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Everything posted by JairCrawford

  1. I do not think 'dead' is really an adequate term for any sort of music. Because you can still go to early music festivals and hear Medieval music. There are people on this site that write in the Baroque and Classical styles and do so rather well. And they are not the only ones. There are people who still compose in the Serial style as well, I'm sure. So no, of course it's not dead. None of it is. I mean heck, I still play the keyboard at church in the worship band in an 80s and 90s style. lol I think a more appropriate question would be, "Is it still commonly practiced?"
  2. OPL3! ... jk lol. Those look pretty good.
  3. Ok, first of all, this is awesome. I absolutely LOVE the pipe organ and it's always great to hear new music written for the instrument. I very much enjoyed this. It is quite nice! I will say it felt a little short and when it was over, it was like "Aww... that's it?" I felt like it definitely could have gone on even longer and developed more. Better yet, it could be made into a movement for an epic pipe organ suite! Just my two cents... something to consider possibly? Very nice! :)
  4. This is very nice! It's always great to see the viola getting some cool repertoire. I love the viola. It's been under-represented in the past, imho. I liked the fourth one even better! It's a bit of a different style for me, but very nice regardless. Would be cool to hear a soloist perform this.
  5. Thanks for the feedback! I think, if you compare the recording to the midi, you might notice a lot of the differences. Especially in the third movement. He had to take a lot of passages down the octave from what was written and even had some almost improvisational moments and I am wondering how playable it is. He couldn't really give me a definitive answer on that because he barely had time to look over it and he practically sight-read the performance (again, that's on me, not him. lol) But my main concern is if there are parts where I am legitimately asking too much of the performer. Another notable case of this is that big scale at the end of the first movement. He wasn't able to take it all the way up to the final note at that speed and volume and I wonder if it was just because of the circumstances of the performance, or if it is just simply too demanding on the instrument?
  6. I'm glad you brought that up. There is actually a specific reason for that. My composition professor (who was originally quite hesitant to allow this on the program) encouraged me to make many cuts from the piece where there was some more repetition of themes and such. The issue was it ended up being too long that way and it tended to meander a bit, so it feels more concise now, and as of right now I find myself agreeing with my professor's suggestions. There have been some spots here and there where I have debated the possibility of extending them a bit, but I've also had people tell me that each transition feels like it's in just the right place, so, I might just leave it as it is. At least that's where I'm leaning at the moment. I would love to hear a rebuttal from you though. If you feel like I should extend some of the themes in certain areas, tell me why, and you may just persuade me. Because I have considered it before. And thanks for the feedback! Always appreciated! :)
  7. Isn't it like... something Blake? Who did The Snowman? @Austenite this is one of the stronger works I've heard so far from you, IMO. Very very nice!
  8. This was another piece I did for my senior recital, but, I just barely got it onto the program and it really, really, REALLY needs a lot of work. I'm not even sure how playable some parts are from the score. I need to figure out if I'm exceeding any limits in that regard, first thing. Then I need to restructure it. I feel like the 2nd movement is the most 'complete' (although I think the B section and subsequent development needs some work), while the first movement has some solid material but is lacking and the third movement is quite questionable. Is the third movement playable as written? Overall throughout the piece a main theme is using the instrument to outline what the harmonies would be, while the melody is still well pronounced. I have a live performance but it was essentially sight-read at the last minute and my scores were not very helpful with the state they were in, so there are quite a lot of technical errors in this recording (my fault, not the performer, lol). I also have a VST mp3. Any tips on salvaging this into something really cool would be greatly appreciated!
  9. The more I think about it, the more it does seem a little undeveloped. Either that or the main theme is just too short and moves onto the development sections a little too quickly... hmm... that could be it too. This is giving me a lot to consider, and certainly helping to point me in some good directions. Thanks again for all the advice! I'll have to check that Metamorphosen piece out.
