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Mathieux

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Mathieux last won the day on May 27

Mathieux had the most liked content!

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About Mathieux

  • Rank
    Say yeah!
  • Birthday 02/24/1993

Profile Information

  • Biography
    Composition student at Musikhögskolan in Piteå, Sweden. Work hard play hard
  • Gender
    Male
  • Location
    Home of the Kentucky Derby!
  • Occupation
    being awesome
  • Interests
    writing, composing, bassoon, saxophone, piano
  • Favorite Composers
    Prokofiev, Mahler, Chopin
  • My Compositional Styles
    Neo-Romantic, Minimalism, Atonal Goodness
  • Notation Software/Sequencers
    Ableton, Sibelius
  • Instruments Played
    bassoon, saxophone, clarinet, piano

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  1. I'm very excited to share this with you all! My short piece for symphonic orchestra was premiered a few weeks ago, and I've managed to get the recording and learn how to make a video with score. It's a bit tough to see, though, so I'll upload it here as well. A bit of background on the piece: Johan Emanuel Nyström was a man who lived in the town I currently reside who, in the 1700s, sold his soul to the Devil for money. He went to the town Church and on a piece of parchment wrote a contract with the devil in pig's blood. That contract is on display at the town's museum now, so we have our own little ghost story, in a sense. He is documented as paying his taxes and being active in the Church up until the date written on the contract - after which he seems to disappear from history. This piece is based on his journey after his disappearance - the devil comes to take his soul, then knocking on the gates of Hell, and that Johan comes to terms with the choices he's made, and the consequences he faced. "Min kropp och själ i dina händer", or "My body and soul in your hands" is a line taken from the contract. Hope you enjoy!
  2. I really liked it! Your writing doesn't seem to be too high of a grade level, meaning a decent high school band could play it. Yet, your use of the material and orchestration keeps it interesting and not too "band sounding", for lack of a better term. As caters put it, it sounds orchestral without the strings - a feat not easily accomplished by many band composers. I think the length of each piece is just about right. I agree they could potentially be a bit longer, but I think as-is, the whole piece doesn't feel too short or underdeveloped. I particularly liked the 2nd movement, a bit of a scherzo feeling, and works nicely as a middle movement. In general the overall forms is great. Do you have plans for it being performed? Also, the newest version of NotePerformer costs $10/mo, and after a year it's paid for. I know not everyone can afford that, but they're a small team and definitely deserve the support if you (or anyone reading this) can. It's a great program!
  3. I recently completed a flute concerto that will be premiering in the fall. A few things I can share off the top of my head: I think it's unwise to write the piano part and orchestral part as two separate entities/two separate sessions. One thing I learned while writing was that you need to give the soloist time to breathe. Both in the literal sense, and also from the standpoint of the audience. The ear tires from listening to the same type of sound after awhile, so the best way to keep the ear interested is to change up the sound. When you listen to great concertos (of any instrument), there will be sections heavy on the solist, sections where the soloist and orchestra play together as a "unit", and then purely orchestral sections. Those breaks are important, for everyone involved. Write to the strengths of your soloist. If it's you, then write to your own strengths! My solist has a very good technical capacity, and also has a very strong tone in the lower register, so I was sure to make it technically challenging and wasn't afraid to write some passages down low. Some people are better at shaping long musical phrases, some are better at extended techniques, it's good to sort of "tailor" the music to what they're good at. If you personally aren't the soloist, don't be afraid to consult them during the process. Maybe some things are too challenging for them, or maybe they have suggestions on how to make something flow better. You'll learn a lot along the way! Speaking of register, another reason I don't think it's wise to write the piano and orchestra parts separately