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String Quartet No. 2 - Updated August 8
Last post Wed, Sep 05 2018 by Acclarion, 26 replies.
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Posted on Thu, Jul 26 2018 12:48
by Acclarion
Joined on Sat, Aug 15 2015, Canada, Eh!, Posts 376

Hi all,

My String Quartet No. 2 is now complete.  I originally had conceived of it as a 3 movement work, but decided it needed a 4th, which ties ideas from all 3 previous movements together and introduces an intense new "primal rhythmic element" as a backdrop to these re-introduced thematic elements.

VSL solo strings and Mir Pro-Schubert Hall.

String Quartet 2 by David Carovillano - PLAY

Mvt. 2 - Added July 31st

Mvt. 3 - Added August 8

Mvt. 4 - Added August 8

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 26 2018 14:24
by Pieman1560
Joined on Mon, May 07 2018, Gloucestershire, UK, Posts 28

Hi Dave

I thought your piece was lovely, and if i could write like that id be really pleased with myself, well done mate.

Did you compose that in a DAW (logic Pro X for example) or did you notate it with Sibelius? the reason i ask is that i use Sibelius and VSL for my compositions and im struggling to get the playback to sound a good as yours does.

all the best mate

Paul

Posted on Thu, Jul 26 2018 15:43
by William
Joined on Sun, Nov 24 2002, USA, Posts 5128

Another really fine piece - you are putting out so much I can't keep track of them!  The performance is close to perfect also, and there are a lot of varied articulations in it - not easy to do.  I think quartets will be interested in performing this especially when the entire piece is complete.  

Posted on Fri, Jul 27 2018 09:48
by Acclarion
Joined on Sat, Aug 15 2015, Canada, Eh!, Posts 376
Hi Paul,

Thank you for listening-glad you enjoyed it! To answer your questions, I first compose in Finale, then export the midi to Cubase to create the performance. As most people will attest, you'll always get better results using a DAW, as notation programs are quite limited in the ability to shape the sound (velocities, articulations, cc data, tempo tracks, etc.). It adds a lot of time and effort, but is the only way to get the desired results.

William: thanks, as always. Yeah, part of the impetus to design my new website was to easily add pieces...which I'm already falling behind on doing. It's always more fun to write than it is to organize, promote, and "sell" :)

All the best,
Dave
www.dearvillainmusic.com - music for live performance by David Carovillano

www.acclarion.ca - concert accordion & clarinet duo
Posted on Fri, Jul 27 2018 13:55
by Pieman1560
Joined on Mon, May 07 2018, Gloucestershire, UK, Posts 28

Hi Dave

i'll have to try that, as currently i just use the features in Sibelius. I have breifly tried to adjust the performance in Logic with the Midi generated from Sibelius, but i have to admit that (for me anyway) i find Vienna Instruments Pro really hard to use in Logic, as i havnt had much luck (any really!!) in changing the articulations and then tweekeing them.

i'm sure im doing something really stupid, but ive come from east west quantum leap and there are pluggins for Logic so you can switch the articulations really easily. i cant find anything like that for VSL.

I have to say that im new to VSL and am blown away by them, and the way it 'just works' with Sibelius is the reason ive invested in them and i could not be happier if im honest.

i have noticed that they have expression maps made for Cubase and wondered if youd recommend that DAW instead, as id love to be able to get the best playback possible.

Do you think id have a better experiance using Cubase rather than Logic?

kindest regards mate

Paul

Posted on Sat, Jul 28 2018 15:41
by Acclarion
Joined on Sat, Aug 15 2015, Canada, Eh!, Posts 376

Hi Paul,

The only experience I've had with Logic was wayyyy back in the day.  In my university days, I took a course where the professor assigned us the task of creating a printed score for a Bach fugue, using Logic.  This was the early 2000's, and all I remember was being frustrated that in a music technologies course that was supposed to survey various notation and sequencer programs, the prof only focussed on the one tool he used: Logic.  I did the score in Finale and after getting a very good grade for the result, I faced his wrath when he learned I didn't produce it in Logic :) lol

But I digress.  I use Cubase as it's the only sequencer I have learned.  They all have their strengths and weaknesses.  The learning curve is always steep, but for me, the motivation to improve my knowledge has been organic, in that the reward is making my own compositions sound as good as I'm capable.  I would lack the motivation to learn any music software, if I was only assigned random pieces to mockup, as I was in school.  

