• Register
  • Help
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 12

Topic: Symphony No. 1 in G

Share/Bookmark
  1. #1

    Symphony No. 1 in G

    Hello all - longtime lurker here (this will be only my 3rd post to this forum). In the summer of 2004 I started work on a complete symphony composition, and finished it in January 2005. I haven’t done much with it since then, so I figured I’d post it here.

    This entire composition was recorded using samples. I had two major goals when I set out to record this: to produce as realistic a sound as possible using technology, and to convey powerful emotions through my music. When I recorded this, I used a single PC running Gigastudio and Steinberg Nuendo. I only sequenced the more difficult passages on MIDI tracks – the vast majority of it was recorded live, as I played it instrument by instrument, onto separate audio tracks. I find this helps me focus more on the emotion I’m trying to convey rather than the technical aspects.

    The major libraries I used include Dan Dean Brass Ensembles and Solo Instruments, Garritan Orchestral Strings (although not exclusively) and Garritan Harp (for the non-arpeggio sections), & Ultimate Orchestral Percussion Library. Some of the sounds came from freeware soundfonts found online, some from keyboards/synths, and even some custom made samples.

    I hope you enjoy this Symphony No. 1 in G. There are excerpts from each movement you can audition before downloading the entire symphony, as well as many other samples of my music on my site. I welcome any comments and criticism you’d like to share.

    http://www.stephancarroll.com/symphony.htm

  2. #2

    Re: Symphony No. 1 in G

    <polite bump>

  3. #3

    Re: Symphony No. 1 in G

    just browsing the site and saw your post. I listened to the excerpts of your symphony. Great orchestration. All of the instruments have good phrasing and sounded real enough. I quickly stopped worrying if you were going to do anything wince-inducing (normal reaction listening to demos) and just enjoyed the music. The themes were well stated and well structured.

    Movement 1
    Nice grand sounding theme. The click on the harp during the slower section of movement 1 was too loud and distracting.

    Movement 2
    great intro, cool mysterious string tremelos and timpany. nice chords. When the percussion kicks in, I get a video game soundtrack feeling. Strings sound great in general. Some of the tempo changes sound automated. When the brass give us the money shot section, i'm really likin it. Little bit of gustav holtz flavor.

    Movement 3
    great orchestration. good use of brass. the liberace piano seems a bit over the top. your brass in general is well done. Maybe it's a bit too much for too long with all the string arpeggios and everything at fortisimo.

    Movement 4
    same good remarks about the orchestration. string arpeggios become repetitive in the beginning. No where do your sounds sound overtly fake - even the string runs.

    In general, you could totally sell this, if you haven't already. Not much market for symphonies these days. In any event, I'd say your sound is broadcast ready. Very much a movie sound. To my taste, you use the same emotional tone too much. Not enough contrast to make the big parts seem really big. As presented in the excerpts, they are very simple themes lushly orchestrated. I'd like it if you could use some less generic harmonic progressions to give interest to the melodies.

    Ok, so now I'm listening to the entire Movement III. Much better setup than the excerpt (duh, of course) so maybe my comments about too much fortisimo don't do this justice. Often when you come to the climax, it seems like you are going for just what I expected. I'd like to be surprised or shocked sometimes. The way it is, it gets a bit saccharine sometimes.

    But don't listen to me. I have no idea what i'm talking about.

  4. #4

    Re: Symphony No. 1 in G

    I just discovered your post : what a lot of work, impressive !

    Congratulations for completing this long piece, I think that most people who make 1 or 3 minute demo don't realize what it is to write a symphony : the sounding quality and the mock-up skills are only a small part of the complex problems of structure one have to deal with.

    Your writing and orchestration are very good, I like the way you write for brass and strings.
    The language is classical and there is a too much use of rythmic and harmonic patterns to me : it can be repetitive and a little boring (to me again), nevertheless this is a very interesting piece, full of energy. each movement is built like a single arch with a powerful climax, my only complain is a little lack of drama and tension for my taste (the piano can be annoying sometimes).

    The sound is OK for me : I'm not obsessed with sound quality but much more by what a composer really have to say, unfortunately this is the opposite on this forum : people care for the sound quality, the libs and the hardware that are used because it's a forum related to sound libraries and not to composition itself : so, I can understand it, but I think it's a shame that such a large piece does not get more reviews.

