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pateceramics last won the day on April 28

pateceramics had the most liked content!

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About pateceramics

  • Rank
    Seasoned Composer

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  • Biography
    I'm 33, and just got into composing over the last year or so, although, I was always the kid who made up an extra harmony part when singing along to the radio. When I was a very shy teenager, I'd sing a little harmony part when we sang at summer camp, and other people picked the part up until, suddenly we had two parts. And then I'd make up another part, and other people would pick it up too, and then there were three parts. It made me unbelievably happy.

    Since I'm mainly a singer, I've been writing for a cappella choir, but when I feel a little more sure of myself I'd like to learn to write a decent piano part if nothing else.

    Over the years I've had 5 violin teachers, 2 banjo teachers, a brief fling with penny whistle lessons, 3 voice teachers, and sung with 2 a cappella groups, 7 choirs, and a wee bit of musical theater which got me out of taking gym in high school. Thanks for the warm welcome to this community and your continued feedback. Can't get better without feedback!
  • Gender
  • Location
    Malden, MA, USA
  • Occupation
    contralto, potter
  • Favorite Composers
    Vivaldi, Brahms, Lauridsen, Thompson, Gillian Welch
  • My Compositional Styles
    Eh, you tell me.
  • Notation Software/Sequencers
  • Instruments Played
    alto, clawhammer banjo

