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Hello there.

A modern-ish work.

I'd started an experimental quintet but the voice inspired me to write a stand-alone piece exploring various strings timbres. Unfortunately my sample library doesn't have everything I’d like - particularly the voice collection so I limited myself to what’s there (without using any FX tricks to change the timbre).

 

It’s a small string orchestra from which soloists are drawn: 2 x 4 violins; 3 violas; 3 cellos.

 

The second violins are to the right facing the rostrum.

 

Many thanks if you’re of a mind to give it a listen – and any comment good or bad is always appreciated.

Cheers,

Dane

(Ps, the file is called a cantata because that's the folder it resides in).

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Hi Dane,

Again a very interesting piece of music. But first this: I'm really thrilled about the voice. What library is it? It's the best solo syllable voice I've geard so far. Next to that, the string effects are so cleverly used and provide some mystic feel to the piece. And here as well, the recording is of a high level quality: pure, clear and transparent.

So, well done. I'm glad you shared it here!

Jos

Hi Dane,

Yet another piece of your work.  It is typical of your style.

Appreciations to the rendering is inevitable.  Very interesting.

I still have my reservations:

Why is this piece 3.5 minutes long?  Why is it finished at the end?

What is it that makes this work different from many other modernish works?

Well done, neatly cut, skillful work. 

As I am busy on other stuff this year, I will stop by once in a while, so

ciao.

Ali

P.S. These are very difficult questions that I ponder about my own works also...

Hi Jos,

Thank you indeed for listening and your comments - most appreciated. A little modern perhaps nut it opened up a chance to explore  less conventional string articulations.

The mezzo comes from the VSL 'Vienna Solo Voices' (Coloratura, Soprano, Mezzo-soprano, Alto (female, contralto), Tenor, Baritone and Bass).

This is the "standard library" with "Ahh" sounds. The full library duplicates the articulations with "Oo" sounds. My criticism is it doesn't include humming nor unusual sounds like rolled Rs or Zzzz/Ssss (which would really inspire interesting work) but I suppose we can't have everything for that price.

Again, thank you.

Dane

Jos Wylin said:

Hi Dane,

Again a very interesting piece of music. But first this: I'm really thrilled about the voice. What library is it? It's the best solo syllable voice I've geard so far. Next to that, the string effects are so cleverly used and provide some mystic feel to the piece. And here as well, the recording is of a high level quality: pure, clear and transparent.

So, well done. I'm glad you shared it here!

Jos

Hello, Ali,

Well. nice to say "Hello" again and ask how you're getting on. And thank you for your encouraging and kind remarks. Pleased the piece came over credibly well.

I really can't answer your questions/reservations. 

Length: It's the length it ended up. I felt I had said all that need be said in this piece. If I went on....if it goes on... I'd be writing a different piece (and this is what happened: a new piece for contralto and strings). 

What's different?: Interesting and I suppose it's about selection of material and how it's sewn together.  But...aside from still relying on the chromatic scale it's like nothing I've ever heard (as far as I can remember). Not even a style with which I might be familiar. I had a passion for Henze's "Cantata della Fiaba estrema" but it's nothing like that. 

I'm flattered enough that people bother to listen to it through. This kind of music doesn't have a big audience.

Otherwise, yes, other things may be keeping you busy but nice if you can pop in occasionally - and when time permits, post more of your work.

I'll look forward to that.

Keep safe and well. All the best,

à bientôt

Dane.

 



Ali Riza SARAL said:

Hi Dane,

Yet another piece of your work.  It is typical of your style.

Appreciations to the rendering is inevitable.  Very interesting.

I still have my reservations:

Why is this piece 3.5 minutes long?  Why is it finished at the end?

What is it that makes this work different from many other modernish works?

Well done, neatly cut, skillful work. 

As I am busy on other stuff this year, I will stop by once in a while, so

ciao.

Ali

P.S. These are very difficult questions that I ponder about my own works also...

Modern-ish yes and delightfully so. A composer who feels limited by an extended library is a force to be admired. But I must ask the vocalist "What's a nice girl like you doing here?"  She seems so reserved and elegant amidst the excitement. Just kidding of course but it is a nice contrast as the vocal seems to smoothly anchor the embellishments; a good effect.

And a surprisingly conservative and final sounding extended chord for the ending, works very well. Thanks for sharing.

Hello there, Ingo,

Many thanks indeed for giving it a go and these encouraging comments. Most gratefully received.

