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It was written some time ago while experimenting, instead of setting words to an accompaniment the voice would be part of the ensemble on equal terms, the words supplementary more or less. Over these past couple of days I revised it and mocked up the score.

I’m afraid the vocal part is la-la-lah’d - as often the case with these midi pieces but I’ve tried to shape it to the words. Aside from the voice the ensemble is 2 violins, viola, cello, flute, oboe, clarinet and horn.

If you can afford the time to give it a listen and comment on whether it works or not, that would be totally appreciated.

 

I’ve posted the ensemble score and a consolidated short score (without the dynamics)  Both scores are a bit messy when 1/16 notes clutter together but it should show what’s going on. Alas I have no control over the pdf.

The words are:

in a night profane

lie forever on a starlit lawn

amidst the falling petals.

insignificant sleep

deep in that arabesque of paths

always the paths the trees

that secretly

hid the night from us

as we walk

amidst the falling petals

where first our bodies lay.

.

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Hi Dane,

I see you have the oboe and flute really earning their keep here!  I love the imagination that has gone into this.Nice work.

I kept wanting to hear more of a unison with a higher part or a small choir with lead soloist instead of only a solo vocalist, but that's me and I'm sure you have good reasons for keeping the vocals sparse.

Many thanks for your comment, Tim.

It was meant to be a salon-type piece hence just an ensemble, more or less a song but with the ensemble having more prominence. Your observations suggest it won't work well - giving some instruments "bravura" parts. (Partly a problem of knowing people who can play such parts!!)

However, here I can sympathise with you about receiving comment. 18 views and only you see fit to comment. I've reviewed a good few works although recently avoid the one-shot posters. I mean, a 2 1/2 minute piece? How long to comment "yes" or "no"?

So I'll limit my reviews now to just the three or four people who have commented on my stuff....until - if - things improve. But otherwise, I'll sit out I think.

Again thanks and your listening is most appreciated.

All the best.

Hi Dane,

I have listened this piece and LİKED it.  But had to postpone my comments for today. 

I will do so in a few moments.  

It is true that you have been generous in writing comments for others.

Unfortunately 'all are not equal'.

Ciao.

Ali

Hi Dane,

Your piece is short but not so little, I have to say...

A number of techniques in the vocal part, accompaniment structures

make it difficult to analyse.  

Also, you use the same figure at differing measure points rather than repeating

at the same place. b2-3 b34-35 main figure M2+m3+m2

This rhythmic shift blurs the perception and brings freshness together with triggering

the past.  (I like it and will borrow it).

The whole piece appears me to be built on the motif of M2+m3+m2 and its inversion, retrogrades.

The end of the first 8 bars is a beautiful realization of this in the vocal part.

Pity, I could not analise the accompaniment parts' fast sections. Only by listening,

I can hardly say that they are also built on the idea of interchanging M2 - m3 - m2

but not necessarily in the same sequence.

I checked the atonality and spread of the 12 tones locally.  There were some

regularities as well as irregularities.  The trick of keeping the missing 12th note

for the best location can be viewed either intentional or inspirational.

There are a few signs of completion feeling hence some sort of tonality at the end of

some phrases.  

  The appearing sequence of 12 tones varies strongly which makes it fresh all the way to the end.

It is also not strictly atonal as 12 tone presented and again another 12 tone presented

and yet another.  I guess it is sometimes 12 sometimes 10 or even 8.  Also,

the rule of a pitch should not be repeated before all the rest 11 pitches does not apply,

some pitches are repeated and this makes some tonal effect if I am not mistaken.

Overall, it is beautiful, a misty beauty.

Ali

Note:

Last but,

"

The stars are not artifacts . They are a natural rather than a human -made phenomenon , yet they do have a structure which , in interaction with the right kinds of internal artifacts (strategies for "seeing"), becomes one of the most important structured representational media of the Micronesian navigation system.

The more or less random sprinkling of stars in the heavens is an important component of the Micronesian system. In a sky with an absolutely uniform distribution of stars, navigation by the stars would be impossible : information is difference , and there would be no differences to be seen as informative .

"

The flow of information is important to keep the attention of the listener but

bringing new material is not the only technique to do so.  Creating small differences may also be informative.

A beautifully evocative and expressive work, Dane. I enjoyed it a lot. My only criticism is that the score is nearly unreadable in places, mostly the short note-value figurations of the flute and oboe. But I'm sure you will be cleaning that up in time.

