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#1235630 - 07/22/09 09:16 PM two complete tracks now on my MySpace  
Joined: Jun 2009
Posts: 36
adamscottneal Offline
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adamscottneal  Offline
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Joined: Jun 2009
Posts: 36
New Jersey
Hi all -

Two tracks from my CD Late Frost are now on my MySpace page. Have a listen, and feel free to leave a comment here or there.

http://www.myspace.com/asnmusic
Tracks: "Boulders" and "Snow Drifts" (the others do not have piano, but you're welcome to listen to them as well!)

cheers!
adam



www.adamscottneal.com <=== main site
www.cdbaby.com/artist/adamscottneal <=== CDs for sale
www.adamscottneal.blogspot.com <=== works-in-progress blog
www.twitter.com/adamscottneal <=== follow me
www.myspace.com/asnmusic <=== be my friend
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#1235672 - 07/22/09 11:00 PM Re: two complete tracks now on my MySpace [Re: adamscottneal]  
Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 274
musiccr8r Offline
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musiccr8r  Offline
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Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 274
Denver
Well Adam I'll toss you a comment for what it's worth..you are much more educated in music than I am...but you've been generous to comment lately so I'll return the favor.

Let me start by saying I did try out some of your other tracks and found them quite interesting. They give a pretty good window (as far as I can tell) into your "style" and goals of composing, as described on your page, and I think everything you write is consistent with those. As far as the piano tracks, though, TO ME (others may disagree I am sure) the style wasn't as effective, given the limitations of the instrument. They were perfectly pleasant and would fit in with other things that are published now (if I may use the term New Age without that being too simplistic or negative a description). I guess with each of the two, I just felt like what started as a promising enough beginning (I esp. liked the snowdrift start) was too static to last for 6+ minutes. It began to feel like an improvisation after awhile, as if you were being very creative, but hadn't set things down yet in such a way that you were working towards a goal. Now there are plenty on these boards who will say no goal is necessary,and I will freely admit my own style is such that I "say" what I want to say and then wrap it up! Often 1-2 minutes tops, that is usually enough for me to express the theme I had in mind. Which is funny since I feel I have similar goals as you do, in trying to create a feel or in my case a very clear visual picture. (most of the time).

Anyway I guess I'd sum up by saying, you are very creative, and I can't speak to what you'd ever want to alter with your other stuff, but for the piano solos I think you might want to dig in and go a little wilder afield from you initial "hook". But that's just my opinion.

#1235795 - 07/23/09 09:27 AM Re: two complete tracks now on my MySpace [Re: musiccr8r]  
Joined: Jun 2009
Posts: 36
adamscottneal Offline
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adamscottneal  Offline
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Joined: Jun 2009
Posts: 36
New Jersey
Thanks for the feedback!

You actually inadvertently brought up some of my goals with these pieces:

I am indeed going for a New Age style here, and my goal is that you could either use the pieces as background music, or you could listen a little bit closer. I think the length is necessary for the goal of working as background music. In a way, I kind of want the listener to drift off, then come back and say "how did we get here? wait, that one thing is still going underneath!" - if that makes sense.

They are somewhat improvisational, as well. I say somewhat because they were refined over the course of a year and carefully rehearsed prior to recording (too bad I still rush in places!). What I mean is that I wrote these very quickly, going between the piano and my sketchbook, writing down things as they came to me. For most of my other work, I am much more methodical in my writing, so I wanted a change of pace here. My only idea was to start with a seed, add parts to it, get somewhat away from the seed, and return. If I write another set of pieces in this style, I think I will try to get further away from the opening, as you suggest.

All of my pieces are an experiment for me in some way, and the only way to see if they work is to hear how people perceive them. I really appreciate your comments!


www.adamscottneal.com <=== main site
www.cdbaby.com/artist/adamscottneal <=== CDs for sale
www.adamscottneal.blogspot.com <=== works-in-progress blog
www.twitter.com/adamscottneal <=== follow me
www.myspace.com/asnmusic <=== be my friend
#1236053 - 07/23/09 04:02 PM Re: two complete tracks now on my MySpace [Re: adamscottneal]  
Joined: Mar 2002
Posts: 389
Allazart Offline
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Allazart  Offline
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Joined: Mar 2002
Posts: 389
Grr, I had almost finished typing my original reply then lost it.
Usually, I would have said 'to heck with it' but as you were the solitary response to my thread I feel compelled to rewrite.
[Note: I didn't read other responses yet, didn't want to be 'biased']

Anyway, I think Boulders hypnotised me.
It feels like a modern day take on a baroque variation over obbligato such as a chaconne or passacaglia.
Now, I should find 6 minutes of essentially the same thing repetitive but I didn't.
Whenever the opening refrain disappeared I found myself wondering when it would return.
When it was being repeated I kept expecting the next while simultaneously wondering whether it would come.
This strange psychological tug-of-war kept me hooked throughout the whole thing.
Even the gentle slowing that cued the ending had me wondering 'which is the last' as I wasn't watching the media player's progress.
A very addictive piece you have there; I get the rolling Boulders but you could very well have called it LSD.

