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Everything posted by nikolas

  1. Sojar: I whole heartily disagree with you about todays pop music! I think that today we get some awesome pop music and I very much prefer it to the boring 'golden era' of Metro Goldwing Mayer or whatever was at that time. Yes, some lovely songs were made, but personally I'm sick and tired of listening the Beatles, Queen, Etta James (God bless her soul... she died recently), Nat King Kole, etc... I love the new stuff and I totally adore the new sounds and soundscapes coming in my ears from people like Reznor (NIN), dEUS, koRn (which I mentioned a little while back, but everyone assumed it was a tpyo... well it wasn't), Radiohead, etc... Of course all these bands are actually not the central mainstream pop music, but I also like Lady Gaga, if I want to be honest about myself. ________________ I think that it's a general habit to complain on how things are worst than what they were a few while back. It's a the truth mingled with nostalgia! ________________ Reasons I'm happy with pop music is that we still get clever stuff, we still get well made productions (in fact we never ever had such well made productions...), and multimedia previous generations only dreamt of! I mean it's one thing to hear a Lady Gaga song, and another to actually see the video clip as well and feel what she's trying to pass... Even more for bands like Radiohead or NIN... The infiltration of pop music has been happening for a long long time, but not so much for the whole movie score, as it happened in the case of 'The girl with the Dragon Tattoo' (Fincher + Reznor) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tcp9Ysi75f0 (caution... video might be a tad harsh for a few faint hearted). You have to admit that it IS interesting!
  2. Never mind...I'm not a mod here anymore to ask, request and control, so really never mind. _________________________ The idea is that, yes, we compose on what we feel and not on requests by the audience. Yet again some branches of music creation do exactly that: Film music, media music, etc... All compose to very specific requirements. And some (Williams for example) create masterpieces! None the less it makes sense that you should not reduce your art in order for the audience to understand it and like it. How about the performers then? Do we give a dime for the performers and to understand what they're playing? Cause otherwise it can get a bit tricky... Not only because you won't get any performances (unless you expect performers to hoe out and play what YOU want them, but you compose what YOU want and not someone else...), but also because if you do get a performance it will probably be... weird (due to the fact that the performers won't like it and won't care, and certainly won't understand). Why on earth be so aggressive on things like that? Nobody's saying to hoe out, but if you want to compose for yourself, stick to yourself then: Nobody cares about myself, I know that. I'm no genius, I'm no prodigy, I'm no philosopher... So I will either say something that clicks to the audience (or the thread reader...), or I will just shut up!
  3. Sweet Korn! Will you stop this?!?!? Why on earth ruin a perfectly good thread, when you already killed another? I will come back to post later on, please don't lock this thread... Got to get my kids to school now!
  4. The major question here is this: If the audience is ignorant, whose responsibility is it to train/educate them?
  5. Sorry to bump this, but there's something else that needs mentioning: Regardless of what you do, eventually something will hide itself in the score and there's almost no way to avoid getting at least one error in the scores! Reason is that you (the composer) knows the work best so you are very aware of how things should be, but you also wrote it down on paper, or machine. The proof reader will get 99% of the errors, but will miss something that he could never have thought it to be an error. An example: I recently completed a series of 21 short works for piano. In No. 8 I have crotchet = 78. Which is fine and in the right place and all. Only that it should be half note = 78 (so the work right now shows you should play it at half the speed, ergo VERY slowly). I'm the only one who would be able to see that prior to printing (and I didn't...).
