This one's a work in progress, the recap needs to be reworked and I'm not very happy with the middle section yet, but the A section is pretty much in place.  It's for piano trio.  It does stuff and goes places.  My plan was to write something utterly accessible and homogeneous, but I simply couldn't help myself. I would like to hear what people think about the stylistic shifts, particularly the one that occurs about 40 seconds in.  It seems incredibly wrong to me, but it's also sort of a kick in the pants, A sarcastic commentary on the rest of the music, I dunno, that's why I could use a little feedback there.  I stopped writing this one about a month ago when I ran out of solutions or maybe just didn't want to bother anymore...actualy I think I got sick of it. Anyways, thoughts, comments, insults would be appreciated.  Oh, if you do find some cream in there, that was intentional.

Popsiclopsinopsornado! by Bombastarino

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  • This got buried fast!  I'll make a deal:  The part I am most curious about  is the switch from modal gypsy jazz to boogie woogie rock and roll at about 40 seconds, and then the subsequent switch to classically concertoesque filligree that follows.  Does it impair a sense of continuity to the point that you shake your head?  Do you scoff?  Laugh?  Lose interest?  Go "hells yeah!" when those changes occur?  So that doesn't really amount to a "deal" of any sort does it?  Name your terms and we can negotiate.

  • Tom, I enyoyed the momentun and energy in the piece.I had no problem with the change at 40 seconds. I personally would have built up to the one at 1:30, but that's just my preference.

    The change to the discordant stuff at 3:30 was a little unsettling, but then it gains a sense of direction again. You certainly like to mix up styles, as you say. I might have had more of a development section between some sections that hinted at a new theme before its proper exposition. What I'm mainly saying is personal opinion, but what else can these discussions be (unless mistakes of range etc are made)? How about a score now, too?

  • Thanks for the reply Adrian.  I normally wait to tidy up the score until I've got all the pieces in place, you don't want to look at it right now, trust me!  There are no range problems (Finale won't let you write a note that's out of range actually), but there may be a double stop here or there that will have to be rolled.

    I'm not sure exactly what you mean by building up to the change at 1:30...oh, I think I know, that maybe the change is too sudden there?  I see your point I think.  That's exactly the kind of comment I was looking for in fact!  I've been toying with eliminating development and unified themes and such as sort of experiment to see how important those elements really are to listeners and the best test of that is what people think of the results.  Perhaps those elements are more important than I thought. Thanks again.

  • True, there was no need, but what is "need" really?  Not collaboration so much, just curious about reactions, although I do reserve the right to steal an idea, and whose idea I steal has the right to sue to me when I get rich and famous!

  • Justin Bieber is going to play the violin part, or at least fake it for the video, and I've got a whole crew of sexy dancers lined up as well.  You're right though, it'd bomb even then :)

  • Interesting notion Ray, maybe I could model an analog synth to look like Justin Bieber!  Thanks for the compliment about the wind piece by the way.  I think that what that piece has that this one doesn't is an actual plan other than "Let's juxtapose styles into an A part, B part, G part" and such.  I need an overall arching narrative or something like that other than a bunch of music that "does stuff and goes places".

  •  Hello Tombo Rombo (Bombastarino),


    I want to comment on the modulations that appear around


    0:26, and




    and on the thinning out between,


    3:00 to 3:15;


    and the accelerando, near




    and glissandi, near and after




    and the ending, the last 5 or 10 seconds.


    You said,


    “My plan was to write something utterly accessible and homogeneous…”


    I immediately wondered, Why?   (You don’t have to answer that.)


    I am glad “you couldn’t help yourself.”


    The points at the time indices I mentioned above are points where my interest is most strongly drawn into the piece.


    If the piece were “utterly accessible and homogenous,” then it would just seem like background music, mood music, designed to lull…  it would seem that way to me, at least.


    Of course, I am speaking subjectively here (because, as I have said elsewhere, objective evaluation, while desirable, is almost always impossible . . . and I am too unfamiliar with the genre you are working with to make truly intelligent comments).   So you can take what I say with a grain of salt.


    My feeling is this:   What gives the music its unique character, and makes a person want to listen to it, is the varied “style,” as you call it (though I don’t think the changes are so much matters of style, as they are tonal modulations, which are consistent with a style you are defining within the work—maybe that’s just a semantic quibble).


    The points I indicated above, where I am most moved by shifts taking place, are the pivots which “make the dance most visible,” if I can use such a phrase here.


    The shift at the very end works well, because it is not easy to end a piece like this in a way which is satisfying, neither too abrupt, nor too “conventional” (pardon my use of that term), nor too ethereal, as a kind of fade. You don’t do what is expected, or what the “general public” would demand.  I’m not sure it’s the perfect ending, but it is very close to fully satisfying.  (The end might need just a little polishing-- but I am not sure if that would be polishing to make it "shinier" or to make the metal more "glaring," if you know what I mean).


    I think a few more dramatic shifts, in both tempo and mood, between the first and third minutes might be in order.  Like the one at 2:44.  But that’s an outsider’s impression.


    Ordinarily, I stick to listening to music which is in the classical, modern classical, contemporary, classical avante-garde tradition (though I have, on occasion, experienced a weakness for Coltrane and Braxton, and similar artists).  I DO NOT agree at all with what Adorno and some other classicists say about the supposed deficits of jazz.  


    What led me to want to listen to the piece all the way through was precisely the shift you pointed to at 0:40.  Similar shifts kept me wanting to hear the rest.


    On the question of “orchestra vs. synths.”  I think the glissandi you have in the fourth minute might lose some of their power if you went to synths.  However, suppose you gently mix in some synths WITH the orchestra, at certain points, after 5:00.   With some subtlety, so as not to diminish the pleasing effects of “the cream,” as you call it.  I think the “cream” might actually be thrown into relief if synths were used to jar the piece slightly at points towards the end.  Of course, there are so many synths available now, that you might need to spend a lot of time just selecting the right timbre to get an effect that seemed right. 

    The easiest thing to do (and perhaps the best) is to keep it conceptualized as a trio, and if you want it to sound "more modern" include some experimental effects in the violin or cello lines, rather than go to synths.   







  • Thanks for the comments Ondib.  Subjective judgments are what I was looking for, in fact I doubt the existence of objective ones.  I'm not concerned with sounding more modern, just writing a satisfying piece of music.  I think the middle section lacks excitement somehow, and the recap is too much of a straight recap, to the point where I myself get bored with it, more composing is needed here.  Anyways, I'm rambling a bit.  I'm glad that somebody actually enjoys the shifts.

  • "Thanks for the comments Ondib."

    You are welcome.

    " I'm glad that somebody actually enjoys the shifts."

    I genuinely did enjoy them, and although my judgments in this case are thoroughly subjective (because I don't have much knowledge about this genre of music)  [or because there is no such thing as "objective musical judgment-- take your pick] I might be so bold as to state:

    It is entirely upon such shifts and the character they impart to the whole, that the work's genuine life depends.

  • So a year and a half later I revisited this one and decided to finish it.  Quite happy with the results actually!  There is purpotedly an ensemble at Berklee (the one in Boston) who is going to give it a go in the spring.  Score needs to be cleaned up, I'll post that when it is more suitable, but anyways, I kind of think it rocks and wanted to share.  Criticize if you would like of course.


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