My latest piece fresh from the oven. I tried something a bit new for myself, and i am wondering, does it work? What do I mean by work? That's a good question that can be broken up into many different categories, but mainly, does it make sense, does the composition keep a certain coherence to it. A kind of musical presentation that is consistent with the whole piece. 

The back bone of this piece is the harmonic motif of c-e-f# and texture of single repeating notes, usually f,c,e. The motifs are broken at parts and at times the composition morphs into something completely different. 

Another question I'd like to ask is about the transition parts. Do the transition parts hold? Or do they slow down the piece too much? The general feel of the piece is right on that line of movement and stillness at times, and i try to dance around that line. 

It's fairly short (almost 5 minutes), but it is the longest multiple instrument piece i wrote so far... So hurray hehe. Thanks in advance for any criticism.

https://youtu.be/Ld8u_TOINiE  

 

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  • Hi Gabriel,

    I listened to it twice. General impression is that your motif and the piece in general are very movie-like. Movie music is subject to different rules than concert music, and if it was your intent to write with movies in mind, this seem ok to me. The music comes across to me as patches of color which could undergird some visual on the screen. If it was your intent to write concert music (i.e., not for a movie), then I would say it seems less successful - the patches of color don't suggest (to me anyway) an advancing narrative, but moments in time not really connected to each other. I also could not quite pick out a melody, even though the second time I listened I specifically was looking for one. One final point is that the whole piece falls within a middle range of sound with not a great deal of contrast (the highs aren't very high, and the lows aren't very low), would suggest looking for a wider range of dynamicism. Thanks for sharing it!

    Gav

    • Ummm, I didn't have an intention to write "movie like" music, although i was aware that it sounds as such. That type of texture just seemed to fit to my needs. I don't really view movie like music as none concerts music. Although i think I understand where you come from.

      I didn't try to write any melody in mind, my main objective was to stay true to the harmonic motif and the texture of the single notes cutting through the rest of the music. The name of the piece is "A peculiar voyage", it is supposedly invokes a sense of curiosity, fear, excitement, journey. Without really telling us what is the journey about, just that it is a peculiar one.

      Your comment about range is interesting for me as i use pp and fff and mp and mf and any other possible dynamic. So i don't quite understand that comment, maybe the computer program does not do justice to it, have you listened to it with earpiece?

      Even if you meant the tonal range, that again is very big in this composition. I would very much like a clarification.

      Thank you so much for listening! And the insightful comments! Appreciated! 

  • Listened to this several times.  Even though this isn't the usual kind of music I'd listen to, something about it captures my attention, something that keeps me coming back for more.  Perhaps it's the musical questions posed? The unresolved tension that keeps nagging at the back of my mind to seek out the answer?  Not sure.  In any case, there's definitely something here.  Would love to take a closer look at the score, if you have one.

    • I can't believe i missed your comment! Sorry!! I don't know how I missed it. 

      First of all, thank you for the comment, you encouraged me to try a 2.0 version hehe. Will start Tonight. 

      And here are the notes, it's saved in a graphic pdf format, so download it and zoom in. (Normal format is a pain in the ass to read because of too many 32th notes)

      https://drive.google.com/file/d/18emI-nfxIiARyVq2Z7VP9gQIfH9P1mJF/v...

       

  • Hi

    Really liked this - quite a blend of consance/dissonance, sweet and sour melody,question-answer, question-question, a lot of structure and seemingly random acts of note hitting on the piano. It certainly holds the attention and is really quite impressive. It certainly works if the intention is to grab our interest.

    Could you play this the same way twice without the score in front of you or would you always expect each performance to be a peculiar voyage? Thanks, Colin

    How do you write something like this? When Im sitting noodling on the piano I instinctively stick to the diatonic rule book - always. - do you sit at the piano and say "this is in Eflat

    • Wow, such an awesome comment! Thank you for listening!

      I could probably play it without a score in front of me. But easier with a score and also no need, although the idea of allowing the performer some freedom and thus making sure every listen is a "peculiar voyage" is very attractive. I feel like the composition wants to actually say that any new and curious thing is both boring and interesting. The use of very diatonic film like music lines, combined with the seemingly dissonant notes and random notes tries to convey that. -- thanks to your comment i am realising it. 

      On my composition process i will refer you to another composition of mine that serves as the inspiration for this one. The composition that inspired it is based on tribal music of the northeast people of india - the naga people - that's where the "random" note idea comes from , from their dances. 

      https://youtu.be/bOhtuT54gHc 

      I will write more about my process of composition, but i am getting off the train. - thanks again for your insightful comment, helped me understand my composition better!

       

       

    • About the compositional process.

      In this particular composition i made my core structure be a harmonic interval (augmented 4th) and made sure to make the "random" single notes part of the overall texture all along the piece. The rest doesn't really matter much, and is just an improvisation that i slowly polished as the composition took shape. 

      I wrote without a key in mind at all, I usually add key markers later only if they make reading the score easier. If you want to write things that are a bit less diatonic, i suggest you simply limit yourself. For example "not allowed to repeat any note for 4 bars" or " a note that came before can only come again after 8 different notes have presented themselves"

      Or "every 3rd note must not relate to the forming scale on purpose ". Ofc, these rules are free for you to break as you write your piece and see what the piece demands from you.

  • this is a delight, the strings often play a romantic melody while the piano makes caustic or questioning comments. Love the modulation at 1'20" -- made me quite queasy first time I heard it. Sounds to me like abstract rather than "movie music". Would happily hear more of this kind of thing.

    • Hehe, that makes it two people already... That's more than enough motivation for me. 

      Thank you for the comment and encouragement! 

  • Hi Gabriel, yes it works!  And I think it stands alone as well. It's a challenge to make something creative and different and still have it be accessible to our ears conditioned by many years of conformity.  That said there is to my ears an issue with the transition parts that you mention and ask about.  They do affect the flow; but as you say they are there to provide contrast so they are probably necessary here.  Maybe add just a bit more color?

    Good work!

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