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When Doubt Arises
Last post Fri, Sep 13 2019 by Acclarion, 27 replies.
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Posted on Mon, Aug 26 2019 15:15
by Acclarion
Joined on Sat, Aug 15 2015, Canada, Eh!, Posts 471

Being a creative brings with it triumphant elation and demoralizing despair. When Doubt Arises for clarinet, piano, violin, and cello is a 2 movement work that seeks to explore the multitude of emotions experienced in the pursuit of artistic excellence. As a composer, during the writing process, I have gone from brimming with confidence in the opening twelve measures, to a feeling of helplessness a few measures later. The constant cycle of emotions is a natural part of the process, but it is never easy to cope with. The best solution I’ve found is to plough forward, always writing, always attempting to create something with meaning, while drowning out the noise of trepidation and uncertainty. Usually, by the end of the process, I feel confident that I’ve achieved my goal and that I’ll have vanquished the demon of doubt from my mind…until the next piece begins.

Warning: art music ahead  (I know this style of music isn't everybody's cup of tea, but I appreciate the few of you that may find some interest in this)

When Doubt Arises - Listen on Youtube

Cheers!

Dave

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

www.acclarion.ca - concert accordion & clarinet duo
Posted on Thu, Aug 29 2019 01:39
by William
Joined on Sun, Nov 24 2002, USA, Posts 5372

That sounds great, really imaginative composition and the performance is so expressive!  I like the programmatic theme of what happens creatively.  I have no idea myself.  This piece should be of real interest to chamber groups. Though I know it is not easy getting their attention.

Posted on Thu, Aug 29 2019 15:18
by Acclarion
Joined on Sat, Aug 15 2015, Canada, Eh!, Posts 471

Thanks, Bill!  This was one of the bigger projects I've been working on, and it's funny, but the more I think about it, music might be one of the only pursuits where more work=less reward.  Case in point:  I spent a significant amount of time on the midi for this piece, which has been met with absolute silence on every online outlet I've shared it (your comment being the only exception).  However, short 2-3 minute tracks always generate some activity (and are a lot easier to put together than something like this!) 

It's sad to me that this type of music rarely finds an audience, and that many people don't feel confident talking about it and/or listening to it in the first place. It always feels like we write artistically for ourselves and our fellow artists, when it would be really nice for it to connect with non-performers (this piece, for example has already received a bunch of positive feedback from some musician friends I sent it to, but zero from the general public).

I'm a member of a few different performance organizations, and one recently had an article on how the only way we'll engage the public to attend live classical music performances is to change the repertoire, change the make-up of the musicians (as in, ensure a more culturally diverse group of performers on stage that audiences can "relate to") and make it more affordable.  I would argue the only reason this type of music doesn't connect, is because people have had little to no experience with it growing up.  It has always been the domain of the "cultural elite" and this infuriates me, as there is no reason classical music can't appeal to anyone, as long as it's part of the formative development of children.  Don't even get me started on how the vast majority of music teachers today in the public school system avoid classical music like the plague in favour only of jazz/rock and other popular forms (which of course should be part of the overall music experience alongside more traditional forms).  

Rant over :)

Dave

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

www.acclarion.ca - concert accordion & clarinet duo
Posted on Mon, Sep 02 2019 00:18
by Seventh Sam
Joined on Sat, Dec 29 2018, Posts 120

David,

First of all, this piece of music is really, really good.  I mean, *really* good.  9:30-9:50 especially caught my attention; something about it gave me goosebumps.  It's not just the wry portamentos; those are all over the place in this piece.  There's something very simple and elegant about most of this.  It flows like a calming stream in an idyllic forest.

Second, I'd like to offer you what might be a unique (and hopefully uplifting perspective) in regards to the following point you made:

Originally Posted by: Acclarion Go to Quoted Post
It has always been the domain of the "cultural elite" and this infuriates me, as there is no reason classical music can't appeal to anyone, as long as it's part of the formative development of children.

I'm a young buck (early millenial) who grew up on an infrequent diet of thumpy electronica, thrashing metal, and whatever poppy, punk-esque nonsense was playing at the skatepark I used to frequent (I used to skateboard a lot).  I was never exposed in an inclusive or educational way to classical, jazz, or more intellectually demanding/rewarding forms of music during my formative years.  All I knew is that it was what the band kids did, and I'd rather be jumping down stairs on a piece of wood with wheels.

