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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QpHkx6TDVZs

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!  

Really nice, and to my non-pianist ears beautifully played. My criticism would be that some parts feel very metronomic and almost monotonous as a result, but then the style and rhythm changes, some rubato creeps in and my criticism becomes meaningless because you've balanced the monotony (I don't mean monotony precisely, but you might know what I mean) with movement.

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

If we're talking 0-0.25 then I like it. It has a somewhat silent-movie score quality to it, very characterful. The part immediately after is my least favourite because of the monotony I mentioned - perhaps because the rh has no sustain and the notes are choked off. Odd that I like the mechanical scalic simplicity of the intro but not the mechanical feel of what immediately follows.

Since you titled it "Special Bicycles" I'm listening with bicycle-themed motifs and scenes in mind. Someone dragging a bike up narrow city steps before finally going for a ride, maybe. But it could just be a title and I'm overthinking it. And now I'm remembering Belleville Rendez-vous.

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 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. 

Sure, I wouldn't say to change it - an equivalent would be my preference for guitar tones with reverb but others prefer a drier sound.

Fellow brit, eh. I know Guildford. It has that tiny alley called Jefferies Passage that my friend and I would walk through purely so we could say "Well, I've just been up Jefferies Passage." Hilarity and TGI Fridays ensued.

Alex Oliver Cawley said:

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

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