New composition: Prelude

Posted by: Ben Crosland

New composition: Prelude - 09/11/12 06:50 PM

A new piece, and my first recording with Pianoteq4 Stage - having got totally fed up messing about with the dynamics in Ivory 2 trying to avoid velocity crossovers, I decided to pull the trigger on this today.

If subsequent tweaks reveal significantly better playability, I might do a retake, but hopefully this is OK for critique.

Hope you enjoy it - feedback welcome smile

http://soundcloud.com/ben-crosland/prelude
Posted by: sedonepix II

Re: New composition: Prelude - 09/14/12 04:16 AM

Hello Ben Crosland!
I listened your composition several times during yesterday evening: a very interesting composition in my opinion, it was nice to listen the "transitions"! I very enjoyed (sorry, I can not comment this composition for any constructive side, since I am not a theorist in music). But I got much pleasure.

Greetings from Prague!
Posted by: Tim Adrianson

Re: New composition: Prelude - 09/14/12 01:19 PM

My general reactions are that

1 There is a beautiful singing line throughout, but
2 I really want a "B" section, then a return to the "A" material, to heighten the impact of the singing line -- or,
3 if "A" material only, then the implied chordal progressions and melodic arch need somewhat more focus, so that the ending is tied in more decisively to the beginning, particularly so if you're electing to leave the rhythmic pulse constant throughout.

But -- a very GOOD piece; I just think there's an opportunity to make it bang-up good!
Posted by: Dara

Re: New composition: Prelude - 09/14/12 01:47 PM

Lovely piece Ben !
There is a beautiful feeling and flow to your composition. I feel it could go on longer and be developed further but it is also beautiful as is.

I'm not familiar with Pianoteq4 Stage so I just did a quick search online. To me it sounded like this was a recording of live playing on an acoustic piano and perhaps that is the intention that it should sound like this. I have only had experience with playing acoustic piano , other than a brief sojourn with a digital piano several years ago when I couldn't afford an acoustic.
I guess it puzzles me a little why electronic mediums should try and duplicate the sound of acoustic instruments. I have no trouble accepting electronic music and technology but if there is a choice to go with the original source of sound, why so much effort is put in to trying to make something sound like/imitate something else.

So often I hear 'piano compositions' here that are not played on a piano. I don't really get the whole drive to fake a piano sound when one could simply play on a piano. i even prefer to hear a lousy sounding piano than an electronic medium that often has no dynamics/breath/character.

This is no slight against your performance or composition, which I enjoyed very much.
And like sedonepix11 , I listened to your piece several times.
Posted by: Ben Crosland

Re: New composition: Prelude - 09/14/12 03:07 PM

Thanks for the lovely comments smile

Regarding the structure, I actually only recently extended it quite considerably - from where what I think of as the A section comes back down to the Bb sus, it went straight to the "Coda" - i.e. where it returns to the G5 (the first chord), and then fades to the Eb major.

In fact, I was so enamoured with that first progression, that for a while I was actually just doing a straight repeat, but louder, and then the Coda.

Having got back from holiday in Last month, I suddenly found the start of the next section - from the Cm7 chord - and then drove myself nearly insane trying to work it back down to the original Coda. Like you, sedonepix11, I am one of those composers who can only work at the piano by trial and error, which can be very slow going! I have toyed with doing A-B-A-Coda, but so far I'm erring on the side of "less is more".

Regarding the performance/recording, I was inspired by sedonepix11's lovely recordings to buy Pianoteq4. I may do an acoustic video on my Kemble, but they take ages, as I tend to get red light fever, and end up having to loads of retakes - at least with the software recordings I can tweak the odd note if needs be, without having to retake the whole thing.

What I really like about Pianoteq4, is that it doesn't have any audible velocity crossover points, which I found to be a complete PITA with Ivory 2 - this piece requires very subtle, slow-breathing swells and dips, and the brutal velocity breaks in Ivory stuck out like sore thumbs!

I have since tweaked the velocity response curve of my DP with Pianoteq's assistant, and I could easily do a much better take I think - hopefully, this would satisfy Tim's point 3. I'll nudge the thread with a new link if I do.