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Seni-G

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Seni-G last won the day on June 2

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About Seni-G

  • Rank
    Advanced Member

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  • Website URL
    www.senigaglia.com

Profile Information

  • Gender
    Male
  • Location
    California
  • Occupation
    Insurance Broker
  • Favorite Composers
    Beethoven, Liszt, Tchaikovsky, Debussy, Clare Fischer, John Williams
  • My Compositional Styles
    I love classical/romantic form and harmony, especially when mixed with more modern harmonies (jazz, blues) and latin rhythms.
  • Notation Software/Sequencers
    Finale
  • Instruments Played
    Piano

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  1. This has a nice flavor, and sets a pleasant scene. However I'd like to see the accompaniment do something with a bit more variation, more vitality. The boom-chuck-chuck is definitely a classic way to do accompaniment, but if that is the only rhythm you use for the entire piece, it does not sound "artfully" done. It causes the piece to drone on because the ear just becomes accustomed to a super consistent sound that never changes. You want to keep the ear interested, and variety is the spice of life. Look at how Mozart uses the Alberti bass style, for example. He puts it in, then takes it away, then brings it back. It is used at his discretion, but always selected for artistic value, not just because it is the simplest possible rhythm. Sometimes the accompaniment are single notes, sometimes chords, sometimes nothing at all and sometimes it mirrors the melody. This has the effect of keeping the music interesting, keeping your ear expecting more, waiting in excitement for the next rhythm to come. So I'd say keep your lovely flute melody as is, and work on having your piano part "say something". Cheers! Jonathan
  2. I appreciate the way you move the harmony around. To me, the first half feels more dissonant than it actually is, but the ending has a much more tonal flavor. A nice juxtaposition. Keep it up with your challenge to yourself. That's a great way to gain new skills.
  3. Seni-G

