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The Soul Awakens-Clarinet Concerto
Last post Sun, Aug 26 2018 by William, 29 replies.
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Posted on Mon, Jul 16 2018 01:16
by Acclarion
Joined on Sat, Aug 15 2015, Canada, Eh!, Posts 378

Hi all,

It's been a good week.  Calgary Phil. members performed Whisper in the Wind a few days ago; today, Detroit Opera Orchestra members performed 2 pieces, and best of all, I put the finishing touches on my clarinet concerto. 

It's in 3 movements, and I've provided separate links to each.  It really benefits from listening to the whole thing, but it is 20 minutes so...

I do hope you'll enjoy and look forward to hearing your thoughts!

The Soul Awakens Movement 1

The Soul Awakens Movement 2

The Soul Awakens Movement 3

Cheers!

Dave

www.dearvillainmusic.com - music for live performance by David Carovillano

www.acclarion.ca - concert accordion & clarinet duo
Posted on Mon, Jul 16 2018 11:59
by crusoe
Joined on Sat, Dec 26 2009, Posts 79

Hi Acclarion,

firstly, congratulations on getting your pieces performed (hopefully, they did their job well)!

This is a very accomplished piece of music. The textures, the composition, the clarinet part were top-notch. I liked the second part, where the long notes (on the strings) play the harmony, and clarinet dances around them playfully. I pictured a meadow with a girl gathering flowers and dancing to the wind. Gosh, I think this sounds like a stereotype.

This form (a woodwind concerto), in fact, is a very good match for VSL samples, in my opinion, since it puts a very well-sounding solo instrument in front of everything else and thus elevates the whole rendition to its quality.

Really not much to crticize from every perspective. The orchetral hits were a bit too "in your face", maybe, I'd expect them to "sit" a bit further in the scene, as do in fact the majority of drums, from what I'm hearing.

One question from a somewhat under-educated person. There are (in your rendition) relatively long uninterrupted passages played by clarinet, which, to my understanding, must be sometimes interspersed with pauses sufficient for a player to inhale. For example, in the part 3 starting from 3:30 there are 3 or 4 sentences span 10 seconds or so. How hard those passages are for a real player? Sometimes it seemed to me the pauses between the phrases were quite short. There's also one such passage at 3:50 that sounded as if played by two clarinets somehow - not sure why I got this feeling - maybe the last one in the upward movement overlaps with the next one?

Posted on Mon, Jul 16 2018 17:25
by Acclarion
Joined on Sat, Aug 15 2015, Canada, Eh!, Posts 378
Thank you for your detailed reply. Glad you enjoyed it, Crusoe!
To answer your questions: First, the piece doesn't require the clarinetist to circular breathe (although, it probably would help, lol) Actually, it's phrased such that a clarinetist would shorten the length of longer notes, or take quick snatch breaths as appropriate. Like anything, familiarity with the music will allow the clarinetist to find spots within the phrases to get air. It's no more difficult than many clarinet excerpts an orchestral clarinetist would learn (Beethoven's Pastorale, Capriccio Espagnol, Daphnis and Chloe, Mid Summer Night's Dream, etc.)
The passage at 3:50 is doubled in the trumpets and horns at that point, "colouring" the sound and giving that illusion.
Thanks again for listening! I suspect I won't get many listens to such a long piece, so I definitely appreciate your willingness to see it through.
All the best,
Dave
www.dearvillainmusic.com - music for live performance by David Carovillano

www.acclarion.ca - concert accordion & clarinet duo
Posted on Mon, Jul 16 2018 17:36
by crusoe
Joined on Sat, Dec 26 2009, Posts 79

Thanks for the explanation!

Quote:
The passage at 3:50 is doubled in the trumpets and horns at that point

I will re-listen to this part on a more decent pair of headphones, didn't figure this out.

On the subject of length... when a listener that is not captivated by a piece, any more than 30 seconds is too long already :) So... it does deserve attention at the very very least as an example of the VSL samples put to use. 

Posted on Mon, Jul 16 2018 18:56
by tchampe
Joined on Wed, Apr 25 2018, Posts 14

Dave,

I've been anxious to hear this piece...I'll wait until I get home this evening (after a summer band concert) so I can give it my full attention. Congratulations on the performances! Were you able to attend the concerts? Did you go up to Calagary to hear WITW or were the performers down in your parts? Did you get good recordings? Enquiring (or perhaps nosey) minds want to know. Always interested in your musical adventures.

