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Tónskáld

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Tónskáld last won the day on August 14

Tónskáld had the most liked content!

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About Tónskáld

  • Rank
    Intermediate Composer

Profile Information

  • Gender
    Male
  • Location
    Iceland/United States
  • Occupation
    Something non-musical
  • Interests
    Writing music, playing piano, being outdoors, traveling
  • Favorite Composers
    Bach, Gerswhin, Grieg, Sibelius
  • My Compositional Styles
    Neo-Romantic, Northern European/Scandinavian
  • Notation Software/Sequencers
    Sibelius, Spitfire Labs (VSL)
  • Instruments Played
    Piano, viola, clarinet, flute, French horn

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  1. I felt the music needed to take a breath. There's a lot of musical phrasing in there that shifts from passage to passage very quickly, and I was physically tired just listening to it. It also seemed to me that the percussion rhythm strove against the natural rhythm provided by the melody. (It might also be the reason the music seemed constantly out of breath. Dunno for sure, though.) I liked the pentatonic feel of the main melody and think you've got a good thing going here, overall! I would suggest giving the rhythmic structure a bit of a tweak so it flows better with the melodic structure. Maybe use less drumming for this first part and only fill in rhythmically where the melody lacks. It might be interesting to hear some Eastern-sounding percussion, too, such as a gong or wood blocks. Just don't overuse them! Keep it up!
  2. Aw, thanks for the kind words, Luis—and especially for taking the time to listen and comment! I'm working on adding fingering to the score so the difficult counterpoint passages in the beginning make more "playability" sense. I apologize for misleading you about the impressionism. In my mind, the Impressionists are composers like Sibelius, Debussy and Ravel; all of whom (for the most part) retained tonality in their works but who didn't employ the songlike, melody-driven structure most of the Romantics did. I feel that, in that regard, my music is similar. (Or maybe it's more accurate to say that's where my style is heading.) But I can hear the Classicism and Romanticism you refer to in your analysis! I could go on for days about Iceland, so I'll simply say that you should definitely visit.
  3. Ah, Jared, these are marvels. The color, the structure, the abstractness. Comments for each piece individually are below. Gigue: The lilting effect was quite reminiscent of the sea. The theme was embedded and embellished throughout. I congratulate you! Serenade: Short but oh, so sweet! There is a richness here that was quite delightful. Music aside, I do believe you misspelled 'koi' at the end there. Dance: This one might have been my favorite. The colorful chords along with the tasteful rhythm kept me smiling. Fantasy: Superbly written piece, and the musical directions were just as fascinating. Dirge: Another favorite of mine—so melancholic. And I found it interesting that you switched to French for the descriptive post-title. Curious as to your reasons for that... Toccata: Loved the back-and-forth between the hands. Also, you used the word 'epigram' in a piece of music. How pithy of you. Berceuse: What depth! And the colorful imagery throughout is just breathtaking! In m18, though, I was confused about the 8th note chord in the bass before the half note chord. If it's an appoggiatura, shouldn't it be attached by a slur? If it's not, perhaps put a little distance between those two chords so the meaning is clearer. Caprice: This particular piece had a strong taste of impressionism (Debussy would be proud), and the return to the original theme at m42 was masterfully done! Even though this piece moved quickly and the chords were unconventional, none of the nuances were lost on me. Very well done, sir! I continue to be impressed by your musical prowess. It's quite apparent you put a good deal of thought and planning into these works, and I suppose that's why I find your music particularly appealing. There is no superfluity, only an overarching cohesiveness that ensures every note that's written makes sense, belongs. You must be an aesthetic minimalist, because it's as if your music has been distilled down so that each idea is effectively conveyed using as few notes as possible. I consider your works nothing short of masterpieces. I do hope the world discovers you someday. Thanks again for sharing yourself through your music! I look forward to hearing more of it!
