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Daniel Zarb-Cousin
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  • Huntington Beach, CA
  • United States
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Daniel Zarb-Cousin's Discussions

Fantasy for Orchestra

Started this discussion. Last reply by Daniel Zarb-Cousin on Thursday. 7 Replies

This is the piece I have written and submitted for the 2017 National Young Composers Challenge, which I won during the 2016 year with my piece "Largo for Orchestra" (see that here:…Continue

(JustForFun) Symphony in D# Major

Started this discussion. Last reply by Daniel Zarb-Cousin Aug 22, 2016. 12 Replies

So I do all of my actual work on the piano and that has been going well (currently working on a violin sonata for violin and piano along with the beginnings of a first symphony). But because I have…Continue

(I've won!) Largo for Orchestra (+I need advice)

Started this discussion. Last reply by roger stancill Jun 15, 2016. 8 Replies

UPDATE: Hi everyone, I'd just like to update and announce that I have won 1 of the 3 places in the Young Composers Challenge orchestral division! I will receive 1000$, along with a professional live…Continue

Symphony in F minor

Started this discussion. Last reply by roger stancill Jan 20, 2016. 9 Replies

So this started out as a Romantic imitation sort of thing, but after the first movement I decided I'd take it further.  It is another one of those "fun" things that I like to do on Sibelius, but this…Continue

 

Daniel Zarb-Cousin

Latest Activity

Daniel Zarb-Cousin replied to Amol's discussion Please help me understand Beethoven (or counterpoint in general)
"Perhaps I could have spared some details when it came to what I think of Bob's work.  It is quite late, and I am quite sick, not that that excuses anything.  Overall though, I do disapprove of what I heard on Bob's soundcloud.…"
Sunday
Daniel Zarb-Cousin replied to Amol's discussion Please help me understand Beethoven (or counterpoint in general)
"On the civility of my comments: I assaulted no character.  If Bob puts his soundcloud at the bottom of his reply, I assumed he was asking for a comment on his music.  I condemn the music because I find it harmful.  Do I want…"
Sunday
Daniel Zarb-Cousin replied to Amol's discussion Please help me understand Beethoven (or counterpoint in general)
"The notion that Western tonality is some pair of jeans that just got worn out is ridiculous.  Just like pre-modern art, pre-modern architecture, and certain pre-modern ways of thinking, the Western tonal system was built to be sustainable.…"
Sunday
Daniel Zarb-Cousin replied to Daniel Zarb-Cousin's discussion Fantasy for Orchestra
"Thanks for the comment!  I would say that, despite being inspired by Mahler and Bruckner, the voice maintains an original and unique voice.  I say that because it only adopts certain aspects from certain movements of certain symphonies of…"
Thursday
Steve Chandler replied to Daniel Zarb-Cousin's discussion Fantasy for Orchestra
"I really enjoyed this piece, nice work in all aspects. Good luck when you submit this to the composition competition, however, I'd be concerned that such a competition is looking for a composer with an original/unique voice. Still you've…"
Thursday
Mike Hewer replied to Daniel Zarb-Cousin's discussion Fantasy for Orchestra
"Hi Daniel, Yeah, perhaps it is over egged that 10 note chord, but Mahler and your piece show how gravitating tonality was loosing its grip. However, Mahlers' chord, because of its timing in history marks it out as one of a few  portents…"
May 17
Daniel Zarb-Cousin replied to Daniel Zarb-Cousin's discussion Fantasy for Orchestra
"I actually have many qualms with the popular narrative that Mahler, among others (Bruckner), was, knowingly or unknowingly, closing up the book that was Western tonality.  Mahler stayed true to tonality in his final works.  A few dissonant…"
May 16
Mike Hewer replied to Daniel Zarb-Cousin's discussion Fantasy for Orchestra
"Hi Daniel, Big Bruckner and Mahler fan here too. Its not hard to see how tonality broke down in the early 20thC when you hear late romanticism is it?- Mahler especially pushing the boat out. Obviously your piece is derivative, but it does show many…"
May 16
Daniel Zarb-Cousin replied to Daniel Zarb-Cousin's discussion Fantasy for Orchestra
"Thank you very much.  I appreciate the kind words.  The ending is a tad rushed, I'd agree, however I think it isn't rushed to the point of seeming improperly resolved.  My original ending is indeed quite longer but because…"
May 14
Socrates Arvanitakis replied to Daniel Zarb-Cousin's discussion Fantasy for Orchestra
"I took it as a somehow abstract theme allowing numerus permutations, and I liked both it and its permutations. Obviously very Mahlerian in mood, it makes good reference to him. I am not a sympathizer with any form of spiritualism (emotional or…"
May 14
Daniel Zarb-Cousin posted a discussion

