Jorgakis

Active Member
Hello there,

this is my try on a rather symphonic opening movement than poem, as I did once.
It's called utopia because it somehow has this kind of "forced" enthusiasm and I never thought it would be finishable, because its themes are really hard to fit together:D
But I tried it anyways, just spend too much time with it.
I have already composed a half of a second movement, but am not sure about finishing it or just improving my compositions on shorter pieces.
I hope you enjoy it:

best wishes
Jorgo
 

AlexanderSchiborr

Senior Member
Hi Jorgo,
Thanks for sharing..man..thats a long track. I was listening to the first 5 minutes, and I am brutal honest: I am totally lost in the music and not connected at all, not even a few seconds.
While I assume what you aim for to create a dramatic symphonic romantic esqued piece in the vein of the great composers from that time, your piece does not work because it lets not establish a basic theme / motif and it has no structure for me. Often I feel also that you throw in just random notes for the sake of having something going on in your piece?
There are so many many notes and random modulations and little motifs which appear and dissapear..I don´t know where I am. My head literally blows of and I am dead.
Somehow I think in general your ideas are cool, but you need to relax and just concentrate on a few of them and work them out.
My idea would be here: Write a simple motif and try "slowly" to extent your idea by adding new elements, either harmonic or melodic ones. Write not directly to orchestra samples, sketch your idea out on Piano or Pencil and Paper before! Otherwise you have no control about what you want to do and where you go.

Your orchestrations are pretty nice though and your sense of creating drama is good, but you need to relax dude, honestly. "REEEE-LAX" :D
I am not sure, but I assume that all this first 5 minutes work perfectly in your head after you listened to it hundreds of times, but it doesn´t. You should simplify. And I mean that very serious when you want to have a connection to your audience. Other than that: Thank you for sharing and I hope I didn´t scare you because of my comment.
 
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airflamesred

The crumpet man's thinker
I agree with Alexander. Leave it for a week, seems to be lots of branches and no tree, if you see what I mean. Love the sound, great mix and lots of good ideas.
 
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Jorgakis

Jorgakis

Active Member
@AlexanderSchiborr
I totally understand you, and since I'm aware of this problem even more than ever, it somehow seems to have gotten worse.
It is in every recent composition of mine and I don't know what to do honestly:D That's why I tried to finish this and in the end I somehow thought it made sense, also because I spent more thought on it than in other pieces.

No you are right, I don't really know what to do though. A minute before I posted I thought it was good, it really was a lot of work. It seems knowing that "yeah don't mess it up" makes me messing it up the worst it can get.
 

AlexanderSchiborr

Senior Member
@AlexanderSchiborr
I totally understand you, and since I'm aware of this problem even more than ever, it somehow seems to have gotten worse.
It is in every recent composition of mine and I don't know what to do honestly:D That's why I tried to finish this and in the end I somehow thought it made sense, also because I spent more thought on it than in other pieces.

No you are right, I don't really know what to do though. A minute before I posted I thought it was good, it really was a lot of work. It seems knowing that "yeah don't mess it up" makes me messing it up the worst it can get.
I tell you: What you have done there was an incredible amount of work. That´s for sure. I think: Relax, don´t overthink (lol..I am a good candidate for that thing as well :D)..but don´t overthink too much. Don´t be afraid that your idea might be to simple...no it is often the opposite. There is a difference between making something complex or just complicated and confusing. Even complex orchestration and all over the place written parts have at least one element which they feature in a simple way so that you can concentrate and clearly identify and this is important otherwise you can´t connect. Sure a lot of elements are around it for thickeing the textures and creating harmonies and forward motion, but that one line is still in there and strongly audible. Amd before you get to such parts writing you need to learn and strengthen the simple parts. Well, let me show you this at an example. Though it is no symphony it is a very good example of what I am speaking of here. The Mission by John Williams, great track.


Regardless where you are in the track, you have one element which is exposed and clearly featured in comaprison to the rest. And it is very often here either "Trombones / Trumpets", or "Horns" or "Violins 1 +2" doing the main motif line. And the focus is very clear. His whole track contains a motif for the a section (0:00-14 seconds, twice) , and b section motif (15 seconds -34 seconds, 3 Times), and a little counterpoint motivic fanfare (19-21 seconds). This counterpoint fanfare is first feature more in a sweet way (Winds, melodic prc etc) So what does he after the third idea? He builds a bridge part, but the truth is, it is Section A again where he "hides" the main motif line "behind" the Strings which play the melody are featured prominently and adds the main motif from Section a as counterpointed elements when you listen closely. So this is a good example where you combine "new things" with familiar things you allready know. After that he return back to the b Section but in a more powerful way, while the Vloas and Cello due the shimmering glue the Violins are prominently featured and counterpoint is "more in your face" and more fanfarish instead of the first time. This is the way how you should work in your symphony in my opinion first to learn this elements to intensify and to let them grow. Sure this example is more filmmusic than symphony but the principles of establishing and developing ideas are the Same.
 

