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Music Appreciation


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Seni-G last won the day on January 10

Seni-G had the most liked content!

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About Seni-G

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    Advanced Member

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  • Gender
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  • Occupation
    Economics/Government teacher
  • Favorite Composers
    Beethoven, Liszt, Tchaikovsky, Debussy, Clare Fischer, John Williams
  • My Compositional Styles
    I love classical/romantic form and harmony, especially when mixed with more modern harmonies (jazz, blues) and latin rhythms.
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  1. This is the first movement of a string quartet I have been working on. The entire quartet is called "Jackdaw", and this movement is titled "Memories of the Ghetto". It is about things that are gone forever. It is about my ancestors. It is about my jewishness, which has now become so faint it is like the fog on a summer morning, moments away from complete disintegration. Yet at the same time it is a deep root, a bond that ties me to those who came before me, those who clawed their way out of the furnace and found sanctuary in a new land, a safe haven. What were their lives like, living in the ghettos of Prague? Babies were born, children played in the street, lovers held each other and giggled in the moonlight, businessmen haggled over the price of goods, wrinkled old women told tales of heartbreak and woe, an ancient city breathed in one generation and exhaled another. The memories of my ancestors. They don't come to me in an orderly fashion, but instead all tangled up, or sometimes as mere glimpses, vignettes of a time that is buried, of a people I desperately long to know. The deep dark blue of a prayer shawl, freshly baked bread, a labyrinth of crumbling stone spires, grandpa's croaking laugh, a virgin bride smiling beneath her veil. These are my people, a lake so deep it reaches down to the very bowels of the earth. And yet I have almost lost them, almost forgotten the bond, forgotten who I am. I want to see through their eyes and know their pain and triumph and laughter and fear and joy. I want to remember. Remember!
  2. I really enjoyed this! I thought at first it was going to be more like background music at the beginning of Pirates of the Caribbean, but you take it in interesting directions. I appreciate your use of dynamics, and the feeling that the piece isn't in a rush to lay out it's main ideas. You lead the listener there gradually. Nice build-ups of sound followed by changes of mood. I also enjoy how you play with the chord progression to change the mood. You don't just repeat the same idea over and over, but instead warp it in subtle ways. Nice work. Portraying the sea in a new way is challenging because so many people have done it. Here's my advice: expand this piece! The ending was quite abrupt, as if you said, "well that's good enough, I'll just cut it off here". But the story arc didn't feel complete. This is a compliment to you. You got me interested and wanting more! Take it in further and give us more of the story. What else can you tell us about this fisherman, and how can you do it in a new way, a way that keeps the main ideas you've already laid out, but challenges the ear with new sounds and directions? It seems that you've established that this seaman is on an adventure. So what happens next?
  3. That's a lovely little piece! I don't think you need to spice up the piano, personally. It's a peaceful song with accompaniment that fits the mood. If you try to get too spicy, you might try to do too much at once. My advice (and of course feel free to ignore it) is to keep this piece as it is and go write another one, and another. The next one you write, aim for spicy. Then before you know it, you'll have a suite, and your suite will have variety as a whole. If this was part of a larger set, and that larger set contained more spicy material, this piece would act as a calming interlude between more dramatic pieces. I'm sure that in a church this music would be very effective. Performed live, I imagine this piece would sound like a serene lake on a chilly Spring morning.
  4. It feels like music that belongs with a visual, like a chase scene from an action film. I think you've got a talent for that cinematic sound, and I'm curious to see what else you have written. I like the alternation between the soft piano portions and the percussive material, and your orchestration sounds very balanced and natural. Nice use of dynamics. As it stands now, the piece feels like a scene, and when the scene is over the music ends. I'm not sure the music can stand alone without the image. If you were to develop the themes more fully, allow a theme to take center stage, this piece might have more of an identity. The music is pleasant and sets a mood, but does it stand out as a piece of "art"? Does it have something to say? What else could that photograph convey, and how else could that music portray that? Could you expand the piece so it explores more than one mood, could you develop your themes? I suppose it all comes down to intention. Are you aiming for cinematic music or music that can stand alone? Do you want to capture one single mood, or write music that takes the listener on a journey? You've clearly got talent. Can you use it to create something with more depth, something that makes the listener FEEL what's in that photograph? This is all very fluffy commentary, based more on a vibe I got rather than anything concrete. Feel free to disregard if I'm off base.