    Romance

    What can I say about love? It never turns out quite the way we expect. Then again neither does life. The years stack up, and the weight of all that time compacts our experiences, until we are forged into something new, like metamorphic rock. A good marriage has the same effect. As the years pile up, any cracks that once existed between us are compressed, our minds and outlooks are reformed, until after a while we have been reshaped, remade together. This music chases love, chases life. It races ahead, keeps the fire lit. It’s hunting, sniffing something out, hungrily searching through the night. The years fly by, but the fire stays lit. It’s a dance, a celebration, though a frenetic one. While you listen, stomp your foot! How about one loud clap! Why the hell not! I have a limited vocabulary for describing how it feels to experience love, real love, so I have to compose instead, to try and capture the uncapturable. This music gives just a taste of that. Love has many flavors, and this is one flavor I’ve tasted, and I want to share the feeling with the world. It may not always be pretty, but it tries hard to live passionately, to expresses itself freely, to communicate something meaningful. It doesn’t give up, even when challenges arise. It reaches out to feel a connection. It aches for it. I have experienced this love. In fact, I experienced it today, while watching my wife walk across the room. Sometimes my heart starts pounding for no reason, and this music appears inside my brain. Makes me want to spin around and around, until everything is blurry. The life we have built, the family we created, the years and shared experiences and adventures are all stacking up before me, until all I can do is marvel at the structure. Keep living! Keep love in your heart, and share it with someone whenever possible. Stomp and dance and spin. And also, lay silently on your bed in the afternoon with the person you love, and watch the sun’s rays poke through the blinds. Compare the sizes of your feet, tell a silly story, share what’s in your heart. Grow together, always growing.
  4. 4) The Magic Songs.mp3 Magic Songs.pdf This post is about the fourth movement of my piece called “Quiquern”. To read about the first few movements and about this piece in general, go here. Fragment 4: The Magic Songs Famished and delirious, Young Kotuko and the girl set out alone into the blizzard to find food for the starving village. As the dark and the cold and hunger devour them, the two children rave and hallucinate, unhinging themselves from the realm of men and into the realm of gods. As they descend, they sing songs of magic, songs buried deep in their memories, in their blood. Their voices rise and fall with the frozen wind. And through this silence and through this waste, where the sudden lights flapped and went out again, the sleigh and the two that pulled it crawled like things in a nightmare — a nightmare of the end of the world at the end of the world. The girl was always very silent, but Kotuko muttered to himself and broke out into songs he had learned in the Singing–House — summer songs, and reindeer and salmon songs — all horribly out of place at that season. He would declare that he heard the tornaq growling to him, and would run wildly up a hummock, tossing his arms and speaking in loud, threatening tones. To tell the truth, Kotuko was very nearly crazy for the time being; but the girl was sure that he was being guided by his guardian spirit, and that everything would come right. She was not surprised, therefore, when at the end of the fourth march Kotuko, whose eyes were burning like fire-balls in his head, told her that his tornaq was following them across the snow in the shape of a two-headed dog. The girl looked where Kotuko pointed, and something seemed to slip into a ravine. It was certainly not human, but everybody knew that the tornait preferred to appear in the shape of bear and seal, and such like. It might have been the Ten-legged White Spirit–Bear himself, or it might have been anything, for Kotuko and the girl were so starved that their eyes were untrustworthy. They had trapped nothing, and seen no trace of game since they had left the village; their food would not hold out for another week, and there was a gale coming. A Polar storm can blow for ten days without a break, and all that while it is certain death to be abroad. Kotuko laid up a snow-house large enough to take in the hand-sleigh (never be separated from your meat), and while he was shaping the last irregular block of ice that makes the key-stone of the roof, he saw a Thing looking at him from a little cliff of ice half a mile away. The air was hazy, and the Thing seemed to be forty feet long and ten feet high, with twenty feet of tail and a shape that quivered all along the outlines. The girl saw it too, but instead of crying aloud with terror, said quietly, “That is Quiquern. What comes after?”
  5. This is phenomenal. I love how you vary the rhythm throughout the piece. Both of you play with virtuosity. Well done! I will share this with friends.
  6. Mind traveling music! I like that. Thanks for the kind words.
  7. A Letter to My Father.mp3 A Letter to My Father.pdf I recently put the finishing touches to a piece I composed back in 2008, “A Letter to My Father.” This piece is actually the third movement from my string quartet “Jackdaw.” Therefore at its heart it is based on the life and writings of Franz Kafka, like all the other music in that quartet. However this music has special meaning for me as well (also like all the music in that quartet). It feels especially meaningful during this current time in my life, when my own interactions with my father have become so very strange. Kafka’s Letter to his Dad When Kafka was about 36, he wrote a nasty letter to his dad. Apparently his father Hermann was a pretty difficult guy, constantly ridiculing Kafka for being a weakling, while refusing to care one bit that his son was a genius. Kafka’s stories are real mind-benders. The realities they portray are just “off” enough that they feel like they could be real life. One can recognize the landscape, envision oneself living in that world, but something in the reality is very wrong. Sometimes it’s hard to put one’s finger on… but impossible to ignore. Like the work of H.P. Lovecraft, the stories have the power to make one doubt one’s own world, to make one doubt mankind as a whole. It’s delicious writing, and frankly still horrifying to this day. Despite young Franz’s clear talent, Poppa Kafka just didn’t respect his son, and he made that known at every opportunity. By age 36, Franz was tired of Hermann’s crap. He busted out some paper and really let Dad have it, for 45 hand-written pages. In his own way, Kafka believed that this letter would help heal their relationship, but in