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Everything posted by Quinn

  1. Why say anything at all? About 99% of what's worth saying can't be put into words. Talking about what music sounds like is useless. But it does keep all these musicologists and hangers-on - failed composers and artists, most of them - off the welfare queue, doesn't it?
  2. A brief trip around a tropical isle, the happy, the impoverished, the feel of dance. 5 minutes. Please give it a listen. Thank you!
  3. What's forgotten is its social and economic relevance. It supports a host of musical/cultural eunuchs that probably way outnumber artists/composers: the critics; musicologists; historians, etc., people who've never composed anything worthwhile but feel a need to cling on all the same. At any level it's an industry. "Classical" is a bit of a by-water these days but it still comes down to money aside from a few aficionados who try to keep it going on a voluntary basis.
  4. No comment. LOL. (Aside, (no intention to derail the topic) two of my posts attempting to redress an imbalance were deleted so though I wanted to add about commercial purpose here, decided I wouldn't !)
  5. Very kind comments, and thank you for listening. Much appreciated. It's technically possible but would need a good player to bring off the leaps with confidence like the No 1 in a professional orchestra or a concerto / ensemble player. I'm not sure why I didn't include the score....probably because as it's a solo I wasn't going to flatter myself that anyone would try to play it! Cheers.
  6. Thank you for listening and your generous comment. I love the clarinet, not just the compass nor the fact that in all but the top octave it can produce dynamics from almost nothing to fff. It's been a temptation to start crescendo hairpins with 0 (nought) at times. It could get performed in a slightly simplified version, so says the No 1 clarinet in our town orchestra. Again, thank you. Most encouraging.
  7. Not much to say about it really. One of a few instrumental solos I've worked on. This was written late last year and set aside to allow time before making final revisions. Listening would be appreciated and comment received gratefully with thanks. https://soundcloud.com/acitore/soliloquy-for-clarinet
  8. Oh, ok. I seem to remember you saying if I may quote, "As an analyst I make no quality judgments..." on 20th Jan or thereabouts? By which I understood youd be judging on the technical. Fine with good amateurs, a word I take literally, not 'beginners', people doing something for the love of it - of which I'm one. Anyway, we have yet to see the rules/constraints etc. : )
  9. Besides, if it entails judgemental feedback, I'd need to be sure of the bona fides of the judges, their own competence in composition and orchestration - preferably they should have had some experience of preparing an orchestra/ensemble to perform their work - or a solid basis in sound organisation. One at least would lean toward the classical, another to modern, perhaps another to electroinic/concrète. Otherwise feedback would be irrelevant (to me, anyway). I doubt there are more than three or four here who'd fit that bill. But it could still be judged, just that any feedback may not be qualified. My tuppence worth. .
  10. Sounds good to me. The split/weighted idea seems complicated to a simple person like me. But I wondered if it could be bettered by multiplying each score by 1/√(2πωC) then divide it by ∛0 so everyone's a winner! Oh dear. Musical people aren't supposed to have a sense of humour. Sorry. Maybe I'd better leave the stage! 😄
  11. Why not just ask members to vote if they want to, then tally the vote. Make sure they give some kind of feedback on the piece they vote for so some kind of text more than say 15 characters is necessary to get the vote through. Giving feedback on all works might be a big ask if, say, 30 people compete. Judge? What is there to judge - aside from whether the listener thinks a given work is the winner? (With my own work, on the rather too few (!) occasions it's been put before the public, I take the selection as judgement 1, then what the audience think or if they say nothing, that's judgement 2. I don't prompt a response!)
  12. Not sure I agree. What did you mean by pretentious? I admit, having traced some of the history starting from "Die Reihe" a periodical of the past now but you'll find similar analytical work all over the place. Sometimes the composers' commentaries on their work are elaborate and I'm never sure why they create them, their reckoning of the mechanics underlying their work. Doesn't the music stand in its own right? Perhaps It acts as additional publicity in their circle, perhaps it was a programme note they felt might be useful to an audience. No doubt some audience members lapped it up as avant garde music had a fling as a fashion. I concluded it was little more than their wanting to be published in a prestigious periodical. I've never minded calling it a clique because it is - a minority of composers, performers, listeners, critics reluctant to respond to comment from without. That's fine. Opera aficionados and dub reggae fans are no different, nor Pink Floyd fans, Led Zeppelin, Bruckner fans (who know all the versions and who edited them, etc) However, there's a great body of avant garde and modern work that I'd hardly call pretentious. If you looked into the amount of work that Stockhausen put into Gesang der jünglinge for instance, you'd surely need to adjust your view. Even so, I'd agree that there's also a body of work that seems as if it's been thrown together willy-nilly that I'd think of as pretentious. Ultimately it's down to individuals to decide which is which but some judgement (if appropriate) can come down to consistency. Does it fit anywhere in the composer's style? An experiment? An exercise formally completed according to bureaucratic tick-boxes. Is there a philosophic basis to it or the composer? .
