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This 3/4-time piece was composed a few months ago, before the "Waltz 2" I posted yesterday. I'll try to decrease the frequency of posting compositions. :)

Waltz 1 from Stephen C. Doonan on Vimeo.

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A beautifully expressive, evocative musical journey that is both sensuous, and magical...a really EXCELLENT piece of music:)

I let the music engulf me, and truly enjoyed the beauty, and subdued excitement of it..

Thanks so much for sharing Stephen--what a wonderful piece of music:)

Thanks Bob https://soundcloud.com/bob-morabito

 

Bob, you are so kind and generous with your comments. Thank you so much. :)

Nice Stephen, I liked the hemiolas and the general blurring of the pulse now and again. Some beautiful passage work and a nice feel to the whole. Was it improvised or written first?...or both? I'm sure I heard some Ravel in there too....:-)

mikehewer.com

Thanks, Mike. I have a very strong admiration for Ravel’s music and harmonic palette, so I appreciate your reference. :)

Regarding whether the piece was improvised or written first, I have a compositional nature that is “all over the map,” so to speak, incorporating some ideas that come to me while spontaneously improvising, as well as some musical ideas I think of and consider as I meditate or relax in bed, or walk, and I usually fixate on certain little bits and pieces of music at any particular time without knowing whether or how they might fit into a complete composition, and then while playing with them, they sometimes fall into a nice sequential order. I’m a huge fan of creativity and persistence of interest, but not a huge fan of discipline or force. :)

I love hemiola and rhythmic richness and complexity, so thank you for that comment.

Thank you for posting the link to your website—

Best, -Steve



Mike Hewer said:

Nice Stephen, I liked the hemiolas and the general blurring of the pulse now and again. Some beautiful passage work and a nice feel to the whole. Was it improvised or written first?...or both? I'm sure I heard some Ravel in there too....:-)

mikehewer.com

Sounds like a decent enough approach to composing to me, apart from the lack of discipline. It is my belief that discipline and keeping control of material is an important aspect if one is trying to create a cogent piece of music, one that has inevitability about it. This is of course most relevant in concert music, although I feel it should apply more so elsewhere..

I remember reading about a famous composer talking about another's piece he'd just heard (sorry, I cannot for the love of it remember who said what about whom) and saying that in order to write music as beautiful as that, the man must've had  the coldest of hearts. In other words he kept a clear, disciplined head in order to keep control of the inspiration and give it the best he could.

Thing is, whatever you say about discipline, I feel it is present in your piece and the piece is all the better for it. We may have different methods, but it is the end result that matters.

Thank you Mike for some well-expressed comments. I suppose I should clarify my remark about discipline. In my own life and creative efforts, I prefer to think of it as intentional persistence that is ideally more spontaneous than forced, a reinforcement of interest and effort toward some kind of creative end.

I think that my background, raised within an insular culture and community of strict and devout Christian missionaries, caused me to adjust or lighten my personal views about discipline, self-discipline, critical judgment, etc., in order to try to convert them into something constructive, positive and healthy rather than what seemed to me to be negative and unhealthy. :)



Mike Hewer said:

Sounds like a decent enough approach to composing to me, apart from the lack of discipline. ...

Stephen wrote:

Regarding whether the piece was improvised or written first, I have a compositional nature that is “all over the map,” so to speak, incorporating some ideas that come to me while spontaneously improvising, as well as some musical ideas I think of and consider as I meditate or relax in bed, or walk, and I usually fixate on certain little bits and pieces of music at any particular time without knowing whether or how they might fit into a complete composition, and then while playing with them, they sometimes fall into a nice sequential order. I’m a huge fan of creativity and persistence of interest, but not a huge fan of discipline or force. :)

M. Hewer wrote:

It is my belief that discipline and keeping control of material is an important aspect if one is trying to create a cogent piece of music, one that has inevitability about it. This is of course most relevant in concert music, although I feel it should apply more so elsewhere..

I remember reading about a famous composer talking about another's piece he'd just heard (sorry, I cannot for the love of it remember who said what about whom) and saying that in order to write music as beautiful as that, the man must've had the coldest of hearts. In other words he kept a clear, disciplined head in order to keep control of the inspiration and give it the best he could.

Stephen wrote:

I suppose I should clarify my remark about discipline. In my own life and creative efforts, I prefer to think of it as spontaneous rather than forced persistence, a reinforcement of interest and effort toward some kind of creative end.

For my money, and from your works Ive listened to here, Stephen--plus my own personal experience--the way youre doing it really works, and I wouldnt change anything. Composing with "the coldest of hearts" and "a clear, disciplined head in order to keep control of the inspiration" again to me locks oneself into the proverbial box and sentences oneself to unoriginal, and predictable music.

Of course some people may not agree with this, but that of course is fine.

I would also wonder how one "controls inspiration"...I feel inspiration comes from many things, unbidden, and often at the weirdest of times, and cant be controlled..and locking oneself by discipline and a cold heart one runs the inevitable risk of closing yourself off to things that are original and unfettered by anything.

Again just my thoughts..but Stephen again I would keep on keeping on EXACTLY as your doing..youre nailing it:)

Thanks Bob https://soundcloud.com/bob-morabito

"For my money, and from your works Ive listened to here, Stephen--plus my own personal experience--the way youre doing it really works, and I wouldnt change anything. Composing with "the coldest of hearts" and "a clear, disciplined head in order to keep control of the inspiration" again to me locks oneself into the proverbial box and sentences oneself to unoriginal, and predictable music.

Well Bob these words where written by a world famous composer about another world famous composers wonderful music, but hey what do they know eh? oh...that is apart from writing GREAT music....

Bob, your commentary and personal point of view is so interesting and well-expressed. Thank you.

Youre welcome Stephen..thank you for your kind words..



Stephen C. Doonan said:

Bob, your commentary and personal point of view is so interesting and well-expressed. Thank you.

Beautiful, expressive work!  I vote with staying in the flow, "letting" unexpected things happen.  Discipline can have a negative connotation, because one of it's synonyms is "punishment."  But if it means staying open to possibility when working on a piece, knowing when to let things go, keeping critical thoughts to a minimum, (it works better for me to ask what wants to happen, rather than "this is stupid"), but staying with it gently over a period of time which does involve a willingness to return to the work, then discipline is not a bad thing. 



Mike Hewer said:

Well Bob these words where written by a world famous composer about another world famous composers wonderful music, but hey what do they know eh? oh...that is apart from writing GREAT music....


I’m grateful for your comments, Mike, and understand the value of—well, what I prefer to call persistence or dedication, rather than discipline, merely for connotational reasons. :)

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