Tom

Posted on Mon, Jul 16 2018 23:11
by Acclarion
Joined on Sat, Aug 15 2015, Canada, Eh!, Posts 378

Wow!  Anticipation for a piece of mine?  I've made it :) lol

Seriously, Tom, I really appreciate that you're going to take the time to listen.  To answer your questions, I attended yesterday's performance in a nearby city and did get a recording.  It was well attended and they definitely put emotion in to the pieces, albeit they're still far removed from the technical excellence we're afforded through midi.  The performance in Calgary I didn't attend, but the musicians emailed saying they'll get the recording to me soon, and that it went very well and was much better attended than they anticipated.  I'm looking forward to getting it and may be able to share it here.

How was the band concert?  Were you performing/attending?

All the best,

Dave

www.dearvillainmusic.com - music for live performance by David Carovillano

www.acclarion.ca - concert accordion & clarinet duo
Posted on Tue, Jul 17 2018 09:21
by mh-7635
Joined on Wed, Aug 04 2004, Posts 177

Hi Dave,

First off, congratulations on the live performances, I hope you post them somewhere.

Secondly, congratulations on writing an extended work like this, it is not easy and takes some commitment (in your case a few days........).

Although it started off very beautifully indeed, I can't decide on the first mvt (listened 3 times). Perhaps this is because there is almost too much invention in your writing/scoring - not a bad thing, but perhaps a less mercurial approach would benefit your thinking in longer forms and extended line. On the other hand, there where some lovely moments and interesting scoring so it just my own personal approach to composition that colours my judgement which is irrelevant and can be safely ignored.

EDIT... on the 3rd lsten, it did start to hang together as the ideas became a little more familiar, so perhaps I am being a little unfair here. It sounded remarkably English in places too for some reason.

The 2nd mvt. had a more  continuous feel for me and was better for it. I felt it had a nice emotional arc - very beautiful in many places with a nice restraint in the harmony and scoring that didn't make it cloying. Nice to hear too that it had more quirky moments.

The 3rd is the best for me with some lovely contrasted writing and bitey (is that a word?), Poulenc/Stravinsky-ish ideas. I loved the cycle of 5ths that popped up. This mvt. worked best imo because there was a more obvious, consistent, prolonged musical thought process in play, which helped comprehension even on a first listen.

Part of the mix sounded a little out of balance to my ears, especially the percussion (timp especially) which were too far back and lacked depth - sometimes, the timbre (dynamic?) of the timp didn't feel right for the space and level I was hearing. Dynamically too, I feel you could have pushed crescendos (and dims too) more in places for more effect as it feels somewhat in the middle dynamically for most of the time. Did you programme any rubato or subtle tempo fluctuation?

OK, some reservations, but some lovely moments too. There are definitely more musical effects to be had with the programming but the piece is a very enjoyable and in places, moving one and I should imagine would be a nice experience to learn and perform. If your wife records it, I would advise re-visiting the midi to eke out as much expression as you can....the work deserves it.

Posted on Tue, Jul 17 2018 13:35
by Acclarion
Joined on Sat, Aug 15 2015, Canada, Eh!, Posts 378

Hi Mike,

I'm honoured to have such a detailed, thought-provoking assessment of my piece.  I will admit, I didn't study/pursue composition (my background is in performance) because I knew I'd make a terrible student, as I'd be distraught to hear criticism from teachers and reluctant to shape my music according to their tastes...a process that took many of my friends that did pursue composition and fundamentally alter their style, especially when working with strong-willed instructors determined to churn out versions of themselves.  Basically, by not pursuing composition formally, I feel I've liberated myself to write according to my whims, utilizing my instincts, logic, and skills acquired through a lifetime of music study, but removed from any obligation to analyze and study the form, harmony, and other musical conventions that from the basis for compositional instruction.  It's worked for me, but of course, limits my ability to go beyond what I already feel comes easy to me.

I really just express my thoughts through music and attempt to communicate those ideas as effectively as possible.  That said, on a subconscious level, I do consider the listener and try to make music that's unified, cohesive, and perhaps even, "easy to follow", although, as with most anything new, a larger musical work probably does require a few listens for one to gain a sense of familiarity.  Your points are completely well-founded and food for thought...not that I plan on doing another concerto anytime soon (unless that magical "C" word...commission presents itself!)

