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About Rienzi

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  • Birthday 01/01/1981

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  • Location
    San Francisco, CA
  • Occupation
    Software Engineer
  • Instruments Played
    Cello, piano
  1. I've just released a tool which I hope makes composition more casual and less imposing: http://nullcomposer.com http://www.youtube.c...h?v=OV1ekV-QMT8 Do you think the anonymous/collective angle brings anything to making music? It works great for stuff like wikipedia, link posting (reddit), photoshop contests etc. With NC it's super easy remix anyone else's work and repost, plus the anonymity means no one's afraid of making mistakes. At any rate I figured you here at YC would dig it the most, so enjoy. - Justin.
  2. Hi all. I'm running a new variations contest at teamcomposer.com. 1st prize - $25 2nd prize - $15 3rd prize - $10 http://teamcomposer.com/song.php?id=76 There is no entry fee, and the deadline is 7/1/2010. Please note that you must use TeamComposer to write your entry. If you have questions or run into any bugs, feel free to contact me on YC or through the 'contact us' link. - Justin.
  3. Yes, sort of...you could open other people's songs, but you had to save your own copy. So it was more like sending .mus files back and forth -- TeamComposer is more like Google Docs, but for composition. You can see/chat with others working on the same piece, and see what section of the song they're working on. You can still edit others' works, but now they're called 'variations' on the site, and are attached to the original song.
  4. Some friends and I have just gotten our new composition app on-line: http://www.teamcomposer.com (previously known as MusicDNA Composer) TeamComposer is mainly a sequencer, but it 'knows' basic harmony and helps you to generate chord progressions and harmonies. It's not a replacement for current score editing or sequencing apps like Finale/Logic etc, it's more of a social composition site, and also a teaching tool -- it's fairly beginner oriented and has music lessons and wizards and such. What's unique about it is that it's collaborative and integrated with the web -- multiple composers can work on the same piece in real-time, with each collab session having its own chat room, and you can 'tweet' pieces of music to the front page or publish them to your facebook news feed. I'm hoping the collaboration angle makes it useful to communities like YC, and in the educational arena as well. There's been a big push towards collaboration in education the past few years, and everyone now expects apps to work easily with other apps and the web these days. I'm hoping TC can bring this to the realm of music composition. So enjoy! If you run into any major bugs etc, you can use the contact us form, or I might be in the chat room (eightfold). - Justin.
  5. As QcCowboy said, for notation software, Finale and Sibelius are the favorites, with many composers trending toward Finale. For sequencing, if you're comfortable writing note-by-note, Apple Logic is the best I have personally used, and the Express version is only 2 hundo, just a bit out of your price range. May I also humbly suggest an application I wrote, MusicDNA Composer. It's free, web-based, and oriented toward the beginner. It actually uses Lilypond as its score generator, so in that sense it's a user-friendly GUI for it, and includes MIDI playback. To see if you like it, check out the demo page: MusicDNACentral.com - Demonstration There are 3 songs you can play around with, including Fur Elise. You'll find it's very good with sequencing, key/harmony changes and writing new diatonic music.
  6. Here you're getting into questions of the abstraction of instrumental music. It's fair to say William Burroughs couldn't have written Naked Lunch if he hadn't been addicted to heroin. But that's the written word, which is very specific. Music is different, it's capable of an incredible variety of interpretations. But still, it has to come from somewhere, and it's filtered through your personality and past experience in the process of writing. If you're a precocious, joyous young Mozart, you're almost certainly not ready to write the Requiem Mass.
  7. Accessible Contemporary Music in Chicago does a new piece weekly, which it then puts up for streaming/downloading on the internet... Weekly Readings ...but there aren't many places doing this, and there are a lot of composers submitting pieces, so you might have to wait. Re: starting your own band, that's probably the best way: you know your performers and what they can do, and most every city has somewhere for them to play. I plan to team up with an experienced singer/songwriter, which should open a lot more doors than instrumental 'art' music alone could.
  8. Michael's "you are what you eat" hypothesis is very enlightening. When writing music, you're focusing your mind on developing musical ideas -- that requires you to use many different faculties at the same time: imagination, emotion, pattern-recognition, technical/computational, etc. For the technical stuff it's just training/practice, but the rest has to come from past experience in those areas...which means all the music you've ever listened to, your past emotional experiences, etc. From original post: 'Could someone in suburban American write something with the same conviction as DS's 4th for example?' I'd say no. Without the same horrific experiences, like being enemies with Josef Stalin for decades, your musical mind just won't be able to 'take you there', and if you try to force it, people who *have* been there will be able to tell.
