Music Composers Unite!
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
Alex Oliver Cawley
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.
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.
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,
Thanks for your kind words. In regards to your main point of melody I'm in pretty much the same opinion as you. I don't think I have no melody or that my melodies are bad, but they just aren't usually that long and so don't end up feeling like melodies but more like motifs or quick themes and that is basically what they are.
It's something I'm trying to improve on but the main problem I find is that I get bored of material very quickly and then end up with an over abundance of little tunes and trying to fit them together works better sometimes than others. I have come up with a few ideas of how to get better like singing and putting music to words and that is helping. These pieces however are all from last year.
Many thanks again