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Hello Colleagues,

This is the last in a series of four string quartets I am writing, the other three are further down this page if you have interest to hear them. In this one, I am mostly dividing up 7th chords and spreading the notes across the strings for the harmony. It is somewhat influenced by Chill/Trance/Ambient sounds, in that it has something of a focus on rhythm and beat. I also take another cue from those styles by cutting up the melody and moving and recombining bits of it in different ways. I had two particular goals related to strings in mind also. I wanted to try my hand at writing pizzicato and also feature the viola in a solo. As it turns out, these two goals came together in the same section. Score is included in the YouTube and as always, comments invited >

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Very little to comment on. Pleasant, easy to listen to, the scoring is well spaced and it seems to achieve the objectives you set out, particularly the melodic development aspects. The pizz inner section came over particularly well.

Hi Gav,

Veni, vidi, audiebat (to paraphrase Caesar) - an interesting piece where you seem to have concentrated more on the technical than, might I say the romantic elements. It's certainly listenable to and quite pleasing on the ear but, for my taste possibly a little pedestrian (but live performers might put a bit more into the natural stresses of each measure and therefore enliven it somewhat rhythmically) - did you have a particular mood in mind when you wrote it?

In line with other recent posts about sounds and the electronic reproduction of them, I took particular care to read and hear what you've produced whilst overlooking the rather 'paper and comb' sounds of the strings - I think I have done the piece justice but would love to hear all four quartets performed by humans (old joke, can viola players be called human?). I do like the viola melody by the way.

Incidentally, your being influenced by Chill/Trance/Ambient sounds is way over my head - what do you mean precisely?

@Dane, thanks for listening and for your comments! Gratifying to see the goals I set came across to you!

@Stephen, thanks also for listening and commenting! As far as mood, yes, I was aiming for something. Each of the 4 pieces is named after the lifecycle of a flower (Blossom, Flower, Seed, Root) and in this one I was writing to evoke that a flower recedes to a root during the winter months. I wasn't trying to depict this in any literal or pictoral sense, just in an "inspired by the idea of a Root" sort of way, and the name is more of a point to start the composition from than anything else. Chill/Trance/Ambient refers to a style of pop music (the names are interchangeable) that places emphasis on a hypnotic beat or rhythm, is often slow, and usually uses repeated/reorganized simple melodies or sometimes, no melody at all. If you want a good example, check out the band Lemon Jelly, they're all over YouTube. What is 'paper and comb'?

Very nicely done Gav--a beautiful piece of string quartet writing!

Along with the three other quartets youve written for your project youve really done some EXCELLENT writing and really good music.

Thanks for posting!

Bob https://soundcloud.com/bob-morabito

Hi Gav

I enjoyed listening to this. First impression is that it's not what I expected a string quartet to be in the classical sense of that term. At only 3 minutes long the melodies in Vln 1 & Viola don't really get a chance to develop into something a bit more memorable and aren't as interesting as the harmonic content of the other voices.

Thanks, Colin

@Bob, thanks for listening and commenting, always appreciate to hear from you. I feel these works are some of the best work I've done and am working on getting the scores over to LKR publishing for sale. I am also going to try to get them on CD Baby, which has worldwide distribution (means you get royalties if the music is used anywhere), we'll see how that goes (if there's anything to report back about CDB, I'll share it back here).

@Colin, thanks for your comments as well, and yes, I was aiming for something not-classical in the normal sense of the word. Just wanted to see what sounds I could pull out of a quartet using a modern vernacular. All the pieces are fairly short for two simple reasons - It's my first foray into the instruments, so I just wanted to see what I could compose which would help me to understand what they are capable of, and 2) I'm a working stiff and don't have time for anything much longer. Hence, development is confined to what I can get away with in a few minutes. I am actually working on a longer piece for quartet, as time permits, and if I ever get it finished, will post here.

I really enjoyed listening to this. Well done! I especially loved the majestic beginning. Can't wait to hear more from you :)

Thanks for the kind word OscoBosco, and so glad you enjoyed. This is the last in a series of 4 pieces, the others are further down this page, under the names Seed, Flower, and Blossom, in case you want to investigate the series further. I am also working on another piece with different instrumentation and will post here eventually.

Thanks again,

Gav

As kids we used to fold a piece of paper over a comb and sort of hum through the paper to produce musical(?) sounds. My comment was simply an allusion to the not very convincing strings sounds - that of course is no reflection on the quality of your composing skills which, as I have said and thought many times, are very good.

Gav Brown said:

@Dane, thanks for listening and for your comments! Gratifying to see the goals I set came across to you!

@Stephen, thanks also for listening and commenting! As far as mood, yes, I was aiming for something. Each of the 4 pieces is named after the lifecycle of a flower (Blossom, Flower, Seed, Root) and in this one I was writing to evoke that a flower recedes to a root during the winter months. I wasn't trying to depict this in any literal or pictoral sense, just in an "inspired by the idea of a Root" sort of way, and the name is more of a point to start the composition from than anything else. Chill/Trance/Ambient refers to a style of pop music (the names are interchangeable) that places emphasis on a hypnotic beat or rhythm, is often slow, and usually uses repeated/reorganized simple melodies or sometimes, no melody at all. If you want a good example, check out the band Lemon Jelly, they're all over YouTube. What is 'paper and comb'?

lol, none taken!

I really liked the textures.

Are you using sibelius default sounds? It sounds great, maybe because of the clear composition. 

Hi Agustin,

Thanks for listening and commenting! This is one of four pieces which are meant to be played together, the others are further down if you want to hear them (Blossom, Flower, Seed). Together, they are the first thing I've ever composed for strings and I used them to teach myself how to do it. In each I explore different aspects of composition and didn't want to compose something longer, largely because it would take more time to do so. I kind of think of them as pop songs and so they are all short and simply structured (ABA). I'm using Finale 26 on a Mac with Noteperformer.

Thanks again,

Gav

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