1. Didja accidentally blow through the whole, "We're using our real names" thing on registration? No problem, just send me (Mike) a Conversation message and I'll get you sorted, by which I mean hammered-into-obedient-line because I'm SO about having a lot of individuality-destroying, oppressive shit all over my forum.
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  2. You're only as good as the harshest criticism you're willing to hear.
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Next Unleashed class?

Discussion in 'Info, Requests, etc.' started by Marian Szewczyk, Oct 3, 2021.

  1. It wasn't necessarily as exciting to listen to but it was fantastic being able to focus on music rather than samples or production. There are so many other forums and places nauseatingly devoted to how things sound rather than music. I would love an edition dedicated to various instrument groups at some point, i.e. strings, brass, etc to practice writing idiomatically for those instrument groups, but that's likely a few years away assuming submitters improve on basics.

    That said, I do think writing a piece for a specific instrument group and labeling it as such while conforming to the 2-handed-piano rule would be a potentially beneficial thing in the future in order to avoid simply writing "piano songs", but that's up to the individual.
    David Healey likes this.
  2. #22 ed miller, Dec 20, 2021
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2021
    It would be interesting now for some to take those same pieces and orchestrate them.
  3. Haven't been able to see the whole thing yet because I had a busy weekend and well... I'm in France so I had to party and sleep!
    I watched like 4 or 5 hours so far, haven't seen my piece yet(hope I didn't fuck up when I sent it! Ican't wait to hear what you have to say about it @Mike Verta) but I must say that the way you review and criticize piece is as addictive as it was during the previous Unleashed(and masterclasses too!).
    Wonderful advices as always! And I really liked the "piano only" part of this edition!
  4. I agree, when I listened to previous Unleashed classes there were moments that felt like entertainment, especially when people submitted more unusual/outlandish pieces and we got to see Mike's reactions to them. Not that it's a bad thing.

    This year's Unleashed didn't have the same level of excitement but in terms of educational value it was just as informative, if not moreso. Definitely gives me motivation to get back to transcribing.
  5. #25 Leo Borruso, Dec 20, 2021
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2022
    Hi everyone, I only get the final part of Unleashed 7.
    Always thanks a lot to Mike for his precious suggestions.

    I agree with him when he said that a composition of real value conceived at the piano (and playable by a human with his 2 only hands), can acquire value or not when it is orchestrated.
    What I don't feel at ease with is thinking that a composition cannot be conceived directly for other instruments in the mind of its composer...
    I mean, if you try to listen to some Sciarrino works, just like, "Lo Spazio Inverso for Ensemble" you can easily understand that it doesn't make any sense if transposed or executed at the piano.


    On the other hand, I understand when Mike says the music should go to satisfy your "audible expectations".

    Only, that could be very difficult, for instance, when you deal with a composer just like Olivier Messiaen and its OISEAUX concerts (those are conceived for piano and of course executable by humans). Nice, but I challenge you to satisfy your audible expectations there.
    But, of course, you cannot have any doubt they are real masterpieces...

    I continuously study with my patient private masters, and from my modest point of view, I'm completely convinced that music is an "emotional deal" and its story and evolution demonstrate it.
    J.S. Bach was a perfect alien after the period of medieval music but after some time he was the perfection that anyone can aspire to.
    Now contemporary composers tend to turn a blind eye when they encounter some parallel 8th and 5th... and we can continue, dealing with jazz and so on...

    I know you can hate me, but I would like to know what do you think about it?
  6. I think the point is that if not directly conceived on piano, it would also *work* on piano. And the purpose of limiting submission was to strip the music down to the bare essentials.

    …but yeah there were some pieces submitted that contained material that was idiomatic for woodwinds, for example. I could totally see how they may have been conceived that way, but it still worked on piano.
    Rohann van Rensburg likes this.
  7. Another restriction you could add to reduce the number of submissions is to only allow forum members to submit. This might also cut out the trolling and people who submit multiple entries anonymously.
    Rohann van Rensburg likes this.
  8. At this stage of my life, I conceive of orchestrated instruments in proper balance and function despite working them out at the piano. I can translate between piano and instruments even when the ideas "don't work" on piano. It took me about 20 years to do this reliably.
    Leo Borruso and Stephen Limbaugh like this.
  9. I think there are likely few if any people who submit that would fall into that category quite honestly. There are a few on this forum who write often enough for live ensembles but I didn't get the impression most who submit are at that level.

    It would really be as easy as a person submitting "X piece for string quartet" or "Y piece for brass ensemble" in their piano submission IMO if they really wanted the designation, nothing would have to change about the new format.
    Marian Szewczyk likes this.
  10. I would argue that a piece written specifcially for piano is already "orchestrated" for piano. A held chord that will kill on strings or brass might not impress much on piano. I think pure piano is good to get a good idea of the structure of a piece, but I wouldn't judge purely on if it sounds "good" on piano. I could arguably come up with a lot of great film cues that would sound passable but not exactly engaging on pure piano. Basically all of Jerry Goldsmith and his long string-chords. Some Silvestri too. The left hand for his "Feather Theme" was written especially for piano, not orchestra.
  11. If your orchestrational target is a held chord for strings, you wouldn't approximate that by simply holding a chord on a piano. You'd do something to help it ring and sustain. Goldsmith's cues WERE written on piano. That's the point and essence of using piano as the composition tool - it forcefully brings into clarity the most important elements AND tells you most of what you need to know about orchestrating it.
    Stephen Limbaugh likes this.
  12. @Doug Gibson Has a great series on this on Vimeo, but that platform makes it damned near impossible to search for anything and find it easily.

    In any case, I think the "essence" of the idea is what's important to be played on piano. The problem is that the majority of people submitting to Unleashed and the like don't have those basics solidified, myself included. Most of the time what needs work isn't "orchestration" specifically (although it does need work), it's the coherence of the melody, the harmony, A and B sections, etc.
    Leo Borruso likes this.

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