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Topic: Second movement of new solo flute piece

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  1. #1

    Second movement of new solo flute piece

    Hi, Here is the second of my Three Preludes, titled: Such blue sky! Such blue waters! Today is indeed one of those days in Down East Maine. Clear blue sky and a depth of blue in the waters of the bay that is almost painful.

    This one is an homage to the Japanese style of composing for the shakuhachi (an extremely expressive bamboo flute). I used the GPO4 Flute solo KS. Also, first time doing pitch bends and fluttertonguing.

    The link to the Mp3: https://www.box.com/s/l5q8847heex5s0r8midj

    Comments are welcome. I'm still unsure about reverb (but I'm not going to stress about it) - I wound up using 18% stereo stage, Traditional Symphonic Concert Hall convolution effect (about a 2:00 level, with about a 3:00 send level in the Aria mixer).

    Thanks, John
    John Newell
    www.johnnewellmusic.com
    GPO4, Garritan World Instruments, Digital Performer 7.24, Finale 2012, Miroslav Philharmonik

  2. #2

    Re: Second movement of new solo flute piece

    Again, John, this is absolutely magical flute music. Not at all easy to perform (technically to produce a neat and clean tone (very high, big jumps, staccato/legato... But so beautiful. I would dare to put it next to Debussy's Syrinx.

    But I have a few questions though. Why do you use all these changing time signatures? Wouldn't it be easier to omit them simply and work without bars?
    And a second question (but this issue can be due to the recording): instead of the unmeasured tremolos, I would prefer the 'sung' notes: it sounds great singing a fourth/fifth lower/higher than the played note, that creates overtones which are very interesting in such a piece. The tremolos sound a bit harsh, rude in comparison with the surrounding notes (recording?).

    But it is a very, very good flute composition indeed and your choice of the virtual instrument is excellent. It is hardly possible to tell the difference with a real flute. Nice reference to the Japanese bamboo flute as well (in your music).

    BTW: How did you do the pitch bend?

    Thanks for the great piece again.

    Max

  3. #3

    Re: Second movement of new solo flute piece

    Hi John,

    I found this to be hauntingly beautiful. The only bit I found a little on the shrill side was around 1.28 with the highest notes.
    I liked the flutter tonguing in the higher registers more so than the lower which sounded a bit rough to my ears.

    A lovely piece. thank you for posting this, I love the oriental, peaceful feel to the whole piece.
    yjoh

    Music... A Joy For Life.

  4. #4

    Re: Second movement of new solo flute piece

    Quote Originally Posted by Max Hamburg View Post
    Again, John, this is absolutely magical flute music. Not at all easy to perform (technically to produce a neat and clean tone (very high, big jumps, staccato/legato... But so beautiful. I would dare to put it next to Debussy's Syrinx.

    But I have a few questions though. Why do you use all these changing time signatures? Wouldn't it be easier to omit them simply and work without bars?
    And a second question (but this issue can be due to the recording): instead of the unmeasured tremolos, I would prefer the 'sung' notes: it sounds great singing a fourth/fifth lower/higher than the played note, that creates overtones which are very interesting in such a piece. The tremolos sound a bit harsh, rude in comparison with the surrounding notes (recording?).

    But it is a very, very good flute composition indeed and your choice of the virtual instrument is excellent. It is hardly possible to tell the difference with a real flute. Nice reference to the Japanese bamboo flute as well (in your music).

    BTW: How did you do the pitch bend?

    Thanks for the great piece again.

    Max
    Thanks for your comments Max! I worked with a very fine flutist, Suzanne Gilchrist, who was extremely helpful with suggestions about how to realize more fully my intent.

    Fluttertongue (tremolo) is used quite often in shakuhachi music. Yes, I'm not completely happy with how they came out. A real flutist would be able to let the sound grow into fluttertongue. I'll work more on that. Actually, the harshness in contrast to "gentleness" is part of the shakuhachi tradition. There is so much pain in the beauty. I haven't experimented with sung notes with flute, but I'll give that a try as well.

    I drew in the pitch bends in my sequencer, and spent a lot of time experimenting with it. I know you can use a keyboard to do the pitch bends but I find that awkward and I would still have to correct/refine them in the sequencer.

    As for the changing meters, it may just be my preference. In a solo works such as this it may not be necessary. I'm also a performer, and I love counting. Having a meter seems to help one to shape the phrase, I think. Each measure sets up the next downbeat. Often, actually, I will write out a passage without meter at first and then add in the barlines. I'll do that in chamber and orchestral works as well.

