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This is a new piece for solo piano it's called Special bicycles and it's a sort of waltz in mid March. 

Any comments are most welcome as it's one of the longer pieces i've written. I've attached the score in pdf so check that out as well

Many thanks

Alex Oliver Cawley 

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Nice Alex. I wasn't immediately drawn in with your starting material, but it soon developed into something enjoyable for me.

It put me in mind of Poulenc and felt very French to me. I felt the ending could have been more conclusive and extended in its build and eventual termination, but hey, it's your piece not mine. The piano writing was just right for your expression, not too complex but direct and with minimum fuss and the right amount of notes, the sort of piano writing I particularly like.

Thanks for your feedback Mike. The piece started off as kind of a scale etude so thats why the opening is pretty straight forward, at least for the right hand just to establish the idea that scales are going to be pretty dominant in this piece and that you need to know your scales if you want to learn it.

I'm quite pleased with the ending but I can see where you are coming from. Really the piece could end slightly earlier and with that section being extended slightly but I like the fact that the music once again recalls scales as it's final motif. it's more of an epilogue rather than a triumphant ending. 

Thanks again for listening!  

Hi Dave

It's certainly a balancing act as some parts need to be pretty strictly in time like the opening so that you get a sense of the 3/4 in the right hand and the un even left hand. If that section is to free then it becomes a bit messy and I feel like it's already a bit busy. 

The middle slower section I could maybe have played around a bit more with the expression. I don't take monotony with any offence I know what you mean. I often find I move from theme to theme too quickly so I tried to keep things still a bit more with this piece but it's still hard for me and I really have to force it!

Thanks for your kind words about my playing, very much appreciated. 

Hi Alex--

VERY nicely done-I enjoyed this very much and especially liked the changing of speed and contrasting gestures. Great playing also!

Thanks so much for sharing:)

https://soundcloud.com/bob-morabito

Wow thanks Bob, thats very nice of you, really glad you enjoyed it!

Alex,

     I also thought that the intro didn't fit with the rest of the piece which is more improvisational.  You could lose the first page.  It reminded me of a piece, Zug zer rug, or something like that.  Everything after that was wonderful.  Are you aware that you left out whole lines and inserted others relative to the score.  The piece is apparently still developing.  I thought you could have filled in the chords at some climactic points.  It does sound French, maybe Ravel.  I really enjoyed it.

Hi Lawrence

Thanks for comments, A couple of people on here have said they aren't mad on the intro and a few people i've spoken feel the opposite. I feel like it's not the strongest material as it's basically just a D Major scale which is why the left hand is busier than it would have been other wise. I might look into making the right hand a bit more interesting. 

I typed up the score fairly quickly so if theres a few things missing then it's just because I got tired of typing it out, sometimes Sibelius can be very annoying to say the least. 

In regards to filling out some of the chords I'm interested in what you mean? 

All the best and thanks for the feedback

Hi Dave

I had tried out the staccato section legato and I think it has a better contrast with the opening, that not accounting for taste obviously but it's a reason. It is actually quite fun to see what parts people like and dislike as I have gone through the thought process so much that I basically agree with everything people but ultimately you have to do what works for you. 

I grew up in Guildford and used to ride my bike in the high street a lot when i worked as a postman so the idea of going around a town with narrow steps and lanes till you finally finish and get to have that last ride down a big hill is pretty much what I had in mind for the overall narrative. 

This piece is fairly linear so the chords are spread out.  But in a few places you could add three or four fingered chords in both hands to add intensity.
 
Alex Oliver Cawley said:

Hi Lawrence

Thanks for comments, A couple of people on here have said they aren't mad on the intro and a few people i've spoken feel the opposite. I feel like it's not the strongest material as it's basically just a D Major scale which is why the left hand is busier than it would have been other wise. I might look into making the right hand a bit more interesting. 

I typed up the score fairly quickly so if theres a few things missing then it's just because I got tired of typing it out, sometimes Sibelius can be very annoying to say the least. 

In regards to filling out some of the chords I'm interested in what you mean? 

All the best and thanks for the feedback

Hi Alex,

What an interesting and challenging piece you have written. I listened to it twice. BTW, the score does not seem to be a match for the performance, which hindered my ability to understand it somewhat. There are parts of it I liked, parts that I did not so much, and parts that are so far off the beaten path (for my ears at least), that I don't know what to think. The initial melody of ascending triplets I did not enjoy as much as other later parts in the piece. Starting at m. 103 I think is the most effecting and nice part of the score, particular enjoyed how you put the melody in the bass here. I also found the section starting at m 228 enjoyable, I can't say I quite comprehend your harmony here, but it seemed to work well. The ending I also found enjoyable. Overall impression is that this an interesting piece with some parts that work well, and others that did not. Not sure what the overall structure is here, although there is clearly structure within the individual parts. I thank you for posting and hope to hear more from you. I would also be interested to hear you describe your compositional style.

Best,

Gav

Hi Gav

Thanks for your comments and thanks for listening. Sorry about the score not being 100 percent accurate, I've mentioned this in a previous post but I just got tired of typing it out as it was the third time, so it's about 90 percent which is good enough for me for now.

The middle section does seem to be most peoples favorite part and the beginning not so much! I'm glad people are honest about it and I totally understand. 

During m228 (and just before in 226) the harmony is pretty simple in the right hand C major moving to D major a bit later, but the left hand is playing a descending quaver motif but in reverse so that it's finally moving up rather than down hopefully matching the feeling of climax in the section.

In terms of compositional style I usually have an idea of the sound I want like in this piece https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UDTBcka9Rwk or some kind of technique I want to write for ie moto perpetuo: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L6r_hxXU4-U 

Then I will sit at the piano and try to work out some material that I like and then start working on the score. After that I learn the piece and change a few things or add or take away but thats the usual structure. 

My main way of writing in my eyes is themes and motifs and playing around with those with a strong narrative focus. Theres certainly things I would like to improve on and I try to write in many different styles. At the moment however I am focused on pieces for solo piano.

Thanks again!

Hi Alex,

I hear the same kind of jesting quality in your other two pieces as I heard in this one, and thanks for sharing them. I think your strength is this quality, which you express in quite an original fashion. Originality is the first and foremost quality I look for in a composer, and on that quality, I think you have succeeded. It is not the only quality of course for one to truly be a great composer. Now having listened to three of your pieces, I would say that there was one thing they all seemed to share: the melody can sometimes be hard to distinguish in the blizzard of notes in the pieces (quite well performed, BTW, you are a good pianist). Sometimes in all three pieces, I had the feeling that I was listening to not melodies but almost impressionistic arpeggios. While it's true that a good piece of music doesn't necessarily have to have a "whistle-able tune," much of the great music we all love, in fact is whistle-able, or hummable, or has something about it which lingers in the mind after the piece is over. I am just one composer, and not a successful one at that, but if I could offer you any advice it would be to seek a stronger sense of melody, something that will linger more in the mind. It's ok, and in fact, can be great to challenge the audience to develop a new ear (that's why I listened to your first piece twice, because I could hear good things on a first listen, but needed a second listen to better comprehend them).

Best to you,

Gav

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