to implement the extra parts, but then I don't want to create a sudden gap in texture at b9 when vla and cl have their little sub-melody. Certainly to be considered though. Thanks.

I remember you suggested the slurred approach to those triplets when I first aired the brass version of this - what sort of difference would that make to woodwinds and strings? The notes would still be distinct at that speed I assume, the desired effect is quite fluttery and punctuated.

You're the second person this has inspired ET comparisons with. Now listening back to Adventures on Earth I can't unhear it, but it was an accident! I wailed plaintively.

Mike Hewer said:

Hi Dave,

Might be worth considering strengthening the violins for the first 8 bars with the violas. Williams does so in similar vein for his ET score - the bit at the end with the kids on their bikes going over the hills. In his score, there are 3 and not 2 harmony parts, which are closely spaced and provides a compact solid sound to the florid wind and strings. Divisis of vln1, vln2 and vlas in close proximity would help too. See the attatchment for a general idea rather than me waffling on....

Note the slurring and the addition of clarinets!..all of course just a thought as it seems a little underbalanced at the moment, the brass are very powerful.

 I see what you are saying about a gap at b9, for me though I'd re-space the horns  there anyway with a harmonising line (or even  3rds, sort of in the vein of the clts as they are) and re-distribute the clts and vlas to accompaniment duties. If the upper parts are thickened, they will be able to contribute more effectively in b9 etc. especially as the trumpets are in the screaming don't f*** with us range and will not be troubled.  Adjustments would have to be made elsewhere in the brass if you did this. 

Single tonguing at that speed, almost constantly, is tiring for the wind. Slurring eases it somewhat. Clarity is thereby improved as is the ensemble (togetherness). The bowing in this manner also has a good energy to it and considerable strength of articulation.

The Harp part however, needs work and will be  hopelessly lost at b9. Best to use it to enhance the scale runs (as you have) with glisses in appropriate ranges, as it can add (cliched but effective) sparkle. As they stand, the glisses are in a weak range and wont really be effective in the prevailing sound they should be double handed and travel a wider range to reach a higher end point. Get them to gliss up to the upper flute/picc. range.

We've all been under the influence mate, you'll find your own way soon enough.

Mild protestations :) - the influence is clear in these pieces as they're very fanfarey. I love that kind of excitement and energy and it's hard to write in such an idiom without dragging that DNA in there - the other piece in fact owes more to John Debney. But I feel confident in my own voice as a composer beyond such things. Yeah, you're shaking your head at my naivety. SCREW IT I LIKE HORNS

I'll certainly add the slurs and I'm glad you raised the harp, otherwise I'd have left it in the low range. Perhaps 9-11 I'll try some wide arps, I added that second melody because it was a spare instrument and no real other reason. It's certainly not working to potential at the moment. Some double or triple gliss, also a fine notion. There's room to use single, double and triple at different points to see the difference.

"Don't f*** with us range" made me snigger on a train.

Mike Hewer said:

 I see what you are saying about a gap at b9, for me though I'd re-space the horns  there anyway with a harmonising line (or even  3rds, sort of in the vein of the clts as they are) and re-distribute the clts and vlas to accompaniment duties. If the upper parts are thickened, they will be able to contribute more effectively in b9 etc. especially as the trumpets are in the screaming don't f*** with us range and will not be troubled.  Adjustments would have to be made elsewhere in the brass if you did this. 

Single tonguing at that speed, almost constantly, is tiring for the wind. Slurring eases it somewhat. Clarity is thereby improved as is the ensemble (togetherness). The bowing in this manner also has a good energy to it and considerable strength of articulation.

The Harp part however, needs work and will be  hopelessly lost at b9. Best to use it to enhance the scale runs (as you have) with glisses in appropriate ranges, as it can add (cliched but effective) sparkle. As they stand, the glisses are in a weak range and wont really be effective in the prevailing sound they should be double handed and travel a wider range to reach a higher end point. Get them to gliss up to the upper flute/picc. range.

We've all been under the influence mate, you'll find your own way soon enough.

I love em too.

