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Overture to The Arrival of Certa - For Wind Band || Christmas Music Event Submission ||


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Finished this much faster than I thought I would, so I guess i'll post it here. 

PROGRAM NOTES

 

Mov I, A Surreal Landscape.

  • This introduction movement is slow, alluring, and representative of the night before christmas. Snow outside, warm clothes and an unsettling nervousness about the day to come.

Mov II, Horizons.

  • This movement begins the downward spiral. Not all life is as it seems. You expect gifts under your tree, but all that is there is a rock, and a looming horned shadow making its way across the horizon.

Mov III, Arrival.

  • The middle movement of the piece begins the flight of Certa. Certa, known in most cultures as Krampus, is on his way to deliver children to their untimely ends, for not cleaning their rooms and eating more hot pockets than the serving size suggests.

Mov IV, Naught To Give.

  • The final movement is the closest you will come to Certa. He walks up to your door and surveys the landscape. He turns around and starts to walk away. I guess you have until next year.

 

 

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Wow!  I love the hints of different Christmas Carols like Silent Night at 5:52.  Your main melodic material seems to have a slight resemblance to Shenandoah at least in the very beginning of the phrase.  Was that intentional?  Does that melody have some kind of holiday significance to you?  It does kind of leave a Christmas-y flavor though.  I like the dramatic story you tell with this music.  I think, though, that it would be better if you left a pdf of the score for people to look at so that they would know when each movement begins and what the music at each point is supposed to mean.  I would need a microscope in order to actually see anything in your score video.  But the music does sometimes have a very dramatic, menacing quality to it which I guess is supposed to represent the character of Krampus and a sense of the impending end of innocence and even, life itself.  But the story has a happy end, thankfully, although I don't know what convinces Krampus to turn away in the end.  Maybe, like the Grinch, what he saw inspires his heart to "grow three sizes"?  Thanks for sharing!

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Please timestamp your movements.

Your Tone

Even though this piece has a darker and intense tone, this is incredibly beautiful. I can't believe you wrote this in a few days, you must be a superhuman of some sort! I love how you gave Silent Night a cameo appearance in this fantastic piece. At around 8 minutes in, I hear the celeste, and I am wondering if you were giving homage to Tchaikovsky's Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy?

Your Dissonance

As far as dissonance, I'm very tough when it comes to this technique, unless its done in a way where it doesn't butcher the overall intended mood. But you seem to pull this off correctly, and my ears certainly approve. Dissonance in general can be a very beautiful thing, and I think some people have more tolerance for it than others. You didn't overdo it, but you also used enough of it to create those beautiful and dark moods.

Your Intro and Ending

I love how you start and end your piece. They sound incredibly Romantic to me, and this is one of my favorite genres, so I will naturally be drawn to this type of music.

Your "Wow" Parts

At around 4:40 onwards, I was really wowed here. Since there are no timestamps and I can't really read your score (too small), was this the arrival of Krampus? Definitely one of the most intense parts of the composition and I love the usage of your harmony here. You know, I am that crazy type of person who will rewind music and listen to parts over and over again sometimes as much as 50 times or more if I really like a part. I've done this on some parts of your score, which means, I found something new that I want to learn from you. The 4:40 part is so cool and I like how you reintroduced that part again around the 9 minute mark.

Your "Smoothness" Factor

Piecing together movements is also another skill not really spoken about. But as I am listening to more composers, lately Tchaikovsky, I am seeing how these composers take portions or ideas of their movements, and intertwine them into later movements. You've done this with your intro and ending, and also at the 4:40 and 9 minute mark as well with your reintroduction of ideas.

Really well done.

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Wow, well done on finishing this so quickly! I'm impressed by the atmosphere and storytelling within the piece.

I think what's particularly effective is how you've managed to create such a typically Christmassy opening (that trombone chorale) and yet even within the first movement there is an edge of darkness. Your use of extended/cluster chords is effective here but - as others have said - it's very very difficult to read the score.

I wonder if the climax around 5:00 is a little bit much? I feel that being still quite early in the piece you might want to hold back a little, maybe thin out the texture or take it down a notch in terms of dynamics. That said, the it does work quite well in context.

I have two comments about the Silent Night passage. First, I think it might be a little bit . . . tonal. We've come out of this monstrous trumpet/horn/trombone/sax passage and it feels to me a little out of place. Maybe something as simple as extending the long note just before or moving through a short harmonic progression would help to set up the appearance of this melody. Second, very much a personal preference, I don't think you need the piccolo at 6:19 - the chorale would sound more delicate, fragile and beautiful without it (in my opinion). I enjoyed the rest of the third movement, and the celesta/harp passage is very effective as a change of tone and texture.

Loved the choral at 9:15. I think the ending of the piece is excellent and really rounds it all off nicely.

Thanks so much for participating in the challenge and for sharing this fantastic music!

Edited by aMusicComposer
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9 hours ago, chopin said:

Please timestamp your movements.

Your Tone

Even though this piece has a darker and intense tone, this is incredibly beautiful. I can't believe you wrote this in a few days, you must be a superhuman of some sort! I love how you gave Silent Night a cameo appearance in this fantastic piece. At around 8 minutes in, I hear the celeste, and I am wondering if you were giving homage to Tchaikovsky's Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy?

Your Dissonance

As far as dissonance, I'm very tough when it comes to this technique, unless its done in a way where it doesn't butcher the overall intended mood. But you seem to pull this off correctly, and my ears certainly approve. Dissonance in general can be a very beautiful thing, and I think some people have more tolerance for it than others. You didn't overdo it, but you also used enough of it to create those beautiful and dark moods.

Your Intro and Ending

I love how you start and end your piece. They sound incredibly Romantic to me, and this is one of my favorite genres, so I will naturally be drawn to this type of music.

Your "Wow" Parts

At around 4:40 onwards, I was really wowed here. Since there are no timestamps and I can't really read your score (too small), was this the arrival of Krampus? Definitely one of the most intense parts of the composition and I love the usage of your harmony here. You know, I am that crazy type of person who will rewind music and listen to parts over and over again sometimes as much as 50 times or more if I really like a part. I've done this on some parts of your score, which means, I found something new that I want to learn from you. The 4:40 part is so cool and I like how you reintroduced that part again around the 9 minute mark.

Your "Smoothness" Factor

Piecing together movements is also another skill not really spoken about. But as I am listening to more composers, lately Tchaikovsky, I am seeing how these composers take portions or ideas of their movements, and intertwine them into later movements. You've done this with your intro and ending, and also at the 4:40 and 9 minute mark as well with your reintroduction of ideas.

Really well done.

 

Thank you for the comments. The movements are timestamped in the youtube video.

Edited by Brandon S
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