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For Victory! now with score video

Discussion in 'Critique & Feedback' started by Thomas Bryla, Jun 6, 2018.

  1. #1 Thomas Bryla, Jun 6, 2018
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2018
    Hey there,

    Just posted an orchestral track:

    score will be coming soon!

    UPDATE with score:
  2. Oh..... nice suit ! Dapper !!
    Alexander Schiborr likes this.
  3. Thanks!
  4. Nice sound.
    The opening 12 seconds have nothing to do with the rest of the piece; eliminate them or make them relevant. At 58 seconds your piece goes off the rails and descends into structural nonsense. You can never - ever - borrow this sort of timbre-shifting structure from other pieces without maintaining the contextual backbone it requires, which you have not. You have traded orchestration for composition - you're moving sounds, but you're not making music. It is not enough to borrow another's words - words are chosen for specific contexts, in specific places in specific sentences. Pull that apart and it's a lot of pleasant-and-vaguely-familiar stuff which adds up to nothing and destroys interest.

    Reduce this to playable, two-handed piano (I did, quickly transcribing it) and you'll see instantly that it makes no harmonic sense as soon as you start attempting the uber-sophisticated Williams stuff. It's just random and frustrating, and all this despite the fact that you dutifully attempted to maintain an orienting pattern. It is not enough - it is important, but it is not enough; not when you subject the listener to more than the occasional surprise. When every other bar requires the listener to just take your word for it because they could not possibly anticipate what you'll say, you lose the essential connection and core of engagement. I cannot stress enough that reducing this to playable two-handed piano is the simplest, fastest, most guaranteed way of exposing flaws in compositions - of revealing when we've tried to use orchestration in place of composition; using changes in sound to move something developmentally instead of changes in harmony. This is the dreaded trap of vertical development, and while it has its place and uses, can also obliterate what you're trying to do.

    Now go kill your baby. And let's work on the piano-reduced, true piece underneath. When that is tight, all these great colors and sounds will be in service of something infinitely more effective and inspiring. Trust me.
    Thomas Bryla likes this.
  5. The orchestrations and harmonies are pretty cool. I like the piece, it is very nice to listen to. Though I have a bit to admit that you need also to make sure to give the motifs a bit more of a meaning and structure. Like what is your main hook or motif. THere is a lot happening in your piece and you definitely move the orchestration around in a cool way. I can imagine that this is not easy to write in this idiom, so a lot of respect for the work you put into that piece so far. I think orchestrationally you do great while I think still the you can´t control the writing here that good. I couldn´t do that too, so Mikes advice is good: Do a piano reduction as this will help you to stay foccussed. If the piano makes sense without all that cool orchestrations then the chance is good that the piece sounds more coherent. But again: That is not easy here, maybe write "easier" stuff? Or mabye I am wrong and the piece is easy but the orchestration take the first role to impress..hmm, hard to say.
  6. I listened again a couple of times and it feels like that you put a lot of fancy orchestrational colors and little cliffhangers together, but they make not always sense just from a writing aspect, I think this is what you should be careful with ecspecially when you want to write this kind of super sophisticated stuff and before doing pseudo sophistication simply a bit..:D But man..cool piece still. What libraries did you use here for the winds and brass?
  7. Thanks for the reply and taking the time to listen, Mike. This has given me good suggestions on how to proceed!
  8. Thank you, Alexander. Again going back to Mike's comment, I can see you are also touching on the structural part of the piece.
  9. #9 Alexander Schiborr, Jun 7, 2018
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2018
    oh man, I think this is live right. My ears are impaired today maybe.
  10. @Thomas Bryla there are lots and lots of things to like about this track. You should feel very pleased with your accomplishment. The Budapest orchestra sounds great, very talented folks. And the mix could not be more perfect for my ears. I found the piece intriguing. You obviously have some serious orchestration chops, congratulations. I am very sure about all of the preceding comments, based on a lifetime of listening to and enjoying orchestral music.

    OK, now for stuff I am not as sure about. I am going through a sort of crisis of confidence in my own composing ability, and perhaps also my aesthetic judgment so keep that in mind. I really, really like the opening. It is so full of energy and a rich and wonderful orchestral sound. Personally, I wanted to hear this more than once.