So, many years later, when I first started diddling with piano and happened to listen to Bach, I was surprised to find that I loved it!  Same with Beethoven, Bartok, Chopin, Debussy, Gershwin, Ellington, etc.  Music that is supposed to be "artsy", "pretentious", "inaccessible" - I found that I couldn't (and still can't) get enough of!  You would think that a silly millenial with no music education or musical family (my mother and father are tone-deaf...frustratingly) would be completely averse to all this, but here I am!

I've puzzled over why this is, and I believe the reason is that I was never *told* what music was supposed to be and what I was supposed to like.  Or maybe I was and I just stubbornly ignored it.  I didn't have the practical benefit of music education (something I'm diligently trying to rectify), but I also didn't receive all the "shoulds" and "expectations" that I have since learned come with the multitude of music scenes and industries.  In other words, I discovered Music with a capital M in an innocent vacuum of child-like curiousity - even in adulthood when such things are not supposed to be possible - and I would have it no other way because listening to music fills me with a genuine, untouchable happiness that is hard to express.

My point is: yes, early exposure and education are crucial to allowing this kind of music to flourish in the minds of future generations and live on, but equally important, I think, is the *freedom* for said future generations to explore and discover the music on their own terms, sans expectations, pressures, and social implications of genre, style, etc. 

Or maybe I'm just an anomaly that has something in his DNA that says, "This dude will like Fugues no matter what!"  However, I know for a fact that, when I listened to your piece, I didn't hear "art music" or "pretentious" or "classical" or anything like that - I just heard music, and it was good, and I liked it, and I'm going to listen to it again now because I liked it :)  And, for me, that's all that really matters. 

Hopefully, one day, the general public will adopt the same outlook! 

- Sam

Posted on Mon, Sep 02 2019 01:31
by William
Joined on Sun, Nov 24 2002, USA, Posts 5372

that's a great post seventh sam and so true - great music - from Bach on a harpsichord to Robert Johnson on a guitar -  is great no matter what time or place it came from.  

Posted on Mon, Sep 02 2019 16:03
by Acclarion
Joined on Sat, Aug 15 2015, Canada, Eh!, Posts 471

Sam,

Thanks for this thought-provoking account of your musical journey.  You write so eloquently, and expressed a sincere love and curiosity for music that one hopes would spread like a wildfire.  

I wouldn't speculate as to how unique your experience is in the larger scheme of things, but I suspect that you're in a small minority of people whose intellectual curiosity overcomes whatever educational limitations/constraints were in place during your youth.  I always like to think that certain vocations in life are callings (religious clergy, musicians, etc.) and as long as you listen to your heart, you'll find your path...whether you start playing an instrument at 3 or discover your first cello suite at 58 :)

Again, thanks for sharing your thoughts on the subject and of course, for taking the time to listen to the piece.

All the best,

Dave

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

www.acclarion.ca - concert accordion & clarinet duo
Posted on Wed, Sep 04 2019 20:46
by littlewierdo
Joined on Sun, Apr 24 2016, Posts 204

Originally Posted by: Acclarion Go to Quoted Post

Thanks, Bill!  This was one of the bigger projects I've been working on, and it's funny, but the more I think about it, music might be one of the only pursuits where more work=less reward.  Case in point:  I spent a significant amount of time on the midi for this piece, which has been met with absolute silence on every online outlet I've shared it (your comment being the only exception).  However, short 2-3 minute tracks always generate some activity (and are a lot easier to put together than something like this!) 

It's sad to me that this type of music rarely finds an audience, and that many people don't feel confident talking about it and/or listening to it in the first place. It always feels like we write artistically for ourselves and our fellow artists, when it would be really nice for it to connect with non-performers (this piece, for example has already received a bunch of positive feedback from some musician friends I sent it to, but zero from the general public).

Rant over :)

Dave

My sentiments exactly. I write because I feel and want to express that, and want to share that expression. What non-musicians dont understand is, we write to share. Just as we like to speak in places where we are being heard, the same is the case with music.

I am sure no one here needs to hear this, music is a universal language, expressing emotion and story to anyone, regardless of race, religion, creed, etc.

I have reached the conclusion that, I am writing for myself. Even music I have written and shared here has received so little feedback, yet, I dedicated months of my life to its creation. What I write is a little different than what folks here tend to write, which is more classically themed (I tend to write cinematic, very dynamic volume changes, and in many cases, much more simplistic than what I commonly hear here). I shared an arrangement of Amazing Grace, which I posted on various groups including here, facebook, twitter, music composer groups I am involved with on Facebook, etc. and crickets is all I heard, with I think 1 response here. I spent a month and a half on it, in conjunction with working a full time job and a full time school schedule.

