shaken.and.stirred (demo)

February 17, 2010 5:18 PM

Sequenced version, using boring presets, via pre-Digital performer via a Mac Classic - of my quartet for flute, alto sax, french horn, and classical guitar. I had not taken orchestration, and had no idea how impossible this was going to be. Another piece from school, 1993.

So I'm in my last semester. I can't remember who my composition teacher was for the 2nd comp class I had to take, but it wasn't the prize-winning guy who had to hear my vampire Halloween thing. I can't remember why I had to write a quartet... or that it even had to be a quartet. I do remember something about it having to be X amount of time, though, and now that I listen back to this thing, I think it ought to have ended at 3:10.

Somewhere after 2:30 you will hear the main motif from Silvestri's "Back To The Future" score on the faux french horn. Yes, this was on purpose, I just always loved the film. There's a bunch of dissonant things going on here and there, and a weird schmaltzy thing in the middle for no apparent reason, unrelated to the other little melodic noodly themes I made up that repeat throughout.

Anyway, I had never taken orchestration, and while I looked up the general range of each of the instruments I wrote the thing for, I really had no idea how hard the parts were going to be, particularly for the poor horn player, and that it was going to be really damn hard to hear a classical guitar guy in this situation, in a crappy reverberating classroom, with no amplification, pitted against super high french horn and saxophone. I think the flautist had the easiest time of it since she was used to playing those sorts of parts (and so was I, on clarinet).

The live version that got presented was messy, even though I managed to get good students to play the stuff. But I passed the class, so it was good enough. I would love to have heard it played well at some point, but it didn't happen, and since my major was not composition, it didn't matter.

For your listening enjoyment - my quartet for flute, sax, horn, and guitar, all as programmed by me note by note into pre-Digital Performer on a Mac Classic? via my Ensoniq VFX again, I think.

posted by bitterkitten (1 comment total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

I totally agree with you. I would LOVE to hear this performed with live instruments. This is a great composition. In fact I've been soaking my self in old Russian art films lately and this sounds like a great back drop for an intense and short art film.

It definitely brings up a lot of imagery and that's exactly what one should expect from a composition like this.

Good show, man.
posted by snsranch at 4:32 PM on February 19, 2010

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