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Back Pedal

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This is an exercise in pedal point writing.
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Song Stats
Hits: 4431
Comments: 24
Fans: 6
Plays: 394
Downloads: 185

Uploaded: Jan 24, 2007 - 12:51:12 AM
Last Updated: Jul 25, 2007 - 12:12:50 PM Last Played: Feb 17, 2019 - 12:15:18 PM
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One Kueng olivewood tenor, recorded a whole bunch of times.
Bowman said 4441 days ago (January 24th, 2007)
The beginning reminded me of some of Ligeti's work. As you progressed and went higher in pitch it for me became quite unsettling. You describe this as an exercise. This piece has curious qualities- not particularly listener friendly but I don't think that was your intention.
Not qualified to comment more on this than some of our more learned members. But different and interesting effects.

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VicDiesel said 4438 days ago (January 27th, 2007)
I've heard some Ligety, but I'm not very familiar with his work. I think I had Xenakis in mind when I did this, but most of all it was just the realization of a simple principle: a bunch of voices, all starting on a low C, and ending on a high.

The numbr of voices is high (20) so that you can't really make out what the individual instruments are doing, and all that's left is this cloud of sound.

Thanks for listening,

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Parichayaka said 4439 days ago (January 26th, 2007)
Liked the concept!
I tried to switch off my mind and just listen to this...and I actually quite enjoyed it. I have to admit that it helps to know that you're a good musician, and so every "experiment" is way beyond arbitrary and has musical value.
The colors and musical space you create with this piece are very interesting, something between soothing and unsettling %u2013 good sountrack material as it definitely provokes an emotional response.
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cchaplin said 4439 days ago (January 26th, 2007)
Oh yes !
I really liked this. Felt like the opening to a major orchestral piece. Could really imagine a violent, and dissonant FFF entrance of the orchestra at the end of this rather beautiful and melodic introduction.

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haribo said 4439 days ago (January 27th, 2007)
this is an immediate download
fabulous dissonant build up in the beginning.. very well organised. this sounds spiritual and ethnic. indeed reminds me of Gyorgio Ligeti's output, however far more expressive result.

thanks for sharing this emotive piece of work :) fav'd og downloaded
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said 4438 days ago (January 27th, 2007)
what a sound
the whole Idea to experiment in this way shows a insight to music that brings the listener to many different points. Overall It compells me to grind my teeth and sit back and day dream great effect.
Doadars Uncle said 4438 days ago (January 27th, 2007)
Nice progression
I like the movement into chaos. Interesting ending. It closes nicely.
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Cameron said 4437 days ago (January 28th, 2007)
wash of sound
This is a cool concept.

You've created very interesting layers upon layers.

I liked the gradual build-up, although it might have been more "suspenseful" to delay the high C's a bit more towards the end. Everything hit a plateau about 3/4 the way through. (But that's just a personal pacing preference -- this is very innovative and a unique sound.)

You have created an engaging palette of tonal colors here, and I particularly liked the fact that you used a single instrument to express this "wash of sound". It's amazing how much variety in color and texture you achieve with just the tenor recorder.

...which makes me think that the larger recorders might have a wider range of tone production, in a way. The higher-pitched soprano, sopranino and garklein have more of a consistent sound in their range.

I really liked the ascending scales towards the end.
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VicDiesel said 4437 days ago (January 28th, 2007)
Right on the money
Thanks for listening and for the very perceptive comments.

Yes, the lower recorders are probably more flexible. You see lots of contemporary players mess around with modified Paetzold Great and Contra Basses. You can take those even further.

Another consideration is of course that 20 sopranos shrieking out the high C would be unlistenable.

You and other critics have used the word "interesting". It's interesting that you use that to describe an aesthetic experience, but appropriate. This track really came out of a concept, and though I could imagine what the sound was going to be like, it was still a surprise to me. As with many conceptual compositions, the sounding result is not foremost on the composer's mind, and almost a by-product. In this case it came out nicely.

I also agree with you on the high point. The original notion was that instrument 20 would hold a low C for one minute, then drift up to high C; instrument 1 would drift from low C, then hold a high C for one minute, and the rest would be in between. (Btw, that's the full score for the piece, in case you ever want to perform it.) However, the sounds of low and high C are not symmetric in character. Whereas you can barely make out the end of the low C pedal, the high one is immediately obvious.

I'm thinking of extending this piece to about 4 minutes, with still the low and high pedal, but not for so long, and with some other anchor points in between, for instance: "at 1:30 everyone has to hit a note of the Ab chord". We'll see.

