Author Topic: Meditation_04_REPURPOSED  (Read 938 times)

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SallyS

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Re: Meditation_04
« Reply #15 on: May 05, 2020, 05:49:24 PM »
I think it's beautiful... I love your harmonies.... and as the title is meditation I don't feel the need for any great goal.... I like the swishing around... with no absolute aim.... Just like thoughts coming and going. It touches me. One way I think it could be developed is by introducing a little space.... maybe a pause at bar 10... Bar 30... and maybe other steps throughout the piece. Just cling on to some of those wonderful harmonies you've given us!! Let us linger there, before moving on. Your last three bars hang there beautifully.... why not do it in the middle of the piece.... as if caught in some wonderful thought. The only other way I could see it being developed is by changing octaves. Just occasionally some of those harmonies in the bass clef sound a little grumpy... why not lift them up an octave... Or even two. It would give another colour to the piece. You could perhaps experiment with playing all the different parts in different octaves to see what you think. It might just trigger an idea if you feel a little stuck. But generally... I think the piece is there... it just needs a little tweaking! Sally

RJB54

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Re: Meditation_04
« Reply #16 on: May 05, 2020, 06:37:16 PM »
Thanks, those are some very good suggestions, so there will be another version.
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Michel.R.E

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Re: Meditation_04
« Reply #17 on: May 05, 2020, 11:33:56 PM »
quick suggestions:
consider some register changes in the left hand to somewhat lighten the sound.
for example, measures 21-22 the left hand can be brought up an octave with no other changes.
this would have the desirable effect of making that lovely low D in measure 23 seem more... unexpected.

go through the piece and see where there are "large" effects (not necessarily loud, but a large sound, for example a particularly dense chord, or dense counterpoint, or a sudden low note), and consider lightening up the texture somehow just before (or just after).

I'm (personally) not convinced that the three dominant types of harmony work really well together here.
There's the opening section that is basically whole tone.
Then a passage of moderately dense but diatonic chordal writing, and passages of quartal harmony.
They don't all mesh really successfully to my ear.
Try changing the whole tone to more diatonic (you can, for example, keep a large part of the whole tone feel, while making it over-archingly diatonic), perhaps?


it's certainly very dreamy-textured. make sure that doesn't get overburdened with too dense counterpoint.
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RJB54

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Re: Meditation_04
« Reply #18 on: May 06, 2020, 08:23:58 AM »
Thanks for your comments. I am doing a rewrite to reflect some of Sally's suggestions and yours would fit right it.
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Michel.R.E

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Re: Meditation_04
« Reply #19 on: May 06, 2020, 09:08:07 AM »
oh, and I forgot to mention: nice piano writing.
"Writing music to be revolutionary is like cooking to be famous: Music’s main function is not revolution. – Alan Belkin "

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RJB54

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Re: Meditation_04
« Reply #20 on: May 06, 2020, 02:20:30 PM »
Thanks. That means a lot to me since I don't play classical piano (I used to be able to bang out some good rock n roll keyboard though :)).

This was definitely an attempt to write something fairly complicated in terms of having multiple parts going at the same time with cross-rhythms and what not and to make be as idiomatic for the piano as I could.

Since I couldn't even begin to do what I try to do when writing for strings, that is, working out fingerings, etc., I just went with what felt/looked right.

I'm glad you found my attempt to be successful.

Maybe now I'll have the confidence to try writing a more substantive piece for piano.
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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RJB54

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Re: Meditation_04
« Reply #21 on: May 19, 2020, 06:55:08 AM »
In the OP I have posted the latest revision to this piece.

As I worked on the suggestions from Sally and Michel the character of this piece changed and expanded.

First, there was the range issue. Generally, I follow the precept of 'keep most of your material within the vocal range' which works well for most instruments, but doesn't really apply when writing for the piano. The effective range of the piano is so much greater than the vocal range and, as was pointed out, I didn't make good use of that range.

In expanding the range of the material what was being done with the material also changed significantly. Originally, the idea was an amorphous, drifting, sort of a piece with motives appearing and disappearing in a vague drifting manner. Now, with the expansion, there are passages where motives are clearly being developed and the piece now has a sort of structure.