I often wonder if we have become so jaded and consumed in our own ventures to look at what else is going on?

We as people seek validation. We want, we need to know that we are headed in the right direction, and unfortunately, even musicians consistently forget this.

I only have one comment on your piece specifically, forgive my lack of further insight, but, this feels a bit like a more busy Debussy? I am curious if that was intentional?

Posted on Fri, Sep 06 2019 21:34
by Acclarion
Joined on Sat, Aug 15 2015, Canada, Eh!, Posts 471

Thanks for your thoughts and perspective on the struggles we face as composers to cultivate an interested and responsive audience, littleweirdo.

I was just visiting with my brother-in-law for the past few days, who is also a professional composer, and we spoke at length about this very issue.  I won't bore everyone to death, but from my perspective on the relative apathy here on the forum specifically, I'd like to offer a few observations:

1)  I've been here only 5 years, (others such as William and Jasen, much longer) and in that time, I've seen boom and bust periods.  Generally, most of the feedback has been generated by a small group of active forum members/composers, most of whom would go in to great detail with their comments.  This always gave the forum the impression of more activity than there actually was.  For the most part, lurkers/passive listeners are the norm, here and virtually anywhere online.

2)  It's an unwritten rule that reciprocity is expected.  Some people are generous with their comments of others' work, and sadly wouldn't receive much feedback on their own work.  This led to some of them abandoning the forum.

3)  There are the typical style wars/political considerations that always come in to play.  Over the years, some composers have been heavily criticized by other forum members, (often for the music, but just as much for personality conflicts) which has led to a decline in those willing to post, for fear of being caught up in flame wars.

4)  Some of the more complex music by professional composers will not fit with the musical sensibilities of the vast majority, who prefer more easily digestable music.  Also, many hobbyist composers will feel ill-equiped to offer any kind of real insight in to the music, and would rather leave it for others to do (which, of course, doesn't happen)

5)  I can personally state that there are those here that will purposely avoid my offerings for their own personal reasons, and for that, I'm not at all disappointed.  I am however, sad that many people whom I had previously enjoyed discussing things with, have left the forum completely (some have emailed me to express this, while others have just "disappeared."  

I don't know where this leaves things, but the best course of action, in my opinion, is to continue to share.  You never know who you impact with your work, even if you don't directly get feedback.  People enjoy music, and if they're comfortable commenting on your work, they will...if not, at least they gave it a listen!  So, my advice to you, littleweirdo, is continue doing your thing.  Music is a part of your life and you clearly enjoy it, so don't let the apathy get you down...instead use it as motivation to become an even more prolific creator.  Eventually, someone, somewhere, will give you the validation you seek, and in the meantime, you can be proud of your own accomplishments.

As for your Debussy comment on my own piece, I probably was channeling Debussy on a subconscious level, but there was no direct attempt to emulate his style :)

Cheers!

Dave

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

www.acclarion.ca - concert accordion & clarinet duo
Posted on Sat, Sep 07 2019 01:51
by William
Joined on Sun, Nov 24 2002, USA, Posts 5372

That's a good comment Dave, and I have the same situation as littleweirdo mentioned, with years of work on various pieces and not even acknowledgement of submitting to conductors.  Though I got some nice acknowledgement here on my symphony.  It is funny how I had it on CD Baby and nobody in the universe noticed it.  Then I put it here and on Youtube and received far more attention.

Posted on Mon, Sep 09 2019 11:30
by agitato
Joined on Mon, Jun 22 2015, Posts 335

Hi Dave

its been a while since I wrote on this forum, partly because of Ive been busy with work. Ive been doing a LOT of music but just nothing iready to post yet.

Now I am on vacation and have a lot of free time, so I can browse through all the posts here.

It was interesting to listen to your piece and the discussion. 

Re your piece, I liked it, but I am not yet ready to provide detailed comments. As an artist I am sure you have a reason behind every note and chord in the piece, so I find no point in my providing my own judgement. All I can say now is that the form and texture and something I am not that familiar with, so I simply enjoyed the flow. 

With pieces this long, it is very hard to maintain form. I heard that Ravel defined form as 'continued interest'. I love that definition since that underlies the motivation behind all the standard musical forms, such as sonata, rondo, passacaglia etc., ..since they all provide useful framework to maintain listener interest while avoiding banality and predictablity. I think you did a decent job of this. 