  4. This song is the first in a five-movement suite inspired by my time in Iceland. The opening theme uses counterpoint and sustained notes to emulate that feeling of joy-anxiety each new day brings. There is a transitional passage that builds with anticipation into the middle theme, which is harmonically less complex than the first—this is meant to represent that feeling of unbridled peace an early morning stroll in nature brings. The middle theme is repeated in various keys and modulations before the return to the opening theme and the piece ends in a soft, arppegiated finish. Mornings anywhere are special times, but I find them particularly breathtaking in Iceland. There are so few people and so many natural phenomena that one can't help but be spiritually touched by íslensk dögun—an Icelandic dawn. (Be warned: sunrises/sunsets are difficult to catch in high summer and winter, as the sun never really rises/sets.) I couldn't resist incorporating a morning song into a suite about that lovely country! The overall style of the song is impressionistic... you likely won't come away humming any melodies, but (hopefully) you will come away with those feelings etched on your soul for a while. BTW I'm a pianist and, as such, strive to make my piano songs as enjoyable to play as possible. You'll notice quite a bit of hand-crossing, melody-driven left-hand passages, and many other "fun" effects. I think that's enough words for now. Please, enjoy and comment! I always love hearing how the piece made you feel, and what did or didn't sit well with you!
  5. This may be the greatest tragedy of our time! Hopefully it will be remedied in the near future. 🙂 If I run into any of my harpist friends (and if you don't mind, of course) I'll be happy to share this with them for their feedback. Best wishes! Jordan
  6. Again, beautifully sculpted—all 3 movements. I could totally "see" the colors described in the music. And what an interesting topic of study! I'm no harpist, so take all this with a grain of salt or two: the chord clusters in your piece appeared to share the same chromatics for the most part, so pedal changes would be minimal. That's good, of course. The note spans within the chords also looked to be within normal limits. It seemed like you took very special care writing for the harp in this piece, so I'm sure any troublesome passages will be quite forgiveable. Probably the only way of knowing for sure, though, is to have a harpist actually sit down and give this a run-through. Do you have any harpist friends or colleagues who might be willing to have a gander at this?
  7. @caters You are a much more serious student of music than I ever was (and may ever be, honestly). I know very little about musical forms or what certain chord progressions are called—I just know when something "sounds" right, and I've learned this through experience, not from books. Well, not entirely from books. When I sit down to write a piece of music, I couldn't care less what keys my different sections are going to be in, whether the leadup to my cadence is going to be iii-IV-V-vii7º/i, or whether it's going to be too motivic for a bagatelle. I care almost exclusively about one thing: does it sound right? If it doesn't, then I might dig deeper into music theory to figure out what I've done wrong, or how it might be improved. When we reduce music to just a formula, it may be structurally okay and fit all the paradigms we're trying to squeeze it into... but it won't sound right. I feel like that's what you've done here. You have designed all these wonderful-sounding motifs in seeming total isolation of each other and then tried to combine them by applying music theory. The problem isn't that you don't know enough music theory. The problem is that, in my opinion, every note you've written has come from your head and not your heart. If you were my music student, I would tell you to take everything you've learned and throw it out the proverbial window. I would tell you to just sit down at the piano and play what you feel. No analyzing it, no categorizing it... just let it flow. Sure, it might sound like complete gibberish, but somewhere in that gibberish is a diamond in the rough. The longer you play, the more it solidifies. And before you know it, voilà! you have yourself a motif or maybe even a full-fledged theme. Then you can go outside, pick up the music theory you tossed out the window, and work on making it better. But if at any point the music doesn't sound right—regardless of whether you're obeying the rules of harmony—stop and rewrite something. Play it over and over; trust your ear and your heart, not your head. And keep doing this until the piece is finished. I know you have it in you. You're just too passionate about music not to have that inner flame. But, hey, if this method doesn't work for you, you can always say you tried, eh?
  8. I agree with @caters and @Monarcheon. You chose your chords tastefully and didn't shy away from dissonance every now and then. The image I got from the music was a sad college student sitting alone in his dorm, staring out across a campus full of a thousand strangers and yet feeling more and more lonely. (Also, it's raining, so the students are carrying umbrellas or wearing ponchos.) This is definitely something I would listen to when I'm feeling that way! So, in short, I do think you have talent. Not everybody can write music that invokes such strong feelings in others. I look forward to more of your works!
