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Ken320

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Everything posted by Ken320

  1. On the joy of coffee, the composer's best friend. This is for a small jazz band of piano, bass, drums, violin, clarinet, trumpet and trombone. I may have posted this before but I don't remember and I don't see it anywhere, so ... here it is. 😊
  2. This is great and the best thing I've heard in a while. Bravo! Rehearsal time is always a problem, I guess. But you all pulled it off with aplomb. Given the skill level of the orchestra, which isn't too bad, using them as sort of simple punctuators for your solos was not altogether a bad idea. Very astute I would say.
  3. *** Your skipping rhythm at the beginning could be written using staccatos instead of alternating eighth notes and eighth rests for a cleaner score, but I know you said you wanted to clean up the score. It all sounds nice, so just reassigning who is playing what in some places may tighten it up a lot. Thumbs up! That rhythm was originally in 16th notes, and while it was "snappier" it was inconsistent with the rest of the piece. And I thought that people would see them mixed together and wonder what was I thinking, or maybe I am putting too fine a point on it (which I was). So changing over to 12/8,/9/8 and 6/8 eliminated the inconsistencies and simplified things. But as to the beaming, that I like and will keep. It's very clear! And at the tempo they are pretty much staccato. You'll notice in general the score is not overly marked up. I appreciate your suggestions and I'm going to them a lot of thought. But I think I'll move on to the slow movement for now and get a little distance from the struggles of the first one, to which I will return! Thanks!
  4. I think you're right. I should have formalized the interplay more between the two, but that's when I get into trouble. I'm kind of stumbling around in the dark here trying to bridge the past and present, or find the commonality that other composers seem to manage quite easily. Or just do something that will interest people. It's very frustrating. Maybe this is just a working experiment? Thanks for your comments!
  5. Unfortunately their are no other colors to be had, unless you have some suggestions. And then they would have to be realized only in strings otherwise it's not a string piece. Haha! I have never seen a ruby and wished it was an emerald. But I will say that there are real limitations to sampled strings and I would give anything to have this played with period instruments. I played a Handel Concerto note for note with these instruments and viola! It didn't sound that good! But if you want to offer some back seat driving (I do it all the time) I would be happy to hear it.
  6. There is one now, sorry it took a while.
  7. I find Beethoven's music endlessly deep and intellectual. The Wourinen, while fascinating in its own right, would pretty much give me little or no surprises on repeated hearings. Though it would be nice to study the score for the orchestration.
  8. Here is the new music with score. It should be much clearer now. 😊
  9. Charles Wourinen is imo one of the best exemplars of modern music. In this piece you can hear many influences as well as an established vernacular. To his credit he uses every means available to make the music interesting in spite of a clearly ultra modern tonality and form. Yet the problem remains, as in great works like Berg's Lulu, that they don't entice repeated listenings. At least in the same way that Beethoven provides. I listened to the 9th today for the hundredth time and the difference is stark. See what you think.
  10. Yes, there are some nice changes in here. In general I find that if things are disjointed I've either gotten ahead of myself or introduced new ideas without first developing the previous one. In short, too many ideas. Also, when you start and stop that sounds disjointed. You might try forcing yourself to use an ostinato or a line that does not stop, as an exercise that may help you think more "continuous." Good luck to you! 24 keys is a big deal, especially if you're having trouble in C. You may have trouble in the others because you're not the kind of composer that likes to be in only one key? Nothing wrong with that, but you may have to rethink your paradigm.
  11. No, Luis, it's my point of view. I don't adhere to anything but my own sense of aesthetics.
  12. Yes, maybe more to the point some of the bass chords in 5ths struck me as an odd choice because they sound, well, like 5ths. Maybe sterile, I don't know the word.
  13. The score is a mess! But I am very interested in your opinions on what can be improved here. I have my doubts about it. 🤔 Edit: My apologies. The post was premature. I'm scrapping it and re-writing it in 6/8. Will re-record it along with some changes.
