Author Topic: Mi Cuasi Son Montuno  (Read 1527 times)

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sandalwood

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Re: Mi Cuasi Son Montuno
« Reply #15 on: June 04, 2018, 12:53:57 PM »
Some follow-up to the discussion with Jer and Mark:

When, recently, I tried to learn more about Latin music, I saw that a wide spectrum of harmonic languages existed not only across the sub-genres and artists but also historically. Listening to three renderings of a piece some decades apart in time, for instance, one gets a feeling of a very broad temporal trend. The piece I chose to put here is Dile a Catalina (also called Traigo la Yuca, by the way one of two most beautiful son montunos I ever heard, the other being No Me Llores) by Arsenio Rodriguez, the originator of the Son Montuno sub-genre.

This is the original song from 1940s; listening to the first minute should suffice to have an idea.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iP7SFlm9bMc

This is a rendering a couple of decades later by the historically very important Irakere ensemble. 01:00-02:30 should give an idea.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BHemnVvPjTA

This one is by, I imagine, a much more recent and less well-established ensemble. 00:30-02:30 adequately demonstrates the harmonic language, I think.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5YbF-g9xU1I

and as far as  I could see, these examples all remain on the harmonically "less adventurous" side compared to some well-received current or older strands of the "Latin" music.

...nor do some shy away from extreme polyphony. 08:00-09:00 should give an idea.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4YAoWksQhw4

So, this is a very small cross-section of what I saw when I recently tried to have some understanding of Latin music.

ps. by the way, I could never find a score for a Latin piece; no Latin IMSLP.

sandalwood

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Re: Mi Cuasi Son Montuno
« Reply #16 on: June 19, 2018, 03:02:42 PM »
Some more follow-up to the discussion with Jer and Mark :):

It later dawned upon me that rather than (or in addition to) the use of extended/added/borrowed harmonies, there might be another source of your disturbance with the concord of melodies/harmonies.

A "Do-centric" white-note scale (mostly :)) prevails until page 7, where the flute introduces a "Mi/La" centric white-note scale theme. Thenceforth, themes (or parts thereof) from diverse scales follow each other (that's probably what you call "a la C Ives") largely in a call-response fashion  and the resulting scalar/harmonic tension is surely intended to be a main dynamic driving the piece. Still, irrespective of any theoretical consideration, if those sound flat wrong to everyone, then there is a problem.

RJB54

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Re: Mi Cuasi Son Montuno
« Reply #17 on: July 01, 2018, 08:18:16 AM »
I didn't feel that the more chromatic sections were a problem. They just added a little tartness to the flavor.


I'm not really up on latin music so I can't comment on the effectiveness of the music as a whole other than to say that I enjoyed it.
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sandalwood

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Re: Mi Cuasi Son Montuno
« Reply #18 on: July 01, 2018, 03:47:12 PM »
I didn't feel that the more chromatic sections were a problem. They just added a little tartness to the flavor.


I'm not really up on latin music so I can't comment on the effectiveness of the music as a whole other than to say that I enjoyed it.

Thanks for kindly listening and remarking on how it sounded to you. Perhaps how objectionable some passages sound is at least partly a matter of personal taste.

RJB54

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Re: Mi Cuasi Son Montuno
« Reply #19 on: July 01, 2018, 04:45:15 PM »
That's certainly true. Since I tend to operate in a fairly atonal environment things which someone else would find quite dissonant would probably sound pretty tame to me.
Information is not knowledge. Knowledge is not wisdom. Wisdom is not truth. Truth is not beauty. Beauty is not love. Love is not music. Music is THE BEST.
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sandalwood

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Re: Mi Cuasi Son Montuno
« Reply #20 on: August 24, 2018, 11:26:40 PM »
I have written a minute or so of the 2nd part of the piece and would appreciate having some feedback as to whether it sounds convincing or has the potential to do so.

To give some context: In a regular Son Montuno, the 2nd part (called Montuno) is where one of the themes (laid out in the first part) or fractions of it is continually repeated like a refrain by a chorus of several singers against improvised statements by vocal and instrumental soloists in a call/response fashion, interspersed by instrumental solos and contrapuntal horn passages, etc. Having no lead singer or chorus I have to make modifications like somewhat merging instrumental solos with (instrumental) call/response passages, etc.