Parsifal666

I don't even own a DAW, I'm just a troll.
The Mission by John Williams, great track.


rn this elements to intensify and to let them grow. Sure this example is more filmmusic than symphony but the principles of establishing and developing ideas are the Same.
Great post, Alexander, but please accept my special thanks for this piece. Like most I was only familiar with the beginning, but this is a magically orchestrated, wonderful piece on its own.
 

muk

Senior Member
To add to what Alexander wrote: I can not lock on the music because there is no comprehensible form. Structure is extremely important for the listener, but here everything is a jumbled stream of consciousness. On top of Alexander's advice I would recommend to read up as much as you can about musical forms - especially sonata forms. At the same time study romantic era symphonies and observe closely how the composers build the movements into coherent structures. First and last movements very often use the sonata form, which is the single most important form for symphonic orchestral music. Of course you don't have to use this specific form for your own compositions, but learning about it will sharpen your understanding of music and help you build your own coherent structures.
Or, if you already know alot about forms, it is time put that knowledge to practical use for your own compositions.

Apart from that it is obvious that a lot of work and thought went into this work. You have great ideas, and the orchestration is really nice too.
 
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Jorgakis

Jorgakis

Active Member
Thanks alex for the great post. I understand what you're showing me and in shorter, more cinematic pieces of mine I'm trying to establish those tipps even more. Yet while composing it is always a problem at the end, always a fight between "that is too simple" , "this bores me", "that's a ripoff" and "hey why not going totally mad". And composing a piece like this I'm rather pushing the extremes than trying to be simple.

But it is true, the main ideas have to stick out more and can't be drowned in other stuff. It's totally stupid I don't know why I do this...:D

The funny thing is, I myself am totally a fan of melody(but also of total madness ofc:D) and being able to lock on something. But I learned through classical symphonic music that it doesn't always has to be catchy and easy to follow. For me, there is a lot of symphonic music that is really hard to lock on, structure-wise and between the themes and I'm not talking about scriabin or ligeti or whatever. I have this with Brahms or Beethoven, too. I'm not that well educated musically and I understand that all those works follow a reasonable structure, though I don't feel like it always helps making something "digestable".

So,
@muk
I know of course about sonata forms and I'm interested in analysing symphonies, but maybe I there is a huge lack of understanding in some points.
In my pieces I always try to repeat the ideas in every possible way , in slightly different versions, mixed with other themes or just in another tempo. Apparently it didn't work out well:D For me this piece is 3 Ideas basically, Theme A (Intro) Theme B, that crazy rollercoster type of thing and Theme C , rather dramatic and lyrical. I'm doing nothing else than varying all those Ideas. Just to show you what I was thinking regarding the form. But apparently there is more to it than I can understand.

Nevertheless, I thank you guys for your honesty, it shows me that there is a problem I have to work on ,maybe I need to hear it 1000 times more, but I hope it can be solved.
 

Paul T McGraw

Senior Member
@Jorgakis you have a wonderful sense of drama, and your orchestration ideas are marvelous. I also really like your harmonic style. I can tell that your piece as you have written it is a very personal expression of your art, and there is nothing "wrong" with it exactly as it is now written. Art is a very personal thing, for both the creator and the listener. I would much prefer listening to your work than John Adams or Pierre Boulez, or countless other minimalists, serialists or atonalists.

You have to decide your own goals for your work. Obviously you are not on the path of writing trailer music and seeking to do film scores. So do you want to increase the potential pool of listeners who will enjoy your work? If so, I have to agree with previous posts that your music would benefit immensely from greater structure and discipline. By doing so you will communicate with a wider audience. But that is an artistic choice. It is not a matter of right and wrong.

Your mix and your samples are awesome.
 

muk

Senior Member
The difficulty with inventing your own forms is that you have to make it very clear to the listener what is happening, which point in the structure you are at and where it is going. Otherwise they have no chance to follow. You can do that harmonically, thematically, through instrumentation... One thing that is great about sonata form is that all these elements come together.

There is a first 'theme'. It serves the purpose of establishing the tonic key and presenting important motivic/thematic material. Then a modulation takes place, indicating to the listener that we are leaving the primary theme zone. The modulation (=transition zone) leads to the new key (often the dominant). And that is not only indicated through harmony (new key), but most often through a full stop generalpause. Then the next point in the formal structure begins: the second theme zone. This is made apparent in various ways: new key, often with a generalpause just before it, new motivic/thematic material (often contrasting in various ways with the primary theme to make it even more noticeable), contrasting orchestration etc.

Only at a later point, in the development section, the motivic/thematic material that was presented to the listener in the exposition gets varied ('motivisch-thematische Arbeit'). This, again, gives the listener a chance to apprehend what is happening. You first have to present your thematic material in a way that the listener understands: this is important stuff, better listen closely. That also builds the expectation that the material will be used later on, and recur in a recognizeable fashion. Only after you have built that expectation you can play with it - either fulfill it, or not, or both.