  6. Exactly (on all three posts)! It's quite important to understand what composers are actually doing TODAY (composers of 'serious' music, hehe...). they are no longer working on completely distasteful works of avant garde but work on beautiful works that can be heard today as much as 50 years ago! This is a side problem to copyrights: The publishers are holding a closed clutch on copyrights (that were recently extended in the US from 50 years after the death of the composer to 70... Which also took in Stravinsky's older works and Prokofiev...). Now it appears that the rental of parts for good old Prokofiev will go sky high! And this will exclude his works from the concert halls and the student halls (up to a point anyway). This also means that a composer studying today is rather unaware of what's going on outside his/her school and in the world in general. They are so happy to hear some Ligeti Piano Etudes and think they are 'So today' even if they were written some 30 years ago... :-/ The point remains that if the composers do not do something about this, nobody else will... The publishers will happily wait another 70 years for you to die and they can take control of your music and take advantage of your death (Schnittke anyone? Though I'm not sure the publisher had something to do with his rise in fame right before his death universally... ) EDIT: Oh... and thanks for a civil thread! :)
  7. Well... I can't post in the other thread, but I might as well try my take on this thing... Considering that I compose 'music now' and this music is not exactly 'nice sounding' I can hope that I won't get insulted and thrown to the dumbster! Yes, there's a lot of music that's bad out there! There has always been! The difference with back then and now is that: a. You weren't there back then to hear all the rubbish that did NOT survive time. and b. With todays tools you hear SO MUCH MORE music so you're bound to hit some ugly stuff. That said I will agree that contemporary music has taken a road which sometimes seems autistic! Partly because of academia, partly because avant garde (which is there to promote an idea rather than and partly because of the composers... Take for example the 4th of Feb locked thread! So many young composers in here and not a single person decided to reply to the (aggressive and sightly insulting I'll agree) question by the OP. Nobody decided to bother... Because it IS plain obvious that the music YOU hear has as much to do with YOU as it has to do with the MUSIC! Problem is that if we, the composers, don't do something to change the way that YOU perceive music, then we are doomed to be left behind somehow... And we won't know who to blame exactly! And, yes, I'm in love with what I do and I'm eager to grasp as much audience as possible, without this meaning that I would 'reduce' my art to the level of Biebier! I'm very eager to promote my music, to show my music, to shed a light to my music, to respect my music, and to think that it's great music! To offer it to people and to sell it! To see it getting performed! ___________________________________ That said it's a great generalization to say that the last 75 years music is very very bad... There are some excellent examples of well written and magnificent all round music...
  8. Ok... Let's see, from my own experience. A commercial (and professional score) will have the following features: It will have no clashing elements. No sharps clashing with sharps. No slurs touching text, no other elements touching each other. Both software (Finale and Sibelius) that I use have features to help you avoid that, but in complicated scores it's next to impossible to avoid it complete. It will have the right amount of cautionary accidentals. It's a debate topic for a lot of performers, but I find that, again, for more complicated music cautionary accidentals are a must! (A cautionary accidental is the accidental that shouldn't be there, in the next bar, but still we put it in case someone forgets what's going on. It will have all the necessary information about the performance. Some works require specific sittings for the performers. Other works require the use of a contrabass arco for playing the vibes (eg.). Some scores are in C and others are transposed! It's very important to indicate all those issues, along with any other useful information (what mallets will the percussionists require, the preparation of the piano (prepared piano, or amplified), the use of electronics, etc). Of course I'm talking about contemporary scores. The size and margins will be correct! Yes, letter size or A4 size papers suck big time! They look totally unprofessional! Now, in order to do that and actually print them you will need a very good large size printer... Otherwise to a professional printer! Normal piano score is 23,5x31 cm roughly... It's larger than A4, yet smaller than B4... Margins are roughly 2 cm in each side... The colour of the paper will be 'broken-white' (with yellow elements. I'm unclear on how this is called in English). Black dots on white paper makes it hard to read and tire the eyes. A toned down background colour (yellow-ish) will work to the benefit of all. The person making the score (the composer in most cases today...?) will need to take special care for the turn of the pages. Some scores or parts even contain 3 paper sides for ease of use. A lot of quality scores will make sure that the last bar(s) of the right page will have a rest for the pianist/performer to turn them... The score WILL NEED TO BE PROOF READ by someone else, not the person making it! It's of untmost importance to get the score looked up by someone else. It's actually costly to do so, but it saves you tons of trouble! There will be measure numbers and/or rehearsal letters. Saves the trouble from the conductor to call out to the idiot playing the viola "Lets go to two bars prior to your phrase.. you moron!". Instead he will yell: "Take it again from G... you moron...". Easier! :D . In film scores it's customed to have measure numbers in EVERY BAR (underneath the full score). i. The slurs and accents and dynamics and articulations need to be clear and consistent. Don't forget to take off a mute if you put it 3 pages before. Otherwise the trumpet player will be still playing with the mute on... Remind the performers on what dynamic they are every once in a while. Don't expect anyone to have an elephants memory and keep remembering that in bar 120 it's FF (when the last time they saw a dynamic they were at bar 69!). Tempo markings go ABOVE the score, and ABOVE the strings sections, not in every section (although I've seen that happen), and not inside the staves or underneath them. Tempo markings should have a larger font than normal text. Not too large, but certainly not the same size as a mere cresc... note... Binding is also important (since we're talking about professional scores), though it's not easy to have many options in an amateur case. Professionally bound scores work great; the pages open, and stay open, etc... Any DOVER score fails at that account, whereas every HENLE score passes! Copyright notice! Copyright notice! Copyright notice! Copyright notice! Have I said it enough times? Ultimately it's a score that THE OTHERS will view as professional! Not yourself! Because you can't be impartial to your own doings! Simple as that! Hope this helps...
