Monday, April 13, 2009

finally, actually finished!

I finally completed my piece! It took me a really long time, but I finally came up with a decent 'b' section that I really liked. I happened upon the idea for it after bringing it to class and having a discussion about being stuck. I felt like I had come up with this main theme of klezmer but I didn't know how to elaborate on it. Jon Rowsell made the suggestion of picking something that I really liked in earlier sections of the piece and elaborating on that. I decided to go with an ascending passage that happens just after the main theme is stated. There are descending thirds in the piano and the violin has a descending pizz. scale. As soon as I starting to elaborate on this idea everything else came fairly easily. I eventually brought the b section back to the main theme by increasing the tempo and adding claps (which is what I originally had planned when I first though of the Klezmer idea). I'm pretty proud of the piece at this point!

Friday, April 10, 2009

I decided to take Jonothans idea about elaborting on a idea that you like early in the piece. I needed to create a "b" section and I was having al ot of difficulty with it. I wanted to create something that was a contrast with the tonal section, but I didn't want it to be an incredibly stark contrast. I decided to elaborate on a scalar figure that's heard in the A section that I really liked. Its just a descending scale that's heard as a pizz. in the strings and staccato in the piano.

Sunday, April 5, 2009


I decided to add viola to my string quartet, so its now a string quintet plus a piano.
I'm having a really hard time elaborting on the motive that I already have. That motive is so clear and so tonal that I want to create a contrasting section so the listener doesn't get bored. That's the hardest part! I've been fooling around with a few different ideas for the contrasting section but I haven't like any of them. I'm going to bring my composition to class this week and see if anyone has any suggestions.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

sooo I haven't really been using this as often as a should.
I think I'll take advantage of it with this piece though.
Which I'm already finding frustrations with...haha
I think I've decided to change this piece from concert band orchestration to a string quartet (2 violins, cello, bass) and piano. However, I'm still finding it really difficult. But I'm going to push through it, because I think I have some solid ideas.
Tonight I did some work on the main part of the piece, and I'm going to try and have most of the main part orchestrated by Friday. Fingers crossed!

Monday, March 9, 2009


This was really fun.
Everyone that I worked with was really flexible and they were all fantastic musicians. As I stated in the last blog, I was a little worried about the fact that I made several last minute changes to the music before the performance. However, after tweaking it a few days before the performance, (and the fact that I worked with fantastic musicians...did I already say that?) the final performance of it went off without a hitch! I couldn't have been happier. Thanks guys!

Monday, February 23, 2009


So, womanizer is finally finsihed. Last Friday we played it in class (we being myself, Ian Baird, Scott Latham and Rich Klaas). I feel great about working with these guys because they're all great musicians. We only had one or tow rehearsals before we performed on friday, and it came together really quickley.
I got a lot of feedback on friday, both positive and critical. I definitely had a lot to work on with my piece. Luckily for me, Dr. Ross circled all the areas in my piece that needed to be worked on. So I fixed a few things, like the chorus (it sounded too much like the original Womanizer), and instead of having a confusing coda, I copied the chorus onto right after the second verse, then I tweaked it just a little bit to make it sound slightly different. I really liked this suggestion (by Dr. Ross). I tried to make it so that the listener would be slightly thrown off by the little differences. I also went through and corrected some of the areas where the voice wasn't fully balanced with the rest of the instruments.
I'm a little nervous about performing this on Friday, but hopefully everything will be fine, and we'll work out the new changes at the next rehearsal we have.

Monday, February 9, 2009


I played Womanizer for the class two weeks ago, but I didn't recieve much feedback because there wasn't much of it completed to present. Also, the class couldn't see the music, therefore couldn't see the lyrics. However, this week I presented for Theory Prof candidate Scott Godin, and recieved lots of helpful feedback. Firstly, Dr. Godin suggested that I bring back the sudden stops and starts that are heard in the piano accompaniment. He said that this sounds like a record skipping to him. I found this really interesting because I never interpreted this that way. I also asked him about the comedic aspect of it. I've been wondering about how I'm actually going to perform this. He suggested that the fact that I've set these lyrics is comedic enough, and anything else would probably be a little cliche.
Dr. Ross also suggested that I experiment with the Latin-type motif heard throughout the piece. This week I added a section where the time is a little different, but I haven't really done much yet in terms of the notes themselves. The cut and paste tool on sibelius is just so darn tempting sometimes...