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Hugget Zukker

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  1. In our nature

    Lovely. Keep up that good work, Hemio. Good title too.
  2. Butterfly Duet- my first composition

    The transition between the two moods could be more fluid or dramatic, but you have done well at conveying the individual moods clearly, and you have natural melodic flow. I really like that you are trying to tell an emotional story. I'm not an expert on form, but I think a nice trick you could try to employ is to let some recognizable elements (motifs/themes/rhythms/harmonic devices/whatever) carry over from mood 1 to mood 2 to give the piece coherency despite mood changes. Given your described inspiration source, I hear the wilderness before and after, but I hear all the destructive wildlife arriving at once with no foreshadowing, and all the chirping birds and butterflies disappearing at once. That's not necessarily wrong in itself. If the story was that you were hiking in the woods one day, went home, then returned next week and saw that everything had changed, then we wouldn't observe a gradual transformation from the hiker's POV, but in that case we are maybe missing a pause from leaving the woods, and anticipation building as the hiker returns, followed by the dramatic discovery of the change. For example, you could have an intro to the cheery section (the hiker approaches the wilderness), then, following a short departure after that section (the hiker goes home - a brief silence or some restive transition), repeat the intro (the hiker returns) in order to falsely promise the return of the butterflies, but then betray the listener with discordant shock (all the birds and butterflies are dead). If your story should rather use gradual transformation (omniscient narrator - we see the transformation happening before our floating eyes), I think a nice trick to go from idyllic to dark is to play a dissonant, maybe off-key pedal point (a sustained bass note that juxtaposes the harmony), and then gradually pervert the music above into something more sinister. There are many ways to skin a cat. It's a very nice first piece all in all.
  3. Discussion of long composition

    Yes, but if you always found yourself writing 2-5 minute instrumental pieces like me, but often consulted a repertoire of instrumental music for inspiration often extending beyond the 5 minutes, wouldn't you begin to suspect it might be a good idea for you to challenge yourself to write longer pieces so that you could naturally write pieces at any duration, say 0 to 12 minutes? If writing long pieces feels completely normal to you, then your attitude makes perfect sense. If you were like me, feeling overwhelmed when a piece becomes too large, I think it makes some sense to seek further education. Please don't write off my wish to grow so lightly. The fact that you used to think large-scale music superior (which I don't and never have) must have given you a special appreciation that must have really aided you in writing large-scale pieces more intuitively than I could.
  4. Dance of the Dragon

    I'm a strange person. I think the piece may not have it entirely together in the long run. I should spend more time on it, and practice "kill your darlings" more... Not as dramatically so as Carlo Gesualdo, but more.
  5. Wasps

    If it's advert music, then to me it sounds like an in-depth teaser for something professional and expensive. If you want more foreground, you could have a drier element in there (the piano is a good candidate), but I don't think it's necessary. I like it.
  6. Dance of the Dragon

    Thanks a lot for your feedback. Thanks to your critique, I've decided it's not finished yet, that I'll write a new last portion, and that I need a plan. I just had a plan a moment ago, but when I re-listened to the piece just now, I realized my plan was no good, so I'm still working on a plan.
  7. Experimental Music: what's your definition?

    If you already know exactly what the result of applying your "creativity" is going to be, you're not really being creative, are you? You're just going through motions then. No one knows ahead of time exactly what's going to come out of their creative process. Maybe it's better to say it something like this: When a non-experimental artist creates a creative artifact, the end result is what matters the most, and they will scrap ideas that are not predicted to produce results in the general vein of what they had envisioned. When an experimental artist creates a creative artifact, the means justify the ends. The art gains value from the unique idea alone, and the artist may not strongly envision anything.
  8. Dance of the Dragon

    I've been inspired a lot by Joe Hisaishi's soundtracks for Miyazaki films (i.e. Laputa, Nausicaa, Princess Mononoke, etc.) as well as music from the Legend of Zelda. My main self critique is that I think it could use light sections and breathing room, and I think it's a symptom of having focused on other things and forgetting to think about that. I'll think about it next time. There IS some breathing room at the beginning of the last quarter, very refreshing, but I think I should be careful next time and have more space and light sections. But I'm probably not going to fix that because I'm relatively lazy, plus I think the whole thing is too rooted in the idea of constant sound to easily change it.
  9. Discussion of long composition

