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pateceramics

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pateceramics last won the day on February 28

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About pateceramics

  • Rank
    Seasoned Composer

Profile Information

  • 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
    Female
  • 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
    MuseScore
  • Instruments Played
    alto, clawhammer banjo

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  1. 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.
  2. Thanks, Monarcheon. I'll take another look and keep that in mind for the future.
  3. 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?
  4. Try signing up for a creative writing class focused on poetry to help your lyric writing ability. Lyrics are just poetry set to music. 🙂
  5. 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.
  6. 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!
  7. Anyone have a minute to pick at my piece? Thoughts on the piano part are particularly welcome since I'm not a pianist. Thanks! Who can ascend the hill of the Lord? and who can stand in His holy place? Those who have clean hands, and a pure heart;
  8. There is no better teaching tool than composing. Go ahead and write something and you'll find that you start to have specific questions that you can research and then apply what you've learned. If you wait to get started until you know everything you need to know, you'll never start, because there is always more to learn. You'll write good orchestral pieces after you've written a lot of bad ones first as practice, not after you've read all the books. Just start. And share, so you can get useful feedback. But get rid of any expectations of it being good. That's a great way to make yourself too fearful to write or to share. Just write, and keep writing.
  9. Nice work! You might want to substitute an expressive marking for the staccato dots on every note, or you can mark the first few bars, and then add "sim." to indicate that the staccato continues through the piece unless otherwise indicated later. For the 2nd violins at the end, you could remove the staccato marking, add a slur over those notes, and let them just flutter their finger back and forth like a trill for the same effect, but something more playable. Fingers move back and forth faster than bows. You might find this helpful, to answer future questions about conventions of string writing: https://wiki.youngcomposers.com/Orchestration:_Techniques_of_Strings_-_Part_I Thanks for sharing, and welcome!
  10. You still use repeat signs, but either add text above the affected passage that says, "4X," or "repeat until directed," or something like that, or you can use a first ending bracket at the repeat sign, but instead of being marked, "1." to indicate 1st ending, it will be marked, "1., 2., 3., 4.," to indicate 4 repeats before moving on to the next section. You can also indicate different treatments for each of the repeats in text above the affected passage. For example: 1. p, 2. ff, 3. mf.... Hope that makes sense without pictures.
  11. Details here: https://cmcb.org/events/young-composers-festival-2019/?fbclid=IwAR2H7nWZk1AMvut3JTQitdaNZatFEuhkaqD0fxV4ANYki4nIDz5wNVgsJDw This includes workshops for elementary schoolers up through college students, and includes opportunities to have your work played live. It's a free event, you just have to get there!
  12. Bravo! They did a great job, did you get to go listen?
  13. Rabbival, did you seriously just ask someone to take hours to recompose their piece to save you 15 minutes of time listening to it?? If you don't have time to review, just don't review. 😄 Celloman, what a great opportunity! I think you're going to get more out of the experience of rehearsing and listening to the live performance than you will from our comments at this point, but I COMPLETELY understand the desire to provide a polished piece for the musicians you will be working with. The thing that stands out the most to me is a tendency toward chord, chord, chord homophony, or mechanically repeating rhythms. It feels like a video game score more than an orchestral score in that respect. There's nothing wrong with that, if it's a sound you like, but you could play with having some more counterpoint, (can you add a countermelody here and there?), stretching rhythms over bar lines, and substituting some longer note durations in for the repeated rhythmic textures here and there in one or more parts. Syncopating a few more rhythms would also up the complexity of the sound and provide a bit of variety. It's very straight as it stands. But again, that's only a problem if you hear it as one. It's a stylistic choice. How familiar are you with the players you'll be working with? What is their skill level? It's worth thinking about if you haven't already. If you've got a really cracking flautist, write in something juicy for them. If the cellos are your weakest section, keep that in mind. Who is conducting and do they have the skill level to cue everything that needs a cue if these are mainly amateur players and everyone (conductor included) will have a limited amount of time to spend studying the finished score before the performance? Would it increase your success if you made practice videos for each part? Or midi files? Would the players actually use them enough to justify the effort, or are there better ways to use your time? Have a fabulous time!
  14. I'd take out the ossia and just leave whatever you actually want there. In trying to be obliging to both voice ranges, you look uncertain. Most altos have got the high notes and most sopranos have got the low ones you want to include, and teachers can always make an executive decision with a student to edit if it's necessary, but if a cheater note is already written into the score, what was going to be a teaching moment about how to open up your top range could become a lot of whining from a student that they want to do the other way. Sounds nice!
  15. I think I understand that you are not able to read and write music easily because you mainly play piano by ear? Is that the difficulty? If so, look for resources on "how to read sheet music" or "learning to read music for beginners." If you can read it, you can also write it. It does take time to learn to do fluently, just like learning to read and write English, so if that is what is holding you up, expect that you will need to spend a little time every day practicing your reading skills before it comes easily. Beginner piano books generally include explanations of how to read music along with their music exercises on "row, row, row your boat," so that might be a user-friendly place to start. Be sure to look for book one, even though it seems babyish. Book two will assume you already understand all the concepts they explained in book one and won't discuss them again. Here's an online explanation of how to read sheet music that might be helpful: https://www.musicnotes.com/blog/2014/04/11/how-to-read-sheet-music/ If you use a software program to type out your compositions, instead of pencil and paper, you can use the playback feature in the program to hear what you are writing. That makes it easier to check for unintentional errors in the way you wrote it. The program will play back exactly the notes you have entered, so you can listen and hear whether or not the notes sound like what you intended and make adjustments. I use the Musescore program, which you can download for free. It allows you to make a very professional looking score, once you learn how to use it, and has a playback button at the top of the page so you can hear what you are writing, and catch mistakes. Since it is free, there is nothing to lose by giving it a try. I hope I've understood the problem correctly! Good luck!
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