reality the letter was full of complaints, accusations, and invective. He plumbed the depths of his own hurt, and wrung the emotions out onto the page. If the letter is to be believed, Hermann was a toxic and narcissistic hypocrite, an abusive tyrant who never gave his fragile son even a kindly word or friendly look in all his life. The writing is heart-breaking and so very relatable, ripe as it is with a certain timeless pain that has been felt by so many sons across so many generations. In one episode, Kafka describes a traumatizing experience from his childhood: one evening at bedtime he was begging his father for some water (perhaps even being a bit bratty about it), when his father, always a large and intimidating man, burst into his bedroom without warning and, in a rage, grabbed the small boy and locked him outside on the balcony with nothing on but his thin cotton sleep shirt. Kafka writes: I was quite obedient afterwards at that period, but it did me inner harm. What was for me a matter of course, that senseless asking for water, and the extraordinary terror of being carried outside were two things that I, my nature being what it was, could never properly connect with each other. Even years afterwards I suffered from the tormenting fancy that the huge man, my father, the ultimate authority, would come almost for no reason at all and take me out of bed in the night and carry me out onto the balcony, and that meant I was a mere nothing for him. Franz Kafka, from Letter to His Father Not only is this a sad story of parental mismanagement and emotional scarring, but it is also such a great insight into why so much of Kafka’s writing features nameless, faceless authority figures who carry out irrational sentences with a total lack of empathy or emotional connection. Moments that feature characters like that are some of the more disturbing vignettes from his stories; they make it all too easy to picture oneself being dragged away by faceless agents of the state who have no sense of human morality or concern for life. Kafka was able to translate his tragic daddy issues into terrifying metaphors for what it’s like to live in modern society. Now THAT’S how to cope with a bad upbringing. Kafka’s father Hermann Franz Kafka as a young man Let’s all write letters to our dads! Funny story: I had to send a letter to my own father recently. Mine was not as nasty as Kafka’s, nor was my father anywhere near as abusive as Hermann. But father-son relationships can be all varieties of strange, and mine definitely falls on that spectrum. I won’t go into the details here, but suffice it to say that at pretty much the same age as Kafka when he wrote his letter, I found something about my father’s behavior and treatment of me that I found questionable, and so I wrote a letter that I wish I didn’t have to write. It delivered the message, though I’m not sure it did anything to heal our relationship. When Kafka completed his letter, he hand delivered it to his mother, and asked her to bear the letter to his father. Her mother read it once and immediately decided to hide it forever. As much as Kafka might have hoped his manifesto would help heal old wounds, his mother felt differently, and refused to take any part in provoking the monumental explosion that would likely follow should Hermann ever read it. My own letter was delivered directly to my father, though I’m actually not sure he read it. One can never know these things when direct communication becomes impossible. Long story short, this music ain’t just about Kafka. I hope someday someone writes about how I skillfully took my familial pain and transformed it into timeless art we can all relate to. Whether or not that ever happens, I will say this: writing the music always makes me feel better.
  8. I think this would shred as a solo guitar piece, especially the beautiful section starting at measure 16. Lovely interplay of voices and harmony, with a bit of a surprise ending. I like stuff that bends the ear a bit. Well struck!
  9. Those lovely fast bits around 0:53 really added a nice dimension. This strikes me as confident composition; you seemed to know what you were going for, and you went there. It paints a lovely picture: a bit antique, warm and inviting but also a bit off-putting. I like it, and I'd very much enjoy to hear how it contrasts with other vignettes from the suite.
  10. Music that reminds me of dog sitting Audio: Andante_Comodo.mp3 Score: Andante comodo.pdf I wrote this on a ranch. I wrote this at the radio station, late late at night. It’s a song of love. It’s a song about feeling alone. On the day I finished it, I also finished On Chisel Beach by Ian McEwan. This music wrapped itself around that story, and both were planted deep into my brain. Both the music and that story complain and ache and worry, they both drag it out when it doesn’t need to be that complicated. Both improve with age, with patience, with repetition. On the day I finished it, I fretted in my journal about composing too slowly. I wrote my journal entry on some sheet music. Writing words on sheet music is easier than writing music. Maybe I just need to write music as often as I write words. This song reminds me of sitting up until all hours of the night, on a couch that wasn’t my own, in a strange house, watching WWII documentaries and checking to see if we’d accidentally let the coyote eat the cat. It reminds me of the last grasping days of college. I was spending most of my time grasping, grasping at what?… grasping at something. It reminds me of emerging from a dark cavern to greet the morning sun. It reminds me of waiting, waiting, waiting to grow up. Years and years and years after I finished the music, I played it for someone. She said, “You’re really starting to get good at this.” I pretended that the music was truly new.
