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This is a very rough work-in-progress.  Score is not in presentable form yet, but below is a midi mockup of the current draft. I'm interested in any general thoughts you may have; my main concern right now is that even though the work is basically a monothematic arch form, the primary motive is not always clearly audible, and the development section ventures so far away from the tonal language of the opening that I have some concerns about whether it sounds cohesive.  

MP3 mock-up:  https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B9HY2GoDR54AajltUFhNUjM5OEE

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yes and a Yiddish bullfrog at that.

Jeremiad--very interesting word; I have to admit that I needed to look that one up :)

From reading on wikipedia--admittedly not a remotely scholarly resource--about this literary form, it doesn't quite sound like it matches what I'm trying to do in this piece though; it seems that a Jeremiad is typically quite a long work, while this is a relatively short work at 7 minutes; also it seems that the Jeremiad connotes something of a moralizing rant or tirade about the downfall of soceity (something I've certainly been known to do in person or on social media, but hopefully am not doing in this piece).    

Stephen, I like the depth of your perspective about the title... especially,

as you state, with the weightiness of the subject.

No, by all means don't change the character of the piece to agree with a

title. Polish, hone and perfect.... yes    The appropriate title will happen  when you distill

the essence of your intent. Maybe you already did and it's just the connotations I attach

to the word requiem. There is no 'hand wringing' angst  that I associate with the word.

Greg's suggestion of Elegy seems to me more fitting than requiem or lament, but then

maybe we need more input on your intent.

I asked my son (19) to listen to part of it and the two words he offered were 'creepy and spooky' lol

That is just simple honest feedback from a (generally pretty sharp) teenager.   RS

Bob., and just where does one draw the line between philosophical 'disagreement' and

the hate labeling? I may disagree with all that is LGBT, but using normal colloquial words

to describe who I might try to talk about is IN NO WAY hatred. That notion is a con job.


 
Stephen Brown said:

Very grateful for all the feedback received so far on this piece.

Roger, do you think the work "Elegy" instead of "Requiem" would change your pre-programming at all? I'm very interested in the way titles affect listening, and I've actually never written a programmatic piece before, or used a title other than the form of the piece. You used the word "honor" twice in your initial response, and I agree that this piece really isn't about "honor" so much as it is about expressing a reaction. I don't want to change the character of the piece (although I certainly want it to be more polished, but I do want to be very careful with the title, especially given the weightiness of the subject matter, and make sure that I do not unintentionally set up unfulfilled audience expectations before the piece even gets started. Also, your point about the final resolution not bring the piece fully back home is well-taken; I think there's some work to be done in the final section to set up the expectation that the end of the piece is near. I've tried to set up D Major as a clear tonal center from the recap to the end, but

Mike, thanks so much for your detailed ideas on orchestration. I agree that the string writing could use more variety, as it definitely contains a lot of slow sostenuto bowing in its present state, and more subtle surface variety could be very useful in holding interest longer. I particularly like your antiphonal idea. Your comment has me thinking of setting apart a string quartet from the ensemble and treating the quartet quasi-antiphonally with the ensemble in places to create more timbral contrasts without changing the composition of the orchestra.

Bob, I'm glad you found this piece refreshing. I also dislike music that is obviously special-effect-oriented; I try to create unique textures and aspire to be able to take advantage of all the things the various instruments can do, but only for dramatic/rhetorical purposes; I hate pieces that basically have nothing to say except "hey, look, lots of harmonic glissandos over a really high bassoon part in an odd meter."

I think it should be titled "Mass For Those Injured by Religion."

OK, I am still looking for the violent words, as you call them.

I am trying to determine where the alledged 'hatred' is in all this.

Someone accused someone else of bigotry and of being 'insensitive'

towards others. Are you kidding me? Does anyone really believe they

will change someone's belief and conviction by calling them  names?  
 
Bob Porter said:

Fred, there certainly have been lots of those.

Roger.

"Bob., and just where does one draw the line between philosophical 'disagreement' and

the hate labeling? I may disagree with all that is LGBT, but using normal colloquial words

to describe who I might try to talk about is IN NO WAY hatred. That notion is a con job."

As usual, you go down some odd path of your own design, not mine.

I think it should be titled "Mass For Those Injured by Religion."

