A piece of music

Prayer for Iraq.mp3   I offer up a piece for dissection, a work in progress. I'm aware of many flaws, but specifically I ask, how might I clearly discern the superfluous notes in the congested areas. This is my first attempt at "classical" music. Say what you feel, but please don't destroy my ego!

You need to be a member of Composers' Forum to add comments!

Join Composers' Forum

Email me when people reply –

Replies

  • Bob,

    I thank you for your listening, and your comments, also your articulation and honesty. I think I learned from this, not to overreach; I tried to prove to myself that I could manage six semi-independent lines. lol. I'm not clear how I was "consistent with dissonance," I hope I was as consistent with the resolutions! For me, there's only mono mix; but I know what you mean - harder to hear the separate lines. Will check out your stuff and report presently.

  • There is some interest in this piece - some unusual and intriguing uses of melody and harmony which do lend an arabic feel. I felt it suffered somewhat from the low fidelity of the recording - I am not a purist on this issue and don't seek perfection, but even so, it got in the way of my interest. I also would have liked to see more variance in tone, tempo, and volume. You're attempting something different - that is a good thing!

  • Not sure about this having Arabic influences but it would be considered modern as far as genre. 

    It's one of the most interesting piece of music I've listened to on this site actually if you can get past the execution. The guitar which I'm assuming it is, is like someone walking off the stage and sticking it in your ear as the others are performing. Back on stage with the guitar and have it blend in more with the other instruments. 

    Yes, you need to learn to pan and adjust the volume sliders for your instruments for some separation and perspective. 

    How about some reverb? It sounds like you're using none. A little on the dry side is fine but you need some to add a sense of realism to your dry samples, breath some life into them. 

    It might need some editing down to maintain ones interest but with this torturous mix that's just a guess. 

  • Gav, 

    Thanks for listening. You're right about variance, especially with tempo. Mostly I hoped for variance in orchestration to bring about 'drama,' though there's a lot of work yet on that angle.

    The sound is MuseScore w/ Fluid soundfont; then Audacity and Kristal dsp. I like the sound but yes, bass and guitar are too loud; new mix coming soon. Thanks for having an open mind about a different sound. I think most arabic feel comes from hearing lots of my favorite, Bartok.  

    Gav Brown said:

    There is some interest in this piece - some unusual and intriguing uses of melody and harmony which do lend an arabic feel. I felt it suffered somewhat from the low fidelity of the recording - I am not a purist on this issue and don't seek perfection, but even so, it got in the way of my interest. I also would have liked to see more variance in tone, tempo, and volume. You're attempting something different - that is a good thing!

    A piece of music
    Prayer for Iraq.mp3   I offer up a piece for dissection, a work in progress. I'm aware of many flaws, but specifically I ask, how might I clearly dis…
  • Philip,

    Thank you for listening and thank you for the kind words. I really appreciate it, having worked hard on the piece. I'll remix soon,bring down the guitar, and bass; but I'm committed to mono. I'll see if I can get a clean enough delay. I like dry, but most people do not. I suppose more space could be more realistic...  excellent feedback. Thanks.


    Phillip Lovgren said:

    Not sure about this having Arabic influences but it would be considered modern as far as genre. 

    It's one of the most interesting piece of music I've listened to on this site actually if you can get past the execution. The guitar which I'm assuming it is, is like someone walking off the stage and sticking it in your ear as the others are performing. Back on stage with the guitar and have it blend in more with the other instruments. 

    Yes, you need to learn to pan and adjust the volume sliders for your instruments for some separation and perspective. 

    How about some reverb? It sounds like you're using none. A little on the dry side is fine but you need some to add a sense of realism to your dry samples, breath some life into them. 

    It might need some editing down to maintain ones interest but with this torturous mix that's just a guess. 

    A piece of music
    Prayer for Iraq.mp3   I offer up a piece for dissection, a work in progress. I'm aware of many flaws, but specifically I ask, how might I clearly dis…
  • Remixed, revised version.https://soundcloud.com/nick_thabit/prayer-for-iraq

  • Titles are important; When you use a specific title such as this one, It's really important that the music says what the title implies. I don't really hear anything that makes me think of a prayer for Iraq.  Also, the dissonance is wonderful.  But the lines you've created with it, sometimes, seem to wander a bit instead of moving in a discernible direction.  One of the biggest complaints people have about music with such dissonant harmonic language is they feel 'lost' or as if they don't know what's going on in the music.  Listeners need something to latch onto or else they lose interest.  I think one way you could do this is to try thinning out the texture from time to time.  Give it some more variety.  Wall to wall anything is a real tough sell.

