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#1958072 - 09/12/12 10:24 PM New Composition - Abyss - for solo piano/ piano duet.
Mark Nicol Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/25/12
Posts: 34
Loc: South Australia
Am looking for a performer/performers/editors for this extremely virtuosic work in a late Romantic/Impressionist style. Numerous profile pianists have expressed much interest, but agree that the piece needs editing or preparation, editing as a two piano piece. This is the first in a set of Seven, with three finished and the fourth in progress. The audio is on youtube at:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-x52fhz9QLo&feature=plcp

Two others in the set are on my Youtube site marknicol7, and I will post PDF or Sibelius scores to anyone who desires such.
Even just help with editing would be valued, and acknowledged in the final score.

Thanks,
Mark Nicol.

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#1958858 - 09/14/12 01:25 PM Re: New Composition - Abyss - for solo piano/ piano duet. [Re: Mark Nicol]
Steve Chandler Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/18/05
Posts: 2780
Loc: Urbandale, Iowa
Hi Mark,

It sounds modern enough that I don't think calling it late romantic/impressionist is helpful. It's mostly impressionist, but that's okay these days. I'd just call it new music and leave it at that. When you pigeonhole the style you limit who will be interested in it. I'd just call it a mostly accessible virtuosic piece. Yes, it sounds a lot like Debussy in spots, but that could be where you felt it needed to go for one movement. Perhaps more important is the name, I don't really hear any Abyss in this, except perhaps in a few spots. Abyss strikes me as a vaguely negative name that I'm not sure helps the piece. However, I'll reserve judgment until I see the names of the other movements and hear them.

I would caution you that if all the movements are 10 minutes long the performance opportunities will be significantly limited. One 10 minute movement may be okay if the music is strong, but 7 means it'll only get played on very special occasions no matter how good the music is. Think about it, Mahler symphonies don't get performed often despite the fact that many people love them because they're typically very long. The same goes for Beethoven's 9th. Is your music on a par with that?

Now for what I think about this piece. It's interesting and creative, but you're right you need an editor. You need someone close to you that you can interact with. You need someone who's a monster player and can manage the music. It may help if you can play one or both of the parts. I don't believe such a person will help you for free (nor should they). There are probably very few people in your area that are capable of helping you so identify who they are and ask to meet with them. If you need to offer to buy them lunch then do so. Make a friend first then ask for their help.

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#1958877 - 09/14/12 02:19 PM Re: New Composition - Abyss - for solo piano/ piano duet. [Re: Steve Chandler]
Mark Nicol Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/25/12
Posts: 34
Loc: South Australia
Hi Steve,

thanks for the advice as regards finding an editor/performer. My nature as a very insular person doesn't help me there, and I have learnt, the hard way, that becoming part of a culture is the only way to be heard - no matter what you have to say. I certainly ostracized myself at Uni, when I was doing Honors Composition. Acknowledged by the composers as the best composer, but caused so much trouble precisely because politics rather than artistic merit determined so much - academic outcomes, performance opportunities. So that is why I am here, trying to get a performer/editor. I may be older, but I am learning - not just about artistic development, but about being a communicable human being.

Thanks for your interest, and for taking the time to communicate some helpful hints Steve,
Mark Nicol.

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#1959207 - 09/15/12 11:39 AM Re: New Composition - Abyss - for solo piano/ piano duet. [Re: Mark Nicol]
Steve Chandler Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/18/05
Posts: 2780
Loc: Urbandale, Iowa
Mark, Just remember the words of St Francis, "It is giving that we receive, it is in pardoning that we are pardoned. " This ties in with Gandhi's words to "Be the change you want to see in the world." If you think the world is judgmental and intolerant then be nonjudgmental and more tolerant. If you say this, then expect the universe will find a way to give you the opportunity to prove it, and again, and again.

