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Aiwendil

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Aiwendil last won the day on April 2 2016

Aiwendil had the most liked content!

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About Aiwendil

  • Rank
    Member

Profile Information

  • Gender
    Male
  • Occupation
    Physicist
  • Interests
    Music, writing fiction, analytic philosophy, history
  • Favorite Composers
    Mozart and Beethoven
  • My Compositional Styles
    Classical, Baroque, Romantic, Early Music, Jazz, Progressive Rock
  • Notation Software/Sequencers
    Finale 2012, Encore 5, Reason 3.0

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  1. Aiwendil

    Question about writing for flute

    Almost any leap you can imagine is possible on flute. The thing to be careful about is the relative sound quality between registers. For instance, F4 is toward the bottom of the flute's range, which is naturally softer than the mid-range Bb5. So leaping down from Bb5 to F4, the F4 may have a little trouble "speaking", at least in fast passages. At a slower tempo (and certainly if they're quarter notes at quarter note = 80 BPM), the flutist will have enough time to adjust and make the F4 speak clearly.
  2. One of the many areas encompassed by my nerddom is Star Wars. When I was younger, I read a lot of the Expanded Universe books and would often make up soundtrack music in my head while reading. About ten years ago I decided to try writing soundtracks for Timothy Zahn's Thrawn trilogy. I finished book 1, Heir to the Empire, but the project has lain in abeyance for some time now. Recently, though, I've started working on book 2 again, and I realized I had never shared my Heir to the Empire music here. This is long, but I decided to upload the whole thing; feel free to skip around. It starts and ends with the usual John Williams main title/end credits formulas, and some of John Williams's themes are used fairly liberally throughout, but by far the bulk of it is new music. Alas, I have no scores, as I wrote this directly in my sequencer. I was fortunate enough to have someone offer to make some album art for the soundtrack; this design is by Bob Akers: Front Cover Back Cover Any comments or criticisms would be much appreciated, particularly as I am currently working on the follow-up score. Thanks!
  3. I enjoyed these variations. Of course, it's hard to live up to the theme you chose - but the variations are sufficiently diverse in style that one doesn't really feel as if they are competing with Mozart's theme. I personally wasn't crazy about the scherzando variation; harmonically, it just felt a bit at odds with the style of the others. Or perhaps it's just a bit too scherzando for my taste. But the pizzicato is witty, the chorale is lovely, and the final variation was a very suitable finale. Nice work.
  4. Aiwendil

    Symphony in C

    Thanks for the reviews! I'm very pleased that you enjoyed it. I know what you mean about the sounds. I used Reason for the audio, but it's not great for this sort of thing. I wish I had access to a better sampler. I've seen conflicting advice on whether to write timpani rolls with tremolo markings or with trills, though I certainly agree that tremolo marks are more logical. Can you tell me where in particular you see examples of poor orchestration in this movement? I'd like to learn how to improve in that respect. I think you're quite right about the beginning of the second movement. There's too much space between the harmonic filler in the viola and the melody in the 1st violins. I see your point. I think some of the string passages could be easily improved with a touch of wind, and possibly the movement would not overstay its welcome so much if the repeat of the exposition were omitted, as it is in the second movement. Well, I can assure you that I am well aware that nothing I write will ever be a popular masterpiece. I write music in styles that I enjoy, for my own enjoyment. This probably isn't the place for a philosophical discussion, but I don't feel the need to apologize for writing Classical works, nor to view them as merely training for writing other music. Thanks again, though, for the comments! I do greatly appreciate anyone taking the time to listen and give me feedback.
  5. Aiwendil

    Symphony in C

    This is a Classical symphony I recently finished. I started off with the idea of writing something in the style of Stamitz and the Mannheim school, but more Haydn/Mozart influence came in as I went along. It's not really a pastiche, though; there are some harmonic things in the developments that are not really characteristic of the style, and it's very much written with modern instruments in mind. Any feedback would be most appreciated.
  6. Aiwendil

