This year, after years of saying "I will enter, just not this year" I am FINALLY entering the Vox Novus 60x60 call for submissions. Because my professor and my university has had many of our students enter in the past ever since very beginning of this competition, and the fact that my professor has a working professional relationship with the people behind this competition, this year isn't really an option with isnt a bad thing since this is a touring event so if I am chosen this work will be played all over the world.

And if you are not familiar with this go here:
and look it up on youtube.

They haven't announced the entry date so I dont know for sure how long I have to edit this piece so speedy critics will be very very much appreciated.

This piece is kind of narrative in that their is a spoken word section of the piece. I tried to reflect what was spoken in the piece through the music itself. This is my more experimental piece of music, however not by much. And compared to most of the music on the competition, not at all that much more experimental.

Tell me what you think of the piece.
Thanks in advance.

When I was a boy Fourth draft.mp3

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  • That sounds like a cool event! I might try to write something for it m'self!

    First I'll get the negatives out of the way with a caveat: Since I do not know what aesthetic you were going for, I am not quite sure what to criticize. Dark and odd with a pinch of humor perhaps? In any case here I go.

    The first negative thought I had while listening was "here's another one of those electronic pieces with a low 'frightening' drone". Maybe you could add a bit of interest to the beginning to make your piece stand out from the crowd more? The initial crash was very cool though, it just kind of devolves into one of those drone things after a couple seconds.

    I like the overall sound quality but would like to hear more stereo effects or something along those lines to make it more dazzling, or frightening, or both.

    It is very hard to understand some of the words and the tone quality of the speaking voice is quite abrasive. Of course, you may have wanted both of those aspects. Personally I would like the words to be clearer and the voice less annoying.

    So the good:

    The story for the spoken word part isvery cool! I like the way you evoke violent weather, the timbres are interesting, I very much enjoyed the pizzicato strings, and I like the overall shape of the piece.

    Cool concept. It has great potential! I'd say it is almost there.
  • Hello Tyler. Sounds great. Think of placing a distinctive culmination at 0:53, after the orchestra crescendo, if this will not require retiming of the whole piece. Interesting info about this competition. I wish you success.
  • Electro-acoustic composition is a whole new ball game. I did it at QUB. I had to take a portable DAT recorder around the campus and record various sounds, so I borrowed a girl from the University Drama Society (I was their Music Director) and took her into the local church and asked her to scream her bloody head off, screaming a boy's name. Then I went down to the university creche and asked the nurse to wake up one of the babies so I could record it crying. Well we managed to find a baby awake, but it turned out to be the happiest baby on the sodding planet!!! Eventually, I got my 'baby crying' sample, and then spent four hours touring the local estates trying to find a dog barking really ferociously. It was great fun when I had all these concrete samples and loaded them up on to Pro-Tools (some of them via Sound-Tools, so I could muck about with them). Another trick was to play dissonant chords on the piano, and only record and play back the reverberations after contact. It produced this really eerie sound, especially with a dog barking way, way out in the background with a lot of reverb. All good stuff.

    The only boring thing was going through it and hiding/camouflaging all the clicks through each track.

    It was one of the most enjoyable (and busiest) modules I had ever done, and I'm not really into the modernist's touch.
  • thanks yall for your detailed critics
  • Did you like my wee story? It's all true, you know.

    Tyler Hughes said:
    thanks yall for your detailed critics
    possible 60X60 submission "When I was a Boy"
    This year, after years of saying I will enter, just not this year I am FINALLY entering the Vox Novus 60x60 call for submissions. Because my profes…
  • Thanks for the information. I haven't heard of Vox Novus yet and just went to the website to check it out.. Very interesting and inspiring!
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