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Topic: The fearless composer

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  1. #1

    The fearless composer

    http://www.andybrick.com/audio/abrick_pno_quint.mp3

    Hi All,

    Recently I had a conversation with a fellow NS member about how we composers often tend to be our own worst critics. It can be a very big problem for many, myself included. I went through such an experience with the minuet I recently posted. At one point early into the mix I absolutely hated the piece.

    I think this may be an issue for my NS friend and I want that person to know that they are not alone. Its something we all go through.

    So......... I decided to dig out a piece I wrote 10 years ago... Way back when I was an idealistic young man I wrote and recorded this piano quintet. I have never let anyone hear it. I never put it on a demo. And to a great extent I put it out of my mind. At various times I have been very critical of a number of aspects of this piece. Some you will hear, others you may not but as an homage to my NS friend I decided to be a fearless composer and I present it here to hear for the first time and leave myself open to comments of any kind.... be kind ;-)

    Andy
    ....................
    Phone: 917-327-0293
    Email: andy@andybrick.com
    Web: http://www.andybrick.com
    AIM: andybrick
    Skype: andrewbrick

  2. #2

    Re: The fearless composer

    Hi Andy,
    Thanks so much for sharing this piece! I honestly don't know what could possibly be wrong with the piece. I found it to be wonderful. I'm sure that your friend feels much better about things after hearing this and knowing that even great composers like yourself sometimes feel that way too. Thanks for sharing,
    Steph

  3. #3

    Re: The fearless composer

    I'm sure a composer hears his or her own pieces very differently from anyone else, after all, it did come from the composer's brain. No other listener knows exactly what to expect, and even after a few listens there may be something new to hear. For the composer, however, it's much easier to hear the flaws; things we don't like stand out, far more than they will to listeners, especially if you had a goal in mind as to what the music should sound like (also especially in this day and age when we can play recordings over and over again).

    That said, I thoroughly enjoyed this piece! The string playing doesn't sound quite as crisp as a professional classical CD, but I'm not sure what a composer can do about that. To my ears, this sounds wonderful; a nice lively variety in rhythm, yummy piano trills, and delicious high violin notes. I am glad you brought it out of the darkness.

    I've never formally studied music... I've never been graded on musical knowledge nor have I ever been told by a music professor that I was wrong about something... I remember Aaron Copland saying in an interview that one of his teachers told him that he was not critical enough of his own work... so it seems sometimes this self-criticism is encouraged. The problem with it is that in music, people tend to perceive music differently. What might sound like a sloppy mess to one music professor might sound like a delicious catchy rondo to another. Will self-criticism encourage you to get better, or just discourage you to compose? And who's definition of "better" is most important to you?

    I'm not sure there's anything wrong with not liking your own piece, but that doesn't mean others won't enjoy the fruits of your labor.

    By the way, I believe there was another famous composer who was very self-critical...

    Sean Patrick Hannifin
    My MP3s | My Melody Generator | my album
    "serious music" ... as if the rest of us are just kidding

  4. #4

    Re: The fearless composer

    Nice one, Andy! I enjoyed this work very much. Let us hear more of your fine compositions.

    My best,

    Larry
    Larry G. Alexander
    www.alexandermusic.com

  5. #5

    Re: The fearless composer

    When listening to various pianoconcertos of well known masters, for eveybody there are some bars, some phrases, he or she should have used other orchestration, different setting, or different motif. Beethoven repeated that same motif of his violin concerto over and over again until he found a way out.

    Mendelssohn, Rachmaninoff, even Prokofiev have their weak points. But they are masters in hiding this and they invented almost "in the flight" a variation/different theme based upon that weakness.

    Good old Dimitri S. once said about the cello concerto of Schumann that he would have orchestrated that nice piece completely different.

    I listened to your piece.... weak points.... reasons for self-criticism.... yes there are, but you worked it out marvellous. And as you said, the perception of the listener is always different from that of the writer.... So what? Let him/her stretch his/hers personal ideas of musical perception. By doing this you contribute something to the musical world.

    I need more of this.

    Raymond

  6. #6

    Re: The fearless composer

    Thank you, Fearless Composer!

    There is so much that is good and musical here - thank you for sharing!

    Regards,

    Jim
    RealSax.com "When you need real sax in your tracks."
    http://www.realsax.com

  7. #7
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    Re: The fearless composer

    Andy,

    It was very brave for you to put post this. We all have those pieces we wrote that sometimes makes us cringe. Rather than hide it you put it out there. That takes a lot of guts.

    To see where you were as a young composer, to where you are now, should serve as an encouraging example to us all.

    Thank you for posting this.

    Gary Garritan

  8. #8

    Re: The fearless composer

    Quote Originally Posted by Garritan
    Andy,

    It was very brave for you to put post this. We all have those pieces we wrote that sometimes makes us cringe. Rather than hide it you put it out there. That takes a lot of guts.

    To see where you were as a young composer, to where you are now, should serve as an encouraging example to us all.

    Thank you for posting this.

    Gary Garritan
    For those of you (like me) who were not aware of Andy's body of work, please take the time to visit his website (links in his signature) and hear some of his awesome compositions/orchestrations and accomplishments. That ups his "Fearlessness Factor" even a few more notches in my book.
    And yes, Gary, it makes it even that more encouraging.

    Jim
    RealSax.com "When you need real sax in your tracks."
    http://www.realsax.com

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