Sunday, November 29, 2009
As well as it went, though, the one unfortunate aspect was that we were unable to hear the works of two students, one because the performers' schedules were impossible to coordinate, the other due to a technical problem in getting the prepared piano sounds on CD to play in the hall. I'm sure this must have been a great disappointment to those students as well as to the rest of us, but these things do happen from time to time, and there will always be more performance opportunities in the future.
Speaking of performance opportunities in the future, this is the end of the road for this course, but I hope not the end of your development as composers. Some of you will continue on with Music 4100 next term, but even if you don't, you can always continue to write music and try to create opportunities to have it performed. I will talk about this a bit further in tomorrow's class, and I will also set the deadline for score submission, blogs, and class blog comments.
Well done, everyone!
P.S. Does the use of the word "raging" to modify "success" strike anyone else as odd? It is a very common word pairing, but I wonder where it comes from. I found this in the online Webster's dictionary definition of "raging": 3 : extraordinary, tremendous, e.g., "a raging success."
Student Composition Recital
Music 3100 (Introduction to Composition - Dr. Clark Ross)
Petro-Canada Recital Hall
• Musical Text Settings, and Recontextualized Musical Clichés
Stephen Quinlan Hippo’s Hope (Sylverstein)
Stephen Quinlan (ten.), Jill Dawe (tpt.), Celina Barry (tba.), Jennifer Benson (pno.)
Adam Smith Three Japanese Poems
Susan Watkins (sop.), Andrew Coffin (pno.), and processed prepared piano
Mary Beth Waldram 3:43 (Waldram)
Susan Watkins (sop.), Mary Beth Waldram (cl.), Lindsey Wareham (pno.)
Dave Goudie A Musical Journey Through a Moment (Goudie)
Sarah Caines (m.sop.), Laura Jacyna (vc.), Lindsey Wareham (pno.)
Joshua White Fog
Patrick Edison (ten.), Joshua White (melodica), Laura Jacyna (vc.), Simon Mackie (pno.)
Adam Batstone Sonnet 100 (Shakespeare)
Bethany Saunders (sop.), Adam Batstone (gtr.), Andrew Rideout (perc.)
Aiden Hartery Constantly Risking Absurdity
Stephen Ivany (bar.), Jill Dawe (tpt.), Phillip Holloway (tbn.), Andrew Coffin (pno.)
Chris Rodgers Title TBA
Chris Rodgers (gtr.), Andrew McCarthy (perc.), Dylan Varner-Hartley (pno.), Josh White (db)
Alexander Pryor Une Pesce, Due Pesci (Seuss)
Megan Barnes (sop.), Sarah Clement (fl.), Mary Beth Waldram (cl.), Alexander Pryor (pno.)
Megan Barnes your little voice (Cummings)
Megan Barnes (m.sop.), Mitchell Hamilton (fl.), Katie Noseworthy (b.cl.), Simon Mackie (pno.)
Sarah Clement Snámh na Rónta (Clement)
Erin Milley (sop.), Megan Barnes (m.sop.), Melissa McDonald (euph.),
Catherine Trainor (bohdrán.), Alexander Pryor (pno.)
Lindsey Wareham I Wandered Lonley as a Cloud (Wordsworth)
Emily Cairns (sop.), Mary Beth Waldram (cl.), Lindsey Wareham (pno.)
Steve Cowan Clave
Brooke Stewart (vn.), Laura Jacyna (vc.), Andrew Rideout
Brooke Stewart Would you Look at That! (Nesbitt)
Erin Milley (sop.), Brooke Stewart (vn.), Laura Jacyna (vc.)
Andrew Rideout Fire and Ice
Erin Milley (sop.), Brooke Stewart (vn.), Andrew Rideout (perc.), Simon Mackie (pno.)
Music 3100 is an introduction to composition for music students in second year or higher, for which no previous composition experience is necessary. The students composed two 4-5 minute works this semester, the first of which was a set of variations for piano and one other instrument based on their own original chord progression, and these were performed on our first concert (October 25).
Students had a choice for the second project between (a) "recontextualizing" a musical cliché or genre for 3-4 performers (possibly including voice and/or electronics), or (b) composing a work for voice and 2-3 other instruments.
If you are interested in learning more about the students’ experiences with composition, feel free to visit the class blog, which has link to each student’s individual blog as well as about 80 composition-related blog entries, many of which have numerous comments by students:
Friday, November 27, 2009
Good luck Sunday!
Thursday, November 26, 2009
Don't forget that you can post a review of a MusicWorks article in your blog, and it will count as two blogs. Likewise, a concert review of a contemporary music concert (or a contemporary composition on a concert of otherwise dead composers) will count as two blogs, assuming it is reasonably substantial (just 100-200 words would do the trick!).
If you have not been very good at class participation, I will even consider extra blogs (thoughtful ones, please!) as partial participation credit.
Also, if you have a requirement to be early or late in the programme, now would be the time to let me know (and the reason, please).
In no particular order, below is the programme information I currently have; please check spellings for accuracy:
Mary Beth Waldram - 3:43 - Susan Watkins (sop.), Mary Beth Waldram (cl.), Lindsey Wareham (pno.)
Aiden Hartery - Constantly Risking Absurdity - Stephen Ivany (bar.), Jill Dawe (tpt.), Phillip Holloway (tbn.), Andrew Coffin (pno.)
Andrew Rideout - Fire and Ice - Erin Milley (sop.), Brooke Stewart (vn.), Andrew Rideout (perc.), Simon Mackie (pno.)