Why?  How can "Religion" injure anyone?  I think one PERSON can injure another.  One group can injure members of another group.  But what do we mean by religion, by genuine religion, or false religion for that matter?  It's fair to propose that Genuine Religion is of a peaceful nature, and teaches love and compassion rather than hatred and violence.  We can see the effects of religion in the lives of composers.

Did the personal religions of Bach, Beethoven or Haydn injure anyone?  Did the religions of Mahler, Bruckner or Stravinsky cause anyone harm? Can we say that the spiritual outlooks of Schoenberg, Messiaen or Stockhausen resulted in violence?  I don't think so.  If religion is the individual experience of True Deity, within ones own conscious mind, and knowledge of the highest truths to which a God-conscious person can aspire, it's hard to see how "religion" can harm anyone.  I am thinking of the religious views of people like Buddha, Lao Tzu, the prophet Isaiah, Jesus, St. Francis, Tolstoy, Gandhi and Martin Luther King.  

However, if by religion you mean "sectarianism" or a belief in narrow dogmas, connected with a tribal, regional or nationalistic so-called religion, then that's something else.   It's hardly a "spiritual view," or something worthy of being called "religion" in any profound cultural or philosophical sense.  A Middle Eastern fanatic may wish to shoot Christians on sight, or a certain US general may take great joy in shooting Afghans as if he were picking off clay pigeons.   But just how seriously do we take the "religious views" of people who kill reflexively and almost without thinking?

 

Probably the objection is to sectarian violence, the violence of fanatics, extremists and fundamentalists, who believe people of other faiths, are evil, and therefore must be killed.   This is a source of  "sectarian violence" or, if you must use the term, so-called "religious violence," however irreligious it may actually be, in practice.

 

 

OO, perhaps the implied meaning was actually 'in the name of religion'.

That is how I interpreted it. A title is not supposed to be a paragraph of

explanation.

Knowing... is not the sum of the parts. It is a quality greater than the sum of its parts.

The 'gist' of heaven can't be reached by building a tower to the 'heavens' and climbing

to the top of it.  But, I suspect you know that,   so why all the 'literal' wordplay?    RS

What does it matter what the implied meaning was? OO is looking for a squabble and now has one. Wouldn't it be nice if we all stopped engaging for a month or so.



roger stancill said:

OO, perhaps the implied meaning was actually 'in the name of religion'.

That is how I interpreted it. A title is not supposed to be a paragraph of

explanation.

Knowing... is not the sum of the parts. It is a quality greater than the sum of its parts.

The 'gist' of heaven can't be reached by building a tower to the 'heavens' and climbing

to the top of it.  But, I suspect you know that,   so why all the 'literal' wordplay?    RS

Finally, a word of wisdom from the Dave. ;-)

NAH, OO understands the 'sport' of it..... I don't think that you do.

Remember Dave, this is just one thread. It is not headlined to everyone.

You can ignore it if you chose to.

A light hearted banter of words and ideas is not the same as a

vicious Gestapo like accosting and, what's the word you like to use...

oh yeah,' prejorative' accusations.

You like to look back through past posts and threads in your search for

proof to foil others, and don't tell me that you try to avoid 'squabbles'.

My point is, that there is a positive and a negative side to all this.

but yeah, ignoring someones post is a good way to end it.     RS

Perhaps move it to a place where it won't drown someone's music submitted for feedback. I'm dreadfully old-fashioned, I know.

And jesus god, if you're going to pastiche me at least spell the word right. Pejorative. PEJORATIVE.

(I wanted to prove that you weren't a good arbiter on the subject of homophobic slurs. Took about five minutes.)



roger stancill said:

NAH, OO understands the 'sport' of it..... I don't think that you do.

Remember Dave, this is just one thread. It is not headlined to everyone.

You can ignore it if you chose to.

A light hearted banter of words and ideas is not the same as a

vicious Gestapo like accosting and, what's the word you like to use...

oh yeah,' prejorative' accusations.

You like to look back through past posts and threads in your search for

proof to foil others, and don't tell me that you try to avoid 'squabbles'.

My point is, that there is a positive and a negative side to all this.

but yeah, ignoring someones post is a good way to end it.     RS

Dave, I kinda like 'prejorative' better. It implies an elitistist mentality

bias or prejudice towards another. Regardless, my poor spelling still

seemed to transmit the meaning , so thanks for proving my other point.

The gist of any communication is something greater than the sum of it's parts.

Word Nazi's are stupider than dummies who caint spel.

See there, it's a win- win. Good job.

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