  9. I must admit I'm confused at your arranging attempt and your question. From what I can tell, the strings are playing exactly what Mozart wrote, as if you copied and pasted and then moved on to the other sections. The flute and oboe play violin I and II sections, respectively, while the clarinet appears to be mostly the viola part transposed up an octave. In suit, the bassoons double the cellos. Then you have the brass section (horn and trumpet) that only ever doubles other sections. (And they play some fast sixteenth triplets that sound awkward when produced by these grand-but-inflexible instruments.) A little doubling is fine when done tastefully. A moderate amount of doubling is not great. But a piece that's almost exclusively one section doubling another is purely off-putting. Effectively what you've done is given every section—regardless of their different timbres and inherent playability—musical passages that were meant to be played by a string ensemble. Eine kleine nachtmusik was written by a master composer specifically for strings. If he'd wanted it to be a symphony he would've orchestrated it as one. That's not to say that it can't be arranged for an orchestra. But having the string section play the original work and simply carbon copying other sections on top of them... that won't cut it. At least in my opinion. If you want to make this better, isolate sections of the piece that speak to the different voices of the orchestra... if possible. It's difficult for me to imagine any other instruments playing this except the strings. But, hey, I've been wrong before—I'm sure I can be wrong again! Good luck!
  10. I was fortunate enough to see his Bachman-Wilson house while visiting NW Arkansas, where I had to fight back tears the whole time. It was so... right. Although I'm sure the tour guides thought I was mental. Glad to know you're a fan, as well! Oddly enough, I compose in much the same way you described. I have two computers with Sibelius installed on them. I compose the piece on my laptop first ('cause I can sit at the piano), and then re-compose it on the desktop that has my VSL and DAW. Folks may think I'm crazy, but the method works for me! I think my favorite part, though, is what comes afterward: getting to engrave the score. Like you, I also love typefaces and fonts—I have probably thousands installed—and I could (and have!) sit for literal days trying out combinations and layouts. It's pure bliss, I tell you! 😂 Musically, I love what you do with your works; your themes are embedded throughout, and every note seems to count. If I may be so bold as to compare myself to you, I'd say my own style is rather similiar, although I tend to be a bit more lyrical. So I guess I'm trying to say that your works "jive" with me. At any rate, thank you so much for sharing your thoughtful musical expressions with us; I am definitely a fan! Keep up the inspiring work!
  11. Aw, this piece is so sad! (Is it weird that now I have feelings for a crumbling aqueduct?) Great visual—I had no trouble "seeing" what was going on throughout the piece. Impressionistic and wonderful, in my opinion! I'd love to hear the full suite!
  12. @CalibriStandard Well, the most important thing is to have a reason to write a longer piece! A lot of well-meaning composers (present company included) like to write longer works just for the sake of writing longer works, and the results can be pretty boring. It's also important to keep in mind that music tells a story, and every good story has a problem that needs to be solved. When you're writing a long piece of music, or one with multiple movements, you want to present a "problem" to be fixed later. Musically, this translates as dissonance and consonance, or tension and resolution. Really, the possibilities are endless. I like to introduce a theme in its skeletal form (for example, either just the note values or the intervals, but not both together), tease the audience throughout the piece with it, and finally resolve it at the end. The trick is what to do with the music in between, and that's where variations, modulations, motifs, counterpoint—all the tools a composer has at his disposal—come in to play. It's really more art than science, so just dive in and start getting messy!
  13. I'm honestly not sure which I like better—the score or the music—and that's saying something, because the music has more architecture than a Frank Lloyd Wright structure! It was visually as well as musically appealing. Your use of tone color is unique, refreshing, and easy to listen to. Sound work! Also, kudos for choosing one of Satie's pieces... if for no other reason than because I like him! 😉 (Seriously, I have know what engraving program you use for your scores. I could read them all day and never get tired.)
  14. Short but sweet... I liked it! The dissonance was interesting but not jarring/chaotic. I especially enjoyed the sudden modulation down to B (with an F# chord to keep it from sounding too much like a "step down" from C). You show a lot of promise in thematic development; hopefully soon you tackle some longer pieces to test your mettle! Keep it up!
  15. Yep, and an F# in the alto line a few measures later. I would think Sibelius would have automatically fixed that... never thought to check. Thanks for pointing that out!
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