As to the production challenges:  I'm in full agreement with the range of dynamics and the timpani's placement in the mix.  We're both frustrated here that our new studio space (acoustically untreated as of yet) presents a completely different sonic image than our home threatre/car stereo, etc. We're constantly playing guessing games with balance, etc.  And I'm not a huge fan of how the percussion instruments "sit" in the Mir space alongside the other instruments, because I'm always tweaking levels up and down by miniscule amounts and finding such tiny adjustments to have too large an impact.

Thanks again, and sorry for rambling!  I am so grateful for your expertise, and humbled by the depth of knowledge and experience that you and others on this forum possess.

All the best,

Dave

p.s.  Thanks also for listening 3 times...had I put that on Spotify, I could have treated myself to a lunch from those 3 streams...assuming that I could buy lunch for $.0000000004 :)

www.dearvillainmusic.com - music for live performance by David Carovillano

www.acclarion.ca - concert accordion & clarinet duo
Posted on Tue, Jul 17 2018 19:39
by fatis12_24918
Joined on Sat, Dec 16 2006, Posts 193

Listening to it, one understand you know something about composing, but production as well. Impressive work.

Yes of course one can find somewhere points to discuss, but the overal sound is definitely convincing for me. I also enjoyed the 3d movement, but I had no problem with first movement at first audition.

I’ve few compositions of that lenght, but I never attempted producing them, due to the amount of work it should ask for... congratulation also for the determination and I hope it will be rewarded.
Posted on Tue, Jul 17 2018 21:54
by Acclarion
Joined on Sat, Aug 15 2015, Canada, Eh!, Posts 378

Thank you, Fabio.  Your comments are deeply appreciated.  I can certainly relate to the challenges of rendering larger scale works.  This concerto actually interrupted a large orchestral suite I've been working on...I wrote it 3 years ago, and am only now getting around to it, and it's even far more daunting than this piece.  

Which brings me to a point:  I really hope that the future evolution of virtual instruments includes refining and improving the workflow potential, so that composers can more intuitively work with samples, more quickly.  I'm not talking about "out the box" ease, because as artists, we definitely want to interpret and create our works with thoughtful consideration (not just pushing a button and having the computer perform it) but there has to be a way to improve the initial interpretation of a midi score (as in, greatly improving how notation programs like Finale use "humanization" to playback a score) so that we can focus on the small details to tweak and polish the midi file after the basics have been done for us.

All the best,

Dave

www.dearvillainmusic.com - music for live performance by David Carovillano

www.acclarion.ca - concert accordion & clarinet duo
Posted on Wed, Jul 18 2018 00:33
by fahl5
Joined on Fri, Feb 04 2005, Hall One, Posts 900

You are asking for thoughts about. Its a pleasure to let you know mine.

To be honest I would not consider composing like that, since there is of course very much music written in a conventional style like that, If ever I think one must have at least anything, which made it worth to listen especially to this music. But this a matter of personal opinion and I respect yours not to occupy with the Work other ggreat and gifted composers have already done but frankly putting your Ideas beside them. This is at least couiragous if you really know what great Work was already done. However this is of coursae just a personal decision.

When it comes to the composition itself it sometimes appears to me, as if this Soul is not yet that well rested. since I hear many notes that seem to me more or less playing around, not so much focused on any convincing inner development of the inner thought of this composition. Again of course this is just my personal impression.

When it comes to the usage of the VSL-Samples I hear how much you like the old VSL-Samples perhaps sometimes without being aware of their shortcomings. The whole mix seem to me very very close as if the litener sits just among the musicians without giving enough the impression of a room which might unify the impression of the music as a whole. While especially the Woodwinds (and this is of course a bit a problems of the VSL Woodwinds we dio have so far) are very unrealistic dominant, so much that scarcly the impression of a real orchestra comes up when I listen. But that might also be caused by the fact, that you doesnt seem to be that diligent with the details of a musical breathing phrasing of each Instrument/Voice. It might be, that this is not only a problem of programming the samples right, since I know they can provide much more realism in this aspect, but also a question how much the phrasing has been already considered while composing. So both might be important reasons which makes alltiogether sound to me very midi and programmed. 

