Composers' Forum

Music Composers Unite!

Hello all - contestants were asked to submit a work of no more than about 90 seconds duration to this contest. There were no other limits. 19 members of the Composers' Forum submitted entries! Now we ask all members of the forum to vote on which ones you think are the three best. Although there are a lot of entries, it will only take you about 25 minutes to listen to them all, so please listen and vote! The last day to vote is Monday March 18 at midnight EST. After voting has completed, I will announce the winners on this thread and identify the composers. This thread will then be open for discussion if there is interest.

Here is the link to the survey where you can vote: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/YQW3G2H

GO!

Attached also is a worksheet created by Janet Spangenberg, which has the names of the compositions, the comments by each composer, and room to comment as you listen to each piece.

 

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:-D

roger stancill said:

man is my chinese rusty  I thought it said 'mandolin sucks, play the sitar'

never mind   i couldnt get the attachment to work

 

Here are the notes I took during the voting process. I hope they are meaningful in some way.

March 2013 CF Short Composition Contest

Composer A: Cavernous Gemworld
No Score
Yes, it is cavernous! Lots and lots of reverb... maybe too much. It sounds like a good beginning sketch of an idea, but not a finished product.

Composer B: Two Part Invention
This doesn’t seem to be written for piano, as it contains single note voices on each staff.  Moved well, with a lively spirit, and is aesthetically pleasing. The lack of dynamic variety and shape is apparent, causing it to be dimensionally “thin”. I can hear the influence of Copland in here.  It worked okay on piano, but it might be great as a Basoon/Oboe duet, or maybe even saxphones. This gets more enjoyable with each additional listen. It would be fun to play.

*Composer C: "The Escape"
Likey! Moves and builds well through time. Title matches music well. Nice orchestration  (Bob, is this yours?). Feels complete. Well done. This is one of my top picks, and wish I had enough votes to cast to include this.

*Composer D: "Seagulls Over Hangzhou Bay"
No Score
Nice! A little bit of China.... This is one of my top picks, and wish I had enough votes to cast to include this.

Composer E: "Quintet for Brass"
Has some nice elements, particularly some of the harmonies. It’s character changed on page 3, which was unexpected for a short piece. It seems to have meandered there by accident. I actually liked the new character better. Overall, it sounded incomplete, and more like an idea sketch. It would be worth developing more and expanding on. The score itself looked like a draft.

Composer F: "The Adventurer's Rest Inn"
No Score
I like early music. This was fairly simple, with lute and tambourine, but wonderfully representative of early music. Because there was no score, and live tracks (of people conversing/laughing, and a crackling fire?), I have to view this as finished production. These added tracks didn’t really blend with the music. They all seemed to coexist in spite of each other. The crackling was actually uncomfortable to my ear! This would have been better without the live tracks, and including a score.

Composer G: "Requiem Opus 23"
It’s difficult for my ears to hear “through” the MIDI piano. Block chords plodded along followed by arpeggiated chords under a melody. The movement from the A to B sections didn’t make sense to me. This didn’t provide the emotional aspect I would expect for a Requiem.

Composer H: “The Meadow”
This was all crescendo with variations on a less than simple theme. Would have been nice to have some ebb and flow. No beginning/middle/end melody. Basic harmonies. I liked its build up and humor at the end.

Composer I: "Etude in C Major No. 1"
Yes, it certainly sounds like an etude, and shows some craft in writing. With so many accidentals, one wonders if this could really be called “C Major”. It was “showy”, but not particularly pleasant. It’s a bit frantic for my taste, and sounded like it was one dynamic throughout... LOUD!

*Composer J: "Scherzinia”
This was fun! Funky harmonies and accidentals. I enjoyed its humor. The MIDI sounds are pretty nasty, but this was still one of my top picks. I couldn’t help picturing how much I would be enjoying this “live”. I just didn’t have enough votes to be able to include this.

Composer K: "Particle Accelerator Polka"
Title matches the music! This was a bit too fast. It would be more enjoyable a little slower (and I wonder if it was sped up to fit within time constraints!). The score was not usable for musicians (instrument layout, note spellings, etc.). I don’t think the horn and tuba could play some of the quick runs.

