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Maarten Bauer

Melodrama No.2 ''We Draaien Door''

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Hello everybody!

 

It tooks ages to get some inspiration and it feels very satisfying to finally post some new music... This composition is going to be submitted to a Dutch concours with the theme ''Lang zullen we ronddraaien.'' This can be translated like: The earth will rotate for still much time. I interpreted the music like we become crazy, which means ''We draaien door.'' The poem is written by me and its theme is the refugees crisis. The form is Mosaic Form.

Please tell me your opinion about the music! Feedback is appreciated as well.

Maarten

 

We draaien door
Kijk om je heen.
Voor je, achter je, links van je, rechts van je.
Die man, die vrouw
Die jij hier ziet zijn bevoorrecht.
Dat kind
Dat jij opmerkt, heeft geluk

Denk na.
We beklagen ongeremd
Het weer, het eten, het drinken, gisteren, vandaag, morgen;
Anderen.
Die man, die vrouw, dat kind,
Zij en wij leven in een bijna-utopie
Die we liever niet met anderen delen.

Denk na!
Andere mannen, vrouwen, kinderen
Die juist nú hulp nodig hebben,
Keren wij de rug toe.
Ons geluk delen met medemensen
Die de hel meemaakten;
Lijkt een stap te ver
Voor sommigen van ons.

 We draaien door!

 Het duizelt me.

- Maarten Bauer,           12 september 2017.

TRANSLATION

We become crazy
Look around you
In front of you, behind you, left from you, right from you.
That man, that woman
Who you see there are privileged.
That child
Who you notice, is lucky.

Think.
We complaint unbulliently of
The weather, the food, the drinks, yesterday, today, tomorrow;
Others.
That man, that woman, that child
They and we live in an 'almost utopia'
Which we preferably do bot share with others.

Think!
We turn our backs upon
Other men, women, children
Who need help right now.
Sharing our fortune with neighbours,
Who experiened the Hell,
Seems to go too far
For some of us.


We become crazy!

I get dizzy from it.

 

- Maarten Bauer,           12 september 2017.

 

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You have created exactly the atmosphere you describe in the poem. The music, but also the orchestration works perfectly for this.

Never boring, but a strong sense of unity throughout.

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Lovely work, really. 
Score things: Make sure dynamics are under/referring to specific notes, not just sections (i.e. m. 60).
m. 107 is great; the Bartok kind of sound is awesome, so to be even more like him, it would be nice to see beaming over bars, otherwise it looks kind of awkward with a beam in the middle, rather than the typical 2/4 beaming.
It may be tempting to right "molto cresc. e dim." as a tempo marking so it applies to everyone, but it's better to not. I've had conductors get really mad at commissioned works for misusing it.
Bass harmonic notation... String players don't really like this notation, which is their main gripe with Ravel. You should also place where in the actual register you're making the harmonic, and also the sounding note. 
Orchestration things: Are you sure the tongue ramming will be heard over a fortissimo glissando trombone, not to mention fluttertongue in the rest of the brass?
At m. 115, there are debates as to whether or not bass drum should carry a tie over a bar ever. I've been taught both ways, so just make sure it's what you want.
Looking through your score I see no real reason why you would use a drum set, specifically. I'm pretty sure the whole piece can be done with 2 percussionists. 
You're submitting this to a competition? They will be kind of off put by the sheer lack of marimba notes in your score despite it being written. 
I personally wasn't a huge fan of your slow melody but it interplays alright with the rest of the ensemble. 

The harmonies are really nice and the interplay is fantastic. Good work!

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I love the music languages you are developing, since I am asaré of your work. This piece is wonderful, never boring as it has been said. I think you may take advantage of Monarcheon's advice, an actual expert in orchestration, of it gooes to a competition.

very nice....!

