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Topic: INERTIA AND THE UNFOLDING TIDE - Kowalski (Piano Septet)

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  1. #1

    INERTIA AND THE UNFOLDING TIDE - Kowalski (Piano Septet)

    Here is a recently completed work written for two violins, two violas, two cellos, and piano.

    Inertia and the Unfolding Tide
    Septet for Strings and Piano
    mp3 - pdf

    The following is the seating arrangement for performance:

    The seating is set up to allow a division as double string trios, as well as three sets of duets moving from front to back.

    The realization includes two instances of the Garritan Strad, and two instances of the Gofriller, as well as two GPO solo violas and the GPO piano.
    - Jamie Kowalski

    All Hands Music - Kowalski on the web
    The Ear Is Always Correct - Writings on composition

  2. #2

    Re: INERTIA AND THE UNFOLDING TIDE - Kowalski (Piano Septet)

    Nifty little piece, I enjoyed it thoroughly -- I'm not sure I've heard your chamber writing before, but you have a real knack for it. Engaging and accessible but meaty enough to challenge "modern" ears. If I weren't working on my own music right now I'd probably put this on a loop in the background to let it sink in a bit. The language is very clear and consistent throughout, and it moves from one idea to the next very intuitively. Can you tell me anything about how you organized / structured this piece? It seems to grow very organically, but I sense that there's also an overall structure that guided you.

    Any performance prospects for this any time soon? I bet you could find a string quartet who could pull in a few friends to put this up. I think a lot of people would enjoy playing this -- it's very performable and it has enough depth that a group could have a lot of fun digging in.

    The rendering is one of the best I've ever heard -- at times I could be convinced it's a live recording... You should try throwing in a few bits of Bela D Media's "Scoring Noise" and see how it comes out!

    Can you tell me about how you set up the reverb / panning / EQ / etc. to put this "ensemble" in such a clear, breathable space?

    Good work!
    chris.

  3. #3

    Re: INERTIA AND THE UNFOLDING TIDE - Kowalski (Piano Septet)

    Quote Originally Posted by Skysaw
    Here is a recently completed work written for two violins, two violas, two cellos, and piano.

    Inertia and the Unfolding Tide
    Septet for Strings and Piano
    mp3 - pdf
    Jamie,

    As always, your style is concise and coherent - this is vintage Kowalski!

    I enjoyed the fact that even though this is a sizable group, the textures remained clear and transparent.

    Great Job!

  4. #4

    Re: INERTIA AND THE UNFOLDING TIDE - Kowalski (Piano Septet)

    (to clarify: when I wrote "nifty little piece," I didn't mean that in a patronizing or belittling way! I was just referring to its size and scope in comparison to some of your other works--i.e. "Vesuvius" is not exactly little).

    Although it is nifty.

    I need sleep.

    sigh.
    chris.

  5. #5
    Senior Member fastlane's Avatar
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    Re: INERTIA AND THE UNFOLDING TIDE - Kowalski (Piano Septet)

    Another creative, interesting piece of music and well done.


    Phil

  6. #6

    Re: INERTIA AND THE UNFOLDING TIDE - Kowalski (Piano Septet)

    Simply gorgeous music! I thoroughly enjoy this. And I agree with another poster, this is one of the best renditions I've heard, everything about it is crystal clear articulations and dynamics. Perhaps you could explain how you did it

    Beautiful, thank you.
    Kind Regards

    Louis Dekker
    My Music Site

    Pour être grand, il faut avoir été petit.

  7. #7

    Re: INERTIA AND THE UNFOLDING TIDE - Kowalski (Piano Septet)

    Quote Originally Posted by CallMeZoot
    Nifty little piece, I enjoyed it thoroughly -- I'm not sure I've heard your chamber writing before, but you have a real knack for it. Engaging and accessible but meaty enough to challenge "modern" ears.
    Very glad you enjoyed this, Chris. Although for the last two years I've been concentrating on a lot of orchestral work, I actually have a larger collection of chamber pieces completed. It's nice to return to something this size now and then.

    If I weren't working on my own music right now I'd probably put this on a loop in the background to let it sink in a bit.
    I had this looped for a bit while working on it, and it ended up sinking into my dreams at night as a very disturbing soundtrack. So... not really recommended.