  9. I use MusicDNA Composer > Logic. Ploki is right on about Logic, its score editor is surprisingly good for arranging/changing music, Finale's a bit too fussy about how everything looks. In the future, I hope to get some piano fluency, and more compositional fluency so I can compose straight to paper. Heheh, I guess I'm moving straight backwards, technology-wise. Chemically speaking, I think a certain green substance beats caffeine hands down ;)
  10. Hey all! MusicDNA Composer has just re-launched with a totally new design, and a much simpler GUI. I just wanted to let you know that it's out there, free, and hopefully a valuable resource for you: MusicDNACentral.com Demonstration Although you all already have your own tools and software, I think this app may be useful -- it's great for taking down musical ideas quickly and precisely, then sharing those ideas with others, wiki-style. You can also download your song to your home PC as a MIDI, then edit it with Finale, Sibelius, Logic, Garritan, etc, so it's great as a musical sketchpad. What do you all think? I'm happy to answer any and all of your questions!! - Rienzi P.S.: If you had an account on the old version of the site, it should still work. Email me if you have trouble.
  11. Here's a quick demo video to get everyone started: http://musicdnacentral.net/downloads/demo001.html The app: MusicDNA Composer I'll have a series of better videos in a week or two.
  12. Hey all. Since people are having trouble with the interface, I'm working on a quick-n-dirty introductory video on to how to use the GUI, it'll be done tomorrow. I've got some better ones on the way though for next week... Daniel, there are many possibilities to be explored with it. Right now it only offers the very basics to work with: diatonically oriented chords, phrases, rests, and the simplest of motives. But the lego-like nature of these musical bits, along with the collaborative nature of a web application, will allow them to be built upon and built upon in an infinite variety. I suppose it will take some time and a lot of effort for me to make my vision of its usefulness plain on the first viewing, just as new music takes a while to establish itself.
  13. Euler, Thanks again for your helpful comments. I've been staring at the interface for so long that I guess I'm surprised when people don't know how to use it instantly, ha. You're right, it's definitely non-trivial. I am in the process of making some how-to videos, I think that'll help a lot. I'm also still looking for testers, only one person has asked about it so far. I'll try and have some videos done next week or so. Well, I still encourage people to sign up. You can still create accounts and upload your midis/mp3s for sharing. And, if you've got time to figure out the interface, you can still make music with the composition app. Re: not getting any playback, you're probably not hitting OK after adding phrases/chords...I should make it green. Not sure about the cursor shape thing, I'll keep my eye out.
  14. The application is a tool for rapidly creating music based on pitch, duration, volume, and instrument. David Cope's EMI is an analysis and synthesis machine, which is more of a synthetic musical brain. MusicDNA Composer is more like having a room full of scribes on pianos which you can shout orders to: "Build me a melody on IV which goes up to the 5th stepwise in eighths, then down to the root in quarters," then they'll create the score and play it for you. Don't like it? Have it done again a little differently. Candlelight Sonata was written in this way, step-by-step, it was not auto-generated in any way. But, since it's a new tool, I wouldn't expect it to replace anyone's favorite tool, such as Finale or Sibelius. If you've spent years mastering those applications, then indeed, as Euler says, it is as natural as breathing and there might not be any reason to switch. However, since MusicDNA is a web-app, it does have some advantages to doing it with software or the old fashioned way, on paper. First, it's collaborative. If someone writes a melody they like, they can save it, wiki-style, and anyone else can use it in their songs. It can be a challenge to find, analyze and extract melodies or other patterns from others' music using Finale/MusicXML, etc. Second, it's super-sharable. When you make your music available publicly, you'll get a URL which you can easily distribute, youtube style. Finally, it's beginner/kid friendly. Since there'll be a large library of user-created melodies, harmonies, motives and other predefined patterns of music, as well as a colorful GUI for arranging these basic elements of music, it is easy to quickly create music of high informational content. Oh yeah, it is possible to do different styles such as the restriction of tones to a given set, but it requires that you know how to write MusicDNA code (based on perl) to do so, which, incidentally, is how you'd get around pretty much any restriction that the GUI presents. I realize this is a bit much to ask of people though :)
  15. Hello YC. I wanted to show everyone a new music composition application I've written. My hope is that it becomes the premier Web 2.0 app for composing tonal music, so it should be helpful to all you tonal composers. MusicDNACentral.net - main page MusicDNA Composer The GUI for the application is as easy to use as I could make it. It's very classical/romantic-oriented: it takes care of harmonic progressions, keys, etc, and lets the composer focus on creating melody and harmony. It'd be a real challenge to write atonal music with it. In addition to the composition app, you can also share your own midis/mp3s. Please feel free to post whatever you like. Here's a short sonata-form movement I recently wrote: Candlelight Sonata Any comments you have would be greatly appreciated. I think that if people keep adding to the musical material that's available, wiki-style, this thing could grow pretty big. P.S. If anyone is interested in helping to test the application (it is still in public beta mode), I'm looking for about 5 people to run through a test plan I have written up in MS Word. It'll take about an hour, and I'll PayPal $15 for the completed test plan. If you're interested, please email me at rienzi (at) musicdnacentral.net.
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