Mentoring Program

The Night Lake

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I'm finally back! Sorry it's been SO long... Here is the edited version of The Night Lake. I completely rewrote the piece so it doesn't sound anything like the original (however it's been so long, you might not even remember the original). For that reason, in my mind, it doesn't sound like a Night Lake anymore, so I may have to change the title later. I tried to keep in mind what you said about having a consistent theme and to have the strings more involved. Measures 33- 42 are the ending, but 43-the end is an alternative. I haven't quite decided yet which ending I want to use, but if you have any feedback about that, feel free to let me know which one you prefer. By the way, even though your comments aren't on the site anymore, I made sure I copied and pasted them into a separate document, so I still have them. :)Thank you so much! And again, sorry for taking so long!
Grade Level: 12
Intended For: Live Instrument Performance
Software Used: Noteflight
Instrumentation: Piano, Violin, Viola
Key: C Major
Meter Signature: 4/4
Tempo: 70
Status: Work in Progress
Noteflight URL: Website Title

Comments   

#33 Erik Nielsen 2017-01-03 12:16
Dear Sophie,
Thanks for posting Night Lake with pedal marks. For the most part, you're just changing pedal when the harmony changes and that's fine. There are a few places where I wouldn't change quite so often as the harmony doesn't really change (though the decision, as always, is yours): bar 11, beat 2; bar 12, beat 3; bar 14, beat 2; bar 18, beat 2; bar 36, beat 3; bar 42, beat 2. A lot of this depends on how clear you want the sound. As for bar 14, I'd just move the middle C in right hand up an octave and then the two hands will double that important descending line. One other thing: I think the arpeggio starting in bass clef in bar 30 will sound stronger if it's in root position. With the pedal, we'll hear the opening note (C) as the bass of the chord, so I'd add an F below that, so the chord starts with a fifth in left hand F-c.
As for Opus, I wanted to wait until I had heard from Sandi before I responded. I've seen her note and what she said is that you "may" submit a new work, not that you "must". You may certainly submit either or both of your existing works with the following caveats. First, no student may have more than one work selected for any Opus. We usually get over 100 entries and can only select about a quarter of those, so you can see our reasoning. Second, if another mentor looks at either Night Lake or Springtime, s/he may suggest further revisions. Are you willing to do that? Opus works submitted are usually considered incomplete and in need of more mentoring, though occasionally a completed work is submitted. Finally, and most important as far as I'm concerned, this is a wonderful opportunity that few young composers get anywhere in the U.S., to work on a brand-new piece from scratch with a professional mentor and the possibility that it will get a professional performance and recording. My feeling is that, given what you've learned on your two completed pieces, this is a great chance for you to apply that learning on a new work. This work could include any or all the instruments listed (flute/piccolo, oboe/English horn, clarinet/bass clarinet, bassoon, two violins, viola, cello, bass, piano). I'd love to see you tackle a piece that doesn't include piano, to get you trying and learning about other instruments. So my advice is to choose one of your complete works to enter and also start a new one. Does each entry come with a fee? Yes, that's how we help finance Opus and pay the musicians. Do you have to follow my advice? Nope, as always the final decision is up to you. But if you're seriously interested in composing (and your hard work so far shows that you are), this is your final chance before you go off to college to have this opportunity. So please think about this and ask me any questions you might have. You have until early next month to make a submission, so you needn't decide right away. Sophie, I confess that there's some self interest here. I'd love to keep working with you, though I can't guarantee that I'd be your primary mentor on a new piece. You're really developing as a composer and I'd love to see that process continue.

Best wishes,
Erik-
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#32 Sophie Wood 2016-12-31 16:00
Dear Erik,

Happy New Year!
I just put in pedal markings in Night Lake, and I'm posting it just to check if you think it's way too busy. I'm also wondering about measure 14 and the red notes. Should I remove the middle c in the bass clef to avoid being redundant?

https://ovuhsmusic.sites.noteflight.com/scores/view/47f2545e96ecd736d532f0e44b734527c50bc4ed

Also, I'm wondering how I would submit a piece to Opus 32. I emailed Sandi, and she said I would have to start something brand new in order to submit a piece. Does that mean I can't submit Night Lake or Springtime?

Thank you!

Sophie
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#31 Sophie Wood 2016-12-12 20:09
Dear Erik,

I will seriously consider doing Opus 32!

Again Thank you!

Sophie
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#30 Erik Nielsen 2016-12-12 16:11
Dear Sophie,
Yes, both are now correct. Whoopee, you're done (for now; some things may come up in rehearsal, but that's where a lot of learning takes place anyway, so it's all good)!
Thanks for the kind words. It's easy to mentor a student who works hard, has talent and is willing to listen. So thank you.
I'd like you to seriously consider entering for Opus 32. While the instrumentation you have in both Night Lake and Springtime will fit (the instrumentation is piano, string quintet, including bass; and woodwind quartet: flute [or piccolo], oboe [or English horn], clarinet [or bass clarinet], and bassoon), you've done what you can on these pieces and I think it would be good to start fresh on a new piece to put your newfound knowledge to work. If your piece is selected you get a professional-le vel performance and a recording, but no matter what, you'd learn a lot. I'd also suggest a good challenge would be to NOT use piano. Anyway, the first posting isn't until the beginning of February, so you have time to think this over, but I think it would be a great opportunity for you.