    -tim

  • This is good. I liked it. I have many good things to say about this piece and some suggestions. I liked the modulations (or shifts in mode, as Messiaen might say) in the first third of the piece, especially one where the movement is from a quasi pantonal section to one that has the slight feeling of “major,” if only briefly. (It’s the harpsichord that “lapses” into a major mode, which I find quite pleasing, because it is so subtle and so short-lived). During the first third of the work, there is a nice gathering of instruments, an increase in density that is compelling. You have orchestrated very carefully, and that gives the piece a certain elegance.

    The bass motif that starts at the beginning varies nicely as the work proceeds (though I would start altering that somehow, even earlier on, otherwise it sounds too much like jazz, and then changes to a non-jazz or more classical sound. Not that I have a problem with jazz per se, but in a piece like this, with increasing complexity, I feel it’s best not to have even the beginning sound too monotonously rhythmic, as jazz pieces can be sometimes).

    I agree with Bob that there is no serious problem with “cluttering,” though you may feel there is. It is precisely this increase in density and the addition of textures that makes the piece so interesting in the first third. I like the way the harpsichord is used, along with the bass, flute, trumpet(?), and violin. Flute(s) are also well deployed as they gain strength. There is nice contrapuntal balance. Places where the harpsichord wanders up to the higher registers have added necessary dramatic tension. That works effectively. You might try, in the first half, some more experimentation with the range, and especially with tempo. Instruments sometimes seem cluttered when the music is moving slowly, but as tempo alters from slow to fast and back again, one gets a sense of the individuality of the instruments as changes occur. (I would be curious to know what kind of software you are using. The trumpet, if that is what I am hearing, needs to be sharper in my opinion. Though maybe that instrument, especially as it first begins to play—after the bass, flute and harpsichord appear—is intended to sound a bit soft, diffuse and quiet-flangey, if you know what I mean.)


    There is a nice acceleration, but too brief, of flute tempo, in the second section (or movement), and I would like to see more of that, to give the piece more variety. This choice of instruments: bass, flute, trumpet (flange), harpsichord, violin, is a nice one. The sustained notes and vibrato with the flutes in the second section (or movement) need some kind of harmonic fluctuation to make them sound a bit less mechanical. You might say, that’s a software problem. But I often find that so-called software problems actually indicate a composition obstacle that needs to be overcome. The overall harmonization in the section, I think, is good. The duets between flute and violin are attractive. When the flute goes solo the problem appears most acute. I am a big fan of very slight tone glides or pitch bending, in such cases, which I feel solve the problem, and make the music more interesting.

    Now when parallels are drawn, what you are doing here reminds me slightly of the chamber work of Eliot Carter. (He is an American composer that has used the harpsichord in serialist chamber music). I don’t know if you are familiar with him or inspired by him. I am speaking only of myself, my tastes and inclinations here: But if it were me, I would move a bit closer to Ligeti, Penderecki, and/or Eastern musical influences, where the tone values do not remained so fixed as in traditional music, even in Schoenberg or Webern. This can be done without sounding too “expressionist” or somber. One innovation was to move from diatonic music towards pantonal (or atonal music); another is to move away from the fixed values of individual notes, without abandoning precise pitches altogether—one can gravitate backs towards them. Now this can be done, and is being done in the world of real instruments, with keyboards (and I am not just talking about Cage’s player piano). You may know this already: A piano or harpsichord can be structured, so the notes slide, or glide, with the use of a special insert, that some Indian performers and composers are using in the UK. This is even easier to do with music software. So a piano or harpsichord can have the flexibility of a sitar; this can be done with violins, flutes, and brass as well. (In Logic, you simply generate your instrument through a special option, and then you can make any instrument glide as easily as a violin string, through the use of pitch glides, portamento settings, and a whole assortment of settings, with regard to range and speed. Useful for brass instruments too, especially trombones).

    Anyway, I hope that’s not “too much information.” Thanks for sharing the piece, which I enjoyed. [P.S. I don't hear any explicit "Arabic musical influence," either, though I could have missed that. We can talk about that later, if you want to.]
  • Interesting choice of name for the piece.

    I like it- it is chaotic att times, but it lands several times in some kinde of "harmony"

  • Was this work chaotic at any point? I didn't notice that. Where was it chaotic?

This reply was deleted.