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michael diemer
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Michael Diemer's Page

Profile Information

What have you composed for? Or what medium do you work around?
Orchestra, Small Ensemble
What is your favorite genre or style of music?
Romantic-Impressionist; Classical; Baroque
Is music your main income source?
No - Not at all.
Where do you live?
Maine, USA
About Me (Must include at least one paragraph of biographical information about you as a composer) - blank or minimal answers on this line will cause your request to be rejected. Include a link to your website if you have one.
I am basically self-taught, which means I learned how to compose in non-traditional ways. Some of my favorite composers are Mozart, Beethoven, Sibelius, Debussy, Ravel, Rimsky-Korsakov, Vaughan Williams, Faure and Durufle. Some favorite pieces: Mozart's 40th, Sibelius' 7th, NRK's Scheherazade, the Requiems by Faure and Durufle; Ravel's Tombeau Du Couperin; Copeland's Appalachian Spring, and pretty much everything by Debussy. I began composing in the mid 70's, strictly on amateur basis. Necessity of earning a living has limited me to 5 completed symphonic works to date, but I hope to expand this when I retire. (Note: now retired). I use a very basic setup: small midi keyboard, Cakewalk By Bandlab (what used to be Sonar), Garritan, East West and Vienna sound libraries, and recently I added Cinematic Strings. And even more recently, Appasionata Strings.



michael diemer's Discussions

Esoteric Question: Detache vs. Mezzo-Staccato

Started this discussion. Last reply by michael diemer Oct 21. 15 Replies

Something that has puzzled me a long time: How to notate a wind passage say, for horns, when you want to show the grouping and phrasing with slurs, but want the notes separate from each other. Mezzo…Continue

Non- Jazz Use Of Saxophones

Started this discussion. Last reply by michael diemer Sep 7. 2 Replies

Does anyone have an idea of how likely it is to get a non-jazzy rendition of a saxophone part in orchestral music these days? I occasionally use them in my music because of their unique sound,…Continue

Berceuse (Lullaby And Good Flight)

Started this discussion. Last reply by michael diemer Apr 13. 13 Replies

This is on my home page here, but because there is a brief pause between the second and third sections, someone could easily think it was over when the pause occurs. So I wanted to make sure people…Continue

Vienna Enemle Pro & Epic Orchestra?

Started this discussion. Last reply by michael diemer Feb 25. 11 Replies

Can anyone comment on this? I currently have Vienna Special Edition 1, plus GPO5, EWSO Gold and Cinematic Strings2. Using Cakewalk for my DAW (formerly Sonar). Would this be worth my while? Is the…Continue

Latest Activity

michael diemer replied to Stephen C. Doonan's discussion Gentle, seasonal piano piece
"Nice melodies, reflective of the season at least where I live (although we're having weather more typical of mid-December at the moment). Short and sweet, like the days at this time of year (well, at least they're short). "
michael diemer replied to Stephen C. Doonan's discussion Procession of the Elves - piano solo
"Very nice piece, and I am very intrigued by the PianoTeq instrument. Excellent sound, and it's pretty neat how it shows the keys as they're played.  I am puzzled by the pedals, however. I used to be a piano tuner, and I'm…"
michael diemer replied to Kjell Prytz's discussion Lively counterpoint
"Wonderful stuff, Kjell. Great flow, very organic feel to it. It has your typical sound, which I would describe as mysterious, shaded in dark but not drab colors, and at times almost secretive, veiled. I'm not sure if that makes any sense, but…"
michael diemer commented on Denzel Washington's blog post Things I Learned in Music Composition #1 Sunday Scribble #8
"Addendum (I guess you can't edit these blogs): When listening to my music as I'm creating it, and especially orchestrating it, I will come upon spots that sound like there should be something there. sometimes, a single note held over a few…"
michael diemer commented on Denzel Washington's blog post Things I Learned in Music Composition #1 Sunday Scribble #8
"Well, it's certainly a point that bears repeating. I for one have heard pieces of music that have way too many notes. Just too much going on. Most listeners can only pay attention to two, maybe three, independent voices. Naturally then, most…"
michael diemer replied to Paul Walker's discussion Orchestrating for beginner
"Another point: not everyone likes to study scores. Fortunately there is another way to gain insight into an instrument's range and sound: If you have a keyboard before you, either a piano or electronic one, you can use it to get a picture of…"
michael diemer replied to Paul Walker's discussion Orchestrating for beginner
"Has anyone mentioned just listening to a whole bunch of classical music? My method was to have the radio on at all times, so I was continually soaking in the sounds. Doing that and consulting good orchestration books, with a bit of score reading, is…"
michael diemer replied to Kevin Hart's discussion My First (Completed) Work
"Welcome and thanks for sharing your music, Kevin. It's always a little nerve-racking to take that first step to put your creations out there. but we're a pretty friendly bunch here. I can't hear what Gav is talking about with the…"
Nov 11
michael diemer replied to Lennart Östman's discussion First Light - for string quartet and English horn
"Very soothing. A somewhat unusual showcasing of the English Horn, which typically is presented in more somber modes, but I think it succeeds. Re: Colin's remark, it may be difficult to judge this in a midi realization. The EH is such a…"
Nov 11
michael diemer replied to Gilles C.'s discussion Piano compo 2 - Gilles C.
"Probably just me, I like the  closure of a traditional resolution, but there are always exceptions. I just thought that this piece needed it. "
Nov 11
michael diemer replied to OscoBosco's discussion So happy! Recently got a mastered audio track of my string quartet!
"Congratulations! A very successful foray into one of the more difficult forms for any composer. Some of it had a Copland-esque feel, with the choppy rhythms and energetic figures. Not much more to say, except "Good job." Very polished and…"
Nov 11
michael diemer replied to Gav Brown's discussion Christmas Moon for Alto and Piano
"Wow, that was really nice, both music and lyrics. The piano accompaniment was well designed I thought, and the melodic lines were beautifully done. The only thing I wonder about is whether the singer will have enough air at times to sing it. In my…"
Nov 11
michael diemer replied to Art Lowell's discussion Pretending to Write Like Bartok
"It reminded me more of Stravinsky. Specifically, the three blockbuster ballets, "Rite," Petrushka and "Firebird."  I don't hear much Bartok, but my knowledge of his music is limited. Shostakovich, yes, I get that, it…"
Nov 11
michael diemer replied to Gilles C.'s discussion Piano compo 2 - Gilles C.
"I think a more conventional ending would work better. Perhaps leave the last unresolved cord hanging a moment in the air, then put in a final resolving chord? Otherwise quite nice."
Oct 31
michael diemer replied to OscoBosco's discussion Fairy tale bagatelle for bassoon and piano with sheet music
"Yes, very lovely. I like the harmonic color in the chord changes. Overall, a very successful piece.  On a more critical note, I wonder about the very high 16th notes on the bassoon. Always risky to venture up there, in my opinion. The notes…"
Oct 31
michael diemer replied to Rob Burnley's discussion Woodwind Village - Music for a game demo
"Well, that's really very interesting! Being a complete ignoramus when it comes to video games (playing them as well as the inconceivable process, to me, of creating them), this is amazing. It is very alluring, and does indeed beckon the viewer…"
Oct 31

