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Tuscan Morning v16


by

Doug Somers

 Genre: Classical

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Description
Update - I have enabled downloading of this piece.
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In 2009 I had the very good fortune to stay in a villa for 4 weeks just outside of Cortona in the Tuscan countryside. I wrote the first version of this piece while staying there since the beautiful mornings were almost magical. I was never happy with the quality of the instrumental treatment I could achieve on my laptop and so have been meaning for a long while to go back and update the instrument packages to improve the sound. I also thought that the original piece was a bit short - it just got into the mood of the morning and then it ended. In this version I have added another 2 1/2 minutes to let the various influences of the fresh day leave their musical and emotional marks.

The instrumentation is for a number of soloists (clarinet, oboe, French horn, Cello, harp, flute and alto flute) backed by a string section. This version uses East West's Hollywood Strings, Symphonic Orchestra, and the oboe and clarinet from 8Dio.

Ciao!

(PS - If you are curious to hear the difference from the original, it is here http://www.macjams.com/song/53055)
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Lyrics
Buon giorno!
Song Stats
Hits: 1182
Comments: 33
Fans: 18
Plays: 66
Downloads: 8
Votes: 0
Uploaded: Feb 18, 2016 - 02:15:23 PM
Last Updated: Feb 21, 2016 - 10:31:45 AM Last Played: Mar 21, 2017 - 02:04:45 PM
Song License
Creative Commons License:
Attribution-NoDerivs-NonCommercial

Creative Commons

Song Actions
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Hardware:
MacMini
Software:
Logic Pro X, East West Hollywood Strings, Symphonic Orchestra and 8Dio Claire clarinet and oboe
Comments
Henke said 497 days ago (February 18th, 2016)
Really
Evokes a sense of wonder and curiosity about what's on today's menu, a hazy sunrise, a scurrying rabbit, a breeze through the trees, swooping birds over the fields - there are many protagonists in this tale... This version sounds crispier and "stronger" than what I remember. Nice either way :-)

Thanks and take care,
Henke
Check out my latest song called Summer (Promenade) (WIP)
Doug Somers said 495 days ago (February 20th, 2016)
You nailed it!
First, thanks for the careful listen and kind words. I always appreciate considered feedback, even if it is just how the piece struck someone - what emotions or visualizations it brought forth. In this case there are a number of little motifs that I put in which were each intended to describe one of the morning situations. In this case though (unlike Rhone Sunrise) I didn't have a particular scene in mind for each part. I just let the music flow bearing in mind a few overriding sensations: gentle breezes, the first strains of light, animal activity, and water. The rest I leave up to your imagination as to what is what.

Thanks again Henrik, and I look forward to your next opus soon!!
Check out my latest song called Coming Home - Based on a Theme by David Kneupper
MidiOrleans said 496 days ago (February 19th, 2016)
Moods
Very fine moods of the morning!
Check out my latest song called Vieux Carré Prelude
Doug Somers said 495 days ago (February 20th, 2016)
Thanks Scotty
It's tone poem like so all parts of this are not necessarily melodic, but I did want to convey a number of fresh morning moods. I'm so glad you made time for a listen and thanks for your supportive comments!
Check out my latest song called Coming Home - Based on a Theme by David Kneupper
DWL said 496 days ago (February 19th, 2016)
Wonderful Doug
Beautifully written and performed. It sounds really good.

So much going on and the EW orchestra is very effective. I must look into that.

Thanks

Dick
Check out my latest song called War with Spain
Doug Somers said 495 days ago (February 20th, 2016)
Cheers Dick
You are always generous with your feedback. As I get further and further into these instrumental packages (starting from the GB instruments and moving into the latest orchestral 1/2 Terabyte packages) I'm struck by how much the orchestrator/producer has to learn to play these instruments. The number of controls each allows for in tone, volume, attack etc. is quite daunting really, and it's hard not to let that get in the way of the creativity of the composition and particularly the spontaneity of the performance. Still, the results can be worth it. That said, I'm not totally happy with the clarinet and so may look at hiring a live performer from our local university music program.

