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Dream Dance


by

composerclark

 Genre: Classical

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Description
Some composition ideas never develop into much more than a few bars of music, and such was the case for many years with the opening to Dream Dance. I think I started it around 1997, and, try as I might, I could not seem to find any satisfactory way to take it much beyond the 30-second mark, the point where it veers unexpectedly (to me, at least) towards minimalism. I was unaware of any composition ever having done this before, which for most people would probably have been a good indicator not to go down that path, but in this particular work, it seemed to make musical sense to me, largely because of the flow of steady sixteenth-notes common to both the opening, and the "hinting at minimalism" section.

The problem was that I couldn't figure out what to do once I had had been on that path for a while. It didn't make sense to me that the opening idea should evolve into a full-blown minimalist composition, but I didn't know where to take it once it had touched on minimalism. And thus, unsure of what to do with this material, I tossed it in a drawer and mostly forgot about it for about ten years.

In the summer of 2007 I was looking at old musical sketches that never went anywhere, and resolved to wrestle this opening into submission; it seemed a shame to waste what seemed to me like a good idea for a piece, and I thought I could perhaps extend it into a relatively short work (perhaps three minutes), and be done with it.

As is often the case, I was surprised at how difficult it was to take music in a direction with which I could be satisfied, and I ended up struggling with with the project for an additional six months until it was finally finished. The key in moving forward was in realizing that this music could touch on different moods and styles and still make musical sense, as long as there was something tying it all together, which in this case is the almost incessant sixteenth-note activity. The use of multiple styles or techniques of music within a composition is sometimes called "polystylism" (I prefer the less-fancy term,"stylistic hodgepodge"), which is associated with the music of Alfred Schnittke, Peter Maxwell Davies, Michael Colgrass, George Rochberg, and others. But this sounds nothing like their music…

A few features that may be of interest:

• I had great fun playing with tonal harmony (this is an afliction of mine that I blame on having taught music theory for 25 years). It opens in D major, for example, then suddenly jumps to an ambiguous key that may or may not be F minor (which would be a double chromatic mediant relationship with D), then quickly moves to Db major for a bar before slipping back into F minor again, all within the first 30 seconds;
• At times, the left hand plays in the middle of the right hand's notes; the hands are literally right on top of one another, requiring clever gymnastic hand choreography on the part of the pianist;
• It is challenging to play, despite the simplicity of the opening;
• It is a stylistic hodgepodge; it evokes at various times minimalism, Haydn, Bach, Gershwin, Scott Joplin (at the very end), and perhaps others as well.

Dream Dance was premiered on February 9, 2008 during the Newfound Music Festival in St. John's, in a flawless performance by my friend and collegue, Kristina Szutor. It was also performed in 2009-2010 by Mikako Ogata at several venues in Japan, and in New York City.

This is a live performance of the premiere; one take, no edits.

Other submissions with Kristina Szutor as pianist:
Jennifer's Tune
Late Night Music
Last Dance
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Song Stats
Hits: 7271
Comments: 128
Fans: 62
Plays: 333
Downloads: 234
Votes: 28
Uploaded: Apr 09, 2008 - 08:59:13 AM
Last Updated: Feb 13, 2012 - 05:50:20 PM Last Played: Aug 04, 2017 - 11:06:56 AM
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Comments
magnatone said 3511 days ago (April 9th, 2008)
Dream Dance
THIS IS UNBELIEVABLE!!!! I've fallen and can't get up! I'm in complete awe at the masterful playing of Kristina Szutor - and in ONE TAKE - holy smokes. What an incredible achievement, what TALENT! As a pianist, I can hear how impossible this would be to play - and yet - there she is doing it like it's child's play, with perfect dynamics. The composition is exquisite and we are all so lucky that you had this gargantuan wrestling match and came out the other end with this wonderful masterpiece. Congratulations to you both - I humbly bow at the feet of the master(s)! THANK YOU!
Check out my latest song called Hallelujah (Leonard Cohen) and Variations
composerclark said 3511 days ago (April 9th, 2008)
Thanks
Thanks for your enthusiastic response, Karen! I really appreciate it. If it's any consolation, I am equally in awe of Kristina's abilities. When she began playing this performance, I thought, "oh no! She's going too fast!", fearing that she might therefore stumble along the way, but nope, never happened, not even once. She is amazing.
Check out my latest song called A Little Song About Our Mom
Skean said 3511 days ago (April 9th, 2008)
Wow
I can't find words to say something about this more then this is so beautiful and dramatic writhing it's mind-blowing.. Kudos
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composerclark said 3511 days ago (April 9th, 2008)
Thanks
Thanks, Kenta! I'm very pleased that you liked it! Cheers.
Check out my latest song called A Little Song About Our Mom
gail60 said 3511 days ago (April 9th, 2008)
Beautiful
This is just a gorgeous creation. I would love to be able to play piano like this. Did she ever miss a note? Oh my...Incredible! You sir, to have written such a wonderful composition - are fantastic! Kudos to you. Seriously Amazing...
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composerclark said 3510 days ago (April 9th, 2008)
Thanks
Thanks for the lovely comment, Gail! I just left one for you latest; you play beautifully.
Check out my latest song called A Little Song About Our Mom
said 3511 days ago (April 9th, 2008)
DL
for further listening. Thanks! this is beautiful.
composerclark said 3510 days ago (April 9th, 2008)
Thanks
Thanks very much for listening, and leaving a kind comment. I just left a comment for your latest.
Check out my latest song called A Little Song About Our Mom
Pete_NB said 3510 days ago (April 9th, 2008)
Lard Thunderin'!
Is Kristina from St. John's as well? If so, I had no idea there were such huge talents in my old home town, with a a master composer and virtuoso pianist.

All aspects of this are masterful. It's at a higher realm than where I hang out so any critiquing I could possibly do would just be me talking out of... well, you know!
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composerclark said 3510 days ago (April 9th, 2008)
Thanks
She's some shockin' good, she is! Whatta ya at b'y?