So I tried to write the 1st Section of the 2nd part: a flute solo interspersed with repetitions of the refrain (response) by a brass chorus. Parts other than the flute are yet rudimentary/provisional. The question is: does the flute solo together with the responding refrain passages sound convincing in itself and in relation to the 1st part (0:00-1:38) of the piece.

Latest audio and score attached to the first post of this topic. Sorry for the messy playback score.

Feedback would be appreciated. Headphones highly recommended.

Note: With ref to previous discussions, I revised some voicings/harmonies to eliminate the jarring  in some higher velocity brass passages at the end of the 1st part. I'm not yet finished with the first part, either. Additionally, the newly added trombone awaits entry to the 1st part of the piece.

Another note on a detail that I find amusing: following a  common and favored practice in AfroCuban/Latin improvisation, especially in the last century, the flute melody from 2:31 to 2:35 is a direct quote of the key hook of No Me Llores, a well known Son Montuno from 1940s. Rather than quoting it during the impro proper, I inserted it in the last reiteration of my own refrain at the end of the flute impro.

« Last Edit: August 25, 2018, 09:04:09 AM by sandalwood »

Jerry Engelbach

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Re: Mi Cuasi Son Montuno
« Reply #21 on: August 25, 2018, 12:33:56 PM »
Reha,
 
As before, I like the piece very much. The rhythmic complexity really swings.
 
But I still don't understand the disconnects between melody and harmony.
 
It seems to me that a lot of the melody could be rewritten to be consonant with the underlying harmony, while saving the chromatics for special emphasis.
 
Can you post a musicXML file of it?
 
Cheers,
Jer
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sandalwood

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Re: Mi Cuasi Son Montuno
« Reply #22 on: August 25, 2018, 01:49:51 PM »
Thanks for looking Jer!

...and sorry for making your "harmony alarm" bells ring again :)  I'm attaching the xml below.

Edit: Jer, I made (and posted) a couple of adjustments/corrections in the accompaniment  and I expect there will be many more  changes overall as I elaborate the flute solo section to add, for instance, percussion and brass figures/embellishments, brass held notes, etc. I'm more concerned at this stage to know whether the flute solo line with the brass responses make sense and  stitch well to the previous part of the piece.

Thanks again.
« Last Edit: October 01, 2018, 08:52:14 AM by sandalwood »

perpetuo studens

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Re: Mi Cuasi Son Montuno
« Reply #23 on: August 26, 2018, 01:48:30 PM »
Reha,

Wow! This is great! Sorry I missed this when you first posted, but glad I noticed it today.

The range of comments on the harmony are interesting, but I tend towards Robert's view: lots of pretty colours, and a long way from being too "outside" for me. In fact I think you could push it further without difficulty if you were so inclined.

I also liked the orchestration, especially the use of percussion, very tasteful and effective IMO.

The rendering ("performance") is also quite nice, better than anything I've gotten out of Finale. GPO? Or some other libs?

Again, really liked this. Very nice work.

Jamie
The perceived object...is not a sum of elements to be distinguished from each other and analyzed discretely, but a pattern, that is to say a form, a structure: the element's existence does not precede the existence of the whole, it comes neither before nor after it, for the parts do not determine the pattern, but the pattern determines the parts: knowledge of the pattern and of its laws, of the set and its structure, could not possibly be derived from discrete knowledge of the elements that compose it.

That means that you can look at a piece of a puzzle for three whole days, you can believe that you know all there is to know about its colouring and its shape, and be no further ahead than when you started. The only thing that counts is the ability to link this piece to other pieces...

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sandalwood

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Re: Mi Cuasi Son Montuno
« Reply #24 on: September 03, 2018, 06:13:40 PM »
Jamie, thank you for listening. The melody/harmony concord issue may be largely a matter of personal taste and preference as we discussed previously with Robert, however I am grateful receiving these warning remarks for they make me more cautious in my preferences. More attentive for errors also, which I hope to eliminate as I make many more passes especially  over the newly sketched  (flute solo) section of the piece.