Thanks again Dick - I'm off to hear your latest song....
Check out my latest song called Coming Home - Based on a Theme by David Kneupper
davajonah said 495 days ago (February 20th, 2016)
Beautiful
I'd not heard the original, [it's playing now] what a wonderful work. Labour of love. I can tell you've spent ages on this, time well spent.

The quality of the instruments is fantastic. I should treat myself one day I suppose, it might induce some creativity!

Anyway, wonderful music Mr. Somers, beautifully mixed together. Much kudos.
Check out my latest song called Lost and Found
Doug Somers said 495 days ago (February 20th, 2016)
Labour
I liken the post compositional work on these pieces to the fiddly detailed work of producing stop motion animation like Wallace and Grommit. Yes, this kind of insane level of detailed tweaking is definitely a labour of love.

I'm so glad you liked this one Dave. Thanks for the very kind words, and bonus points for going into the back catalogue and hearing the original!


Check out my latest song called Coming Home - Based on a Theme by David Kneupper
hackneybloke said 495 days ago (February 20th, 2016)
tuscan morning
very uplifting and evocative. i wonder whether some of the sounds die too quickly, particularly in the opening section - it affects the blend.
but apart from that an excellent composition.
the east west software is incredible innit.
Check out my latest song called If Symptoms Persist
Doug Somers said 495 days ago (February 20th, 2016)
Evocative
Julian - thanks for the support and the direct concrete feedback on the duration of the sounds. It's that kind of specific feedback that helps me learn and I appreciate it as well.

I will be putting this one through the edit process again as I am not happy 100% with the clarinet which gave me a divil of a time with sustained notes. Surprising really since in faster passages the instrument sounds quite good. In any event, I'm keen to learn more about what you heard and will message you.

Thanks again for the listen and kind words!
Check out my latest song called Coming Home - Based on a Theme by David Kneupper
Bowman said 495 days ago (February 20th, 2016)
This work breathes,
as it allows each phrase and section to unfold and come to life. The spaces between notes, the momentary silences all contribute to a beauty that comes from careful observation and confidence. A glorious work Doug.
Thank you for sharing it my friend.
Cheers,
Charlie
Check out my latest song called 1917
Doug Somers said 495 days ago (February 20th, 2016)
Hello Charlie
I thought that the breathing dynamics would sound more organic and so kept them in from the original. One improvement was that in the original the dynamics were all volume so that tonality didn't change with instrument volume. That conveyed the general idea but the results were not as satisfying since they sounded unreal for a live orchestra. This version uses instruments that respond to dynamics and expression and can cross-fade between samples to achieve a better swelling in loudness that mirrors that heard in an orchestra.

As ever, thanks for your support, a close listen, and sharing your impressions. I hope all things are going well for you Charlie. Peace.
Check out my latest song called Coming Home - Based on a Theme by David Kneupper
MidiOrleans said 494 days ago (February 21st, 2016)
Thanks
Thank you for the download Doug.
Encore!
scotty
Check out my latest song called Vieux Carré Prelude
Doug Somers said 494 days ago (February 21st, 2016)
You're welcome Scotty
I should have set it up right from the start. Now on to the next...
Check out my latest song called Coming Home - Based on a Theme by David Kneupper
paul f. page said 494 days ago (February 21st, 2016)
My counter is off, but...
the string wash just before the clarinet entry is really really very nice! ... So much to like about and I remember it well from your first version a couple years ago. This time the plug-ins are working particularly good for you, the strings in particular. I'm not sure why you don"t like the clarinet. It sounds quite rich to me, though, like the E. horn, I think you could improve the effect with a little more distance from the audience, maybe by adding a touch -- not much -- more reverb to warm up the sound. ... The composition itself has such an organic and calming feeling to it, like a painting that's done with great care, in this case with notes and wonderful timing. I was wondering if you'd ever get back to this suite...and now you have. I believe there were 3 or 4 movements planned, 2 written...others waiting in the wings. I encourage you to let them onto the stage. This is such a good project...thank you for the enlightening and enlightened music that falls so gently on my ears.
Check out my latest song called One Hundred Eighty-Nine
Doug Somers said 494 days ago (February 21st, 2016)
Cheers Paul
Hello Paul, and thanks for the detailed listen and supportive comments. Indeed there are many changes in this one compared to the original. That string wash was one of my favourite parts in creating the original and I have found that the new string pack does a much better job making each of the string sections sound more unique and proper. I also added an F horn into this version which was not in the original and it lends a lovely tone here and there. The biggest difference in this wash is the addition of a whole tone trill in the violas, an idea I learned from Howard Shore's score of Fellowship of the Ring. It gives a lovely shimmer which is different than a tremolo and to me brings in the feeling of a breeze. Otherwise the chord is a minor 7th in 4th inversion with an augmented 6th in there just for added tension in the tone cluster. Not a usual construction but I like it.

