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Gustav Johnson

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Gustav Johnson last won the day on September 12

Gustav Johnson had the most liked content!

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34 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

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. Gustav Johnson

    Genus Australis

    Awesome piece!! Mv. 1 The interplay is great, sounds really effortless. Mvt. 2: Might have liked to see this tonal expression worked in a little more if you're going to use it. I liked it, but didn't hear references to it before or after, and because it was a nice unique moment my ear wanted to hear more of it. Mvt. 3 is beautiful, the way everything works together is quite nice. Everything sounds very similar throughout, I'm beginning to lose track of myself and lose focus as I listen. You put so much work into the notes and rhythms, but I'm not sure I'd be able to walk away from that with "something to hum", if that makes sense. The textures are so gorgeous, though, that I enjoy listening even if I won't be able to recall specifics from this movement. Mvt. 4 - Nice! I love works written for live musicians, and if it involves unique aspects like the live synthesized stuff then that's something truly special. Would love to see this performed! Gustav
  2. Ditto to all above. The motion around bar 3 reminds me of things from 1812 overture finale, and I agree about Ode to Joy, but it's more like noticing two people who happen to have brown hair in a similar haircut.
  3. Gustav Johnson


    Thanks you two!! Also, @Monarcheon props for using such an obscure word, I had to look it up to remind myself what it meant. The last time I heard it (Music History) seems like ages ago......
  4. Gustav Johnson


    I took three days making this, please let me know (time-stamp-ish) if/where anything sounds off or clunky! Did my best to make it spiffy, let me know how I can tighten it! (compositonally or producingly) Thanks y'all.
  5. Gustav Johnson

    Demons dancing in my head

    Cool idea, love the sounds you crafted for this! The cymbals seemed a little overpowering to me - I would consider finding moments when you could bring the percussion down into the background more, that way the other sounds have a chance to be featured. I would also consider making at least one phrase have a change in percussion pattern. Good ambient track! Gustav
  6. Gustav Johnson

    Little Elegy

    Now that I see it written the other way, you're definitely right. Maybe I've been teaching middle school/high school too long and am getting stuck in a rut of simpler time signatures... Anyway, I did like it 🙂 Gustav
  7. Gustav Johnson

    Little Elegy

    Nice piece! I wonder if there may be a way to notate this that is simpler and more clear to the performer about how the tempos and phrases are related? For example, the time signature changes. Nothing wrong with how it is, like I said there may be a better way? One specific thing is your pedal notation. In Sibelius (it looks like you're using Sibelius based on the font), there's a different kind of pedal line that doesn't re-use the "Ped", which can help clean up the score as well. It's in the same area that you use currently to find the pedal lines. Musically I love your harmonies and melodic content. Beautiful to listen to, and to me evokes a sense of "remembering". I enjoyed it! Gustav
  8. I wonder this about myself all the time, it might be a normal part of self-reflecting. It sounds like you try super hard to not make mistakes in your work, which is good in that it will keep you moving forward but can be bad if it means you're unhappy with everything you do. It's a fine balance of knowing what you like about how you wrote it, why you meant it to be that way, and being okay with the reality that not everyone will think the same about all your stuff. Do you ever sit down and sketch out your work beforehand? Or write the themes and sections as if they were characters, and give details about how they grow and interact with each other? Keep in mind that composing as a hobby doesn't have to impress anyone else, and the odds are good that somebody will enjoy playing and/or listening to your work. Even if it seems like you're the only one who likes your work, don't let that get to you - unless you're writing for publication or performance, you yourself are the most important "audience" for your work. Practice writing melodies and practice writing backgrounds, practice being repetitive and not repetitive at ALL, but also don't lose sight of the reason that you write music (which is probably that you love to do it!). Keep writing! Gustav
  9. Gustav Johnson


    Thanks for the score, it helps me listen better. I definitely like your melodic content, especially the bits like measure 18-24 ish. Compositionally I think it's good, the melody is clear and the accompaniment is appropriate, although you might want to consider going through and finding places that could be reduced for clarity. The melody is pretty busy the entire time (lots of movement and embellishing tones), so craft the accompaniment to compliment that - be intentional about the "big/important" moments you want to guide the listener to. A nice piece! Gustav
  10. Gustav Johnson

    For Strings (no 1)

    Holy complexity, batman! Reading it, that makes much more sense. Just listening I wouldn't have been able to understand what was happening. I think I'll give this a try! I like new methods of composing/creating, and I've never considered this one - reminds me of when Bernstein would write in multiple scales/keys/modes at the same time.
  11. Gustav Johnson


    A Good piece! A Score would be helpful, do you have one?
  12. Gustav Johnson

    For Strings (no 1)

    Now that I read your comment about each line having its own tonality, it sounds like what I heard is what you were going for (I didn't understand that originally - blame the lack of sleep!). What I was hearing sounded like chromaticism rather than modality, for example: measure three - the bass has A to C# to Bb, then the tenor (viola) has C natural to D natural, and then the alto (violin 2) has C# to D#. It felt chromatic rather than modal, like each voice is contributing to a different tonality than the others. Like I said, it sounds nice and according to the guidelines the work was successful!
  13. Gustav Johnson

    For Strings (no 1)

    To me it felt unclear and hard to follow. As an exercise, I'm sure it was helpful to practice those different modalities/etc. . I'd suggest working to refine the clarity so the listener doesn't feel like it's all one puddle of over-blended "mud-color", but distinct patches seamlessly connected to each other. I don't dislike it, just lots more to learn from it! Gustav Johnson
  14. You posted a couple days ago asking about Sibelius users. I use Sibelius, what's up?

    1. Kvothe


      HI Gustav. Thanks for replying to my question about Sibelius.  I truly appericate it.  

      Here's my scenario:
      When using the VST, Sib 7 sound set(not GM), I want to Sibelius to regonize different sythn sounds and effects and play them back. I have tried to use the dictionary, but it seems to work when using GM sounds and not Sib 7. Therefore my question is: Does midi messages only apply to the GM sound set or is there some way they work with Sib 7 sounds, too? 

    2. Gustav Johnson

      Gustav Johnson

      I've tried things like that before and never been able to get it to work. I also don't have a lot of time to invest in that , so take my results with a grain of salt. I know for sure it's possible to import sound VST sound libraries/etc., but using effects gets trickier. I think there are ways to use external programs (like Guitar Rig) to interact with Sibelius playback, but like I said I've never used them.

      I've done a quick internet search to see if I could figure anything further out, but haven't turned anything up. Next time I have some time with Sibelius I'll take a look and see if I can find anything!

  15. Gustav Johnson

    When The Night Speaks

    Very nice! Nice to see someone writing characteristically for each instrument. Be aware of the technical (and tuning!) difficulties of the keys you've chosen. Going up a half step (ending in A-flat) would make most of the passages significantly simpler and better for the instruments tone. But I guess we have 12 keys for a reason, and they all need using at some point I suppose! Really liked the colors you evoked with the harmonies. Gustav