Too often composers view other composers as competition, in reality one composer's success may very well open the door for others. If you play and sight read well offer your skills as accompanist. If you sing join a choir (this is the perfect time). Get involved in your community. The cure to being insular is getting out of your comfort zone and into the unwashed masses. More often than not you'll find they're clean, don't smell and are smarter than you thought.

Of course typically people are insular because they're insecure. The cure to insecurity is not platitudes and "atta boys," it's real accomplishment usually the result of hard work. You obviously have talent so share it with the world. I guarantee it'll be harder to do than you thought. You're comfortable writing piano music so try something else. Challenge yourself to do something different for a while.

OK, sorry about that. Something in what you wrote and its tone touched a nerve in me. Being good in school is not the same as being good in the real world. Your piece was good, it wasn't great, you need to learn how to be efficient in your writing. This is not the late 19th century, life moves much faster now. You need to get people's attention and hold it. I've been watching Wagner's Ring Cycle on Public television, it's gorgeous music, but good Lord was that dude long winded. Composers cannot do that in this day and age.

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#1959296 - 09/15/12 04:05 PM Re: New Composition - Abyss - for solo piano/ piano duet. [Re: Steve Chandler]
Mark Nicol Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/25/12
Posts: 34
Loc: South Australia
Steve,
yes I am fully self-aware in respect of what you have said as regards the insularity thing. Be careful about eliciting the 3byte commentary upon the artistic worth of Wagner and other music, though. You have to ask yourself - could I write anything approaching this, and can I really encompass this expression - intellectually, morally? Way too many performers conceive that they, as vicarious participants in a way, are somehow composers themselves - and the equals thereof.

Like I say, I appreciate your input, but even your final comment kind of reveals a conditioned mind not real analytical intelligence at work. The internet fosters that, and so does the age.

Real composers appreciate genuine peer review, Steve.

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#1960160 - 09/17/12 01:35 PM Re: New Composition - Abyss - for solo piano/ piano duet. [Re: Mark Nicol]
Steve Chandler Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/18/05
Posts: 2780
Loc: Urbandale, Iowa
Quote:
I've been watching Wagner's Ring Cycle on Public television, it's gorgeous music, but good Lord was that dude long winded. Composers cannot do that in this day and age.

Quote:
Like I say, I appreciate your input, but even your final comment kind of reveals a conditioned mind not real analytical intelligence at work. The internet fosters that, and so does the age.

I see that some explaining is necessary. I haven't finished watching the Ring cycle. I watched the 1st Act of Gotterdammerung last night. At 2 hours I needed to take a break. Let's get something clear while Wagner wrote both the libretto and the music the stories themselves are derived from German and Norse mythology. That doesn't diminish the accomplishment, but may explain the compelling nature of the overall story. Watching the Ring I'm impressed by the many layers of story telling and the overall arc of the drama. The music is wonderful, there's simply no other way to put it. It's easy to diminish Wagner's importance because of his personal morals (or lack thereof) and beliefs (anti-semitism was much more acceptable in the 19th century), but the fact remains he was one of the all time mastes of the craft of composition.

However, my comment that composers cannot do that in this day and age stands. The economics of mounting a 4 day operatic event for world premiere consisting of 15 hours of music would be prohibitive. In addition today's audiences inhabit a much faster paced world and want their story told more quickly. Given that there is significant repetition in the story telling Wagner could have edited his works into something significantly shorter. Given that trains were the newest mode of transportation of the time the pace of life was much slower then. Thus the Ring is much closer to being the 19th century equivalent to story telling around the communal fire than what we're accustomed to today. So for me to call Wagner long winded is based on what I'm used to in terms of movies and TV. The movie version of Tolkien's "Lord of the Rings" tells far more story in less time.

So Mark, I can see why you have social issues. Your last 3 sentences were an unnecessary pejorative judgment. Simply asking me to clarify my thoughts wouldn't have pissed me off. You were the one to take an adversarial stance. Prior to that I was constructively offering my opinion on your work and I stand by that. If you wish to criticize my music the links are at the bottom of every message I write. This isn't the 19th century and in this day and age nobody cares about classical composers. I'm sure you don't intend to alienate people, but it seems you're remarkably good at it.