  9. One by one... so many questions... brrr... I'm not a film composer, but I do work for media, so I probably can offer some serious insight here... 1. It's better to use a sequencer rather than a notation software because they work in different ways. A notation software will primarily produce a score, while a sequencer will produce... sequences (in other words listenable music). The difference is that no matter how hard Finale or Sibelius try they STILL cannot offer the control that a sequencer offers over samples, in which case the result of digitized music coming out from a sequencer (Cubase) is better than that coming out from a notation software (finale). And there really is no argument against that, no matter what people here will say (Tokke will chime in in favor of sibelius)... Cubase and other sequencers cannot produce decent scores and notation software only produce mediocre recordings. So... If you plan on having your music performed live (fat chance, but perhaps you have the means), then by all means use notation. If you end up using samples to produce your final recording then you WILL need to use a sequencer at some point. Perhaps not in the beginning or the actual composing process (because you may be used to composing in notation), but later on you will need to import your stuff in a sequencer to sync and make them... sound good. 2. Film scores are hard to find. For free they are illegal to find, so you won't be getting any replies here. Hal Leonard sells some scores and perhaps there are others who do that, but other than that the orchestral film composers (even the AMAZING Williams) was inspired by the classical composer, who you don't seem to appreciate too much. so studying the classical scores (which may be available in IMSLP, for example for free), would give you plenty of insights on where the film composers got their ideas.
  10. I know that it's a tiny bit late, but here's my take on things: 1. You need to know music. Even if you think that ZimmerElfmanetc do NOT know music, or don't ready music, or whatever this is them and not you. Nobody wants to work with someone who does NOT know music. I don't mean that you should grab a PhD in composition, but if you think you can get into any business by NOT knowing how you do your job... it won't happen, sorry. 2. We need luck. Yes luck. Some things in life just... happen. 3. But in order for luck to work you need to be ready for anything, be prepared and accept anything that comes in your way! No missed opportunities! I have missed an opportunity which I deeply regret, but that's life I guess... 4. You need to socialize. Not with other composers: These are the people who will take your job. So no. Meet film makers, meet boomers, meet cameramen, meet actors, meet the people who work in the industry you want in. 5. Learn to represent yourself the best way possible. You judge a book by its cover and so do people by a website, an avatar, or other. Work hard to present yourself in the best way possible! 6. But always keep in mind that it's an extremely difficult industry to get into (computer games industry, I find, is easier). Reason is that in order to make a movie, any movie you need tons of money! LOTS of money! An indie movie will very well cost 5,000,000$! simple as that. As opposed to a game that can happen with a 5 people team! Now, if you ask me what can a game of 5 people do, I'll tell you that recently http://gamepolitics.com/2011/11/28/sex-education-game-privates-wins-bafta]Privates[/url] won a BAFTA! And incidently I wrote the music for the game! :D YAY all 'round! So there's a lot to think about and tons of work to do...
  11. Tokke: Nice going in ignoring my post! ;) Now... I will admit that contemporary music has managed to detached somewhat itself from 'the real world', and sometimes the composer himself... But at the same time there IS some wonderful music out there, and some amazing composers out there (some of them are even amongst us), and certainly many works that are worthy of performance... I know very well that my music is being performed, it just takes time! Now of course the following quote: seems to be rather influenced by the opinion of the writer about that kind of music, rather than being factual! ;)Still there is a point on how to change the audience mind? Well... to give them a real taste of what contemporary music is about; to educate them and train them about the aesthetics of more recent works; to offer them a real opportunity to meet, see, read, perform and listen to contemporary music in a contemporary fashion (eg. not in extremely unrealistic prices, with scores you can only find in a few music stores and Vinyl records that are out of print for decades)...
