Songs of Earth - Landscapes

Hello Folks -

This is Ken Lindner. I've been quiet on this site for a good while; I've been busy.

I've been working a new summer project since May that I'm calling Songs of Earth. It is planned to eventually be a 12 section work (four landscapes, four seascapes and four anthroscapes, {I know that's not a word, but I mean human dominated}). I've completed the four landscapes at this point and thought maybe some of you might like to listen. The idea is celebrate our home planet, "painting with sound" views of our beautiful Earth, while we still have it. To animate each landscape, (while it would otherwise just sit there), I've included the sounds of weather and animals vital to the scene. These elements are explained in the text that accompanies the music on SoundCloud.

The landscapes are: Mountain Ranges, Mountain Meadow, Carolina Wet Land, Deserts.

The work is posted on SoundCloud at:

If you listen and would like to comment, I'd be interested in what you think. If not, that's okee-dokee as well.



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  • I somehow missed this when first posted last week. Anyway, your descriptive tone poems are always worth investigating, even if I find some more successful than others in creating the atmosphere you desire. In this case, the inner movements seem the most successful with any number of fascinating naturalistic effects which show a real imagination. The first movement seems in comparison rather too static and the material is for me more commonplace -- perhaps we also need more differentiation between the outer and inner movements?

  • Hi Ken,

    This is so very different from the music that I usually listen to that I'm having a hard time being objective about it. I will say that your use of natural sounds is quite effective, and you achieve a great deal of variety in the timbres and textures you manage to create in your orchestral settings. Much of this music is vividly evocative of the scenes you are trying to paint. My one real criticism - and I'm not sure that it's even valid, given what you are trying to do - is that the harmony is almost completely static. There is one tonal shift in each of the last two pieces, but otherwise, each movement is 5 to 6 minutes with no change in the harmony, and the result, for me personally, was a degree of monotony. It may just be that I am not attuned to your musical language as it is very different from my own.

    I was a little surprised that you didn't include the sea as one of your "landscapes", given that Earth is 2/3 covered with water! Another composer whom I admire, Vagn Holmboe, has written a brief Prelude To the Calm Sea for "sinfonietta orchestra", basically a chamber orchestra, that is really a short tone poem that in my opinion is beautifully evocative and completely avoids monotony despite mostly static tonality, leaving the listener eager for more when it ends. I think you can find it online; I'll try to find a link to a recording shortly.

    Maybe:!/Work/602334 - hopefully it will play all the way through.


    • Hi Liz -

      Thanks for listening!

      Yes, my focus now is our natural world using the tonal colors of the orchestra to "paint" a picture, hopefully in the listener's mind. Modulations in these pieces are limited, as I focus primarily on sound and the natural environment I'm trying to evoke.

      I'm currently working on four seascape pieces that will join the four landscapes and four "anthroscapes" in the future to complete my Songs of Earth series. As this project progresses, I'll report it to the members of Composer's Forum, just in case of any interest.

      Isn't it great that so many different musical languages are possible using the same ingredients?! We all have our individual styles and sounds. This is what makes music the universal language. I celebrate it!

      Regards - Ken


    • it doesn't for me-- probably just a sampler. This is the YouTube link which does work. An interesting piece, although hardly calm in my book, except towards the end.


      • Thanks David, that link didn't come up for me. It's true, there's a lot of activity in the piece, but even the "calm sea" is never perfectly calm, and it's teeming with life. I suspect that's what Holmboe was trying to convey. I brought it up because it's harmonically and tonally less active than most of Holmboe's music, without ever being so static that it flirts with monotony.

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