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An impressionist piece: breeze over summer lawns sort of thing. It’s based on the expansion and mimic of motifs, a recap opening the coda. More chromatic than atonal.

Please offer any comment or crit. It would be gratefully received.

Thank you.

There isn’t much sense in me presenting a score (32 tracks/staves). The shortcomings of my daw’s ability to set up a pdf mean it would just be a nuisance to read particularly on a small screen. I could get it down to 27 staves because the strings, all but the basses, are divisi throughout.

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Thank you indeed for these inspiring comments and for listening through. It's roughly in the same vein as that "Soho 3 a.m." piece I presented here some time back. So encouraging to learn that it makes sense at least to some listeners.

I'll look forward to listening to your own work when you're ready. The technique of orchestration comes with time. As Walter Piston said IIRC it's easy to write weird-sounding orchestration, less easy to make it sound 'natural' or 'standard' (if those are adequate words). I recall first listening to Janacek's Sinfonietta and went along with what was then the public view that he couldn't orchetrate. It was WEIRD. But then I listened to his earlier stuff and it was obvious he could orchestrate well, so I changed my opinion to 'he knew what he was doing, all right!' Like, I don't like Picasso's cubist works but his drawing skills were never in doubt so I accepted he knew what he was up to. 

For me orchestration was mostly about balance. I still compose a lot at the piano. Originally I'd come up with a piano mock-up that needed arranging. I took advantage of Gordon Jacob's "Orchestral Technique" which is about arranging, contains basic info on the instruments and builds up little by little from just strings to the full orchestral tutti with brass. While it tends to lead to 'standard' solutions it gives enough so that an arranger will know what's possible otherwise. (The book is far too expensive new but it's about on abebooks.

Now I try things out on the piano but jot notes about orchestration as I go along.

All the best with your work.

Again, Bruce, thank you. 

Bruce Irving said:

Hello Dane,

This is a wonderful piece. It falls in a sweet spot for me of lush harmonic sounds with extensive chromatic variation and interesting modal melodic lines. Playful and rich with nice surprises for the ears. The same feelings I have for RVW and some of the other early modern Brits. 

I have not exactly been a regular here, in part due to work, but right around the time I joined, I also reached out to a French composer (living in NYC) whose videos I had admired and asked if I could hire him for a few hours a month of "coaching" on orchestration, composing, and effective use of sample libraries. So he has been giving me feedback on suggested exercises including orchestration of a piano sketch that he wrote. This is adding some structure and experience to my lightly-armed attempted transformation from singer-songwriter to composer. Soon we will add original pieces to the mix and I hope to have something to share in a couple of months. I also have been getting some tips from a fellow user of Notion and Studio One who specializes in ultra-realistic VI mock-ups of mostly early Brits. I may adopt some of his workflow especially now that Studio One 5 has an integrated notation editor (it shares a common code base with Notion). 

Cheers,

Bruce 

Good morning, Doug,

Thank you for listening and your commentary. It's so encouraging to learn that it makes some kind of sense to some listeners.

The nearest label is I suppose 'impressionist' as I get involved with mood / atmosphere.  

I've tried working formally to more classical structures but the results never seem quite right. Some members here are many miles better than me at it! My humorous attempt at writing Mozart's 43rd symphony didn't go down at all well.

As for the jazz, it probably emerges in bits of harmony and comes down to a love of cocktail playing. Learning THAT sort of harmony from people like Gershwin, Carmichael and Pete Rugolo! I try to avoid it but it creeps in here and there. 

Thank you for listening.

All the best,

Dane.

Douglas Locke said:

I posted a while back that this was one of the most difficult things to do.  You do it well and I am happy to listen and learn.  I would like to incorporate a bit of this style into my music, down the road, as I learn more.    

I really don't feel like there is anything to critique, since it is not a style I'm very familiar with.  For me personally, I'd like to hear it venture into some more melodious moments to break things up.  That's me and my ear.  But I can appreciate very much what you're doing.  It's a very interesting listen for me.  

I also caught a little bit of the jazz flavor along the way.  :)  

Thank you for posting! 