Kristina has lived here for 17 years, but she's originally from Vancouver, then studied at some place called Juilliard before moving here. We have amazing musicians here; yes b'y!

Thanks for the comment. I's busier than a hen haulin' wood.
Check out my latest song called A Little Song About Our Mom
drakonis said 3510 days ago (April 9th, 2008)
Wow
Not just a wrestling match, but a complete firehose of creativity gushing forth here... and what an accessible piece (for these stick-in-the-mud ears who generally cannot sit still for Debussy.) The whimsy and power are quite strong in this. And the piano playing is superb. You should be EXTREMELY proud to have created this, and have it performed so beautifully... I really ennjoyed the writing and performance, and it is SOOOOO good to see another piece from you! Thank you for sharing this gem.
ttfn,
Drakonis
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composerclark said 3510 days ago (April 9th, 2008)
Thanks
I'm really pleased that you were able to have a listen, Eduard. Thanks for leaving such a supportive comment! I realized recently that it's been a long time since my last submission (to MacJams, that is; I submit in other ways on a daily basis) - about 8 months - so I thought I'd better do something about that. I'm glad you liked it!
Check out my latest song called A Little Song About Our Mom
MarkHolbrook said 3510 days ago (April 9th, 2008)
I am reminded of...
Gattica (the movie) where they attend a piano concert where the pianist plays a piece that can only be played with 12 fingers (genetic modification).

This blows my mind. I am in awe over the composition and the performance!
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composerclark said 3510 days ago (April 9th, 2008)
Thanks
Thanks, Mark! I'll have to find and watch Gattica now; you've intrigued me! I really appreciate your comment. I just left one for one of yours as well.
Check out my latest song called A Little Song About Our Mom
Ibstrat said 3510 days ago (April 9th, 2008)
This is
just a fantastic piece.What like about it:
1.Many contrasting elements-blues riffs,diatonic passages,whole tone scales,block chords,counterpoint,all integrated incredibly smoothly together.
2.I couldn't figure out what was going to happen next.
3.There is deep feeling inherent in this music.
4.I just love the way you alternate dissonance and consonance-kind of like going down a river in a raft, smooth for awhile, ease into some rapids back to smooth.
When I used to play classical guitar I loved playing Leo Brouwer's music(Like El Decameron Negro) for some of the same reasons.This is every bit as good as anything I ever heard from him.Very few things on this site really deserve straight 10's (definitely none of my stuff)but this absolutely does!I am placing a spell on this post to shield it from vote bombing.Ridiculous ly good performance as well.
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composerclark said 3510 days ago (April 9th, 2008)
Thanks
Wow. You have a highly-developed ear! Everything you mention was something I deliberately tried to incorporate into the piece. The unpredictability thing is fascinating to me; I tell my composition students that the tension between the predictable and the unpredictable is present in pretty much all music, and one of the tasks for composers is to learn how to use this tension to their advantage. There is a certain comfort in predictability, but too much of it and we tend to become bored. Likewise, too much unpredictability and the listener can get lost and lose interest. So, one of the goals for me in this piece was to have predictable elements (the repeated oscillating thirds, themes coming back) with unpredictable ones (when the main theme comes back it is changed every time).

Thanks for hearing all this!
Check out my latest song called A Little Song About Our Mom
cchaplin said 3510 days ago (April 9th, 2008)
It's about time
10 years in the making ! And yet it seems so spontaneous, simple, nearly as if improvised.
I would love to know what you were wrestling with: the counterpoint, the unity of the piece, or just a sense of something not being quite right ?

In any case, it was well worth the effort. The piece is really beautiful, and flows seamlessly from start to finish. Glad you are back, and uploading.

Check out my latest song called IV
composerclark said 3510 days ago (April 9th, 2008)
Thanks
Thanks for your comment and questions!

My Jacobian wrestling match was over how to continue beyond the first 30 seconds. That's the point where the minimalist -pattern arpeggios come in, with shifting accents every bar. Initially they went on for about 3 pages, and I therefore thought that the focus of the piece would be minimalist.

But somehow that didn't feel right; why open the way it does (conventional theme and accompaniment treatment, regular phrasing) if the piece is going to suddenly become minimalist? Also, I was having a tough time figuring out how to get out of the minimalist material, so I'd try different things every now and then -- I'd go over a year without even looking at the piece sometimes -- and get frustrated, and file it away so that I could make better progress on whatever other piece(s) I was working on.

Then last summer I just became very obstinate about the whole thing and tried the tried and true 'bashing one's head against a brick wall' approach until I finally felt as if the piece was going somewhere, but even then it took another 5 or so months to get it finished. It just kept spinning off into different directions, and I felt like I was constantly trying to rein it in to maintain some thread of unity throughout.

Probably more info than you wanted, but thanks for asking!
Check out my latest song called A Little Song About Our Mom
cchaplin said 3510 days ago (April 9th, 2008)
No, not too much info,
I%u2019m really fascinated by the creative process, especially when things don't go smoothly.

My personal experience when I get stuck is to add more and more, and force things into different directions, to try and get a fresh perspective. In the end, I usually have to ditch the piece because it just turns into an over-complicated minestrone.

I think it's admirable that you manage to pull off something like this, which sounds so spontaneous, and fresh when in reality it was anything but.

Hopefully I can learn from this. Thanks.
Check out my latest song called IV
composerclark said 3510 days ago (April 9th, 2008)
-->
There are a lot of romantic notions surrounding the process of composition; one of them is that a work comes to the composer fully formed, in a blinding flash of inspiration. You can be out for a walk in the woods, when - BOOM - you are felled by inspiration, and can't wait to get home to write the whole piece out.