Adam Batstone - [NO TITLE] - Bethany Saunders (sop.), Adam Batstone (gtr.), Andrew Rideout (perc.)
Joshua White - Fog - Patrick Edison (ten.), Joshua White (Mel.), Laura Jacyna (vc.), Simon Mackie (pno.)
Dave Goudie - A Musical Journey Through a Moment - Sarah Caines (sop.), Laura Jacyna (vc.), Lindsey Wareham (pno.)
Alexander Pryor - Une Pesce, Due Pesci - Megan Barnes (sop.), Sarah Clement (fl.), Mary Beth Waldram (cl.), Alexander Pryor (pno.)
Lindsey Wareham - I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud - Emily Cairns (sop.), Mary Beth Waldram (cl.), Lindsey Wareham (pno.)
Chris Rodgers - [NO TITLE] - Chris Rodgers (gtr.), Andrew McCarthy (perc.), Dylan Varner-Hartley (pno.), Josh White (DB)
Steve Cowan - [NO TITLE] - Brooke Stewart (vn.), Laura Jacyna (vc.), Andrew Rideout (perc.), Dylan Varner-Hartley (pno)
Stephen Quinlan - Hippo's Hope - Stephen Quinlan (ten.), Jill Dawe (tpt.), Celina Barry (tba.), Jennifer Benson (pno.)
Brooke Stewart - Would You Look at That - Emily Stockley (sop.), Brooke Stewart (vn.), TBA (vc.)
Saturday, November 14, 2009
→ You have a choice in your second project between (a) "recontextualizing" a musical cliché or genre for 3-4 performers (possibly including voice and/or electronics), or (b) composing a work for voice and 2-3 other instruments,.
(a) Below are links explaining the cliché-based project:
- Using Musical Clichés in Creating Art
- Using a musical style or gesture as a point of departure
- Recontextualizing and Atonality
(b) WRITE A SETTING OF WORDS AND MUSIC FOR VOICE AND 2-3 OTHER INSTRUMENTS
Duration: 3-5 minutes
- Aim to set the words as expressively as possible. ALL musical decisions should be based on textual considerations.
- The harmonic language should be original (i.e. not based on traditional harmonic sonorities), as was required for the first project. However, you need not begin by creating an original harmonic progression, as you did for the first project. The kinds of sonorities you choose should grow out of what is expressed by the text.
- Selecting the text takes time; you need to live with it for a while before knowing whether it will work in a song setting. Look for a text that can be enhanced by adding music to it, respecting the fact that poems work just fine without music. Setting a poem to music does not necessarily create better art than the original poem without music, and it may produce worse art! Setting a poem to music results in a different kind of art than that of the poem alone; it may touch the listener in a different way. Find a text that draws a meaningful response from you. When you feel you understand it thoroughly, you are ready to begin the process of setting it to music. You may need more than one text if choosing short poems.
- Recite the words many times, in many ways, in the same way that a trained actor practices reading the same line many different ways until they discover a delivery that most suits the line. Consider how and where emphasis, space (pauses), rhythm, and tempo can be manipulated most effectively for communicating meaning. Take notes!
- Emphasis, when reciting poetry, occurs on at least three different levels:
a) Emphasis on the correct syllable within each word;
b) Emphasis on a particular word within each line;
c) Emphasis on a particular line within a verse; what is (are) the most important point(s) within a verse? How can you communicate this importance to the listener?
- Write the text on blank paper, leaving considerable space between lines. Then, using notes made during the previous two steps, begin the process of applying rhythm, meter, tempo, and space (rests) to the text, using standard rhythmic notation below each line of text. Hints:
- The more space (i.e. time) you leave between lines (or within them, if appropriate), the easier it will be to add instrumental parts to the voice part. Well-written instrumental parts complement the text and can create a dialogue with the singer.
- Explore alternatives to the natural tendency to place accented syllables on strong beats, or even strong parts of beats. Challenge yourself to discover other means of communicating emphasis (see #7 below)! Avoiding the obvious makes things less predictable.
- Free your rhythm; mix simple and compound rhythmic values; use ties; consider other tuplet values.
- Don’t forget to include rests; singers need places to breathe, and the text will have stronger impact if you give the listener sufficient time to absorb the meaning of each line; too many lines too quickly can result in information overload.
a) Metric (rhythmic) placement — expected or unexpected;
b) Delaying the expected arrival of a word (i.e. “and … …cried!”);
c) Lengthening the note value(s) for a word. Sometimes, shortening note values can have a similar effect;
d) Using significantly higher (or lower) pitches for a word than were used for the rest of the line;
e) Textural contrast; a word sung on its own, without accompaniment, can be quite effective;
f) Text repetition; repeating a word, or even a line, is possible, and gives added emphasis;
g) Orchestration; similar to (e), but this time the instruments can be used for reinforcement of particular words;
h) Dynamics (e.g., suddenly louder or suddenly softer); perhaps the most obvious method, so avoid over-reliance on it, although when used in combination with any of the above techniques it is fine.
•Week 1: set text rhythmically, according to 4, 5, 6, & 7 above.
•Week 2: set it melodically. You will have to sing it in class!
•Weeks 3 and 4: finish the project, adding instrumental parts, and modifying the melody as needed. In-progress versions of your work must be workshopped (performed) in class every week.
Since some questions have arisen on the ever-popular topic of tonality/atonality, below are some blog links on the topic and a definition that may be helpful:
The system of musical organization of the common practice period, and of Western-influenced popular music throughout much of the world today"