Author Topic: And now for something completely different  (Read 189 times)

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Patrick O'Keefe

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And now for something completely different
« on: October 31, 2018, 08:33:50 PM »
4 years ago my tutor had me messing around with pitch class set composition.  His intent was to get me to try atonal composition techniques.  I wrote some atonal stuff but also realized that, given the right sets, pitch class set techniques could be used for tonal composition, too.  He also wanted me to try writing for percussion (which I very rarely did ... or do).  So I picked a very tonal pitch set - a half diminished 7th chord and wrote a couple pieces for vibraphone, bassoon, bongos, and congas.  I then filed them away.

Last summer the percussionist of a local chamber orchestra - percussionist and very good vibraphonist - asked if I had written anything for percussion.  He was just making idle conversation but the answer was "Yes".  (If I needed more to jog my memory, he was standing next to a bassoonist.)  So I dug out the pieces, added two more, and called the set "Half Diminished Expectations - Suite for Vibraphone, Bassoon, and Hand Drums".  It's short - less than 11 minutes - tonal, but with very little functional harmony, and a bit jazzy feeling.  And the last movement is (in rhythm if not melodically) a traditional Bulgarian dance - a Gankino.  This is unlike anything I've written before and am likely to write again.

Nothing is certain, but I've been told I'll have it performed next summer.

MP3 files
I   https://app.box.com/s/5fxn88pzmajbwgftndfnv0xw498ysv7g
II  https://app.box.com/s/uzezqip7c3gx92r9obm1q777oecw3tp7
III https://app.box.com/s/rit9l07a1b1eomiocxea8q8qh5c8gxuw
IV  https://app.box.com/s/la0hrygfe3stbo8o41ufbwkevzdhtuml


PDF files
I   https://app.box.com/s/4mi5e2t6lygjawithag61qpg2aq1sd6w
II  https://app.box.com/s/dnp1uaimj0gijcaw9n65le65x3d1bga9
III https://app.box.com/s/b9jku1tl9ctkccen08hnijuxnktuh229
IV  https://app.box.com/s/6nb7xt17ekwu820qk03hyi69xms8nobl

By the way, I made an interesting discovery while writing this.  The chromatic inversion of the set of half diminished 7th chords is the set dominant 7th chords.  No wonder I was able to make something tonal with this set.
« Last Edit: October 31, 2018, 08:36:43 PM by Patrick O'Keefe »

Ron

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Re: And now for something completely different
« Reply #1 on: November 01, 2018, 08:00:15 AM »
Thanks for sharing. I quite enjoyed this. Good luck with the performance.
Ron
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Jerry Engelbach

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Re: And now for something completely different
« Reply #2 on: November 01, 2018, 11:28:22 AM »
Great fun, Patrick!
 
Cheers,
Jer
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RJB54

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Re: And now for something completely different
« Reply #3 on: November 01, 2018, 04:22:16 PM »
I only have time right now for the 1st movement.

Good piece. I enjoyed it.

I can't help it but whenever I hear things with bongos I always picture a smoky club in the village with someone reciting 'avant-garde' poetry.  ;D

I'll get to the others as time allows.
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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whitebark

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Re: And now for something completely different
« Reply #4 on: November 01, 2018, 05:06:10 PM »
I love the title! And the music is enjoyable, too.

Jay

RJB54

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Re: And now for something completely different
« Reply #5 on: November 04, 2018, 07:44:20 AM »
I just had time to listen to the second movement.

Very interesting piece. I liked it. With such a limited pallet to work with you have created some interesting interplays.

I do think that for such a rhythmically alive piece that it might be better if you halved the note values and doubled the tempo. The music doesn't sound like its slow. It sounds upbeat and lively.
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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Patrick O'Keefe

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Re: And now for something completely different
« Reply #6 on: November 04, 2018, 10:51:31 AM »
I do think that for such a rhythmically alive piece that it might be better if you halved the note values and doubled the tempo. The music doesn't sound like its slow. It sounds upbeat and lively.
I thought about doing the halving / doubling you referred to but decided that q=112 would imply a faster tempo that I want.  Except for the section about 2/3 through, I want the vibraphone and bassoon to have a lyrical singing quality.  I thought about labeling it Andante Cantabile but then I'd need to find a new label for III since it is faster than II.