    John
    John Newell
    www.johnnewellmusic.com
    GPO4, Garritan World Instruments, Digital Performer 7.24, Finale 2012, Miroslav Philharmonik

  5. #5

    Re: Second movement of new solo flute piece

    Quote Originally Posted by yjoh View Post
    Hi John,

    I found this to be hauntingly beautiful. The only bit I found a little on the shrill side was around 1.28 with the highest notes.
    I liked the flutter tonguing in the higher registers more so than the lower which sounded a bit rough to my ears.

    A lovely piece. thank you for posting this, I love the oriental, peaceful feel to the whole piece.
    Thanks jhoh! Yes, the high B's can be quite shrill, but often shakuhachi music will do that. Getting an acoustic balance though using reverb is still something I'm working on. I'll take another listen on some other speakers and experiment. Thanks for pointing that out.

    John
    John Newell
    www.johnnewellmusic.com
    GPO4, Garritan World Instruments, Digital Performer 7.24, Finale 2012, Miroslav Philharmonik

  6. #6

    Re: Second movement of new solo flute piece

    Quote Originally Posted by John Newell View Post
    Thanks for your comments Max! I worked with a very fine flutist, Suzanne Gilchrist, who was extremely helpful with suggestions about how to realize more fully my intent.

    Fluttertongue (tremolo) is used quite often in shakuhachi music. Yes, I'm not completely happy with how they came out. A real flutist would be able to let the sound grow into fluttertongue. I'll work more on that. Actually, the harshness in contrast to "gentleness" is part of the shakuhachi tradition. There is so much pain in the beauty. I haven't experimented with sung notes with flute, but I'll give that a try as well.

    I drew in the pitch bends in my sequencer, and spent a lot of time experimenting with it. I know you can use a keyboard to do the pitch bends but I find that awkward and I would still have to correct/refine them in the sequencer.

    As for the changing meters, it may just be my preference. In a solo works such as this it may not be necessary. I'm also a performer, and I love counting. Having a meter seems to help one to shape the phrase, I think. Each measure sets up the next downbeat. Often, actually, I will write out a passage without meter at first and then add in the barlines. I'll do that in chamber and orchestral works as well.

    John
    I do understand your point of view as to the barlines, but to be released from the rigidity of a measure meter (as to rubato or free playing) it could be helpful to leave the barlines out. But you certainly have a point as well.

    Max

  7. #7

    Re: Second movement of new solo flute piece

    Quote Originally Posted by Max Hamburg View Post
    I do understand your point of view as to the barlines, but to be released from the rigidity of a measure meter (as to rubato or free playing) it could be helpful to leave the barlines out. But you certainly have a point as well.

    Max
    A real flutist would certainly "get" the piece without barlines. What's interesting is that when I created the digital performance in my sequencer I played the piece without a click track. Then I spent a lot of time stretching the beats and adjusting the length of the breath marks in the conductor track. The MIDI performance is quite rubato, and I have to stop myself from going back to often to make further minor adjustments! Let it be. That's one of the beauties of a real time performance on a real instrument.

    John
    John Newell
    www.johnnewellmusic.com
    GPO4, Garritan World Instruments, Digital Performer 7.24, Finale 2012, Miroslav Philharmonik

  8. #8

    Re: Second movement of new solo flute piece

    Sounds like it is coming together nicely. The reverb setting and level sounds fine as far as my tastes are concerned.

  9. #9

    Re: Second movement of new solo flute piece

    Quote Originally Posted by John Newell View Post
    A real flutist would certainly "get" the piece without barlines. What's interesting is that when I created the digital performance in my sequencer I played the piece without a click track. Then I spent a lot of time stretching the beats and adjusting the length of the breath marks in the conductor track. The MIDI performance is quite rubato, and I have to stop myself from going back to often to make further minor adjustments! Let it be. That's one of the beauties of a real time performance on a real instrument.

    John
    Right you are!

    Max

  10. #10

    Re: Second movement of new solo flute piece

    Quote Originally Posted by Max Hamburg View Post
    And a second question (but this issue can be due to the recording): instead of the unmeasured tremolos, I would prefer the 'sung' notes: it sounds great singing a fourth/fifth lower/higher than the played note, that creates overtones which are very interesting in such a piece. The tremolos sound a bit harsh, rude in comparison with the surrounding notes (recording?).
    Please explain this. Sung notes against tremolos......

    Raymond

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