In 2014, I wrote a twenty-minute orchestral piece called Sensuality: A Tone Poem for Orchestra.  In 2020, I wrote a long poem to accompany it, exploring in words the subject matter of the music.  I have just finished putting together a video of the music and the poem (and other related images), and have uploaded it to YouTube.  I was inspired, in part, by Marty's Symphonic Journey and the discussion we had in this forum not too long ago about the use of multimedia in musical performances.  In any case, I've only just begun to produce videos, so this one is not that sophisticated, but I did try out some of the tricks I've learned in the last few days.  Hopefully, the results are satisfactory, and perhaps the presentation will resonate with some of you.




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  • I'm on holiday at the moment so can't yet listen properly to the music but the initial impression is of a wonderful anachronism with highly evocative poetry (curiously some sections rather remind me of the Song of Songs which I recently set to string quartet and voices). When I get home in a couple of days, I'll try to focus properly on the music instead of just getting a rather impressionistic view but the whole experience has already been a moving one.

    • Thanks, David.  You're right about Song of Songs -- I was partly influenced by that for the literary component.  I'll have to listen to your string quartet now!  By the way, the music alone is available on my SoundCloud page, if you'd like to just hear the music without the visual "distractions."  

  • Hi Greg, this is a very personal work so I understand you don't want to discuss some of your choices here so I'll just say that it all is quite enjoyable and well done.

    • Thanks, Ingo, for your kind words.  I don't mind discussing, but it's an older work of mine (from 2014) so it is pretty much set in stone at this point.  The video itself is new, though, and the poem is fairly new, too (2020).  I didn't originally conceive of the music in this way -- as part of a multimedia project.  I'm sure it could all be better or more effective in places.  And David is right to call it an anachronism.  I realize it's quite backward-looking, but that was intentional.  Anyway, thanks for listening/watching.  Glad you enjoyed it!   

  • Just a bit more on the music having had a chance to listen to it at home. The melodic material is really gorgeous and quickly establishes the mood. There are some nice developments in woodwind and with brass overlay and the final climax is most powerful -- I especially like the switch from around 17'48". I am in two minds as to whether something of this length doesn't require a balancing central section in a rather different rhythm and mood (which would of course also require a change to the poetry to which the music is so well matched). I also think that there is still something of a tendency for the NotePerformer strings to swamp the woodwind in particular at times and I'm sure a little rebalancing wouldn't be too hard to do.

    • Thanks for your feedback, David.  I did think about having one or more contrasting sections within the work, but I decided against it because I saw the piece more as a stream of consciousness meditation on a single subject, if you will, which to my mind demanded that it represent one continual mood or atmosphere.  I also thought that the material that leads to and includes the climax was sufficiently different (though admittedly not too different) to warrant not doing anything radical earlier on.  The piece is probably too long, I will grant that.  If I were to write it today, it would probably only be 10 minutes minimum to 14 minutes max, likely aiming for that 12-minute "sweet spot".  And, yes, I can definitely fix some things in NotePerformer.  Still figuring that part out -- though I find it's much easier to make it sound just right when I'm entering/composing from scratch with NP as opposed to superimposing the NP sounds on pieces already notated.      

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