  12. Tokke... Your questions about the same subject are simply boring... I remember you from a long time ago... BTW, Chopin, Schubert, even Mozart while they do appear to have been famous, they did die peniless and probably buried somewhere but unknown where (*I think*... I'm not sure about their biographies, but anyhow you get the idea). Now, lets compare 1830s with 2011: * population then: not sure but around 1 bil? 2 bil? Not much more I reckon population today: 6 bil? 7 bil and counting? (no, I won't take a look at wiki, thank you. No reason). * available options for people to listen then: Concert halls, pianos at home, various recitals, - THE END - available options for people to listen now: billions of songs up for free through youtube, Mtv or other, recitals, CDs, ishits, etc... * Other things to do while living then: Try to survive, have sex with your cousin (?!?!?!), play various boring games, etc... other things to do while living now: WOW! TV! Internet, need I say more? We are spoiled for choice. And as we are that, the composers go more and more autistic and the rest of the audience goes further away! And this's been happening since the early days of the 1900s... (Remember Ives? Worked as an insurance seller (?) but composed some amazing music imho). Yes, there is no reason why contemporary music should stay autistic, but I won't agree that there's something wrong with the music itself, but with the marketing associated with it!
  13. There is a work to be published at some point in the near future. The title of the work includes a very common profanity (the "F word" to be more specific). It was conceived as such in 2004 and since then it grew and it still holds the same meaning for me... So the question: Should I go ahead and officially publish the work under the same name (My f***ing life) or should I abbreviate it as "MFL" instead?
  14. LOL... Tokke is a fanboy for Sibelius! :D
  15. 1. It needs to be on the same file, otherwise you cannot do it inside finale. 2. Just go to 'page tool' and move the systems accordingly... There's nothing to it. 3. Add the title, work, etc, on the proper place. 4. Make sure you change the measure numbers, cause you might end up on variation 2 with measure number of 69 and that would be ugly. You need to go to the measure tool and go to the menu and click on 'change measure number regions' (I think. I don't have Finale on this computer so I cannot check). Then choose the first one and make it stop at the last number of the 1st movement (otherwise when you add a new region you'll have two numbers on each measure). Then add a new region for the new part/movement.
  16. First of all: Can we critique and critisize whoever thought of ressuracting this thread? It's ridiculous to be getting a 6 year old (started in 2006 and is 2012 now) thread going again, despite the fact that it IS a good thread. I don't remember posting in this thread though... :-/ Anyhow. I will point the semi-obvious that the world we live in sucks! Pretty simple as that! And while we would like to take care of everything and offer lovely feedback, etc, to everyone this is NOT how the whole world works! I no longer have the time to deal with specific works individually, except on some very rare cases! The rest will go to the dumb, I'm sorry to say. And this is how the world works. I don't care who the composer is, or who the performer is: Eventually if I feel there's something there I'll talk about it, if not I won't. I won't spend my time trolling around, but I won't give proper feedback to everyone who's asking. I don't know if this seems arrogant and whatnot, and certainly the older members here know that I'm quite nice and easy to approach, but the point is that things change and one, once out in the open, cannot expect a 'nice' treatment (although we try here in YC to provide one). Budding or not, beginner or adult, or other... :-/ Sorry
  17. Actually anywhere... Same as Heckel... (Brrr... this feels weird...). ;D I don't really need anything to compose, apart from my manuscript and notes, and drafts and pencil and eraser. That's all. If anything else is needed, then I'll go to it (a computer, or the piano, or something). Once I'm done I will copy to Finale/Sibelius... If I'm composing media music then I, obviously need my studio.
  18. LOL... I believe he knows that! :D (from a different forum)... Thing is that composing for orchestra is SO MUCH more than just doubling and 'just' thinking in colors. It's all the range, the dynamics, the colors (yes, ok), the phrasings, the everything. It's not an easy going path by all means. Of course I have composed 'tons' of orchestral music, either for my PhD (which never got performed to be honest, so I'm not 'counting them'), either for computer games and virtual instruments. I know my way around an orchestra, but it's only very recently that I started feeling more secure, or confident enough to start knocking on doors and grabing commissions and arrange for performances... Anyhow froggy: Best of luck in the competition! ;)
  19. Yes, true that. But I wasn't always making a living from composing directly (for example when studying)... So it wasn't only for making a living... (it was trying to make a living perhaps... hehe). However, I was thinking about this thread since yesterday and I realised that this attitude has led me to a very specific path: That where I have not composed for reall big forces... I knew, until recently, that I wouldn't be able to get a piano concerto performed and thus I skipped composing one. Same goes for big orchestral forces. Recently this seems to have changed and thus I will be entering the field of composing for orchestra... For better or worst... :P
  20. I don't know how this will read, but anything I compose will get performed... The frequency of when something comes out is a mildly complicated issue that cannot be explained right now, but my goal for a few years now is to NOT compose unless it will be performed (and paid one way or another)...
