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Topic: Pure Passion

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  1. #1

    Pure Passion and The Depressed Bassoon

    This is one of those compositions that I thought I would never post here until I completely finished the work with Garritan samples and the score in Finale, but since everyone is sharing their ways before Garritan I thought I would share also. This work will give you an insight on how I used to compose using my Kurzweil Mark 10 digital piano. I have told some of you that I hear music in my head 24/7 even in my sleep. My biggest fear in music is not writer's block, but getting it all down before my time is up on this earth.

    I compose most of my work while being alone in church and normally at night. I know it sounds terribly artistic and corny, but it is true. In the past I would improvise what I heard in my head on the Kurzweil with the record button on. There are 8 tracks that I could layer the sounds, and I only used the sounds from the Kurzweil. After I completed the improvisation, if I like it I would work the "math" on staff paper adding additional instruments which I heard in my head. I would take the staff paper, redo the score in Finale, and then find live players to perform the work in concert. This is how I worked for years because I always knew that I could get live players for my work so the recordings were just for me like a blueprint to work from not a completed composition to ever be heard live. I literally have hours upon hours of me composing recorded live, and it is fun to go back and hear how the work has changed over the years.

    So here is a "blueprint" of a work that will one day be the finale entitled "Pure Passion" to my requiem "In Remembrance." It's not in its finished form but you can still get an idea what the finished work will sound like. All of the tracks were recorded just one time in one take. What you hear is what I composed at that time and all of the sounds came from the Kurzweil digital piano.

    Here's the program notes:
    "Pure Passion," scored for orchestra, is the finale of the large-scaled work "In Remembrance, an American Requiem." The term "American Requiem" does not mean "for Americans," but means "composed by an American" giving homage to Johannes Brahms's "German Requiem." Some would also dub this work "The Money Trumpet Concerto" since it features the emotional range of the instrument from gentle compassion to extreme epic majestica, but the entire range of the brass family, including: flugelhorn, horn, trombone, bass trombone, euphonium, and tuba, is also explored throughout the piece through pure, unadulterated power. Out of the haunting enchantment of "The Garden of Love" the listener has a since that Death is resolute and the end of our journey, but "Pure Passion" comforts us in declaring, "Death is only the beginning." Lasting around 7 minutes and featuring 7 different instruments of the brass family, "Pure Passion" is dived up into 7 sections following one's life from their Earthly Mother to their Heavenly Father. This requiem was not composed for just the memory of one soul, but to all the loved ones who are so dearly missed and made a lasting impact on all our lives.

    Listening Guide to the music with the pictures:

    1. Earthly Mother (pictures: night, as one sleeps and not yet awaken)
    2. Birth and the pure innocence of childhood (sky opening up to the pureness of snow)
    3. Adulthood and true love (Tree of Life and shimmering, vivid colors)
    4. Passing away (sunset to night. Note: the birds throughout the pictures represent guardian angels with us even through the passing of Death. Also note that in the very first picture with the woman, a bird sits on top of the tree.)
    5. Time of reflection, remembrance, and the immersing soul from the entrapment of the body (blue pictures representing reflection and waves representing the rushing freedom of the soul)
    6. The soul rising ("Discovering Eden," mountains, sky, and beyond)
    7. Heavenly Father ("Hand of God and of Ours")

    ~Rod

  2. #2

    Re: Pure Passion

    Hi, Rodney - It really is great that as a group we decided to loosen the LR rules up a bit. It's always appreciated to hear works realized with Garritan Libraries, but it's also interesting to hear what members have done with other sound sources too - especially when archived works from years past are shared. So, I'm glad you now felt comfortable about posting this.

    This certainly has your sensibility stamped all over it. You have a unique voice that comes through loud and clear. This piece has a really pleasant un-rushed, improvisational feel to it as it leisurely explores and winds around the tone centers. Big and grand too, of course, in keeping with your entire "In Remembrance."

    It's fun to hear the Kurzweil also - It has a distinctly bright, ringing tone to it. I can sure remember the days when I pined over not being able to have one for myself.

    Very lovely, Rod - thanks very much for putting it up for us.

    Randy

  3. #3

    Re: Pure Passion

    Rod: I agree with Randy--very lovely. Such a wide range of emotions! I wonder if this will sound different with Garritan samples.
    Arthur J. Michaels
    https://www.facebook.com/composerarthurjmichaels

    Finale 2000 through Finales 25.4 (currently using Finale 25.4)
    Garritan COMB2, GPO4, GPO5, Audacity 2.1.3
    Core i7 860 @ 2.80 GHz, 8.0 GB RAM, Windows 10 Home Premium x64
    Dell 2408 WFP, 1920x1200
    M-Audio Delta Audiophile 2496
    M-Audio AV-40 monitors

  4. #4

    Re: Pure Passion

    Quote Originally Posted by rbowser- View Post
    Hi, Rodney - It really is great that as a group we decided to loosen the LR rules up a bit. It's always appreciated to hear works realized with Garritan Libraries, but it's also interesting to hear what members have done with other sound sources too - especially when archived works from years past are shared. So, I'm glad you now felt comfortable about posting this.