  10. I like both. Yeah yeah, I know that's no fun, but hey, I gotta be honest and go with my gut, and my gut can't decide and wants to have cake and eat it too. XD
  11. This is very cool! I have to say so far I'm liking the 2nd movement a bit more than the first. This style of music is not quite what I am used to, so I'll try to provide as constructive feedback as possible, but I can tell you already that, and this is just my opinion, but those loud chords in the piano in the second movement, not too long after the beginning? I think they would sound better if they were pedaled. To me in the recording it sounds like they were played dry, but I don't know if that was intentional or not. That's really the only thing that's stuck out to me so far in the second movement. Ok it sounds like the third movement is starting now. Oh man... oh this is gorgeous! Dude I really really like this movement so far. That introduction was absolutely sublime, and the faster theme that follows it is quite nice and perky, and very catchy! Very nice! Oh and it's going back into those nice slow rich textures again... So far I'd have to say the third movement is the highlight of the piece. I would have maybe liked to hear those slow themes a little bit more, perhaps I enjoyed them a little too much! lol Ok fourth movement time... This is cool! I'm liking the folksy string elements so far. This is going all over the place, but not necesarilly in a bad way. It sounds very cool! Sorry that I can't be more specific than that but like I said this style is different than what I'm used to. Overall, one of my main feelings is that perhaps the first movement doesn't quite fit the piece like the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th do... and I'm not sure why. It could just be because it's the only one that wasn't in the live recording, but it was definitely the one I had the hardest time immersing myself into. By the second movement I was quite enjoying it, and by the third movement, I was hooked. That third movement is just absolutely great. Highlight of the piece for sure, and the fourth movement rounds it up with a nice finish. Very nice! Edit: Ok upon listening again I redact what I originally said about the first movement feeling out of place. I now think it's due to comparing it to the live recordings for the other three movements.
  12. Thanks guys for the feedback so far! Yes, I agree that it's the structure of the piece that's a bit... scatterbrained. It's how to go about restructuring it that will end up being the key. And I also agree the more and more I listen back to it, the more unnecessary that long intro sounds. Now I am curious as to what you mean @danishali903. Do you mean that what I consider the main theme of the piece (after the intro) sounds more like what should be a B section? That could be problematic because I already have a B section after it, and if I put something before it, I would have two B sections, essentially. I feel that would confuse things even more. Hmm... thank you for pointing that out about the Bass. I hadn't considered that and I'll definitely take a look at that. @Ken320 Are you referring to the sustained note and pizzicato in the beginning (that I feel like I can easily cut), or even all the way up to when the cello starts rolling that pattern?
  13. Did you have a story playing in your head when you composed this? Because I can practically see these birds conspiring to go to war, falling in love, mourning for loss, and all sorts of things as I listen to this. You paint a very vivid picture with your sounds, and I must say it's very very cool!
  14. Another re-upload from the archives: This piece is an experimental work that is a serious work, yet, it is not meant to be taken too seriously. It has many fun surprises and a lot of cross-over feel to it. It's broken up into three movements, but it's all in one file. Video game music was one of the bigger inspirations for this piece. The piece is meant to start off sounding of old-school synth elements, and a more 'weird' tone to it, but each movement moves more towards a huge, cheesy, dated-sounding, full-on trance/dance romp! This was the grand finale of my senior recital and boy, I had to really push my professor to let me include this on the program! LOL Enjoy and let me know what you think! A Synthetic Mind (c) 2013 Jair W. Crawford
  15. This was the second piece I composed for my degree after the Choral Fantasy, but I don't feel like it's quite up to par. I feel like it's mostly there but there are things that need to be cut in certain areas and/or reworked. This is intended to be a second movement for a larger work. I'll post both the Sibelius Essentials and the live recording from my recital but the live recording has a considerable amount of errors in this one, so do keep that in mind. I would love to know what works and what doesn't with this piece. I can't seem to decide if I like how lush it is in the beginning, or if I need to keep it more simple and make it more harmonically dense later on. And then there are some developmental parts which I'm just not quite satisfied with. I decided to post this here though instead of in the Incomplete Works forum because I feel like any cuts and changes I would make wouldn't be all that major. Please let me know what you think! Suite For String Orchestra Mov. II (c) 2013 Jair W. Crawford
  16. Thanks for the feedback! The idea was to start off with a bit of dissonance, but as the text begins to be sung, a sense of calming pervades, hence the more diatonic sound. It just naturally felt right as I was writing it. Kind of an ebb and flow of internal conflict being soothed by peace. As for the tempo, they did take it a little slow. Ideally it would have been performed a bit faster in parts but, I'm grateful to even have a live recording at all. For the live performance it did indeed all come together at pretty much the last minute so as far as I'm concerned, they were amazing! Thanks again for the feedback!
