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Tónskáld last won the day on December 8

Tónskáld had the most liked content!

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83 Excellent

About Tónskáld

Profile Information

  • Biography
    I'm an American composer of instrumental music. I enjoy hybridizing altered scales with traditional harmonies.
  • Gender
  • Location
    Iceland/United States
  • Occupation
    Something non-musical
  • Interests
    Writing music, playing piano, being outdoors, traveling
  • Favorite Composers
    Debussy, Gershwin, Ravel, Sibelius
  • My Compositional Styles
  • Notation Software/Sequencers
    Sibelius, Spitfire Labs (VSL)
  • Instruments Played
    Piano, viola, clarinet, flute, French horn

Recent Profile Visitors

974 profile views
  1. If I didn't know any better, I'd say this was a lost étude of Chopin. So masterfully done! (Also, great job on getting the MIDI rendering to sound lifelike!) There is so much nuance here. It's as if your mind is one step ahead of the music, rather than the other way around (which seems to be the case for typical composers—myself included.) Overall, great job! I enjoyed this very much... now if we could only hear a live recording.
  2. I must echo @Noah Brode... thank you, @Monarcheon and @Luis Hernández for your dedication and thorough evaluations of these works. And for the time you sink into this forum in general. It does not go unnoticed. Special congratulations to @Gustav Johnson for the win! I'm just honored (and pleasantly surprised) to have been named among the top 3. (I kept checking the individual judge's scores to make sure there wasn't a math error.) All of you were quite worthy competitors and I'm fairly certain none of us would have produced such top-quality works (speaking for others, of course) had the standards not been so high. This competition stretched me in so many good ways—I'm already looking forward to the next one!
  3. This is fascinating! I love your chord progressions here. And the rhythm is so... nonchalant, just like a cat. I feel like you've captured the subject very well in the music. Great job!
  4. Oh, I don't know why this doesn't have any reviews. It's quite lovely! It did indeed sound Romantic in nature, or perhaps late Classical. I like how each instrument group sort of has its own themes that don't cross over into other groups. I hope you make time to finish it!
  5. I'm going to butt in on this conversation, if I may be so bold. I go about it the opposite way of @Ken320, although we both end up with great results (for his part, at least). I have a MIDI keyboard connected to my DAW (Kontakt 5 in this case) but I've found that inputting directly from the keyboard makes my part writing too unrealistic. So I compose everything as a score first in Sibelius. I usually save two files: one as an official score, and one that I can tweak for playback. Then I export each stave individually as an audio file (.wav on PC, .aiff on Mac), convert them to .mp3 files, and mix them in Reaper, which is a pretty cool mixer that's free to download. (There's a $60 one-time license fee after the 30-day trial. They don't make you pay it, though, so you can keep using it for free as long as your conscience lets you.) It's not a perfect system, and I do wish Sibelius' reverb and pan/volume settings worked better so I wouldn't have to import everything into an external mixer. Oh well... the things we do for our craft!
  6. Congrats, man! Cool graphics (and cool music, lol)!
  7. This is an interesting piece! I like how the opening recurred throughout, reappearing in the 3 different segments. The opener was rather exciting, like something out of POTC. The middle was dramatic with crashing cymbals and brass. I really liked the chords there. The final segment was slower and lush, like taking a breath after a long storm. All in all, a nice, cohesive work. I'm curious what your inspiration was!
  8. Wow, Alfredo, such passion! In terms of the harmonic structure and layout of the piece, it sounded late Classical/early Romantic. The chords were clean, for the most part, making this sound cool and fresh. You also weren't afraid of exploring in related keys, such as Gb major/Eb minor and Ab major/F minor. Good for you! I think you have some depth to your music that only comes from experience. Some criticism—the piano part isn't terribly fun to play as it conists mainly of maj/min triads and arpeggios. The middle passage, where you venture briefly into 3/8 time, seems exciting, though. There are also a number of passages that double notes in both hands (e.g., M. 20) that will need to be cleaned up. My ear was also longing for some "off color" chords to spice things up every now and then, but I didn't hear any except maybe the measure before the end. As you become more familiar with the circle of 5ths and constructing music from it, I encourage you to explore altering the chords bit by bit. What might happen if I made this an augmented 4th instead of a perfect 4th? What if I made this a dim7 instead of a min7? And so forth. (BTW, I did hear an aug. 4th early on in the piece and got excited, but it never happened again—or I missed it if it did.) Keep up the great work!
  9. Yes, I agree with @Luis Hernández. This is a lovely piece! It's simple yet satisfying. The dissonance here is just right. Great job once again, Lotsy! And my music theory isn't so good, so I can't really explain that either. I suspect he's referring to your harmonies that are always separated by a maj or min 7th, which would be separated by 2nds if one line were transposed up/down an octave.
  10. I'm not sure about a title, but I would like to comment on the work itself. First off, I must compliment your performing abilities! Most works submitted here are automatically played by a DAW, not a live performer. Awesome job! I found the music itself to be very tastefully done. Your use of altered harmonies was very effective—not too harsh but not too predictable. It was refreshing and I enjoyed it quite a bit! If I had a formal complaint it would be that the piece seemed to explore too many different ideas in so short a time. It just didn't feel quite as cohesive as I wanted. Hey, but that's a personal preference and others may disagree. I think you clearly have skill—both in writing and playing music. Thanks for sharing, and keep up the good work!
  11. Ah, I see what you're getting at. Idealogically, some say our Western society is in the throes of postmodernism, which is largely a reaction to modernism. So, rather than spending energy looking for news ways of doing things, we focus mainly on not doing things the way they were done during the modern era. That's a stereotype, of course, but I think it does a fairly accurate job summarizing our cultural/artistic expressions over the past 30 - 40 years. What does this look like? Well, since the modern era was characterized by reason and logic, the postmodern era is characterized by de-emphasizing reason and logic. In music, we saw the advent of atonal music and the gradual displacement of traditional tonalities. Chaos and randomness began to be favored over form and beauty—outflows of logic. This isn't to say that any of this is somehow wrong or worse, however. It simply is the way things are. Personally, I think it's rather sad that atonality and tonality need be viewed as the products of opposing idealogies. Why should one be praised and the other devalued? Why should composers of serial or 12-tone music (i.e., atonal) be hailed as "innovative and cutting-edge," while composers of traditional diatonic harmonies be criticized as "commonplace and close-minded?" My goal as a composer is to blend these two. And maybe that's what will define our era: a melding of old and new. In any case, I do agree with you @Jean Szulc that we seem to be living off the ashes of the past, even if our goal is to wipe those ashes from our memory. Edit: the goal of postmodernism is to obliterate the ashes of modernism. I wasn't insinuating that's what we should be doing, but rather that's what society is doing.
  12. I like how thoughtful and introspective you are as a person. I think it makes you an even better composer! To answer your question, I don't think you're doing anything "wrong." In fact, one could argue you're following the same path every great composer has taken—trying on new and different styles/tools/vocabulary to see which fits the best. You may never arrive at a style that you keep forever. With time, though, I believe you'll form enough foundation into your intuition that you'll employ subconscious patterns that unify your works. Nothing to worry about, but it's good that you're thinking about it.
  13. I'm not sure if that's the official name for them, but I was referring to the major triad that contains the complementary notes of another major scale. So the complementary scale for C major is the pentatonic scale C#-D#-F#-G#-A# (i.e., the black keys). The major triad that contains these is F# major. For A major, it's Eb major. And so forth. I hope that explains what I was trying to convey.
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