I don't believe it ever happens this way, at least not for pieces of any substantial length. There are times when the musical ideas come more easily than others, and some individuals seem to have more of these 'inspired' times than others, but one of the other things I try to impress on my composition students is that it is often, perhaps even mostly, a struggle, but you just have to tough it out. For me, composing is mostly an unenjoyable experience - a colleague of mine says you have to be a masochist to be a composer, and I think there is at least some truth to that! - but I keep at it because I know that if I persist I will eventually come up with something that I like, and be glad (or at least not mind so much) that I went through the struggles that I did.

Check out my latest song called A Little Song About Our Mom
Moviz said 3510 days ago (April 9th, 2008)
Just
Awe inspiring.... wonderful musicianship and a wonderful piece of music too... words fail me, except to say we're privileged to hear it here at MJ, regards M
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composerclark said 3510 days ago (April 10th, 2008)
Thanks
Thanks very much, Maurice. You are a terrific singer and musician, and we're privileged to have you here at MacJams too! Cheers.
Check out my latest song called A Little Song About Our Mom
J.A.Stewart said 3510 days ago (April 9th, 2008)
Some Dream
More like being chased by a roller coaster car. Wow!

I love the Gershwin feel to this. It caught me right away.

Terrific piece, Clark and Kristina did an amazing job of dancing on the keys. I'm glad you stuck with this one. It really paid off. It gives me new hope for the hundreds of tunes I have in my musical Job Jar. ;)


--- Joe


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composerclark said 3510 days ago (April 10th, 2008)
Thanks
Thanks Joe. Roller-coaster, eh? I have been thinking for a while that "Dream Dance" isn't actually a very good title for this piece, and Kristina agrees, but I keep drawing blanks when I try to figure out what a good title would be. Maybe something to do with roller-coasters? Now you've got me thinking...

Musical job jar is a good name for it; the place where unfinished musical scraps go. I've been calling it my musical blue box (recycling bin), but I like your name for it. Thanks again.
Check out my latest song called A Little Song About Our Mom
Scott Carmichael said 3510 days ago (April 9th, 2008)
Amazing work
in the last few months I kind of nosed around some other music sites, that pretty much settled me here in the end... no where on the web did I find any site, which claims to be amateur, and still produce such consistently brilliant professional, interesting and provocative work... you certainly ad gravity to MJ... real credibility... and a hail and hearty bow to Kristina... that was some performance..
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composerclark said 3510 days ago (April 10th, 2008)
Thanks
Thanks, Scott. I'm always happy to hear your comments, and glad you found that MacJams is your music site of choice. I looked at a few other sites too, nothing wrong with that, but none of them really stuck with me... I haven't been active here for a long time, but I still regard MacJams as my musical home in terms of internet sites, and I think a good part of the reason is that I feel I have some good (virtual) friends here, as well as the fact that there are so many amazing musicians here, like yourself. Glad you enjoyed the piece!
Check out my latest song called A Little Song About Our Mom
Mystified said 3510 days ago (April 9th, 2008)
Astounding composition...
...and performance.

How lovely and generous of you to post it here to share :)
Thank you.

What a talent you have! This is marvelous!!
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composerclark said 3510 days ago (April 10th, 2008)
Thanks
Thanks, Mysti-Cat. Very nice of you to say, but I think the real generosity here is in leaving such encouraging comments, which I appreciate deeply. You are very kind!
Check out my latest song called A Little Song About Our Mom
thetiler said 3510 days ago (April 9th, 2008)
as magnatone
said this really is something. Such a creative avant gar-de of a tune.

Way to Go! I thought it was you playing then I read that you have Kristina Szutor play, wow! Sounds totally pro to me.
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composerclark said 3510 days ago (April 10th, 2008)
Thanks
Thanks Bill. Definitely not me playing! I play a little piano (a very small one, that is, heh heh!), but certainly nothing approaching Kristina's level. I'm actually a guitarist like yourself, and I've been enjoying and admiring your music ever since I got here 2+ years ago. Glad you liked it!
Check out my latest song called A Little Song About Our Mom
Feter said 3510 days ago (April 9th, 2008)
Dream Dance
Incredible !!! ... and speechless ..thnx for
sharin such gem .. !!
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composerclark said 3510 days ago (April 10th, 2008)
Thanks
Thanks, Mr. McBlues! You are a true blessing to this site, always generous and supportive!
Check out my latest song called A Little Song About Our Mom
Ed Hannifin said 3510 days ago (April 9th, 2008)
Dude...
This is what tens are FOR...

Clark, this is a stunningly lovely composition, and, not being a pianist, I can only guess at its difficulty... but Kristina doesn't play it with any trace at all of that fussy "here I am playing a difficult classical piece" vibe. No hauteur, no trace of gymnastics/athletics...

And that let's it, as a piece, not founder in that, "Gee, I'm a difficult classical piece" realm, either...

It ends up having an unbounded, free, open, spacious sound... Wonderful gift from you to her of a piece she gets to inaugurate in such wonderful form, and wonderful gift from her to you in the way that it comes to life here... Hopefully puts paid to any notions of living out the rest of your days saying, "If ONLY I could hear this fully realized..."

Now you'll have to be crotchety about something else.

With respect and admiration, and I still want your brain,

Ed



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Ed Hannifin said 3510 days ago (April 9th, 2008)
And I'm having this fantasy...
That in a hundred years, when this is one of those pieces everyone knows in the classical music canon, one of those ones that people use as their audition piece and that kids write term papers on, my grandson will note in the margin of something that I was among the lucky ones who got to hear this recording on MacJams...

Kind of like being a signer of the Declaration of Independence or something...
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composerclark said 3510 days ago (April 10th, 2008)
Thanks
Wow! You are an exceptionally supportive human being; you're clearly in the right profession! I am flattered silly to read your enthusiastic comments. They contrast markedly with the comments I received the night the piece was actually played, when some colleagues averted their eyes and said nothing as they walked past me at intermission (I was thinking, 'it wasn't THAT bad, was it??? Or maybe it was?'), and other said things like, 'Okay!' or "She (Kristina) did a pretty good job with that, I'd say" and similar non-committal expressions of non-commitment. Oh well. But you can probably see why I appreciate the feedback I get here so much...
Check out my latest song called A Little Song About Our Mom
futzpucker said 3510 days ago (April 10th, 2008)
I am in awe
I cannot for the life of me understand how a piece like this can be written. And it seemed like you felt the same way for some amount of time. The finished product is a wonder (as is your performer).

Composing a piece like this takes a thousand times the knowledge I possess. I am stunned. Congratulations, Professor Ross. What an achievement...

And it's great to have you back on the site. Welcome home.
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composerclark said 3510 days ago (April 10th, 2008)
Thanks
Patrick, I was hoping you'd be able to have a listen, so and I'm thrilled you were able to do so and leave a comment! And very glad you liked it, obviously! Thanks so much.
Check out my latest song called A Little Song About Our Mom
chipan said 3510 days ago (April 10th, 2008)
nice hodgepodge
This piece really works and is a very satisfying listen. I definitely heard the Bach and Gershwin sounds. The perpetual motion reminds me of Prokofiev. Amazing performance by your friend. I definitely need to check out more of your music soon!

chip
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composerclark said 3509 days ago (April 11th, 2008)
Thanks
Thanks, Chip! Prokofiev, eh? I'm not sure I hear that, but it's possible; I'll think on this some more! I just left a comment for a wonderful work of yours (your latest) that I just heard.
Check out my latest song called A Little Song About Our Mom
chipan said 3509 days ago (April 11th, 2008)
Prokofiev
Well only in the motoric feeling that most of his music has.
This really is great!

chip
Check out my latest song called Psalm 107
composerclark said 3501 days ago (April 19th, 2008)
got it!
Yup, I understand. Thanks!
Check out my latest song called A Little Song About Our Mom
SJB said 3510 days ago (April 10th, 2008)
dream dance
I never really listened to piano music until joining Macjams but I'm getting in to it now. I like things that leave you guessing and it was impossible to guess where this was going from minute to minute. It sounded like 4 hands on the key board to me!
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composerclark said 3509 days ago (April 11th, 2008)
Thanks
Thanks very much for your nice comment, and a belated welcome to MacJams! You play guitar beautifully; I just left you a comment on your latest submission.
Check out my latest song called A Little Song About Our Mom
Tadashi Togawa said 3510 days ago (April 10th, 2008)
Loitering on the way and blue sky.
I imagined a happy loitering on the way.
And, bright impressive.
Wonderful painting.

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composerclark said 3509 days ago (April 11th, 2008)
Thanks
Thanks very much Tadashi! It is always nice to read your poetic comments.
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guitapick said 3509 days ago (April 10th, 2008)
I'm no virtuoso...
...but I studied piano for awhile and have followed/loved it since childhood. This is spectacular and you're right: VERY hard. Please give my praise to Ms. Szutor. Fantastic combination of technique and interpretation.

You like Debussy, I bet...? Woven in very nicely along with all the other influences that make up who and what is you and your music. Great piece, Clark. Great piece....

Bob
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composerclark said 3509 days ago (April 11th, 2008)
Thanks
I thank you for your nice comment, Bob! Always nice to hear from you. And yes, I am a Debussy fan (hard to imagine anyone NOT being a Debussy fan!), so maybe you hear some of him here... there are certainly a few whole tone scales and augmented chords in there. Thanks again!
Check out my latest song called A Little Song About Our Mom
Bowman said 3509 days ago (April 10th, 2008)
A gorgeous combination...
of precision and passion. I love the constant restless movement and sometime syncopation of this. Tonal yet consistently fresh and very playful. It's been way too long between postings up here Clark.
This isn't always a compliment but at least to my ears this is a very accessible piece that can be enjoyed by just about everyone.
Thanks for such a wonderful treat!
Best,
Charlie


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composerclark said 3509 days ago (April 11th, 2008)
Thanks
Accessible is good! I don't mind that comment at all! I know that accessibility seems to have been the least of concerns for many 20th-century composers, but it's definitely important to me. Thanks for having a listen, Charlie!
Check out my latest song called A Little Song About Our Mom
ktb said 3509 days ago (April 10th, 2008)
remarkable
CC, kudo's to you for wrestling this down. Its an absolute joy to listen to. Innovative, with a delightful progression. Kristina is a wizard. I really dig the rythymic 16th note drive.
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composerclark said 3509 days ago (April 11th, 2008)
Thanks
Thanks KTB! You have one of the most intriguing names here at MJ's. You're music is wonderful, and I'm glad you liked this!
Check out my latest song called A Little Song About Our Mom
aclarke said 3509 days ago (April 10th, 2008)
10 years?
This is pretty good for such a rush job. Next time I really think you should take your time and make the most of your obvious talents...

Really, though- I don't have enough technical knowledge to critique this effecively. But I don't have to be an expert on anything to know that this was/ is an extremely enjoyable creation and a delight to listen to... and listen to... and listen to... and.. well, you get the idea. Absolutely stunning writing and an other-worldly performance.

Bravo!
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composerclark said 3509 days ago (April 11th, 2008)
Thanks
ha! You have made me realize that a much better song description for this would have emphasized that is was indeed a rush job, like:

"I wrote this while hammered out of my gourd one day -- at least I think I wrote it, but, to be honest, I can't remember! -- and it took all of about 5 minutes. Or was it 6? It would undoubtedly have been better if I'd bothered spending more time on it, but frankly, I stopped giving a damn about anything back in 1967 (or was it '68?), when I discovered that, contrary to what my mother had been telling me, I wasn't a handsome prince, but an ugly toad. Or was it an evil weasel? No, pretty sure it was the toad... Anyways, the point is that ... what we're we talking about again?"

Thanks for your comment!
Check out my latest song called A Little Song About Our Mom
jiguma said 3509 days ago (April 11th, 2008)
Lost for words
I have absolutely no comprehension of how anyone could go about playing this, never mind writing it.

It's "proper music" - stuff that "real musicians" play.

To say I'm impressed is perhaps the biggest understatement of all my comments on MJ. Astounding post Clark.

btw, can I have your brain after Ed's finished with it - especially the musical bit ?

:)
Neil
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composerclark said 3509 days ago (April 11th, 2008)
Thanks
Propriety is what I was going for here, to be sure... ha! Your comment made me smile... Thanks very much!
Check out my latest song called A Little Song About Our Mom
Macaudion said 3508 days ago (April 11th, 2008)
Always a pleasure...
Well, Mister ComposerC, simple is the last thought that hung hat in my mind and, especially before reading your liner notes. In fact, I thought, "man... I would be amazed and would think of this as an aural treat regardless of where i was exposed to it. But to have MJ's play host to it only sweetens the listen. You truly are the composer, sir but obviously, you didn't need to hear that from me.

I liked hearing the lightness of complexity at play on this. This piece ventured me to quite a few mind pockets that had never been touched. That's way cool!

Definitely a taker so, I did....

Thank you for sharing your art! And thanks to Kristina for working it out while being willing to share such a strikingly exceptional talent in performing it. This really is a treat. And it's always nice to know that you're still around, Clark!

Dion
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composerclark said 3504 days ago (April 16th, 2008)
Thanks
Thanks, Dion. I'm really glad you liked it! You're enthusiasm is always much appreciated. I'm always impressed by the work you do, and left a comment for one of yours a day or two ago (I'm late acknowledging these comments, I know! Sorry!)
Check out my latest song called A Little Song About Our Mom
Norman Goodman said 3508 days ago (April 11th, 2008)
Virtuoso performance
Absolutely beautiful piece, flawlessly delivered.
I loved it!
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composerclark said 3504 days ago (April 16th, 2008)
Thanks
Thanks, Norman! I'm happy that you enjoyed it and left a comment!
Check out my latest song called A Little Song About Our Mom
moorlandt said 3508 days ago (April 11th, 2008)
This is...
...a stunning piece of art. A pure delight to listen to from start to end. The repetitive 16th note rhythm is really driving this piece of music. I love the delicate modulation around 4:20. In fact I love everything about it. I truly can imagine this is damned hard to play, and oh gosh... Kritina did a splendid job.
Downloaded for sure, to be listened too a hundred times more. It's just so beautiful, Clark. Thanks.
-Walt
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composerclark said 3504 days ago (April 16th, 2008)
Thanks
Thanks Walter. It's always great to hear from you, one of my true friends here at MJ's. I take your words to heart, and I am grateful for them! Has Brussels changed at all in the 30 years since I lived there? :-) I'd love to go back one day!
Check out my latest song called A Little Song About Our Mom
Reinholt56 said 3508 days ago (April 12th, 2008)
Hi CC.....
I've listened to the piece now a few times and I'm still in awe with everything about it.

The picture you chose to 'set the scene' is perfect, I can see that now. Angular momentum comes to mind.

The playing and technique of Kristina is a joy to hear. She obviously had lots of fun playing this and her phrasing and technique/s is/are stunning.

This is one classical tune for my ipod.

I think that it was well worth all the anguish and gnashing of teeth to produce such a gem.

Take care.

Paul
Check out my latest song called Seeing When I Should Be Looking
composerclark said 3504 days ago (April 16th, 2008)
Thanks
Thanks, Paul. I am very pleased that you enjoyed this, and I think it's cool that you found a connection with the artwork!
Check out my latest song called A Little Song About Our Mom
digitalnirvana9 said 3507 days ago (April 12th, 2008)
Bravo!
I think you've done a groundbreaking work here. How long did Kristina have to practice to play it this way? There must be something more to do with this music. Even the quality of recording is superb. Congratulations on a job extremely well done! Peace, Norman
Check out my latest song called Blues in the Night 2.0
composerclark said 3504 days ago (April 16th, 2008)
Thanks
Thanks, Norman. Kristina had this for a few weeks before the performance, but I don't remember exactly how long. I was flabbergasted by how well she played it; as I was listening, I just couldn't believe how well it was going, especially at that speed. She's definitely amazing. Thanks again for leaving a comment!
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bud said 3507 days ago (April 12th, 2008)
Fantastic writing and creativity
and Kristina's playing is simply amazing. I really like the range of the piece - I hear all the references you mentioned and more. A wonderful piece of music.
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composerclark said 3504 days ago (April 16th, 2008)
Thanks
Thanks, Bud. love your "Strange Phenomenon" thread, btw! I really appreciate your comment.
Check out my latest song called A Little Song About Our Mom
YsaeK said 3507 days ago (April 13th, 2008)
Wonderful
I was impressed. (^_^)
Very very nice performance and composition.
I like transposition.
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composerclark said 3501 days ago (April 18th, 2008)
Thanks
Thanks very much, YsaeK! I'm very glad you liked it and left a comment. I also like your cat: (^_^)

Cheers!
Check out my latest song called A Little Song About Our Mom
Doadars Uncle said 3506 days ago (April 13th, 2008)
Dance!
Hey Clark, nice moves here! Energizing! There's a certain youthfulness to it.

This is an excellent take, too. I'm so glad there are talented musicians like you folks to take the pressure off of people like me!

I'm anxious to try this one on my next road trip.
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composerclark said 3501 days ago (April 18th, 2008)
Thanks
Thanks Doug. The youthfulness you hear is no accident; I may look 60 and feel 70, but people are always saying I have the emotional maturity of a 2-year old, which I really appreciate! By "try this one" on your next road trip, do you mean play it? Maybe I can make an arrangement for 15 bagpipes. Do you happen to play the pipes?

Check out my latest song called A Little Song About Our Mom
kristyjo said 3506 days ago (April 13th, 2008)
Wow - stunning, actually!
About 6 minutes in, when you -almost- get to that final cadence point, but then decide not to go there. Love it.
Tonality to keep me comfy, and modulations to keep me wondering.
I had time to read the other comments. I think the other musicians who were noncommittal at the debut were just jealous.
You two (composer and pianist) have enough talent for 17 musicians.
I'm glad you wrestled, pummeled, and subdued this piece into being. Awesome!
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composerclark said 3501 days ago (April 18th, 2008)
Thanks
Thanks! I'm really glad you were able to have a listen. One of the things I like about this (if it's okay to say you like things about your own music?) is that phenomenon you mentioned, where you think we're coming to the homestretch of the piece because you hear the opening theme recapitulated, and then it goes somewhere else. I think I did this a few times, and I'd chortle with glee each time I wrote one of these false endings. Thanks again for having a listen!
Check out my latest song called A Little Song About Our Mom
said 3506 days ago (April 13th, 2008)
Superb !!!

I voted, I fav and dowloaded But I forgot to comment. Sorry about that.
This is EXCELLENT> BRILLIANT> AND SUPERBLY OUTSTANDING
will that do :)
Peace Dee
composerclark said 3501 days ago (April 18th, 2008)
Thanks
Yes, thanks, that will do very nicely! You are very kind!
Check out my latest song called A Little Song About Our Mom
Einarus said 3506 days ago (April 14th, 2008)
Oh, my...
Now this is just amazing.

You'd think I was so thrilled that I would just go on and on and on and ...
...and on and on about how amazing this is, but I won't.

This is just amazing on so many levels, that I don't even quite get it.
Hence my superficial comment.

Excellence beyond my comprehension.

-Einar S.
Check out my latest song called "I Hate Goodbyes"
composerclark said 3501 days ago (April 18th, 2008)
Thanks
Thanks Einar. It's always great to hear from you. Just for the record, my hope when I wrote this was that it would be the kind of piece anybody who liked music might enjoy and find fun, as opposed to a piece that only people with a deep understanding of classical music would appreciate. I'm glad you liked it, but I'm hoping it wasn't really beyond your comprehension! Thanks again, and cheers!
Check out my latest song called A Little Song About Our Mom
guitapick said 3505 days ago (April 14th, 2008)
You know, Clark...
...I've just finished doing my lesson plans for tomorrow, playing this in the background...what a remarkable piece...able to use it in the background for neuron stimulation and then concentrate and move where it goes in the foreground.

This is great...kudos, sir.
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composerclark said 3501 days ago (April 18th, 2008)
Thanks
Thanks very much Bob. Interesting foreground/background comment! Lesson plans? I think I've heard of them... :-)
Check out my latest song called A Little Song About Our Mom
guitapick said 3501 days ago (April 18th, 2008)
Yes...
...lesson plans...in my special education setting, they're like chord charts...requiring lots of improvisation.
Check out my latest song called 'Cuz I Can
composerclark said 3501 days ago (April 19th, 2008)
Good analogy!
That's a great analogy... If you don't mind, I think I might borrow it! I always begin my classes with a general idea of what I'm hoping to accomplish that day, but frequently that idea has to fly out the window within the first 2 minutes because it becomes clear that people aren't ready for it yet, and it would be better to go in a completely different direction. Like you said, you have to improvise, and that's good!
Check out my latest song called A Little Song About Our Mom
guitapick said 3501 days ago (April 19th, 2008)
No problem...
...it's a royalty free analogy...

;)

Keep up the great sounds, Clark...looking forward to the next. I'm finishing recording for my cd. Just sent a few tunes in for copyright. Should have 'em up here soon (though it's taking longer and longer to get that processed, nowadays).
Check out my latest song called 'Cuz I Can
WeAreNotPerfekt said 3505 days ago (April 14th, 2008)
Like waves on the ocean
Hi Clark! This is just freaking fantastic! Interesting all way trough. Though the constant 16th note motion there are lots of underlying structure. Much going on here.

Like waves on the ocean there are the motions of the big waves. On top of them there are lesser movements, and on top of that the tiny movements and so forth. And under it all there are moods moving. Those are not easy to see but they can be felt. And they are not immediately detectable, it takes a while before you get a notion of them. Then upon repeated listening you gradually discover that there is more to the undercurrents than you've notices before.

By the way, tell Kristina my admiration and appreciation. Purely fantastic! So sensitive!

/Johannes
Check out my latest song called Björnarna Flödar
composerclark said 3501 days ago (April 18th, 2008)
Thanks
I like your ocean analogy a lot! Not only is it poetic, but I hear it the same way! You are a very perceptive guy. Thanks, as always, for your comment!
Check out my latest song called A Little Song About Our Mom
obbster said 3505 days ago (April 14th, 2008)
Incredible Playing.
Wow.
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composerclark said 3501 days ago (April 18th, 2008)
Thanks
Thank you! Enthusiasm always appreciated. I'll make sure to check out some of your music before too long. Cheers.
Check out my latest song called A Little Song About Our Mom
damiengh said 3505 days ago (April 15th, 2008)
compelling
Well worth your effort and glad you didn't let this one fall to the back of the cabinet with the other unfinished gems.
Even heard a little Phillip Glass in there along the way. If not, then surely your ability to get this one done, was fed with zen like concentration.

Kristina conquered your maze in one shot and sounded effortless in doing so. You are so lucky to have a courageous comrade lend her cunning to your crafty complexity.

The wow factor has been mentioned, but again...........WOW!


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composerclark said 3501 days ago (April 18th, 2008)
Thanks
Yes, this definitely veers into minimalist territory a few times, so I can see why you might be hearing some Phillip Glass references. Strangely enough, I don't actually know much of his music, so I guess I'd better rectify that. I'm a HUGE John Adams fan though.
Check out my latest song called A Little Song About Our Mom
lengold said 3505 days ago (April 15th, 2008)
This is just
mind-blowingly fantastic.
Cheers
Len


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composerclark said 3501 days ago (April 18th, 2008)
Thanks
Thanks Len, you are very kind, and I'm glad you were able to have a listen!
Check out my latest song called A Little Song About Our Mom
dajama said 3504 days ago (April 15th, 2008)
Amazing piece of
music and a stunning performance. The melodic inventiveness here, and the changes in mood and tone are riveting, and it is played with such sureness of touch and expressiveness. Masterful music and a virtuoso performance. I can see how this took a while to wrestle into shape. But boy am I glad you did. Wonderful. Nicely done. Kudos. Peace.
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composerclark said 3501 days ago (April 18th, 2008)
Thanks
That's a really nice comment! Thanks very much!
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LunaTrick said 3501 days ago (April 18th, 2008)
So much going on...
I hear Prokofiev's rhythmic piano - Scriabin's blend of tonal/atonal - and a touch of Gerschwin/Ives perhaps. This is an amazing piece and exquisitely played!
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composerclark said 3501 days ago (April 19th, 2008)
Thanks
thanks very much! Yes it's almost all tonal, but it veers into atonality a couple of times, so good ears! Welcome to MJs, btw; I just left a longwinded comment for one of your tracks.

Cheers!
Check out my latest song called A Little Song About Our Mom
davidsmith99 said 3500 days ago (April 19th, 2008)
Dream Dance
Hello,
Been a fan of yours since I first joined the community. What a nice find when I logged in today.

Some pieces take a long time to finally come together... this one is a success worth the wait! Terrific, and as mentioned, an excellent performance.
Check out my latest song called Blue Jeans, Blouse and Army Boots [guitar trio]
composerclark said 3494 days ago (April 26th, 2008)
Thanks
Thanks David! i think you are a very fine composer, so I really appreciate your thoughts!
Check out my latest song called A Little Song About Our Mom
said 3495 days ago (April 24th, 2008)
Great!
This is an excellent piece by all means Mr. Clark.
The composition is very clever and the piano playing is really superb.... This is an unforgettable piece.
Kudos for the 2 masters..

I'm sorry for being late to the party!

Take Care
- Yeman A. Al-Rawi
composerclark said 3494 days ago (April 26th, 2008)
Thanks
Mr. Yeman A. Al-Rawi, you could never be late for a party... The party begins whenever you arrive! Thanks as always for your enthusiastic support. You rock!
Check out my latest song called A Little Song About Our Mom
dirigent said 3495 days ago (April 25th, 2008)
Dream Dance
What a wonderful piano track, awesome performance. Enjoyed listening a lot!!
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composerclark said 3494 days ago (April 26th, 2008)
Thanks
Thanks very much, Andreas! I just heard your track, "Ach weh" and it was fantastic! I look forward to hearing more of your music.
Check out my latest song called A Little Song About Our Mom
kassia said 3494 days ago (April 26th, 2008)
wow
The playing is incredible - and shows off the incredible composition perfectly. This is an amazing piece of music. Sounds like it could have dislocated your hip! Great job on this and tell Kristina she's amazing as well. Thanks for sharing this with us!
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composerclark said 3494 days ago (April 26th, 2008)
Thanks
Dislocated hip? Hah! That made me smile! Thanks very much for your wonderful comment!
Check out my latest song called A Little Song About Our Mom
Roxylee said 3490 days ago (April 29th, 2008)
Floored...
Beyond my feeble brain how anyone could compose or play this intricate piece. Amazing from start to finish. Wow.
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composerclark said 3490 days ago (April 30th, 2008)
Thanks
Thanks very much, Roxanne! Not to boast, but many people have remarked on the exceptional feebleness of my brain (and overall constitution, actually), so it may be that you have some competition in that department! Perhaps we should initiate a "Whose Brain is Most Feeble" competition at MacJams in order to settle this once and for all! ;>)

As to how anyone can play this, well, I'm with you there! Luck, probably.
Check out my latest song called A Little Song About Our Mom
VicDiesel said 3487 days ago (May 2nd, 2008)
Add Prokofjev?
I was reminded a little of his Toccata (op 11?). Except when the more jazzy stuff takes over.

But whatever the influences this is a really cool dynamic piece. It's a constant stream of energy. Must be a blast to hear this played live.
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composerclark said 3464 days ago (May 26th, 2008)
Thanks
I somehow missed this comment 'till now, Vic, so sorry for not responding sooner! Thanks very much for leaving a comment! I think I can hear what you mean regarding Prokofiev... it delves into jazz and minimalism right off the bat, which as you point out is not characteristic of Prokofiev, but I can see it in the steady motor rhythm that carries through the entire piece.

Thanks again.
Check out my latest song called A Little Song About Our Mom
paul f. page said 3464 days ago (May 25th, 2008)
What they...
...said. Just amazing. Shostakovich has nothing on this absolutely delightful piano number. I thoroughly agree with Ed: this is a piece that will be played for years by talented piano students and professionals alike. Just beautiful.
Peace.
Paul
Check out my latest song called Invention No. 76
composerclark said 3464 days ago (May 26th, 2008)
Thanks
Thanks Paul. That is a most generous comment, and I really appreciate it!

Cheers.
Check out my latest song called A Little Song About Our Mom
Peter Greenstone said 3456 days ago (June 2nd, 2008)
Wow
Really amazing composition as well as performance. I found it thoroughly enjoyable beyond it's technical marvel. Surely difficult to play but it comes off as natural as feeling. I can't really add anything more. Great work!
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composerclark said 3400 days ago (July 29th, 2008)
Thanks
Thanks Peter! I am really glad you were able to hear this and leave a comment.

Cheers!
Check out my latest song called A Little Song About Our Mom
John Stebbe said 3427 days ago (July 1st, 2008)
Very impressive
This performance is just as remarkable as the composition.

I hear Gershwin influences at the beginning, then I begin to hear echoes of Debussy's "Doctor Gradus Ad Parnassum."

Yes, it's tonal, which I appreciate. I have never been able to warm up to 12-tone music.