  13. Most of the topics leave people vulnerable to derisive comment from some members. It would have been nice to include something impersonal. Plus throwing judgement open to all members by vote.
  14. No response yet? Mind, UE are rather slow. Saturday 30th. Still no response. It's a scam of some kind.
  15. This evokes another point that I've pondered on. Is composing about process or result? (Again the same could be said of all art forms.) If a work is aimed at an audience the result is important. However there's plenty of evidence around that some composers derive much pleasure from the process of composing itself, then try the result on listeners and shrug at an indifferent reception, suggesting that process is more important to them. I'd listen to the BBC's "Hear and Now" broadcasts of a Saturday night - avant garde contemporary. My reactions varied but I wonder how many of those composers really knew what they'd composed. Had their work been commissioned by the BBC through contacts in academia? Did someone at the BBC sightread the score or tried it out on a piano if that was possible? The fact that errors in performance didn't matter finally dimmed my interest. Alas, too many were premières as well as dernières on the same night. I'm reminded of Pierre Boulez claiming that Messiaen's Liturgies were like "brothel music". WHAT.....? What kind of brothels did Boulez go to to find that out? I also remember he wrote a piece "Le Marteau sans Mâitre" roughly translated as "a hammer out of control". The music sounds like that too. Who of the music listening public remembers any of Boulez' music?
  16. This is true and the labels have purposes such as I suggested. They can help a public having a broad range of experience of the art but, as you say, rarely amuse the creators of the art. Any art form tended to develop upon tradition, evolve perhaps, until the turn of the 20th century when the old order was binned and attempts were made to lay new foundations. Unfortunately most artists/composers failed to realise that their wares are media for communication. If the recipient, the viewer or listener has no knowledge of the symbols being used then no communication can occur, like listening to or trying to read an unfamiliar language. Cage was right in declaring that people must just listen without expectation (or view). Fine, but unless the listener/viewer is accomplished at that, takes pleasure from it, it won't work. Traditional audiences are happier when art gives them some kind of pleasure, awakens emotions, moods, etc., that depends on several factors, predominantly their experience with conventions. .
  17. Perhaps a sign that I shouldn't be on a composer forum, a charlatan perhaps, but these labels seem to serve two purposes; - broad classifications to help music lovers out on an adventure to find new stuff (of a genre they like or a completely new one), like in olden times one went to a music shop and would know what browser to head for. - to give a living to all the hangers-on and groupies of the music world something to talk about. Those other than composers, performers and accountants who have to make sure their halls or distribution outfits stay in profit. My text book ranks people/jobs in descending importance to music: Impresarios, agents national broadcasters recording companies conductors virtuosos run-of-the-mill musicians critics and historians composers although it 'secretly' admits that composers are really the most important. I suppose it says the rest are musical eunuchs with critics being the real cancer feeding off the host. A term like 'post-modern' has me looking at my bull-ometer - the needle usually flicking into the red near the end-stop when I see/hear it. From what's been said here it seems like an amorphous mass that probably reverts to ante-modernism times (whatever that is) perhaps to a mix of earlier styles. All styles available? The rest convey nothing except possibly 'classical' which I take to mean Haydn and Mozart and their clones. I compose. I'm fairly eclectic so I haven't a clue what label's attached to me. Apropos the opening post I doubt it adds anything to the culture except to historians, perhaps critics, the music having to find a following if it can. Great when it can be sold as a fashion.
