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SYS65

Magical Overture

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Hey, about 5 weeks ago some friends told me about a composition contest is launched by the Xalapa Symphonic Orchestra, (Xalapa, in the state of Veracruz, Mexico) which is one of the most important and respected orchestras in Mexico, with very high level players from this country and foreigners, with an European conductor.

This contest sounded like a very good chance to get a piece performed since they said not only one piece will be selected, but 8, and they are open to see the composer cataloge, anyway, I didn't delay much and started writing exactly 1 month ago, an piece in Overture form, with max. of 4,4,4,4 - 4,3,3,1 Timpani, 3 perc. Harp, Piano/Celesta and Strings, and 8 minutes maximum.

There is no $$$ prize, but the pieces will be performed and recorded. Dead line is march 19, and results will be april 21.

So, this is my entry for that contest, and I share with you here as a tradition to me.

Edited by SYS65
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Hola,

Wow. I am speechless. . . Of course in a good way.

There is a lot of magic in it and that is partly because of the orchestration. I have nothing to say about the orchestration. 
The atmosphere is splendid and reminds me of Debussy. Could you tell us more about this piece?

I have only one critique point and that is the melodies. In such a big orchestration, I find it pleasant to recognize some material, but it looks like you are constantly introducing new material. 

Very well done! I don't know the level of the participants, but whatever happens, you can be proud.

Kind regards,

Maarten

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Hi Daniel,

Beautifully done! You've got a fantastic ear for orchestral color.

The only thing I'd look at is the ending. Compared to the rest of the piece, it felt rushed. I only get a clear sense of "this is the end" when the timps come in at 157 and then the piece is over.

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3 hours ago, Maarten Bauer said:

Hola,

Wow. I am speechless. . . Of course in a good way.

There is a lot of magic in it and that is partly because of the orchestration. I have nothing to say about the orchestration. 
The atmosphere is splendid and reminds me of Debussy. Could you tell us more about this piece?

I have only one critique point and that is the melodies. In such a big orchestration, I find it pleasant to recognize some material, but it looks like you are constantly introducing new material. 

Very well done! I don't know the level of the participants, but whatever happens, you can be proud.

Kind regards,

Maarten

 

Hey, Thank you for your comment,

Well more than Debussy is Scriabin what had served to me as a guide, this piece is in my continuation of the seek of the avant-garde level of my own language without loosing the esthetics, and that's why I improve very slowly, since writing avant-garde and make it sound beautiful is something truly hard, that someday I hope I will make it, that is why there is a lot of melodies and the density of lines is actually light compared to what it can be.

I don't know either what kind of pieces will be sent to the same contest, or how many, the orchestra has a very good level, but maybe not a super high level like those orchestras can play Ferneyhough or Dillon or that sort of things, but they do play Mahler Symphonies, Vaughan-Williams and that kind of works I found in their most recent season.

I think my piece is as difficult as it needs to be to produce the effect I planned, nothing beyond that.

 

1 hour ago, Adrian Quince said:

Hi Daniel,

Beautifully done! You've got a fantastic ear for orchestral color.

The only thing I'd look at is the ending. Compared to the rest of the piece, it felt rushed. I only get a clear sense of "this is the end" when the timps come in at 157 and then the piece is over.

 

Thank you for commenting,

Yes I'm not too very happy with the ending either, but I was always rushed while writing this, I work all day I only had about 2-3pm and weekends to write this pieces, last saturday I decided to somehow finish it already, there's still 1 month to deadline but I wanna prepare other past works to send them, I'm gonna improve the scores a bit, make them look like the same "Publisher" and I don't know if I have time to make new mp3 of old pieces, this is actually a brand new setup of libraries in my Sibelius.

 

 

Something I have to say is that my original intention was to make it sound very cosmic, and call it "Nebula Overture" but I'm not ready yet for that language, while writing it I felt it didn't sound cosmic enough and I changed the name to "Magical Overture" since it does sound magical, maybe "magical" is the previous step to "cosmic" ?

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1 minute ago, SYS65 said:

Yes I'm not too very happy with the ending either, but I was always rushed while writing this, I work all day I only had about 2-3pm and weekends to write this pieces, last saturday I decided to somehow finish it already...

Seems to me the problem with the ending is just a little proportion thing. The 16th note figures in the winds get two bars, but then the triplets in the winds only get one bar and the harmonic glissandos only get one bar. Try doing two bars of the triplet wind thing and two bars of the glissandos and see if you like that better.

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Good piece with extended, modern impressionism-like harmonies and rich, colourful orchestration. I am missing more contrasting use of orchestra at times but generally I was impressed by the music. Good job! :)

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Well, results date came and left and nothing at all... I guess I didn't win anything (like always) maybe Bartok was right, competitions are for horses...