  21. A solo violin will eventually have to change bow (turn the bow to the other direction). Some great violinists have been known to do that so well, so as the public could not tell when it actually happened. But it's there alright and there's nothing wrong in asking for that. For a violin section, however, things can be a little different. If you have 10 violins, for example (or 18 for that matter), and each one change bow at a different time, it goes completely unnoticeable, and thus one could assume you get an indefinite... legato (or tenuto). Same goes for a choir. A human must breath, but a choir can breath unsyncronized, thus retaining the sense of continuity. Moreover, for the strings there are other techniques which will allow the violin to play longer sustained notes, sort of... For example the tremolo (tremoli in plural). You don't get long bows, but very short ones, so you can sustain that for as long as you want (of course it becomes tiring if you over do it). The 5th Symphony by Beethoven, has a long sustained note after the first three notes. If you're referring to that, I believe that it can be done with a single bow, assuming everything else is a different bow, or a detached bow.
  22. Yes, but not only that. From the media part of music I've scored a couple of documentaries, a couple of theatrical plays, some ads, a DVD and so on. And plenty of games. But I adore contemporary classical music and I've got a few commissions from around
  23. There are several other fields that one can make money off composition (or close by)... 1. Scoring music for computer games! It's not easy and it takes a great tech head. It also usually means that you love computer games and are a geek! ^_^ That said it's a blooming industry, probably more so that Hollywood itself (don't quote me on this though). 2. Arranging, orchestrating, copying, etc. While it might seem boring, it's a great way to learn things, to learn about harsh deadlines and to ultimately network. 3. Ghost writting! Whoever said it's bad is right! :D but in the end it is there and it makes sense! You don't get the credit, but you get to meet people! 4. Finally. Working for libraries. A dangerou field, but I know plenty of people who earn lots of money from such venues. It's more liberating to working with jerks who know very little about music, but it's not exactly breath taking either...
  24. Not again... after so many years I come back to see the same old stuff?!?! Anything to do with tonality, or dissonance, or atonality, or whatever you want to call it is simply: tools! Some work better for some workers, others work better for other workers! You can't make a house with only a hammer in your hand (unless you didn't have any other equipment in which case you would be forced at that) . You can't make anything beautiful with only a buldoser (?sp?) at hand... So you need everything and anything. Just learn about it and use it as you please (and of course I'm not talking to J. right? ;))
  25. Here's my take on Sibelius 7... Note that I've been (and still am) a Finale user, so I got Sibelius out of necessesity! The functions are generally very good, and for a newbie at this software the ribbon works fine. Finally you can import any graphic format (not only TIFF like in Sibelius 6) and you can edit the size of the graphic, any way you want. The hidden info will still be shown (unlike Sib 6) and that's about it. The sounds are, quite honestly, rubbish, for a 34 GB library! Anyone can listen to the demos and decide for themselves. Personally I don't care since I don't care to listen to the things I'm writine (I'm simply editing or copying existing music), but for others this may be a problem. The problem is not only the sounds themselves, but also the way Sibelius plays back (personally I prefer human playback from Finale). THE MOST IMPORTANT PROBLEM with Sibelius 7 though, is the speed issues! Larger scores (let's say 80 pages symphonic work), was simply impossible to work! It seems that part of the problem is the tuplet drawing function (!!!??!?!?!!) but also other stuff which may criple the software. And I'm talking about a stripped down software (no textures on pages, or background, no sounds, no vector (or however they are called in there), and a top notch computer (i7, 6 GB of RAM, almost 3 TB of hard drives...). Personally I was forced to go back to Sibelius 6 (and thanks to the company for allowing me to do that), which is 100% faster (something that needs 20 secs in Sibelius 7 needs 11 in Sibelius 6). Unless they change this VERY SERIOUS speed issue, the software is, sadly, unusable for larger scores. I'm currently editing an 110 page score and I'm doing so in Sib 6. Once I'm done with anything that needs heavy handling I'll switch to Sib 7 to change text fonts (sizes, fonts, etc), import graphics and stuff like that, which are more difficult to do in Sib 6!
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