In any case, with Cubase, I don't make use of expression maps.  I have found Beat Kaufmann's tutorials on structuring keyswitches/organizing matrices in V.I. Pro to be quite helpful, and have refined my template/workflow over the past few years.  Nothing remains static: over time, you'll make modifications, discover new techniques to improve your output/efficiency, etc.  The basic take away is:  it's easy to write notes in a notation program and play them back with a modicum of decent sound quality (especially if you're integrating the VSL instruments into the playback); it's a much bigger, time consuming, learning process to take those scores in to a DAW and craft them in to life-like performances.  Be patient, enjoy the process and the growth, and remain positive and steadfast in your commitment to improve.  At least, that's what's worked for me.

Best wishes!

Dave

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

www.acclarion.ca - concert accordion & clarinet duo
Posted on Sun, Jul 29 2018 08:57
by Pieman1560
Joined on Mon, May 07 2018, Gloucestershire, UK, Posts 28

Hi Dave

Thanks so much for taking the time to give that advise, i'll keep trying to get things better, as its great to know it'll be worth the effort.

its funny but ive been using a similar thing with logic with my band in that ive adapted my workflow over time...but for some reason forgot that once i started writting with Sibelius!

Thanks again for everything...and im really looking forwards to checking out your other movements once there done

Kindest

Paul

Posted on Tue, Jul 31 2018 02:48
by Acclarion
Joined on Sat, Aug 15 2015, Canada, Eh!, Posts 376

Movement 2 is here.  Hope you enjoy!

String Quartet No. 2 Mvt. 2 by David Carovillano

Cheers!

Dave

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

www.acclarion.ca - concert accordion & clarinet duo
Posted on Tue, Jul 31 2018 13:49
by crusoe
Joined on Sat, Dec 26 2009, Posts 79

Hi Dave,

I listened to the both movements. One gotta love those solo strings, right? :) 

Again, a very idea-rich, mature composition. Certainly above my modest abilities, so consider the following comments to be questions rather than actual criticism.

I didn't expect that major chord at the end of the 2nd movement, that was fun :) I liked a few other moments when the piece took an unpredictable turn for me (one is discussed below). String quartets are not something my ear is used to, but I do appreciate the amount of work you've put into this. All 4 voices are clear and independent, and there never was a moment when I was bored.

One detail that caught my attention was at 3:43-3:48 in the 2nd movement (it repeats a few times throughout this movement). There's a descending melodic line that suddenly stops and then continues after a pause. I wonder why did you decide it to be this way? If there's a verbal way to explain this, of course. Somehow I can't wrap my head around it.

About the mix. The cello appears to be closer to the listener than the violin, making it more prominent in the sound pciture. The "normal" position for the cello would be behind the other players, due to its strong sonority, right? I'm not saying you had to do it this way, just curious to know your reason for these players' positions.

All the best,

Crusoe.

Posted on Tue, Jul 31 2018 14:13
by Acclarion
Joined on Sat, Aug 15 2015, Canada, Eh!, Posts 376

Thanks for listening and commenting, Crusoe.  I'll address your questions below (in bold)

Originally Posted by: crusoe Go to Quoted Post

Hi Dave,

I listened to the both movements. One gotta love those solo strings, right? :) 

Again, a very idea-rich, mature composition. Certainly above my modest abilities, so consider the following comments to be questions rather than actual criticism.  -Thank you :)

I didn't expect that major chord at the end of the 2nd movement, that was fun :) - Hmm, it's just a D Major chord (the tonic chord of the piece).  Perhaps what is shocking, is that preceding that final chord, I create a dissonant phrase, with jarring szforzandi that might leave you suspecting that the piece will not end "cheerily on D Major."  All part of the journey and sprinkling in some personality.