Congrats on a very nice piece. :)

I can recognize this as being a technically accomplished piece of music, beyond anything I could compose. But my problem with it is a matter of personal taste.

"It was meant to be a salon-type piece hence just an ensemble, more or less a song but with the ensemble having more prominence."

Yes, and the prominence of instrumentation in songs at the expense of the vocal seems to be standard practice in contemporary classical art and chamber song, and even seems to be considered a virtue rather than a fault.  Even standard piano accompanied art songs seem often to obscure the vocalist in favor of keyboard razzle-dazzle. But my own taste is orthogonal to this assumption.  For me, in a song the vocal is the food and the instrumentation is the plate.  What is the point of serving the food on a prominent plate?

Hi Ali,

Thank you so much for your generous commentary. Most perceptive....yes, it's almost 12-tone serial (although through-composed). This comes from my 'education' where it was a 'requirement' that I never surrendered to. One thing that stuck was never using the same note twice or more in a motif or phrase hence the appearance of serial. My favourite composer of the time was Elisabeth Lutyens who could and would work with serial styles but usually broke the rules in the interest of musical taste. Probably my big influence and shame I was too young to take lessons with her. 

You also noted how the motifs interplay. I have to confess this was intuitive at first but I came aware that it would help a listener familiarise with what's going on in such a short piece. Hence the near repeat in the closing bars.

Sincere thanks for listening and taking the time to comment in considerable detail....

...and for the further information about the stars. In this "song" poetic license seems to have taken over several times!

cheers,

Dane.

Ali Riza SARAL said:

Hi Dane,

Your piece is short but not so little, I have to say...

A number of techniques in the vocal part, accompaniment structures

make it difficult to analyse.  

Also, you use the same figure at differing measure points rather than repeating

at the same place. b2-3 b34-35 main figure M2+m3+m2

This rhythmic shift blurs the perception and brings freshness together with triggering

the past.  (I like it and will borrow it).

The whole piece appears me to be built on the motif of M2+m3+m2 and its inversion, retrogrades.

The end of the first 8 bars is a beautiful realization of this in the vocal part.

Pity, I could not analise the accompaniment parts' fast sections. Only by listening,

I can hardly say that they are also built on the idea of interchanging M2 - m3 - m2

but not necessarily in the same sequence.

I checked the atonality and spread of the 12 tones locally.  There were some

regularities as well as irregularities.  The trick of keeping the missing 12th note

for the best location can be viewed either intentional or inspirational.

There are a few signs of completion feeling hence some sort of tonality at the end of

some phrases.  

  The appearing sequence of 12 tones varies strongly which makes it fresh all the way to the end.

It is also not strictly atonal as 12 tone presented and again another 12 tone presented

and yet another.  I guess it is sometimes 12 sometimes 10 or even 8.  Also,

the rule of a pitch should not be repeated before all the rest 11 pitches does not apply,

some pitches are repeated and this makes some tonal effect if I am not mistaken.

Overall, it is beautiful, a misty beauty.

Ali

Note:

Last but,

"

The stars are not artifacts . They are a natural rather than a human -made phenomenon , yet they do have a structure which , in interaction with the right kinds of internal artifacts (strategies for "seeing"), becomes one of the most important structured representational media of the Micronesian navigation system.

The more or less random sprinkling of stars in the heavens is an important component of the Micronesian system. In a sky with an absolutely uniform distribution of stars, navigation by the stars would be impossible : information is difference , and there would be no differences to be seen as informative .

"

The flow of information is important to keep the attention of the listener but

bringing new material is not the only technique to do so.  Creating small differences may also be informative.

Hi, Liz,

Many thanks for listening and comment. Pleased that it made sense even with the la-lah vocal line. The score? This was produced by the daw which in itself is adequate - not good but gets by (and allows ripping of parts in a primitive way). The problem comes with producing a pdf which is too constricting. I can choose how many bars per line but it won't adjust the bar length according to what's going on. Fewer bars means more scrolling for the reader.

It reaches back to the 'raw' notation score which can be edited but everything is worked out in beats and parts thereof. It could even be used to input music but the prospect of doing it that way rather than 'piano roll' is horrifying. I work in the piano roll mode where I can humanise the playing (at least, I try) then make a separate copy of the piece to 'tart up' (de-humanise!) a score by working as exactly to the grid as I can.

A cello-playing acquaintance complains that I have more hairpins in my music that a sizeable hairdressing salon!

