Author Topic: Composing a piece for a graduate seminar - Fantasia in D minor  (Read 564 times)

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JoshuaAI

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Composing a piece for a graduate seminar - Fantasia in D minor
« on: September 08, 2020, 07:56:35 PM »
Hello!
So this semester I went back to graduate school for a M.A in Music Composition, and right now I'm taking a course called "Seminar in Historical and Theoretical Analysis, Shostakovich/Messaien". Basically we're learning about the historical aspects and backgrounds behind particular composers, pieces of music, events, and genres in the 20th-21st century. And as a comp major, one of our major projects is to compose a piece of new music that answers the questions that frame "war" and/or "peace" in some way.

Score: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1riW-n2j7bqXBTZ1JLj_X-i0xGIWiex-w/view?usp=sharing
Mp3: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1quLCmwmsC7j8Z0c-1A48iVwp_x9bB4C9/view?usp=sharing

So this piece I'm writing right now is for that project and I could use some feedback and advise. Here some context: Right now it's called Fantasia in D minor, Psalm for the Voiceless. I don't have a specific form for it yet but that could change any day now, I'm focused on writing out my big parts that I want to put in. I'm writing this piece as a sort of dedication to those who don't have a voice. Without going too far into politics, some people I had in mind when I was writing this piece are those who don't favor either democrat or republican parties right now and are rather in the middle (like I am) or those who are afraid to speak their minds openly, lest they get reprimanded. There are others I had especially in mind, but that's for another time. But I think this mindset and theme for this composition helps answer "war" in some form, like a conflict. What do you think?
I wanted the music to feel very somber and dark. Uplifting at times but very emotional. The very ends are just some sketches of themes that I want to convey so that part is not done. But I wanted to know what you guys think so far and what I should work on.

Sorry if this discussion/topic got too political, if at all. And thanks for your help! I look forward to reading your comments.

~ Joshua A. Idio
« Last Edit: September 09, 2020, 06:04:29 AM by JoshuaAI »
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mjf1947

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Re: Composing a piece for a graduate seminar - Fantasia in D minor
« Reply #1 on: September 09, 2020, 07:45:16 AM »
So Joshua ... I thinking how I can be helpful here.

So as a woodwind player Oboe .... I reviewed all the woodwind parts ... the only thing that caught my attention was measure 42 in the Oboe with the third octave Eb.   With a skilled player those notes should sing out well.

As for the overall texture of the work it definitely creates a mood with a nice tonal texture and balance.  And it sits well within the moment.

My other thought is that I didn't experience a "woodwind" "brass" or "string" section with it's own strong presence/voice.  The sound to me is more homogenized/blended; is this the effect you want?  Or would you want more highs and lows with more moments of climax driven by different sections/voices?  Why not a "cry" or a "sigh" within the overall texture.  So I see the forest however, a few more rivers, books, and waterfalls would add to the experience.

Of course my comments are my subjective thoughts/feelings.

Mark

Please remember to share your observations on other composer's work too.


Patrick O'Keefe

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Re: Composing a piece for a graduate seminar - Fantasia in D minor
« Reply #2 on: September 09, 2020, 04:10:39 PM »
I wanted the music to feel very somber and dark. Uplifting at times but very emotional.
I hear this as very somber, but almost never dark - more yearning.  Maybe a bit dark towards the end, but that doesn't last.  For my personal taste the piece seems to have too many resolutions - too many places where I thought it was drawing to a close.  I don't know enough theory to explain why I feel that or what could be done about it. 

I don't feel a strong connection with either war or piece ... unless it could represent a sorrowful but hopeful aftermath of a devastating conflict.

JoshuaAI

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Re: Composing a piece for a graduate seminar - Fantasia in D minor
« Reply #3 on: September 09, 2020, 07:33:42 PM »
I wanted the music to feel very somber and dark. Uplifting at times but very emotional.
I hear this as very somber, but almost never dark - more yearning.  Maybe a bit dark towards the end, but that doesn't last.  For my personal taste the piece seems to have too many resolutions - too many places where I thought it was drawing to a close.  I don't know enough theory to explain why I feel that or what could be done about it. 

I don't feel a strong connection with either war or piece ... unless it could represent a sorrowful but hopeful aftermath of a devastating conflict.

Interesting thought! Maybe I have to re-think the process here. But I wanted this piece to convey the inner aspect of "war", meaning conflict within yourself. I thought that as I was thinking of all those who fight in the middle of two arguments.
Create the Music, Live the Dream!

~ Joshua A. Idio

whitebark

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Re: Composing a piece for a graduate seminar - Fantasia in D minor
« Reply #4 on: October 11, 2020, 04:45:14 PM »
Hi Joshua,
I enjoyed listening to your moody, sombre piece. Since I'm a bass player, I just had to examine the bass part in your Fantasia.  It looks easy to play and doubles the cello part in the traditional manner in many spots - a safe strategy. You gave the bass part a bit of independence in the passage starting at measure 61, which is nice.  There are an awful lot of parallel fifths in the cello part in this passage-regards, the counterpoint police  :police: :police: :police:

Nice work,
Jay

RJB54

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Re: Composing a piece for a graduate seminar - Fantasia in D minor
« Reply #5 on: November 18, 2020, 04:57:32 AM »
Joshua,

I tried to look at your score but it wouldn't load.
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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Rex Potam

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Re: Composing a piece for a graduate seminar - Fantasia in D minor
« Reply #6 on: November 18, 2020, 11:01:52 AM »
Hi,
The score is too big to read easily on my screen… So I just listened to the music. I had a restful moment with this piece, so thanks for that.
(BTW I don't know if it is normal, but I had two minutes without sound between approx. 8:00 and 10:00, and again after ~ 11:00)

Cheers!