A dins d'un bosc cantava

Hello.

As is customary, I have composed a musical piece to congratulate Christmas.

It's on SoundCloud:

https://soundcloud.com/ramon-capsada-blanch/a-dins-dun-bosc-cantava

 

Merry Christmas !

 

Ramon

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I also include an introduction to the work in case anyone is interested in reading it:

 

Inside a forest it sang

This piece is for a small ensemble of six instruments (flute, bass clarinet, violin, cello, piano, and percussion). Is inspired by a popular Catalan song that has precisely the same title, in Catalan "A dins d'un bosc cantava" which can be translated as "Inside a forest it sang". The lyrics of the song explain that "Inside a forest a cuckoo sang with great eagerness, from the top of a towering oak, calling his companion ...".  Thus, the starting musical material has been the melody of this song. Material subjected to various transformations. The most notable is in the melodic field and has been to "chromatize" the initial diatonic melody by incorporating the necessary notes to achieve the basic melodic phrase formed by all the notes of the chromatic scale. This melodic phrase has been the effective base on which the entire work has been built. However, I have not wanted to completely dispense with the initial diatonic melody, but it also appears at different times, but with careful treatment, using the complementary musical elements to achieve a sufficiently coherent result that would overcome the possible contradiction caused by the simultaneous presence of diatonic materials and dodecaphonic materials.

Randomization is another important element that appears in composition. I have tried to present a continuous evolution of the presence of a controlled randomness, obtaining three different phases in the course of the work. The beginning has a more chaotic nature and evolves towards a much more orderly and clear-cut environment to end in the last part that takes up the more uncertain and agitated aspect of the beginning but that definitively overcomes the initial disorder.

With this approach, I wanted to achieve a music that would maintain the naive, innocent and playful character that the initial song has, but trying to make a musical rereading that was more modern and with a few more doses of complexity. All this imbued with a festive and Christmas atmosphere, which would serve to congratulate the Christmas holidays this year, which is the pragmatic reason why I wanted to compose this piece.

 

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Replies

  • Hi, Ramon,

    A most inriguing work. I initially listened without reading the introduction and must admit that at first it seemed chaotic. But I'm not to be put off by such things and around the 1 minute mark the tempo (or better, the presentation of events) calmed a little. After a few piano chords at 1'37" the work gradually became lyrical with some interesting harmony on the sustaining instruments. I particularly liked the closing moments, allowing it to fade away on what sounded like a large triangle. 

    After reading the intro I listened again and feel that you have achieved the aim you expressed in the last paragraph very well. Gradually the events of the opening fall into coherence. (I even detected what sounded like a bird call in the bass clarinet).

    This is music I'm comfortable with and enjoyed listening. May I congratulate you on your achievement and particularly getting as much as you have out of the ensemble.

    Happy Christmas to you and all the best,

    Dane

    • Hi, Dan.

      Thank you very much for spending time on my piece of music: listening to it, reading the introduction, listening to it again, reflecting on it and, finally, writing this magnificent comment.

      Those of us who know the original Catalan popular song on which my composition is based, have an important advantage over you who do not know it since we have an important reference element that gives a certain familiarity and knowledge of part of the music when it is listened to, although their treatment is less common.

      Despite that, I think that the observations you make about my composition are very pertinent and accurate. Which is to be appreciated.

      The greatest difficulty that I find when considering the composition of a new piece is how to calibrate the magnitude of the three vectors that are basic, by to my way of thinking, to give it its form: have artistic value, use a syntax proper of our time (in in terms of novelty and complexity) and respond to some communicative reason. The intensity of each of these forces has to be such that its composition gives a result that has sufficient internal coherence and that it can be decoded and, therefore, understood by a listener with a minimal musical culture.

      Now is the time to ask myself to what extent have I achieved these goals with this modest piece of music. . .

      Un saludo.

      Ramon

  • This is quite different to my ears. Interesting turns in this. Thanks for the explanation and for sharing it.

    -Tim

    • I also have to thank you, for listening to my music and for the comment  :)

      Un saludo.

  • Very impressive work here Ramon; you mentioned NotePerformer in your SoundCloud comments and this shows off NotePerformer well I think. Putting this all together in a DAW could be a lot of work.

    I'm not familiar with the original song you mention but maybe that doesn't matter too much. The dotted rhythms of your opening section give it a kind of hard edged swing which I like. The center section is more accessible which is good, kind of a difficult transition to make, the second transition returning to the opening section seems smoother but the pieces all fit nonetheless.

    You have a good following on SoundCloud, it's good to see support for an adventurous piece like this.  Thanks for posting!

    • Thanks Ingo for listening to my music and for the good comments, it is not easy to dare in a work like this.  :-D

      Certainly, in my case, I get the best relationship between quality and diligence with NotePerformer since I always start from the preparation of the score and then the connection is immediate. It does not sound as good as in a DAW but enough to hear it well, saving a lot of work. In some piece I have made the subsequent transfer to Cubase + ViennaSymphonicLibrary achieving better sound quality, but, as you indicate, it involves an important additional work (also in my case I am not very expert in this environment) and it is not always good to do so. However, in some later works I will do it again.

      Your other observation is also true. Growing up on SoundCloud with classical music is not easy and even worse if you also have "modern pretensions".

      Un saludo.

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