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Topic: Since my symphony didn't get much love....

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  1. #1

    Since my symphony didn't get much love....

    I've decided to upload a much higher quality version of the symphony first and third movements.

    Check 'em one out, they're a lot better than the ones in my other post....

    First Movement:
    http://www.vipstudiosonline.com/mp3/gpo-symphony1m1.mp3

    Third Movement:
    http://www.vipstudiosonline.com/mp3/gpo-symphony1m3.mp3

    Tell me what you think.

    Cya'll later!

  2. #2

    Re: Since my symphony didn't get much love....

    Craig, I think both of those movements are deserving of some lovin'
    that's some good stuff!

  3. #3
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    Re: Since my symphony didn't get much love....

    Hi, Craig. I’m sorry if your two movements seem to have gone without much “loving”. I think a lot of folks here are reluctant to try to give composition advice, even though Gary has tried to set the “gentle” tone and constructive approach that we should be employing. It’s a lot easier to be a harsh critic (finding fault with little constructive direction or mentoring) than to really listen and pick up places that are really tasty and to point out moments that could be improved on.

    I’ve probably mentioned it here before, but one of the places where I place my “works in progress” is Broadjam.com and the main reason is that they parcel out your selections in a totally ”blind” manner. You don’t know ANYTHING about the piece you are hearing (except you can see the total length of it while it plays in your Windows Media or WinAmp player). I get the most honest evaluation of work there and don’t mind that I have to pay $99 per year, as well as pay my dues as a “peer reviewer” in order to earn “review credits”. What that approach brings, of course, is the independence between my knowing that you might also review one of my offerings and that I should tip-toe around being completely candid if I expect the same treatment from you. It’s “let the chips fall where they may” within boundaries of general civility, but it’s a refreshing “honesty component” that I find very useful. End of commercial. I should point out that I have no financial interest in Broadjam.com [darn it!].

    With that preamble, I enjoyed both of the movements. I’m not sure if you are fully aware of it, but I can hear the Vaughn-Williams/Britten/Berstein/Corigliano/Copland influences fairly distinctly. No direct “steals” (that I can point to) but there are flavors of all of those great folks (and more) in there. That said, I guess I wonder where the “Craig Reeves” is? The first movement seems to be fairly cohesive and I can generally sense the “form” but, overall, it is quite cinematic in its (pleasant) wanderings. Some of the crescendo stuff around 4:20 to 4:30 sounds way too synthetic to my jaded ears. A natural orchestral tutti (or almost tutti) crescendo is a hard thing to get.

    I like the gentle opening of the third movement. There is a nice flowing mystery component going on there and the initial woodwinds are quite delicious. The tutti outbursts are somewhat less believable, though, and it seems as if you are straining to break out of a predictable mold but never quite accomplish that feat. It feels as if you get somewhat caught up in the struggles around 2:45 (nice dramatic retard around there) and then get trapped in repeating the “escape clause” and then fall into a general retreat to the “nice” woodwinds for the conclusion. (To me, this movement could use a dose of heading off in a development of the basics that you have laid out and getting a lot more playful with some of the tidy themes that have come out along the way.)

    The general diagnosis that I would hit you with, though, may be harder to take and I hope that you can accept it in the constructive, prodding manner in which it is offered: Most of the themes, development and the totality of both movements could easily have fallen out of a time capsule which predates most of the work of Prokofiev. I think, perhaps, that you are overly concerned with “pretty” and afraid to explore more of the rudeness and joy of (say) Poulenc, Stravinsky, Bartok or Shostakovich. All aspiring composers (me, included) need to search out and find our “voice” –that combination of style/approach/orchestration/whatever that sets our stuff into being uniquely us.

    The new modernists are still toying with “cyclical” and “repetitive” while the folks doing film scoring are driven to support the cinematic action and don’t get a chance to do fully expository pieces except for the closing titles. There’s a lot of controversy in this early part of the twenty-first century about where “classical” music is going (or should be going). A lot of folks feel that the “new classical” music is mostly being done in films (especially if you ascribe to the notion that the elitist concert hall setting is dead for the masses). Most folks want to “compartmentalize” music styles (rock, hip-hop, jazz, ambient, classical, cinematic, etc.). I want my stuff to be heard and to make people think (or help people think). If some people really like it along the way, that’s great; if some folks really hate it, that’s probably even better (than ignoring it). Ultimately, as artists, we are all searching for our own immortality in our work.

    I hope this helps … KevinKauai

    P.S. When distributing works in this manner, you should ALWAYS set the MP3 “tags” (also called “Properties”) to assert your copyright ownership, composition and publishing information. You never know where these end up

  4. #4

    Re: Since my symphony didn't get much love....