I'm glad you are considering, discarding, using suggestions, that thoughtful approach will serve you well.

Re the harp.......

b12, I'm sure it's just a typo, but put in the top f sharp for the gliss.

b13. It might be safer to not have those glisses and keep b14 almost as is. This would be more practical, given that 3 pedal changes have to be done. BTW put a natural sign next to the c and f pedal markings, always be specific on these matters.

b14. Glisses are best written with a rhythmic duration too, i.e. the a in the bass clef should be a dotted minim. As it hits a chord at the top, the best way to notate is to have the gliss (bass clef staff) finish on the bottom note of the chord (i this case a D). Keep this in the same staff and change the clef to avoid ledger lines!  and keep the rest of the chord notated as you have it on the treble clef stave, except for the f sharps. This is because a pedal change to f sharp would have to occur at the end of the gliss and feels a bit messy. My solution would be to start the gliss an octave below your A but staring on G (the harmony root!) in the left hand and a dyad (2 note chord) of f (above the g) and b flat for the right hand, glissing up to the d of the violins at b15...see attachment. Obviously it's your call, but in pointing out problems and solutions, you'll I hope you'll be better placed to see some technical pitfalls. There will be more volume and strength to this gliss as there are more notes in the same amount of time. Keeping the open 5th feel on the d chord (ie no f sharp) means that the pedals can then be changed back to the lydian setting without affecting the sustain of the chord.

b 5cf, left hand triplets are not practical and are ineffective. If you want to give the harp a little more variety, give it some spread chords on the downbeats!

Re pedals. Your piece is in the lydian major, (defining characteristic is the sharpened 4th note - in this case a G). Mark your pedals at the start as you have, but raise the  g  to g sharp. You might want to consider raising all g's in all instruments to g sharp on the demisemi runs to keep the key defined more clearly. Although obviously it changes when your harmony moves on at b13.

oops, here's the attachment...

Attachments:
I'll feedback properly when I'm home but I'm looking forward to trying this - in both these pieces there's points where glissi and multiple pedal changes happen at once and I wasn't happy with it. Mainly it was because I would land, redundantly, on a full chord but I think you've cut through the issue by simply removing those notes, which would barely be heard anyway. Nice one.



Mike Hewer said:

I love em too.

I'm glad you are considering, discarding, using suggestions, that thoughtful approach will serve you well.

Re the harp.......

b12, I'm sure it's just a typo, but put in the top f sharp for the gliss.

b13. It might be safer to not have those glisses and keep b14 almost as is. This would be more practical, given that 3 pedal changes have to be done. BTW put a natural sign next to the c and f pedal markings, always be specific on these matters.

b14. Glisses are best written with a rhythmic duration too, i.e. the a in the bass clef should be a dotted minim. As it hits a chord at the top, the best way to notate is to have the gliss (bass clef staff) finish on the bottom note of the chord (i this case a D). Keep this in the same staff and change the clef to avoid ledger lines!  and keep the rest of the chord notated as you have it on the treble clef stave, except for the f sharps. This is because a pedal change to f sharp would have to occur at the end of the gliss and feels a bit messy. My solution would be to start the gliss an octave below your A but staring on G (the harmony root!) in the left hand and a dyad (2 note chord) of f (above the g) and b flat for the right hand, glissing up to the d of the violins at b15...see attachment. Obviously it's your call, but in pointing out problems and solutions, you'll I hope you'll be better placed to see some technical pitfalls. There will be more volume and strength to this gliss as there are more notes in the same amount of time. Keeping the open 5th feel on the d chord (ie no f sharp) means that the pedals can then be changed back to the lydian setting without affecting the sustain of the chord.

b 5cf, left hand triplets are not practical and are ineffective. If you want to give the harp a little more variety, give it some spread chords on the downbeats!

Re pedals. Your piece is in the lydian major, (defining characteristic is the sharpened 4th note - in this case a G). Mark your pedals at the start as you have, but raise the  g  to g sharp. You might want to consider raising all g's in all instruments to g sharp on the demisemi runs to keep the key defined more clearly. Although obviously it changes when your harmony moves on at b13.

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