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michael diemer
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  • United States
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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, 2019. 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, 2019. 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, 2019. 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, 2019. 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 William Maxwell's discussion The Carousel- tune from a new member
"The way you use woodwinds reminds me of Copland. There are also some nice suspensions and shifting tonalities, which again remind me of Copland. A beautiful piece , easy to connect to and stay with. The only thing that grabbed my attention is the…"
Jan 27
michael diemer replied to Jan Paul Wolff's discussion Chromatic Counterpoint | Intermezzo
"Some original chord progressions make this an interesting piece, as I never could predict exactly where you might go next. So it held my intention, even expressionism is generally not my cup of java. On the more critical side, I could have used more…"
Jan 27
michael diemer replied to Saul Gefen's discussion Against All Odds
"I think the strings are fine as they are. sure they could be elaborated, but I think you intended them to just be a soft accent to the percussive piano notes, and they worked as intended, at least for me. Other than that, powerful emotion,…"
Jan 27
michael diemer replied to Stephen C. Doonan's discussion Dark Matter (piano solo)
"I agree with Kjell, definitely some Debussy influence in there! and not just a superficial attempt to throw in some whole-tone or oriental scales, but a sophisticated interplay of syncopated rhythms and colors, and melodies. I hear also shades of…"
Jan 25
michael diemer replied to David Lilly's discussion Some Normalcy
"It's always so hard to respond when someone asks, What Could Be Better? Usually, people just tell you what they themselves would do. But that is not necessarily very helpful, let alone better. We all do things so differently. While this is a…"
Jan 25
michael diemer replied to Christophe Heroufosse's discussion Félicie and L'école buissonière
"Re: the second piece: I like unusual time signatures. I use 5/4 and 7/4 a lot. And if you do it right, the result can be wonderful. Like that movement of Tchaikovsky's 6th symphony, one of the first examples of this in the modern era (unusual…"
Jan 25
michael diemer replied to Christophe Heroufosse's discussion Félicie and L'école buissonière
"Very beautiful piano music, Christophe. Would be great in a Zen Garden! The oriental mood is well done. This calls to my mind a tranquil terrace waterfall, the water falling in gentle, even steps. Perfect for meditation and alpha-wave production."
Jan 25
michael diemer replied to Jon Corelis's discussion Irish Dance for Solo French Horn
"Nice work, and nice workout for the horn player, no doubt. Makes me think about the note Mozart put in the score for his horn concerto" "breathe here blockhead, or you won'y make it." "
Jan 25
michael diemer replied to Dane Aubrun's discussion Messaging
"It's a fair point. I also dislike the whole "friending" thing. For one, I have been burned by people I thought were my friends. Then there are the friends I acquired in my earlier incarnation on this forum, who I suspect friended me…"
Dec 25, 2019
michael diemer replied to Gav Brown's discussion Orchestral - Questions about doubling
"With respect to doubling for new tone colors, I seem to remember reading something to the effect that, in general, pure tone colors are to be preferred, mixing should be done sparingly. I certainly am no expert on this, being like many (if not most…"
Dec 24, 2019
michael diemer replied to Gav Brown's discussion Orchestral - Questions about doubling
"Gav, I forgot to actually listen to your piece, which is very good. I especially like the horn part, although the sound of that particular horn has a rather bassoon-ish feel to it. Which calls to mind the fact that bassoon and horn blend very well.…"
Dec 23, 2019
michael diemer replied to Gav Brown's discussion Orchestral - Questions about doubling
"There are three ways to get this information: books, scores and listening. I have found Rimsky-Korsakov's "Principles Of Orchestration" very helpful. He goes in depth on various blends, like flute + oboe, trumpet + horn etc. Also, he…"
Dec 23, 2019
michael diemer replied to Jan-Frederik Carl's discussion Bagatelle G major
"Very nice. For some reason, I kept wondering what this would sound like on a  harpsichord. Although it works fine on piano. It sounds like the una corda pedal was on, which suggests the toned-down sound of the instruments that would have been…"
Dec 17, 2019
michael diemer replied to Dane Aubrun's discussion String Quartet 3rd movement.
"Quite amazing work, Dane. You obviously put a great deal of work to get your pieces to sound so real, so well balanced in terms of expression, articulations, and dynamics. The music itself has great depth and sophistication, which a string quartet…"
Dec 17, 2019
michael diemer replied to Stephen C. Doonan's discussion Seascape 1
"On the other hand, Debussy has shown what can be done with melody, harmony, rhythm, scales, and of course sound pictures (impressionism, although he disliked the term as applied to music), all on a piano, with no other instrument. If you can play…"
Dec 17, 2019
michael diemer replied to Colin Dougall's discussion Vienna Ensemble Pro 7 & Kontakt Player
"Good post, Tim. There are always many ways to use music software. We each must find what works for how we ourselves work (i.e. workflow), what kind of system we have, and whether we like to keeps things simple or gravitate more toward complexity. I…"
Dec 14, 2019

Comment Wall (34 comments)

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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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