    Quote Originally Posted by Craig Reeves
    I've decided to upload a much higher quality version of the symphony first and third movements.

    Check 'em one out, they're a lot better than the ones in my other post....

    First Movement:
    http://www.vipstudiosonline.com/mp3/gpo-symphony1m1.mp3

    Third Movement:
    http://www.vipstudiosonline.com/mp3/gpo-symphony1m3.mp3

    Tell me what you think.

    Cya'll later!
    It would help to see the score. Would it be possible?

    Anyway, I'm going to bed now but I'll see if I have time tomorrow to review at least one of the movements.
    Sincerely,
    Falcon1


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  5. #5

    Re: Since my symphony didn't get much love....

    Definitely the kind of love I was hoping for, here....

    With that preamble, I enjoyed both of the movements. I’m not sure if you are fully aware of it, but I can hear the Vaughn-Williams/Britten/Berstein/Corigliano/Copland influences fairly distinctly.
    Hm. Actually, to be honest...I don't listen to much by those guys. Heh. But OK. Heh.

    No direct “steals” (that I can point to) but there are flavors of all of those great folks (and more) in there. That said, I guess I wonder where the “Craig Reeves” is?
    Well, if it's a combination of all of those guys all roled up into one, I think I'm doing OK, right? Afterall,one could say that Prokofiev was a mix between maybe Tchaikovsky and Stravinsky. At least that's what *I* would sum it up as.

    The first movement seems to be fairly cohesive and I can generally sense the “form” but, overall, it is quite cinematic in its (pleasant) wanderings.
    If you're interested in the form, it kind of goes like this....


    INTRODUCTION: (0:00-1:-08)

    EXPO:

    Theme 1 (x2) - (1:09-2:06)
    Theme 2 - (2:06-2:59)

    DEVELOPMENT:

    Development of Theme 2 (2:59-3:55)
    Development of Theme 1 (3:55-5:26)
    Development of Introduction (5:26 - 7:09)

    CODA:

    Introduction (in the most part) restated (7:09 - 8:08)


    I know the form of the piece is strange, and structurally a lot of the stuff doesn't seem to fit, but I didn't want the piece to have to much of a "formal" feel, I guess.

    Some of the crescendo stuff around 4:20 to 4:30 sounds way too synthetic to my jaded ears. A natural orchestral tutti (or almost tutti) crescendo is a hard thing to get.
    I didn't hear any crescendo. There's not a crescendo marking in that passage on the score, so that must have been a GPO thing or something. However, crescendos by an orchestral tutti are possible, just not WIDE ones, which I think you were referring to. I am unaware of a crescendo wide enough for an orchestra not to play in that passage, however. What instruments were you referring to exactly?

    I like the gentle opening of the third movement. There is a nice flowing mystery component going on there and the initial woodwinds are quite delicious. The tutti outbursts are somewhat less believable, though, and it seems as if you are straining to break out of a predictable mold but never quite accomplish that feat.
    Well in the score, the outbursts are not as loud as in the recording, I think I may have overshot it a bit when I played it in.

    It feels as if you get somewhat caught up in the struggles around 2:45 (nice dramatic retard around there) and then get trapped in repeating the “escape clause” and then fall into a general retreat to the “nice” woodwinds for the conclusion.

    (To me, this movement could use a dose of heading off in a development of the basics that you have laid out and getting a lot more playful with some of the tidy themes that have come out along the way.)
    Well, I think I was in a bit of a rush when I wrote this piece....this one to me is the least important to the symphony IMO, seeing how it is the shortest movement. That explains the small amount of development, too. I didn't want this movement to be very long, because all the other movements are long enough to where the symphony is going to be about 30 minutes long, anyway.


    The general diagnosis that I would hit you with, though, may be harder to take and I hope that you can accept it in the constructive, prodding manner in which it is offered: Most of the themes, development and the totality of both movements could easily have fallen out of a time capsule which predates most of the work of Prokofiev.

    I think, perhaps, that you are overly concerned with “pretty” and afraid to explore more of the rudeness and joy of (say) Poulenc, Stravinsky, Bartok or Shostakovich.
    Well, for one. I would have to disagree with the fact that this piece could predate Prokofiev. I think that you are referring to the fact that the dissonance level of the piece is lower than most of the works that people were writing during this time period. However, there were many composers during that time that did not write like they did. The themes (mainly in the first movement, but some of the third) and chord structures are inspired by soul, and R&B (For instance, in mvmt. 1 between 0:32-0:52). Neither of these styles were around during that time.

