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http://soundcloud.com/larya/voyager-i 

     For the fourth piece in the Spacey Odyssey series I wanted something more lively and grandiose, so I looked in Holst's Mars. The structure of the first section of Mars appears very similar to Ravel's Bolero with one huge exception, Ravel has two continuous melodies flowing, one minor, one major. Holst has virtually no melody, just big chords designed to rattle the rafters. In several instances he has the entire orchestra, piccolo to double bass, playing the same rhythm. (Just beat us over the head with a two by four, why don't ya.) If there are any good ideas in this piece they come from Ravel. My apologies to Williams. I blamed him for the excess brass, percussion and noise in the space genre, but the original culprit seems to be Holst. I did glean one good idea from Mars. After several minutes of percussion, brass, and bombast, he ends with a string flourish, which provides a welcome contrast. So I ended with a string flourish.

     The scenario: The intro portrays the blast off of Voyager I in 1977. The probe then deploys its antennae and turns on its cameras to begin an epic excursion through the planets to interstellar space. Midway through it encounters space pirates. (I hate it when that happens.) By popular demand I have included pirate music that ends in a round. With a name like Voyager there has to be a nautical theme, though instead of plying the waves of the ocean, Voyager is plying the electromagnetic waves of the solar system. Later it passes out of the solar system into the vast and majestic regions of interstellar space.

     Voyager I is still sending back data some forty years later. It is the most distant man made object, at 37 astronomical units, 12,500,000,000 miles away. Let's put that in perspective. The cost of the entire Voyager program was 865 million. 8.65 X 10 to the 8th divided by 1.25 X 10 to the 10th miles is 6.92 X 10 to the -2nd or .0692 dollars per mile. Or roughly 7 cents per mile. That's the most efficient transportation the U.S.

Government has ever done. I can think of several politicians who should be on that flight.

All comments are welcome.

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I have thoroughly enjoyed each of these pieces that you have posted.   This one, Rover, and Tranquility Base stand out for me.  I would say that you have this genre down.  You definitely capture the scale, the wonderment and also the specific nuance of each topic at hand.  I am also very impressed at your level of output.   In your last post, you referenced being partly inspired by a piece recently posted in 7/8 time.  If that was the piece of mine that you commented on back in November (Caprice for Winds), then I would assume that you completed both Rover and this piece since then?   If that is the case, Im extremely impressed.   The most ambitious piece I have written is about 5 minutes in length and that one took me about two years to complete.  Hats off!  Thanks for posting these.  I look forward to hearing more. 

Very enjoyable.

Many passages are very filmic, especially the intro, I ge images of the Voyager passing Neptune and enters interstellar space. Closest star many millenia away.

I think it is finished as is.

Good work!

Per

Another fine work, Lawrence. Thanks for posting it.

T.T.

     Thanks for responding.  I looked as far back in the posts as I could to find you name, but was unsuccessful.  You have to admit Gaudynski is not easy to remember.  Then I was looking for a picture of some guy with a saxophone, but you are holding a guitar, for Pete's sake.  I did indeed use 7/8 time because of your piece.  You might be the only person who has written in that meter since I've been on the forum some three years.  Which brings me to the next challenge.  Has anyone written or performed a song in 5/8 time? 11/8 time?  That would be even quirkier.

     My musical output is inversely proportional to my business output, and business has been terrible for the last 3 to 4 years.  When this economy catches fire I'll have to give up composing, I hope.  I'm composing about 3 hours a day 5 days per week.  If you compose only 12 measures per day, that's 60 measures per week, you can complete a work like this one in about a month, which translates into two hours of music per year.

    
 
T.T. Gaudynski said:

I have thoroughly enjoyed each of these pieces that you have posted.   This one, Rover, and Tranquility Base stand out for me.  I would say that you have this genre down.  You definitely capture the scale, the wonderment and also the specific nuance of each topic at hand.  I am also very impressed at your level of output.   In your last post, you referenced being partly inspired by a piece recently posted in 7/8 time.  If that was the piece of mine that you commented on back in November (Caprice for Winds), then I would assume that you completed both Rover and this piece since then?   If that is the case, Im extremely impressed.   The most ambitious piece I have written is about 5 minutes in length and that one took me about two years to complete.  Hats off!  Thanks for posting these.  I look forward to hearing more. 

Bob,

      I'm working on part 5.  I need two more pieces to finish, and I haven't a clue about the last two.  Maybe I can find something in Holst though I think I've used up most of his ideas.  Thanks for the comments.
 
Bob Porter said:

Another fine work, Lawrence. Thanks for posting it.

Lawrence - Hope business picks up and the economy gets getter in your neck of the woods!  I have actually been watching real estate prices in your home town lately since I wouldn't mind retiring there.  From those insane prices, you wouldn't know that the economy is struggling. 

For me, I can only compose on weekends.  If I compose on a weeknight, the brain fires up for some odd reason, and then Im up all night.  Plays hell with the make a living thing the next day.

I cant speak about 5/8, but coincidentally, the last piece that I finished before Caprice for Winds was indeed in 11/8 time.   Since Im a creative guy, I called it Eleven Eight :)  I like to alternate between musical styles, so this one, rather than being a formal classical piece is more of an semi-structured improvisation. 

 Best of  luck. Hope things pick up and you can find a nice balance between business and music output.
 