I liked a few other moments when the piece took an unpredictable turn for me (one is discussed below). String quartets are not something my ear is used to, but I do appreciate the amount of work you've put into this. All 4 voices are clear and independent, and there never was a moment when I was bored.  -Thanks again...I really believe in story-telling through music, and take the same opportunities to vary structure, form, harmony, as a film-maker/novelist use literary devices to further the narrative.

One detail that caught my attention was at 3:43-3:48 in the 2nd movement (it repeats a few times throughout this movement). There's a descending melodic line that suddenly stops and then continues after a pause. I wonder why did you decide it to be this way? If there's a verbal way to explain this, of course. Somehow I can't wrap my head around it. -Well, as Hans Christian Andersen said, "when words fail, music speaks."  If I wanted to explain my thoughts through words, I wouldn't have written music :)  Seriously though, it's for dramatic effect.  The ear hears the phrase and the subsequent pause and connects the continuing phrase, which has a greater impact than if I extended the melody through the rest (especially since the piece has so much movement...those brief pauses really provide respite for the ears.)  Think of it as an excited person making a declamatory statement, then "sighing" to catch their breath, before continuing to speak.

About the mix. The cello appears to be closer to the listener than the violin, making it more prominent in the sound pciture. The "normal" position for the cello would be behind the other players, due to its strong sonority, right? I'm not saying you had to do it this way, just curious to know your reason for these players' positions. Your observeration is correct, in that the cello's presence does seem closer.  On the Mir stage, it is a standard semi-circle formation (sometimes the violins sit together of course): violin 1, viola, cello (both further back) and violin 2.  That said, the mic placement, left at default position, essentially means that it's closer to violin 2 and cello than violin 1 and viola.  Further, the cello samples seem to be more "present" than violin 1 in a side by side comparison at comparable velocity/volume levels.  If one compensates by adjusting the cello's velocities "down", it loses the bite or character needed.  Finally, I think I'm guilty in general of bringing the cello up a little, because I find it adds a little body to an otherwise "trebly-sounding string quartet."  Anyway, there's no right or wrong way to do it, just preferences.

Thanks again for taking the time to comment!

Dave

All the best,

Crusoe.

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

www.acclarion.ca - concert accordion & clarinet duo
Posted on Tue, Jul 31 2018 15:18
by crusoe
Joined on Sat, Dec 26 2009, Posts 79

Thanks for the detailed response, the insight into cello's positioning is particularly interesting.

Quote:
Perhaps what is shocking, is that preceding that final chord, I create a dissonant phrase, with jarring szforzandi that might leave you suspecting that the piece will not end "cheerily on D Major."

Exactly. That was my expectation, and yes, this super-quick recapitluation is what I paid attention to. 

Posted on Wed, Aug 01 2018 00:37
by William
Joined on Sun, Nov 24 2002, USA, Posts 5128

That is another excellent movement -  it is a rather wild and funny in parts, like the instruments are being naughty at times.  I really like it and I think players will really want to do this.   

Posted on Wed, Aug 01 2018 11:50
by Acclarion
Joined on Sat, Aug 15 2015, Canada, Eh!, Posts 376
Originally Posted by: William Go to Quoted Post
<p>That is another excellent movement -&nbsp; it is a rather wild and funny in parts, like the instruments are being naughty at times.&nbsp; I really like it and I think players will really want to do this.&nbsp; &nbsp;</p>


I love it: naughty instruments. Lol. Imagine the violin scolding the cello by whipping it with its bow...or maybe the cello bragging that his bow is bigger than the viola's...every pre-concert talk should include some dirty string chat, that's how they'll bring in bigger audiences! :)