    I do like those composers you mentioned, but I don't really want to sound like them. They have their own style, and too many composers these days try to emulate them way too much, IMO. They were great composers, yes, but every one of those guys you mentioned died before I was even born. Like I said, I like thier music, but I don't wanna sound like them, I wanna sound like me.

    All aspiring composers (me, included) need to search out and find our “voice” –that combination of style/approach/orchestration/whatever that sets our stuff into being uniquely us.
    All composers go through various composition periods in their lifetimes. I'm pretty sure that the music I write 20 years from now won't sound anything like the music I'm writing now. That's fine, though. But if I'm going to write something, the only way that I'm going to be sure that it's "me" is that if I write stuff that *I* want to hear and that *I* like. Not just what people tell me should write. lol. I know that doesn't make any sense at all, but I think you see what I mean.

    The new modernists are still toying with “cyclical” and “repetitive” while the folks doing film scoring are driven to support the cinematic action and don’t get a chance to do fully expository pieces except for the closing titles. There’s a lot of controversy in this early part of the twenty-first century about where “classical” music is going (or should be going).
    Well, the only problem that I have is that *we* don't ultimately decide where classical music is going or should be going, because history is going to do that FOR us. I'm pretty sure that Mozart did not know what was going to happen to music in this century or else he probably would have been writing 20th century music. I believe that we should allow history to follow the music instead of the music following history.

    People should write the way they want to write. We should not be dicatated what style of music is deemed "good" or "bad". What should be the deciding factor between "good" and "bad" work is the technique and skill behind the composition, not the style it was written in. Mozart and Salieri had the same style, but Mozart was clearly the better composer.

    Everyone has differing opinions, so I think we should all write however we like and stop worrying about if our work is "in style". That's just my opinion.

  6. #6

    Re: Since my symphony didn't get much love....

    Oh, Craig, Kevin gave you such a full, time-consuming consideration, you really should not review the reviewer! Even if someone says something wrong, at least appreciate that they took the time to listen and think about your work. Suggest you go back to your message breaking apart his message and revise with more politeness. Of course, now reviewing the review of the reviewer.

  7. #7

    Re: Since my symphony didn't get much love....

    Nobody's reviewing any reviewer. I was just responding and conversing to his stuff. At the very top I expressed my thanks for his review.

    And again, Kevin, I thank you so so much for this review. Most people do not give reviews like this on this site, and I am very glad that you were able to do this for me, it helped a whole lot. Thank you so much!

  8. #8
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    Re: Since my symphony didn't get much love....

    At the end of the day Craig, you just have to write for your own enjoyment or if you're professional, to impress the customer. People will either like it or not.....you know the old 'opinions are like arseholes' saying......well that is reality. You don't have to justify your music unless you are trying to make a living from it.

    Musical tastes are incredibly varied as we are all wired up differently...Believe it or not there are those who don't like music of any kind.....and that's fair enough. Humanity is deeply flawed and the love or not of a particular kind of music really isn't that important in the big picture.

    However we are considering the musical picture here and I think your composition is good but the rendition isn't as good as the best. It is slightly stacatto....and needs to be slightly more legato....don't ask me how as I haven't even got my GPO up and running yet! I would prefer it with a little more reverb too.

    It's only another opinion.....it doesn't mean anything much...

    Frank

  9. #9
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    Wink Re: Since my symphony didn't get much love....

    “Don’t shoot the messenger” comes to mind, Craig.

    I tried to be gentle and tentative in my remarks on your two movements and by no means do I consider myself any sort of authority. I think we all need to remind ourselves in this (wonderful GPO) environment to just try to take whatever suggestions and comments come along as however helps one in their continuing work. It is natural to be defensive. Bottom line: take it for whatever it’s worth and move on. (That’s what I try to do.)

    And HH is totally correct: if you are writing for you, then do what pleases you and don’t ask for comments and suggestions. At some point (if we’re lucky) an artist reaches that plateau of having the confidence and not needing anything else (in some cases before death!).

    fwiw … KevinKauai
    Last edited by KevinKauai; 08-10-2004 at 04:43 AM. Reason: Craig (not Steve)!

  10. #10

    Re: Since my symphony didn't get much love....

    And HH is totally correct: if you are writing for you, then do what pleases you and don’t ask for comments and suggestions.
    But the thing is, is that yes I'm writing for me, but I also want others to be able to enjoy it too, so that's why I asked for comments and suggestions. Y'all are making it out like I didn't WANT people's critisicms and that I am upset about the critisisms that were made when I'm not. I'm GLAD that people could point out what was wrong with the piece. The reason why I said the symphony didn't get much love was because of the fact that nobody listened to them, not because they didn't get much praise.

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