Best wishes,
Erik
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#29 Sophie Wood 2016-12-12 15:33
Dear Erik,

Just making sure I fixed the f in measure 38 (I was slightly confused about that). Also, is the notation for sub piano in measure 49 correct?
https://ovuhsmusic.sites.noteflight.com/scores/view/47f2545e96ecd736d532f0e44b734527c50bc4ed
Thank you so much for all your help! This piece has really evolved from a piece I just smashed together to something I'm proud, thanks to you.
Again, I appreciate everything!

Sophie
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#28 Erik Nielsen 2016-12-12 15:15
Dear Sophie,
Thanks for re-posting so quickly. This will also be quick. Thanks for making those changes and for putting in bowing markings (it helps to play a stringed instrument!). Once you remove the redundant f in strings in bar 38 you ought to be all set, though if I were you I'd look it over one more time (I'm a Virgo; being obsessive comes as part of the deal!). There's no need to re-post the score for my sake, though if you want to, you can.
Sophie, you've done such hard work on this piece, and it shows. I hope you feel pleased! It's been a pleasure and I look forward to our continued work together. (More on that soon.)

Best wishes,
Erik
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#27 Sophie Wood 2016-12-08 14:05
Dear Erik,

This is really quick :), but here's my revision:

https://ovuhsmusic.sites.noteflight.com/scores/view/47f2545e96ecd736d532f0e44b734527c50bc4ed

Thank you!

Sophie
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#26 Erik Nielsen 2016-12-08 13:54
Dear Sophie,
Thanks for re-posting so quickly. You've just about finished. I only have a few things to note.
First, all those rests in left hand piano in bar 29 need to become a half rest. And a dotted half rest as you have it in 30 is also not standard. I'd change it to a quarter rest followed by a half rest.
Bars 34-37 still bother me for several reasons. First, the violin doesn't have a crescendo that I think it needs. Second, that cresc. is still too long. One thing you could do is mark everyone down to sub. p at 34 and then the crescendo will work just fine. Third, one I forgot last time and remembered in the middle of the night is that the left hand chord in 37 is still in a rather awkward second position, but if you just eliminate the low G it will work fine as a first inversion (all inversions are NOT created equal; 1st works well in a lot of cases, 2nd is weak and only works in very specific cases and this really isn't one).
Sophie, I think that's it. One more posting ought to do it. I'm going to be really busy now until Monday, but ought to be able to look over what I hope will be the final posting then. In the meantime, keep up the good work and let me know if you have questions.

Best wishes,
Erik
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#25 Sophie Wood 2016-12-07 19:34
Dear Erik,

Here's my new revision:

https://ovuhsmusic.sites.noteflight.com/scores/view/47f2545e96ecd736d532f0e44b734527c50bc4ed

Thank you,

Sophie Wood
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#24 Erik Nielsen 2016-12-07 11:59
Dear Sophie,
Thanks for your quick work. The changes you made really make the piece more effective. The piano music you've added in what were empty bars works well.
I know you want to finish this as quickly as possible, so let me give you my edits as briefly as possible. We're now basically in score preparation mode and it's good to see you've already started to add cues.

There are still some dynamics that need fixing. I know that Noteflight's playback of dynamics is abysmal (as is the playback for most music software), but the players need more clarity in places. Here we go:
1. Never put dynamics under rests. In bar 1, the violin p needs to go under the note and the crescendo needs to be shortened. And what is the destination dynamic of the crescendo, mp? Whatever it is, it needs to go at the end of the crescendo. The same thing is true in bar 32 in violin; move the dynamic under the half note.
2. The mp marks in violin in bars 8-9 are redundant (it's already at mp).
3. What's the dynamic mark in strings at 15 at the end of the crescendo? By the way, don't use a crescendo unless you have a clear dynamic goal in mind. See below. And are the eighths in violin starting in bar 20 still mf?
4. The crescendo in viola in bar 22 ends at 23 but the new dynamic doesn't come until 24. This needs fixing.
5. The cresc. in viola and piano in 34-37 is too long to go just from mf to f. I'd shorten it to 36-37 or arrive at f at 36. Also, the cresc. in viola goes from mf to mf. That needs fixing.
6. In 38-40 you have 2 cresc. marks. Not only that, but the music goes from f to f. I'd drop the first cresc. completely and bring the music at 42 up to ff. This is the climax of the piece. I'd keep it ff right through bar 48 and get rid of the ff there, since it will be redundant.
Okay, a few other things. There are some repeated notes that don't add anything. In bar 15 in viola I'd make the C a whole note, not two half notes. I'd also tie over the dotted half A in viola in 47 to the A half note in 48. In 29 I'd give the left hand in piano a rest and move the F triad down to left hand for the second half of the bar, keeping the high note D in right hand. It will be easier to read. I must not have been clear on that one. Finally, the rest is out of position in left hand in piano in bar 31. If you select it and hit Delete it ought to reset to the middle of the bar where it belongs.
That's it for today, Sophie. This is really close to finished. Please let me know if you have questions. I look forward to your next posting.

Best wishes,
Erik
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