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At 1:24pm on February 23, 2019, David Carovillano said…


Just as honoured to share some great conversations with you.  We're all lucky that music is part of our lives, to whatever extent we pursue it.  Thanks for your kind words and much continued success with your work :)

At 11:12pm on January 23, 2019, Gav Brown said…

Welcome back, Michael!

At 10:57am on July 26, 2016, Art Lowell said…

Thank you for the welcome, Michael. I have actually been a member here for a couple of years, and I have posted all of my tunes. I'm not sure what location on this website they appeared in, but people did respond, so I know they got heard. I posted them in Music Analysis And Critique. I have enjoyed the input from the members here. 

At 3:26pm on January 8, 2015, Tim swanger said…
Thank you! I'm hoping to post more soon. I'm enjoying listening to others work, though I'm traveling at the moment and I can't access many audio files from my phone.
At 11:09pm on January 3, 2015, Greg Monks said…

Skating is a fabulous little piece, reminiscent (to my ear) of some of Jongen's works. It would make for an excellent National Film Board score.

At 10:03pm on January 3, 2015, Greg Monks said…

Thanks, Michael, I'll post there once I have the equipment/software for making PDF's of my music.

I can see now that I'll have to learn how to use Finale or Sibelius or both. I've had both for years, but have taken only a cursory look at them.

At 11:47am on December 25, 2014, Simon Hamel said…

Can't wait to trade fours on feedback man, I'll post some music soon. 

At 3:05am on November 8, 2014, René Torenstra said…

Thank you for welcoming me to the site and getting me started, Michael. I'm sure I'll see you around in the comment threads! Cheers, René

At 2:28pm on November 7, 2014, Pekka Vermasvuo said…

Thank you for your encouraging words Michael!

At 4:39pm on October 26, 2014, Pekka Vermasvuo said…

Thank you Michael!

I have already taken my time to read a number of interesting threads and blogs and get used to this forum. I will be posting some music at some stage - whenever I'm ready. 

I'm currently working on a very short virtual piano+strings+choir thingy which I hope to get to a stage when I can call it ready (not finished as they never are). I am still learning the ropes of "virtual  orchestration" and proper production practices. At the same time I'm  trying to learn how to properly structure the music and develop my usually shortish ideas to a longer pieces of music. I find it extremely challenging to get the musical balance right, especially with strings. Well, I think like with real instruments, it just takes a lot of time and requires practice and more practice to get it right. 



Michael diemer's Blog

On "Skating"

Posted on January 28, 2015 at 10:30pm 9 Comments

Revised as of 1/28/15, Skating is my most finished piece to date. It's from a three-movement work called Three Winter Scenes.  It's an impressionistic piece, intended to depict skaters on a frozen pond or river, and attempts to capture the exhilaration of being outside on a cold but beautiful winter day, as well as the elements of snow, sun, clouds, etc. Sounds are Garritan, Vienna, Cinematic Strings2 and EWSO Gold, as well as some sounds from Sonar. While I strive for transparency,…



Posted on September 19, 2014 at 11:00pm 3 Comments

"Solstice" is the first movement of "Three Winter Scenes." It was written after a poem I wrote in my twenties called "Winter Sunset." The poem was about watching a beautiful sunset on a very cold day, and wondering where my life was going. The last lines were "Where were the clouds hurrying to? Their motion in that dark sky was all I saw." The music tries to capture the cold beauty of a winter sunset, and also the slow ticking of time down to the moment of the Solstice, the first…


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