    This certainly has your sensibility stamped all over it. You have a unique voice that comes through loud and clear. This piece has a really pleasant un-rushed, improvisational feel to it as it leisurely explores and winds around the tone centers. Big and grand too, of course, in keeping with your entire "In Remembrance."

    It's fun to hear the Kurzweil also - It has a distinctly bright, ringing tone to it. I can sure remember the days when I pined over not being able to have one for myself.

    Very lovely, Rod - thanks very much for putting it up for us.

    Randy
    Thanks Randy for stopping by and listening to a non-Garritan work. This is one of those works that I dream of the day hearing it performed live, but there are so many projects that I feel that I need to complete first. If there is one work that is going to be "me" this will be it. The way you described the work is perfect, (and I always want my works to sound like my own voice,) It's like you were there when I was playing it. And like I said earlier, this is just a blueprint or outline to go by. The finish project will be much richer, with percussion accents, and more colorful, mature orchestration and harmony, but that will be in time. Maybe I am just scared of messing this work up because it means so much to me. I have never been nervous about working on anything, but this work always haunts my dreams and even intimidates me for some odd reason... and then I go work on something else.

    Has anyone else ever felt that way about a work?
    ~Rod

  5. #5

    Re: Pure Passion

    As you probably might know, I'm fond of big orchestras and largely elaborated scores. Your Remembrance filled me with joy. Hearing such a building-up improvisation (I assume it's a one take as you say) displays so much emotion and clearly stated consideration about the direction of the piece. It's nice that you explain what you had in mind, but the music 'goes without saying'.

    Thank you for sharing it with us. And I hope you will work it out one day.

    Max

  6. #6

    Re: Pure Passion

    Decided to listen to this before logging off for the night. I liked this piece and I can understand you not wanting to mess around with it. My favorite part is 5. Time of reflection, the build up to the waves was fabulous. Do you see pictures in your head as you are composing?

    Thank you for posting this.

    (As a foot note) I've always liked the Windows picture of the jetty, it is my permanent desktop background.
    yjoh

    Music... A Joy For Life.

  7. #7

    Re: Pure Passion

    Quote Originally Posted by Max Hamburg View Post
    As you probably might know, I'm fond of big orchestras and largely elaborated scores. Your Remembrance filled me with joy. Hearing such a building-up improvisation (I assume it's a one take as you say) displays so much emotion and clearly stated consideration about the direction of the piece. It's nice that you explain what you had in mind, but the music 'goes without saying'.

    Thank you for sharing it with us. And I hope you will work it out one day.

    Max
    Thank you for stopping by Max, and I am happy to hear that you enjoyed the work. Yes it was simply an improvisation. Picture this: one late Saturday night, all the lights off in the church except for one on my piano, and then just played the tracks one by one. I started with blending a string and low and mellow brass sound (tuba, euphonium, horns, etc.) then I played the trumpet lines, trombones, add some light percussion for accents, and that's all it was. Thank you btw for saying the music speaks for itself.
    ~Rod

  8. #8

    Re: Pure Passion

    Quote Originally Posted by yjoh View Post
    Decided to listen to this before logging off for the night. I liked this piece and I can understand you not wanting to mess around with it. My favorite part is 5. Time of reflection, the build up to the waves was fabulous. Do you see pictures in your head as you are composing?

    Thank you for posting this.

    (As a foot note) I've always liked the Windows picture of the jetty, it is my permanent desktop background.
    When I compose I feel more than see the pictures. I feel the notes, the expressions, see the chords, the instruments, and the overall form. Most of all though, I am playing to my God. I was just wanting to play the journey of the soul and out this came. Later some of my friends wanted to hear a preview of this requiem that I have been talking about for years, so I found the pictures that best completed the mood to give them something to look at in youtube and facebook land. Later though, I do not make anymore videos cause my best friend Dan told me that my music explains itself and doesn't need them. Very cool about the jetty! Thank you for sharing.

    BTW for everyone out there: the picture of the huge mountain around the 2 minute mark is where I live. It's called Pilot Mountain.
    ~Rod

  9. #9

    Re: Pure Passion

    Quote Originally Posted by gogreen1 View Post
    Rod: I agree with Randy--very lovely. Such a wide range of emotions! I wonder if this will sound different with Garritan samples.
    Oh I know it would sound so much better than the Kurweil's tech which was ca. 1990's. With Garritan, there would be even more expression and realism. Garritan's GPO4 is the reason I decided to retire using the sounds from the digital piano.
    ~Rod

  10. #10

    Re: Pure Passion


    Here's another improv that I named "The Depressed Bassoon." It's basically just 2 tracks: strings and double reeds and percussion. WARNING: some of the pictures are very dark.
    ~Rod

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