Hello everybody,

Been back from being away for a while...

Here is my flute-flute-violin trio. I can be very short about this. I got the inspiration while listening to the titlesong of Titanic (My heart will go on). Don't ask for the connection between the two...

Here it is.

002 - Trio 2 flutes 1 violin.mp3

002 - Trio 2 flutes 1 violin.pdf

002- Trio 2 flutes 1 violin.xml

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  • Thank you. Looks like I am capable of writing light-hearted pieces after all... :P

  • Sorry for the late response, I'd actually started listening to this last night (or perhaps the night before) but got interrupted by you-know-who, so didn't get around to it until now. Anyway...

    First, the good.  Variety!!! Beautiful, beautiful variety!  I love how you mix diverse rhythms into your melodies and playfully bounce them between the instruments.  Your signature "Erwin rhythm" did show up in a couple of places (I think you know what I'm talking about), but there is enough variety in the rest that I'd say it's forgiveable. :-P   It's great that you're experimenting with new rhythms and more variety in your melodic lines.

    Now, the not-so-good, if you don't mind.  While there is quite a lot of variety as far as rhythms go, I found that the music doesn't actually say very much.  It sounds like a pair of birds fluttering around a squirrel, going around in circles, which is cute but can only go on for so long. After the first 30 seconds or so, you've already said all you wanted to say, and it left me wondering what the rest of the music was about.  They seem to be just a rehash of what has come before -- of course, said in a variety of different ways, but essentially saying the same thing nonetheless.  In this respect, I think your War Symphony was more successful, because the music actually had a lot to say, even if technique-wise there wasn't as much variety or interesting rhythms as you have here.

    Because of this, it was difficult for me to discern the structure of the music. You wrote in quite a few repeats, which in themselves aren't a cardinal sin or anything, but when the various repeated sections don't have sufficient contrast with each other, it makes the boundary of the sections unclear and makes the music feel static and unmoving, not heading anywhere in particular.  It would be more effective if you had more contrast between sections -- one bouncy and fast, followed by something slow and heavy, followed by something fast and furious, then slowing down to something calmer and grander, etc.. You know what I mean.  The contrast between sections will give the music a push forwards, whereas if all the sections are more-or-less the same, there is no momentum and the music feels like it's stuck in a loop.

    Of course, having contrast just for the sake of contrast may not make things any better either... I think ultimately it comes down to my point about what the music wants to "say".  If it only has a little to say, then it's better to make the piece short and to-the-point, otherwise it feels repetitious and dragging on.  If it has a lot to say, then you could make the piece longer and it would work -- because now you have a real reason for making it longer that isn't just because you want to make it longer.

    Harmony-wise, I agree with Tyler... but again I think it should solve itself once you have something that the music "wants to say".  It's either a story, a character, or some kind of musical idea, something that gives a stronger direction to the music and that would allow for more dramatic tension and momentum. Once the momentum is there even if you write entirely in Locrian mode it will still "work". :-)  But if the music is unsure about where it's going or what it's trying to say, then even the best-written cadences would sound dull.

  • I enjoy the call and respons between the instruments and I enjoy the lightness of the music (both in character and tembre), however I too feel that there is a sense of searching in the piece, that I cannot really tell if it is deliberate or accidental. I believe this corresponds with earlier respondees feelings of the music not going anywhere, and perhaps the cadencial issues mentioned by Tyler could solve a lot of this, I believe so.

    The larger form of the piece and the structure of it is however quite clear to me and I wouldn't want you to change a lot in that respect.

    Well done!

  • P.S. I'd also be careful with the 16th note pizzicatos... while it's probably possible to pull off, it might be better to consult a violinist about the playability of very fast pizzicato notes, so that it's not needlessly difficult to perform.

  • Hi HS, David,

    Thanks for the reply. HS, as usual, long and very clear respons. Thanks.

    To start with, some things I did are very intentional, like the huge gap between the violin and the flutes (high - low). I liked the contrast of the high sceaming flutes and the low violin, countering the sound. And the other way around, of course.
    To be honest the last part of it I had a little difficulty with, so I struggled to make that work. I am still not overly happy with that, actually.

    The combination was new for me so I tried a few things. Some with better result then other, I agree.

    I consulted a violinist who told me that when using 2 fingers the 16th are playable, though not easy.

    I am still looking to find a way for myself to get into a piece what I want to say. Some of you might know that is one of my weak spots, and I do need strong emotions to get that done. I didn't have that here, so it is possible the music kind of floats around... That was not intentional, I tried something to say with it. Something happy, that is... :)

  • I hope I didn't sound too harsh, 'cos sometimes I have trouble expressing in music what I want to say too. :-)  But it's something that we should work on. The most effective pieces are those with a clear "message", which dictates the structure and direction of the music.

  • We've already talked about that, HS, you don't sound to harsh. I know you all mean it for making each other better. I don't take offence. I just say what was my intention. I am always very happy with you replies. Don't fret over it, okay?

  • OK. :-)

    Overall, though, I have to say that your work has come a long way.  It's great to see how much progress you're making. Keep it up!

  • As long as I am impoving a little bit every time, I am happy.

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