Hi Composers' Forum - greetings from the pleasant seaside metropolis of Vancouver, Canada
My name is Frank (my birth name is actually Franz, reflecting my Austrian heritage - Dad was an immigrant to Canada having grown up a stone's throw from where Haydn composed, in the town of Eisenstadt).
I could write pages about what music has meant to my life, from my first listening experences with a transistor radio my parents gave me when I was 7 to my present-day messing around, as an old guy in his '50s, with a 6-string electric bass and pedals and Ableton Live, but that would be tedious and nobody would probably read it, so instead I'lll just come straight to the point about why I'm here and what my related interests are.
Having spent half a lifetime always playing music (piano, trombone, electric bass, etc.), I decided, about two years ago now, to start applying myself (in my spare time, I'm not a professional musician) to the related disciplines of composing and arranging music. During that time I've taken self-directed courses (i.e. not in a college or university) on the topics of harmony and chord progressions, counterpoint, etc. and I feel I've learned an absolute ton; not just from the tutelage of the instructors, but at least as importantly, from learning by doing. So far, my focus has been mostly on composing classically-inflected scores for solo piano, but I've also done some arrangements for string trio/string quartet, and some of my arrangement work has set its sights on the fields of pop and rock as well (I've done arrangements of tunes by Joni Mitchell, the Velvet Underground, and others).
Lately, I've really found myself captivated by the art of the fugue. So of course, a big part of grappling with that is understanding the Baroque variant in particular, and we all know that inevitably means Bach, and to put even more of a point on it, the Well Tempered Clavier series. So I've been studying that and emulating it and coming up with some of my own fugues, and generally I've been quite pleased with the results. But there's an idea floating in my head now, which is: "what if" you could modernize the craft of fugue writing, maybe leveraging some edgier harmonies and/or modern instruments (even synths), so that you modernize it from the Baroque roots everybody associates it with, and bring it into the present/future? To me, the ultimate essence of what fugue is all about is starting with a short melodic fragment (the Subject) and then playing it against moduled versions of itself (the Answer), in the process creating new chord changes and intervals of consonance/dissonance, and then chopping and twisting and recycling those fragments through the course of the piece. I think that idea is almost an expression of a natural process, maybe even "scientfically" reducible, that surely could still have application today, even if historically significant composers more or less stopped writing in that idiom a long time ago.
So, that's one interest I have. But I would also like to open it up to freely composing more genre-less modern piano compositions as time permits going forward (I think my key influence would be Debussy, but I need to find my own voice). I also have aspirations to learning orchestration and on my personal Bucket List is to complete a compelling symphonic score before I die. One that maybe somebody would actually want to perform sometime, LOL.
Anyways, I'm looking forward to becoming familiar with this forum - on first blush it looks really engaging - and maybe getting to have some meaningful discussions with other members, and hopefully learning some things along the way and/or being inspired by the new scores others post here.
Hi Frank and Welcome!
A good place to start is to put a link or a soundfile into the Music Analysis and Critique forum.
Hope you enjoy the site!
Thanks Gavin. That will be my task #1, hopefully done by no later than tomorrow. Question: is it possible to include a PDF score plus file or link in the body of a single post? Do members tend to post their scores here, or more just audio?
Hi Frank, yes, you can upload a score and an audio file in the same post by using the "File" icon in the menu bar. You are limited to a maximum total of 7mb uploaded files per post-
Perfect - thanks for that! Time for me to get cracking. I have the perfect score in mind for my inaugural post! :-)
Saying hello from England - nice and arctic here at the moment.
Well, composing is a fascinating, endless hobby for most of us; frustrating to the limits at times! If you want to arrange you've certainly chosen a challenge with fugues, particularly Bach, and I wish you the best with that.
"Do members tend to post their scores here, or more just audio?"
I usually post mine - and I know some members look at them. I've been caught out, leaving keyswitch 'notes' in the score in error!
Looking forward to giving your work a listen.
Thanks for your note, Dane and pleased to meet you! I'm going to do my first posting here shortly, later today. Looking forward to exchanging info with you! Cheers, Frank