Hi everyone!

This is the first time I achieved atonal quality writing each note and interval consciously without using serial techniques like retrograde inversions.

This is also the first time I avoid melody thickening with constant intervals. In the first part I use dissonant intervals (major second, major or minor seventh, tritone) while avoiding parallel voice movements and keeping orchestral density. The rhythm of the voices is synchronized about 70% of the time. The main melody starts pentatonic and later is transposed and converted to diatonic, becoming chromatic in the end. When violin starts to play solo, I create a new 12-tone melody from the first melody, that it was playing in the beginning.

In the second part, which sounds most consonant and rock style, I prefer perfect 4th and 5th, but also use other intervals, gradually using more dissonant intervals to the end of the part. The rhythm of higher voices is very synchronized, while cello creates a separate accompanying rhythm using pedal tone.

In the third part I use all 12 notes to build melody with tritone and 7th leaps, diatonic scales and chromaticism. When the second violin comes in, I add dissonating intervals, while avoiding parallel voice movements and keeping orchestral density. The rhythm of the voices is synchronized about 50% of the time.

In this track I use four different solo instrument libraries without native reverberation (LA for violin2, Spitfire for viola), later panning them and adding common 2C Aether reverb. Libraries used:

Spitfire Audio - Solo Strings, Sable (Strings)
Embertone - Friedlander violin (Strings)
Audiobro - LA Scoring Strings (Strings)
Embertone - Blakus Cello (Strings)

I will be glad to hear criticism.

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  • Hi Alexey

    Afraid atonal not my area but I know what it's like waiting for the first reply.

    I can still hear it in my head which must be a good sign.

    Couple of recommendations.

    Seems very much violins with a little help from viola and cello. Could turn that around in places.

    Phrasing. I can hear the phrasing and articulation but there is no sign of that in the music. Need to add some phrasing slurs.

    Hope this helps.
  • Thanks for your comment!

    Do you mean that viola and cello sound very quietly compared to violins?

    As for the phrasing - I prefer to leave this to performers. Do you think they will not be able to do it themselves without my hints? I know that this can lead to different performances by different players, but this seems to me an interesting side effect and allows players to show their abilities. Perhaps, this approach is a little bit closer to aleatoric idea.

  • No my impression was that 1st would play a few bars then second join in. Viola and Cello add a bar or two of rhythm and then  1st solo again. Thought you might reverse this, viola and cello together and then violins join in.

    As far as phrasing thought it should be consistent. If marked in one part, marked in all. like before A1. Slur in violins but not viola. I just feel you need to pay more attention to how you want it phrased. Midi/DAW sounds are quite different from how players would play it.

    Funny, listened four times and the middle section is growing on me because of how the sound file is phrased.

  • Michael, thanks for your ideas. 

    By the way, I found an interesting discussion of this piece in chat. I am posting it here, because I think it may be interesting to other readers. Thanks a lot to all the participants of the discussion:

    Greg Brus

    seems like we dont even need Ondib's "input" to have heated discussions
    good :P
    for the love of God, Alch, use lower velocities :(
    the "mezzo forte" beginning sounds like theyre trying to saw through the strings

    Greg Brus
    theres a number of portamentos that dont make sense from the performer's point of view

    Greg Brus
    like, it sounds cool, but the player wouldnt do it, because it doesnt make sense to slide down when youre doing a string change, or releasing a finger because next note is open string

    Fredrick zinos
    Greg, see the glissando in the solo violin part of Til Eulenspegil

    Greg Brus
    thats a bit of a different animal :)
    especially since it is clearly marked as glissando

    Alexey Arkhipenko
    as for the open strings - I hope players not use them in the places where gliss is playing. they can play the notes in other positions. it is not marked in the score, but they really can play this way. this is a variant of performance. as for mf - if I mark it in the score, what is the problem? I think, they will play it like that if mf is marked. I feel that there is not much dynamic difference in the piece. Maybe, I could decrease dynamics somewhere in the end, but definitely not at the beginning.

    Greg Brus
    im mostly commenting on the differences between playback and whats actually in the score
    they can of course play those glissandos and such, but they wont unless you tell them to :P because jumping into higher positions on a string and such isnt the standard way of playing in those places. I guess the bottom line is, if you want a gliss somewhere, you should just put it in the score and be done with it

    Fredrick zinos
    It is fully notated as are the glissandi in the trombone part of firebird. The way the Strauss is executed is as a glissando with the bow spicatto.

    What do you think about giving musician a choiece to make articulations they like?

    Fredrick zinos
    Alexey.. That's a great question. It is, in my opinion, the composers obligation to make his intentions as clear as possible while giving the performer the latitude to execute the music with flexibility and "creativity"

    Ok but there is aleatoric music also. I wanted to leave performance to musicians to make sound more dependent on particular musicians. The question is can this approach make sound worse even with good musicians.

    H. S. Teoh
    i think it depends on the piece
    some of my pieces have very precise gestures that i want executed exactly as written, but some of my other pieces are very liberal, and can have a wide variety of interpretations

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