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Topic: Pudding River (Piano)

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  1. #1
    Senior Member rwayland's Avatar
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    Pudding River (Piano)

    Well, I have not written for piano in a while. The situation is now rectified with this just finished "Pudding River" It is now slightly over 5 minutes length. After paring some of the ideas which seemed great when I wrote them, it is now less than half it previous length, thus re-inforcing my observation that a composer's best friend is his eraser!

    I don't remember many details about Pudding river, except that it was narrow and shallow and muddy brown, rather like the real color of the Danube. I have not been there in about 75 years, but I presume it is still flowing there, not far from Portland, Oregon.

    The mp3 uses GPO Steinway.


    12 Jun3 2012 4:10PM
    I have just replaced the link with this one, with improved levels.

    Pudding River

    Richard

  2. #2

    Re: Pudding River (Piano)

    Oh my! The Pudding River here in Oregon has more drama flowing through its narrow banks than I imagined!

    As always when being your audience, Richard, I can only sit back and let the music flow over me - flow, particularly appropriate for this water-inspired piece - and no distracting comparisons come up, because I really don't have any points of reference for what I'm hearing. And I certainly cannot even begin to imagine what it would take for me to compose anything like your complex pieces. And all of that always makes the listen an interesting journey.

    And, I should add, that this post also demonstrates how the GPO piano can sound much better than is sometimes claimed.

    Thanks.

    Randy

  3. #3

    Re: Pudding River (Piano)

    Not the kind of piece I'm accustomed to listening to, but I thought the same thing, very complex harmonies and melody expertly picked out on the piano. Very nice performance.
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  4. #4
    Senior Member rwayland's Avatar
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    Re: Pudding River (Piano)

    Well, thanks, guys! I admit to being very pleased with this piece after the massive cuts. I listen to it 5 or 6 times daily.

    Part of my success with the GPO piano is due to my handling of volume/velocity levels. I reduce the velocity to a very low level, a little above barely audible, then use the volume trim of Kontakt Player to boost it to the required level. Thereafter, some slight adjustments will probably be required, for instance, accented notes that are grossly over powered.

    Randy, you described the way that all of my music should be listened to. Not much value in looking for references except for those that exist with the piece, and in my music there is an abundance.

    Richard

  5. #5
    Senior Member Frank D's Avatar
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    Re: Pudding River (Piano)

    Yeah! ... This is Good Stuff, Richard!

    Loved it! I downloaded it and will enjoy this on repeated listens for some time to come.

    There's so much momentum at first, almost an unrelentless drive to it. But then it backs off and shows us a rather introspective place. I guess I liked this piece so much because it sounds as much like jazz to me as it does classical.

    Thanks for sharing this one ... very cool!

    Frank

    (I read the comments (including yours) on the mixing: I found the overall level a bit low, but within the piece there seemed to be good dynamics).

  6. #6
    Senior Member rwayland's Avatar
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    Re: Pudding River (Piano)

    Well, Frank, I like your perceptiveness.

    I usually aim to hit hard in the opening to be sure of getting attention, and then again at the end to make sure the piece is remembered -- always leave them wanting more! You were quite right about the jazzy feel. That took a lot of work! Hard to get it in the music without overdoing it, or making it to rigid for jazz. To accomplish this, I attempted some of the technique of Frankie Carle. I think at least one of his pieces was used in every gig I ever had. For texture and structure, Mozart was my guide, and the counterpoint was mostly Bach inspired. Probably a bit of Gershwin influence here also. Actually, the massive cut contained much that was jazzy, but was nonetheless boring, so it vanished.

    Now isn't that more than you really wanted to know about the music?

    I thought the volume level might be a bit loud! Could be the difference in our equipment and settings.

    Richard

  7. #7

    Re: Pudding River (Piano)

    Quote Originally Posted by rwayland View Post
    ...I thought the volume level might be a bit loud! Could be the difference in our equipment and settings.

    Richard
    Hello again, Richard - Since I also thought the MP3 was low in volume, and had to turn my volume knob up for it to be at an optimum level, I hope you don't mind that I did a screenshot as a visual aid to demonstrate something.

    Volume in a recording is relative. A track has its softest point, and its loudest point. That establishes its particular volume scale. But, especially when a track is a single unit, and not part of a series of recordings where each track adds to the cumulative effect of the entire collection's volume - the available headroom, the entire scale of volume should be used.

    In this screenshot, the top track is your MP3 as it is in Box. I've pointed out that its peak volume is a low -7.6. The copy of your track below has had a bit of gentle compression applied, and then it was Normalized so it uses up the whole span of available volume, but still says a bit under the top volume of 0 db. You can see that same peak in the music is now at -0.1.

    You can also see that the majority of the original MP3 is at a very low level in comparison to the mastered version.

    The music sounds the same in both tracks, but the mastered version has been brought up so headroom isn't wasted and someone playing it back won't have to momentarily change his playback volume level.



    Randy

  8. #8
    Senior Member rwayland's Avatar
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    Re: Pudding River (Piano)

    Well now, the mp3 has been replaced. Levels should be okay now. The low levels were caused by my error, brought on by distractions.

    Richard

  9. #9
    Senior Member Frank D's Avatar
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    Re: Pudding River (Piano)

    Quote Originally Posted by rwayland View Post
    "... I attempted some of the technique of Frankie Carle. I think at least one of his pieces was used in every gig I ever had. For texture and structure, Mozart was my guide, and the counterpoint was mostly Bach inspired. Probably a bit of Gershwin influence here also. Actually, the massive cut contained much that was jazzy, but was nonetheless boring, so it vanished."

    Now isn't that more than you really wanted to know about the music?
    Hi Richard ... Not at all!! I loved all the information you just gave on your piece; this is great reference! Thank you for sharing this. I can't ask Frankie Carle or <name-your-favorite-musicians ... living or dead >, but I CAN ask forum members. Besides hearing all the wonderful music that's posted here, I've also been able to learn a lot about how that music has been created ... win-win.

    I was going to mention it (but forgot in my original post) that your piece also had a Raymond Scott quality to it ... but I think the Frankie Carle comparison is a good one.

    Frank

    PS: I know there are composers on this site that mention nothing about how they create their work, preferring to let their music simply speak for itself ... and I fully respect that tact. But I really do enjoy 'getting inside the mind of the creator'; hearing how he/she tackles the beast; the influences; the inspirations. Myself? Personally, since I post so little music, I always write a ton about my journey. I.E., check-out my "You Didn't Have To Be So Nice" ... notice, I do at least put the link early on and prominantly so you can just ignore the write-up convieniently!

  10. #10

    Re: Pudding River (Piano)

    Quote Originally Posted by rwayland View Post
    Well, I have not written for piano in a while. The situation is now rectified with this just finished "Pudding River"
    Notwithstanding that this piece is named after a real, live body of water, I'm actually wondering if you intended this to in any way be programmatic of Pudding River. Because while listening to it, I couldn't help but be reminded of how I feel when I hear a work like Smetana's 'The Moldau'. And when I listen to this music in a way in which I do allow the virtual water to flow through my mind, I feel like its taking me on a journey down a long, rollicking river. But I'm not a big fan of program music - I usually just ignore any program and simply listen - so I really like this piece regardless of what you intended...Pudding River water be damned...or not!

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