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A Summer Symphony Mvt. III - Summer Pastimes

Paul T McGraw

Senior Member
I composed "A Summer Symphony" between August and December 2018, but have just completed a midi performance of this movement. Here is the "program" for this third movement.

"A Summer Symphony" – Fond memories of summer days of youth and coming of age in the 1960's.

Mvt. III – Summer Pastimes – In my youth, we boys hung out together every day. We played at war, and hunted for snakes and other critters. We had bicycle races that zoomed around our neighborhood. But most of all, we played never-ending games of baseball. Every day we played baseball!
This form is a sort of lopsided Scherzo. The Opening theme (messing around with friends) is heard in bassoon then clarinet. Next, we have the baseball theme in the strings. At 1:20 we hear music depicting racing bicycles. Unlike a true Scherzo, the initial material is not repeated exactly but developed and expanded. Baseball is just baseball, but when it returns it is in winds, then in brass. Hopefully, the expansion and development of the "messing around with friends" theme depicts activities like playing at war, hunting snakes and critters, and the occasional dispute between friends.

I would appreciate your comments, good or bad. The score is posted below.


Score:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/j863xk1zr29jme1/Summer Mvt 3 Summer Pastimes score - Full Score.pdf?dl=0


Instruments Used:
  • Woodwinds - VSL
  • Brass - Berlin Brass
  • Percussion - VSL
  • Strings - VSL Synchron Strings + Spitfire Symphonic Strings mixed 50/50
 

ChrisSiuMusic

Senior Member
Wonderful work Paul! I love the simplicity of the main theme, how it develops and takes some twists, along with some creative orchestration choices along the way. Truly a dynamic feel here. Aside from a couple of MIDI tweaks (articulation management) and volume balancing issues, I think you've really nailed what you were going for here!
 
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Paul T McGraw

Paul T McGraw

Senior Member
Wonderful work Paul! I love the simplicity of the main theme, how it develops and takes some twists, along with some creative orchestration choices along the way. Truly a dynamic feel here. Aside from a couple of MIDI tweaks (articulation management) and volume balancing issues, I think you've really nailed what you were going for here!
Thanks @ChrisSiuMusic and I value your ears! That sounds silly, but I mean that having heard and appreciated your music and you midi abilities, I thus value what you have to say.

Please feel free to make suggestions, critique the articulations, or volume balancing. Please feel free to be specific. I am certain it will help me. :)
 
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ChrisSiuMusic

Senior Member
Thanks @ChrisSiuMusic and I value your ears! Thanks sounds silly, but I mean that having heard and appreciated your music and you midi abilities, I thus value what you have to say.

Please feel free to make suggestions, critique the articulations, or volume balancing. Please feel free to be specific. I am certain it will help me. :)
Absolutely! I think the main thing I would say is that the high percussion at the beginning (is that a triangle?) should be taken down a few db, the brass around 1:58 or so could use a shorter articulation, and the melody at 2:10 is slightly too upfront for my taste. I would either lower the brass slightly to blend in with the rest of the orchestra there, or raise everything behind it up a little bit. The strings could use a little more vibrato and dynamic contrast in general, and I would personally add just a touch more reverb to the strings to match the winds/brass.

Great work again!!
 
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Paul T McGraw

Paul T McGraw

Senior Member
Absolutely! I think the main thing I would say is that the high percussion at the beginning (is that a triangle?) should be taken down a few db, the brass around 1:58 or so could use a shorter articulation, and the melody at 2:10 is slightly too upfront for my taste. I would either lower the brass slightly to blend in with the rest of the orchestra there, or raise everything behind it up a little bit. The strings could use a little more vibrato and dynamic contrast in general, and I would personally add just a touch more reverb to the strings to match the winds/brass.

Great work again!!
There are a couple of very appreciated suggestions here. I am 66 and suffer hearing loss in the upper frequencies. It is a triangle in the beginning, and I can not even hear it. So thank you!

Will try out the brass with shorter articulations.

It is interesting that you mention the strings needing more reverb. The brass is Berlin Brass, recorded in Teldex and I am only using the tree mics. The winds are VSL, recorded dry but with reverb added (too much?) and the strings are 1) Spitfire (recorded in position at Ayr Studios) and 2) Synchron Strings (recorded in position at Synchron). In both cases using room mics. Hmmm, not sure what to do with the strings. But thanks for bringing it up.
 

TimCox

Active Member
It is interesting that you mention the strings needing more reverb. The brass is Berlin Brass, recorded in Teldex and I am only using the tree mics. The winds are VSL, recorded dry but with reverb added (too much?) and the strings are 1) Spitfire (recorded in position at Ayr Studios) and 2) Synchron Strings (recorded in position at Synchron). In both cases using room mics. Hmmm, not sure what to do with the strings. But thanks for bringing it up.
Do you have Altiverb at all? I use that because Teldex is in it already so I can blend everything together really well! It could be less a reverb issue and simply that the rooms are all wildly different. I don't think it takes away from the work at all though!
 
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Paul T McGraw

Paul T McGraw

Senior Member
Do you have Altiverb at all? I use that because Teldex is in it already so I can blend everything together really well! It could be less a reverb issue and simply that the rooms are all wildly different. I don't think it takes away from the work at all though!
Yes, I have Altiverb, and I use it often. I have VSL MIR Pro which is a positioning and reverb application. I used the MIR Pro "Teldex" venue for the VSL woodwinds and the VSL percussion.

The VSL Synchron Strings were recorded in the Synchron Studio, which has a similar sound quality to Teldex, though not identical. The Spitfire Symphonic Strings were recorded in Ayr Studios in England and it has the most baked in reverb of the libraries I used and is the most different in sound color / quality.

Of course, as you say, the use of different rooms might be an issue. I might need to add a little overall reverb to the entire mix as glue. Thanks for listening and for your thoughts.
 
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