Audience distance in the solo instruments is a good point. I have the ability to use 3 mic positions and so will play with more of the wide (ambient) mic levels and back off the close mics a bit. I also found after posting that the oboe sounded a bit thin and so your observation should help there too.

I must say that the chord progressions and key changes in the newly added section were inspired by your effortless ways to lift and lower notes throughout your works. Thanks for showing the way! I've also been playing with some chromatic mediant relationships and again I like the results (another influence from studying Shore).

As for the Clarinet, it is capable of a really rich tone but on some notes and articulations it can taper off way too soon, or swell too much without me doing anything. This is the original programming intent, and I suspect for many pieces it would work brilliantly. This one, being a very slow tempo, has shown up these issues which I sometimes feel I'm wrestling with to get notes held to their full duration or to tame the swell. If this were a more lively clarinet piece I can tell you that it would not have these issues and would sound really quite good. The demos from 8Dio are outstanding.

As ever, thank you for your ongoing support and helpful observations. As with all who comment I am most appreciative of all feedback as I am keen to learn and improve.


Check out my latest song called Coming Home - Based on a Theme by David Kneupper
PeterB7858 said 493 days ago (February 21st, 2016)
Tuscan Morning v16
Just a lovely piece of music, Doug. Plenty of time and space to meditate and breathe in the heady Tuscan air. I like Paul's comment, "like a painting that's done with great care". Pass the Chianti Classico Riserva! Oops, I forgot, it is still morning... :-)
Check out my latest song called Dancing In The Rain (GSB)
Doug Somers said 493 days ago (February 22nd, 2016)
Cheers Peter
I don't know quite what draws me to these contemplative pieces but maybe it has something to do with the visuals. Were I not composing I would probably actually paint the scene.

As for Chianti in the morning, remember that the sun is over the yardarm somewhere in the world....

Thanks for your kind words!
Check out my latest song called Coming Home - Based on a Theme by David Kneupper
Philip18 said 493 days ago (February 22nd, 2016)
Tuscan morning
Beautifully evocative music, Doug, with an interesting variety of instruments used. Much enjoyed!
Check out my latest song called Beach Bossa
Doug Somers said 493 days ago (February 22nd, 2016)
Evocative
That was the goal. Not quite descriptive but at least evocative (I take that as less clearly defined) :)

Thanks for having a listen Philip and leaving your thoughts. Be well.
Check out my latest song called Coming Home - Based on a Theme by David Kneupper
Narad said 493 days ago (February 22nd, 2016)
Tuscan Morning
Wonderful listen ! Thanks Doug ! :)
Check out my latest song called Serenade CCLXII
Doug Somers said 493 days ago (February 22nd, 2016)
Thanks Harald
I just came from your own evocative piece. Thanks so much for the kind words!
Check out my latest song called Coming Home - Based on a Theme by David Kneupper
Dadai.2 said 493 days ago (February 22nd, 2016)
Debussy reflection...
Good one Doug. You capture a feeling in this composition. Not easy to do. The music carries the listener along every measure of the way. In a word, Beautiful...
Jack
Check out my latest song called Frisco Feel
Doug Somers said 493 days ago (February 22nd, 2016)
Feeling
Thanks so much Jack. Your support is truly appreciated my friend. After all the tweaks and toils its good to have moved listeners such as yourself. I'm glad you enjoyed it!
Check out my latest song called Coming Home - Based on a Theme by David Kneupper
michaeljayklein said 491 days ago (February 23rd, 2016)
How wonderful!
I loved it--thanks Doug!
Check out my latest song called There Ain't Nobody Here but Us Chickens!
Doug Somers said 491 days ago (February 23rd, 2016)
MJK
Hi Michael and thanks for stopping in for a listen. It's great that you liked this reworked opus. Thanks for the kind words. Keep well!
Check out my latest song called Coming Home - Based on a Theme by David Kneupper
FEEL said 490 days ago (February 25th, 2016)
beautiful piece of music
Great way to start the morning when listening to your composition. I find my senses are more in tune in the morning and your delivery meets the criteria. Very touching and sounds so much like the awakening of a day.
Check out my latest song called Stuck n D - 214ce ES2 test
Doug Somers said 483 days ago (March 3rd, 2016)
Awakening of a day
It's nice to be able to pass on and share some sense of what I experienced in Italy. It of course falls short of the real thing but at least it recalls some of the moods and sensations of the time and place.

