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Found 8 results

  1. On this piece I started with a rather long complex key shifting chord progression.. I created clarinet melody first. Because the chord progression was so complex, I cut and pasted two sections to repeat, to add continuity to the piece. In the repeat sections, I replayed some instruments, so you wouldn’t notice that it was a cut and paste job. I started with playing improvisations for the length of the piece. I eventually keep carving the improvisation lines into smaller sections. Replacing with other instruments and motifs. After a while I totaled removed the blocked piano chords I started with. I focused on finding interesting sounds (to me anyways), and worked out parts for them. As many keyboardists discover; when they come across an interesting patch on a synth keyboard, it inspires them to write a song using that patch. I searched thru my Kontakt and UVI libraries, found some unique sounds, and used them for individual parts. The bass part actually consists of three instruments. I found this wonderful contra Balaika library, and made it share bass duties with an electric bass, and an acoustic staccato Double Bass. Since the bulk of sounds are ‘imaginary instruments’.. I am struggle with the layout of them in the orchestral score. Melodies it seems obvious should be first, Then supporting lines, with bass and percussion parts at the bottom. To add to the confusion, I often kept the name of the patch, rather than try to categorize it to a traditional instrument name.. So to others, the terms of instruments are not very helpful I’m afraid. All the one stave instruments don’t have well defined pitch centers, many of these are more like sound design effects, rather than an instrument. (and also couldn’t fit all on page, with regular clef. Since the chord progression is constantly transposing, The Key Signature changes, but I don’t have the patience to analyze that. I wanted the chord progression to be kind of changing, striving to find something, hence changing it’s mind. At first it was just too wandering, the brain couldn’t find enough coherency in it to stay interested. So I copied a large section (rewriting individual parts, so not so noticeable), then here and there I copied/pasted a few chunks to bring it closer to (not so far out. I did make use of the same melodic curve (motif) with some climbing variations of later notes, a recognizable pattern (to give continuity,) and a sense of stability (not just mindless wandering). The last track added was the mute trumpet solo, which I am very surprised and pleased with, in one take. I did a quick edit to remove note smudges.
  2. Improvisation on ‘In The Air Tonight’ I always wanted to do a cover of Phil Collins ‘In The Air Tonight’.. I think it is an extremely powerful sounding song. It has a haunting quality to it, it almost sounds like it might be a ‘holy’ song. Part of that is a low drone of A through out the song.. It ‘holds’ the piece. As I worked with the song, I realized how important the quality of Phil Collin’s voice and the lyrics were to the piece.. He has a rather plain, slightly nasal quality. But it adds to the emotion. It is an ‘everyday voice, an ‘anybody’s voice’.. He also sings the same melodic phrase quite a bit, which adds to it’s hypnotic quality. Without the lyrics and his voice, the melody wasn’t as attention grabbing. So I took considerable leeway with the melody and let a few instruments take turns sharing and improvising on the melody. I also continued to explore the avenue of sound design. Many of the instruments at the bottom of the score are only one staff, because they really don’t have a real designated pitch center.. And I could never fit all those staffs on one page. I searched for, created, and modified interesting (to me) sound patches, from Kontakt libraries, UVI Libraries, and a number of virtual instruments. I also layered some of the parts, with 2 or 3 different patches, at softer volumes, to create a richer tapestry on the one track. I tried to juxtapose a few traditional instruments, with totally ‘unreal’ instruments, and sound collages which I created. I did a fair amount of audio processing, using various audio mutation plug-ins to change the sounds and instruments into something different. I am trying to use created sound/ sound collage as an instrument in itself. It is more the strange harmonics, and processed rhythms to create an emotion. The Acoustic Guitar picking part is a function of the ‘Sunbird Guitar’ by UVI. It plays a picking pattern to blocked chords, hence I could not notate it properly.. Like wise there are a couple of patches, which have soft arpeggios build in (some of the UVI libraries) so without the MIDI out, there is not a proper way to notate them.. (maybe in next life, I’ll have perfect pitch).. This and the last few pieces I’ve done, are more an exploration in an area I want to explore. Eventually I hope to compose a huge piece with pieces more traditional (for me) and more exploratory.
  3. Here is a treatment of The Long and Winding Road by the Beatles. I took some liberties with Paul's Riffs, just to make the song build more. I extended with some solos. Tried Ringo like drum fills, most of the time, just a kick drum going. Making the drums sparser, leaves so much more room for other parts to get some attention. I listened to the original quite a few times, I wanted to get the ideas, feel and phrases of original, but modify them so as not to be so literal to the original version.. This version has a slight classical and jazz feeling I guess.
  4. Here's a piece I was exploring the accordion.. While I wouldn't normally associate an accordion with snowflakes, it does make me feel like I'm in a log cabin somewhere.. Also exploring looser formats, chordal progression wise.. It gives it a more wandering, less structural feel.
