Second Orchestral Piece

Hi All!

This is my second ever full orchestral piece written on Dorico Pro 3 called The Independence Suite!
I’ve been composing for a little over 9 months now and I was hoping if I could get some criticism on my writing!

Youtube Link:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QpevaRssQuo

Score PDF: (transposed pitch)
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1kc9q4sHOeenL25KIDuI4H91DhP3Enznx/view

Well done. This goes way beyond my capability to comment. I think this piece should really be performed by a live orchestra so that it would really get alive.

Just go on composing.

Thank you so much!

Hi Arven,

A very impressive effort! Especially if you are such a newbie at composition. Thanks for sharing the score. It’s very clear and shows your ideas well. Please keep working at your composition.

From my point of view, the music is a bit obvious. That is, it’s very much like John Williams and his film music in particular. If that’s your thing then go for it. What I’m wanting to say here is that I would love you to have your own voice. You clearly have the theory and a really good sense of structure, balance and understanding with your orchestrations. So, let your inner ear out, you don’t have to write what has already been written. Explore the orchestra, test different harmonies and rhythms. Give me Arven, not John.

Hope this makes sense

All the best

Jonathan

Thanks for the response!

The piece sounding like John Williams makes sense, since I started out composition because of him, but I do actively try to find my own voice. But it’s hard for me since whenever I go on the piano, I just keep playing the same things over and over again and only rarely do I break free of my muscle memory and play something new. Do you have any tips on finding your own voice or dealing with writers block?

I could say get off the piano and write from a desk. Pencil in hand, manuscript paper in front and listen. Then write what your hear, feel and sense. For me, the tune or rhythm or both, sometimes words come into my head and I spend a little bit of time working out the gist of what it is. I sketch it out on manuscript then test it on an instrument. I correct my writing, if needed, or allow the differences to remain. It’s only when I put it in context with whatever project I may be working on that the real writing begins. Often it’s a stream of consciousness with the notes just flowing on or I hear other instruments coming in and adding a counterpoint or taking over. It’s always free flowing at first. Then I put it all together and edit some more. I tend not to rely on hearing the sounds until this time. My imagination gets me through most of the time.

Have a listen to some of my work on jonathanmorrison.bandcamp.com check out the work on the album Nest (Tracks 3,4 and 5 are the orchestral pieces - the others are for piano and rock band)

all the best

Jonathan

Here’s another method which has a lot do with the fact that I don’t read or write music notation.

I often start developing ideas by exploring different (often non-standard) chords on guitar or even piano (which I cannot really play). When I find some progressions which sound interesting to me I record these and I then start developing themes on top of the progression. The main thing for me is that chord progression needs to sound like you would like play something on top that. It can be non-standard chords or it could be standard chords with some rhythmic idea or with some little twist. I think the main thing is free exploration of sounds.

This little piece is an example of the above method:

I do the reverse too, i.e. develop a theme or melody first. Also this often happens by some kind of improvisational approach.

This is absolutely a soundtrack which is my favorite genre and I liked the music as well … I’ve been making music for the past 7 years or so although in the the first 5 years I composed like 3 songs a year … anyhow, experimenting with harmonies and counterpoint is a good thing specially since you’ve just started out but I suggest you picture what you want to do in the future as a musician … I personally can’t afford to hire an orchestra for my pieces and also since I’m only a couple of years into the film industry and make music for teasers, independent films ,etc. the film budget won’t allow such a thing either, so I have to make use of high res VSTs and such to make a piece as believable as it can be but the software to do that isn’t Dorico 3 and the elements you have used, as a result, sound raw and not well mixed, what you need to do beside composing is to also practice mixing and mastering through a proper software like cubase and fl studio etc… Then again this might be a hobby of yours and you don’t care if it get’s “finalized” mix and master wise and if that’s the case just keep composing away and maybe one day you could make it come to a reality on actual stage. Just a few words from my limited experience. Good job and keep them coming :slight_smile:

I’m glad to hear you liked it! I would practice mixing and mastering on daws but frankly I don’t have the money to afford those pieces of software at the moment!

Seeing your potential I hope one day you be able to afford to buy those and the hardware and start making money from the tracks you make in the future. don’t let your dreams just be dreams , just do it! :slight_smile: :slight_smile: :slight_smile:

Wow, keep going! If you are truly a beginner, then you have absorbed a lot in no time at all! I’m not going to give you advice; I have no idea what I’m doing! I’ll be looking for new tracks from you!

This is truly an amazing composition and I agree with the others, that you have potential!
Just don’t give up and keep on composing and trying to find your own voice.

Wishing you all the luck!

A little late to the party, but still wanted to give some feedback. Really enjoyed your composition. From my first listen it’s definitely clear that you have great control on phrasing and balance between all the instruments. My biggest critique for you would be to venture out a bit from some of themes to add some varied texture. For instance, in the fanfare at the beginning, you have a trombone feature (I assume) around 24 seconds in. That would be a great area to slightly stem out of the major key that’s been established to add some more interest to that part. It could be something like shifting melody down off from the 1st to maybe the 4th or the 5th. (and rewriting it to not sound out of key of course). Besides that, fantastic work. I’m very much a fan of orchestral composition as well as writing it (though my works are nothing too special). Keep it up