is precisely because of orchestration. You want to leave space in the orchestra to let the soloist shine through. In my case, this meant not having a lot of flute parts (as in the ones sitting in the orchestra), and generally avoiding countermelodies/accompanying figures in the same register as the solo. In your case, you have the entire piano at your fingers, which is both a pro and a con. The pro being it's a lot more flexible in terms of register, the con being you can easily go crazy and write thick passages that will come out muddy if the whole orchestra is playing something too contrary. I think writing them separately would be too confusing, you might think while writing the piano part "oh, I should do this in the orchestra", but most likely forget it by the time you get to writing the orchestra. These are all of course tip more on technical things and less about the actual act of writing music. As the others said, try everything and see what sticks. Don't overthink things, and of course have fun with it!
  4. Hey everyone! It's been a very long time! I first joined here around a decade ago, and never stopped composing! I've since moved to Sweden from the US, and am studying composition at a conservatory here. I wanted to share my first big project from last term, where we were to compose for a chamber ensemble of fantastic musicians (Norrbottens NEO, in case you're interested). As first years, we weren't on their actual recital and were encouraged to write music as difficult as we wanted and try new things. Unfortunately, their percussionist was ill on the day of the rehearsal/recording, and we only had about an hour each to rehears and record, so it didn't turn out as great as I had hoped. It was still an awesome learning experience, and given a few more hours of rehearsal I'm sure it would have turned out great. In lieu of that, I'll attach both the midi and the recording, as well as the score. The ensemble is for flute, clarinet, violin, viola, cello, piano, and percussion. Instead of writing one piece, I decided to write four short movements, each one exploring a different idea. The first two are played as one, and explores some cool scales (double harmonic major as well as a fully diminished locrian), the third movement deals with time signatures/rhythm (and, seeing how the percussionist that was there that day was sight reading, I think he did fantastic), and the fourth movement was to see how much I could have acoustic instruments sound like synthesizers in a dubstep-like movement. Obviously it's a finished piece, but any and all feedback would be welcome! I hope to be posting here more and getting to know the new people as well as catching up with the old ones :D
  5. You would call that avant garde? :P I'll be playing on my senior recital this fall haha. But thanks for the words of advice. I suppose there isn't much wrong with it in that context, but I suppose I don't really want to sound rambling in other contexts! That makes a lot of sense. I think my issue may be then that I either start contrasting too much or I stay too on topic. In my most recent work, a piece for full band, I think I did a better job of contrasting the two by more elaborating on the theme/adding some variations to it rather than veering off the theme entirely.
  6. Wooaahh... long time, no see. It's been... several years since I've been here. If I may reminisce for a second.. I joined YC when I was 13 and looked up to the 20 year olds as the "cool" guys.. Is Robin Jessome still around? :D Welp now I'm 21 and have been feeling rather inspired lately. I spent a few years on and off writing electronic music and DJing my first two years of college, but I grew up with classical music and I want to get back to my roots. I listened to my older stuff from back in the good ole' days of yore and noticed a common trend (even with my more current edm works). Rambling. I start with a pretty decent subject, maybe even a nice introduction in general, and after that it's just idea after idea after idea. "Hey here's something that sounds cool! Okay that's done, here's 4 bars aaaannndd.... something totally different that sounds cool!" When you listen to the greats, they never quite sound like they're rambling even if they don't have the subject anywhere in a given few measures. Besides the typical "just practice," do you have any advice as to how to stop rambling? Thanks! To all (if any) old people (ca. 2007), hey! How've you been? And to the new folks, nice to meet you!
  7. Got a "job" as webmaster for some random teacher at his school! ^^