  14. I've been preparing for this for a while with new string libraries and how to finesse them into something decent at this tempo, which is aggressive and dense. Also I've been listening to lots and lots of strings. Elgar, Schnittke, Barber, Bartok. But I kept coming back to Bach and Handel. Maybe for a Baroque aesthetic and form if nothing else. I am uncomfortable writing pure 18th century harmonies because frankly I don't know all the rules, and I'm not a purist, probably because of ego, etc. So you might hear some violation of those rules. Anyway, I'll follow up with a slow movement followed by another fast one. Sorry, no score, but I will post it in about a week, so please check back. Thanks! This is for a string chamber orchestra with soloists: two violins, a viola and a cello.
  15. Nice work, Luis, for a fitting but unique take on a pretty song. I am a big Carpenters fan! There were some oddball bits here and there but mostly fine.
  16. This is real nice with the open chords and minor 7th chords. Pensive and thoughtful. I liked the play between right and left hands, the three against two, etc. I'd like to hear them all together. (It also reminds me a little of a song by Laura Nyro, "Been On A Train")
  17. I thought the same thing. It would be a crap shoot. But if it means getting it performed, then it's worth it. You mentioned taking piano lessons. That would eat up your time, but it would be great. When I was living in New York I approached the Julliard School about studying there. But they wouldn't even take one of my credits. When I asked why she said "We want you to learn the 'Julliard Way.' I'm thinking to myself: Theory is theory. What is this Julliard way? What she is really saying is, "We'd like to extract as much cash from you as possible for as long as possible." So, you're right. Sometimes it's better to declare yourself a practitioner of music and just forge ahead.
  18. By idiomatic I mean using more of the piano's capabilities, like pedaling. Or by using open chords instead of block triads. Or just letting the notes sustain. I realize there is no expression in these types of renderings so I can use my imagination and hear someone who can breathe life into the part. But still, there are things you can do regardless, like playing a bass note, holding it with the pedal and playing less repetitive lines in the right hand. Then you don't have to keep re- striking the note, unless of course you really want to. Basically the part just needs more variety. Open chords are not strictly idiomatic to the piano, as you know. I would use them for strings or brass or anything else.You might also put more melodic material in where the piano is solo. If you do nothing else, just opening up the chords would make a big difference, and your pianist will thank you. I would think it would blend in better with the choir too. Btw, how often are organs available? This would sound nice with an organ.
  19. Well, this is really nice, all around. About the piano part. It's not particularly idiomatic, is it? I mean mostly it's metronomic, sort of like the dishwasher in the ensemble. Maybe you could give this accompaniment a little more thought in terms of varying the repeated notes into lines with simple leading tones on the weak beats? If you were to orchestrate this, I could hear a slower tempo with a small string ensemble playing sostenuto chords. As timekeepers they would have more expression than a piano, and it would seem appropriate. But I really like the basic chord progression throughout. Maybe you could explain why you chose to leave in the one or two notes that might cause your audience to scratch their heads. Is it really worth it?
  20. @SSC Not really. You're speaking overly pedagogically. It's not so strict, even for a beginner. Every novice has a vision, a sound. It comes in many forms. How to realize it? Don't read books or listen to teachers (unless he is sitting right next to you on the piano bench). Say this after me. My ears shall be my only guide. In other words, if you are in doubt which comes first, the chicken or the egg, choose the chicken and the egg.
  21. Mostly I agree with Luis, that mood is the prime directive and that form takes a back seat to that. I'm not a purist. Chopin made effective use of simple ABA form for his Nocturnes. One example that stands out is the nocturne in F major. He has a dreamy A section followed by an agitated B section, very typical of Chopin, and then a return to the A section, a very obvious journey. Dream-nightmare-dream. But why get hung up on the 'night' concept. You can have a nocturne on a boat on a lake with a man and woman on a warm summer's day and the lady trailing her fingers in the water making ripples (Op.55 #2, Eb Major). No one can tell you how to be evocative, but that's what you have to do.
  22. Try this one. It's pretty new and it came out well. https://youtu.be/aTgRL01I9cU
  23. There is a topic on that subject called "Do you think you have a style as a composer?"
  24. Stravinsky wrote a lot of stuff in the 20-30 minute range because people called him up and said, Monsieur Stravinsky, we would like to have some music for our Dippidy Doo Da Centennial Celebration. M. Stravinsky: How long? Oh, about 20-30 minutes ... M. Stravinsky: Gotcha. (cha Ching!)
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