  11. Audio: Allegro.mp3 Score: Allegro TOTALLY DONE.pdf The date was September 24, 2006, my 22nd birthday. Erica and I decided to have a picnic in Meadow Park, share a bottle of wine, and take a nap. It was during this wine-induced nap that somebody walked into our house, in the middle of the day no less, while we slept peacefully in the bedroom, and stole my laptop. This particular laptop happened to contain all the music I had ever written up to that time. Was it backed up somewhere? Of course not. After all, my laptop had never been stolen before, so why would I need to back up everything I'd ever created. Nope, it was all right there, and someone stole it right out of my house in broad daylight. I never saw it again. The thief did not take our DVD player. He did not take our television. He did not take my car keys or the stereo either. He didn't even take the laptop's power cord. Just the laptop. And of course my very reason for living. When I awoke from my cat nap, it took me a good half hour to realize the laptop was gone. I won't try to put into words what went through my head except to say this: all of my art was destroyed that day. I had no website, no hard drive, no printed copies. I felt like a victim of fire. I was completely alone with my grief. Ok I was able to salvage a couple things. While ravaging through my belongings looking for any sheet music I could find, I miraculously discovered some printed pages stuffed down into a drawer. The pages were the original versions of what would later become the third and fourth movements of my first piano sonata. I was also able to copy down from memory the scraps that would later become the last movement of my first string quartet. Other than those tidbits, everything else was taken forever. My entire career as a composer up to that point was a blank page. I'm not sure how long I waited until I tried to sit down and write something again. Maybe a month. Whenever it was, when I sat down in front of that blank page, I actually felt very free, despite my sadness (and rage). It was as if all my musical baggage had been tossed unceremoniously in the trash can. Whatever genre I had been trying to fit into, whatever musical puzzle I had been wrestling with, whatever inadequacies I felt about my completed work - they were all completely moot now. I was born anew. So I sat down and wrote a violin sonata. I had never written for the violin before, but my approach was to write as if the instrument could do anything I wanted it to do. I wrote that way for the piano too. No more feeling constrained by my own lack of pianistic ability. I put on that page whatever I damn well felt like. It felt good. And somehow, despite all the pain, the music was chipper. Even at my darkest moments, my music comes out chipper. Maybe it's just who I am, or maybe that's how I cope. My brain might feel all doom and gloom, but my music is sunshine and rainbows. This first movement is the first piece I wrote after my babies were taken from me. I completed the movement in March of 2007. It is very much a classical piece, straight up sonata form, repeat bar and everything. It might not be genre shattering, but it was a very open and freeing experience for me to write it. It's what I was feeling at the time. It's what had to come out.
  12. Thank you Luis for your kind words, and for always taking the time to listen to my new work. I really appreciate it.
  13. On the far side of the village is the Quaggi – The Singing House. Only men may enter; it is where they go to pray. In times of plenty, the men sing hearty songs of gratitude to the various gods of the Arctic. In times of desperation, they fall into a trance of smoke and dark and sweat and hunger. Arms linked, stomping the holy ground, repeating of the same syllables, the great hunters of the village reach for the gods with outstretched arms. What does a 10 year old boy imagine of this place? Banned from entering, just like the women, but knowing in his heart, unlike the women, that one day he will be granted entry into the inner sanctum, a young boy of the village can only guess what goes on inside that large tent. He hears from a friend that the sorcerer sings his magic songs and calls upon the Spirit of the Reindeer, and his songs make the wind blow and the ice crack to reveal the seal below. Anxiety and yearning and fear wiggle through his body. One day he would take his place in the Quaggi and learn the secrets of the hunters. But at fourteen an Inuit feels himself a man, and Kotuko was tired of making snares for wild-fowl and kit-foxes, and most tired of all of helping the women to chew seal-and deer-skins (that supples them as nothing else can) the long day through, while the men were out hunting. He wanted to go into the quaggi, the Singing–House, when the hunters gathered there for their mysteries, and the angekok, the sorcerer, frightened them into the most delightful fits after the lamps were put out, and you could hear the Spirit of the Reindeer stamping on the roof; and when a spear was thrust out into the open black night it came back covered with hot blood. For more on this piece, please visit: https://www.senigaglia.com/tag/quiquern/
  14. I think the melody has real potential if you expand it. Right now it's like you have half a verse, so keep adding material until you find something you like. I also recommend changing the Alberti Bass. It's like your left hand is playing like Mozart but your right hand is like New Age (or like the water music from Mario 64). Stick with the right hand because what you have is already quite expressive. Can you be freer in your accompaniment and give the left hand something expressive as well?
  15. The dogs’ meat was taken for human use, and Amoraq fed the team with pieces of old summer skin-tents raked out from under the sleeping-bench, and they howled and howled again, and waked to howl hungrily. One could tell by the soap-stone lamps in the huts that famine was near. In good seasons, when blubber was plentiful, the light in the boat-shaped lamps would be two feet high—cheerful, oily, and yellow. Now it was a bare six inches Amoraq carefully pricked down the moss wick, when an unwatched flame brightened for a moment, and the eyes of all the family followed her hand. The horror of famine up there in the great cold is not so much dying, as dying in the dark. All the Inuit dread the dark that presses on them without a break for six months in each year; and when the lamps are low in the houses the minds of people begin to be shaken and confused. But worse was to come. The underfed dogs snapped and growled in the passages, glaring at the cold stars, and snuffing into the bitter wind, night after night. When they stopped howling the silence fell down again as solid and heavy as a snowdrift against a door, and men could hear the beating of their blood in the thin passages of the ear, and the thumping of their own hearts, that sounded as loud as the noise of sorcerers’ drums beaten across the snow. One night Kotuko the dog, who had been unusually sullen in harness, leaped up and pushed his head against Kotuko the boy’s knee. Kotuko patted him, but the dog still pushed blindly forward, fawning. Then Kadlu waked, and gripped the heavy wolf-like head, and stared into the glassy eyes. The dog whimpered and shivered between Kadlu’s knees. The hair rose about his neck, and he growled as though a stranger were at the door; then he barked joyously; and rolled on the ground, and bit at Kotuko’s boot like a puppy. ‘What is it?’ said Kotuko; for he was beginning to be afraid. ‘The sickness,’ Kadlu answered. ‘It is the dog sickness.’ Kotuko the dog lifted his nose and howled and howled again. To learn more about this music, please visit: https://www.senigaglia.com/quiquern-dog-sickness/
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