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  • Do you subscribe to this philosophy?

    "Within the last few years, a powerful new medium for artistic expression has evolved, allowing one person to create music with all the variety and expression of the symphony orchestra. The Virtual Orchestra is not merely a substitute for a live orchestra, but a tonal pallette that a painter of sound can use for personal artistic expression."

    I am trying to create a non-commercial though promotional (ha-ha!) website that is designed around this theme and it should have links to composers who use samples for this purpose. So if you would like to be linked, or have an mp3 on it, please note it down.

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    As you know, I completely embrace this philosophy. I believe we are evolving toward a new school of "Composers for Virtual Orchestra." I will quote a post of mine from a previous thread.

    @Another User said:

    There is a group of composers emerging who will use sample technology as their primary means of musical expression. These composers are not thinking of sample based composing as a substitute for a "real" orchestra, as a poor second best. Rather they conceive of this medium as the musical pallette with which they can actualize their true vision with no intention that it be performed by a live orchestra. This is a HUGE paradigm shift in the world of music. It is an entirely new conception in the creation of music. ...sample technology will, in time, liberate the composer from almost all externally imposed limitations. ...The technical difficulties are being addressed even faster than the cost issues. Eventually, we will be able to execute virtually anything we can imagine at the highest possible quality level both sonically and musically.

    I just had a conversation on this subject with a visual artist acquaintance of mine who has also moved to the virtual medium for the freedom from limitations it allows. It was something of a revelaton to him to realize, as we discussed previously, that most composers in the history of music have never been able to hear their music at all much less get a decent performance of it. This difference between music and the other art forms has only now been addressed via the Virtual Orchestra.

    I have great respect for those who prefer to work with live orchestra as well as those who choose to use sample based technology in the attempt to emulate the "real" orchestra sound and its environment as realistically as possible. However, I feel the Virtual Orchestra is an entity in and of itself which does not require some other medium to achieve full artistic realization. Nor is it neccesary to attempt to slavishly imitate all the precise aspects of the live orchestra. This is a great skill and admirable in those who do it but it is not the only way to use the Virtual Orchestra.

    The Virtual Orchestra does require that the composer learn a great deal more about the nature of sound and recording than most have had to in the past. However, the fundamental skills of Compositon and Orchestration must still be continually developed to the highest degree throughout one's life. These must be combined with a well developed inner ear and whatever artistc gifts one may possess. This remains true regardless of the medium in which one chooses to work.

    For me, while I will certainly continue to work with live musicians as well, I see the Virtual Orchestra as a powerful and exciting compositional world, the capabilities of which, we are only beginning to discover.

    Please keep us posted on your web site. I look forward to its development.

    Be well,


  • Bill, an excellent idea.
    I've noticed over the last couple of years, the tone of comment about what seems a perennial debate, has gained maturity. We seemed to have taken a step forward from the sometime trench warfare that ensued between the live versus sample credibility battle, and even some of us older farts, who've played and written for, and in, both camps, are seeing the potential!
    I admire and respect your determination to forge ahead with this, and am reminded of several notable composers of yesteryear who dared to swim against the tide of perception and break conservative barriers.
    For all the reasons i've given over the time i've known you, and the frustration and ensuing determination derived from being heard or not at the behest of orchestral and ensemble administrators, the opportunity to develop work, not only along orchestral paths but the exploration of potential beyond the limitations of physical instruments, and conservative mindsets, is one too powerful to resist. And the opportunity to determine one's own path, and be directly judged by the value of one's work, is an incentive that transcends traditional methods of delivery to the public. As you know, the chance to determine one's own future is strong with me, as well as you and others.
    As PoppaJol wisely wrote, being able to write for both camps can only be an asset, and one we should explore through further study and extension beyond 'accepted' parameters.
    You can count me in, and as we've discussed before, as soon as i'm settled in one spot again, i'll be better equipped to support this worthy, and i believe, significantly relevant aspiration.



  • PaulP Paul moved this topic from Orchestration & Composition on