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Composition - feedback/analysis

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by geshel, Apr 14, 2003.


  1. geshel

    geshel

    Oct 2, 2001
    Seattle
    So here's something I wrote a couple months ago. It's based on some stuff I've been working on off and on for a year or so. The overall structure is pretty simple, it just repeats the same pattern over and over again but with key modulations. The pattern itself is a bit more complex. I'll get into the patterns and modulations after people have had a chance to listen and get first impressions.

    No bass content BTW - hope that's OK? :p (though I suppose it'd be possible to play it on a bass orchestra . . . it's written for guitars)
     
  2. geshel

    geshel

    Oct 2, 2001
    Seattle
  3. geshel

    geshel

    Oct 2, 2001
    Seattle
    Anyone?
     
  4. christoph h.

    christoph h.

    Mar 26, 2001
    Germany
    well, it would be interesting to hear about the underlying principles (= "stuff you've been working on for a year or so"). it's a bit late (1am) for a nin-depth analysis so you'll have to be happy with your first reply for this moment.
     
  5. LiquidMidnight

    LiquidMidnight

    Dec 25, 2000
    Very interesting. I would definatley like to hear it with a melody line placed on top. I also like the interesting use of meter in it. (To many people write everything in 4/4 or 6/8, so it's refreshing to hear something that isn't)

    It's your piece and your art, but I personally hear a 2nd part to the song that follows a different pattern and gets away from the main theme. Even though the modulations keep it interesting, I think a B part would greatly enhance to composition. Again, it's your piece and that's just my opinion and I'm sure you have a better vision for what is your art.

    Still, would love to hear what kind of intresting melody would be played on top of that. :)
     
  6. geshel

    geshel

    Oct 2, 2001
    Seattle
    Thanks for the feedback. Got no problem with suggestions - and I see what you mean about a melody / B part.

    I'm curious what your take on the meter is - it's really somewhat undefined. There are three times going on: 3, 4, and 5. Sometimes all at once, though during the middle of the pattern just 4 and 5. Each pattern is 100 beats long. So I have this file in 5/4 the whole time (5x5), but with another I've looked at it as 6 + 7 + 6 + 6.

    Here's the companion piece, based on the same principles (this one came first actually):

    http://home.attbi.com/~taylorsherman/crafty/FlyingPythagorean.mid

    It's actually got more of a "song" feel to it, more melodic at least, with some development of the theme. And it's got a bassline. The name of this one has a hint as to how the meter works out. ;) This one also builds up to the rhythm, giving a few hints along the way.

    Some of the notes in this sound too sour on my MIDI device - in other keys they sound better though, so I think it's just the intonation of the piano samples.

    The talk on modes and scales recently got me thinking about these, and the modulations. Turns out in the first one that the modulations (alternatingly up a minor third, then down a major thid) are somewhat ambiguous because of the 8-tone scale: it could be seen as a modulation in either direction. I haven't thought through the second one that way yet, but as it uses two passing tones / 9-tone scale if you want, it's probably an effect there too.
     
  7. LiquidMidnight

    LiquidMidnight

    Dec 25, 2000
    The 2nd definatley feels more like a "complete" piece. Also some interesting things going on with the meter here too. Sounds like you are doing some things with 8th note anticipations with at the beginning. I actually like the bit of dissoance in the piece. I could picture some Asian Suzuki Method piano prodigy playing this at a rececital. It sounds like you are playing chord subsitutions with your right hand while playing the left hand "straight".

    Have you written anything that's atonal?
     
  8. geshel

    geshel

    Oct 2, 2001
    Seattle
    There are actually four parts to the second piece - the bassline, then three intertwined parts playing the "melody". As the piece develops the three top parts add harmony one by one.

    The basic premise is that one part plays five bars of five. Another part plays four bars of four then three bars of three. The third part does the same thing as the second but in reverse order: 3x3 + 4x4. The fives play a static note in each section, while the threes and fours play 4-note descending chromatic lines.

    3x3 + 4x4 = 5x5 :D

    In each, the beat(s) that the note(s) fall on in each measure shifts. For the fours, it's 4x on the "one", 4x on the "two", etc. Likewise for the threes. The fives have two notes per measure, starting on the 1&3, and inchworming in four steps to the 3&5. The whole rhythm is horizontally symmetrical.

    Atonal, hmm. Heh - yeah, lots! j/k No, I haven't set out to write anything atonal, if I understand the use of the word. My first instincts are usually rhythmic, or else using a specific note sequence or progression. Here, the rhythm came first and I semi-jokingly put it in as the descending chromatic line. It was rather shocking to hear! The bassline and harmony notes came through trial and error more than anything, keeping in mind playability in the guitar tuning (NST) written for. Stacked 5ths (R-5-9) play a big part in both pieces' harmony.
     
  9. christoph h.

    christoph h.

    Mar 26, 2001
    Germany
    now that i've got a bit more time on my hands, i'll can say something about the triangulation:

    it sounds really interesting. somehow anorganic due to its "mathematical background", but at the same time strangely familiar and harmonic.

    perhaps this is why liquidmidnight asks for atonal compositions. the rythmic concept is something you'd expect to find combined with a more adventurous harmonic approach.

    i'd really like to hear this piece played by different instruments so that the different layers of rhythm and melody where seperated by distinct sounds.

    what i also noticed is the lack of expression. a minimalistic approach is cool, so you don't neccessarily have to add another layer (ie a melody, etc). but i think it would be very interesting to play with the dynamics a bit, so that at different times different voices lead the listener.
    maybe combine this with some legato, etc.

    as you already said, the rhythmic idea comes first, but you shouldn't stop there! triangulation could have much more depth if you would explore the different ways of HOW to play the parts, which instruments! as it is, it seems somehow one-dimensional to me!

    (disclaimer: no native english speaker!)
     
  10. geshel

    geshel

    Oct 2, 2001
    Seattle
    Interesting comments. Especially about the wish for different instruments - the intention was that the three parts would mesh together and make one large whole. Buuuut, maybe it would sound good with different instruments? I could try it. . . (time passes) ... yeah, that could be OK. Actually, putting just a little stereo separation on the parts, with the 5s in the middle and the other two on either side, brings out the interplay more.
     
  11. christoph h.

    christoph h.

    Mar 26, 2001
    Germany
    have you ever thought about getting your music peformed & recorded with "real" instruments?
     
  12. geshel

    geshel

    Oct 2, 2001
    Seattle
    Oh yes - I think I mentioned these were written for guitar - specifically, a guitar ensemble I work with. I worked on The Flying Pythagorean with a small group for a while, but that stalled when one of the members dropped out.
     
  13. actually, that's exactly what I did after I first listened to it- loaded the file into ACID3 and panned the voices out and tried different instruments- eg. woodwind etc.
    strangely ACID4 doesn't allow that:confused: