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Verdant Voyage

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A string quartet meant to be evocative of an adventure through the woods.
Grade Level: 12
Intended For: Live Instrument Performance
Software Used: Noteflight
Instrumentation: Violin 1, Violin 2, Viola, Cello
Key: E flat
Meter Signature: 6/8
Tempo: Dotted quarter=140
Status: Completed Work
Noteflight URL: Website Title


#14 Erik Nielsen 2017-04-17 11:13
Dear Matt,
I have written you an email. There are a number of questions left to be answered in your score, such as multirests and cues being added when there are more than 4 bars' rest and needing a dynamic mark at the end of crescendi in bars 56 and 72, as well as rehearsal letters. I need to send out the parts tomorrow. I have imported the score into Sibelius because I can't print your Noteflight parts. If I don't hear from you by tomorrow morning I'll print what I have and you can be prepared to answer any questions during rehearsal.

Best wishes,
Erik Nielsen
#13 Michael Close 2017-04-13 10:28
Hi Matthew,

Today is the deadline for changes to your piece so if you are going to make those changes, you should try to do it today. We need to get the parts printed off and to players! So exciting!

Also, you'll need to update your bio on the website.
Update the bio in Profile and click edit to update the description of the work. The description should be for an audience, not a technical run down of the work at this point.

Congratulations on all you've done!

Best Wishes,

Mike Close
#12 Michael Close 2017-04-11 11:18
Oh, and please include a comment when you update your piece if you would like me to look at it- otherwise I will not get an email alert and I will not be likely to give you a timely response.

Best Wishes,

#11 Michael Close 2017-04-11 11:16
Hi Matthew,

I am so looking forward to playing this piece ( I am the cellist for the concert)

-So, this is not a big deal, but in those slurs in the vln. 1 starting at m. 13 the slur should extend to the last tied note, so starting in m. 13 to the end of m. 14 and everywhere else this happens- If this is a pain to do, the player will know what you want as its written now.

-at m. 67 in the lower voices, the second half of the measure should be written as a dotted half note (as it appears in the following measure).

-you need a slur mark in the vln. 1 at m. 123

- I like the changes you have made to the minor section- it keeps getting better and better. To my taste, I'd like to hear a little variation with each repeated 4 bar group (it could be as small as taking the viola part down an octave in the second half of m. 80)- it's really that repeated dissonance in the second half of the 3rd. measure of each four bar group where the repetition bothers me. That chord is so striking, and it's repeated so many times without variation that the repetition really sticks out.

OK, you are in great shape here. I can't wait to play this!


Mike Close
#10 Michael Close 2017-04-07 12:20
Hi Matthew,

Nice work on these revisions. I think the slower tempo is a good choice and it will sound plenty lively in performance.

I like how you are switching things up in the minor section, however I feel there is still too much repetition. The accompaniment is repeated exactly every 4 bars, try switching things up a little bit with each repetition to keep things fresh.

A few more score prep details:

- in the vln. 1 part starting at m. 13, you want those grace notes slurred into the main note right?

-m. 67-68 bottom voices- add an articulation there to clarify how you want those played- tenuto? accented?

- m. 67-68 bottom voices- beat two should be written as a dotted half rest.

Keep up the good work!

Mike Close
#9 Matthew Skelly 2017-04-07 11:20
Hi Mike,

I changed the tempo to 126, and added in some mood markings. I also made some more changes to the minor section. I added in a little bit more variation to the repeating pattern underneath the traded triplet figure. Do you think there's enough happening in that section now?

#8 Michael Close 2017-04-04 11:17
Hi Matt,

Congratulations on having your piece selected for performance in the Opus concert.

I have just a few notes to help you get your score ready for performance.

You've done a wonderful job with notation and there's not far to go.

First off, I'd consider taking the tempo down a few clicks. I think 126 would be a good live performance tempo. I fear that it will sound too frantic with live musicians at this tempo- these things tend to sound faster in performance than on Sibelius.

-You might also consider writing in some 'mood markings' to give the players a better idea of the tone of each section. For example, "mysteriously", or "pushing forward", or "rhythmic and driving".

This is really in very good shape and the changes you make with each revision improve an already great piece of music.

Keep up the good work. I'll check in tomorrow morning and offer more feedback.

Best Wishes,

Mike Close
#7 Michael Close 2017-04-02 09:59
Hi Matthew,

It has been my pleasure working with you. Regardless if your piece is chosen for Opus or not, you should be proud of all you've done and seek to have this performed somewhere.

I like the changes you made in the minor section- the little articulations and pitch changes are exactly what I had in mind. All the same, I think there could still be more variation there and less copy and paste to keep things fresh in that part. I love the ending.

Best Wishes,

Mike Close
#6 Matthew Skelly 2017-03-30 19:40
Hi Mike,

I finished the piece, and made some changes to the minor section rhythmically. My idea for the section was that the triplet motif would be passed around between parts, almost like the instruments were calling out to each other, like they're lost and are trying to find each other. Hopefully that comes across, if not, let me know, and I'll fix it in the future. Anyways, I do realize that tonight is the deadline, and I just wanted to thank you so much in helping me out with this piece. I know I had a pretty prolonged leave of absence from working on it, I had a lot of work going on for music festivals and for our school musical, but thank you for sticking with me through that. Your advice has been invaluable.
#5 Michael Close 2017-03-27 05:17
Hello Matthew,

Thank you for sharing this revision. I'm glad to see that you are making the piece longer- it is certainly rich musically and deserves to be fleshed out.

Nice work with the articulations and dynamics- that will add a lot in performance.

I'm not sure about your portamento question- I'm not a noteflight user- in Sibelius there are different types of slides under the 'line' menu. I wouldn't worry too much about it though- you can just tell the performers what to do in rehearsal or just write "port." near the line.

I think moving key area in the middle section is a great idea- we're ready for a change of key by the time we get there. However, I don't feel there is enough interest and excitement in the C-minor section- it feels more like an accompaniment to a melody that we do not hear. Perhaps if there was some variation in the way the repeated notes are articulated (maybe an syncopated, accented note to break up the constant beat, beat, beat of the repeated C's) or if there were an engaging melody on top it would stand up better to my ear. But I do like the contrast between the sections- this is so vertical and non-melodic- I just think it needs something more.

You are doing great work here! Keep it up!

Mike Close

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