**Composer L: "la Premiere"
Judging by the accompanying comments, this just has to be Julie’s entry! Aside from that, now that I’ve seen the score and listened to the music, it’s probably the “best” compositionally, score appearance, attention to detail, most contemporary, and well thought out on every level. On the whole, there is no comparison between this and what I’ve reviewed so far... (this got one of my votes)

**Composer M: "Taqsim"
Likey! Exotic flavors, and even a hint of Tango rhythm at one point. All the attention to detail is in the score, and it shows in the sound file. After listening, again (and again, and again), I’ve developed a love affair with this piece. I want to learn to play it even though, I don’t play piano... (this got one of my votes)

*Composer N: "Sunset Over America"
No Score
Lovely and warm. A very pleasant experience is listening to this. The file cut off when listening online, and when I downloaded it. I heard enough to really enjoy this. Title is befitting.
This, too, is one of my top picks I wish I’d had enough votes to include in the final scoring.

**Composer O: "Effervescence"
No Score
Very nice. This is a finished production, and doesn’t require a score, nor would I consider for “real” musicians to play. Well shaped and “composed”. Fresh. Grips my ear immediately and doesn’t let go. Love the nylon guitar against the other instruments. (this got one of my votes)

Composer P: "Vortex Blues"
Appreciate the attempt at guitar trio; not sure if they were all in tune, though. It sounds more like an aimless improvisation than purposely composed. Kudos for notating two ways (standard and tab)!

Composer Q: "Ode to Leaking Faucet"
I enjoyed the humor in this. Aptly titled. The explanation for this came after I’d already cast my vote. It wasn’t needed! The title set the direction, and I heard the music carry it out perfectly!

*Composer R: "Forest of the Ancients"
No Score
Very enjoyable! This is like something Vivaldi might write if he were alive today. Well done!
This piece would have gotten one of my votes if I’d had enough to cast.

Composer S: "Blossom"
No Score (none needed, electronic)
Kudos for being electronic. I can’t tell if it’s being cut off... I think the download is working. I think.

Janet   thanks so much for your notes   it's nice to get some feedback-

   for me, it's all positive and useful

I agree that the chords sounded heavy and mottled   much less expressive

 than a real piano  I honestly had no idea how to remedy that. I will work on that.

The 2 parts of the piece were supposed to relate to the short poem

included     a death or loss' resurrected ' by his music

  Happy Harmonies  Roger

 

Getting back to the conversation about "what's in a name." I think a piece can be more memorable if it has a good name. Of course it is not required, but just like I sometimes buy books based on their cover or CDs based on the illustration on the case, I am naturally attracted to a piece with a name I find appealing. I remember a guitar piece I heard many years ago partly because it had such a great name: "The Festival of Liquids and Solids."

Hello Janet - thanks for your comments on the piece. It was definitely written for piano with the idea of a single note for each hand at all times (the melody is intended to evoke the idea of two moths flying around each other as they go through a courtship ritual). I have a tendency to not put a lot of dynamic markings in some pieces if I feel the dynamics should be obvious (if a melody moves up, volume should rise for example, unless otherwise marked). This may have hurt me in this competition as it does produce an even tone, which some do not like. Although the piece is marked at the beginning as "quietly throughout," if I put it up anywhere else, I will consider making a different MP3 with more contrast. You have correctly detected some Copland in there, he's a big influence on me, though I don't usually make that influence so overt. I find your comment about other instruments intriguing and may experiment with your suggestions. I thank you for taking the time to share your thoughtful comments with me - Best - Gavin

Janet Spangenberg said:


Composer B: Two Part Invention
This doesn’t seem to be written for piano, as it contains single note voices on each staff.  Moved well, with a lively spirit, and is aesthetically pleasing. The lack of dynamic variety and shape is apparent, causing it to be dimensionally “thin”. I can hear the influence of Copland in here.  It worked okay on piano, but it might be great as a Basoon/Oboe duet, or maybe even saxphones. This gets more enjoyable with each additional listen. It would be fun to play.


Composer K: "Particle Accelerator Polka"

Janet:

Thanks for the feedback.  Yes, I tried to fit the whole musical idea in 90 seconds, so the tempo was pretty quick. 

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