Mentoring Program

Penumbral

755 userid
This piece is inspired by the dark - the absence of light - or more specifically, the impact it can have on an individual. Some people feel comforted and blanketed by it, and some people, including many children, are afraid of what might be lurking in it. The unusual atmosphere of this piece makes it feel to me like a ballet of shadows, evoking many contrasting emotions. It creates both uneasiness and comfort. It's like the monster under your bed trying to sing you a lullaby.
Grade Level: 12
Intended For: Live Instrument Performance
Software Used: Sibelius
Instrumentation: violin 1 & 2, viola, cello, bass, piano
Key: A minor
Meter Signature: 4/4
Tempo: quarter note = 62
Status: Completed Work
File 1: application/octet-streamDownload

Comments   

#17 Erik Nielsen 2017-04-14 10:49
Dear Jacob,
Thanks for taking care of this. Both the bio and piece description look good. I've printed your parts, so just remember to bring the score with you to Opus 32. I agree with your assessment of your piece and can hardly wait to hear it live! See you next month.

Best wishes,
Erik
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#16 Jacob Dennison 2017-04-13 17:10
Hi Erik, sorry for the late response, but I have updated my bio and the piece description. I also look forward to hearing this piece performed, as I personally believe it to be one of my strongest compositions.
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#15 Erik Nielsen 2017-04-07 09:45
Dear Jacob,
Thanks for your response. The decision is completely yours as to the finality of the piece. With that decision made, I've added the piano crescendo at 19; one cue for second violin at bar 16; at bar 30 in piano and 32 in viola and bass I've eliminated some redundant accidentals, and I've changed the D# in bar 35 in piano and bass to E flats because they're descending chromatically. I've uploaded a fresh score to Google Drive for you and I've got .pdf scores and parts ready to go. You're the first!
Now what you need to do is write up a fuller description of the piece than what you have above, as well as creating a 75-90 word bio to go in your user profile (it's blank at the moment). Both of these will go in the printed program. Please take care of this as soon as possible.
This is a fine piece, Jacob, and I look forward to hearing it performed.

Best wishes,
Erik
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#14 Jacob Dennison 2017-04-06 09:06
Hi Erik,
Yes, the piano should have a crescendo there. That was my mistake leaving it out. As for adding more to the piece, I'm pretty happy with the way it is now, and I think I'll keep it at its current length. I've tried playing with some of the ideas and expanding them a bit, but in my opinion, the way it is now is the best it's been. Thank you, and I'm very excited to hear the performance, as always!
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#13 Erik Nielsen 2017-04-03 15:40
Dear Jacob,
Congratulations on having your piece, "Penumbral", chosen for Opus 32. It's a fine work and very deserving of selection. This is even more impressive, given how many strong pieces there were.
I only have one score prep question. In bar 19 may I assume that the piano gets a crescendo for beats 3-4 like everyone else?
With so little to do, I want you to think about whether you want to take a bit of time this week to extend the work a little more. You have about 30" to play with if you choose. If you want to keep the piece as is, that's fine, I just wanted to give you the option this week. Let me know as soon as possible about that crescendo and what you want to do about my offer. Thanks and congratulations again. Well done!

Best wishes,
Erik
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#12 Erik Nielsen 2017-03-31 14:04
Dear Jacob,
Thanks for your final posting. You've added significantly to the length and also to the completeness of your ideas. Congratulations . I know you felt a lot of pressure from many sides during the time when you were working and deserve tremendous credit for sticking with this. Again, I think this is a step forward for you compositionally , no matter how the Opus voting comes out.

I do have something for you to think about, namely, continuing to work on this piece as time permits. There are such fine ideas here that could use further development beyond what you were able to do in this short time, that I hope you will consider this. That's not to say the work doesn't stand on its own as is, it does, but even more could be done.

I'll be back in touch on Monday no matter the outcome of the voting. Have a good weekend!

Best wishes,
Erik
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#11 Jacob Dennison 2017-03-30 21:58
Erik, I'm glad you like what I've done with my piece. I've made the changes you suggested, adding more to the section that was measures 13-16 and 25-26. In the first section that you suggested adding to, what I added features a piano melody, and I did this partially because there were really no parts of the piece anywhere else that made the piano stand out like that. As for 25-26, I added a couple more measures, giving that theme some variation. I also added slurs to all the parts. And, with that, I would say this piece is complete.

Thank you for providing your feedback throughout this process. Although I wish I could've posted more, I would consider this a successful piece in my opinion. Anyway, thank you again! Composing for the Opus competitions is always a wonderful experience for me.
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#10 Erik Nielsen 2017-03-30 20:04
Dear Jacob,
Well, here I am, a little later than I wanted, but here nonetheless. I like what you're doing VERY much, but have some suggestions. I know how late it is, but do what you can.
The musical ideas are terrific, but need more expansion, as you yourself said. The piece is barely 2' long, so there's room. The two places I'd say need it the most are 13-16 and 25-26. In the case of 13-16 you can do a lot more with the material that's passed around in 14 before going on to the intensification of 15. I'd say you can add 3 to as much as 6 bars (obviously, within your time constraints now) of passing the ideas back and forth among the instruments and perhaps at the end making an accelerando. Remember that not everyone has to play all the time in that section.
As for 25-26, it's a lovely, disorientingly different idea, but we only get to hear it for two bars! Repeat, repeat, repeat (with some little changes)! You can do a lot to spin it out without inventing new music. It's all there in 25-26.
I'll leave it there Jacob. If you don't get to this, I still like the piece a lot, but do what you can.

Best wishes,
Erik
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#9 Jacob Dennison 2017-03-30 15:29
Hello, Erik.
First of all, I would like to apologize for the long gap between submissions. I did not get as much done as I had wanted to over the past couple weeks, due to "writers'" block, other responsibilitie s, or, my least favorite of them all, computer crashes. However, over the past couple days I have been working much quicker and more diligently to prepare something that resembles a finished product. I would've posted somewhat sooner, but I wanted to make sure I was finished before I made my next posting since it was so close to the deadline.

Now, I will go over what I have done and what I have yet to do. In this submission, I have every idea in place. It has multiple varying sections that lead to an ending, and it very much sounds like something that's complete. However, what I still want/need to do are expanding some of the sections (definitely 13-16, maybe 5-8), and adding the required articulations (namely, slurs). I'm sure there are other suggestions you will have, as well as some flaws or mistakes I may have missed.

I really enjoy the way this piece is turning out. I will await your suggestions once you get back, and until then I will work on what I mentioned.

Again, my apologies for the lack of posting and interaction. Things have been taking much longer than I have anticipated.
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#8 Erik Nielsen 2017-03-30 13:07
Dear Jacob,
Just so you know, I'll be around until about 3:45 to make comments and then will be out until about 8. After that I'll get back on and see what's what and give you feedback as needed. Remember my wife's saying, done is better than good!

Best wishes,
Erik
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