16th NOV – Mastering tracks and touch up scores
- What I did today was to to through all the tracks and edited them.
- First I started with putting some reverb and echo so that tracks does not sound too dead.
- Each colour of line represents the different effects.
- Then I adjusted volumes so that main melody comes out more and the supporting part will be more subtle in the background and act more like accompaniment.
- I made few adjustments on the scores so that it matches up with the recording.
- I also changed the ending – legato instead of staccato so that it has more stronger effect.
- And yes! I am done!
14th & 15th NOV – Recording Session!
- So! I have finished with my composition and now its time to record
- I recorded the Violin and the Cello first so that there is a set rhythm in the music.
- From my experiences from the TME and Ensemble Pedagogy, it was quite easy to set up the recording gears for the instrument.
- I got some ideas from Jess on bowing techniques and we decided to do this for the main theme phrase
- and this really gave me the sound/atmosphere I wanted
- After finishing recording two strings, I recorded the piano underneath. There were some struggles playing the rhythm hence we took several takes in bars then combined them into one.
- it was quite hard to line them up actually. I had to spend fair bit of time to line them up so that we were all playing at the same time.
- My next goal is to mastering all the tracks and then I am DONE!
11th NOV – Fixing up the score before recording
- I’ve fixed up some parts from the feedback I had from last session
- I changed all the rhythms except some triplets – so that when pianist plays the piece, they know the exact rhythm.
- I added ‘use pedal’ in this section so that it contrasts with previous ‘baroque’ theme where I wrote ‘no pedal’
- I also made some changes on this section where they told me it did not fit harmonically. And I also added slurs to create more legato sound
- Hopefully by next session I will have all the dynamic markings done so that it is good to record!
6th NOV – Class Feedback Time on my composition
So today, I had to present my whole 2 minute composition to my classmates.
Feedbacks I got were:
- I need to change all the ties into SLUR!
- From bar 13 to bar 20, they said that they can not here a sense of harmonic structure – which is what I struggled with as well. I should go on to the piano and just play chords, so that I can hear how the music is moving harmonically.
- Also the ‘Swing’ Part had a problem
- Rather than notating the rhythm, they told me that if I am writing a ‘swing’ I should write the music as a straight rhythm then put ‘swing’ on top of the music
29th OCT – Composing the end section
- Rather than going on with the middle section, I composed the end part so that I know where I am heading to
- I wanted to finish the composition with the nice simple ending just like the beginning of the composition.
- All the players are playing the rhythmic unison – which means they need to be really together when I am recording them. If will be quite obvious if someone is playing out of time.
- Now all I need to consider is the expressive techniques and the middle section
28th OCT – Composing the next section and some ideas on the ‘Swing’
- With the idea of moving the music in circle of the 5th, I’ve laid out the chord structure for myself
- D – A – E – B – F – C – G
- This was quite hard to follow since I was keep getting clashes in the places I did not want the clash to happen…
- Also I am very confused whether I am following the right structure or not?
- Here is the middle section between the end of the ‘Baroque’ theme and start of the ‘Jazz’ theme
- I think there are a lot of clashes which I do not want but I am not sure what to do with it.
- I am want to imply the ‘Question and Answer’ form here
- Maybe there is too many jumps for the violin?
26th OCT – Composing the Theme
- Restructuring my composition structure:
- Now I have 4 sections;
- 1. “Baroque Theme”
- Violin + RH piano
- 2. “Jazz theme”
- RH + LH piano & Cello
- 3. Little outro of’ ‘Jazz theme’
- All Instruments
- 4. Return of the “Baroque” theme
- All instruments
- 1. “Baroque Theme”
- Now I have 4 sections;
- Main Theme
- So I composed the main theme for the violin
- From bar 9, it is the return of the main theme
- I need to fix the ‘tie’ up and change them into ‘slurs’
- I am not 100% sure whether that is the technique I will be using to create the sound I want.
- This is how it looks like with the piano part. I am just going to use the RH of the piano so that it creates nice simple structure/sound
- I wanted to create more calm atmosphere for this theme so that when it gets to the ‘swing’ theme, there is a big contrast
- I really need to think about how I want that theme to sound like – e.g. techniques, dynamics, etc
- Now I need to see how I can move that theme into the Jazz section
24th OCT –Feedback on our composition draft
If you’ve seen my previous blog post, we have a course called Composition in Music Education during this semester. In this course, we had an assignment where we had to create a baby step composition for students in high school.
Now, as a second step, we have to create a composition following the baby-steps we’ve created previously – which is a great thing to do to see how it actually works/ helps in composing the music.
So, following my step, firstly I layout the table of what Instrument I want to use, key signature and the map of the composition. I chose violin, piano and the bass to start with.
Then, I composed the theme for the ‘baroque’ – which is my first theme, based on the canonic device. Then, I went to see my lecturer and had some chat about the composition.
Here, I faced with some problems and advises. Originally, my composition had 10 sections – moving around in 2 themes. But, I was targeting year 11-12 students who only need to composed for 2 minutes. This really gave me shock – why did I not think about this (I guess this is a key reason why we are working based on our own assignment). Hence, I reduced the number of sections to 3 – Baroque theme, Jazz Theme, Combination (maybe I will end with short baroque theme).
Another concern was that I had no unifying theme in my composition. Originally I wanted to make two distinctive theme – different time signature, different chord progression. But I agreed that this is just making everything TOO DIFFICULT and TOO MUCH to think about. So we came up with an idea of composing Jazz in 3/4 time + harmonically move in 5th.
So this is where I’m up to at the moment. It was great to have a chance revising our own assignment and spot all the problems which I did not consider student’s point of view.
23rd OCT – Some ideas on the Structure and Instrumentation
- I chose to follow the same structure as the original composition. 10 sections with mixture of baroque theme and jazz theme
- Instead of using the ‘Blues’ theme, I chose to go with the ‘swing’. I feel like I am more comfortable with composing the swing than the blue. Just because I am quite unfamiliar with the musical ideas of Jazz.
- First, I looked what what I am available with in my class.
- We do not have a flautist, however we have quite a few good violinists – hence I might change my main instrument to Violin
- I will keep the piano as the melody and the bass part
- I will change the bass to cello – I can easily record it
- Structure/ Instrumentation plan:
- Section 1
- Violin + Piano playing the canon in duet
- Section 2
- Violin + Piano playing the canon but little bit of chord difference (use of 7th maybe?)
- Section 3
- Piano solo
- ‘Swing’ theme comes in
- Cello enters as the walking bass line
- Section 4
- The ‘Baroque’ theme returns with cello continuing the canon
- Section 5
- Start to mix up the Jazz and Baroque – Imitations, Questioning and Answering form
- Section 6
- Key highlight of the composition
- Section 7
- Back to the Baroque theme
- Section 1
What is it playing?
- Now I just have to start writing my theme and the ending and see what I can do with my composition
21st OCT – Starting on my Composition
- I want to create something very different to other compositions based on minimalism
- I came across with this composition by Claude Bolling called “Baroque and Blues” for flute, piano and the bass.
- So going back to the baby step I’ve created, first, I analysed the song. So this song has 10 sections: combination of the ‘baroque’ theme and ‘blues’ theme. As the piece develops, the ‘baroque’ theme and the ‘blues’ theme mix and creates a whole new idea.
- I was really impressed on how the two very different but also quite similar genre can be mixed into a one piece. And it was really interesting to see how the composer incorporated two genre and produced a new musical idea.
- My next step will be to start resembling ideas on overall structure and instrumentation.