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8 minutes ago, Monarcheon said:

Lovely work, really. 
Score things: Make sure dynamics are under/referring to specific notes, not just sections (i.e. m. 60).
m. 107 is great; the Bartok kind of sound is awesome, so to be even more like him, it would be nice to see beaming over bars, otherwise it looks kind of awkward with a beam in the middle, rather than the typical 2/4 beaming.
It may be tempting to right "molto cresc. e dim." as a tempo marking so it applies to everyone, but it's better to not. I've had conductors get really mad at commissioned works for misusing it.
Bass harmonic notation... String players don't really like this notation, which is their main gripe with Ravel. You should also place where in the actual register you're making the harmonic, and also the sounding note. 
Orchestration things: Are you sure the tongue ramming will be heard over a fortissimo glissando trombone, not to mention fluttertongue in the rest of the brass?
At m. 115, there are debates as to whether or not bass drum should carry a tie over a bar ever. I've been taught both ways, so just make sure it's what you want.
Looking through your score I see no real reason why you would use a drum set, specifically. I'm pretty sure the whole piece can be done with 2 percussionists. 
You're submitting this to a competition? They will be kind of off put by the sheer lack of marimba notes in your score despite it being written. 
I personally wasn't a huge fan of your slow melody but it interplays alright with the rest of the ensemble. 

The harmonies are really nice and the interplay is fantastic. Good work!

 

Thank you very much!

The advice is very useful! About the bass harmonics, I firstly notated it with the open string, note to be played and resulting note, but a friend of mine who is a profession bassist told me that bassists prefer the simple notation I applied.

Actually, the percussive slap tongue is meant to be accompaniment and the trombone plays 'melody.' However, maybe it is better to write f in the trombone part.

There is only one percussionist available and the description said: drumset and small percussion. The drumset already stands there when the music will be performed, so I thought it would not hurt to write it. Do you think I can omit the marimba?

I am glad you like it!

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9 minutes ago, Luis Hernández said:

I love the music languages you are developing, since I am asaré of your work. This piece is wonderful, never boring as it has been said. I think you may take advantage of Monarcheon's advice, an actual expert in orchestration, of it gooes to a competition.

very nice....!

 

¡Muchas gracias!

Well, I am very grateful to you, because you actually showed me the gate to this musical genre. I am sure that I would not have been able to write this music, when you did not introduce several techniques and genres to me.

Sólo quiero decir: ¡gracias!

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Just now, Maarten Bauer said:

About the bass harmonics, I firstly notated it with the open string, note to be played and resulting note, but a friend of mine who is a profession bassist told me that bassists prefer the simple notation I applied.

That's very strange. I've been told the opposite. Maybe it's a difference in country thing. :D

1 minute ago, Maarten Bauer said:

Actually, the percussive slap tongue is meant to be accompaniment and the trombone plays 'melody.' However, maybe it is better to write f in the trombone part.

Right. There definitely is an argument to be made about things that can't be heard being played on purpose so that when things drop out, they sound like they've always been there, but I just think you can mark that a little more explicitly in your score, as in make it more obvious. Like, the opening to the Prokofiev Romeo and Juliet Suite No. 2, even in the huge fortissimo chords, there are pianissimo strings playing along... that kind of obvious, if that makes any sense.

3 minutes ago, Maarten Bauer said:

There is only one percussionist available and the description said: drumset and small percussion. The drumset already stands there when the music will be performed, so I thought it would not hurt to write it. Do you think I can omit the marimba?

Ah, that would make sense... that's kind of weird don't you think, lol. If I'm being honest, a really good percussionist should be able to play all the notes by himself, but it's better to not risk it. Out of context of the competition, it just looks a little weird.

Sorry, I should have put this under score issues: the problem isn't the marimba itself; the problem is that it has its own staff for virtually no reason. It would look better to have the percussion line break into two staves to play the marimba notes, but not all score notation programs do that. If anything, it might be okay to explicitly write in for your percussion part to switch to the marimba, then hide the marimba staff whenever it's not playing, but it's up to you. I like the idea of the marimba, but unless you're Bruckner, instruments that play a few notes look a little funky. 

