While still suffering from tonalitis I was inspired by a picutre to write something calming. A couple of things came from it but what started as self-indulgence for my insomnia seems to have turned into a more generic Adagio, possibly for use in a Suite or something. I wanted to avoid the feel of "new age music" so, while tonal, the harmony and rhytm take a few turns. 

I'm submitting it for comment as to whether it actually works as a stand-alone.

Thank you if you can give it a listen and comments are always gratefully received, good or bad. (I could say that if you haven't gone to sleep by the end, I've failed).

It's very slow and quiet (for my stuff) - all muted strings except the solos - so if that isn't to your taste, best avoided.

The pic isn't the inspirational one. It's from a diorama in 1:150 scale and is more about the night.



Trank 100122 192.mp3 


01 - Night - ISC Pending 100122.pdf 

Score with unused staves hidden:

01 - Night - ISC Pending only 090122 hidden staves.pdf

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  • I hope you're feeling better Dane.

    Luckiy I listened to this the first thing in the morning. My expectations of falling asleep were dashed when I heard it. 

    The music hues in this were, what's the word I'm looking for? I want to say interesting but that's not deep enough to convey my thoughts. I guess it is interesting to me in that it uses a nice mesh of tonality in the strings giving it a very smooth feel. While not an overt upbeat feeling you have managed to give this a very pleasant and introspective feel.

    Nice work Dane. It has your fingerprints all over it and that's a good thing!


  • Still awake here enjoying this tonality thing, I definitely think it can stand alone. It would be interesting to hear it in a larger work but not necessary to my ear.  Lots of nice melodies and a very clean score too.

    I like the pic, who did the diorama?  Is that Lon Chaney I see behind that bush?

  • This is just beautiful, Dane.  Sumptuous chords, and the play of solo with ensemble tastefully done. To me,It does stand alone fine, but I could see another mov't or more. Just wonderful.

  • Surprisingly, I liked this enough to listen to it twice in a row, even though this isn't the usual harmonic language I listen to. It's very calm and even soothing, though more introspective and contemplative than lulling to sleep (but I don't see that as a bad thing!). It sounds like it could easily be the slow movement of a symphony, or at least a calming bridge between stormy movements (hint, hint ;-)). In spite of its stated goal of lulling to sleep, there was no boring moment at all; it all flows very "inevitably".  Excellent work, IMO.

  • I loved this and played it twice immediately. For a piece that should "lull you to sleep", it seems equal parts restless. And that makes me think of Arnold Bax who so often seems to quietly "bust up" a peaceful mood as if to say "this is the peace I cannot achieve".

    I hope you do achieve peace 🙂

  • I quite liked it. I thought that I would be gone to sleep, as you might suggested, but I didn't. The melody flow keeps my brain following how it goes. I personally think this could be a stand-alone piece, rather than a suite.

  • May I be forgiven for answering all these comments in a single post, hoping it doesn't get too long? Just that it'll save increasing the reply count wildly! 

    Thank you all for your kind and generous comments, and listening all the way through it. Most appreciated. I wasn't too sure if the piece worked at all but the feeling seems to be that it can work stand alone. It's not so far off that second movement of a locrian 'Symphony' I posted here, although the harmony is very different. 


    Many thanks. The bit about tonalitis was meant as a joke, a snipe at my stuff which usually skates near the edge of atonality, hence tonal-itis when something comes out nearer to tonality! There are probably academic terms for how I adjust the harmony but I just do and I have to try breaking the habit of writing in 5 or 6 part harmony. I am however afflicted with Seasonal Affective disorder and maybe this piece (which I hoped would be a lot more cheerful) turned out fairly morose.


    I've been wondering about it being a movement. Problem is it was written "off the cuff" as a consequence of another piece I'll post soon which is almost as slow and drizzly. Maybe soon something more lively will come to mind. I'm just going through the worst of S.A.D Musically it means thin, drizzly textures where muted strings are too much of a temptation! Thank you for your comments and sorry about not helping you to sleep!!



    Most kind remarks and pleasing to learn that it worked at all. Thank you.

    H. S. Tech

    It isn't too unlike the mood of a slow movement I wrote in locrian mode though the harmony sounded a little weirder in that. I'm taking the tip however and will put this in the pending tray awaing for something more energetic to crop up. Maybe a Suite. It's encouraging that you picked up its contemplative feel. Thank you for that.


    Wow, thank you indeed - Bax? Well, I never got over my very young encounter with his third Symphony in which all movements have the qualities you mention and after the drama of the third movement that simple and so beautiful Epilogue. One of those works that's had a lasting impact. Another was Vaughan William's 6th. Who knows if that's why I still seem to think tonally then disrupt it to get the effects I want and keep shifting the tonal centres. I think those works along with Rosenberg's 3rd Symphony were what switched me on to composiing. Interesting that you spotted this issue about my stuff. I hadn't thought about it in a long time. Wow!

    Sam Umar

    Thank you, and glad that it made sense and seems to have had the intended effect. I may keep it as a stand-alone in the "music for orchestra" folder.  It was a spin-off from a similar piece which has become Music for Orchestra 10 so could probably join it!. Again, thank you.

    So it's a big thank you for the encouragement and critique which has been so helpful. 

    All the best for 2022 and...keep well and safe.

  • Hi Dane,

    I can't believe you have written this or your previous ones.



    • Dane! A Bax and a Vaughn Williams fan!

      We are now BFF's! ;-)



      • :)

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