    I do think the repetition of ideas is a key element in establishing the form and in maintaining a listeners attention. I just wrote a Brass Quintet in three movements, Sonata, Scherzo, and Fugue, so I try to be true to that belief in my own writing.

    With all of your skills, which are obviously very advanced, I do think that the piece would be EVEN STRONGER with a form that the listener can grab onto at first listening. I hear the opening motive, we can call that A, then a full theme that is closely related but not identical, we can call that B. Then a repeat of B with new orchestration, B'. Then we have a development mostly of the B motive, but a little bit of the A motive as well. The development section leads into a sort of climax and a short coda. I personally think your material is strong enough, and silly me, I like your harmonies. I would just like to hear a RECAPITULATION after the development. This could go at the end of the development and before the short coda. So then we would have ABB' Development of motives, AB coda. Yes, the length would increase and perhaps that makes it impractical. Anyway, I really enjoyed this track.
  11. Thank you for that thorough comment, Paul.

    What you talk about seems exactly what I'm asking about here: http://redbanned.com/threads/composing-books-exercises.420/#post-4826

    I know this is a place to develop for me so thanks for encouraging me!
    Paul T McGraw likes this.
  12. #12 Mike Verta, Jun 8, 2018
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2018
    Crisis of confidence is a wondrous place to be; it lies on the cusp of growth. It means you are being pushed out of familiar places into new territories. Our ego is a shackle which binds us to stagnation. So often we seek that which makes the ego feel better, rather than making the music better. We lean on things we've gotten positive feedback from, instead of finding greater accomplishments to be praised for. It is the discipline to seek out and take in that which we have the hardest time hearing, but it's the only way.

    Thomas has done much in the way of sounds, which will serve him well. If he gets a handle on what he's saying, the world will open. You too, Paul - Like Thomas, you have aspects in your composing which are at very disparate levels from other aspects and you must seek to bring them all to equal level. It's like neglecting one half of a compound muscle pair.

    This can be done and this is the place to do it. In both cases, you must reduce to the bare elements, which is depressing, but good news, because it means your issues aren't super complex; they're the basics - often overlooked, rarely mastered, absolutely invaluable. It's what separates good work from the infinite sea of attempts.

    I almost never critique on whether I "like" a piece or not - this is subjective and ultimately irrelevant. What we need, each of us, is control; control so that we can decided precisely what the effect on our audience is and when and make choices, versus being limited by our skill. It is almost always instantly obvious what a composer's control level is, and this is where their power and ability to control their destiny lies. It is this which I focus on - for myself, too - because it is what matters most, no matter what style of music we want to write. I've heard lots of things I liked which the composer ultimately lucked into; they're not entirely sure why it works; they can miss that target as often as hit it, etc. This is not control, this is ultimately panic-inducing chaos; frustrating precisely because of its success when it can't be repeated or understood.

    Stay. On. It.
  13. ^^^ Thanks Mike. I keep trying.
  14. I hear you Mike! Especially dealing with the ego – it's hard to find good places to hear this kind of critique!
  15. @Thomas Bryla
    I echo a number of statements here and think despite some structural issues I feel it's excellent work. The sound is top rate and as Mike said, with some consistency (which I feel could fit right on top of most of this), it would be truly awesome.

    @Paul T McGraw
    I hear you on a crisis of confidence! I feel like I can't put two measures together to please the critics, but that doesn't dissuade me from studying and trying! We'll get there!

    @Mike Verta
    That is a very logical thought on criticizing work. Take the emotion and subjectivity out of it and judge on the "facts". In some cases that has to be difficult - definitely one of the many reasons your a good instructor!
    Paul T McGraw and Thomas Bryla like this.
  16. Yes this is live
  17. Do you still plan to share your score? I really like and appreciate your score videos you published on youtube! :)
  18. Thanks for your comment, Amadeus! Yes I’m doing a score following video. However the more I do of them the more I want to include and make better videos. And for me it takes quite some time. I’ll post it here when it’s done :)
    Amadeus Pakmur likes this.
  19. Thank you very much, your efort ist much appreciated!

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