Good luck!

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4 minutes ago, Monarcheon said:

That's very strange. I've been told the opposite. Maybe it's a difference in country thing. :D

Right. There definitely is an argument to be made about things that can't be heard being played on purpose so that when things drop out, they sound like they've always been there, but I just think you can mark that a little more explicitly in your score, as in make it more obvious. Like, the opening to the Prokofiev Romeo and Juliet Suite No. 2, even in the huge fortissimo chords, there are pianissimo strings playing along... that kind of obvious, if that makes any sense.

Ah, that would make sense... that's kind of weird don't you think, lol. If I'm being honest, a really good percussionist should be able to play all the notes by himself, but it's better to not risk it. Out of context of the competition, it just looks a little weird.

Sorry, I should have put this under score issues: the problem isn't the marimba itself; the problem is that it has its own staff for virtually no reason. It would look better to have the percussion line break into two staves to play the marimba notes, but not all score notation programs do that. If anything, it might be okay to explicitly write in for your percussion part to switch to the marimba, then hide the marimba staff whenever it's not playing, but it's up to you. I like the idea of the marimba, but unless you're Bruckner, instruments that play a few notes look a little funky. 

Good luck!

 

Okay. I will do the best I can. Thanks again!

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14 hours ago, Monarcheon said:

m. 107 is great; the Bartok kind of sound is awesome, so to be even more like him, it would be nice to see beaming over bars, otherwise it looks kind of awkward with a beam in the

You mean like this?
Knipsel.JPG

14 hours ago, Monarcheon said:

Sorry, I should have put this under score issues: the problem isn't the marimba itself; the problem is that it has its own staff for virtually no reason. It would look better to have the percussion line break into two staves to play the marimba notes, but not all score notation programs do that. If anything, it might be okay to explicitly write in for your percussion part to switch to the marimba, then hide the marimba staff whenever it's not playing, but it's up to you. I like the idea of the marimba, but unless you're Bruckner, instruments that play a few notes look a little funky. 

Do you think I should reduce the seperate parts Marimba, Drumset and Percussion to one Percussion part, because there is only one percussionist?
Musescore does not allow me to add treble and bass clefs to a percussion part, so I will need this seperate marimba part. However, I have indicated that the percussionist has to switch to marimba. Is this correct:

Knipsel.JPG

*Naar = to; **Slagwerk = Percussion.
When the Marimba is not played, there is no part shown liek you can see in the attached score.

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5 hours ago, Luis Hernández said:

Hi @Maarten Bauer  let me use your score for a question: does this notation imply the notes are weak or strong?

I have no idea, that's why I ask.

 

 

Captura de pantalla 2017-09-20 a las 16.33.43.png

 

I think I would rather use beams for the legato bowings (so the middle part is not completely correct).

But Monarcheon recommended me to do so, but I am not sure if I have done it the way Monarcheon imagined it.

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The original version just seemed like it wasn't sounding like it was notated. It's up to you. It looks a little better, but it really does depend on what's accented.
It's not at all easy for one percussionist to do it. Like, Reich levels of hard. Leaving it should be fine, or you could add more timbres.
 

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This piece was performed by the NBE (Nederlands Blazers Ensemble (Dutch Wind Ensemble)) with me performing the voice (hopefully my voice is not that disturbing :blush:).
I submitted it to a Dutch national composition contest, to which I already participated last year with my piece ''Batterij,'' which can be found on the forum as well. This time I did go to the next round in contrast to last year. Actually, it was a very real surprise for me, haha!

The judge's commentary:
''A new Stravinsky from Ede [Dutch village]. The piece is incredible and the progress that Maarten made through is astonishing. Moreover, his performance with the NBE was fantastic.''

For the few minutes we had to rehearse the piece, the performance satisfies me.
The performers found the music very enjoyable and well-written.
They were very enthousiastic, which is a great compliment to any composer.

Unfortunately, I am not able to share a .mov file, so I have created a YouTube video.

 

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