H. S. Teoh replied to Damon R. Mathews's discussion Two Chord Wonder
"I admit this isn't an idiom I'm familiar with at all, but I liked it nonetheless.
I don't know how to answer whether the loud part is too loud: I usually adjust my speaker volume to the music I'm listening to, so I can't tell the loudness in an…"
Wednesday
H. S. Teoh replied to Dane Aubrun's discussion A short piece for those who need insomnia treatment.
"Surprisingly, I liked this enough to listen to it twice in a row, even though this isn't the usual harmonic language I listen to. It's very calm and even soothing, though more introspective and contemplative than lulling to sleep (but I don't see…"
Wednesday
H. S. Teoh replied to Liz Atems's discussion Sinfonia Solenne for String Orchestra, Chamber Strings, and Solo Strings
"Among my acquaintances is a cellist who is basically out of a job because the symphony he was working for was "in recess". :-(
It makes one wonder, though, why orchestras haven't adapted to the so-called "new normal". I've seen videos of orchestras…"
Dec 31, 2021
H. S. Teoh replied to Mitchell A Van Gough's discussion Feedback appreciated, open to revising the score
"Hey Bob, it's good to hear from you again!
I agree that a score may not be that important if you're not planning to get it performed by a live ensemble. It depends on your goals."
Dec 30, 2021
H. S. Teoh replied to Dane Aubrun's discussion Soliloquy for Guitar (1'20")
"Very nice!  I'm only a casual guitar player (mainly strum accompaniments rather than pluck melodies), so it's beyond my depth to comment on the technicalities, but I did enjoy listening to this, and it certainly sounds idiomatic for the instrument. …"
Dec 19, 2021
H. S. Teoh replied to Rowy van Hest's discussion Good ol' tonal stuff
"Very nice melody and relaxing mood. Hooray for tonality!
The fugal fanatic in me wishes for more counterpoint and interplay between the instruments, though. :-D  But that's just my personal bias.  Thanks for sharing your music!  Looking forward to…"
Dec 9, 2021
H. S. Teoh liked Liz Atems's discussion Sinfonia Solenne for String Orchestra, Chamber Strings, and Solo Strings
Nov 22, 2021
H. S. Teoh liked David Owen's discussion latest symphony for audition
Nov 22, 2021
H. S. Teoh replied to David Owen's discussion latest symphony for audition
"Listened to the first 2 movements/sections so far.  Quite impressed by the production quality, and also the sense of melody that's so atypical of today's symphonic scene. :-D
I'm not too familiar with Aaron Copland's work, but that's the closest I…"
Nov 22, 2021
H. S. Teoh replied to Liz Atems's discussion Sinfonia Solenne for String Orchestra, Chamber Strings, and Solo Strings
"Yeah, I did also find the initial entrance of the high C a bit too strong. Soften it a little and it should work better IMO.
 "
Nov 21, 2021
H. S. Teoh replied to Liz Atems's discussion Sinfonia Solenne for String Orchestra, Chamber Strings, and Solo Strings
"I decided to actually listen to the whole thing again.  This time round I'm starting to appreciate even more the structure of the first half of the piece, and how you have subtle (but effective) contrasting sections bordering on the sunny major…"
Nov 19, 2021
H. S. Teoh replied to Liz Atems's discussion String Quartet No. 1, Op. 1
"Do post!  I'm looking forward to hear your work, study or no study.  When I was young and foolish, I used to think that formal music education would ruin my inner muse.  Now that I'm older and wiser (or at least less foolish 😋) I realize there's…"
Nov 19, 2021
H. S. Teoh replied to Liz Atems's discussion String Quartet No. 1, Op. 1
"The simplest would be to upload it by attaching it as a file to a new discussion (there's a "file" button in the editing toolbar that you can use). There's a file size limit, though, so it would have to be a shorter work or a short excerpt of a…"
Nov 19, 2021
H. S. Teoh replied to Liz Atems's discussion Sinfonia Solenne for String Orchestra, Chamber Strings, and Solo Strings
"Lovely!  I think it does indeed help stabilise the C major.   You're right that it doesn't completely remove the feeling of C major being the dominant chord; but the extra bar with the reaffirming cadence does indeed lend it more stability than…"
Nov 19, 2021
H. S. Teoh replied to Douglas Locke's discussion Microcosms
"I didn't quite know what to expect coming to this piece, but it sounded very grand and sweeping. There are moments of lightness and fun, as well as deeper moments of greater emotion.  It sounds like it would be fitting as a soundtrack of some sort,…"
Nov 19, 2021
H. S. Teoh replied to Liz Atems's discussion String Quartet No. 1, Op. 1
"When I tried to reason that that is true for some idioms, not for others, he just repeated mechanically, "the pitches don't matter". I could not believe that a professional musician could make such a sweeping statement in all seriousness, as if it…"
Nov 19, 2021
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  • Hello H.S. and thank you for your very kind message. Actually, I'm just coming off a very serious eye condition triggered, I suppose by an equally serious upper and lower respiratory thing I picked up on a flight back from Berlin in May (I'm in Los Angeles). The eye required surgery to set things right and I'm just now getting my vision back in the one eye (the other was unaffected). Actually I've had problems with this eye in the past so I'm not surprised the respiratory condition reignited it. This is since May 3 when I got back and I'm just kicking the respiratory infection now. It's been a grueling---what--three months? I've never had anything like this before. Had to be some kind of exotic bug from the deepest parts of Asia or Africa or something because I usually bounce back from these things in 4-5-days. This took 3 different courses of antibiotics to finally get under control (coughing up blood and blowing blood out of my nostrils at one point, but no TB) and I was still coughing a month afterwards. Beware flying internationally. Nowadays you take your life into your hands getting exposed to all these potent diseases like Ebola floating around.

    Greatly appreciate you letting me know you enjoy the concerto. You're right; I do get discouraged frequently because generally speaking most musicians aren't interested in doing an ultra-Romantic work these days, especially one that requires such large forces (expert pianist plus accomplished orchestra) to pull off properly. I did get word from someone who loves the concerto--psychologist and author Darrel Ray that he had a friend of his try to get it into the hands of David Stern, violinist Isaac Stern's son who is the conductor of the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra but I haven't heard anything since. This was about 6 weeks ago. Got my fingers crossed. Maybe someone can pull a miracle off. I hope so. Thanks so much for getting in touch. I will keep you apprised of any developments. Wishing you all the best and looking forward to any news you might want to share about your own career happenings. Take care,

    J Joe Townley

  • Hi H. S. and thank you for your very kind comments re My Piano Concerto No 2. Not sure if you were able to get to my bio. Thunbnail; started studying piano seriously at 10; wanted to write a piano concerto desperately by 16 but didn't actually do it until 18 when I wrote a horrid 1st mov. to a Piano Concerto in C Minor in 2-piano/4-hand. Injured my RH forefinger severely at 19-20 (don't remember) but continued with BA and injured finger until giving piano up at 25.

    I agree. I'd love to hear this live. The screen-capture mutilated the audio. The SoundCloud audio is much better, but still sounds like an electronic rendering. To put on a performance of this concerto would cost roughly 150K for a top-tier orchestra/pianist so that's not in the offing anytime soon. My advice: don't write piano concertos if you're thinking of getting them performed. Stick with smaller works for small ensembles. Much greater chance of getting them performed live. I will check out your music tomorrow. Just getting this message really late (nearing midnight--yawn) So glad you enjoyed the concerto and noticing that it is cyclic. You're the first out of roughly 5000 viewers to comment on that (including earlier versions on YouTube which I have since deleted). J Joe

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