Jump to content

Let The Earth Grow Wild (revised and extended)


Recommended Posts

Thanks to the very good advice of some knowledgeable choir/vocal fellow composers, I have revised and extended (and hopefully, finished) the Earth-day themed choir piece (a first for me) "Let the Earth Grow Wild" which I wrote using dice.  For a look at the original and the great advice I received in the forums:  

 

MP3
0:00
0:00
PDF
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...

This is a really lovely piece, seems like the sort of thing that could become a community choir's favourite!

I'm not a singer and don't have much experience of choral music, but I'd maybe be hesitant to write the bass parts as low as an E, especially at the very start when they are coming in "cold".

I do love the harmonies and modulation present, and the 4//4 section really works well to break up the piece into sections. It's interesting to know that many of the chords were created randomly (with your judgement) - it shows lots of potential for further use!

Thank you for sharing this.

aMC

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)
10 hours ago, aMusicComposer said:

This is a really lovely piece, seems like the sort of thing that could become a community choir's favourite!

Thanks!  It's my first a capella choir piece that I've composed and also the first time I came up with my own text!

10 hours ago, aMusicComposer said:

I'm not a singer and don't have much experience of choral music, but I'd maybe be hesitant to write the bass parts as low as an E, especially at the very start when they are coming in "cold".

How I understand it is, as long as the sopranos aren't singing a high A at the same time as the basses are singing an E, there should be no problem coming in on such a low note since everyone else will basically tune in relation to the basses at that point so they'll be able to fudge how low that low E actually has to be (they can sing slightly sharp).  I'm no expert though.  I've sung in a choir before but I'm a tenor or baritone at best so I don't speak from experience.

10 hours ago, aMusicComposer said:

I do love the harmonies and modulation present, and the 4//4 section really works well to break up the piece into sections. It's interesting to know that many of the chords were created randomly (with your judgement) - it shows lots of potential for further use!

Even with the dice determining things like key and figured bass numbers, I had a lot of input into the compositional process by interpreting those things how I saw fit.  I'm glad that you see potential for further use - I'm pretty satisfied with how it turned out!

10 hours ago, aMusicComposer said:

Thank you for sharing this.

Thanks for listening and reviewing!

Edited by PeterthePapercomPoser
Link to comment
Share on other sites

The expansion is a remarkable piece of writing. Too many captivating twists in the harmony to note each but referring to the score: bars 13; 20; 28 caught me straight away. It has a modern liturgical feel but holds attention throughout. What also stands out well is the balance/spacing of the parts that allow clarity of line - no blurry, muddy harmonies here at all.

Brilliant.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi! I agree that it works well in terms of harmony, form, etc. Bonus points for achieving such interesting harmonies with almost no divisi and relatively singable voice-leading (just a couple awkward leaps in there that might be asking for trouble, but mostly good). The harmony seemed to lose a little focus at the end (maybe that was deliberate?) but apart from that, the harmony flowed well and created a nice form.

The main thing that bothered me was how the words flow (or don't flow) with the music. If you sing through every part (which, simple as it is, is the best advice I ever got about writing for choir--you don't even have to be a good singer!), are there spots where the melody doesn't really match the emphasis and inflections of the words? There are a few moments where the word stress seemed unnatural to me ("let THE earth" in the tenors; "na-TU-ral-ly", "pla-NET", etc.)

I tend to agree with aMusicComposer about the bass low Es. Since you'll generally have the baritones as well as basses on that part, it's a good rule of thumb to add an upper divisi part whenever you go below a G or so. While (in theory) it's true that a good choir tunes to the basses, they'd only be able to fudge the tuning a small fraction of a semitone without throwing the whole progression off, and sometimes (like at the beginning, where the sopranos are already holding an E when the basses come in) that's not even an option.

Lastly, if you do manage to get this in front of singers, I hope you follow Pateceramics's advice on text notation in your original post of this piece. It will make the words, and the way they line up with the notes, much easier and faster for them to read, and they won't waste time trying to figure out what you meant by "a-nd", "spro-ut", etc. 🙂 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Oh! And this is such a small thing on the score, but it makes a world of difference musically: where are the dynamics? I think they could do a lot to bring out the form and phrase structure of what you've already written!

 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...