  17. Re-uploading this from the archives if it's alright. I have a real recording, and a Sibelius Essentials recording of the piece. The real recording was recorded at my senior recital and there are some technical flaws, but it is still a performance I will never forget. This piece is for Choir and String Orchestra... I put that in the title because, it is more than simply a choir piece with string accompaniment, the choir and the strings are equally important and complement each other. The piece is a religious work, but stylistically it takes a lot of film music influences. The piece is set to text from Psalm 139, my favorite chapter of Scripture, and this is probably the most personal piece I've written so far. Here's a little bit more about the background of this piece (copy/pasted from the comment archives): I wrote the essentials of this piece during the summer of 2011. I'd been tweaking it since then up until April 2013 when I had my senior recital. During the summer of 2011 I was going through a lot of anxiety, and one of the reasons was, I had finished my third year of college as a composition major, and I had basically completed nothing as far as compositions. I was almost booted out of the composition department at the end of the school year because of it, but, after a day my composition professor changed his mind and decided we would give it another try. He had me going back to the basics and was sending me some exercises over the summer, cause I didn't really feel like I knew what I was doing... While all this was going on... I thought to myself that I had always wanted to try to write something set to the text of Psalm 139, my favorite chapter in all of the Bible. So I sat down, and, I thought... I wanted it to start off sounding a bit uncertain... but then when the words come in I want it to sound like coming to peace. And, well I just can't explain it, I started writing the intro and I shocked myself. It was better than anything I had attempted for string ensemble in the past by a lot... and then the "O Lord' ostinato just came to me after the intro closed, and I wrote the music up to "You perceive my thoughts from afar". So I had that much of it done, and I sent it to my composition professor along with the first exercise. He said "forget about the exercises, keep working on this." Enjoy, and please let me know what you think! Choral Fantasy For Choir And String Orchestra - A Meditation On Psalm 139 (c) 2013 Jair W. Crawford
  18. It depends. Does your keyboard have an on-board sequencer? If so, then the answer is, yes, you can make techno music with a keyboard. And by that I mean, just the keyboard, alone.
  19. That does make sense, come to think of it. And I have started with fewer instruments, but, I always end up needing to flesh it out, cause I always end up writing in a style that needs more than just a few instruments. For instance, a String Trio that I started is now a piece for String Orchestra that I'm working on. The trio was just too limiting. lol
  20. Different things, a combination of things. Getting the ideas from my head to the sheet, constantly wondering if a melody or motif I'm making hasn't been written already by someone else, being a perfectionist about everything, and eventually, because of all that, I tend to burn out REALLY quickly after working on a piece in one sitting.
  21. I love writing music, always have. But... I have a major problem. I am sooooooooooooooooooooo sloooooooooowwwww! I mean... so very very PAINFULLY slow, it drives me insane! I mean, I've written 11 intstrumental pop/rock songs over the past TEN years, and over the past two years I've been working on two more common-practice styled pieces, for my composition major, but, I'm STILL working on them... I don't know if anyone else has had this problem but, this is REALLY annoying. lol Does anyone have any tips/suggestions?
  22. Thanks for all the comments! I think, the next step is to tweak the melody some. The chord progression was a problem with my original version, but I already tweaked the chords a while back. Though, maybe I could make some of the chords a tad bit more jazzy, do you think that would help? Also... I'm generally getting the impression from you guys that the main problem is, I'm trying TOO hard to follow the style (in this case 80's-90's Pop Ballads). So I'm wondering... crossover of styles... in the future, would that be a good tactic to use? Only problem is, even though I like a good variety of different styles, they are all so different from each other. I mean... I like mostly 80's-Early 90's Pop ballads, 80's Rock, 90's Rock/Grunge, Various types of Heavy Metal, Techno/Trance, Late Classical, Romantic, Neo-Romantic, and Romantic Era style Film Scores, and certain Video Game Soundtracks. lol I mean, It would be pretty tough to cross-over using those, wouldn't it?
  23. All right... so, I am having a problem. There's an instrumental pop piece I wrote back in 2004 that I really like, and have become very attached to. But, I found out a few years after I wrote it, that it sounded a little too similar to a song that was already written... too similar for comfort. So, I revised it, then uploaded it here. However, people still say it sounds a lot like someone else's song. I'll link to it here. http://www.youngcomposers.com/pg/Music/JairCrawford/composition?entry=35801 I REALLY want to fix this. What I did to change it from my original version, was mainly changes in the chord progression, and I added some instrument tracks to it also. But I feel like there's a lot more I need to change about this to make it sound more original. I REALLY want to salvage this piece, because I like it a lot, so any help/tips are very much appreciated! :D
  24. I'm trying to upload an mp3, but it failed. Am I doing something wrong?
  25. I'd have to say the Emperor's theme from Star Wars Episode VI by John Williams. It's creeeeeeeeeepy.
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