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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited by Moderator)
I tried to make good use of the additional free time during the pandemic, and have recorded several of my compositions. For most of them, I had to do quite some practising to be able to play them on the piano. But altogether I'm quite happy with the result!

Here's a selection of some of the works which may be of interest for you:


I've also created some videos with scores:


And finally the overview page of the Youtube channel, with more videos: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCKNDQRiItTFxuZyq_RMMD_A

I hope you enjoy some of the pieces! I know it all depends on personal taste, but I'm looking forward to some feedback (positive as well as negative - hopefully constructive)!

Best regards, Alex
 

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Sampled through some pieces. For me the ones that resonated most is the first piece and the Funk in the Trunk from 1:00 to around 1:40. I don't think anyone can fault your playing or musical sense. You seem to be a performing musician, so just give whatever the audience likes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the feedback!

Generally my first impulse is to compose music that I enjoy myself and also like to play. I want to keep this premise, but I'm also interested in the effect the different pieces have on the listeners, as I'm slowly trying to reach more people with my music.

Sometimes I find it difficult to estimate what kind of music is also interesting for other people. Of course in concerts I get direct feedback on the different pieces - but that's only from a non-representative group of people (and I don't organize concerts often). Therefore I'm very interested in the feedback from TC - as most of the members should be very experiences listeners or even musicians. I'm mainly interested in feedback composition-wise, as I won't be able to make big improvements performance-wise ;-)
 

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I think your performance is high. The composition is great, just not strong enough in melodies to keep my ears interested, but there is certainly an audience for what you have here.

Plus, you look like you are having a blast!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
I don't know if that was meant as sarcasm (having a blast), or if you can see beneath the surface ;)

I know that my body language isn't really expressive - but that's fine for me as I don't have plans to make a living from performing. But on the inside, I really enjoy playing this music!

Regarding the melody: You're right, a couple of the pieces are quite rhythm-centered (as I'm very attracted to interesting rhythms). I'll keep that in mind for the next works, and I'll try not to lose sight of the melodies.

But how about pieces like "Noctine" or the "Classic-Jazz-Ballad" (see OP)? Also too melody-light for your taste?
 

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At least with Noctine, I think you could make it's melody shine more by slowing it down and feeling it differently. That's just how I like it though.

I didn't mean it as sarcasm, you look like you are enjoying yourself.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
An overview of several other compositions which are maybe "catchier" respectively easier to follow:

 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
score videos

For some of my compositions, I've created score videos with Sibelius and a Video-Tool, using live-recordings or the NotePerformer-Output as Audio.

The first one in the list I've just uploaded to Youtube:

 

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Some thoughts after a quick listen:

La Playa:

What is the written form of the lead sheet and then what is the form you are playing? I’m pretty sure the lead sheet isn’t just 8 bars repeating, but I’m not sure if it’s 16 bars repeating or if it’s a 32-bar AABA head. I can’t really tell. I think the standard is AABA. At least that’s what I write when I do these kind of tunes. And usually you would play head-solo-head from a lead sheet. But I’m not sure if you’re just playing something you’ve written entirely in your head and are playing from memory???

Part of the problem is that I think you’ve started the B part on the same note and chord as the A part so they all get mixed up. And also it’s a little hard to figure the melody out because the melody is sort of mimicking the accompanying rhythm and isn’t distinct enough from it. The “melody” is just too groovy and similar to the left hand. The hands are also really close together in range too. So, which is melody and which is accompaniment? Its also a bit tough to tell when the improv starts (I think there is an improv section in the middle, right?) You may want to use faster note values and move up the keyboard to a higher range to really let us know you are taking flight and improvising, because it’s a little hard to tell.

Noctine:

This is fine. I think you’ve captured Chopin to some degree. His forms are usually ternary. Also I’d make sure the left hand utilizes wide leaps (some extreme) with limited “patterns” over and over again and again (at least, nothing as "rigid" as an Alberti Bass, let's say). Also make sure to utilize the full range of the keyboard. Even in short spans of time. Make sure the chords are voice-led. That is extremely important in Chopin. Even if they make strange chordal combinations.

Funk:

Um, this is okay, but the rhythm and first few chords of the groove you keep repeating (the songs “hook”) sure sound derivative of Just the Two of Us, as about a million other songs in this style. So be careful and fore-warned. Just saying.

Gran Paradiso:

Not sure if you are wanting to get into film scoring. I have a degree in Film Scoring (in addition to Composition), and have done some film scores. I’m no John Williams, so take this with a grain of salt. The music is fine, but I don’t know if you cut the video to your music or wrote the music to the video as is, but in any case—it is widely considered bad technique among professionals to “hit” every cut in an edited film. Even “hitting” a SINGLE cut better have a good dramatic reason. Here you are hitting pretty much all the cuts. Just an FYI, that is considered amateurish and in bad taste, and just flat-out wrong. I’d rather not go into why, but you can take my word for it…or not.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks a lot for the detailed information! That was the kind of feedback I was hoping for.

I'll try to refer to your reply structure:

La Playa:

As almost all of my pieces, I've written an exact piano score of La Playa. As I've also played it in a concert, it's more effective for me to play it memorized. When you compare the solo version and the drum-version, there should be little differences (only playing mistakes). Therefore there is no leadsheet or improv in this piece.

One of my main weaknesses is the low level of form and structure. I'm slowly getting better at it, but I still don't prioritize form and structure high enough. At La Playa, I had no plan of using AABA or any other form - the current "form" (or lack of it) was just created by my inspirations. I'll pay more attention to it! Your other remarks for La Playa are clear for me and I find them very helpful.

Noctine:

I tried to write Noctine as a piece of similar sound, rhythm and melody like a Chopin Nocturne. Some little deviations are fine for me, because I also wanted to add my own style to it. I also agree that a wider range of the keyboard would improve the piece at certain parts.

Funk:

The resemblance of the starting theme to "just the two of us" was not intended, but I can hear it as well. I think the difference is still big enough, but I'll keep it in mind.

Gran Paradiso:

Getting into film scoring would be very interesting for me, but I couldn't find a suitable education so far. Until I find a matching training course, I'll continue doing experiments like this.

I guess for a slide-show the options are more limited to place slide-cuts "off-beat". But you've convinced me that it would be better to add more variation to the cut-timings.

I've developed video & music simultaneously. I've chosen the pool of pictures in advance - and then I always looked at the next few pictures and thought about what kind of musical athmosphere would fit these pictures. Sometimes I also chose another picture if it didn't match the musical flow.

Afterwards I chose the cut timings of those pictures. For example I chose a more dramatic sound for the rocky descent after 2:30 - and also a faster cut rate for this section.

Thanks for all the input and impulse!
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I just got a simple idea that might help, regarding the bad style of hitting too many video cuts:

Maybe it would help if I try to soften the video cuts. I'll try that when I make a similar video again...
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)
I uploaded a new soundtrack I created for a mountaineering video:

This time I tried to write mainstream-like music - the result was something between Funk, Pop and Rock. I tried to construct the music interesting nevertheless. It was also a good exercise for me to get more training with the DAW workflows.

I know that the saxophone sound has quite some room for improvement - I hope to be able to produce more realistic sounds with other sample libraries and more training. Currently I'm using Cubase as DAW and Native Instruments Komplete as sample library.

The pictures are from a ski mountaineering trip to a mountain called Alpspitze I did a few weeks ago (hence the title).

Hope you enjoy it despite the "mainstream-ness"! ;)
 
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