Friday, November 21, 2008

More On Orchestration

Personal notes from perfect pitch:

Formally I liked this years composers.
I found it interesting that at the last reading sessions the composers each brought a "new sound" with them.  That is, a gesture of some type that could perhaps be thought of as a signature.  This involved the use of extended techniques yet these sounds were not of the overall type but rather a single exposed effect.  For me Orchestration has been about the presentation of musical ideas through instruments.  Effects have their place but proposing a new sound does not necessarily prove mastery.  

Several rookie errors were on tap:
Too much pure (section) tone.
To much massed brass and percussion.  
Pitched percussion didn't seem to have an identity -these parts might have worked better in the woodwinds or plucked strings. 
Not enough woodwinds.  
Not enough mixed timbres. 
Instrumentation balance-
In tutti's you could see the strings sawing away but you could not hear them.
Really really long held notes in the string bass - this was more of a problem last year. 

I wanted to re-orchestrate the whole bunch and see what they thought!    

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