    It's difficult to get performed an orchestral piece that is over 10 or 15 minutes today : too much rehearsals and very expensive, unlike the previous poster I would say that there is plenty orchestral pieces and symphonies waiting to be played, but the university orchestras are an option : you rmusic is very filmic and not difficult to listen to : that's a good asset.

    Congratulations again and try other forums if you are looking for more "musical" feedback (compose music/ VI control portal).

    Thank you for sharing this

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Traverse Bay
    Posts
    324

    Re: Symphony No. 1 in G

    Quite an undertaking.

    I didn't listen to all of it but skipped around a bit, but I thought there was some good solid work in there. Fairly linear, (both in melody and structure) which gave much of what I heard a kind of "post age of pop" overall effect. Very 'even' in mood.

    Personally, I must admit, that for me the title "Symphony" brings an awful lot of history and expectation with it, sort of "raises the bar" you might say. Nevertheless, good work.

  6. #6

    Re: Symphony No. 1 in G

    This was terrific work!

    I'm very impressed with the amount of variation you've incorporated here... considering it's length. You've kept a clear direction of your arrangement adding interest throughout each movement.

    I particularly liked your second movement ... very nice buildup.!

    Certainly film score in scope... with a touch of Hollywood heroics!
    I detect a bit of Jerry Goldsmith influence in some of your voice layering....Well done.

    This was quite impressive ... and imaginative! ....but i fear you may have given the forum members here too much to comment on!
    40 minutes of music!..... perhaps posting 1 movement per week would receive a greater response .....gives listeners a bit more time.

    just a thought....


    well done Stephan!

    .... excellent!!!


    ~jeff

  7. #7

    Re: Symphony No. 1 in G

    Thanks to everyone for the comments. Since you were all so kind to respond in detail, I figure I'll try to put as much effort into my responses. I agree with the observation about the length of the composition. I know personally it's not always easy to listen to a full symphony all the way through without being distracted. It must be the age we live in, short attention spans and such... um, what was I talking about again?

    Oh yes. The music.

    Metrobot, I agree with you on all points (except when you say you don't know what you're talking about!). I do tend to favor the strings and brass when I record. I need to spend more time learning how to arrange woodwind parts (I can never get the flutes to sound quite like they do in professional recordings). And I don't understand how you could think the opening of movement IV is repetitive - I mean, just because the basses hold that same low "G" for something like 80 measures without taking a rest HAHA! I also agree that I need to experiment with different emotional tones - the overall tone of the whole symphony was very upbeat, with hardly any darkness to it outside of the 2nd movement. By the way, care to elaborate on what those "wince-inducing" traits of demo pieces are? I'd be interested to know.

    Sicmu, thanks for your comments. I have been looking around the VI Control area for a while, and may post over there. I think you're right - my style tends to lend itself to more of a film sound. I also agree that I could stand to add more drama to the music. As for the piano, it's the instrument I grew up on, and it sort of became "my" voice throughout the symphony. I know that doesn't make much sense since I wrote the whole thing. Just an old habit I guess.

    Jibrish, I know what you mean about raising the bar. The whole time I was working on it, I kept thinking, should I really even call this a symphony? I'm sure it doesn't match the traditional structure and forms established by the music world, not to mention it doesn't really sound all that classical. But I stuck with the title. I guess it's a contemporary take on a classical subject.

    jsp2, I'm a big Star Trek fan, so obviously the Goldsmith influence has crept up on me over the years. I never thought about posting it separately. It's been finished for over a year and just sitting on my website all that time.

    Heh... I don't know, what do you do with a symphony these days? There really isn't much of a market for them, as metrobot pointed out. I suppose I should just focus more on writing film music. I am planning on taking the plunge and moving to LA this summer. I'm hoping to find work in the industry. It's a huge step, but I think I'm ready for it.

  8. #8

    Re: Symphony No. 1 in G

    Steve,

    I listened to the entire work and there is a lot of really strong moments in the music - I also listened to some of your other pieces on your site and very much enjoyed your moonrise over the sea. You do a good job of capturing a mood or painting an impression. You also do a very good job of long range shaping of the piece.

    As far as constructive criticism goes, some areas that I think could be improved are the melodies - though your music is always tonal, bold, and well crafted, I found the melodies were not particularly memorable. After the pieces, I didn't find myself thinking of much other than the mood of the piece. This is good if you intend to be a tone painter with your music but I think your pieces could be improved with greater emphasis on the melodic invention. For example, when you were constructing your music, was their a point where the melody or theme was presented in its "ideal" form or did it just go where it needed to go? I also thought harmonically, you could use a bit more adventure in your style.

