Music Composers Unite!
Hi, hope you are all well! I know it's been a while since I've posted anything– just been busy here. Seems there's a lot of fugues going around too :)
Anyway, I'm now finished with this concerto and wanted to post it here. Feel free to let me know your thoughts! Unfortunately, I don't have a recording yet, but will have one in a few months...
https://drive.google.com/open?id=0BxpUMWiNAupORjB1TXVoNlhLV3c This should link to the score. Let me know if you have problems accessing it– shouldn't be an issue, but just in case... :)
Hi Art, I will be posting the piece to Soundcloud once I have a proper recording! For now, I have put audio files up on google drive, as people seemed to be having issues with midi. Again, note that the quarter tones (which are a big part of the piece) are unfortunately missing in this audio. https://drive.google.com/drive/u/1/folders/0ByZcL80uybV1RS1zaFVVSFR...
I was pleased to see you had put this piece up, and I am examining the sound of it carefully and slowly. I have a few questions, not about the tonality, but about timbre, dynamics and tempo.
First let me explain how I listened to this. I opened the file, and my default chose Garageband at first. I kept that file, but then opened it again using Logic X. That sounded much better. It does open in both applications, with a "string section" instead of a solo violin. I changed the track to the Logic solo "Violin (Arco)" to better gauge your intention. I noticed in the score you had the dynamics marked as "pp," when the solo violin first comes in. At this level, the violin seems to be drowned out by the other instruments, though this could just be a peculiarity of the software.
But I wondered what you wanted the timbre to be like, when the violin first entered, and how the dynamics would sound, in contrast with the other instruments. I played with the file a bit. It sounded better to me, when I raised the volume of the violin up, during the initial entry point, and then back down to its original "pp" when it plays totally alone. Perhaps that's a very small thing, and the violin should not be heard too distinctly at first, until it does play completely solo. I wondered what you wanted to convey at that point.
On the issue of tempo, I have the sense that some additional tempo variation might be appropriate during the first portion of the work, up to measure 52. I assume that you want there to be a strong contrast between the 60 and the 120 bps sections, but even so, I think some variation in tempo during that initial section might be beneficial, without destroying the sort of floating or timeless feeling you want to impart there. I admit I am not sure what kind of tempo variations, or how many would be useful, simply to give it a more organic gestalt. Certainly not large ones, or dramatic swings.
These are just some initial reflections, which might be totally off base. Whatever the case, I find the work intriguing, and I will listen to it all the way through, to get the whole sense of it, over time. I want to mull over the idea of using of quarter tones here, before I say anything about that. Is there anyway you can adjust your sound files so they include the quarter tones, or would that be too time consuming? I know it's not easy, though there are ways.
Thanks for posting this.
Thanks for the suggestions! In the first entry point, I wanted the violin to blend with the rest of the ensemble, and be more prominent when it plays alone. As for tempo variation, I think part of the issues in organicism come from the midi playback, but will think on your suggestion. I wanted that to sound floating, as you said. As for quarter tones, there might be a way... but for now, I have other projects that need to be worked on first, before going back and messing with the playback. I do have a live performance waiting, after all, and that will clear up any playback issues.
Thanks for your reply, Lara.
It helps me understand the work better. I look forward to hearing the live performance. Good luck on that. I am very interested to hear the use of the quarter tones in context.