Just my two cents, but they a<re honest and perhaps helpful. So dont give up. If you love music, spent the time it needs to become a satisfying result.

Dont remain a perpetual nagging 2-minutes-Demo-"wanna be artist".
Better let us hear what you and good Samplelibraries like VSL are realy able to:

http://klassik-resampled.de ...more than 3400 mp3 with 161 hours of sample based interpretations of complete Scores from 7 Centuries

You want to know how Synchron Strings could sound in real music?
http://resampled.de/synchron
...40 mp3 with more than three hours of complete and ambitious scores from 19th and 20th century produced with Synchron Strings.
Posted on Wed, Jul 18 2018 00:43
by Acclarion
Joined on Sat, Aug 15 2015, Canada, Eh!, Posts 378

Originally Posted by: fahl5 Go to Quoted Post

You are asking for thoughts about. Its a pleasure to let you know mine.

To be honest I would not consider composing like that, since there is of course very much music written in a conventional style like that, If ever I think one must have at least anything, which made it worth to listen especially to this music. But this a matter of personal opinion and I respect yours not to occupy with the Work other ggreat and gifted composers have already done but frankly putting your Ideas beside them. This is at least couiragous if you really know what great Work was already done. However this is of coursae just a personal decision.

When it comes to the composition itself it sometimes appears to me, as if this Soul is not yet that well rested. since I hear many notes that seem to me more or less playing around, not so much focused on any convincing inner development of the inner thought of this composition. Again of course this is just my personal impression.

When it comes to the usage of the VSL-Samples I hear how much you like the old VSL-Samples perhaps sometimes without being aware of their shortcomings. The whole mix seem to me very very close as if the litener sits just among the musicians without giving enough the impression of a room which might unify the impression of the music as a whole. While especially the Woodwinds (and this is of course a bit a problems of the VSL Woodwinds we dio have so far) are very unrealistic dominant, so much that scarcly the impression of a real orchestra comes up when I listen. But that might also be caused by the fact, that you doesnt seem to be that diligent with the details of a musical breathing phrasing of each Instrument/Voice. It might be, that this is not only a problem of programming the samples right, since I know they can provide much more realism in this aspect, but also a question how much the phrasing has been already considered while composing. So both might be important reasons which makes alltiogether sound to me very midi and programmed. 

Just my two cents, but they a<re honest and perhaps helpful. So dont give up. If you love music, spent the time it needs to become a satisfying result.

Thank you, Steffen Fahl, for your highly accurate, non-prejudiced comments.  For those that are wondering, I was partaking in a little humour on another thread, which had degenerated at the expense of Steffen Fahl's rendering of a Tchaikovsky piece.  I knew I would get the response above and I'm so happy I did, because it just confirmed something to me that I wasn't quite certain about 

Cheers!

Dave

www.dearvillainmusic.com - music for live performance by David Carovillano

www.acclarion.ca - concert accordion & clarinet duo
Posted on Wed, Jul 18 2018 19:28
by tchampe
Joined on Wed, Apr 25 2018, Posts 14

Dave,

Just letting you know that I have not finked out on listening to and giving you some thoughts on your concerto. I am on my 2nd pass through the recordings and I'm sure it will take at least one more. First impressions are important but they ain't everything (for example, periodically I try some food that I've believed for years that I didn't like, only to discover that it was, in fact, delicious). The next step is to write what I think in a way that is clear, helpful, respesctful, constructive...and doesn't make me sound like an ignoramus (this final hope may be a vain one but it's worth a shot).

Thank you for asking about the band concert. It featured one of the two adult wind bands that I perform with. This was part of a weekly summer series in a park in Manitou Springs, CO (a small tourist town at the base of Pikes Peak) that has been going for more than 20 years. Historic bandshell, nice crowd of locals and tourists, good arrangements of well-known music played by a crew of folks who are doing their best and having a good time. Not a bad group...there are in fact a few pretty serious ringers that always make me smile when they get a short solo. You'd think that by now I'd come up with a new hobby...

I'll get back to you as soon as I can. Again, congratulations on the performances and I look forward to hearing the live recordings.