Motive 1 (the florid scale) appears in m.1-2. Motive 2 (a descending arpeggiation figure) appears in m.3-4. Motive 2 is then 'developed' in m.5-9. Motive 1 makes a reappearance in m.10-11. Motive 3 is then introduced in m.12 and 14 which is then 'developed' in m.15-17. In m.18-34 there is a 'development' of motives 1 and 2 (mostly 1). In m.36-37 Motive 3 reappears concluding the first part of the piece.

In m.38 the second part of the piece begins with the introduction of new material. In m.38-41 Motive 4 appears as a fairly melodic four bar subphrase. This is followed in m.42-43 by Motive 5 (a triplet pattern) which is followed by a return to Motive 4 in m.44-45 as a concluding gesture of the whole eight bar phrase. This is followed by a 'development' of Motives 4 and 5 in m.46-58. This 'development' is concluded by the reappearance of Motive 3 in m.59.

Motive 6 (a variant of Motive 5) appears in m.60-61 and is repeated in m.62-63 which is then followed in m.64-66 by some free material. All of this functions as a sort of transition to the third part of the piece which begins in m.67 with the reappearance of material from the first part. In the third part all of the motives (except for Motive 3) reappear weaving around each other to the end.

Harmonically, With the exception of Motive 1 (which is a wholetone interpolation) the piece consists of a segmentation of one of my rows in a way which results in a diatonic pitch collection and its literal complementary pentatonic pitch collection.

Unlike in my Third String Quartet where such a segmentation was used to create almost diatonic chord progressions, in this piece I treat the diatonic pitch collections more in a manner which Bartok sometimes did, that is, as a seven tone 'atonal' pitch collection. In other words, there is little to no attempt to create any diatonic chord progressions. Rather, the seven pitches of the C Major scale, for example, are treated freely without any reference to the diatonic chords inherent in that scale. The 'chord progressions' generally come from the switches between the diatonic and pentatonic pitch collections.
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.
Frank Zappa

mjf1947

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Re: Meditation_04
« Reply #22 on: May 19, 2020, 09:04:51 AM »
RJB,

This is a lovely florid work.  There definitely is a "lighter" feel to the work as it flows.

And "at times" is  the thematic motifs floated along within.

Yet, for me....it was difficult for me to relate to the entire work.  My mind wanted more grounding - as I heard those lovely melodic expressions ... I wanted them to develop and carry me along the rivulets within the current moving against the river banks.

Mark


RJB54

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Re: Meditation_04
« Reply #23 on: May 19, 2020, 09:12:33 AM »
Thanks Mark. I'll have to think on that.
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.
Frank Zappa

SallyS

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Re: Meditation_04
« Reply #24 on: May 29, 2020, 01:22:20 AM »
Sorry not to have commented on this earlier. My energies have been deployed away from the forum!!
I think this works incredibly well now. You've managed to really use the voice of the piano and it's lifted the whole work up to a higher level. I love it.... And wouldn't change a thing. I'm swept away in the movement..... floating backwards and forwards.... Lingering in those held moments. Looking forward to your next composition. 😀

sandalwood

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Re: Meditation_04
« Reply #25 on: May 29, 2020, 02:17:02 AM »
I heard this as a purebred "impressionist" work

...and I loved it all through! Thanks for writing this, Robert :)


gogreen

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Re: Meditation_04
« Reply #26 on: May 29, 2020, 06:06:38 AM »
This piece is absolutely lovely. Ever so Gershwin-esque in places, and I would like to have seen more dynamic variation. Still, I love the ethereal mood you created. It would make a nice recital piece.

Art

RJB54

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Re: Meditation_04
« Reply #27 on: May 29, 2020, 08:58:28 AM »
Thank you all for your kind comments. I really appreciate it!

This piece was a great departure for me. I tend to operate in a more cerebral vein (or as Michel often says about my music "angular"). I enjoyed working in this environment and will continue exploring in this area figuring out additional ways of working with my tone rows in this manner. It was quite fun for me.

Again, thanks all.
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.
Frank Zappa

mjf1947

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Re: Meditation_04
« Reply #28 on: May 29, 2020, 09:31:03 AM »

Jerry Engelbach

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Re: Meditation_04
« Reply #29 on: May 29, 2020, 01:15:02 PM »
Robert,
 
The change in the piece from its original form is significant.
 
It now feels like a journey or a story, with touchstones along the way.
 
It's like a well-improvised jazz solo.
 
Felicidades.
 
Cheers,
Jer
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