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Gustav Johnson

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Gustav Johnson last won the day on August 25 2016

Gustav Johnson had the most liked content!

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21 Excellent

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About Gustav Johnson

  • Rank
    Intermediate Composer

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  • Biography
    I teach 5-8 grade band in Paris, Illinois. I've been "composing" on and off since my first music theory class in college (Illinois State University!). I enjoy writing in many genres and for many ensemble types, and have even been recognized as the winner of the Urbana Pops Orchestra composition contest in 2010. I'm on this forum to help myself improve, as teaching takes the bulk of my time and I have little left to take lessons or courses in composition. Seeing the dangers of being self-taught with no outside influence, I've started sharing my work online, and finally found this community.
    Please visit my website to see all of my work, and feel free to message me!
  • Gender
  • Location
    Paris, IL
  • Occupation
    Band Teacher
  • Interests
    hiking, fishing, teaching, church band, drawing, reading, composing (obviously!)
  • Favorite Composers
    Most modern film composers, and anybody from the dawn of time to present day.
  • My Compositional Styles
  • Notation Software/Sequencers
    Sibelius 7
  • Instruments Played
    Bass Clarinet & Woodwind guru, although I'm well versed in all concert band & jazz band instruments for teaching purposes
  1. Having taken a second listen and a closer look, I still like it a lot. Some of the leaps seem strange to me when I study the score, but when I listen nothing bothers me. Harmonically quite nice: simple, yet satisfying. I love repetitious music, my only remark about the second movement is it seems like you may be repeating it for the sake of repeating it. If you are to do it twice, following it with a different conclusion or changing something the second time (i.e. instrumentation, voicing, dynamic, etc.) may make it more impactful. I always enjoy hearing your work! Gustav Johnson
  2. Been a while since I've heard anything you've posted! First listen I like it. I'll take another few listens and let you know more in a bit.
  3. "Back Of My Mind" by Cj Rhen

    Nice rhythmic grooves on the drums, and with the saxophone lines. Some of the sounds you've mixed are a little strange at the start of the envelope. I think it's that the sound takes a split second to develop throws off my sense of rhythm, which hinders this more than helps it I think. You've got a good motif going, and it's developed well. I'm not sure it ever becomes more than that, though, you know? Like how Beethoven developed his 5th Symphony motif into something more overarching. As it is, it feels like a bunch of small bits put together in a way that - while it makes sense to the ear and has direction - feels like just that: a bunch of small bits put together. Well-crafted bits, mind you, but I find myself craving something a little larger in terms of a phrase development. Your sentences are good, it's the large phrases. Bah, words are had with music... Beyond that, I have no critiques, and those are just small things! Lots of good stuff, see how you can keep listeners hooked! Good work, Gustav Johnson
  4. Free our Mind

    Well made, seems a little aimless - as if it was wandering and doesn't know where it wants to go. Some volume changes and slightly emphasized style changes would help me feel a sense of change. Nice piano around 2:45! Awesome change at 3:00, I really felt something new start to happen. It wasn't as intense of a change as I hoped for, but it was nice. I think a lot of what I'm feeling is the backgrounds and how they don't change. A good track, keep it up! Gustav Johnson
  5. First attempt at commercial music

    I'm no mixer or masterer, but the mixing sounds good to me. A few audio things I think I can comment on - 1) The bass drum is a little one-dimensional. It's a great kick, but I'm not sure it works for every section in the piece. There are moments when it would have been nice to add some more upper frequencies, or some "reverb" or something to draw it out, or something that would compliment what's going on musically. Also, once you do that you'll have room to bring up the backbeat. My ears are craving something more aggressive to fill in the 2's and 4's. 2) The mix sounds much better in headphones, but is underwhelming on my computer's speakers. I once read about a mixing master who gave each track the "car stereo" test, to see how it sounded with the average joe listening. Maybe a car stereo isn't the best option anymore, but don't rely only on your sound system for audio mixing - once you're nearly finished, I'd recommend checking your work on a couple of different systems. Now about the music itself: 1) Melodically fine the minor 6 in the beginning feels strange (around 0:03, it's the 2nd note in measure 2, and its repeats). I know the tune is in minor, but it's a weird clash, my ear doesn't accept it (which is important if you're making music for a venue like this). Weird stuff is good only if our ears accept it as good. As time passes, my ear becomes acclimated to it, though, and the harmony mirrors that a little more. 2) The pullback at 2:30 ish is really strange, it feels out of place. If it had been a smooth transition from all spectrums to a hi-cut I would have liked it more. This section is good as a composition. The solo is good, would love to hear a more assertive supporting line (rhythmically?). Perhaps some separation between articulations would help? Overall good stuff, keep it up :) Gustav Johnson
  6. Op108 Nr2