  18. Just an aside: A lot of people miss the point about Cage's 4'33". To me Cage was foremost a philosopher. What he wanted to show was that there's no such thing as silence. 4'33" does just that. His "Indeterminacy - New Aspects of Form in Instrumental and Electronic Music" could be brought into question alongside. What is it? 90 stories? Or a demonstration of indeterminacy in music? On first encountering these I was looking in parallel at Mallarmé's later work, Le Livre and Un Coup de Des so I was at the stage of just listening, reading, watching. We have to give these people the credit for being experimenters in the middle of that fashionable era. Hardly different from big band jazz fans facing those amazing works by Graettinger - This Modern World and The City of Glass - performed by Stan Kenton. Many such experiments just led up blind alleys. (I feel this about Webern.) Some persisted. Your second paragraph highlights the problems with live performance of avant garde works (to distinguish from post-whatever). Do composers know what they've composed? Do performance errors matter if they can't be noticed by an audience member not 100% familiar with the score? It marks the fact that the only reliable repeat performance can be via a recording. During such education as I had, I attended try-outs of student composers' works. Too often the conductor would play the piece then ask how the composer felt. Often the composer would say that it sounded fine, only to be picked to pieces by the conductor about missing or wrong entries, flawed timing, wrong notes and whatever, suggesting the composer didn't know their own work. They'd obviously spattered symbols on paper without any thought of what it musically meant. However, would that matter to an audience of those aficionados of this music. It would seem that the prime demand of a listener is to listen, not to expect or anticipate. Hence the issue that it communicates nothing other than the phenomenon itself: sound, sight. It hasn't the propensity to develop mood or emotion which the bulk of listeners seek out in music, i.e something at least metaphorically related to language and semiotics. .
  19. ^^^ Impossible to disagree with most of what you've said. Should your views be thought cynical that's because they're realistic and (at risk of using the term) "truthful". What you've said is how it really is. "Modern Art" - well as I said, it's all about money. If you can get enough art experts to push your wares you're in, all swathed in intellectual-sounding claptrap. Technology hasn't helped. Anyone can now fiddle around with a daw or notation software and a few samples and claim to be a composer. The sample market is loaded with superlatives - buy our product and you'll be the greatest composer born to this world. So even Vienna has come up with oven-ready orchestration - its Big Bang orchestra and the series that has spawned. Many others are at it. Join a few chunks in a sequencer, press the button and there's your instant film score.....except for 999 ‰ it'll get nowhere. But they do sell their stuff. Pre-made, just add water. Lego. Call that music? Well, technically it is but composing?
  20. Well...pretty good. The harmony at the outset was bold, not just the louder opening but the quieter bit up to 0'56". G major? What? It didn't stay in that for too long did it!? lol. Great stuff. But then..... The tune and accompaniment following were fine in themselves if a bit winter movie scene but didn't match how the piece started. However.....it all depends how you progress from here. The second idea might be just right as a contrasting subject. As the material stands I was expecting something even more outrageous after 0'65" ! Super harmonic progressions and that applies to the latter part too, if not quite as adventurous.
  21. Likewise. I can't just hand out my email until I know what it's about. I used to visit UE's shop in Gt Marlborough Street. Is it still there?
  22. To me these questions are among philosophical questions for which I can’t find an answer. The same could be asked about fiction, poetry, dance, contemporary film, spectator sports - perhaps even fine art. Basically there’s a human need to self-express or to exercise the imagination – part of a need to assert individuality maybe? Or there was. Film has stolen many people’s ability to visualise and imagine. For those lacking the creative spirit they’ll be entertained - perhaps a result of society constraining people’s lives so it helps take their minds off how vacuous their lives really are: work, rest, eat, sleep, etc. Does contemporary music have purpose? Do these empty lives have purpose? Culture or not, it’s to do with money. My text book “Bluff your way in Music” states very early, “music has long been officially recognised and installed as an Art. And anything that is an art is no longer a simple pleasure. Arts are a by-product of that general symptom of human decline called civilisation. Enjoyable pastimes become arts once money is involved.” Nice piece of cynicism, that – but like all such, it raises an unfortunate truth. So I suppose contemporary music is an enjoyable pastime. It has its following albeit a minor one. It enjoyed a burst of activity (maybe even fashion) during the 20th century – probably from around Schonberg until approx 1980 then reverted to minor interest. It was never a money-spinner, in Europe supported mostly by national broadcasters and philanthropists who financed specialised festivals. Its basic problem is semiotic or linguistic which is why it never reaches mainstream. It survives in academia because universities make it a money-spinner. People take degree courses believing they can learn to compose and these days it’s about contemporary sound organisation to make it seem at the cutting edge. Some graddies go on to compose but usually support themselves in a different trade/profession. Some just don’t bother. And some, like myself, react against the creative immorality – that creativity can be taught at all and try to find their own way to an enjoyable pastime. So…as it lives on donation, it’s only marginally relevant to whatever we assume our culture to be.
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