I'm really delighted that you liked the piece (I mean yet only a little more than half a piece). You know this is a total outsider's try at Latin music. Thanks for the encouragement. There are  points I'm not very comfortable with, for instance the seaming of the flute solo section (last minute of audio) to the previous part. Some such spots are solved as the piece develops, I guess I get used to some others and I hope not too many remain when, some fine day, I finally finish the piece :).

Glad you liked the rendering. I'm generally happy with the instruments, however, I'm expecting relatively tough problems especially with the trumpets in the coming sections of the piece. The percussion is SoftSynth (supported by hidden GIFF instruments in a couple of very short passages), Acoustic Bass GIFF, all others GPO. Cumbersome selection process of percussion sounds plus use of multiple sounds faking as a single sound in a couple of instances. A little tweaking (yet) of ARIA controls with GPO instruments, light convo reverb on some instruments, light Ambience Reverb on the master, Also I used REAPER's free Equalization VST (within Finale) on a group of instruments, again rather lightly.

Edit: I tried to replace the audio file in the opening post with a slightly improved new one but it failed to upload though I tried with progressively smaller file sizes. So, I decided to try using the SoundCloud (after a short stop at Google Drive). They say they transcode the uploaded audio but I don't hear any easily perceptible degradation in quality. So, here's the latest link:

https://soundcloud.com/reha-artan/mi-cuasi-son-montuno-1029-in-progress
« Last Edit: October 28, 2018, 02:59:06 PM by sandalwood »

paulr

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Re: Mi Cuasi Son Montuno
« Reply #25 on: September 19, 2018, 12:15:23 PM »
Where is the audio of this please, Reha?
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sandalwood

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Re: Mi Cuasi Son Montuno
« Reply #26 on: September 19, 2018, 02:20:27 PM »
Just at the bottom of Reply #24 (your reply being #25).

I'll now add it under the Opening Post, too. Thanks for the warning. :)

paulr

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Re: Mi Cuasi Son Montuno
« Reply #27 on: September 20, 2018, 12:17:49 AM »
Just at the bottom of Reply #24 (your reply being #25).

I'll now add it under the Opening Post, too. Thanks for the warning. :)

Thank you.
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mjw58

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Re: Mi Cuasi Son Montuno
« Reply #28 on: September 21, 2018, 01:34:01 PM »
Reha, I donít know much about latin music, but I enjoyed this very much. Havenít had time to look at the score. Loved the percussion and the flute solo. I take it that Son Montuno is a musical form?

And then something nice happened. To me anyway.  :) When I listened to it on Soundcloud I read through the comments and when the piece finished it jumped to your next piece, Ninni. That piece did something to me. :)

Maybe you have posted it on the forum earlier. If you did I totally missed it. Glad I found it.

Sorry about the play-count (I hope that is an English word describing the number of times Ninni has been played).  :) It was on 2 and is now on 9.  ;D

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sandalwood

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Re: Mi Cuasi Son Montuno
« Reply #29 on: September 21, 2018, 03:57:18 PM »
Thanks for your reply Morten!  I'm glad you liked my very slowly-progressing try at writing Latin music. I don't know much about Latin music, either, despite the last several months I have been trying to learn.  Yes, Son Montuno is a sub-genre of the AfroCuban/Latin genre and  it translates into a set of distinctions, some stricter some not so much, regarding form, composition of the orchestra, tempo, basic rhythm, etc. As to the orchestra, it is supposed to feature a lead singer and 2-5 chorists which is basically why I call my piece  a "quasi" Son Montuno (not to say omelette without eggs :)).

Soundcloud's continuing to the next piece without asking can be quite aggravating. Nice to hear it wasn't in your case. I'm extremely delighted that you found listening to Ninni that much enjoyable. Yes, I did post it some time back, with the topic title "Old Lullaby Revisited". It stands close to the bottom of the first page in "Works in Progress: Junior" section .

Thank you Morten! Much appreciated really!

Reha
« Last Edit: September 21, 2018, 03:59:51 PM by sandalwood »