    Thoroughly enjoyed it! In the audio the flute was a little loud compared to the other sounds. Your rhythms work very nicely together - they are very complex, but it still sounds clear and organized. Nice work stating and developing your thematic materials. Keep it up! Gustav Johnson
  7. Symphony No. 2

    Love your rhythmic grooves in this. I agree with Hugget about the opening being a little stagnant harmonically, but You have a strength for fitting together inter-locking lines in really fresh and exciting ways! I'm thinking specifically about the ending of mvt. 2. Overall a nice work! Sorry I can't give more feedback right now, I'm listening at work. Cheers, Gustav Johnson
  8. Hey thanks! Lots to work on and your feedback will help :) I haven't spent much time out here lately (teaching is all-consuming, some weeks...), so I appreciate your listening & responding! Gustav Johnson
  9. A Hero's Return

    Good melodic and harmonic motion, well executed and thought-out. If you're going for trailer-style music, there are usually more sustained sounds behind the rhythmic material. Not at all times, obviously, but to my ear this could benefit from something of that nature, up until the reduced stuff that's more chamber ensemble in nature (around 1:40). The interest really builds from there to the end, there are some quite beautiful thoughts. Cool harmony at 2:40. Again, consider the sustained sounds (pads would be nice) to flesh out some of the "negative space" to our ears. Even if it's a static sound, like painting on a colored canvas (i.e. on a black canvas), something about it gives the illusion of more than it really is. Nice work, a pleasure to listen to! Gustav Johnson
  10. I'll test without pay, but I'm also a teacher so my composing/testing time may be limited to weekends. Sound agreeable? I'm super impressed :) Gustav Johnson
  11. Winter 2018 Competition: Submissions Link

    Had lots of fun with this one - look forward to hearing everyone else's!

    Here's my entry: Definitely got a little nervous when I tried to submit this earlier today and the forum page wouldn't load for some reason haha. All thoughts and feedback is welcome, thanks all! Gustav Johnson
  13. My entry for the Winter competition 2018! **If you get anxiety, this music is a little tense........ fair warning A piece in three movements inspired by three nuances of the emotion Fear: I - Rush, II - Dread, III - Phobia. All parts attached. My written notes regarding the questions for the competition are on the Composer's Notes page. I did include some extra bits because I got pretty thorough with this: CHANCE MUSIC TABLES.pdfThe Cue sheet is meant to guide the electronics and instruments in alignment and timing, the Chance Music Charts are in case anyone wants to see how I created my chance music. Any feedback and thoughts are welcome. Thanks all! Gustav Johnson
  14. "Snow"

    Got a score for this? Some very nice work here, I especially like the way you use the mallet percussion (i.e. vibraphone, glockenspiel, etc.). Some weird moments when some things seem to disagree between the harmony and melody - perhaps a quick check for unintentional dissonances around the chromatic harmonic areas. Such a nice job with the background percussion and sound design, it might have been nice to have some development in the rhythm track. That's the only part that feels less inspired than the rest to me. Like it's only one flavor or something, using the same sounds and the same patterns and same "feeling" throughout the whole piece. There's a crash cymbal at 2:17/3:12 that spice things up, I find myself wanting more things like that. Interesting siren at 2:43 haha! Feels a little out of place, but makes me smile nonetheless! Good piece, well constructed and well executed :) Gustav Johnson
  15. Hey! Like the upload - I'm a fan of this genre, although I'm not entirely sure it has a "title" for itself, per se. Soundwise it's very nice. The pad strings are quite effective with their swells, but I'd check out the start of their sound envelope - it felt unnatural at times, there's a slight delay between the beginning of the beat and when the sound actually speaks. Regarding any DAW, try a free sample first if you can. That will tell you what you need to know (whether the software works for you and your workflow, whether the tools you use most are easily accessible and work effectively in the program, stuff like that). That way you can make the best purchase decision when it's time. Keep it up! Gustav Johnson