    A Trip to the Moon

    I enjoyed this. The style seems to fit quite well with the film, and definitely suits it better than other scores I've heard for it. And there are some nice little touches like the tone-painting for the growing mushroom. I know what you mean about synchronizing music with film being a bit of a nightmare. I usually figure out the tempo for a given cue, and then make notes to myself on what measure and beat each important action falls on. But even so, I have to go through several iterations of adjusting the tempo and starting time slightly before I can get things to fit.
  7. Aiwendil

    Jazz Impromptu in A flat

    Thanks for your comments! I've seen different conventions used as far as tied eighths vs. syncopated quarters, and I wasn't sure what's preferred. I'll write those differently in the future. Monarcheon, can you point out a measure number where the half-steps that you don't like appear? Perhaps you mean the little repeated figure that appears, for instance, right at the end of the piece? I'm now remembering how fun this piece was to write, so I think I will indeed try writing some more like it.
  8. A re-upload of a short piano piece I wrote several months ago. I'm thinking of trying to write more pieces in something like this style. Any comments would be appreciated.
  9. Aiwendil

    Song without Words for Viola and Piano

    Thanks for your comments! I take the point about the piano part perhaps being a bit too active when accompanying the viola melody. As for not using the viola in an accompanying role, and not using the C string much, that is largely because I was writing as if for a singer, as Monarcheon said. Though I suppose you could argue that in that case I should have just written an actual song (with words) instead of writing for viola. It's not part of a cycle, but I think I would like to write more in this vein; it was fun to write, and overall I'm rather pleased with the result.
  10. A re-upload of one of my most recently completed works, a short lied with a viola substituting for a singer. Let me know what you think.
  11. Aiwendil

    String Quartet in B minor

    That's weird. I definitely rearranged them into the correct order yesterday, and somehow they got scrambled again. I'll re-order them again and see if the same thing happens.
  12. Aiwendil

    String Quartet in B minor

    Testing out the new system with a re-upload of a string quartet I originally posted about three years ago. Let's see how multiple movements/files work. Edit: Hmm, it ordered the attachments in a strange way, neither in the order in which I uploaded them nor alphabetically. Let me see if I can rearrange them. Edit 2: OK, had to order them manually.
  13. Aiwendil

    Managing Uploads

    The link to the read only directory appears to be broken.
  14. Hidden dynamics are something I hadn't thought of. Thanks for the suggestion! They seem to work better, but still cause some issues with human playback. For instance, I have a figure of a dotted quarter note + 4 32nds at mf, and of course the 32nd notes are almost inaudible. If I add a hidden f dynamic for the 32nds, they are now played at a reasonable volume - but for some reason, the dotted quarter is now cut very short, as if it had a staccato mark. So I added a hidden tenuto mark to the dotted quarter, and that seems to more or less do the trick.
  15. Not sure if anyone can help me with this, but it's worth a try. I'm using Finale 2012 with Garritan instruments through VST, and with the "human playback" feature. I find that for solo strings (e.g. in a string quartet), short notes tend not to "speak" clearly compared with long notes at the same dynamic level. So, I thought an easy solution to make things sound a little bit better might be to apply an invisible articulation to all, say 16th notes or shorter, that would just slightly increase the velocity of those notes to achieve a better sound. So, I created an articulation with the playback effect of changing velocity to 105%. However, this doesn't work; when I play it back, the notes with that articulation are MUCH louder than the rest of the music (far more than 5% louder!). It seems to make no difference whether I set the articulation to change the velocity to 101% or 150%; anything above 100% makes the note extremely loud. I'm guessing that this is caused by issues with the human playback, but since I don't fully understand how human playback sets dynamic levels, I'm not really sure. Does anyone have an explanation or, even better, a way for me to boost the loudness of the short notes slightly for the solo string instruments?
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