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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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39 Excellent

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About Gustav Johnson

  • Rank
    Advanced Composer

Contact Methods

  • Website URL
    https://transcendaudio.weebly.com/ https://soundcloud.com/transcend_audio
  • Yahoo
    gusjohnson15@Gmail.com

Profile Information

  • Biography
    Hi!
    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
    Male
  • 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
    various
  • 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. The link opens to a blank soundcloud - nothing there to listen to! Going for a "4 minutes and 33 seconds" feel? 😄
  2. 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
  3. 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
  4. 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
  5. 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
  6. 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
  7. 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
  8. 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
  9. 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
  10. 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
  11. 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
  12. I love jazz, it's nice to hear people working on new material for this genre. It's a nice groove. Nothing earth-shakingly new, but things don't have to be earth-shakingly new to be good. A lot of the original literature is full of quotes and such. Good composers steal, great composers steal and make it their own. OOh, new drum groove around 2:20, works well with the accompanying textures/etc. That section was definitely refreshing 🙂 Cool horn break at 3:20 ish. Overall some really nice texture and line work here, I'm beginning to wonder what would happen if you explored a new tonal center in a section of the piece - it feels super stable. You might gain some interest to take one of the sections and modulate it into a new key for a phrase or three, then return back to the original for your closing statements. Not a must, just wondering. Great piece! Gustav P.S. I love hearing "the lick" at 1:40 ish. 😄
  13. Love this, it's a nice sound painting. All the "color percussion" was used to great effect - did you use electronic instruments for those sounds, or were any of them recorded acoustically? Some of them (i.e. the wind chimes, shaker), feel very natural. I really enjoyed this - I'd love to see more people exploring creative styles like this one! Gustav
  14. Thanks for replying, a friend of mine helped me in person after a rehearsal. I've got the plug-ins showing up and running, have any recommendations for VST's I should look into downloading? Gustav
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