As Paul wrote, none of this is mandatory, and there is no right or wrong. These are just techniques that have been proven to work for communicating with a wider audience. Maybe they can help you on your path. In any case, keep working and making great music. You clearly have a lot of talent and passion.
 

FinGael

Active Member
Thank you for sharing.

This is something that is hard for me to explain. At least now, but I'll try my best.

When it seems that you are passionate and pursuing something of your own - instead of trying to please the big masses or riding on top of the waves of current trends, I would suggest a more esoteric approach....

When I think about masters in some craft, to me they are individuals who have a vision, who know what they want and are capable to execute it. Individuals who "can see clearly" and know their craft.

I am a very sensitive person, and it is often easy for me in an art piece to sense the mood or mental state of the person who has created it. The mental (and spiritual) state from where one creates, is often overlooked and seen irrelevant, but to me they are essential parts in artistic creation, and in my opinion truly affect the end result in many ways.

Nowadays there is a lot of "empty" art, where I can find nothing else than the physical or aural form/expression, but the ones that rise above the else are something much more. We live in a busy world, where most of the people lack the opportunity, or will, to stop and create a deeper connection with life and themselves, and this can be seen or heard in what they do and create. In contrary, there is art that shines, and this "much more" is mostly something that is hard for our mind to comprehend, because it is abstract, does not have a solid form and is harder for our mind to explain, label or analyze. Something we sense, but rarely can grasp. Like sand that falls through our fingers, when we try to get a hold of it.

To me an artistic creation is a little bit like an iceberg - the audible or visible form is the top part that can be seen, but the rest of it can not be seen or heard (=immaterial), and if one lacks this deeper connection, usually does the art the same person is creating. There are rare exceptions, individuals who can channel marvelous things and not be conscious about what they are doing, but I would say that it is a minority.

I am writing this, because I feel that the most important thing for you now, could be to find a way to connect to the stillness and peace inside of you - the place where you can see clearly. If one is restless, or lacks the deeper connection with him-/herself and life in general, it does not provide the deeper understanding of what he/she is doing. By understanding I do not necessarily mean analyzing, but knowing deep in your heart how things should be in your composition. In my experience working from this kind of state really can make the end result shine, and the one creating has a chance to in a way become one with the creation, and know how things should be done.

If it resonates even a bit, then please think of this and what could be the methods for you to connect on a more deep level with your own being and to you artistic creation. Could it be being in nature, meditating or something else?

I listened to your piece twice and the first time it was many times quite difficult to find the rope that was there to guide me through the story of your creation. Later half was easier and when I listened the piece for a second time in a row it was easier to flow with. I still think that a more clear form could be a good thing, unless you inside of you know (in stillness and peace of mind) that the things are the way they are supposed to.

As I've stated before; to me you are very talented and personally I like many of your compositional choices and ideas.

It would be also interesting to hear about the tools you have used - if it is not a secret.
 
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Jorgakis

Jorgakis

Active Member
@Paul T McGraw
Thanks for the kind words, they definitely built me up. I surely want to target a wider audience, but at the same time I want to discover and serve my longing for the experiment/the passion for classical music. I'm still discovering the classical world which is my main world right now. My ideal would be to find something that serves both, the cinematic more approchable part and the symphonic one. Not sure if this is possible but who knows.

@muk
Thanks for your advice, I will try in further pieces. Maybe this piece is some of the worst examples, I hope not all my pieces are that unclear in terms of themes:D I really like your stuff btw!

@FinGael
You always write some really nice soothing posts, thanks for that!
It seems that I totally lost a realistic view on this piece. For me it was definitely "massive" but not this unclear as to most of you. But maybe it just shows how "unrelaxed" I am atm (as Alex said).
I think I understand what you mean, and somehow I knew that it was problematic. But this feeling, I have established recently. And since then composing got even worse. But maybe it's a transition that has to be gone through.

Ofc you can hear about the Tools:
Berlin WW
Hollywood Brass
Hollywood Orchestral Percussion
Metropolis Ark 1 Brass
Cinematic Studio Strings (The best, sorry for being sceptical at first)
VSL SE Vol.1 Harp , Bass Clarinet and Contrabassoon
Lexicon Reverb
EW Spaces Reverb
 

Kas

Member
I had time for only one listening and I feel one listening it's not enough to express any meaningful thoughts for this kind of music. I remember the first time I listened to Also sprach Zarathustra. Apart from the famous intro, I was completely lost for the rest of it not having many things to latch or a structure I could follow. Of course at that time my musical education was less than now yet I could dismiss it and thus depriving myself of Strauss' music. I didn't and now I can appreciate more music in that vein. As to your piece, could I whistle any melody after one listen? Absolutely not! Did I detect the overall structure or the motifs and the repetitions? No way! Does it really matter? No because there were some great melodies with rich and diverse harmonic language, great orchestration, moments of passionate music and most importantly it made me want to revisit it and discover its hidden layers. Not all music needs to be catchy.