    The language is very clear and consistent throughout, and it moves from one idea to the next very intuitively. Can you tell me anything about how you organized / structured this piece? It seems to grow very organically, but I sense that there's also an overall structure that guided you.
    The structure is fairly loose, as is usually the case with my works. For the most part, I had various thematic ideas that I continually mutated and overlapped with each other, so it's sort of a multi-layered theme and variations. The fun thing in this piece is to listen to the very first and very last sounds in isolation. They are nearly identical, yet the last sound seems so much more tonal... a trick of the ear based on context. -- At least that's the intent.
    Any performance prospects for this any time soon? I bet you could find a string quartet who could pull in a few friends to put this up. I think a lot of people would enjoy playing this -- it's very performable and it has enough depth that a group could have a lot of fun digging in.
    This was written as a submission for a contest sponsored by the "Left Coast Chamber Ensemble." The guidelines asked for a work using a subset of their available instruments with no more than 7 players.
    The rendering is one of the best I've ever heard -- at times I could be convinced it's a live recording... You should try throwing in a few bits of Bela D Media's "Scoring Noise" and see how it comes out!

    Can you tell me about how you set up the reverb / panning / EQ / etc. to put this "ensemble" in such a clear, breathable space?
    Here's the basic setup I'm using.
    Sequencer: Sonar 6PE
    Reverb: Perfect Space on its own bus. Slightly more on strings than on piano
    Impulse: From the set "350 Seat Auditorium," which either comes with Perfect Space, or I downloaded from Noisevault.com. The actual impulse name is "MidSideRow1Center." As is my usual practice, I cut the lows from the impulse within PS using the internal EQ setting. I created a straight slope from -18db at 30Hz to 0db at 80Hz. This tends to keep the mud out of the sound, but the ear doesn't hear anything as being missing. I tend to alter the EQ depending on which impulse I'm using.
    Panning: Somewhat dramatic... using the chart I posted above from left to right: 90%L, 65%L, 40%L, C, 40%R, 65%R, 90%R

    Other than that, I'm using compression across the entire mix with a Sonitus plug-in. I'm using one each of the two included Strad body impulses, and the other instruments as packaged.

    Good work!
    Thanks again, Chris.
    - Jamie Kowalski

    All Hands Music - Kowalski on the web
    The Ear Is Always Correct - Writings on composition

  8. #8

    Re: INERTIA AND THE UNFOLDING TIDE - Kowalski (Piano Septet)

    A striking opening that entices the listener on
    this, Jamie; and regardless of your assertion
    of loosely structuring this piece, the longitudinal
    sense of it is irresistible and irrefutable... it
    cascades forward in closely integrated logic
    as the layers enhance and elaborate each other
    in an implied entwinement of succession.

    The hallmark Kowalski sparsity and concision is
    evident as always; but I was likewise intrigued
    and pleased by the miles traveled within a textural
    vocabularly one would wrongly presume initially to
    be somewhat limited by the instrumentation.

    Technically, the rendering on this is stunningly
    good; and I thank you personally for the insights
    on how you achieved it.

    My congratulations on still another superb
    achievement, my friend!

    Always my best,


    David
    www.DavidSosnowski.com
    .

  9. #9

    Re: INERTIA AND THE UNFOLDING TIDE - Kowalski (Piano Septet)

    Quote Originally Posted by giwro_jon
    Jamie,

    As always, your style is concise and coherent - this is vintage Kowalski!

    I enjoyed the fact that even though this is a sizable group, the textures remained clear and transparent.
    Jonathan,

    Thank you for the kind comments.

    This was as usual difficult for me to get the textures as clear as you hear them, from a compositional standpoint. I tend to overwrite, then go back and scrape away the mud. The doubled, tripled, and quadrupled pizzicato chromatic scales at different tuplet values over thick chords didn't help in this regard. One thing that really saves the piece is the quality of the string samples. When Gary comes out with a solo Viola, I'll be sure to revisit this realization in hopes of improving it further.
    - Jamie Kowalski

    All Hands Music - Kowalski on the web
    The Ear Is Always Correct - Writings on composition

  10. #10

    Re: INERTIA AND THE UNFOLDING TIDE - Kowalski (Piano Septet)

    Quote Originally Posted by CallMeZoot
    (to clarify: when I wrote "nifty little piece," I didn't mean that in a patronizing or belittling way! I was just referring to its size and scope in comparison to some of your other works--i.e. "Vesuvius" is not exactly little).

    Although it is nifty.
    I didn't take this as a negative at all. I'm overjoyed that you might consider anything I write to be nifty. And yes, Vesuvius is very un-little.
    - Jamie Kowalski

    All Hands Music - Kowalski on the web
    The Ear Is Always Correct - Writings on composition

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