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The Immortal (SATB)


NRKulus
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Hi folks - I was slightly active on this forum from about 2012-2014. Now that I have a little free time, I'm back to share some more music, and it's nice to see so many new members here.

Although I've written extensively for all kinds of instrumental ensembles and accompanied voices, I still feel like I'm going by the seat of my pants when writing unaccompanied choir music. This is my 2nd a cappella piece, and there are still some things in it I'm not terribly fond of.

In the first half of this piece, I deliberately avoided the lush, homophonic textures that seem to characterize 95% of a cappella choral pieces written today. I tried to create interest in other ways, but I'm not sure it is entirely effective (particularly the transition before letter B... does this break the piece's momentum prematurely? I can't decide). I finally gave in and wrote big, pretty chords in the 2nd half, which I'm actually satisfied with.

If anyone has suggestions about making this easier, I'd be happy to hear those as well. Ideally, I'd like this to be singable by intermediate (i.e. decent high school and community) choirs.

Thanks for listening!

SCORE and AUDIO

PS - this mockup is "performed" by Virharmonic Voices of Prague sample library. Word-building choir software is still a long way from sounding realistic, but since I don't have a live recording yet, I figure this is better than MIDI.

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Wow, it's amazing!

Unfortunately, I am no singer, nor am I familiar with choral writing, so I provide you feedback about the technical aspects.
In my opinion, there is a clear balance between dissonance and consonance. Some dissonances seem hard for my ear to place, but the consonances give a resting place in the music.
Besides, the soundfont you used, sounds very realistic indeed!

I'd love to hear more works!

Maarten

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Thanks for your kind words, Maarten. Were there any dissonances that felt out of place or random, or did they work in context of the surrounding consonances?

Turns out a professional choir will be doing this in a reading/workshop next month (no recording, unfortunately), so hopefully they'll give me some feedback on the singability.

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Hey!

This playback stuff is awesome, I'm super intrigued.

About the composition, it definitely works for me. I'm not the best sight singer in the world, and some of the linear movement in the bass/tenor lines is a little bumpy for me. Better singers would likely struggle less. Not sure the reasoning behind moving bass/tenor at different rates of speech. I know it can be used as an effect, but part of me wonders if you've overused it for the sake of "independence" of line, and if it may be better served to allow them to move together more. You'll have to gauge that yourself when you hear it performed, though. The end reminds me of how Whitacre ended "sleep", with the faded motif. It's all well written, well executed harmonically.

Cool work!

Gustav Johnson

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On 3/27/2017 at 10:30 PM, NRKulus said:

Thanks for your kind words, Maarten. Were there any dissonances that felt out of place or random, or did they work in context of the surrounding consonances?

Turns out a professional choir will be doing this in a reading/workshop next month (no recording, unfortunately), so hopefully they'll give me some feedback on the singability.

 

There is a perfect balance between consonances and dissonances. 

Do not worry about that.

Wow, that is amazing! Please tell us how it went!

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