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luderart

Soliloquy for Bass Clarinet No. 2

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This is my second soliloquy for Bass Clarinet.

Here is the link to the first one:

http://www.youngcomposers.com/t34704/soliloquy-for-bass-clarinet-no-1/

 

Edited by luderart
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Hey, Woot Woot for Bass Clarinet music! I play the bass clarinet, so I'm quite familiar with what's "kosher" and what's not. I listened to your Soliloquy No. 1 and No. 2 :) Perhaps I'll play and record these so you can have a recording...?

As a performer, I see places where I will intuitively add dynamics, and where I may push and pull the tempo. Those decisions will be made by the performer unless you give some hints and directions in your notation. For example, ritardando or accelerando, crescendo or diminuendo, things like that. That being said, find ways to make your piece more EXPRESSIVE. Music is all about "saying" something, and right now this piece is kind of one level in terms of its development and phrase shape. If you choose to make the piece melodically, rhythmically, and expressively limited, the performer is more limited in what they can do. Aim to give them too much to work with, then scale it back into something more manageable. What I notice about your writing style:

  • Lots of arpeggiating and scalar movement
  • Lots of repetition of rhythmic motives
  • A good sense of direction in the phrasing, with a few moments where I'm not sure about the direction an idea is going -- is it an extension? is it leading me to the next idea? is it a development?

Overall cool things, and as long as you keep writing music with bass clarinet in the title you can count on my feedback!!!!!!!!!

Gustav Johnson

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I can't compete with @Gustav Johnson's knowledge of the instrument, but I can offer my musings that perhaps the phrases where a bit too similar every time to feel like so much a progression as you wanted. Dynamics can help with this, but adding an off measure where everything connects can make the phrase seem a lot smoother! Overall, nice piece.

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Thanks Gustav Johnson for your review and feedback. It is great to hear that you play the bass clarinet. By all means, you are welcome to play and record both pieces. 

7 hours ago, Gustav Johnson said:

As a performer, I see places where I will intuitively add dynamics, and where I may push and pull the tempo. Those decisions will be made by the performer unless you give some hints and directions in your notation. For example, ritardando or accelerando, crescendo or diminuendo, things like that.

Perhaps if I had thought more about it, I might have added some more dynamics myself. As a performer, you are welcome to add such interpretive dynamics according to your intuition - just as long as you do not twist the piece's rhythmic and overall dynamic structure out of shape!

7 hours ago, Gustav Johnson said:

Overall cool things, and as long as you keep writing music with bass clarinet in the title you can count on my feedback!!!!!!!!!

Thanks. And that is good to know!

 

Thanks Monarcheon for your review and feedback. 

4 hours ago, Monarcheon said:

 adding an off measure where everything connects can make the phrase seem a lot smoother! Overall, nice piece.

I am not sure what you mean by such an "off measure". Perhaps you might elaborate?

 

4 hours ago, Monarcheon said:

Overall, nice piece.

Thanks!

Edited by luderart

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I'm a big fan of patterns and form, and I'm always listening for these in music.  I found the pattern of four notes and a rest here appealing, even lulling and hypnotic, and I think I know what you were going for.  I agree with both of the previous posters, however, that adding variety with the the judicious use of dynamics would add greatly to the effectiveness of the piece.  I saw in your reply to Gustav that you are happy to have him add dynamics at his discretion. Was that your intention all along?  If so, I can certainly understand that.  

I see also in your catalogue here that many of your works are for solo instruments unaccompanied, and I find this intriguing.  Is there a particular reason why you prefer this?  

Listening to interesting pieces for solo instrument like this make me want to try it myself!  

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Thanks for your review J. Lee Graham!

On 4/22/2017 at 8:21 AM, J. Lee Graham said:

I'm a big fan of patterns and form, and I'm always listening for these in music.  I found the pattern of four notes and a rest here appealing, even lulling and hypnotic, and I think I know what you were going for.  I agree with both of the previous posters, however, that adding variety with the the judicious use of dynamics would add greatly to the effectiveness of the piece.  I saw in your reply to Gustav that you are happy to have him add dynamics at his discretion. Was that your intention all along?  If so, I can certainly understand that.  

It's great to hear that you appreciated the pattern of the four notes and rest. It is true that I had found it kind of hypnotic myself. It is good to hear that I have succeeded to get that effect across. 

Regarding use of dynamics, I generally consider use of dynamics beyond a certain minimum to be a secondary thing. As far as regards the dynamics, I guess I give the interpreter a little freedom. Perhaps deciding even the dynamics of a composition would be too much for a composer to direct the performer (like shackles to restrain any freedom of interpretation) or too much for a composer to concern themselves with. After all, there are new pieces waiting to be composed! Let the performer guess the best dynamics. Or perhaps I don't have a good appreciation of dynamics and therefore don't use dynamics beyond a certain minimum, not considering it an essential part of the composition. 

On 4/22/2017 at 8:21 AM, J. Lee Graham said:

I see also in your catalogue here that many of your works are for solo instruments unaccompanied, and I find this intriguing.  Is there a particular reason why you prefer this?  

If I am going to introspect about the possible reasons why I like to compose for solo instruments and have composed a majority of my pieces for solo instruments, here are some of the reasons I can identify:

1) There is a shortage of solo pieces in the repertoire, especially for other than keyboard instruments. Therefore, by composing for solo instruments, I can: a) Add to the repertoire where there is a need. b) Have an easier time being original, having few forerunners to compete with or try to distinguish myself from. c) Give my pieces a better chance to be performed and get in the repertoire (in a background of a scarcity of pieces for solo instruments).

2) Composing for solo instruments comes naturally to me. The soliloquy, a form in which I compose a lot, is, in its literal meaning, something that is engaged in (talking to oneself) by a single character during a play. Perhaps I like the idea of a single instrument playing single notes in a background of silence.

3) Perhaps I find composing for solo instruments easier, since it keeps things simple and eliminates harmonic and contrapuntal problems/limits which I must adapt my music to. It leaves me freer as a composer.

4) Perhaps the minimalistic principle that I can express thus, "Do not use an orchestra to say what you can say with a single violin", in other words "Use the least necessary means to say what you want to say", naturally draws me to solo instruments and to composing for them. Perhaps it is another facet of that minimalistic principle that also guides me to compose short pieces, or not to use a large durational canvas for what I can express in a minute or so, not to ask for an audience's attention for more than I absolutely need to. Whereas the shortness of duration uses little time, opting for solo instruments ensures the use of few resources. Both are instances of
intellectual/musical parsimony/simplicity achieved via different means.

On 4/22/2017 at 8:21 AM, J. Lee Graham said:

Listening to interesting pieces for solo instrument like this make me want to try it myself!  

 

That is nice to hear. I would be happy to hear more new compositions for solo instruments!

 

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Well then, you appear to be a minimalist in the best sense of the term.  I think there are a lot of instrumentalists who would like to see more music like this, so you're probably on the right track, and you do it well.

By the way, I noticed that you're from Lebanon!  My ex-husband was born and raised in Beirut, and left during the great civil war to go to college in the United States.  After he got his green card, we were able to visit Lebanon twice, and I loved it.  It still has its challenges, but it's such a beautiful country, and the people are so friendly.  I hope to visit again someday.   

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