Tom

Posted on Wed, Jul 18 2018 21:35
by fatis12_24918
Joined on Sat, Dec 16 2006, Posts 193
Originally Posted by: fahl5 Go to Quoted Post
<p>You are asking for thoughts about. Its a pleasure to let you know mine.</p>
<p>To be honest...
<p>Just my two cents, but they a&lt;re honest and perhaps helpful. So dont give up. If you love music, spent the time it needs to become a satisfying result.</p>


OMG... such an endless and shameless comedy... 😂😂😂 can’t stop laughing.
Posted on Wed, Jul 18 2018 21:49
by fatis12_24918
Joined on Sat, Dec 16 2006, Posts 193
Originally Posted by: Acclarion Go to Quoted Post
<p>Thank you, Fabio.&nbsp; Your comments are deeply appreciated.&nbsp; I can certainly relate to the challenges of rendering larger scale works.&nbsp; This concerto actually interrupted a large orchestral suite I've been working on...I wrote it 3 years ago, and am only now getting around to it, and it's even far more daunting than this piece. &nbsp;</p>
<p>Which brings me to a point:&nbsp; I really hope that the future evolution of virtual instruments includes refining and improving the workflow potential, so that composers can more intuitively work with samples, more quickly.&nbsp; I'm not talking about "out the box" ease, because as artists, we definitely want to interpret and create our works with thoughtful consideration (not just pushing a button and having the computer perform it) but there has to be a way to improve the initial interpretation of a midi score (as in, greatly improving how notation programs like Finale use "humanization" to playback a score) so that we can focus on the small details to tweak and polish the midi file after the basics have been done for us.</p>
<p>All the best,</p>
<p>Dave</p>


+1

I Was working with some developers on exactly the topic you described, but despite the clear understanding and project detail, we never agreed on the priority for starting development, because they were focusing on realtime keyboard playing instead.... After years unfortunately the project was still pending but... surprise, somebody else had the same idea and developed a software acting like a special plugin for Finale, Sibelius and Dorico: wallander noteperformer.

The big limitation of the actual tool, is that it uses his own sound library, and it doesnt export any midi data, but only audio. The result is a very impressive human playback, but poor sound and no way of editing and refining it.

I’m In contact with the developer to discuss if he is available to cooperate on an open version of the AI human playback module, with customizable midi parameters, and editable midi output. It should be exactly what you described, and what I was dreaming for years

Let’s see...
Posted on Thu, Jul 19 2018 11:53
by Acclarion
Joined on Sat, Aug 15 2015, Canada, Eh!, Posts 378

Hi all,

Tom:  Thanks for following up.  I appreciate you listening and even giving it multiple opportunities to "sit with your ears."  That said, it should go without saying that you don't owe me anything: criticism, praise, advice, etc.  In fact, reading between the lines of your post, I can assume the piece doesn't resonate with you and you're trying to figure out a way to say that nicely.  It's already been said nicely :)  lol  In any event, I read on another forum where a guy said about criticisms of finished works something to the effect of, "do people that critique pieces that have been uploaded as final works, expect the composer to go back and alter the production.  It's a done deal! (loosly paraphrasing his words).  I'm in agreement with that.  For instance, recently, William brought to light a legato issue in the viola of my trio.  While I fully agreed with him, I'm not in a position to go back and "fix it." as there simply is too much music and I prefer to keep going forward.  So with that, I say to you:  you are free to criticize, praise, offer thoughts as you wish, with no judgment about the depth or quality of your response.  If you simply say, "I like it" or "I don't", or even "I listened but don't have any opinion either way" I'll appreciate it all (except of course for blatant cruelty...read below)

Fabio:  First, with regard to the gentlemen known for his comedy far more than his music, he continues to be the source of great amusement for those on another forum...many of whom have offered him their opinion of the Tchaikovsky.  He has also been forcibly kicked out of forums dating back to as early as 2008.  In short, he's simply not the kind of person I choose to listen to as his only goal is to elevate himself at the expense of others. 

As to the project you described, I am wholeheartedly behind you pursuing this!  It would be a fabulous, game changing tool to improve the efficiency of our productions.  Are you a software engineer by trade (with a musical background obviously) that would have a hand in the actual design of such a tool, or simply a musician serving as a consultant to the software people?

All the best,

Dave

www.dearvillainmusic.com - music for live performance by David Carovillano

www.acclarion.ca - concert accordion & clarinet duo
Posted on Thu, Jul 19 2018 18:28
by tchampe
Joined on Wed, Apr 25 2018, Posts 14

Dave,

Thank you for the thoughtful response. I'll plunge right in, always bearing in mind the old aphorism about opinions being like a certain portion of the anatomy: everybody's got one...