She is a lovely voice (as these sampled voices go, isn't she?) in some moods plaintive yet warm. My favourite of the library. You might well ask what she's doing with a mini-skirted accompaniment like mine frisking all over the place! But the fact she came with no tricks was good, as you said - anchoring concentration on the melodic.

(Again, I bought this soloists library when offered ultra cheap. Listening to demos of other equivalent sets such as there are it seemed to stand supreme and gives all 7 solo voices. I wasn't so taken with the soprano.)

Until the next one, then (which will probably be that drama-ette piece. Needs a touch up here and there but....)

Looking forward to more of your music.

Stay safe and well,

Dane.

Hi Dane!

Well that certainly jarred me out of the conventional tonality mindset I've been in for the past few weeks! I think I needed that... :D

Yes, relatively modern in idiom (though still anchored in the mid-20th century not-quite-avant garde). Wonderfully varied string sonorities and articulations, around which the voice weaves her expressive lines. I note that your ensemble, 4-4-3-3 chamber strings, is identical to mine, yet so different in sound! I have to say that the VSL string timbres sound very strange to me, almost as if synthesized, and I'm not sure whether it's the samples, some artifact in my sound system, or even my ears.

I'm puzzled that you say that the vocal library is all "ahh" sounds, since I could swear I heard unusual combinations of consonants, maybe even a rolled or trilled "r" or rapid "d-b-d-b" (perhaps) at one point - I shall have to listen again to pinpoint the moment.

I did not detect any structure, but that's not necessarily a fault in a piece as short as this, and given the idiom.

The ending seemed very fitting and final. No reservations there.

I was oddly reminded in places of Webern's Cantata No. 2 (but that's a long-ago distant memory as I haven't heard it in years).

Overall, another excellent short piece. Kudos!

Best,

Liz

Hello again, Liz,

Many thanks for these most perceptive comments and for listening.

You touch on a point - it isn't that modern....and I sometimes sense I'm stuck in the 'new music' of the 1960s/1970s, never serial and never notes slapped on the staves willy-nilly to look clever and complicated but with little coherence. Each note/sound (articulation) is properly considered. Still seems closer to impressionism than straight atonality.

The strings aren't synthesised but in this piece I use non-vibrato (muted and open) a lot - quite a different timbre, flute like when played sul tasto. I sometimes transform what the technical people call articulations during sustained notes - from naturale non-vib to tremolo sul ponte and such. So I suppose they sound a bit unconventional. The voices come with a variety of staccatos: just the straight vowel, also starting with consonants, paa, raa, taa and things which with very short staccatos (given these are samples) often sound strange. I was able to use this to get the run on a rolled 'r' somewhere in the middle.

Anyway, thanks again for the commentary, always appreciated.

Talk later,

Dane. 

Hello Dane,

I can't avoid making a comment because I really liked this piece.

About the music that is written today, I still prefer, and by far, that which meets the condition that, due to its formal characteristics, it could not have been written before the 20th century. And I think your piece brilliantly meets this condition.
I do not think it is very important to ask whether your piece is closer to dodecaphony or to musical impressionism, but the determining factor is that your piece without the influence of these movements could not have been written.

For me, the most remarkable thing about your piece is that, starting from a set of quite heterogeneous and diverse musical elements, you get a result with sufficient homogeneity and with the appearance of a compact system, which will not have been easy given the density of diversity in the collection of sonorities and articulations used.

And as in your previous works, you demonstrate an exquisite command of the DAW-VST-MIDI environment, achieving a truly professional sound, not only in the "large-scale" aspects but also in the "smallest-scale" aspects.

And yes, it has also made me short, (although you said that you had already said everything that needed to be said). It must be for that effect that when you like something, you want more. . .

My sincere congratulations.


Ramon

Hello Ramon,

Honestly, your comments humble me. Thank you so much. I've come on a lot since I acquired my present set-up but still have a long, long way to go, and it's gratifying to think one's making some progress. I'm also thankful for the set-up, VI-pro is a most powerful player and looks like it was worth the investment.

As you say, this kind of music couldn't have been written without the many developments through the 20th Century and I wonder if my attempts are the result of a broken musical education that nevertheless drove me away from a 'tonal frame of mind', and I'm still trying to pick up the pieces. Most of my listening is of music of the late 20th Century.

I try to mock up an orchestral performance; still holding out hopes of something one day being performed live, so as I put together a midi, I'm thinking about the sound I'd like to get from the players - if the conductor asked me how the notes should be played I'd be able to say.

Hence my appreciation of your and other comments that suggest I'm getting some of the way.

Again, thank you indeed,

Dane.

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