  5. Thanks for your feedback! I'm glad you felt the tension in there. Can you be more specific about the dynamics? Which part are you talking about? Thanks!!
  6. I agree completely. This starts off with tons of potential, but then doesn't develop. I recommend taking that great first idea and manipulating it so it changes into something else. Play with variations on that idea for a while, practice developing it, changing keys and meters and rhythms. Try to take us on a journey, one with more than just one color.
  7. Great fun! I imagine a young person's orchestra would be thrilled to play this, especially with all those rich horn and percussion parts. You really capture the sea, in a much more literal way than something like Debussy's "La Mer". This feels at times like it should have a vocal part singing some pirate dirge along with the orchestra. Well done. Nice balance of lush orchestration with a concept that a casual listener can appreciate. Excellent balance, and you keep it interesting throughout.
  8. I feel like I'm being beamed onto an alien ship! This is some very satisfying, very trippy music. I just closed my eyes and let it wash over me. You took me on a little journey. Well done!
  9. Woohoo!
  10. Hello! Here is my submission for the Winter 2017 Competition. It is piece about an affair, written for orchestra. The music follows the contours of a relationship, beginning when two lovers first meet, then winding its way through their complex and illicit romance. Any feedback is appreciated! Enjoy. Note: The theme on which this piece was originally based comes from the second movement of Beethoven's piano sonata Opus 7.
  11. Really beautiful scenery in your music. You use the orchestra very well. I love the colors you use, and the changes in rhythm throughout the entire piece. At times heroic and inspiring, other times mysterious and breathy. You totally captured the silly militarism of Munchausen. I also love the klezmer that occasionally pops up. My favorite vignette was "The Snowy Village". It really sets the right mood, reminds me a bit of Scheherazade. Well done all around!
  12. Thank you for the heart-felt feedback. I agree with you on many points. I have always felt this piece goes on a bit long. And finding the confidence to give the violin some solo material... that's an important thing to work on. It's fascinating to hear that you were captivated more by the opening theme than the middle material. I've alwasy felt the opposite. At times I've wanted to cut the beginning off and just start with the middle portion. However, it feels really nice to hear that someone enjoys the first themes. Thank you again for taking the time to listen and write.
  13. Thanks for the feedback! I'll take a look at those double-stops. Here's another movement I've completed (the final mvmnt).
  14. This is a wonderful piece of art! I'd love to know the story behind the music, if there is one. You evoke powerful emotions with your music. Each individual voice truly is a voice, crying out for help or longing for companionship or trying to tell its story. You have a magical way with harmony. It is dissonant, but doesn't feel that way. The music is modern but never irritating or high on its own fumes. It is honest and subtle. I don't know what inspired the music, but here is the image it conjures in my mind: It reminds me of an old man who once fought in a war, who had a hard life. He desperately wants to tell his story to anyone who will listen, but the story is fading from his mind. He is ponderous at times, forgetful; other times angry, pointed. He is deep, cold, and guarded, like a mountain-top lake. Wisdom has built up in his mind from years of hard experience, but nobody comes seeking his guidance. He is alone, except for his thoughts. He sits in an old library surrounded by his dusty memories and kinick-knacks, a ratty blanket draped across his skinny legs, wrestling alone with his difficult past. One moment a memory as violent as the sun flashes across his mind, only to be replaced the next instant by a glimpse of his newborn daughter, a memory he cherishes for as long as he can hold onto it in his mind. The memory of holding that chubby, pink child in his arms so many years ago overwhelms him. That was a time when hope for the future was a real thing, tangible, like a bit of fresh apple. So many years pile up, laying down layers of sediment that weigh down the mind. The sediment buries a young child enjoying bath time, a wife on her wedding night, the terrifying first day at a new job, those nights spent outdoors waiting for the enemy to stop firing, waiting to die. He stares at his hands distractedly, and lets these faded recollections drift out of his mind. "Buried," he mumbles to nobody in particular. He retreats into himself, wrapping his bony little body in a blanket of memory.
  15. I dug the the ostinato vibe, but I particularly enjoyed the moments when the piece lost that mechanical feel, and the sound stretched out a bit. Those moments displayed some subtle artistry. Mvmnt. 1., measure 42 was an example of this. It felt like you were painting an image with music during that moment.