Author Topic: Composing a piece for a graduate seminar - Fantasia in D minor  (Read 435 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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~ Joshua A. Idio

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