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said 4436 days ago (January 29th, 2007)
Fore me..
it's a new experience and I really like it.
Thanks for sharing....D-load it.
composerclark said 4435 days ago (January 30th, 2007)
Interesting... :-)
Yes, as others have said, it's an interesting experience, and interesting comments. For the most part, composers I know don't like hearing that their music is "interesting," because it is a fairly vague and imprecise term -- we'd rather hear someone say, "it really moved me," or "it didn't do a thing for me; are you insane?" or "I found it profoundly depressing," etc., but in this case it was an interesting sensation to hear the piece, partly because it fot me it produced an unsettling and delightful reaction simultaneously, and partly because it was interesting on an intellectual level. It is somewhat reminiscent of Ligetti--have a listen to 'Volumina' for solo organ, if you're interested, or his most famous piece, 'Atmospheres,' which was used in the soundtrack to 2001 A Space Odyssey.

I deffinitely think you should do this again, as you say you're considering, making it a much longer piece. and maybe consider moving up in waves (up in register a bit, then down a bit less, then up a bit more, etc.), until you reach the climax, which could be sustained in an extremely intense way for as long as you want.
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Komrade K said 4435 days ago (January 30th, 2007)
Strangely beautiful
You get to use some wonderful instruments. There's a lot of tension building up here although the ascending scales seem to act as a foil to the main thrust of the music. Listened many times - a worthwhile exercise!!!

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Warren Smith said 4434 days ago (January 31st, 2007)
The noticable lack of percussion keeps this piece from reaching its full potential. (Just kidding : >)

After listening to "Back Pedal" for more than a dozen times over several days, I find I don't have any particular emotional reaction to it. For me, it remains pretty much an intellectual response, as I try to unravel the threads of construction to determine the warp and weft of its ascension. It does ascend.

I can read it less abstractly, visualizing it as a sustained gust of wind ... or a fractal vortex of escaping steam or rolling clouds ... or a river of sound that contains little currents and eddies spiraling like minnows in and out of the main stream. Or more prosaic - I can visualize a lonesome organist in some stone cathedral working his or her way up the pedals of a pipe organ in the balcony, trying to get closer to God. But it still remains an intellectual exercise, rather than an emotional response.

Not that this portends anything bad. It's got nothing to do with liking or not liking a piece of music. And it could just be me. Who knows - maybe I need to listen to it two dozen times to become more familar with its nuances and breakdown its density?
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VicDiesel said 4434 days ago (January 31st, 2007)
Such diligence
I think by now you've spend at much time listening to this piece as I've spent creating it.

As you can tell from other comments on this piece, composers of semi-classical music struggle a bit with this question of structure and concept versus emotional appeal of a piece. I'm fine with it if you dont' have a particular esthetic response to this piece. You don't have to find it pretty or moving, since it wasn't my intention to write something that would appeal to such emotions. To use your words, the concept of this piece was indeed ultimately an "intellectual exercise".

However, I wouldn't have posted it if it didnt' have some deeper than purely intellectual response for me. In some way, the piece does grip me and drag me along. The feeling it evokes can be pretty abstract. Maybe this piece is the depiction of a single adjective, "rising" or "growing", "towering", "ominous".

I don't know. It's all subjective in the end.....

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Wildcat said 4429 days ago (February 5th, 2007)
why did i miss this? i have to put you on my favorites.
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VicDiesel said 4429 days ago (February 5th, 2007)
Hit or miss
I seem to fly a bit below the radar. Glad you enjoyed it.

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Enrique Gil said 4419 days ago (February 15th, 2007)
quite an interesting piece
did I hear you taking a breath here and there? The crescendo and continuing expansion of intruments created a nice piece. I really enjoyed it, Thank you.
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said 4401 days ago (March 5th, 2007)
... ear-nestly this was fun to listen to... and a bit scary.. I like the dissonant parts in particular.. Like a tribal version of the Stargate sequence from "2001" Thanks!!!
damiengh said 4259 days ago (July 25th, 2007)
Best word I could find. But I think this was well worth the effort. Loved the textures you got out of this and choice of instrument(s) to get it done.
Sometimes these type of projects can leave one wanting, but this one is almost like a painting.

I would love to hear a longer version of this one performed under the stars, on a cool sweatshirt evening, in a half-shell on the Charles River, Boston or in Beverly, MA at Lynch Park by the Ocean.

Nice pal.

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timothy devine said 4121 days ago (December 10th, 2007)
caught this on the random player
I got way into it
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said 4069 days ago (January 31st, 2008)
Very good

I love this piece, it is very original . Bravo !

said 4013 days ago (March 27th, 2008)
Back Pedal
A piece with lots of brain and sonic power!
Bob6stringer said 4002 days ago (April 7th, 2008)
Extra Texture!
I'm nor sure I understand it, being s dumb guitar hack (!) ... but I'm sure enjoying getting lost in it. Great tones, ever-shifting texture.
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VicDiesel said 4002 days ago (April 7th, 2008)
With so many parts there's little to do bit getting lost. Glad you like the ride.

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Name: Victor
Location: Austin TX
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In past lives, VicDiesel was a country fiddler, a shawm player at the Burgundy court, bellows pumper for JS Bach, Geoff Emerick's factotum, and a beggar playing drums in the streets of Calcutta for alms. Unusually, the memories of all that co... [see more]

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