 

Thank you all for your comments, I hope to post something soon.

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7 minutes ago, SYS65 said:

Well, results date came and left and nothing at all... I guess I didn't win anything (like always) maybe Bartok was right, competitions are for horses...

 

Thank you all for your comments, I hope to post something soon.

 

I am so sorry for you! Did you get literally nothing regarding feedback? If so, I find that very rude and unacceptable. Do not let this discourage you to compose. You create wonderful art!

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Thank you, I will never stop composing... first they said april 21 then said they were delayed with it and still checing scores and set august 8th and it seems nothing will happen, these competitions do nothing but put me very stressed when the results day approach, since I've never had a premiere and would be such a nervous day for me.

Anyway, I'm already thinking a new work with this language but more complex, larger orchestra and choir, I hope not to delay too much writing it.

Thanks.

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29 minutes ago, SYS65 said:

Thank you, I will never stop composing... first they said april 21 then said they were delayed with it and still checing scores and set august 8th and it seems nothing will happen, these competitions do nothing but put me very stressed when the results day approach, since I've never had a premiere and would be such a nervous day for me.

Anyway, I'm already thinking a new work with this language but more complex, larger orchestra and choir, I hope not to delay too much writing it.

Thanks.

 

May I ask in which country you live? In Holland (and the Benelux) there are many competitions, all very good and popular.

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5 hours ago, Maarten Bauer said:

May I ask in which country you live? In Holland (and the Benelux) there are many competitions, all very good and popular.

 

I live (always have) in Querétaro, Mexico, and Mexico is a country has never cared for their composers, artists, culture, not even education, so bad is this problem that I just quit my job at the local conservatory after 5 years, because there is no future at all, the institution is going down more and more and I decided not to drawn with it. Right now I must find another solution to make a living and yes, in the future I would like to see the posibility of moving to another country, but right now I think is not possible. Some day I'll take with me all my scores and show them to some people might care about it.

for now I can only say I do like the results I have been having.

Edited by SYS65

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I really enjoy your use of orchestration to unfold complex sonorities, and I hear many interesting sonorities that evoke different atmospheres. Personally, I'm a sucker for those planing extended chords in the middle of the piece. All in all, sounds very out of this world. Very well done.

Maybe a stupid question, but what is the keyboard instrument heard in the beginning after the harp arpeggio?

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1 hour ago, Hugget Zukker said:

Maybe a stupid question, but what is the keyboard instrument heard in the beginning after the harp arpeggio?

Do you mean the vibraphone?

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Do you mean the vibraphone?

Sorry, I failed to use the quote button.

No, I think it sounds like an organ. Maybe it's just an organ - layered with flutes? It's the very first block chords heard, right at the beginning.

Edited by Hugget Zukker

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5 hours ago, Hugget Zukker said:

Sorry, I failed to use the quote button.

No, I think it sounds like an organ. Maybe it's just an organ - layered with flutes? It's the very first block chords heard, right at the beginning.

 

There is no organ in the entire piece. The chord you mean is built from particularly winds, which can sometimes sound like an organ. The audio is digital, so the actual sounds of the instruments is not really good, obiviously. The score is attached in the very first post, so you can look at it yourself.

I hope I have answered your question.

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8 hours ago, Hugget Zukker said:

Sorry, I failed to use the quote button.

No, I think it sounds like an organ. Maybe it's just an organ - layered with flutes? It's the very first block chords heard, right at the beginning.

 

Maybe is the harmonics glissandos in strings ? is a quite weird effect but it is sounding 100% real in recording since the library I use for strings has the sample of such effect, this in addition to the vibraphone and the rest makes the whole thing.

This kind of effect: (just I didn't use the sul-pont)

 

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1 hour ago, SYS65 said:

Maybe is the harmonics glissandos in strings ? is a quite weird effect but it is sounding 100% real in recording since the library I use for strings has the sample of such effect, this in addition to the vibraphone and the rest makes the whole thing.

This kind of effect: (just I didn't use the sul-pont)

I couldn't shake the feeling there was some hard-to-identify timbre in there. An organ was my closest idea, though silly in hindsight. I agree that the whole thing contributes to the impression, but I'm guessing the bassoons and flutes, maybe with somewhat sudden attack and release, contributed most. The harmonics glissandos probably add a bunch of harmonic complexity very subtly. I really dig how the timbres add up to create a whole that's much more than the sum of its parts, so I hope the tone will be at least as mysterious in a real performance.

Edited by Hugget Zukker

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