Fire - a unique piano trio!

Posted by: TrueMusic

Fire - a unique piano trio! - 11/30/12 03:57 AM

So, last semester I began experimenting with a new take [at least from what I know...] with the classic piano trio. As someone who was originally drawn to music through rock music, mainly bands like Muse, Ben Folds, and some others, and only discovered classical music AFTER I fell in love with them, I thought it would be fun to take a classic piano trio of Violin, Cello, and Piano and add an Electric Guitar and drumset into the mix. It created some pretty cool textures and what I think is some pretty interesting music. So far I've written two movements of the set, Water & Fire [When complete, it'll be Earth, Air, Fire & Water]. Here is Fire movement.

The theory behind the piece is mainly built around the intervals of fifths, fourths, and sevenths. There are a few moment of other things and the ending is entirely tonal, but I like the harmonic language I used quite a bit.

Let me know what you think! I've only been seriously studying composition for a little over a year now [I've been studying music a lot longer though...] and feel like I'm starting to "find my voice" with this piece. Any comments, suggestions, or ideas for the future are of course welcome!

[Also, is there a better way to share the files than drop box? I know many might not want to download the files but would rather stream.]

Also, just informing you, the mp3 is just a take of the finale file not real instruments. I haven't found string player for this yet. I have piano [myself], guitar, and drums, but I don't have any strings players that I want to hand the parts over to yet.

Mp3:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/10mewk9u31ut5x5/Fire.mp3

PDF of score:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/fot5smeumdfkk0e/Fire.pdf

Finale File of Score:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/ao44q3jgpyrdekv/Fire.mus
Posted by: Nikolas

Re: Fire - a unique piano trio! - 12/07/12 12:13 AM

I'm bumping this and saving this spot to comment further once I get in the studio. Time caught up with me and I need to go now... wink
Posted by: BeccaBb

Re: Fire - a unique piano trio! - 12/07/12 12:31 AM

Truemusic:

I'm only in my first year of piano so I really can't critique it. However, I liked it. I haven't heard anything similar up to this point. The piece seems very dark. For some reason this reminds me of something I would hear at a ballet.
Posted by: LoPresti

Fire - a unique piano trio! - 12/07/12 02:20 AM

That is SOME EFFORT! Dying embers that come ablaze again, and , of course, return to dying embers.

You are right -- no one wants to download these things, but I did have a quick look at your score. The real question for me is not the string players, but do you have an electric guitarist who can cut this?

A couple of small technical things:
Measure 18 - The lower notes in the piano's treble clef have three quarter notes in a row. Without seeing the movement of the other parts, that will be difficult for a piano player (other than you) to prolate, so I would recommend a quarter, followed by two eights tied together, followed by another quarter. Sounds the same – much easier to read in 12/8 meter.

Measure 25 - I liked the way this measure ended on the very last part of that measure without carrying over into the first beat of the next. This happened at least one other time in the score, and it is very effective!

Measures 64,65,68,69 - The violin must “see” that seventh eighth note at the very end of each of these measures, so simply change your half-notes to dotted-quarters tied over to an eighth. Once again, it sounds exactly the same, but is essential for reading when the player can not see the movement of other parts, especially when the measure starts with a duplet.

I'll need a second look tomorrow to better determine the movement in the harmonic structure. On first glance, I do not get much sense of direction, but that could be the hour . . .

Very, very nice use of cross-rhythms. I am anxious to hear how well that dense complexity recreates the blaze for which you are striving. BUT, not enough to download anything . . .

Ed
Posted by: TrueMusic

Re: Fire - a unique piano trio! - 12/07/12 03:06 AM

Originally Posted By: LoPresti
That is SOME EFFORT! Dying embers that come ablaze again, and , of course, return to dying embers.

You are right -- no one wants to download these things, but I did have a quick look at your score. The real question for me is not the string players, but do you have an electric guitarist who can cut this?

A couple of small technical things:
Measure 18 - The lower notes in the piano's treble clef have three quarter notes in a row. Without seeing the movement of the other parts, that will be difficult for a piano player (other than you) to prolate, so I would recommend a quarter, followed by two eights tied together, followed by another quarter. Sounds the same – much easier to read in 12/8 meter.

Measure 25 - I liked the way this measure ended on the very last part of that measure without carrying over into the first beat of the next. This happened at least one other time in the score, and it is very effective!

Measures 64,65,68,69 - The violin must “see” that seventh eighth note at the very end of each of these measures, so simply change your half-notes to dotted-quarters tied over to an eighth. Once again, it sounds exactly the same, but is essential for reading when the player can not see the movement of other parts, especially when the measure starts with a duplet.

I'll need a second look tomorrow to better determine the movement in the harmonic structure. On first glance, I do not get much sense of direction, but that could be the hour . . .

Very, very nice use of cross-rhythms. I am anxious to hear how well that dense complexity recreates the blaze for which you are striving. BUT, not enough to download anything . . .

Ed


First off, yes I do have a guitarist who can cut it! I have two friends that are some of the best guitarists I've ever heard - they'll do fine. I don't know for sure which one is gonna play it for me next semester, but either one can do it! Also since I'm a pseudo guitar player [I know my chords and strumming, just not great on lead] I was able to play through the parts to check them. I couldn't do them clean at tempo but they're manageable!

Thanks for the comments! I'll look into changing those measures in the score to have a much clearer rhythmic notation.

