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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... :)

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Looks very interesting Lara, I only scanned through the 1st movement. Can you post a midi mock up of some of it at least, I for one have trouble "hearing" a full score unless it's pretty straight forward.

I do have midi files I can post!  

Attachments:

And the last one!  Admittedly, I haven't listened to these, but there will be some things missing (ex. all the quarter tones, all the harmonics, glissandos, tempo changes...)

Attachments:

Hi Lara,

This looks terrific. From a cursory glance through, I think it will be very exciting to listen to. The scoring seems to be very sympathetic to the soloist and I think your "sound design" and scoring imagination is marvellous. Is the work serial in any way? Are the tunings derived from a system of your own making or from somewhere else? And what about the tonal bits, what is their significance? The writing looks as though it's controlled and yet is completely open to fantasy, a perfect combination for self expression.

Even more questions......what does KK mean? key clicking comes to mind!  What do you intend with the double down bow mark just before D? - not seen that before, but I'm guessing it means adding extra pressure to the down bow to induce scratchiness/harshness and gradually easing and moving it to flautando, right? 

I don't have perfect pitch and so my impression of it is a 'best guess'. Do you have perfect pitch?

The score is a lesson for everyone on how to engrave correctly and clearly, does the RCM mark you on score presentation? If so, full marks as far as I can tell.

I hope the RCM are going to at least give it a run through for you and hopefully a performance. If so make sure it gets recorded and post it for us, then I at least can take the guesswork out and get into it.

Mike.

Hi Mike, thank you for your questions and interest!  And thank you for your compliments– glad you enjoy the scoring!  

The work is not serial.  Quarter tones behave in a couple of different ways in the piece, depending on context.  I use them for melodic enhancement of chromaticism.  Harmonically I use them to approximate overtones (although the harmony derived from that is often inverted or twisted somehow), or to interact with something else harmonic going on– for example, using a neutral third (quarter tone between major/minor third) against major or minor triads.  This is all interacting with the tonal bits.  If anything, those come out of a basic idea I had in coming up with the structure of the piece– the first movement centres around G, second around D, third around A and fourth around E.  

KK means key clicks.  Two down bow marks on top of each other means overpressure.  Sorry I missed this in the instructions– I will have to go fix it at some point!

I don't have perfect pitch and so my impression of it is a 'best guess'. Do you have perfect pitch?  Yep.  And thanks for the compliments on the engraving!  

I hope the RCM are going to at least give it a run through for you and hopefully a performance. If so make sure it gets recorded and post it for us, then I at least can take the guesswork out and get into it.  Well, I will be getting a performance of this in Boston, and am planning to get a recording out of it then!  I have entered it into the RCM concerto competition though (fingers crossed!)  And thanks for your comments and questions!

Hi Lara,

Sooo jealous that you have perfect pitch, but happy for you - it must be amazing to compile from within and go straight to ms. Is it flexible enough in your mind's ear to be able to hear the 1/4tones and combine them with equal temperament? I ask out of mere curiosity because I know it can be as much a curse as a blessing. My relative pitch is reliable enough, but can get lost without the occasional note or 3 on a piano. Perfect pitch is not a requirement to compose thankfully, but it is a coveted, prized luxury.

I don't have time to peruse in detail but was wondering if at any time in the work does the 1/4 tone foil give way to tonality.

You say you used 1/4tones to approximate overtones, was there an organising function to that, did you go into detail as to which overtones of a note/harmony would be used in a given context. The concept seems pretty fertile to my mind and although I would never use 1/4 tones myself, I can imagine the excitement you must have felt exploring this. Keep us posted on the performance.

@Mike: You might want to take a look at Lara's quartet which she posted here a while back, that features a few passages where quarter tones are cleverly used to give a (distorted) impression of diatonic harmony. IIRC this was in the 2nd or 3rd mvmt.

Thanks HS, I'll check it out.

H. S. Teoh said:

@Mike: You might want to take a look at Lara's quartet which she posted here a while back, that features a few passages where quarter tones are cleverly used to give a (distorted) impression of diatonic harmony. IIRC this was in the 2nd or 3rd mvmt.

Lara, i tried to take a listen but it is not playing for me.  (Perhaps it is my browser..) 

@Gregorio: many browsers don't know what to do with midi files.  Probably you should try to download it and then play it from, say, Sibelius or some midi application.

Thanks. I'll give it a try.


Thanks Mike!  And sorry I didn't get back earlier– just had a lot going on yesterday...

Sooo jealous that you have perfect pitch, but happy for you - it must be amazing to compile from within and go straight to ms.  Well, kind of, but more like imagining a sound and then figuring out how to notate it :) 

Is it flexible enough in your mind's ear to be able to hear the 1/4tones and combine them with equal temperament? I ask out of mere curiosity because I know it can be as much a curse as a blessing. My relative pitch is reliable enough, but can get lost without the occasional note or 3 on a piano. Perfect pitch is not a requirement to compose thankfully, but it is a coveted, prized luxury.  This is definitely something I have had to work at over time.  Different tunings did make my head spin a bit before I got used to them, but being repeatedly exposed to them changed that over time.  Over that time, I also became more sensitised to them and began to be able to differentiate and imagine them a bit better.  Now, a few years into this, I'd say it's at least fairly reliable.  

I don't have time to peruse in detail but was wondering if at any time in the work does the 1/4 tone foil give way to tonality.  In a sense that I mix the two, and often use the 1/4 tones to mess up the possibly implied tonality.  But there are some more or less tonal moments.  

You say you used 1/4tones to approximate overtones, was there an organising function to that, did you go into detail as to which overtones of a note/harmony would be used in a given context. The concept seems pretty fertile to my mind and although I would never use 1/4 tones myself, I can imagine the excitement you must have felt exploring this. Keep us posted on the performance.  Well, it depends on the spot, but I would use one or two fundamental notes at times, to build overtone-based chords that I'd rearrange and twist a bit, and as HS mentioned, I have a string quartet that explores some similar ideas– that can be found here http://composersforum.ning.com/forum/topics/divergence-string-quart...

The second movement involves twisting of diatonic ideas and the third involves these overtone-based chords that I voice-lead into each other.  

And Gregorio, let me know if you have problems with the downloaded midi files!

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