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  • Orr - Cotswold Hill-Tune

    Recorded with Dimension Strings.  They still sound great!

  • Hi,

    The Cotswolds is one of the most beautiful historical countries in the world, well kept and preserved in its natural original situation. I can understand that you would have wanted to describe it in a musical portrait. The Cotswolds is next to its beauty a dramatic place to me for a particular reason. My best friend and collaegue teacher owned a cottage there and she came over 4-5 times a year from Belgium to visit her beloved village. But the last time, on her way home, a drunk driver hit her car and she was catapulted meters off the road, dead immediately... Age 55.
    Your music captures the beauty truly in fine harmonies. However, the dimension strings are so much richer when used with great care and precision. Here there's much room for improvement, when chosing the right articulations with the delicately chosen attacks and releases, balanced in a proper way. Please don't feel offended, I meant it as an advice for further amelioration of your performance. Good music deserves a decent approach. That way you can transmit your musical ideas in the best way and let the audience enjoy the picture as much as you do.

    Thanks for the fine picture!


  • Jos, thanks for listening and for your comments.  This was not my composition, it was written by Charles Wilfred Orr in 1939.  So sorry to hear of your colleague's death.

    Regarding use of the DImension Strings, I'm always eager to learn to improve my craft.  Where to begin though?  Any further advice would be appreciated!


  • Hi Michael,

    Sorry about Orr, I didn't notice. Anyway, it's beautiful and good music.

    As to the use of the strings and instruments in general, it's very hard to catch it in a few sentences. And I'm absolutely not anywhere near of being a specialist. I have to learn a lot myself, but intensive work, perseverance and self criticism bring in the long run constant improvement. The main thing (to me) was: listening to many good examples and to good live recorded music in order to have a realistic image of what your work could sound like.

    That is what I've learnt so far: make a good analysis of your music as to playing techniques. Experiment a lot to find the best sounding articulations in particular patterns/phrases/single notes... and don't always rely on their names (e.g. to realise a slurred legato, you don't always need a legato patch). For the strings, listen to live playing again to learn how the bow movement creates the sounds (sort of attack, dynamic movement within the note(s), release (sudden or slow), layering with VelXF, vibrato intensity (VelXF again) or even combined spatcehs Vib and nonVib connected through SlotXF or VelXF...
    In your piece I have the impression that you've used a lot of sustains or plain legatos with some attacks that are far too strong. Sustains actually don't exist in real music. In VSL the sustains are recorded neutral and dry (without any liveliness and dynamic). With a good approach, they can be brought to live in certain musical situations where you need long patches. But the first question is always: can't it be done with Perf Legatos? Or even other patches (DetL...)? I always prefer recorded and completed patches because they already contain the playing information needed to bring in some realism. Another possibilty is by combining patches such as Sus and Stacc (strong attack) or trills and detS or Stacc in the slots, where you can make a decent balance to make them sound good together.
    And to learn something, it's no use to choose a long piece (in order not to repeat mistakes endlessly). It's better to work with a short piece ( 1 or 2 minutes) and try to make the best of it, after a good example. (An advice given once by Guy Bacos).

    I hope this could help you a bit further,


  • PaulP Paul moved this topic from Orchestration & Composition on