    I was thinking long single movements, but multi-movement works that sound highly cohesive and structured seem closely related to the topic. I'm curious about craft and appraisal of music that is longer than most popular music. I'm trying to "get it". Most of my life I've listened to and composed only 3-6 minute music, but I wish I could better "feel" and appreciate longer music. I tend to miss the big idea if it's too long.
  10. If you've ever written a long piece of music (say 10+ minutes), or got bored trying, what inspired you to do so, and how did the creative process feel different from that of writing a short and sweet piece (say < 5 minutes)? A lot of western art music is very long compared to popular music. Are there certain things that a long piece, in your opinion, can do better than a short one? I'm asking because I have long wanted to make a long music, simply to try it and see how it changes my perspective. I've read that Sonata form (exposition > development > recapitulation) is a good solution to writing a long piece. Can you propose a thoroughly analytical explanation of why Sonata form may be such a popular choice, and are there any other large scale forms which might be equally applicable? Thanks
  11. I think experimental music is too ill-defined. In a way, all music is inherently experimental, and it's difficult to choose an axis of experimentation and a threshold on that axis which most people can agree with. I suspect you may get answers coming from very diverse ways of thinking. But I'm definitely pro experimentation in principle. I'll judge each experiment individually rather than say anything ill of such a broad category. I don't feel inspired by anything I've heard of John Cage or Stockhausen, but I'm glad they got it over with, and I think it's important to remember what they did so you don't get the same ideas and believe your work is more special than it is. I think many experimenters of any kind will be remembered because the accessibility of music is better than it ever was and it will probably stay so or get even better, so the chance of the world "remembering" whatever goes public is high. Though, a lot will also practically drown in the quantity of known works.
  12. Promise

    This was a lot of fun to make! I think the large scale form is A-A', where A' is more intense. It somewhat drifts in feeling, but I hope it adds up to a coherent whole. Maybe it has a little too constant thickness of texture. It would be nice if there were sections with more breathing room, but it's as if the piece rejected my attempts at such transitions. It's a first time for me mixing ensemble strings with solo strings. I hope it's convincing. There are some harmonics glissandos in the solo viola and the solo violin. The solo violin even plays tremolo harmonics in the background at one point. I tried to make sure the viola's harmonics melody starting at 1:28 and 3:46 was not too fast, because I imagine it must be almost as difficult as double stops. I also imagined that it's best to use slow-ish gliding between harmonics notes, since more fingers are involved than usual, so I imagine it would be hard to change notes abruptly. Please correct me if my orchestral intuitions are wrong. It happens :)
  13. Rejuvinating Realm

    Ah, this is great advice, I think.
  14. Rejuvinating Realm

    Thanks for the tip! Even though I've watch horn players, I have severely limited imagination about what it's like to play one. I'll remove the glissandos; they're not essential anyway. It sounds more like a fast bVI-bVII-I to me, due to the horn passing through a Db, which is not in key with the melody and therefore (IMO) suggests harmony rather than melody. You had almost the same change at 0:13, except there the horn didn't play a Db, and therefore it sounded different harmonically. Did you find that less awkward? Maybe you are right. I'll try without that note soon. It's probably excessive. Switch from what? What do you believe the meter to be prior to the first downbeat? I have no answer. In my opinion, the first few beats have no objective tempo; you stumble into the scene at an angle, but soon recover your footing when a persistent duple compound pattern emerges. There's another rhythmic anomaly at 2:56 to 2:57-ish where an entire additional beat is injected. Why did I do that? Because when the sound of it first popped into my mind, I was (and remain) convinced that the irregularity is subtle enough to create interest without bothering, mainly due to how the oboe's rhythm obfuscates the rhythm in that part, but I could be wrong about these things due to having conditioned my ears to them. Nice observation. I think it would not transition nicely to the next part if the trumpet went in agreement with the other harmonic suggestions at that time. Rather, it becomes a sort of suspension into the next section: The next melody begins at that particular note. That also has a vague connection to the established pattern of a section's melody's first note beginning ahead of time, heard at 0:14, 0:38, and 1:10. It doesn't sound weird to me, but again, I will try tweaking it because you suggested there might be something wrong with it. After more listening around and thinking, I've concluded that my woodwinds are probably mixed too loud in general, and that I should re-consider all the softer trumpet parts. But isn't your statement false for horns, which are usually labelled as members of the brass section in modern orchestras, but are a stock member of woodwind quintets and blend very well with woodwinds as far as I can hear in, for example, Ravel's Le Tombeau de Couperin? And what about the upper register of a piccolo or a clarinet?
  15. Rejuvinating Realm

    I'm trying to get to grips with orchestration, but I'm just an amateur with little practical knowledge of orchestration (I just try to make it sound good with virtual instruments), plus I have at times a somewhat wonky compositional style, but here is my latest effort. I post it here so that, if I'm lucky, I may receive critique that I can learn a thing or two from. I'm aiming for some kind of soothing and spacey sound. The instrumentation is: Edit: I am constantly concerned about wind dynamics. Since it's very "windy" music, I would be very interested to hear a wind player's opinion on the feasibility of the sound combinations. Also, I'm not sure about the way the piano is mixed. It's played very softly most of the time, which gives the texture I want. This works, because the piano is rather loud, but if it was played fortissimo in this mix, it could almost overpower everything else. I wonder if that is unrealistic? Edit: I have re-balanced the mix to attempt more realism, and I have made various changes, including the addition of cellos.