As far as harmonic structure, the harmonic basis was predominately fifths, sevenths and fourths. There are two sections that are written in a mixolydian mode and the end is B major ending in B minor. It starts somewhat based around F, stays there for awhile, moves to G Mixolydian, goes to a sort of C# Phrygian, and the big FF section is a chord progression I found during a piano improv [actually, the whole thing started as an improv...] but, I did a C#m7 - Amaj9 - F Maj [outlining an F augmented Chord in the roots] then C#m7 - Amaj9 - F#m7 - then C#m7 - Amaj9 - E. After that it goes into the more traditional tonal sections. I'm passed the "level" of composition at my school where we're allowed to write traditional harmony. [We have a three tiered structure - first one is generally reserved for piano solos and small traditional family ensembles [string quartets, etc.] and simpler forms with good harmonic progressions & voice leading. Next you move to being allowed to mix ensembles, but still keep it smaller and learning to use post tonal techniques, and use larger forms. The final level is basically being allowed to do whatever you want, but generally people use the last level for larger scores [orchestra, band, etc.] for their "big piece" at the senior recital.

It certainly doesn't have a "traditional" harmonic progression, I more felt it out and made the changes as my ear directed. Again, the whole piece is more based of harmonies in intervals and modal movement rather than traditional tonality.

Also, any advice on a place I can upload the file for streaming? Cause I'd love to have you listen to it! I just don't know where I can put the file for streaming purposes. [Also, finale doesn't QUITE give it the blaze I'm wanting...the electric guitar sound is atrocious and sounds much better through a nice guitar, tube amp, and some overdrive. The drums in finale are also quite bad - you can't even hear the snares! So those two things are definitely lacking when trying to recreate the blazing effect.


And BeccaB, thanks for the comments! Glad you enjoyed the piece. It would be kind of fun to get a dancer to choreograph this and turn it into something! haha.
I'm considering, once I'm done with the whole set, orchestrating it out which will really give me a medium where I can get the "full effect" I want.
Posted by: TrueMusic

Re: Fire - a unique piano trio! - 12/12/12 08:59 PM

Found a way to stream online easily enough!
Here ya go LoPresti & Nikolas, easy ways to listen!

https://www.box.com/s/pupve8zri4nua5id4z7k
Posted by: LoPresti

Fire - a unique piano trio! - 12/12/12 11:31 PM

Mr. True,

Some of us on this Forum have been discussing different methods and gradients of the composition process. May I congratulate you? You have produced what I call a real COMPOSITION by anyone's standards! And, as a student?!?! Bravo.

Now, as you already know, the rendering of said composition leaves much to be desired! I do not want to detract in the slightest from a very admirable work. However, if you ever wish to orchestrate this differently, we already know what the Cor Inglese will sound like when playing the 'Cello part in its upper register. Also, the violin is very nice as an oboe.

It is very unfortunate that the tool here masks such inventive writing! Your percussion's precision is almost non-existant in your build-up to the Sixites Measures, and what will be very exciting tremolandi in the strings is almost unnoticed in this medium - sadly! Dynamics are flat, at best, but I can actually hear what you intended, and it works very nicely. And of course, there is no passion, nor terror of the flames.

The sooner you can get it rehearsed and really recorded, the better!

Ed
Posted by: TrueMusic

Re: Fire - a unique piano trio! - 12/12/12 11:49 PM

Originally Posted By: LoPresti
Mr. True,

Some of us on this Forum have been discussing different methods and gradients of the composition process. May I congratulate you? You have produced what I call a real COMPOSITION by anyone's standards! And, as a student?!?! Bravo.

Now, as you already know, the rendering of said composition leaves much to be desired! I do not want to detract in the slightest from a very admirable work. However, if you ever wish to orchestrate this differently, we already know what the Cor Inglese will sound like when playing the 'Cello part in its upper register. Also, the violin is very nice as an oboe.

It is very unfortunate that the tool here masks such inventive writing! Your percussion's precision is almost non-existant in your build-up to the Sixites Measures, and what will be very exciting tremolandi in the strings is almost unnoticed in this medium - sadly! Dynamics are flat, at best, but I can actually hear what you intended, and it works very nicely. And of course, there is no passion, not terror of the flames.
The sooner you can get it rehearsed and really recorded, the better!

Ed


Wow, thanks for the compliments!! This is definitely the first composition where I feel like I've found my own voice. Last year I felt like I was just doing experiments, trying this, trying that, finding sounds I liked and could use, but this year my compositions seems to have taken life of their own, and this was the first one I produced this semester. I also wrote a WW quintet using an octatonic scale with mixes if quintal/quartal harmony and chromatic and a piano duo that is still unfinished [I keep thinking I've finished it, and then I listen to it/play through it and decided it needs more.] I really, really feel like my this semester has been a breakthrough for me, both in piano and composition.

As far as orchestration goes, that would be interesting to play with Cor Inglese [I don't know anyone that plays this right now though, english horns are hard to find, despite them being one of my favorite instruments] and Oboe. I am strongly considering doing a full orchestration of the complete set once it's finished. But one can only expect so much out of finale, especially without any fancy VST plug ins and things to really add to the sound.

I have most of my players for this arrangement of it right now and hopefully I will get it recorded next semester!

Again, thanks for the compliments!
Posted by: LoPresti

Fire - a unique piano trio! - 12/12/12 11:56 PM

If you have not already done them, do not neglect those technical notation changes I suggested earlier. The ones in the strings (maybe just violin) between Mms. 60 to 70, are absolutely essential.

A great job.
Ed
Posted by: TrueMusic

Re: Fire - a unique piano trio! - 12/13/12 12:13 AM

Already made the changes, thanks for the help on those.