  5. Here's a song I did wth a singer, Seven Moshod. It's RnB, pop, soul I guess you'd call it.. Unlike me, Seven ad-libs constantly, never sings something the same way twice.. I used to be like that, now I feel so constrained, and controlling in creating music.. This I did more ad-libbing, more like my early days of creating music, or when being in a band.. Sometimes the idea of 4 or 5 other guys, just going where they wanted frustrated me (yes, I am a control freak).. But in looking back, it's great to hear music where all the notes came from one mind.. That shows work, attention, inspiration, and discipline. But the other side of the coin is there is NOTHING like 4 or 5 minds focused, in tune with each other emotionally and creating something in real time. where another player picks up on an idea instantly and falls in line with it, or builds something to support that idea. The great thing with the singer Seven, was his constant changing, inspired me to do the same.. So this is more 'live', and not practiced in a way.. I puposely played the piano solo, envisioning the kbd player with a cigarette hanging out of his lips, so once or twice, he loses focus, when concentrating on the fire stick hanging out of his mouth. Sorry, no score.
  6. Here's a piece I just finished (I hope).. Called Island Dreams, I hoped to catch the feeling of lightheartedness, and happiness. It started with more of a Reggae beat, But I modified it back to only a hint of Reggae (organ, flutes part) Island Dreams - Island Dreams Score - https://app.box.com/s/rr9sxhn4v9ccx1xhr2gkbzvnkv1g318z
  7. Here's a piece I did 3 years ago.. Exploring EZ listening, trying to sooth ravaged nervous system, which seems to be so common, as we age, and still try to take the world seriously. I built a sound palette using 'comfort food' sounds.. This way the song was already half way there. I've been interested in the psychological impact of the sound of particular instruments.. I started with the premise there were several instruments in the conversation, each with a similar attitude, but slightly different point to add (specific motifs for each).. Like an accordion, can sound corny, but it also can sound very comforting, remind you of your ethnic background (if that fits, being 1/2 Italian yes).. It will also automatically draw up feelings of nostalgia, if the right melody, and modal scales are used.. The epiano, along with its chords, draws in a relaxed atmosphere.. (some Mike McDonald, Dooby Brothers easy pieces).. I threw in some jazz electric guitar soloing, to make is sound 'sophisticated?'.. The flute of course always conjures up a certain frame of mind.. The mellow sax, furthers the relaxed state of mind.. There is a fair amount of dialog between the different instruments, almost makes it feel like a 'town meeting', between instruments, regionality of instruments home land.. The sax and jazz guitar double at the end, letting the listener know the instruments are in complete agreement in their conversation.. The mellow brass, and simple high strings, set the framework for the whole conversation. During this period (and still to the present), I most often start with a chord progression, experimenting a fair amount, with substitutions, sine waving with simple to complex chords, coming back down, Playing with pacing of chord changes, to further vary the dialog.. Then I often just 'jam' with different instrument sounds, till I get an instrument actually making some kind of statement. When I start to get a couple of musical instrument statements, I begin the process of actually having them 'dialog' with each other.. I know some here don't appreciate the large number of instruments/sounds I sometimes use.. But it seems an area of exploration, I must work my way thru.. I do truly admire those who get a point across with a minimum of instruments.. but I feel obliged to experiment in the area. As piece comes together, I sometimes have to go back and delicately alter chord progression, because of new chords implied by specific notes of a melodic motif.. So for me, the process of composing is much like having a woman's complex dress (with many different panels and colors) sitting on a dress form.. I am constantly going here, letting something out, tucking in another area.. taking one panel out, and replacing with two different colored panels, filling the same shape. Another way of looking at it, is 'creating' a cross-word puzzle'. You start with a couple of nice big complex words, then you have to fill in the rest of the puzzle with words, that will fit. I have recently been 'binge watching' video on Amazon Prime.. I recently finished two series, 'The Wire' and 'Falling Skies'.. Each one was five seasons long.. They both gave me insight into how they could continue a story line, over such a long period.. In both series, both shows, killed off some actors, introduced new ones, in each succeeding season.. A pattern I clearly see in my life at the age of 68 now.. Life is a series of chapters, (like the seasons of a TV show). Each season, or chapter in our lives, has a central focus.. Some issues get resolved, others carry on for part, some or all of our narration. Some characters, carry through several or most chapters.. In one's one life, if we are lucky we get to have a significant person, (mate, best friend) be there for the whole show.. Other people are involved for a certain amount of time.. This works perfectly with a long piece of music. I am intrigued by the possibllities of certain instruments, being particularly actors, carrying the story line forward, the plot twists and turns, to keep interest alive.. but fundamental issues, carry through the whole story. In both series, and from what I've noticed in the patterns of life, some characters, resolve their conflicts, yet others still remain almost the same, in spite of everything that has happened to them.. Some get the lesson, and adapt, others do not, and are doomed to repeat the same cycle.
  8. Here's a piece I just recently finished.. The main motif, is only 4 bars long, which got boring pretty quickly.. I split the riff up between different instruments.. also created variations of it. Then a counterpoint riff also give it further diversity..
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