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

www.acclarion.ca - concert accordion & clarinet duo
Posted on Wed, Aug 01 2018 14:20
by Pieman1560
Joined on Mon, May 07 2018, Gloucestershire, UK, Posts 28

Hi Dave

 

Thats brilliant, I really enjoyed that mate. Well done fella

Posted on Wed, Aug 01 2018 18:36
by Acclarion
Joined on Sat, Aug 15 2015, Canada, Eh!, Posts 376

Hi Paul,

Thanks so much!  Hope your journey into DAW programming for your music is underway.  Remember, baby steps :)

Cheers,

Dave

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

www.acclarion.ca - concert accordion & clarinet duo
Posted on Wed, Aug 08 2018 14:53
by Acclarion
Joined on Sat, Aug 15 2015, Canada, Eh!, Posts 376

So, with these 2 movements, the string quartet is complete.  I have enjoyed sharing my music on this forum for the past few years, but have decided for a variety of reasons that I'm going to take a break from it all for a while.  I'll still visit the forum, because I do enjoy learning and reading about other's successes, and hope that new members will contribute positively going forward.

Thank you to those that have supported me, and even to those that have been critical.  The funny thing is, I had so many goals set out for myself when I first started posting on the VSL forum.  I've failed miserably in achieving most of them, but somehow am at peace with the fact that even though I haven't been able to figure out how to "break through with composition", I've at least created a body of work for which I'm proud and able to leave behind, and I was able to do it on my terms.  

String Quartet No. 2, Mvt. 3

String Quartet No. 2, Mvt. 4

Cheers!

Dave

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

www.acclarion.ca - concert accordion & clarinet duo
Posted on Wed, Aug 08 2018 16:54
by Pieman1560
Joined on Mon, May 07 2018, Gloucestershire, UK, Posts 28

Hi Dave

Your 4th piece is amazing..it sounds superb!

Well done mate, i think the whole quartet piece is brilliant.

I enjoyed that alot mate

take care mate, and keep up the great work fella

have a good one

Paul

Posted on Wed, Aug 08 2018 22:53
by William
Joined on Sun, Nov 24 2002, USA, Posts 5128

Dave those sound great.  Congratulations on getting the whole thing done!  Also that crack you made about miserably failing - what?  You've posted some really fine music, that is not failing! Also a lot of your performance/ programming is really some of the best.  I am sad you are leaving as your music, Philippe Baylac, Old Max Hamburg, Wayne Peppercorn, JSG,  and of course Guy The Yoda of MIDI, and a select number of others are the main reason to come to this Forum to be honest.  It is really an independent musical forum that evolved spontaneously thanks to VSL being nice enough to allow composers to share and compare works.  Of course it helps them also because it shows the incredible range of the instruments.  Anyway thanks for posting your excellent music here! 

Posted on Thu, Aug 09 2018 10:34
by crusoe
Joined on Sat, Dec 26 2009, Posts 79

Hi Dave,

I pretty much share the William's sentiment. You mentioned before that you believe in importance of drama in music (I share this belief). With this quartet you prove to stay true to it. It's dramatic, honest (no drama for the sake of drama itself), and the VSL rendering doesn't leave much to be desired. 

P.S. The 3rd movement had the lyricism that made me understand your previous point about the instrument positions.

Posted on Fri, Aug 10 2018 19:39
by Acclarion
Joined on Sat, Aug 15 2015, Canada, Eh!, Posts 376

Thank you so much for your positive words, Paul, William, and Crusoe.  They're very meaningful to me at a time when I'm quite down on the whole idea of continuing to write music.  I'm sure every composer wishes for validation, especially from colleagues, and I've been grateful to receive this from the few of you that have thoughtfully shared comments on a regular basis.  Thanks again, and I wish you nothing but success in your own musical endeavours!

All the best,

Dave

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

www.acclarion.ca - concert accordion & clarinet duo
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