Composers' Forum

Music Composers Unite!

After a rather long absence busy with teaching philosophy and other duties, I'm back with a new piece, the third and final movement of my experiment: "Diatonic Symmetries", for Harpsichord & Strings. It is based on the same tone row / theme as the foregoing movements, but now this theme occurs in melodic and rhythmic inversion. 

This inversed theme is kept rythmically intact while going through a series of melodic transformations, which are all based on the same tone row. After the variations the theme returns, followed an almost but not entirely symmetrical series of variations in retrograde mode.

Listening to it will require concentration and absence of traditional tonality and modulation expectations, and appreciating it will require listening to it several times. So, please, give yourself time to chew on it before throwing it in the trash can.

I'm ready to receive your remarks and criticisms. And I have a technical question about the meter. I have notated the piece in 4/4 measures, but I'm in doubt whether a 2/2 (or "alla breve") notation would be better.

Here the link to the Youtube video score: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iyMRO_-W25c

A pdf of the score is attached.

Views: 83

Attachments:

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

Hi Geert,

I am somewhat interested in this piece, but I don't have time to listen to all 22 minutes. I did listen to the first two minutes and heard some interesting tonalities which seemed rather pleasant at times. You clearly have some phrasing in mind as I kept hearing the same sounds cycling in and out, but what the phrasing was escaped me, probably in part because of the limited time I could give it. A bit stronger production values might have attracted me to listen to more of it -

Best,

Gav

I guess I need software that gives better sound quality for this type of thing. When I listen to it while at the same time reading the score I hear everything, but without the score it is sometimes difficult to follow the diverse musical lines. 

Gav Brown said:

Hi Geert,

I am somewhat interested in this piece, but I don't have time to listen to all 22 minutes. I did listen to the first two minutes and heard some interesting tonalities which seemed rather pleasant at times. You clearly have some phrasing in mind as I kept hearing the same sounds cycling in and out, but what the phrasing was escaped me, probably in part because of the limited time I could give it. A bit stronger production values might have attracted me to listen to more of it -

Best,

Gav

I found this interesting Geert, I listened with and without the score. After a while I was able to pick out the lines without the score for the most part since they repeat so much. The exception was the harpsichord which I was only able to hear at a few points. The violins on the other hand are quite obvious to the point where I got tired of the notes above the staff, particularly the high B. Aside from that the interplay was attractive. Of course better quality instruments should enhance the appeal of this piece, it would be interesting to see.

I understand that you have certain parameters you are following and effects which you are trying to achieve but for me from a musical standpoint you have missed some opportunities, especially since you have an extended work here which gives you room for more content.

I think more variation of dynamics and texture would have enhanced the overall effect of this piece without changing your theme. You could build from a ppp solo passage to some of your tutti passages very dramatically; of course drama is probably not your desired effect. Some minor changes to the theme could open up some interesting orchestral effects, unisons, parallel harmonies, even some phasing or chorusing effects. This is only my opinion and this is your piece and I did enjoy spending time with it just as it is.

Ingo, I appreciate your attentive listening. I agree with some of your remarks, in particular what you said about the possibility of more variation in dynamics. It has gone through my mind to insert dynamic directions into the score that are much in line with your suggestions. The only reason I refrained from it is that I want to leave this — and also decisions about (variations) in phraseology and articulation — to performers. So don't get me wrong, the absence of dynamic signs and directions on phraseology and articulation are certainly not ment to indicate a kind of blank performance, but merely to leave open possibilities of interpretation that the composer either didn't foresee or that can only be discovered during the process of studying musicians go through before they are ready to play the piece.

I'm not the type of composer who wants to determine everything, and in this I deviate from many modern composers. In a live performance even the tempo could differ a bit from what I had in mind first.

As to the high B, I had my issues, but after much listening I made peace with it :)


Ingo Lee said:

I found this interesting Geert, I listened with and without the score. After a while I was able to pick out the lines without the score for the most part since they repeat so much. The exception was the harpsichord which I was only able to hear at a few points. The violins on the other hand are quite obvious to the point where I got tired of the notes above the staff, particularly the high B. Aside from that the interplay was attractive. Of course better quality instruments should enhance the appeal of this piece, it would be interesting to see.

I understand that you have certain parameters you are following and effects which you are trying to achieve but for me from a musical standpoint you have missed some opportunities, especially since you have an extended work here which gives you room for more content.

I think more variation of dynamics and texture would have enhanced the overall effect of this piece without changing your theme. You could build from a ppp solo passage to some of your tutti passages very dramatically; of course drama is probably not your desired effect. Some minor changes to the theme could open up some interesting orchestral effects, unisons, parallel harmonies, even some phasing or chorusing effects. This is only my opinion and this is your piece and I did enjoy spending time with it just as it is.

Geert I think you're right that it would be interesting to see what various musicians might do with your piece in terns of interpretation but at the same time it might be a disappointment as well. Providing at least some guidelines might prevent some abuse and it also would have the advantage of helping to sell the piece to potential performers. Some of them might be put off at having to start from scratch with what could be a critical element of your composition and a little guidance could be an incentive. Just my thoughts!

Ingo,

I completely agree.

Ingo Lee said:

Geert I think you're right that it would be interesting to see what various musicians might do with your piece in terns of interpretation but at the same time it might be a disappointment as well. Providing at least some guidelines might prevent some abuse and it also would have the advantage of helping to sell the piece to potential performers. Some of them might be put off at having to start from scratch with what could be a critical element of your composition and a little guidance could be an incentive. Just my thoughts!

Reply to Discussion

RSS

Sign up info

Read before you sign up to find out what the requirements are!

Store

© 2021   Created by Gav Brown.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service