Hello Forum

So when I started diving into the realm of composition about three years ago now, the first project I assigned myself was a model composition using Satie's popular Gymnopedie #1 as the reference point.  The "reimagining" part of the title refers to a couple of stylistic liberties I took: 1) Expanding the harmonic palette a bit to include more 7ths and colour tones (there's a two-bar phrase around the middle of the piece that repeats just before the ending that is all jazz chords), and 2) The inclusion of a solo/improv section (I wrote a brief solo, but it would be easy to just riff on the simple Dm7/G7 tonal pendulum for as long as one might want).  It's also in a different key and the melodic line is completely original.

Given that we're in mid-March, I decided to pull this piece out of mothballs given its title-appropriateness.

Hope you enjoy.




Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/frank-paul-918241242/april-a-reimagining-of-erik-saties-gymnopedie-1-by-frank-paul

Score: April - A Reimagining of Erik Saties Gymnopedie 1 - By Frank Paul.pdf

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  • Hi Frank -  I really like measures 55 through 69 where you step away from the Satie model. The phrasing and harmonies are good and leave me wanting more of that.  You have added some nice touches to the Satie piece and that works well too but it is very close to the original which is appropriate but not as satisfying as your own part.  This would be a good orchestration exercise I think. That would help bring more of your own voice to this piece.

    • Thanks for that feedback, Ingo.  Yeah, the whole thing was quite 'modeled', as it was my first attempt at composing.  I really like your suggestion of trying to orchestrate it, which would be both easy and difficult. Easy because the range of parts would be limited, but also difficult for that very same reason - how do you avoid overdoing it with all the different instrumental voices.  But since orchestration is something I've been want ingto self-educate on, that would make a good homework assignment!  Cheers 

      • One approach might be to start with using just smaller ensembles, string quartet, woodwind quintet, brass choir etc.  Then some combinations of those leading to a chamber orchestra. And then maybe some hybridized electronic combinations?  This might be easier with some simpler chord structures, you could maybe start with triads?


        • OK, those ideas make total sense.  I think I probably instantly deferred to the idea of a full-scale orchestra when you mentioned the idea of orchestrating, but a smaller chamber ensemble of some kind probably makes way more sense - that I can totally do. And I really like your idea of mixing in some electronics.  I'm thinking probably not synths, but rather electronics in terms of maybe drones and/or noise (vinyl crackle or shortwave radio noise or something).  Hmmm, you got me thinking!  :-)

  • Hi Frank. This is very nice rendition of Saties' Gymnopedie. Really liked that. The jazzy nuance is top notch. To continue the idea proposed by Ingo Lee, I wanted to also insert one where you can use an electronic bass for the melody/solo part, or maybe, a saxophone. That would be cool, I think.



    • Sam, that's a great suggestion, thank you.  Yeah, I'm thinking about splitting up the SATB (more or less) parts among different instruments. I like your suggestion of not merely deferring to a traditional string trio or quartet, but using some other instrument(s) instead. I'm going to give that a try!  Cheers

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