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  • Gerber: 10th symphony for Virtual Instruments, 1st movement

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    Hey all you VSL devotees!

    I just finished the 1st section of my 10th symphony.

    Scored for piccolo, 3 flutes, 3 oboes, English horn, 3 clarinets, bass clarinet, 3 bassoons, 8 horns, 3 trumpets, 3 trombones, tuba, timpani, harp, gong/cymbals, 6 synthesizers (2 instances of Dune, 1 instance each of FM8, Massive, Tera and Z3TA, orchestral strings, chamber strings, solo violin and solo cello.

    PLAY

    Jerry


  • Jerry,

    This is a very daring enterprise to break in into the traditional symphonic soundscape, but you did well. And what's even more, you gave the synths a very prominent role. I guess it's not always easy to find the balance between the symphonic orchestral approach and the technical one. From the acoustic point of view, these instruments don't mix very well (interferences and harmonics) and you have to find a way to merge them into one sonic whole. I must say that I found your experiment absolutely successful.
    The overall sound is excellent as usual (although one oboe sounds a bit weird somewhere in the middle) and the orchestration brilliant and very varied, giving all the room necessary to the synths.

    Congrats and please go on with the next sections!

    Max


  • Hi Jerry,

    I would also like to chime in and echo Max's sentiments.  You're definitely a pioneer in the simultaneous use/integration of virtual instrument samples and synthesizers, particularly with large-scale forms such as symphonies.  Kudos to exploring new sonic territory and much continued success!

    Dave


  • Thanks fellow composers.

    The problem I am trying to solve is not so much a harmonic problem, I think the modulated harmonics of softsynths are not inherently incompatible with orchestral samples.  But timing is critical.  The attacks of digital timbres that soft synths can produce are very crisp, very sharp.  I have to experiment in moving the synth track off the beat, having them come in a bit late, to get a groove going that feels natural and musical.   Sometimes I succeed better than others, but all in all I am improvining with practice.  I am particularly happy with the integration starting around 7:24.

    The 2nd part is going to be only for orchestral samples, no synths.   I think...

    Best,

    Jerry


  • Hi Jerry,

    Let me start by saying that Ive generally been reluctant to listen to your works, since the mixing of electonic instruments with acoustic ones is not my personal favorite, and since I am more used to traditional orchestral instruments. Note that this has nothing to do with my respect for your experience, knoweldge and skill as a composer.

    However, I recently listened through your entire Symphony no 10 1mvmt several times. I think I am finally getting your music. It is remarkable and its gigantic. The way you introduce the primary and secondary themes, the exposition, development and recapitulation.....its all there for the full glorious nearly 10 minutes. You are embedding non traditional instruments into the traditional symphonic structure and achieving fantastic results without sounding banal or repetitive. This is not easy to do, and takes the skill of a master composer.

    This piece takes us through a beautiful journey, while within the tonal landscape, but with new orchestral textures.

    Listening to it for the 5th time. Its kind of addictive!

    Bravo!

    Anand


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    @agitato said:

    Hi Jerry,

    Let me start by saying that Ive generally been reluctant to listen to your works, since the mixing of electonic instruments with acoustic ones is not my personal favorite, and since I am more used to traditional orchestral instruments. Note that this has nothing to do with my respect for your experience, knoweldge and skill as a composer.

    However, I recently listened through your entire Symphony no 10 1mvmt several times. I think I am finally getting your music. It is remarkable and its gigantic. The way you introduce the primary and secondary themes, the exposition, development and recapitulation.....its all there for the full glorious nearly 10 minutes. You are embedding non traditional instruments into the traditional symphonic structure and achieving fantastic results without sounding banal or repetitive. This is not easy to do, and takes the skill of a master composer.

    This piece takes us through a beautiful journey, while within the tonal landscape, but with new orchestral textures.

    Listening to it for the 5th time. Its kind of addictive!

    Bravo!

    Anand

    Thanks for giving my music a chance, much appreciated.   When I decided over 25 year ago I wanted to commit my life and time to writing symphonies, I had to define for myself what a symphony really is, at its core:  A multi-timbral, multi-movement work for various families of instruments.  This is a deliberately very broad interpretation but this definition takes into account the evolution of the symphony from pre-Mozartian days to post-Mahler.  Once I did that, virtual orchestration began to make sense to me as an assimilation of the new with the old.  The old:  samples of acoustic instruments and their time-proven timbres, and the new:  synth timbres that are non-duplicatable in the acoustic world.  What I subtracted from my definition is the hall, the conductor, the players, the social, cultural and economic supports and of course musical style, which, as we all know, has changed dramatically over the past 400 years.   Orchestration styles too, continue to change in both the acoustic symphony and the virtual one.

    Glad you enjoyed the 1st movement!

    Jerry


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    yes 'traditional' orchestration with acoustic instruments alone has evolved tremendously since even Stravinsky. The following example comes to mind...Coriglianos Symphony no 1.



    What I find interesting in your work is that you are using instruments in a symphonic/classical setting that are otherwise used in rock/pop music. Also I feel that your motifs and themes are closer to popular music than classical, for example strong accompaniment of the percussive element to reinforce the rhythm...etc.,. While rock music can be quite effective if done right, (as bands like Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin have demonstrated) the challenge in employing these tools in large scale forms as in symphonies is that they could end up sounding banal, and repetitive..(Yanni comes to mind! Not that he wrote symphonies ... Thank God! but he uses an orchestra and keyboards but the music is pedestrian in my opinion).

    But you avoid that successfully, which is a rare thing from what I know. That makes your music accessible while still maintaining sophistication.

    Sorry if these sound silly, just my ignorant thoughts,..


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    @agitato said:

    yes 'traditional' orchestration with acoustic instruments alone has evolved tremendously since even Stravinsky. The following example comes to mind...Coriglianos Symphony no 1.





    What I find interesting in your work is that you are using instruments in a symphonic/classical setting that are otherwise used in rock/pop music.  Also I feel that your motifs and themes are closer to popular music than classical, for example strong accompaniment of the percussive element to reinforce the rhythm...etc.,.  While rock music can be quite effective if done right, (as bands like Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin have demonstrated) the challenge in employing these tools in large scale forms as in symphonies is that they could end up sounding banal, and repetitive..(Yanni comes to mind!  Not that he wrote symphonies ... Thank God! but he uses an orchestra and keyboards but the music is pedestrian in my opinion).

    But you avoid that successfully, which is a rare thing from what I know. That makes your music accessible while still maintaining sophistication.

    Sorry if these sound silly, just my ignorant thoughts,..

    I was born in 1951, so naturally my music makes use of many of the innovations, techniques and styles I've learned and absorbed throughout my life as a professional musician and composer.   I would not consider my music honest if it did not express elements of the time and place in which I was born into.  Music composition, orchestration and musical genres are continually in flux, as music is a living art, giving expression to the rhythms, harmonies and ideals of the time and place the composer lives in or had lived in.  Otherwise it's just plagiarism, no matter how well crafted. 

    Jerry


  • PaulP Paul moved this topic from Orchestration & Composition on