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stewboy

Scenes from an Imaginary Place

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This piece started out as the opening bars to movement II, which came to me while trying to sleep one night. The basic idea of movement III is one that I've had in my head for a couple years, ever since I wrote my first wind band piece in 2016/17. After that, movement I started with just me putting down notes to see what would happen.

I've tried to experiment more with having instruments 'bleed' into each other (you can see this mostly in movement II), which is something I don't see much in most wind band writing. I haven't really pushed my harmonies that much (by my standards anyway) - I'm a bit reluctant to do that in a wind band context, because I don't think there's as much leeway as there is in the orchestral world, and I don't even feel a strong need to just yet. At the same time, though, I'm really proud of quite a lot of this piece, and I think it shows a few things that you can do with harmonies without necessarily pushing them to their absolute limits.

I've tried to play around a bit with traditional wind band expectations, especially with regards to percussion, and I will continue to do so. I've always wanted to give a melodic solo to the temple blocks, for instance, and finally did so here in movement III. I also rebelled a little against using bass drum/cymbals in the traditional accompaniment oom-pah way, which is why I gave them a solo too.

I worry a little that the movements are a little short, because I think each one could potentially go on for a full 5-6 minutes at least with their material. However, short individual movements is pretty common in wind band writing, and if the piece as a whole has a consistent feel and sound then I think it still works.

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I'm not familiar with wind band but to me, it sounds like a symphony without the strings. Even though it is a wind band, it feels like an orchestra. And I wouldn't worry about the movements being short. I myself often have the opposite problem with my sonata movements. I often don't know where to stop. But usually, I can tell myself "after x bars, I will stop and move on to the next movement." In C minor this feeling of not knowing where to stop intensifies to the point that I feel that I could easily have a 20 minute long movement. That and my compositions tend towards the long side anyway. I haven't composed a symphony yet but I imagine I would get that same "I don't know where to stop this movement" feeling at the same intensity that I do with a C minor sonata, regardless of key.

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Hi Stewboy, nice piece of music! I remarc the wide range of wind instruments you used, that makes it sound very ritght in timbre.

I specially like the begin and the end of the 3rd movement, it sounds fresh, with nice rithom...I also like the use of percussion. 

Well done!

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Thank you! I'm using NotePerformer, which you can get a trial version of for 30 days. You can't directly export audio with the trial version, but you can set Audacity to record while Sibelius plays.

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I really liked it! Your writing doesn't seem to be too high of a grade level, meaning a decent high school band could play it. Yet, your use of the material and orchestration keeps it interesting and not too "band sounding", for lack of a better term. As caters put it, it sounds orchestral without the strings - a feat not easily accomplished by many band composers. I think the length of each piece is just about right. I agree they could potentially be a bit longer, but I think as-is, the whole piece doesn't feel too short or underdeveloped. I particularly liked the 2nd movement, a bit of a scherzo feeling, and works nicely as a middle movement. In general the overall forms is great.

 

Do you have plans for it being performed?

 

Also, the newest version of NotePerformer costs $10/mo, and after a year it's paid for. I know not everyone can afford that, but they're a small team and definitely deserve the support if you (or anyone reading this) can. It's a great program!

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On 5/22/2019 at 8:18 PM, Mathieux said:

I really liked it! Your writing doesn't seem to be too high of a grade level, meaning a decent high school band could play it. Yet, your use of the material and orchestration keeps it interesting and not too "band sounding", for lack of a better term. As caters put it, it sounds orchestral without the strings - a feat not easily accomplished by many band composers. I think the length of each piece is just about right. I agree they could potentially be a bit longer, but I think as-is, the whole piece doesn't feel too short or underdeveloped. I particularly liked the 2nd movement, a bit of a scherzo feeling, and works nicely as a middle movement. In general the overall forms is great.

 

Do you have plans for it being performed?

 

Also, the newest version of NotePerformer costs $10/mo, and after a year it's paid for. I know not everyone can afford that, but they're a small team and definitely deserve the support if you (or anyone reading this) can. It's a great program!

 

 

Thank you! Yes, that's what a conductor I showed it to said - it would be good for community bands. I've played a lot of music in that category and a fair amount of it (though not all) can sound very generic and unadventurous, and that's something I'd like to change. I don't have any specific plans for performance yet, but at some point I'll feel brave enough to send it to a couple conductors I know.

I'm aware NotePerformer is not a bank breaker, but it's something I'll have to wait until I get an actual job before buying. Which shouldn't be too long - I'm about to graduate from my degree and I'll have to enter the real world!

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