So glad you enjoyed it John. I'm sorry I missed your piece fifty5 - it doesn't seem to exist any longer.
Check out my latest song called Coming Home - Based on a Theme by David Kneupper
FEEL said 474 days ago (March 12th, 2016)
Yeah
it was a struggle with writers block and needed to be removed
Check out my latest song called Stuck n D - 214ce ES2 test
mr_mordenus said 490 days ago (February 25th, 2016)
June Morning
Never been to Italy... but we do have a little wrought iron park bench in our yard with rose bushes around it. In the earliest days of summer, when the morning sun hasn't quite burnt off the dew and the mist, I love to sit on the bench with my morning coffee and think about nothing in particular.

Maybe see if there's any new blossoms on the flowering vine. Smell the scent of springtime giving way to the summer, the hazy green of life and the misty scent of dew, and the warmth of the little metal bench. The aroma of my morning coffee.

This brings me there; I can close my eyes and I'm there. Right there.

Thank you for the moment, Doug.

Wait... did I just return to MacJams????
Check out my latest song called Schubert Let The Ducks Out
Doug Somers said 483 days ago (March 3rd, 2016)
Mr M
Back from Plasticville I see.... I gotta say, if this takes you to your park bench and garden then that is fantastic. Morning can be so fresh and lush and inviting and it doesn't really matter where you are in the world - it can be pretty amazing. And this is said by someone who is not even a morning person.

So you're more than welcome for the moment or two to sit in your garden. It sounds lovely by the way!

Many thanks for the kind words.
Check out my latest song called Coming Home - Based on a Theme by David Kneupper
Warren Smith said 485 days ago (March 1st, 2016)
Time and place
My first thought: it's still too short : )

I think one of the greatest motivations for making art is to be inspired by a specific time and place and then, as an artist, trying to put that inspiration into a creation. Most often our gestures fall short of the real thing. I suppose that is to be expected .. since they are an imitation. Yet that creative process, with all of its complexities, presents us with a challenge that is perhaps unlike any other in life: trying to capture the breath of life with art. We improve with practice and persistence, but at the same time the complexities .. and the subtleties .. also grow, requiring more attention and labor to "get it right." This piece you have posted here represents all of these thoughts. Could it be better? Sure. But that's not to say it isn't wonderful as it stands: a fresh breath of morning air from a specific time and place.
Check out my latest song called The One
Doug Somers said 483 days ago (March 3rd, 2016)
Time and Place Indeed
Wow. That is so very well put Warren that I've just been sitting here kind of absorbing your observations. Interestingly, I made the same comment to FEEL above about the music falling short (how could it not?) and yet, as you say, we artists try to capture as much of this essence of our topic as we can in order to show our audience how we see the world. So without being in the least bit negative I completely get your comments about this being still shorter than it could be and that it has room for improvement. Even with how satisfied I am about this version over the last one I agree with you. And who knows, given that this performance is all MIDI captured I might easily go back and have another bash at any section or add new material someday.

Thanks so much for having a listen and leaving such well thought out comments. I appreciate your perspective and support!
Check out my latest song called Coming Home - Based on a Theme by David Kneupper
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Name: Doug Somers
Location: Ottawa Ontario Canada
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I make music for pleasure, usually using a computer to create soundscapes around all kinds of music. I used to jam with a local celtic group, playing bodhran and 12 string guitar, but I find that my technical and live performance skills fall short o... [see more]

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