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Gustav Johnson

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Gustav Johnson last won the day on April 18

Gustav Johnson had the most liked content!

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About Gustav Johnson

  • Rank
    Advanced Composer

Contact Methods

  • Website URL
    https://transcendaudio.weebly.com/ https://soundcloud.com/transcend_audio
  • Yahoo

Profile Information

  • Biography
    I teach 5-12 grade band in El Paso-Gridley school district in Central 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.
    Please visit my website or soundcloud to see my recent work, and feel free to message me!
  • Gender
  • Location
    Minonk, 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, Ableton Live 9 Lite
  • Instruments Played
    Bass Clarinet & Woodwind guru, although I'm well versed in all concert band & jazz band instruments for teaching purposes

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  1. Samples are all staying one-level dynamically, especially in the intro. Watch through a visual eq or something to see which ranges are moving dynamically and which are stagnant. I can hear it especially in the electronic string pad in the background - your brass, synths, and melodic strings are much more flowing. Great job with the trailer-esque percussion. Not easy to nail that but you did! Around -1:30 it would be cool to enter some variation to the texture and/or melody. Cut something out, change it to pulsating rhythmic synths or strings, re-orchestrate it, change the dynamic. That was probably your moment to effect a build for the listeners. Great change at -:39. Biggest comments are dynamically this stays within a pretty limited range. Expand louder and quieter to give yourself some more color (could also effect some of these changes with velocity). As a composition it's mostly good, I'd listen for when I've heard "too much of the same or similar", then add or cut or change something once to make it fresh again. Good work! Gustav
  2. The whole notes felt a little oppressive here, I had a hard time feeling where the phrase was headed - the pacing could have helped guide me. Are all the notes equally important? Should they all have received the same duration? Something to think about and listen for during revision stuff. Love this! The work before-hand was also very patient but also created a sense of motion. Mvt. IV also has some good work in it. Be careful in the clusters not to let your sense of direction stop - too much "stop & go" can be jarring, it made me lose track of where we were going. Good composition - keep working! Gustav
  3. Yowza it feels like forever since I've had time to hang out with y'all!! I've been doing some sketching (mostly for piano, to focus on simplifying my part writing), and explored the idea of creating a melody based on the rhythmic grouping of 5+4+3+2+1 (a half note), and 6+5+4+3+2+1 (a half note), etc. It's not my best sketch, but I decided to orchestrate it for wind ensemble and I think the end product is pretty nifty. I'll post the orchestration and the original piano version if you want to compare. Any thoughts are welcome! #GoodToBeBack #ThanksForListening #Hashtag https://soundcloud.com/transcend_audio/sketch-no-22 https://soundcloud.com/transcend_audio/sketch-no-22-orchestrated
  4. The link opens to a blank soundcloud - nothing there to listen to! Going for a "4 minutes and 33 seconds" feel? 😄
  5. The parts are all appropriate to their instruments, I don't think as a player I'd have any complaints. Separate from the video I think it's not bad, although I could use more sense of direction within the piece. Since it's accompanying the film, I think it should tie a little more to the excitement of the scene. It felt too relaxed, not urgent enough. Think driving rhythms (hee hee, look a pun!) and more crash cymbals (oh look, another pun!!) or something to accentuate the intensity of the scene! Good work, keep going. Gustav
  6. I'd be tempted to respell the A sharps as B flats, especially when they're in the same measure as an A natural. Measure 7 threw me for a loop, the beat felt displaced. I kind of liked it, though! Gustav
  7. Compositionally it's nice and works well together, but I agree there are some things that could bring out the character you're trying to portray. Like the moment with the bassoon and flute a little after 1:00, it reminds me of the Sorcerer's Apprentice. Also could be orchestrated differently to bring out an older feeling. Here's a link to something that's had me thinking differently, might be worth a watch: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U4FNBMZsqrY. It's had me thinking differently about the way I approach my scores! Anywho, a nice piece with room for improvement and the promise of success if you choose to do that! Gustav
  8. Check out your dynamic levels. They were all pretty flat, no moment really stood out to me as loud or quiet. I think this track would benefit from some more organic dynamics, and with clarified "peak" moment or moments. Also make full use of your frequency spectrum, theatre speakers are pretty powerful and some lower impact sounds to mirror the footsteps could be cool. Nice use of sounds, though, definitely appropriate to the scene you're setting! Gustav
  9. A great work!! My only comment is the Lower solo sax was covered around 2:20 - there a lot of instruments playing in that range, maybe re-voicing or re-orchestrating it would help. Or maybe that was your intention. Or maybe it doesn't bug you! Anyhow, a great composition. (I'm working on a piece inspired by shapes, so my curiosity was piqued by this 🙂) Gustav
  10. Nice synth, and appropriate to the visuals. Everything was centered around the same area on the keyboard - I was hoping for some more "group motion" upwards and downwards, or something to create another texture or color or feeling within the piece. Maybe cut out the low end at some point and have the high notes carry it, or vice versa, or have more motion from low to high or vice versa. It's all good, just very similar throughout! Gustav
  11. Careful with the timing - you're rhythm isn't always consistently aligned, around 0:15 and 0:28 you got off from yourself. If your DAW allows it, try quantizing your rhythms. Your violin pad is covered up by your synth/guitar. Not a bad theme, plenty of room for development. You might want to give yourself more melody to work with for development than three notes within a small range, but that's a preference thing I suppose. Good work! Gustav
  12. Really nice composition. I love how organic your recent works have been, makes for some good listening. With your "acoustic type" instruments, some of the entrances and releases weren't what I would expect from a human performer - sometimes it drives me nuts to hear sounds that are not human in roles that feel "human/natural". I'm sure there are ways around that, but it's all way more fiddly than I ever get with my stuff!! Anyway, this is good work! Gustav
  13. Nice choice of harmonies/scales/modes! I'm not sure I follow where the melody is, though. I understand the repetition of tri-tones as an idea, but I never picked up on a clear intervallic or rhythmic motif otherwise. The closest I felt to hearing something like that was around 1:50. Keep working! 🙂 Gustav
  14. Where'd you shoot this at? Pretty nice setup video/audio wise. I might toy with clarifying the audio a bit, though, I think some spectrums came out more clearly than others. Anyway, down to the composition! Really interesting bass riff in the faster section, and I love the harmonies you're exploring. Great exploration at 1:50 - careful about how much you let the pedal sustain notes, to avoid muddiness. When you return to the original style/motifs, consider throwing one out of every four repetitions in at a new octave to help outline the phrasing? I lost sense of time during this, felt sort of suspended abruptly. Whoa - holy piano percussion Batman! That's a nifty idea! I think I may have considered putting it after the following section, or maybe introducing it with the bass riff or something - it was pretty out of left field. If it wasn't so cool I'm not sure I'd feel it belonged. Really tight ending, but I'd check out some of the technical stuff near the end - clarity counts! A REALLY good composition, and a strong performance 🙂 Gustav
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