    I LOVE the sea and music devoted to it. It is endlessly inspiring but it is hard not to think of other great sea oriented works - Debussy La Mer, Vaughan Williams Sea Symphony, even the soundtrack to Jaws (great sea oriented music if you exclude the da-dum da-dum music).


    No doubt, you have talent though and your music was very enjoyable. I am curious, do you have any formal training in music composition?


    Karim

  9. #9

    Re: Symphony No. 1 in G

    Quote Originally Posted by karelm
    As far as constructive criticism goes, some areas that I think could be improved are the melodies - though your music is always tonal, bold, and well crafted, I found the melodies were not particularly memorable. After the pieces, I didn't find myself thinking of much other than the mood of the piece. This is good if you intend to be a tone painter with your music but I think your pieces could be improved with greater emphasis on the melodic invention. For example, when you were constructing your music, was their a point where the melody or theme was presented in its "ideal" form or did it just go where it needed to go?

    Karim[/COLOR]

    Hello composers. I am working now on my 6th symphony, I'll share a bit about what I've learned and am still learning about the form. Firstly, the best compostion practice (and revealer of originality and technique) is when a composer writes a short, 32 bar piano piece. This is where the composer's melodic inventiveness, harmonic creativity and sensitivity and rhythmic variations are most evident, without the magic of large orchestrations or new multitimbred softsynth voices adding to the mix. Orchestration is often where the composer responds most dramatically, most emotionally, to the music. For this reason, in order to maintain a real connection to the core of the composition, it is best not to orchestrate non-developed compositions!

    The problem with most early symphonies is many composers are either writing, or want to be writing, film music and attempt to show, through the symphonic form, that they can do this. Many times the lack of complexity in the inner voices, the lack of the long, coherent musical line, and the lack of clever variations and depth of development seems to suggest the composer is not quite aware of the form, although somewhat aware from a mood-driven and dramatic point of view. The symphony is a form which affords composers the chance to develop and express the potential in only few ideas, and do so by utilizing 3 to 5 movements. Sometimes the connection between these movements is thematic, even with the adoption of a pre-existent form, such as a waltz, or an adagio or a folk-like tune in presto, and that forms the basis of the different movements.

    Large, loud orchestrations do not in themselves make for complex music. And the symphonist, more than any other type of composer, must know how to make music that is complex, harmonious, detailed and having all the principles of good composition, but in a grander form.

    Keep up the good work! The more you learn from each composition you write the further you advance in this art.

    Jerry Gerber
    www.jerrygerber.com

  10. #10
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Traverse Bay
    Posts
    324

    Re: Symphony No. 1 in G

    Quote Originally Posted by jerrygerber
    Hello composers. I am working now on my 6th symphony, I'll share a bit about what I've learned and am still learning about the form. Firstly, the best compostion practice (and revealer of originality and technique) is when a composer writes a short, 32 bar piano piece. This is where the composer's melodic inventiveness, harmonic creativity and sensitivity and rhythmic variations are most evident, without the magic of large orchestrations or new multitimbred softsynth voices adding to the mix. Orchestration is often where the composer responds most dramatically, most emotionally, to the music. For this reason, in order to maintain a real connection to the core of the composition, it is best not to orchestrate non-developed compositions!

    The problem with most early symphonies is many composers are either writing, or want to be writing, film music and attempt to show, through the symphonic form, that they can do this. Many times the lack of complexity in the inner voices, the lack of the long, coherent musical line, and the lack of clever variations and depth of development seems to suggest the composer is not quite aware of the form, although somewhat aware from a mood-driven and dramatic point of view. The symphony is a form which affords composers the chance to develop and express the potential in only few ideas, and do so by utilizing 3 to 5 movements. Sometimes the connection between these movements is thematic, even with the adoption of a pre-existent form, such as a waltz, or an adagio or a folk-like tune in presto, and that forms the basis of the different movements.

    Large, loud orchestrations do not in themselves make for complex music. And the symphonist, more than any other type of composer, must know how to make music that is complex, harmonious, detailed and having all the principles of good composition, but in a grander form.

    Keep up the good work! The more you learn from each composition you write the further you advance in this art.

    Jerry Gerber
    www.jerrygerber.com

    Very nicely put.

Go Back to forum

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •