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"Septet" - Guitar, clarinet, flugelhorn etc.....2'30"


Quinn

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A 'modernish' work for Guitar, clarinet, flugelhorn, violin, cello and double bass. In the eventual version the guitar will be electric.

The last 5 or 6 seconds on the audio are silence in case I had to load it to soundcloud.

I hope to write a small suite of pieces for this or similar ensemble, this being the first. If I gave it a title it would be "Into Spring, then" or similar.

Any comment good or bad would be most appreciated and many thanks if you give it a listen.

All the best....

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  • 2 weeks later...

Quite an intriguing combination of instruments!  To be nitpicky about the score:  you don't specify whether the score is transposed or in C (and I'm assuming that both the Clarinet and Flugelhorn are in Bb but since there's no key signatures for the piece and it's atonal, it's hard to determine whether the parts are transposed or not because sometimes these kinds of atonal scores don't show any key signatures regardless of the presence of transposing instruments).  To be even more nitpicky about the rendition:  the cello sounds quite synthetic in comparison to the other instruments which all sound realistic.

I always find your style of music best at expressing uncertainty, intrigue or unease.  It would be cool if the emotional palette of your music was more varied.  Not that you by any means have to explore that but I'm just sure the music would have way more appeal (to me at least) even given the modern language.  I find that the rhythms, despite always being couched in 4/4 seemed to be more differentiated - I don't know if you included some slight tempo changes or not.  There's some really funny directions/comments in the score - "what the heck has it done here?!" and "I'll sort this out later. Firkin nuisance." - LoL.  I guess that's your claim to eccentricity.  But I'm not sure how much of a difference a performer would make in their performance with those comments.  It seems redundant honestly.  Maybe it's an indication that you are searching for a way to inject more meaning into your music.  But I do have to say that the whole piece is kind of same-y throughout - don't get me wrong - it's definitely interesting throughout but I know it could be so much more.  It definitely leaves me with a privation for more meaning, more substantiality.  I know you consider yourself a lounge music type of musician but I wish there was more to it and with more contrasts to different aspects of it such as harmony and style.  But those are just my own personal thoughts.  Thanks for sharing!

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Many thanks indeed for listening, looking at the score and commenting. Most appreciated.

I’ll rightly apologise about the score. To be honest it may be worth a topic in the “Headquarters”: Should a score be submitted or not…?

When working from paper through a DAW to an engraving, it's the engraving that takes masses of time. Far easier for those composing into notation software which is integral to the act of composing.  

Not so, the way I work. Engraving can take anything up to 20 times as long as composing. All the dynamics and instructions have to be added plus dealing with midi interpretation errors. E.g., the software isn’t always clever – particularly with things like tuplets (that are declared as such in the daw). Worse that the software can’t handle voice changing with tuplets. The new voice is all over the place and throws the rest of a phrase out of step, so the only remedy is delete the phrase and re-input it note by note. Just one of several problems that I find so frustrating hence the sarky remarks! It’s not a score I’d submit to professionals!  

As for the cello, it’s the standard VSL solo cello about which I can do little except perhaps take more care with the rendering.

 

I think your comments are indeed valid and appreciated (it's why I've posted no "major" work of late). I’m only too aware of repeating myself across new work hence trying to develop a new direction which means toward more abstract form (that still presents some meaning within reach of a listener other than me)! These smaller works were a break from a near ‘giving up’ through frustration. I suppose it’s the nature of semi-atonal music (or modern music that hangs between tonal and atonal) to sound uncertain and/or uneasy – but at least that hints at it saying something: it doesn’t come across as just a mass of random sounds. But it’s too easy to get in a rut.

Hopefully my latest work is less uneasy, a brighter inspiration and one that will come with a decent score. It’ll probably take another month to get it in shape.

Again, thank you.

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Hey Quinn

Nice music here. The style isn't my thing, but I'm really impressed with your writing. It's like the different instruments kept extending the introduced melody in their own way, leading to a sound that has great balance between all the instruments. 

I'm a guitarist (do you play?), so I'll just mention a few things that caught my ear. 

One is that there are a few parts where it might sound cooler if you let the strings ring. For example, bar 8 has B G and F#, you could hit the B and G notes with open strings and then the F#, like an arpeggiated chord. Or maybe that's what you were going for? If so, I'd just write "let ring". Same thing in bar 9, maybe pull off the Eb to the open B string, then open G. 

In general, I like the sparse sound. I'm glad you didn't go hog-wild with the guitar, and just let it fill it's role instead of filling up dead space with giant chords. You seem to know the instrument pretty well too, like the change in position for bar 20. When someone writes for an instrument well, it makes me want to pluck away at the notes, even if it's a style I generally don't listen to. 

On 4/1/2024 at 6:06 AM, Quinn said:

I suppose it’s the nature of semi-atonal music (or modern music that hangs between tonal and atonal) to sound uncertain and/or uneasy – but at least that hints at it saying something: it doesn’t come across as just a mass of random sounds.

I like this a lot, and composers such as yourself who enjoy the style help me to enjoy it more when it's written purposefully and well. 

I also really like the idea of you making this into a suite. When I wrote some piano preludes last year, I felt different and new creative lanes open up to me once the music started belonging to a group. Plus it was fun, and you have a unique and cool ensemble. 🙂

Excited to hear more friend, thanks for sharing. 

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On 3/18/2024 at 7:51 AM, Quinn said:

A 'modernish' work for Guitar, clarinet, flugelhorn, violin, cello and double bass. In the eventual version the guitar will be electric.

The last 5 or 6 seconds on the audio are silence in case I had to load it to soundcloud.

I hope to write a small suite of pieces for this or similar ensemble, this being the first. If I gave it a title it would be "Into Spring, then" or similar.

Any comment good or bad would be most appreciated and many thanks if you give it a listen.

All the best....

 

MP3
 
 
  • Septet Suite 1 V2 170324 224
0:17
 
 
2:37
 
MP3
 
 
  • Septet Suite 1 V2 170324 224
0:17
 
 
2:37
 

Sounds like  the ost of a suspence movie.

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On 4/3/2024 at 10:47 PM, Thatguy v2.0 said:

Nice music here. The style isn't my thing, but I'm really impressed with your writing. It's like the different instruments kept extending the introduced melody in their own way, leading to a sound that has great balance between all the instruments. 

I'm a guitarist (do you play?), so I'll just mention a few things that caught my ear. 

One is that there are a few parts where it might sound cooler if you let the strings ring. For example, bar 8 has B G and F#, you could hit the B and G notes with open strings and then the F#, like an arpeggiated chord. Or maybe that's what you were going for? If so, I'd just write "let ring". Same thing in bar 9, maybe pull off the Eb to the open B string, then open G. 

Thank you very much for listening and your comment. (This is going to be part of a suite for free-form dancing. I keep in touch with the teacher/choreographer if one can have a choreographer with free-form dancing! She trained as a jazz dancer anyway.) so each movement / section will be short. Pleased you commented on the sparse texture. It seems to force the better development of motifs as otherwise nothing much will happen.

As for guitar, thank you for your more critical comment. I'm always ready to take in such gems from someone far more experienced than I am.  I'm trying to learn to play, not doing too badly though need to build up some left-hand strength and stretch. I have a fair bit to learn about notating guitar music too.

So.... once more, thanks. 

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murphybridget. 

I wasn't sure how to decipher your comment but eventually found it spelled vertically letter by letter down the Right-hand end of the screen!

Thank you for listening and your observation. Unfortunately, too much of my stuff is like that! 

.

Edited by Quinn
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