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  1. Also add an advertising budget and a sound guy to record it for you. If you're premiering one of your own works at your own expense, you want people to hear about it, and you want a recording to share around and get other people interested in programming it again. If you are not a conductor, you need to hire one to run rehearsals and conduct the performance. A cappella choral works may also need a rehearsal accompanist, depending on the group, the piece, and the conductor. Depending on the venue, you may need to hire ticket takers and/or ushers or they may include staff in the price to rent the space. These can be teenagers you know who want to make a few dollars and put something cultural on their college applications. Personally, I go the cheaper route and just make my pieces easy to find on the internet in the hopes that people will program them. It means you have no control over the quality of the performances, you don't always find out about them until after the fact, and you rarely get a recording, but you don't have to pay anything to do it. In the last three years, I've had 15 performances in 3 countries. Everything from middle school to college groups, to church choirs to good community choruses. You can also enter composition contests that give a performance of the winning work or works as the prize. These almost always have an application fee and many entries. The application fee of the many entries that don't win finances the time of the expert judges to review all the pieces, any administrative costs, and pays any prize money to the winners. Some contests require you to attend the concert if you win, but will pay a modest cash amount to help cover your airfare.
  2. Everything develops by slow iteration. You'll write something, you'll like it, so you'll do more like it in the future. You'll write something, you won't like it, so you'll do less of it in the future. The more you write, the more you will start to sound like yourself and not like someone else you have been listening to, or like a million disparate ideas competing with each other. There's no trick to it. Just keep composing and be patient with yourself.
  3. I agree with Simen-N. More contrast between what material is given to the soloists, and what is given to the rest of the players would help. As it is, the quartet's lines may get lost under the heavier texture of the other strings, because often both are playing at the same time, and there isn't too much difference in the rhythms or ranges of the material they present at that time. It can be a case of making some decisions to assign what you already have here differently. The first section has a long intro by just the larger group. That could be reorganized as call and response from one set of players to the other. Later when both groups are in simultaneously, giving the larger orchestra simpler material and the quartet more of the moving lines that feel more virtuosic would help them stand out. You could also put the larger group on pizz. for a while, and give your soloists some nice legato that would stand out in contrast. Your skipping rhythm at the beginning could be written using staccatos instead of alternating eighth notes and eighth rests for a cleaner score, but I know you said you wanted to clean up the score. It all sounds nice, so just reassigning who is playing what in some places may tighten it up a lot. Thumbs up!
  4. Looking forward to seeing the score, but this sounds good! Was there anything in particular that prompted the project? Chance to do some in depth string work?
  5. This is quite lovely as I sit with my coffee on a rainy day. The steady bass arpeggiation works nicely to evoke a steady rain, and the right hand melody with its starts and stops makes me think of the irregular drips off a roof. Very nice!
  6. Knowledge is never wasted. If you just go ahead and try and learn on your own, you may learn something, and you are proving the seriousness of your intent if you are able to approach formal schooling later on. Which student do you want? The one who gushes about how they have always wanted to be a... (composer, pastry chef, veterinarian), but has never done anything, formal or informal, related to that supposedly fiercely held dream? Or the one who has picked up some bad habits trying to teach themself, or emphasized the wrong things in their attempts to learn, but at least when they say they feel passionately about the subject, the way they have been using their time supports their words. Julliard has a point, that they want any degree they confer to really reflect their curriculum decisions and teaching staff, but it also narrows their pool of students considerably to be hard-edged about it. Not everyone can afford to spend endless time and money on a degree. I'm cursed with curiosity on a wide variety of subjects, each of which competes with the others for my time, and that's why I take good care of myself. If I can get an extra decade, I'll have more time to learn.
  7. P.S. Yes, this would be a totally doable piece for many church choirs, in which case an organ is generally available. It's really common to have a general "keyboard" part and make the decision Sunday morning whether to use piano or organ based on the style of the piece, balance issues because of the number of singers who actually show up that morning, or even things as mundane as the organist needing to immediately launch into the Doxology at the end of the piece and having no time to walk from one instrument to the other. That means the organist is looking at a piano part and making their own editorial decisions about stops to use and where to put a bass line in the organ pedals, or the reverse, they are looking at an organ part, ignoring the stop settings and deciding how to add piano pedaling. Also lots of last minute changes to help the choir get their notes or to support the balance if, say, only one bass shows up to sing. Being a church organist is a specialized calling.
  8. Thanks! That's helpful! I really don't play, so I really do need specifics like those. Much appreciated! At some point I'll find the time and money for a piano teacher, but at the moment I've got too many other irons on the fire so I'm delighted to have people on this site I can lean on for advice.
  9. Thanks, punintentional! I don't mind a strong dissonance. That's always the sort of thing I enjoy when I'm performing a piece. I love it when you have a certain expectation and then the floor drops unexpectedly. That particular spot definitely sounds better when played by me (at snail speed, because I'm a sad piano player) than it does when played by my computer software. I don't have a nice sound package. I take your point about the rhythm. I would never have done that normally, but I just sang Randall Thompson's "Psalm 23," which does something similar, and the result is just hypnotic played by a living hand.
  10. Thanks, Monarcheon. I'll take another look and keep that in mind for the future.
  11. That's why I'm asking for input. I'm not a pianist. I have no idea what idiomatic is to a pianist. Teach me of your mysterious ways, piano players of YC. 🙂 . Thanks for your suggestion! "The dishwasher in the ensemble." 😄 Dishwasher the machine, making a pleasant, rhythmic background noise? Or dishwasher the person who washes dishes, the least glamorous, but necessary, job in the restaurant kitchen? I was actually thinking strings would be nice for the sound I wanted here too, but I don't think I'm at a stage where the kind of choral groups who hire out chamber players for their concerts are going to be interested in my work, unfortunately. Choral singers are almost never paid, instrumentalists hired for choral concerts almost always are, so a cappella or chorus plus piano or the occasional solo trumpet is the default for the vast majority of singing groups. Church groups sometimes splash out for some strings at Christmas, but that means you need to write something Christmas themed to capture that market. Was there a particular note or two that makes people scratch their heads you were referring to? Choral parts or piano part?
  12. Try signing up for a creative writing class focused on poetry to help your lyric writing ability. Lyrics are just poetry set to music. 🙂
  13. Interesting. I'd be curious to hear what sort of extra emotional warmth some more rubato in the earlier sections could bring, but maybe that would be cross your purposes for the exercise. It all works very nicely as an organic growing being.
  14. Agreed! A score is always helpful. This has a nice variety of material to it. One thing to think about for the next one would be some more held notes for the strings. They tend to cut out when the piano comes to the front of the texture, but you can get some good harmonic mileage out of using them as a pedal note while the piano shifts around them for a more dramatic feel. Great first trio!
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