Regarding your coments about not getting feedback, I am not sure why that is surprising to you and why you would care. There is literally thousands of fantasitc music (I mean classical, long form or 'serious' music) avallable for free out there, and the listener of today has tens of thousands of pieces to chose from. I personally feel that it is the composers burden to evoke a response in the listener.. Since this is art, it is not 'essential' and the listener has a choice whether to choose a particular peice of work or not. If it were a piece of scientific work, and if it has validity , it cannot be ignored since science relates to an objective truth. There is no such thing with art. 

So if you really care about a response, maybe try to see what you could do to your music that will make it more approachable or understandable. I do not believe the size or complexity of the music has to do with how popular it can be. The hundreds of 'popular' classical works from Mozart to Stravinsky to John williams that are regularly played in concert halls are sufficient case in point, not to mention the amazing film scores of hollowood.

Even otherwise you should be happy enough that you can write music at this advaced level and be content with your achievement,  and keep writing and hoping that your works will be recognized someday.

It goes without saying that I am an amatuer and do not depend on music for a living, which i understand is a major factor. So please pardon my amateurish views. Just passing my time whiile on vacation!

Anand 

Anand Kumar
Posted on Mon, Sep 09 2019 12:00
by Acclarion
Joined on Sat, Aug 15 2015, Canada, Eh!, Posts 471
Hello Anand,

Thanks for listening and sharing your thoughts. Enjoy your vacation.

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

www.acclarion.ca - concert accordion & clarinet duo
Posted on Mon, Sep 09 2019 14:10
by William
Joined on Sun, Nov 24 2002, USA, Posts 5372

"Since this is art, it is not 'essential'..."

"If it were a piece of scientific work, and if it has validity , it cannot be ignored..."   - Agitato

Agitato, you seem like a good person and extremely intelligent but that kind of statement pisses me off.  

Art is "not essential" - yet no society in all of known history can do without it all the way back to CAVE PAINTINGS. It is only  the modern science-and-materialist attitude that considers nothing except for intellect and logic.  This age is one of total fragmentation and utter lack of generalized knowledge, and too many people view things outside of their incredibly narrow fields of interest as "not essential."  

And on the second statement - it is just as true with art as with science.  Nobody who does classical music can ignore Beethoven. Or Bach. Or Mozart. Nobody who does symphonic music can ignore Mahler.  And so on and on...

Sorry to rant but anytime I hear a variation on how art is not as important as science ---      

  

Posted on Mon, Sep 09 2019 14:42
by Acclarion
Joined on Sat, Aug 15 2015, Canada, Eh!, Posts 471

Bill,

I'm always grateful that you have the energy and resolve to address these kinds of statements.  I've always subscribed to a philosophy:  "for those that get it, no explanation is necessary; for those that don't, no explanation will ever suffice."

Dave

"Since this is art, it is not 'essential'..."

"If it were a piece of scientific work, and if it has validity , it cannot be ignored..."   - Agitato

Agitato, you seem like a good person and extremely intelligent but that kind of statement pisses me off.  

Art is "not essential" - yet no society in all of known history can do without it all the way back to CAVE PAINTINGS. It is only  the modern science-and-materialist attitude that considers nothing except for intellect and logic.  This age is one of total fragmentation and utter lack of generalized knowledge, and too many people view things outside of their incredibly narrow fields of interest as "not essential."  

And on the second statement - it is just as true with art as with science.  Nobody who does classical music can ignore Beethoven. Or Bach. Or Mozart. Nobody who does symphonic music can ignore Mahler.  And so on and on...

Sorry to rant but anytime I hear a variation on how art is not as important as science ---      

  

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

www.acclarion.ca - concert accordion & clarinet duo
Posted on Mon, Sep 09 2019 16:07
by agitato
Joined on Mon, Jun 22 2015, Posts 335

Hi Bill,

yes you are absolutely right...actually even as I was typing I was thinking of  exactly what you said: "Nobody who does classical music can ignore Beethoven. Or Bach. Or Mozart. "

But I typed anyway being lazy to explain what I actually meant. I did not at all mean that we cant live without art, ... (I for one cant live without music) we absolutely need it. What I meant was that the listener has a choice on who they listen to, and there is so much to choose from, which makes it much harder to stand out as a creator of art. In music there are only rules, but not laws. You can break rules, which is the way great music is in fact made. However in science there are laws, such as Newtons laws or Einsteins gravity, which are valid within a a certain range of conditions and one cannot ignore them as they are inescapable truths about the physical world.