  8. haha thanks, and we do all the AP tests in May (which thankfully I'm only taking this and AP Literature, so I won't be as fried as the ones taking 6 tests) But I personally have been using Walter Piston's Harmony book, I also have his Orchestration book and his book on counterpoint that I want to crack open at one point.
  9. the reward is cheese

  10. I will be taking this test in the spring, mid May I believe. The course I found pretty easy, but then again I was fortunate enough to have a really good piano teacher at an early age that taught me a lot of basic theory, and a lot more that I learned on my own, so I have a better background in the class that most of the other students. Most have their strengths, for example the guitar players are a lot better at secondary dominants than the choir kids; the choir kids are better at melodic dictation than band kids, et cetera. Surprisingly, I had the most difficult time with part writing. It wasn't that I didn't get it, I guess I would go in overly-cocky and always have a misspelled chord or two which kills your score-- never parallel 8ves or 5ths, always a few misspelled chords. Also surprisingly, being a pianist and band kid my ears (I thought) aren't as well trained as choir kids, but I'm a lot better at the aural portion of the test than most. I do believe I have relative pitch, if you play for example a middle-ranged A I can pick it out because it's the opening note in my favourite piano piece, same with a few chods et cetera. Right now we are hitting the Aural portion of the test pretty hard, because the majority of us aren't as well trained with the ears (myself included) However, when listening to the orchestral exerpts or other exerpts I usually get the answers correct, perhaps because I'm a nerd and listen to classical music the majority of the time, and more often than not I recognize the piece that they're playing from and know it a bit better and therefore have a better grasp of the questions over someone who hasn't heard the piece before. Since I haven't taken the test, I don't know how true this will be come May. We are using the Barron's books, and its really good (not as a primary teaching tool, we use Tonal Harmony the author of which I can't recall right now... anyway, I digress... The class as a whole wasn't that challenging for me, I don't mean to sound egotistical or anything, but 90% of what was taught I had already learned on my own, and the other 10% that was new material for me didn't take me that long to grasp, but because the class was relatively large (22 compared to the usual 5-12 in past years) we would spend a week on something that others, myself included, understood within a day or two. One thing in the class and in the test as a whole is speed. We do a lot of repetition to get faster at it, so come test day we won't have to take thirty seconds looking at a tenor or alto clef F major triad and deciding what inversion it's in, or anything along those lines. I can't wait to take the test though, although even a 5 on both tests won't get you credit at the university I'm going to attend next year (nor for just about any university) it's still a good gauge and a good preparation for the placement tests. The university I'm attending next year (UK, basketball fans might know them :P) has a test set up to where if you pass so many questions you can skip one year or all four years of theory, depending on how well you do. Sorry, I kind of rambled on a bit, but anyway that's my perspective on it :P Mathieux EDIT: Ferk, I slightly disagree, one thing AP music theory has helped tremendously with me is training my inner ear. Sure, I can hear music in my head but getting it on paper is always the hard part. Knowing that "oh, thsoe two notes are minor sixth, then the following note is a major third above that..." helps a ton, instead of "okay, let me see if I can retain this melody until I get home and can maybe dink it out on the piano until I get it right." Also, at least with my class, we parallel a legitimate written and aural theory 1 class in college-- my teacher is good friends with the professors at UofL and constantly checks up to see if we're staying with them. She says the only thing they do and we don't is go deeper into modulations, mainly because they aren't on the test. We touch on them while they spend a lot of time on them. I do agree that it is somewhat counterintuitive to composing.. lately when I'm writing I'm focusing too much on the theory which distorts what I wanted to get across, mainly because in this day and age composers don't use the same theory they did in Bach's day and age. Also, especially with my class, there are two or three more advance kids, and when we asks questions that are more advanced, the teacher doesn't answer them, not because she doesn't know, but because "we don't need to worry about it because it's not on the test." She does have 100% pass rate with all of her past classes, so I don't doubt her abilities, but I wish that on week two when we asked about secondary dominants she would answer us instead of "we don't get to those until second semester"
  11. Well, *stupid question* would you consider it better to write it into the computer and listen to it, or just write what you hear in your head down on paper? I prefer paper and usually go put it in the computer eventually (well, usually I'll play some of it on piano to see if I came remotely close to what I heard originally) But does just 'aimless' writing really make you better? You alway hear 'perfect practice makes perfect' but if you're just writing, even when not really inspired to, are you really making progress?
  12. Hey Everyone, long time no see! I've realized that one should practice composition like they practice an instrument, every day. However, I only write music when I'm truly inspired and have something in my head that I want to write down. Indeed if I sit quietly long enough usually music will come to me, but can you all give some advice or guidelines on what to practice/how to practice composing? Thanks!
  13. Hey everyone! Well unlike most composers around here, I love to compose for marching bands. *ewww gross* yeah yeah yeah, well we all have our differences. Yesterday I emailed all the presidents/directors/owners of DCI (drum corps international) offering my compositional skills for their bands, and I got back three emails already. One of them said they already have their showed designed for next year, but they liked my interest. One said they'll send it out to the other owners and talk about things, and the third asked which college i'm attending. Well, I'm still a senior in high school, so how should I respond to this email without scaring him off? I have a few really cool ideas for some shows, but if I just respond with "i'm still a senior in high school" he'll (most likely) be all like "well then nevermind." The only thing I can think of is to reply with something along the lines with "I plan on attending UK" or "I plan......next fall" Any ideas? Thanks! Mathieux
  14. well, i haven't decided if i want to arrange something from brass choir or for full band for our spring concert, but either way it's legal (especially if the copyright has worn off, like Elgar's Nimrod for example) because I'm not getting paid for it. In the community band I play with from time to time, the director arranges stuff like Pirates of the Carribean, Star Wars, and other pops concert type music to fit our orchestration better and it's legal, we don't get paid and she doesn't get paid.
  15. Hey all, I didn't know whether or not to put this in the "suggest a work" forum or here, so, if it's wrong, please move it ^^ Anyway, I wanted to hear some suggestions for some beautiful works of music you all know of and could put down here. This could be orchestral, choral, solo, ensemble, anything of any genre. I'm looking for something to arrange for brass choir for our solo and ensemble this year. Just one quick note- I'm not doing Nimrod :P primarily because we're marching that for our ballad this year, it wouldn't happen to play it AGAIN for solo and ensemble :P thanks!! Mathieu
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