I am a person with little formal music education and of modest talent; however, my love of music is sincere and lifelong. I know that some music that I love is not really that good and some music that I accept as being among the greatest artistic achievements of Western thought does not resonate with me. I have always prided myself on being able to tell the difference. When I first heard your concerto, I didn't know what to think. I liked the sound of it but I couldn't get a grip on it. It seemed disjointed, darting from idea to idea without giving me time to hear what you were saying. But I did not assume this was a reflection of the quality of the piece; it could very well be the quality of my effort as a listener. So I vowed to give it another go. Was I ever glad that I did!

With each subsequent audition the structure and development of the tune reveals itself. It is an exquisite work, easily the best thing of yours that I've heard. The word mercurial comes to mind...probably because it makes me think of Mercury from The Planets. This is not just a work of skill, there is obviously love in this thing. I cannot say anything better than that.

As for the production, let's get this out of the way right off the top: the solo clarinet is absolutely astonishing. I mean full-on Jay Bacal-level stuff. I put on my best headphones and turned up the gas. Even relatively short sustained notes grow and breath, the articulations are spot on. Kudos to you and Becky!

As for the orchestra, the subsequent hearings brought this conclusion to my mind: Were it my creation, I would have orchestrated it lighter (as a brass player, this feels like sacrilege!). I'm thinking small chamber strings with a solo flute, oboe, basson, and horn, plus kettle drums and a dash of auxiliary concussion. I'm reminded of the first time I heard the original orchestration of Appalachian Spring after growing up on the big version. I still love the fat sound but I appreciate the clarity and purity of the lighter forces, which I think would be a real advantage for this piece. It would also help keep the clarinet right up front in live gig situations (and maybe make it more attractive for smaller groups and venues to perform).

All of that goes straight into the For-What-It's-Worth file. Congratulations on a wonderful achievement; you've got a fan (also For-What-It's-Worth). I can't imagine what it would feel like to be able to dedicate such a work to my wife...she tears up when I sing Have I Told You Lately That I Love You? at karaoke so I guess we all do what we can.

Warmest regards,

Tom

Posted on Fri, Jul 20 2018 12:10
by fatis12_24918
Joined on Sat, Dec 16 2006, Posts 193

Originally Posted by: Acclarion Go to Quoted Post

As to the project you described, I am wholeheartedly behind you pursuing this!  It would be a fabulous, game changing tool to improve the efficiency of our productions.  Are you a software engineer by trade (with a musical background obviously) that would have a hand in the actual design of such a tool, or simply a musician serving as a consultant to the software people?

Well we will move the conversation to a more appropriate site to avoid off topic pollution, but I anticipate:

- Despite a solid Computer Science background coming from University and following working experiences, I'm not a software engineer, unfortunately. Otherwise probably I started and executed the project myself. I studied anyway the algorithmic logic behind and the investigation methods (e.g. expert system statistics, learning machine etc.) to build large databeses of articulations and expressive clichè. The work made by Robert Piéchaud for Finale is an example, but the work made by Wallander is a step forward: I did the same type of analysis with friends developers of pretty innovative Virtual Instruments, because they were managing automation of internal controllers to simulate and randomize specific articulations or articulations segments (e.g. attack, vibrato modulation, dynamic and tuning envelopes etc.) but we were checking manually short phrases, single samples etc. not entire pieces of music as modern system can now afford automatically.

- I'm graduated in Composition, choral music and conducting, and even if I don't mak a life out of music (I found too early a different job to make bigger money in different industry, and it was influencing my life and destiny) I have a large academic background and quite a bit of performance and conducting experience, (mostly in ancient music, but also folk, modern and pop) then yes I was consulting on the musical side some developers, beta testing and producing demos and experiments.

So keep in touch... :)

Posted on Fri, Jul 20 2018 16:02
by Acclarion
Joined on Sat, Aug 15 2015, Canada, Eh!, Posts 378

Originally Posted by: tchampe Go to Quoted Post

Dave,

Thank you for the thoughtful response. I'll plunge right in, always bearing in mind the old aphorism about opinions being like a certain portion of the anatomy: everybody's got one...