Also about your point: "It is only the modern science-and-materialist attitude that considers nothing except for intellect and logic. "..... I dont think science and art are exclusive, In fact quite the opposite. As you yourself have said many great composers l(ike Saint Saens and Borodin) were engineers or scientists. Even Einstein loved clasical music. I think it is posts like what I wrote earlier that alienate people from science and gives the wrong impression that science is materialistic.

One more point is that most people get by without ever listening to classical music but yet enjoy other forms of music. There is just so many kinds of music that is legitimate art form, particlarly Jazz and Blues. So that makes the burden of the classical composer even greater. If the music is appealing to a particular audience the WILL accept it and listen to it...no one deliberately avoides pleasure or enjoyment!

So, art is as important, probably even more important than science. And there will always be great artists who create works that appeal to the experts and non experts alike. That is the true challenge for an aspiring artist.

cheers

Anand

Anand Kumar
Posted on Mon, Sep 09 2019 16:55
by tchampe
Joined on Wed, Apr 25 2018, Posts 47

Dave,

As an avowed fan of your music, it must seem odd that it has taken this long for me to address such an important new composition. Suffice it to say, I have listened to it several times and every subsequent hearing reveals something new. This is an eloquent, deeply personal work and you have bared yourself through it in a way that took some genuine courage (at least that's how it comes off to me). Your MIDI performance is getting better all the time, BTW; I think I can say that this is the best effort on that front that I have heard from you. Congratulations!

As to why it took so long for me to even show up...I have come to realize that I am the very embodiment of point 4B from your earlier post:

"Also, many hobbyist composers will feel ill-equiped to offer any kind of real insight in to the music, and would rather leave it for others to do"

That's me. Essentially, I'm a poser. I have composed exactly one piece of concert music that has been performed. I do not own a single VSL product; I just show up on the website and drool over it. I am in the enviable position of having a dear friend who is the conductor of a decent adult wind ensemble who has told me that he will program anything I write that is reasonable and playable, but I can't make myself write anything new. I'm sort of the obnoxious kid brother standing on the sideline wanting to get into the game with the big kids. Maybe that's why I didn't have anything to say about When Doubt Arises...it hits too close to home.

Tom

Posted on Mon, Sep 09 2019 20:14
by William
Joined on Sun, Nov 24 2002, USA, Posts 5372

Sorry Anand I misunderstood and completely agree. Also I have always been as interested in science as art so we have the same attitude!

Posted on Mon, Sep 09 2019 21:41
by Acclarion
Joined on Sat, Aug 15 2015, Canada, Eh!, Posts 471

Tom, first off, thank you as always.  Your support of my work has been hugely motivating for me, as a person with your talent, musical experience, and ability to articulate your thoughts so eloquently, is rare.  Even rarer, is your willingness to devote the time to listen repeatedly to a piece, in hopes of finding some meaning beyond the initial impression, and then to put forth such a humble and sincere response, like you have here.  

My take on your situation, is that you have all the capability in the world to translate your inner voice in to beautiful music.  As I said with the piece you shared with me a while back, it only takes one piece to show you have the ability...from here on in, it's a matter of finding the motivation/inspiration to continue to create.  In my case, the motivation is simple:  this is what I've chosen to do, so I want to do it well, because I am not interested in doing anything else (and I spent way too much money building a backyard studio to have it collect cobwebs!)

In any case, let me reaffirm:  you're no poser, you're no obnoxious kid brother (well, at least not in this context...you may be to your actual brother if you have one!)  You're a valued member of this community, and if more people would have the confidence/willingness to just allow themselves to partake in some music and discussion, without fear of judgment/criticism, I suspect the community would blossom, with even more composers sharing, more listeners commenting, and maybe, inspiring someone like yourself to take the plunge with your own work.

Glad that When Doubt Arises struck a chord (no pun intended).  Now, go and buy a VSL product (do I get a commission?) and show me how it's done!  :)

All the best,

Dave

Originally Posted by: tchampe Go to Quoted Post

Dave,

As an avowed fan of your music, it must seem odd that it has taken this long for me to address such an important new composition. Suffice it to say, I have listened to it several times and every subsequent hearing reveals something new. This is an eloquent, deeply personal work and you have bared yourself through it in a way that took some genuine courage (at least that's how it comes off to me). Your MIDI performance is getting better all the time, BTW; I think I can say that this is the best effort on that front that I have heard from you. Congratulations!