Again, thank you.

All the best, Dane

Liz Atems said:

A beautifully evocative and expressive work, Dane. I enjoyed it a lot. My only criticism is that the score is nearly unreadable in places, mostly the short note-value figurations of the flute and oboe. But I'm sure you will be cleaning that up in time.

Congrats on a very nice piece. :)

Your kind remarks are really appreciated, especially from you, writing many songs and accompaniments.

But, hey...no! I could say exactly the same about your work: it's beyond anything I could compose with its spontaneity, freshness, choice of material / instrumentation. Musescore tends to hide what's really there so I'm always grateful you put up a score. 

I hand't been aware that instrumentation became more prominent in contemporary songs. Perhaps the art has fallen into the hands of instrumental composers rather than those, (like yourself it seems in most cases) concentrating on the vocal melody line with an accompaniment. But I'm pleased you made the comment as I seem to have made the vocalist another instrument in the ensemble. I completed another piece along these lines and may have to take stock; not overdo it. I only picked up these pieces as a break from another project I've just about finished! 

So, thanks for that, Jon. Most appreciated. 

Dane

Jon Corelis said:

I can recognize this as being a technically accomplished piece of music, beyond anything I could compose. But my problem with it is a matter of personal taste.

"It was meant to be a salon-type piece hence just an ensemble, more or less a song but with the ensemble having more prominence."

Yes, and the prominence of instrumentation in songs at the expense of the vocal seems to be standard practice in contemporary classical art and chamber song, and even seems to be considered a virtue rather than a fault.  Even standard piano accompanied art songs seem often to obscure the vocalist in favor of keyboard razzle-dazzle. But my own taste is orthogonal to this assumption.  For me, in a song the vocal is the food and the instrumentation is the plate.  What is the point of serving the food on a prominent plate?

And thank you for your response. I was concerned I may have come across as too critical.

"But I'm pleased you made the comment as I seem to have made the vocalist another instrument in the ensemble. "

If you did, you are in the main stream.  I'm the odd man out in this issue.

Something I put in my profile may be relevant to quote here:

Musicologist Robert Spencer wrote of the songs of Thomas Campion that his priorities were of the order poem, melody, and lastly singer, and Campion himself defended the deliberate simplicity of his technique thus: "A naked Ayre without guide, or prop, or colour but his owne, is easily censured of everies eare, and requires so much the more invention to make it please." These comments well describe my own assumptions as a poet songwriter.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Dane Aubrun said:

Your kind remarks are really appreciated, especially from you, writing many songs and accompaniments.

But, hey...no! I could say exactly the same about your work: it's beyond anything I could compose with its spontaneity, freshness, choice of material / instrumentation. Musescore tends to hide what's really there so I'm always grateful you put up a score. 

I hand't been aware that instrumentation became more prominent in contemporary songs. Perhaps the art has fallen into the hands of instrumental composers rather than those, (like yourself it seems in most cases) concentrating on the vocal melody line with an accompaniment. But I'm pleased you made the comment as I seem to have made the vocalist another instrument in the ensemble. I completed another piece along these lines and may have to take stock; not overdo it. I only picked up these pieces as a break from another project I've just about finished! 

So, thanks for that, Jon. Most appreciated. 

Dane

Jon Corelis said:

I can recognize this as being a technically accomplished piece of music, beyond anything I could compose. But my problem with it is a matter of personal taste.

"It was meant to be a salon-type piece hence just an ensemble, more or less a song but with the ensemble having more prominence."

Yes, and the prominence of instrumentation in songs at the expense of the vocal seems to be standard practice in contemporary classical art and chamber song, and even seems to be considered a virtue rather than a fault.  Even standard piano accompanied art songs seem often to obscure the vocalist in favor of keyboard razzle-dazzle. But my own taste is orthogonal to this assumption.  For me, in a song the vocal is the food and the instrumentation is the plate.  What is the point of serving the food on a prominent plate?

Hi Dane.

Really liked your work. It absolutely deserves hiring a singer to overdub the midi recording —even it is enjoyable in this la-la-lah setting giving a Hatfield-and-the-North-ish feeling to it.

Who is the author of the lyrics?

As for the score, am I right you obtained it from Reaper? May I suggest you exporting to MuseScore via .xml? It's cheap and effective (need some tweaking, as usual)

(Also, must dig into the works of Elisabeth Lutyens…)

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