I am a person with little formal music education and of modest talent; however, my love of music is sincere and lifelong. I know that some music that I love is not really that good and some music that I accept as being among the greatest artistic achievements of Western thought does not resonate with me. I have always prided myself on being able to tell the difference. When I first heard your concerto, I didn't know what to think. I liked the sound of it but I couldn't get a grip on it. It seemed disjointed, darting from idea to idea without giving me time to hear what you were saying. But I did not assume this was a reflection of the quality of the piece; it could very well be the quality of my effort as a listener. So I vowed to give it another go. Was I ever glad that I did!

With each subsequent audition the structure and development of the tune reveals itself. It is an exquisite work, easily the best thing of yours that I've heard. The word mercurial comes to mind...probably because it makes me think of Mercury from The Planets. This is not just a work of skill, there is obviously love in this thing. I cannot say anything better than that.

As for the production, let's get this out of the way right off the top: the solo clarinet is absolutely astonishing. I mean full-on Jay Bacal-level stuff. I put on my best headphones and turned up the gas. Even relatively short sustained notes grow and breath, the articulations are spot on. Kudos to you and Becky!

As for the orchestra, the subsequent hearings brought this conclusion to my mind: Were it my creation, I would have orchestrated it lighter (as a brass player, this feels like sacrilege!). I'm thinking small chamber strings with a solo flute, oboe, basson, and horn, plus kettle drums and a dash of auxiliary concussion. I'm reminded of the first time I heard the original orchestration of Appalachian Spring after growing up on the big version. I still love the fat sound but I appreciate the clarity and purity of the lighter forces, which I think would be a real advantage for this piece. It would also help keep the clarinet right up front in live gig situations (and maybe make it more attractive for smaller groups and venues to perform).

All of that goes straight into the For-What-It's-Worth file. Congratulations on a wonderful achievement; you've got a fan (also For-What-It's-Worth). I can't imagine what it would feel like to be able to dedicate such a work to my wife...she tears up when I sing Have I Told You Lately That I Love You? at karaoke so I guess we all do what we can.

Warmest regards,

Tom

Holy smokes, Tom!  Give yourself some credit:  a review like that is a creative achievement in itself!  You made me feel like it's all worthwhile.  Thank you so much for being a source of inspiration to continue making music.  

All the best,

Dave

p.s.  I used to sing Have I Told You Lately That I Love You (raspy voice and all) to my cat...before he attempted to claw my eyes out :)

www.dearvillainmusic.com - music for live performance by David Carovillano

www.acclarion.ca - concert accordion & clarinet duo
Posted on Fri, Jul 20 2018 16:04
by Acclarion
Joined on Sat, Aug 15 2015, Canada, Eh!, Posts 378

Originally Posted by: fatis12_24918 Go to Quoted Post

 

Well we will move the conversation to a more appropriate site to avoid off topic pollution, but I anticipate:

- Despite a solid Computer Science background coming from University and following working experiences, I'm not a software engineer, unfortunately. Otherwise probably I started and executed the project myself. I studied anyway the algorithmic logic behind and the investigation methods (e.g. expert system statistics, learning machine etc.) to build large databeses of articulations and expressive clichè. The work made by Robert Piéchaud for Finale is an example, but the work made by Wallander is a step forward: I did the same type of analysis with friends developers of pretty innovative Virtual Instruments, because they were managing automation of internal controllers to simulate and randomize specific articulations or articulations segments (e.g. attack, vibrato modulation, dynamic and tuning envelopes etc.) but we were checking manually short phrases, single samples etc. not entire pieces of music as modern system can now afford automatically.

- I'm graduated in Composition, choral music and conducting, and even if I don't mak a life out of music (I found too early a different job to make bigger money in different industry, and it was influencing my life and destiny) I have a large academic background and quite a bit of performance and conducting experience, (mostly in ancient music, but also folk, modern and pop) then yes I was consulting on the musical side some developers, beta testing and producing demos and experiments.

So keep in touch... :)

I'd love to continue to follow your progress and encourage you to start a thread on the appropriate subforum that will get noticed by others, because it is clearly an area of interest and benefit to many of us!

Looking forward,

Dave

www.dearvillainmusic.com - music for live performance by David Carovillano

www.acclarion.ca - concert accordion & clarinet duo
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