As to why it took so long for me to even show up...I have come to realize that I am the very embodiment of point 4B from your earlier post:

"Also, many hobbyist composers will feel ill-equiped to offer any kind of real insight in to the music, and would rather leave it for others to do"

That's me. Essentially, I'm a poser. I have composed exactly one piece of concert music that has been performed. I do not own a single VSL product; I just show up on the website and drool over it. I am in the enviable position of having a dear friend who is the conductor of a decent adult wind ensemble who has told me that he will program anything I write that is reasonable and playable, but I can't make myself write anything new. I'm sort of the obnoxious kid brother standing on the sideline wanting to get into the game with the big kids. Maybe that's why I didn't have anything to say about When Doubt Arises...it hits to close to home.

Tom

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

www.acclarion.ca - concert accordion & clarinet duo
Posted on Tue, Sep 10 2019 01:46
by William
Joined on Sun, Nov 24 2002, USA, Posts 5372

Really agree with that. Tom is one of the few people who is NOT a poser.  Real expertise from the most valuable point of view - playing in orchestra.  The only things I ever really learned about orchestration came from playing. And it is funny how playing in not-so-good groups actually helps.  You hear the difficulties far more than with a great orchestra perfectly captured by a master recording engineer.   And the difficulties reveal the true nature of the instruments.  The worst sample performance treats a high d on cornet the same as a middle c.  The reality is vastly different, and that principle applies to everything about performance.  

Posted on Tue, Sep 10 2019 20:58
by tchampe
Joined on Wed, Apr 25 2018, Posts 47

Dave and Bill,

You fellows are too kind. As you know, I am a big admirer of both you guys, not only for your wonderful music itself but also for the fact that you are actually doing it...putting in the hours, busting your humps to create the very best music you can. It's the kind of inspiration that could ultimately get me to get over myself and join the party.

Bill, your thoughts on the need of composers to actually understand the nature of the instruments they are writing for is right on. Rimsky and one of his buddies (can't remember who) made a point of learning to toodle a bit on every instrument of the orchestra, just to get a feel for how they made music. Last I heard, he was considered a pretty fair orchestrator   I like to say that good orchestrators give the instruments parts to play that match the temperament...the personality...of the instrument. This means a lot more than keeping the part in the useable range and keeping the limits of the ax's caprice technique in mind. It means that if you're going to write a horn part (for example), no matter how original and unlike any that have come before it, it still needs to be "hornistic." In Don Juan and Till Eulenspiegel, Strauss asked the horns to produce licks that had never been dreamed of in an orchestral setting, but the parts were perfectly hornistic (it didn't hurt that his dad was one of the top hornists in the world).

As Bill points out, the world of virtual orchestration is a place where the composer really needs to watch it, because MIDI is perfectly happy to grind out any stupid lick you may program for any instrument...even though the "wrongness" will be obvious to anyone. There is a chap who used to hang around this list...you know the guy; bit of a piece of work, fancied himself a provacateur...who put together an impressive collection of unknown classical works by unknown composers and put them online. When the VSL Historic Winds release with the natural horns came out, he found a couple of little-known horn concerti by a worthy named C. F. Abel and dutifully cranked them out. I was digging his effort...the strings were tight and nicely balaced with a clean, chamber orchestra sound, the horn solo was singing along with nice phrasing. Then...the closing allegro arrived. His tempo was so brisk that the ghost of Punto himself would have cried "Uncle!" This cat Abel must have been a cracker-jack virtuoso (or was working with one); his chart is chock-full of arpeggiated figures climbing to the highest register of the Eb horn; real show-off stuff. But at my man's computer-assisted tempo they popped out with a blatantly artificial perfection; every note absolutely centered, no discernable difference between the stopped and open tones, runs and arpeggios rattling out with machine gun precision. It was, to me, comical. Despite the fact that he was working with an actual historical piece of music, written by an actual performer of the era, and despite his obvious skill with sampled orchestra production, my man had rendered his work unhornistic.

Posted on Wed, Sep 11 2019 01:38
by William
Joined on Sun, Nov 24 2002, USA, Posts 5372

That is an expert observation that few people will fully appreciate.  

What Tom said made me think about avoiding "perfection" in a MIDI performance, which is totally artificial sounding.  Also doing things that play to the individual instruments characteristic difficulties.  I have been experimenting with going to extremes on those and sometimes have to dial it back.  It seems that knowng how hard it is to play certain things is very valuable, whatever the instrument...

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