Fantasy for Orchestra

This is the piece I have written and submitted for the 2017 National Young Composers Challenge, which I won during the 2016 year with my piece "Largo for Orchestra" (see that here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zBCpvi3-Azs). I see it as music that constantly tries to ascend, with little success. It builds itself up as though making a go for the heavens, trying to achieve the un-achievable. I gave it the generic title of "Fantasy for Orchestra" because of the lack of a consistent tonality (an aspect that I know longer consider indicative of my recent projects which are largely all rooted in a firm western style of tonality), and because of its sound of strong desire and emotion which could be described as "fantastical" in its hope and ambition. This music is not programmatic and these brief descriptions I have given are not meant to go beyond insignificant musings of the composer. It is based firmly in the ideas of intense…See More
May 14
Daniel Zarb-Cousin replied to Daniel Zarb-Cousin's discussion (JustForFun) Symphony in D# Major
"Wow Teoh, I very much appreciate your comments!  I would agree that there are some really fantastic moments in this symphony and there are definitely some that I'd hope to use in my later work that I would consider part of my…"
Aug 22, 2016
H. S. Teoh replied to Daniel Zarb-Cousin's discussion (JustForFun) Symphony in D# Major
"P.S. The 3rd movement was especially funny, because it has many obvious parodies and in places made me almost laugh out loud.  I think since its inception by Beethoven the scherzo has mutated from a light-hearted joke movement into various…"
Aug 21, 2016
H. S. Teoh replied to Daniel Zarb-Cousin's discussion (JustForFun) Symphony in D# Major
"Y'know, despite the "just for fun" caveat and the silly key, there are actually some pretty good ideas going on in this piece. Some of the orchestrations could use some work (e.g. wind chord voicings, brass voice leading, instrument…"
Aug 21, 2016
Daniel Zarb-Cousin replied to Daniel Zarb-Cousin's discussion (JustForFun) Symphony in D# Major
"They also limit quality and I can't upload the symphony to soundcloud because it is 36 minutes long.  I do have a soundcloud and have used it many times though. "
Aug 21, 2016
Lennart Östman replied to Daniel Zarb-Cousin's discussion (JustForFun) Symphony in D# Major
"Have you tried Soundcloud? It's a good place to publish music. Lots of good music can be found there."
Aug 21, 2016

Profile Information

What have you composed for? Or what medium do you work around?
Small Ensemble, Big Ensemble, Contemporary Ensembles, Other
What is your favorite genre or style of music?
Classical
Is music your main income source?
No - Not Yet
Where do you live?
California
About Me (Must include biographical information about you as a composer):
I'm Daniel, 16 years old, a soon-to-be-junior in high school. I started composing at around 10 or 11, with a program called "Noteflight." What I did was very small and trivial, but I was intrigued with the idea of composition. Fast forward to freshman year when my interest in composing was re-ignited, and I composed an 11 minute piece for a band project on "Sibelius," which each of the computers in the band room had. The piece actually is really bad and doesn't represent my recent work at all. But it did throw me into the world of composition, and for that, I am thankful.

My work up to the point of spring break, freshman year, had been reminiscent of film scores or something like that. Can't put a pin on it but it was really not too great. And then Stravinsky happened... After listening to the rite 24/7 for the good part of spring break, I had a new approach on composition. I was more open to things that might have seemed odd before. Stravinsky remains one of my two favorites if not my favorite composer today. The pieces of his I like most are the ballet Agon, his Septet, Scenes de Ballet, and of course the Rite of Spring.

The more recent stepping stone of my outlook on composition and music in general came with Alfred Schnittke, who currently may be beating Stravinsky when it comes to my favorite. Schnittke taught me an important lesson: to not try and run from the old ways, but rather to learn from them and take what you will (literally in some cases). Before Schnittke, I honestly was a bit of a pretentious idiot when it came to older music like Haydn or Beethoven, and I would immediately turn it down as though many might turn down modern music.

And so, at this point, I like it all. All of classical seems to have something to offer, and just because I identify most with 20th century stuff doesn't mean I should limit myself to it.

I decided to join this forum out of zeal, as a small piece I wrote for my violinist friend was played and recorded by him, marking the first performance of any of my work by a living human! All around I am just looking to learn from other current composers and receive feedback on my own work if possible.

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At 2:09pm on December 15, 2015, Al Johnston said…

Glad to see you are prolific, Daniel. Many will praise you, many will damn you; just keep on writing, as did Stravinsky. If others encourage you? Fine. Just bear in mind that when all is said and done, it is what you yourself find intriguing about music that will keep you writing, not what others say. Take the time to try to figure out on your own how music works before delving too much into books and courses.

You have great ears. Here's a thought. See if you can discover on your own all the tonal centers and related chords/scales on a tempered keyboard. After a few months of that, then try to discover tonal centers in the untempered realm.I wonder if anyone has even thought to do that yet? Afterwards, as you go on to study the standard texts you can check yourself to see how you did.

[By the way, listen to Moussourgsky's  "Sorochinsky Fair" to hear all the quotations Stravinsky put into his ballets. https://youtu.be/q6VKw91Zei8]

Music is funny in that it is more than merely an art ... when people are polled as to how they might reward themselves after achieving some personal goal, they respond: 1) give themselves some money, 2) give themselves their favorite food, 3) give themselves some music. In that order. It is a more visceral experience than the visual arts; hence, music evokes strong likes and dislikes. I see it everywhere I go.

At 7:43am on June 30, 2015, Tyler Hughes said…

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