A brilliant piece, and I love how the constant 16th-notes tie the whole thing together.

You've got quite an impressive pallet of sounds in your head, Clark, and I thank you for sharing them. And I am sure that your pallet has grown through the years, and that your effort as a composer has certainly contributed to the richness of your resources. You were born with a great ear, and you have worked to develop it. Composers can't have just one. (Or does that apply to potato chips?) I mean the talent and the work ethic. You need both, and you appear to have both in spades.

OK, she played it flawlessly. (From what I can tell.) Memorized, or reading sheet music? Even if reading, still remarkable.
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composerclark said 3400 days ago (July 29th, 2008)
Thanks
I am moved by your kindness, and I thank you from the bottom of my heart. I apologize for not responding sooner!

I also thank you for your comment about Debussy's "Dr. Gradus…" I have heard it many times, of course, and I think it's a wonderful piece, but I just now visited YouTube to watch a performance, and I was struck by something I never realized before, namely that Debussy also has the right hand playing notes on top of the left hand a fair bit, which I don't know if I ever realized before (since I am not a pianist).

Thanks again!
Check out my latest song called A Little Song About Our Mom
Cameron said 3424 days ago (July 4th, 2008)
it's great
to be able to visit an artist's song page, see what I've missed over the past few months, crank up the ol' MJ player and hear such wonderful music!

Your compositions rate way at the top of my personal fav list.

In an alternate universe, I am student in one of your composition classes, having a marvelous time and learning so much!

How many people were in the audience? A select few, I dare say. They had a musical treat for sure.

I wish this could get a much wider audience, although those of us at MacJams are certainly privileged listeners. Thanks for sharing this with us!

I'm still waiting for that horn piece.... ;-)

Best wishes.
Check out my latest song called Trio for Horn, Violin & Piano
composerclark said 3400 days ago (July 29th, 2008)
Thanks
I was hoping you would have a chance to hear this, and I'm really happy that you did.

In an alternate universe, students actually enjoy my composition classes! No, but seriously folks… I try to make the experience of being in my composition classes both fun and fruitful for students, but alas, such is not always the case, so I appreciate your flattery!

As for reaching a wider audience, I wish the same of course, as do we all here at MacJams, I'm sure. Having said that, it's been played a couple of times on CBC radio (national), so I guess it's reached a bit of a wider audience that way, but the beauty of the MacJams experience is that (a) one's music reaches a somewhat-wider audience than it would otherwise, and (b) you actually get to learn what others think about your music, via comments.

But yeah, it would be nice if this could one day be heard by a lot more people!

As for the horn piece, I'm still game; just lacking time! Who knows, it may show up in your E-mail one day…

Thanks!

Check out my latest song called A Little Song About Our Mom
thetiler said 3423 days ago (July 5th, 2008)
I feel as I should of commented before
but it is incredible, all the sections so well put together.

Very inspiring to say the least.

Thanks for sharing!
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composerclark said 3400 days ago (July 29th, 2008)
Thanks
Thanks for making a second visit/comment, Bill! Much appreciated.
Check out my latest song called A Little Song About Our Mom
Enrique Gil said 3401 days ago (July 28th, 2008)
beautiful....
and wonderfully played. The syncopated notes add to the fun of the melody. thank you.
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composerclark said 3400 days ago (July 29th, 2008)
Thanks
Thanks, Enrique! You are a fine musician, and I appreciate your comment.
Check out my latest song called A Little Song About Our Mom
J-Roe said 3231 days ago (January 13th, 2009)
Beautiful!
I love it! You are truly a master musician! What an ear for tasteful dissonance!
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composerclark said 3186 days ago (February 27th, 2009)
Thanks
Wow! I don't know about the "master musician" part — I mostly feel like I'm fumbling about in the dark when I'm composing — but I'm really glad you liked it! Thanks very much for the nice comment.
Check out my latest song called A Little Song About Our Mom
RickB1 said 3194 days ago (February 19th, 2009)
You are a master.
Such a beautiful, masterful blend of artistry and technical skill. I'm just blown away by how something like this emerges from thought and idea into an audible form. There are such deeply felt phrases embedded all throughout the piece, with such a wide range of feeling represented. I can't even intelligently comment on the technical skill here; obviously you are a master theorist, composer, musician...ultimately, an incredibly skilled artist. What a gift! Thank you for sharing!
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composerclark said 3186 days ago (February 27th, 2009)
Thanks!
Thanks very much for having a listen, Rick! I'm really pleased that you did. See my response to the previous comment for my thoughts on the the "mastery" thing, but I'm nevertheless flattered silly that you think so! Very, very kind of you.
Check out my latest song called A Little Song About Our Mom
dadgarus said 3191 days ago (February 23rd, 2009)
The piano
made me crazy!
You've done it extra professional.
I just LOVE this track.
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composerclark said 3186 days ago (February 27th, 2009)
Thanks
Thank you sir! I have said it before, but I am completely in awe of Kristina's ability to play this insanely-difficult music as fast as she did, flawlessly from start to finish. Boggles the mind, it does!

Check out my latest song called A Little Song About Our Mom
Daugrin said 3114 days ago (May 10th, 2009)
dream dance
Just a little something so you and some gal might shuffle around the room. Beautiful lines. I will be here a lot...

Daugrin


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crissew said 3032 days ago (July 31st, 2009)
Beautiful
Beautifull song. Even more impressive that it was recorded in one take.
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Mackie said 3017 days ago (August 15th, 2009)
Nice!
Nice Job!
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composerclark said 3015 days ago (August 17th, 2009)
Indeed!
Thanks for having a listen! ;-)
Check out my latest song called A Little Song About Our Mom
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Name: Composition Blog
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I've been teaching music composition and music theory at an east-coast university for 23 years, where I have also taught classical guitar and electronic music. I've been writing music for about 38 years, and still haven't figured out what I'm doing,... [see more]

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