Lawrence Aurich said:

T.T.

     Thanks for responding.  I looked as far back in the posts as I could to find you name, but was unsuccessful.  You have to admit Gaudynski is not easy to remember.  Then I was looking for a picture of some guy with a saxophone, but you are holding a guitar, for Pete's sake.  I did indeed use 7/8 time because of your piece.  You might be the only person who has written in that meter since I've been on the forum some three years.  Which brings me to the next challenge.  Has anyone written or performed a song in 5/8 time? 11/8 time?  That would be even quirkier.

     My musical output is inversely proportional to my business output, and business has been terrible for the last 3 to 4 years.  When this economy catches fire I'll have to give up composing, I hope.  I'm composing about 3 hours a day 5 days per week.  If you compose only 12 measures per day, that's 60 measures per week, you can complete a work like this one in about a month, which translates into two hours of music per year.

    
 
T.T. Gaudynski said:

I have thoroughly enjoyed each of these pieces that you have posted.   This one, Rover, and Tranquility Base stand out for me.  I would say that you have this genre down.  You definitely capture the scale, the wonderment and also the specific nuance of each topic at hand.  I am also very impressed at your level of output.   In your last post, you referenced being partly inspired by a piece recently posted in 7/8 time.  If that was the piece of mine that you commented on back in November (Caprice for Winds), then I would assume that you completed both Rover and this piece since then?   If that is the case, Im extremely impressed.   The most ambitious piece I have written is about 5 minutes in length and that one took me about two years to complete.  Hats off!  Thanks for posting these.  I look forward to hearing more. 

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T.T,

     Here are my thoughts on your alternative time signatures.  5/8 seems too fragmented and quirky.  The possibilities are 2,2,1, or 4,1, or 2,3.  All of these feel like you are changing meters every half measure.  It might work for a short interlude that is intended to be humorous or off beat, but for a longer piece it would be unsettling.  Of the choices I would think 2,3 or 3,2 would have the most promise, Though 5 even beats would work.  I feel like the space genre is rhythmical and needs to present a stronger beat.

     That leaves us with 11/8.  The possibilities are: 2,2,2,2,2,1 where most everything is in two and the unusual meter might be unnoticeable.  2,3,2,3,1 which seems almost random and impossible to write a fitting melody.  3,3,3,2, seems like a good choice.  4,4,3, would be my first selection. It would feel like a march which fits the genre but give the impression that the music is in a hurry, or maybe a march with a misstep.  6,6,1 would be pastoral with a hitch, opposite effects in a single measure.  At a faster tempo and conducted in two it would seem even stranger.  How could the conductor get in the extra beat?  So I'm considering 4,4,3 or 3,3,3,2.  If you have experience in any of these combos let me know.  I have never performed or heard a piece in 11/8 time.

After I sent my last post, I realized that I have actually done two pieces in 11/8.   In addition to "Eleven Eight" which I posted  with my last response, there is a somewhat more classically oriented piece on my home page called "NYC Sketches IV - WTC/Ground Zero."  It is a conceptual piece focusing on 9-11.  I wont post that one on the discussion board however, since Im not interested in pursuing the residual, non-musical discussions which that topic seems to attract from others.  The opening half of that piece, however does employ 11/8 meter in a classical/orchestral setting.  I chose that meter purposely for the 9-11 aspect. 

My inspiration for using 11/8 was a rock piece (Frank Zappa's "Outside Now" which has a basic pulse in 11-8 throughout.  Fair warning that the lyrical content is likely not to everyone's taste).   My two pieces and the one which inspired it, were all subdivided in 3-3-3-2 fashion.  I think that is an approach which would work very well in a classical context.  To my ears, the most natural sounding possibilities would either be 3-3-3-2, or 6-3-2 at a moderate to stately tempo. 

Concerning 5/8, I don't think that I have done anything in 5/8.  I have, however done a piano nocturne in 5/4.  It works well to my years, but a musician friend of mine who listened thought that the extra beat was extremely off-putting.  The piece which naturally comes to mind in 5 is of course Paul Desmond's "Take Five."

That's my two (acutally eleven) cents.  Hope this helps.  Im looking forward to hearing what you come up with.

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Ok -

Your question really peaked my curiosity all day so I went out looking for some better examples of a classical piece in 11/8.  The second section of Alexei Stachinsky"s (no relation) Piano Sonata No. 2 in G Major is indeed in 11/8.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XAmAfCmxoZI

The second section in 11/8 begins at the 6:16 mark in the video.  Since the person who posted the video was kind enough to include the scrolling score, we can read along.   Ive only listened to a brief snippet so far.  My initial impression is that it sounds "busy." 

T.T.

     I listened to you eleven eight which was entertaining and cool man.  It is some fusion of rock, new age, and eastern meditative, but nothing like I intend to write i.e. classical.  The Stachinsky piece was a demo of practically every variation on 11/8.   Most of it is in 3332 but there is quite a bit of 335.  I like when he goes into 12/8 and runs over the bar lines, completely ignores the time signature.  Then he intersperses the 2 anywhere in the measure, 3233, 3323,etc. This is a very innovative piece for 1907. I've never heard or heard of Stachinsky.  Truly an over looked genius.  Thanks for the info.  I will refer to this piece no matter what I write.

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