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Topic: I Heard A Bird Sing

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  1. #1

    I Heard A Bird Sing

    A choral piece written for SATB, but since a potential Garritan Choirs isn't out at this point, what I have here to play for you folks is a reed quartet rendition of the same piece

    However, since it's even more meaningful with the text, I have a PDF of the original piece you can look at while listening.

    The choral piece began when I found two especially potent poems that fit together not only with themselves, but in the context of a song as well, as an A B form.

    A
    I heard a bird sing
    In the dark of December
    A magical thing
    And sweet to remember:
    We are closer to spring
    Than we were in September
    I heard a bird sing
    In the dark of December
    ~Oliver Herford

    B
    Hope is the thing with feathers
    That perches in the soul,
    And sings the tune without words,
    And never stops at all
    ~Emily Dickenson


    And so after stating those two bits of text, the A section repeats, but as suggested by the B text: without words.

    The distance from the climax to end is a bit long, but I thought that in the context of the piece and the words, it seemed even more fitting. To truncate the repeating of the A section would be to do disservice to the last sung line of text: "And never stops at all".

    So please; listen, read along, let me know what you think, and enjoy!

  2. #2
    Senior Member fastlane's Avatar
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    Re: I Heard A Bird Sing

    I really liked it. You music fits nicely with the words. I can hear a choral rendition in my head and it should be quite moving.

    Phil

  3. #3

    Re: I Heard A Bird Sing

    very nice harmonical stuff going on there and a clear built concept! thanks for posting. works also very well with the woodwindz.

    cheers

  4. #4
    Senior Member rpearl's Avatar
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    Re: I Heard A Bird Sing

    Very beautiful harmonic pacing. I'd love to hear this with voices.
    Thanks for sharing. Even at this relatively early hour (well, it is here...) this was a welcome piece to hear.

    R. Pearl

  5. #5

    Re: I Heard A Bird Sing

    Leif,

    this is a very remarkable piece, beautiful and speaking. I don't know how it comes out with voices, but with woodwinds it is already great.

    Also a very convincing rendering. If I was not prepared I would buy it as recorded by musicians. Is this HP of Finale, or tweaked?


    Hannes
    All your strings belong to me!
    www.strings-on-demand.com

  6. #6

    Re: I Heard A Bird Sing

    Quote Originally Posted by fastlane
    I really liked it. You music fits nicely with the words. I can hear a choral rendition in my head and it should be quite moving.
    Thanks Phil So can I! I'm really hoping to get a real choir sing this, as it's right in time for the winter months. My former composition instructor from college directs potentially two choirs that might be able to perform it, so I'm going to be getting in touch with him about it.

    Quote Originally Posted by GigaLove
    very nice harmonical stuff going on there and a clear built concept! thanks for posting. works also very well with the woodwindz.
    Quote Originally Posted by rpearl
    Very beautiful harmonic pacing. I'd love to hear this with voices.
    Thanks, both A lot of the harmonic inspiration comes from the years I've spent singing in choirs and all the things I know I love doing when in groups. Dissonance and resolution is one of them, perhaps even moreso with voices than instruments. I was originally going to render this in strings... but then the idea of woodwinds(z) occurred to me, since they more closely resembled the voice what with mainly the requirement of breath placed into phrases.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hannes_F
    this is a very remarkable piece, beautiful and speaking. I don't know how it comes out with voices, but with woodwinds it is already great.

    Also a very convincing rendering. If I was not prepared I would buy it as recorded by musicians. Is this HP of Finale, or tweaked?
    Thank you Hannes! I'm hoping it comes out well with voices. One of the benefits to being a singer is that I'm working in my native medium here, so at least for the tenor and baritone parts I was able to test them out My falsetto isn't as good, so the alto and soprano lines will be the kickers! I intentionally wrote them rather low though, to have some close harmonies with the particularily high Tenor.

    Wow, very cool This is sort of a combination of things: Sibelius midi rendering of the piece coming from working with very minimal playback. Then imported into Sonar and rendered with GPO loaded into Kontakt 2 with the Humanization script and lots of CC1 editing by hand. So it's a collaboration of hand-made and scripted.

  7. #7

    Re: I Heard A Bird Sing

    Very nice work, Leif!

    A poignant portrait you've painted.

    A strong work on its own, the addition of voice will most definitely complete your vision.

    Would really enjoy hearing this again with choir.

    ~Jeff

  8. #8

    Re: I Heard A Bird Sing

    Leif, beautiful work, once again. I look
    forward to hearing this in its proper SATB
    setting -- but I'll tell you well ahead, it
    will work wonderfully with voices.

    The harmonic work, the pacing, the care-
    fully controlled unraveling are all done
    with a sure hand and voice, Leif.

    An interesting juxtaposition of the oft
    tongue-in-cheek Birtish-born Herford
    and Dickinson, I might add.

    David
    www.DavidSosnowski.com


    Only the young die good. - O. Herford.

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