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#1960819 - 09/18/12 07:26 PM Re: New Composition - Abyss - for solo piano/ piano duet. [Re: Steve Chandler]
Mark Nicol Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/25/12
Posts: 34
Loc: South Australia
Steve,

I already realised all of this, with respect to Wagner, a long time ago. His only pure music is largely just contained in the Preludes. Sorry, my mind is not conditioned by the vogues of any given age, or else I'd happily write facile crap, like Philip Glass. I don't begrudge him any success though, just like I don't have a gripe with Abba, or Barnum and Bailey's commercial philosophy.

Sorry, your analyses are still very facile, and there is no more profit to be had in discussion here. Seems to me that intelligent people will be listening to Wagner for a long, long time - so much for the death of classical music. I honestly thank you for your comments, but I can't place much value on them.

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#1960935 - 09/19/12 12:20 AM Re: New Composition - Abyss - for solo piano/ piano duet. [Re: Mark Nicol]
Nikolas Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 5369
Loc: Europe
Originally Posted By: Mark Nicol
Sorry, your analyses are still very facile, and there is no more profit to be had in discussion here. Seems to me that intelligent people will be listening to Wagner for a long, long time - so much for the death of classical music. I honestly thank you for your comments, but I can't place much value on them.
Wait... you thank him, "honestly" for his comments, but in other words you find that his comments, not only are not suited for you, but do not hold much value in them (thus they are rubbish?).

Way to go mate! Really... wink
_____________________________

On a practical point now.

I would be curious to have a look at the score and see what kind of editing is needed. I can hear that this is a difficult work, but not a heck-ishly one, so... :-/

If all pianists agree that it needs editing, then it would be appear that it would be proper to find someone to do the dirty work for you, but something like this can cost quite a lot. How many pages are we talking about here?

If you are not aiming for a commercial release of the scores, perhaps you could post the score?

Believe it or not, but I'm all for helping others and I do know that other member here know that. And I'm not the type of the composer who will fight other composers because of jealousy or anything else. I will bite if someone is accused or treated badly for no reason, or even more if it's someone I know and care for, but I think I've shown this before!
_________________________
http://www.musica-ferrum.com

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#1961110 - 09/19/12 01:16 PM Re: New Composition - Abyss - for solo piano/ piano duet. [Re: Mark Nicol]
Steve Chandler Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/18/05
Posts: 2780
Loc: Urbandale, Iowa
Nikolas,

I appreciate your support, but I believe Mark makes his nature eminently clear in his very elegant (if obnoxious) prose.

Mark,

It seems we have something in common, our opinions of each other are remarkably similar. The difference between us is that I at least made an argument.

For those watching, his claim that my argument was superficial (facile) remains his excuse for not offering any substance to his contrary view point. The reason Mark takes this argument seriously is because he has a lot of ideas in his music and of course having a lot of ideas means the pieces tend to be long. So any argument that perhaps he should pare down his work and stick with only the most effective music (i.e. edit it) is viewed with disdain, They're all his ideas so they're all worthy of inclusion in his 'masterpiece.' This isn't about writing commercial music, it's about getting your music performed and heard. If it's too long, too bloated, too verbose then it won't find performers (outside of academia).

Now if what you think is that all your score needs cleaning up, I know a service. Check out www.notesntherest.com. Please don't tell her I sent you, she may hate me for it.


In this thread Mark, you have simply carped about the argument offering nothing of substance to support a different point of view. What's the term for that? Oh yeah, ad hominem. I suspect you'll insist on having the last word so I will let you have it. Indeed there is no more profit to be had in discussion here unless you make an argument with some substance to it. Don't worry, I'm not holding my breath.

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