Doug 

Night... A semi-dark room... Light comes in from the window with half open curtains.
The street lamps light falls in. Sometimes a car passes from the street with
its lights. Things in the room moves and vibrates the memoirs
related to them. Again and again. one by one... But never
to be returned back again. The piece closes with the beginning mist
that has fallen down into the darkness of the room.

Ali

Hi Dane,

I don't have much in the way of critique but I very much liked this piece, with its transparent textures and constantly changing orchestral colors. Impressionist indeed, with a hint of drama at one point. There is a more discernible structure as well, compared to the last of your recent works that I commented on (the name of which slips my mind at the moment, sorry). I agree with Gav's comment that it doesn't seem to have a clear ending, but just sort of stops... that is about the only critical comment that I can offer.

Also, that lush VSL sound is a pleasure to listen to after filling my ears with SIb/NP renderings of my latest work, with their harsh and often distorted sound. Sounds very tempting! :)

Liz

Good morning, Ali,

Many thanks for listening and your comments. It goes to show that 'impressionism' doesn't always work. I hadn't thought it would evoke darkness but you've brought out another side of it.

You describe a scene that occupied a couple of poems I wrote long ago. I once had an upper storey workroom that looked out onto a tree-lined avenue, at night lit by those sodium orange/yellow lamps. Being a 'summer' person I'd sometimes sit at the open window as dusk finally drew night across, particularly if the air was hot and drizzly. I'd just absorb.... occasionally someone would pass in the street, a car perhaps.  I felt the room was an extension of the night, its atmospheres, the secrets behind its stillness. Warm summer rain always 'got' me. 

Looks like my contemplations pervade more of my music than I first thought. Now, that's something you've set me thinking about.

Again, thank you, Ali,

All the best,

Dane.

Ali Riza SARAL said:

Night... A semi-dark room... Light comes in from the window with half open curtains.
The street lamps light falls in. Sometimes a car passes from the street with
its lights. Things in the room moves and vibrates the memoirs
related to them. Again and again. one by one... But never
to be returned back again. The piece closes with the beginning mist
that has fallen down into the darkness of the room.

Ali

Hello again, Liz,

Thank you for your kind comments and listening all the way through, and your most encouraging acceptance of it. Yes, a little more structured, better use of motifs, a conclusion by way of a recap and things. I try to write from a neutral point of view and see what emerges as sound-pictures in my mind as I go along, to avoid it becoming programmatic - just using sound to imitate features of the visual (as happened in that 'Mistral' piece I wrote - the wind, turbulence - too literal, so I had to scrap it. Lessons were learned).

I've been too influenced by the British composer Elisabeth Lutyens; but Saul detected hints of Delius which made me wonder. His work is about the moods of Nature so perhaps he is creeping in. I was more worried about Villa-Lobos, a couple of whose works deflected me from serialism and pushed me toward through-composition. Some of his work absorbs the moods of Nature.

Yes, I feel I'm at the beginning now of what can be done with those VSL sounds. Trouble is, they spoil us!

Again, thank you for your encouragement. It's always appreciated.



Liz Atems said:

Hi Dane,

I don't have much in the way of critique but I very much liked this piece, with its transparent textures and constantly changing orchestral colors. Impressionist indeed, with a hint of drama at one point. There is a more discernible structure as well, compared to the last of your recent works that I commented on (the name of which slips my mind at the moment, sorry). I agree with Gav's comment that it doesn't seem to have a clear ending, but just sort of stops... that is about the only critical comment that I can offer.

Also, that lush VSL sound is a pleasure to listen to after filling my ears with SIb/NP renderings of my latest work, with their harsh and often distorted sound. Sounds very tempting! :)

Liz

Yes, that was the piece I was thinking of, the Mistral! Actually I liked it as a sort of stream-of-consciousness tone poem even without the structure. A shame you scrapped it IMO. But I agree, this piece is much better.

Villa Lobos is one composer I haven't heard in nearly 50 years! What I remember had strong rhythms and use of ideas from folk music in a "nationalist" vein, but that's a really vague memory. I need to give his work another listen. The other composer you mention, Luytens, I don't know at all. Delius I've heard only a little of so he wouldn't come to mind, but the work did sound very impressionist, maybe another Song of Summer (not sure that's a good point of reference though since I haven't heard it in decades).

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