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Aaron Venture - Sustineo

Discussion in 'Critique & Feedback' started by Aaron Venture, Jun 12, 2019.

  1. #1 Aaron Venture, Jun 12, 2019
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2019
    Hey folks! It's been a while since I posted a piece here (it's been a while since I finished a piece actually). I've just finished this one. It's a short lyrical piece for a brass ensemble. This took me 3 afternoons, I'm pretty rusty (last year has been mostly transcribing, listening to a lot of classical music and just writing out themes in my downtime, just enough to not fall out of the game entirely).

    I didn't want this piece to be too long (it's a demo). I also realized this morning that the initial four notes are very similar to Holst's Venus opening, but eh, it wasn't my intention to steal and after that it goes in a completely separate direction so I decided against scrapping the entire thing :oops:

    I'd love to hear everyone's opinion on the composition and improve the piece as much as possible. Fire away!

    EDIT: Re-uploaded, was missing the last couple of seconds. Oops!
  2. Beautiful work Aaron. The thematic material and harmonic progression are very good. I would suggest adding a counter melody and/or a rhythmic element after the first statement of your theme. Congratulations on getting back to composing.
    Aaron Venture likes this.
  3. Thanks, Paul! My biggest gripe was finding the roles and limiting the orchestration for the instruments, as I've never written for brass only. So many times I wished for violins or a flute, hah. I'll experiment with your advice and see what I can get.

    I also just re-uploaded the piece, it was missing the last couple of seconds. Even my soundcloud usage is rusty!
    Paul T McGraw likes this.
  4. Aaron!

    Finally, we get to hear some of your music again. Excellent job. Nice, short and sweet. Melody was great. I love the overall build and arc, nice crescendo in dynamic to the climax.

    My biggest complaint and maybe others will disagree, it sounds too piano like? In the sense that -- it's very chordal in the left side of things and melodic in the right. I heard some things in the lower registers but it still felt more like a piano then a brass piece if that makes sense?

    It's a bit stagnant rhythmically -- I think Pauls suggestion is perfect to help bring some forward momentum. Even in slower pieces we still need motion. I'll preach my man Tchaikovsky again, a little syncopation = Forward momentum. At 1:48, you could do something like this to your supporting harmony to give a little rhythmic variation and forward momentum. You don't even need to accent or staccato these rhythmic pulses because you could just have a soft rearticulation of breath or change in bow direction. Meaning they work well at soft dynamics just as well as loud. (Just a place to show my point, not saying you needed it at that specific moment, especially since adding forward momentum to the ending you had could be counter-intuitive to your idea/ending).

    upload_2019-6-12_22-40-59.png or upload_2019-6-12_22-57-12.png
    (I hope I transcribed the right notes... :confused:)

    Remember the Romeo & Juliet Overture? Tchaikovsky does this with the strings during the development. No accent, it's just bow changing.

    Does the same syncopation with the winds now in the powerful ending of this piece.


    I'm not sure if this would help or hinder you, but 4 part chorale writing is something I was thinking about when listening to certain parts of your piece. Have you thought about that or experimenting with 4-part voices/counterpoint?

    I'm more than confident everything I said you're already aware of. Glad you're de-rusting those composition skills and getting back on the writing sprees! Excellent job. I liked the piece. :D
  5. Hi maaann,

    Long time no music post from you here so thats great to see. Took a quick first impression and listen to the choral piece. Overall I like it. Vibe is nice. Would it be an idea to flip parts? I feel like and maybe thats a dumb idea but just from my first impression to move the part 1:48 min and glue it after 48 seconds part as a nice contrasting b-section before going back and adding normal part at 48 seconds and moving on as you did? One other thing: 1:35 min there is a clash of tone. Probably done intentionally..but then overthink either your chord voicing or orchestration. Hope my ears are not to deaf from metal but that are my suggestions.
    Dillon DeRosa and Aaron Venture like this.
  6. That's completely reasonable, as I compose on a piano and since I've never really written a piece quite like this and my piano playing isn't all too good, it's a pretty blocky sketch.
    Alright, I'll give it a try. I've already incorporated Paul's advice into the 2-bar space after the first statement of the theme, it ties in pretty nicely into the C that comes in at right before the theme starts again. I can't believe I actually missed that, it's so obvious! This'll probably turn some lightbulbs on as well.
    I have not. I've never actually delved deep into that subject. Got any recommendations on where to start?

    Thanks a lot for the comments! I'm glad you like it, means that I'm not too far gone :D

    I've just tried it out on the piano and am not really able to make it work. That final statement is basically the theme, just going downwards, and it's a bit too wistful to put in there in the middle. At least that's how it's all in my head; it's all fresh, in a few days I just might realize what you were on to exactly.

    Yeah, it gets a bit clustery there for a second. It's a C and a Db in trumpets rubbing against a Bmaj7 chord below. If I move that C up so that trumpets are only doing the Db before passing that C before moving down to Bb, it just doesn't have the same bite to my ears. https://www.dropbox.com/s/e2h6rn6aooazvfy/Sustineo 35 - 38.mp3?dl=0
    Dillon DeRosa likes this.


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