Monday, April 6, 2009

The End

So today i presented for the last time! I had my piece almost completed, and when played was very well received by the class. This piece has come a long way in a short time. Some comments I received were:
-Consider giving the instruments more sustained notes
-switch up the repetitive sixteenth note figure in the flute line
-the time changes were great
-nice texture throughout
-interesting instrumentation that really seems to work very well together
I think all of these comments were great and definitely appreciated, i tried to incorporate some suggestions but because of a lack of time before the assignment is due i'll probably just keep these things in mind for future compositions!

I highly enjoyed being apart of the composition courses this year, it was a valuable learning experience which resulted in some pretty cool music!


Monday, March 30, 2009

"i carry your heart with me"

So today I presented my new composition for the class. It seemed to be well received.
Some suggestions were:
- to add a tonal section as contrast (which I am considering)
- perhaps add the instruments over top of the vocal line in short durations so it won't take attention from the voice.
-maybe try switching roles between the winds and the voices
Everyone seemed to like my odd choice of ensemble as well.

I really like what i'm doing with this piece and I can't wait to see what else I can do with it.


Sunday, March 29, 2009

Something new...again...

So after a lot of thought and frustration I decided that I didn't really have enough time to complete my concert band piece, edit it, and edit parts all in time for a concert band reading. So as much as I love the idea, I am going to be putting it on the back burner to do another piece for a chamber group that i am able complete to my satisfaction.
I picked a poem by E.E. Cummings "I carry your heart with me" and decided to compose for Tenor, Bass, Horn, Flute & Clarinet. It is turning out to be rather atonal but I really like what I have so far. Using vocals I know it will be easier to know where to end, but it is still a challenge as I am not composing for something other the a brass ensemble, which is my comfort zone.
I'll be presenting what I have tomorrow and I am hoping that it is acceptable!


Monday, March 16, 2009

Odysseus's Perils

So as I presented today I am using book 12 of the odyssey as inspiration for this assignment. This poem by Homer is divided into 24 seperate books with number 12 being Odysseus's encounter with the sirens, scylla and charybdis. The sirens are creatures whose song is the most beautiful sound that entices anyone who hears it. Scylla is six headed creature that eats sailors and Charybdis is a creature that sucks the ocean water, creating a whirlpool, that drags down unsuspecting ships. Now that I have finally decided on a concrete idea, and have settled on concert band I am alot more excited about this project.

My ideas were well received and I also had some great comments, such as:
-develop the pentachord further, such as expanding the range
-could fade the pentachord figure out or layer on top with different tonalities
-should start developing the theme for the sirens, decide whether to be pretty or quite the opposite representing the evilness of the sirens
-bring in the siren song slowly, hint at it over the moving line, as if it is in the distant
These are all great ideas and I look forward to further development of my composition!


Sunday, March 15, 2009

Why can't I make up my mind?!

So since last monday I have totally changed my mind once again! I have scrapped my idea for brass & percussion ensemble, and have also decided against using Wilfred Owen's poem (maybe I will come back to this at another time but it isn't really what i want to do for this assignment) Now I am going to revert back to my original choice of concert band. I know time is really cutting close, but I am determined to do this!
When I am composing I find it really helpful to have something that can inspire, and direct me in the process. Coming up with an idea this time has been quite the challenge but I think I finally have something I can work with, which I will be explaining in class tomorrow.
I am finding this assignment particularly frustrating in comparison to the others, maybe its because of all the other work I have to do along with this course or the lack of time/ideas, either way i'm glad I at least have a direction now. Hopefully this one sticks!


Monday, March 9, 2009


So originally for this next project I was planning on composing for concert band, but now that is gone out the window! I've been trying to figure out what to do but became extremly stuck. After trying to come up with an inspiration I decided to use a poem by my favorite WWI poet Wilfred Owen - "Dulce et Decorum est". To support the very descriptive and powerful nature of the poem I decided to use a brass ensemble ( 3 trumpets, 4 horns, Euphonium, 3 trombones and tuba) along with percussion. I will have someone reading the poem, seperated into 3 parts, over top of a drone and perhaps a drum roll, with music developing between each reading. My ideas were well received in class and it was suggested to lean towards atonality (which i totally agree with!) because the poem calls for it, and to also use more militarisitc elements particularly in the percussion (which I also intend on doing, lots of drum rolls etc.) Hopefully over the next week I am able to come up with something I like!


Thursday, February 26, 2009

Now on to something new...

First of all I'd like to wish everyone luck on the concert tomorrow night, i'm sure it will be great!!!

It's really nice to have the first assignment finished with a resulting work that I am very happy about, but this means I now have to start assignment number 2. After thinking it over I definitely want to attept a piece for concert band. I know that there is a lot of work to it but I think i'm up for the challenge. Plus the GCB TerraNova program competition is a very good incentive! I have many years of concert band experience and I hope that this will transfer itself into my composition. I'm still thinking over some ideas for this project but I hope that over the weekend I can get something started.