I detect elements of your style in Snow Drifts as well but it is a more varied piece.
I got the feeling that the snow melted halfway through this piece and I was listening to water droplets instead.
The twinkling accompaniment slowly became more of a plop then the temperature fell and you closed out.

I think both of your pieces are very true to their titles, enjoyable, and somehow I feel like I 'get' them.
Thank you for posting and all the best!

EDIT: Now I read the other replies and I'm positive I 'got' them.
I think you accomplished exactly what you set out to do.
Great work!

Last edited by Allazart; 07/23/09 04:07 PM.
#1236212 - 07/23/09 08:38 PM Re: two complete tracks now on my MySpace [Re: Allazart]  
Joined: Jun 2009
Posts: 36
adamscottneal Offline
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adamscottneal  Offline
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Joined: Jun 2009
Posts: 36
New Jersey
Hi Allazart - Thanks for your refreshing (and unbiased) comments! I'm glad that the pieces worked for you - you have some very vivid commentary about them, which made me smile. smile Cheers!


www.adamscottneal.com <=== main site
www.cdbaby.com/artist/adamscottneal <=== CDs for sale
www.adamscottneal.blogspot.com <=== works-in-progress blog
www.twitter.com/adamscottneal <=== follow me
www.myspace.com/asnmusic <=== be my friend
#1236716 - 07/24/09 04:53 PM Re: two complete tracks now on my MySpace [Re: adamscottneal]  
Joined: Feb 2005
Posts: 3,292
Steve Chandler Offline
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Steve Chandler  Offline
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Joined: Feb 2005
Posts: 3,292
Urbandale, Iowa
Hi Adam,

I listened to all of the pieces on your Myspace page. They certainly are varied. You've got some which are electronic soundscapes, fairly modern flute and string pieces and the New Ageish piano. I completely understand what it is to be a composer of varied interests and many talents. I did find your music overall interesting, but I didn't get a sense of emotional connection with it. That may just be me, but it inspired me to tell a story.

You see I've become a fan of the TV show So You Think You Can Dance. This week they were down to the top 8 dancers (4 couples) and all of them are really incredibly good. One of this week's routines was about breast cancer. It was dramatic and full of angst and it reduced all the judges to tears (me too). I've not seen these judges blubbering about a few minute dance routine yet this season. Maybe I'm a sap, but those few minutes are something I'll remember for a long time. I think that's all we really want in music is something that will grab us emotionally and make us think about something important outside of ourselves.

Of all the music on your page I liked the flute music best. The string trio was nice too. You obviously have talent and ability, but I don't know if you've really figured out what kind of composer you want to be yet. I say that just because of the variety on your Myspace page.

Last edited by Steve Chandler; 07/24/09 04:54 PM.
#1236850 - 07/24/09 09:04 PM Re: two complete tracks now on my MySpace [Re: Steve Chandler]  
Joined: Jun 2009
Posts: 36
adamscottneal Offline
Full Member
adamscottneal  Offline
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Joined: Jun 2009
Posts: 36
New Jersey
Hi Steve -

Thanks for listening and for your comments. You bring up some interesting thoughts about music - what it is, what it does to us, what we want from it.

On emotion in music:

I compose from a primarily intellectual and experimental viewpoint, rather than a purely emotional one. I don't believe that music is necessarily obliged to depict emotions. However, when creating my music I am inspired by the world around me and I would argue that my music has emotional content, just perhaps more subtle emotions - the contentment and pleasure of witnessing a rainstorm in "Petrichor," the awe and humility of standing next to larger-than-life natural objects in "Boulders," a sense of dread and dehumanization of subway commuters in "Straphanger," etc.


On types of composers:

You are totally correct that I have not figured out what kind of composer I will be. I am still a young composer, and simply experimenting as much as I possibly can.

cheers!
adam


www.adamscottneal.com <=== main site
www.cdbaby.com/artist/adamscottneal <=== CDs for sale
www.adamscottneal.blogspot.com <=== works-in-progress blog
www.twitter.com/adamscottneal <=== follow me
www.myspace.com/asnmusic <=== be my friend
#1237234 - 07/25/09 04:43 PM Re: two complete tracks now on my MySpace [Re: adamscottneal]  
Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 959
pianovirus Offline
500 Post Club Member
pianovirus  Offline
500 Post Club Member

Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 959
Basel, Switzerland
Hi Adam, just listened to Boulders and read the discussion above - it's a very interesting piece, which evokes that kind of hypnotical quality that comes along with good minimal music (I'm not sure if you agree/accept that label - I'm referring to the ostinato-like character and the slow changes, slow addition of new elements). Good stuff! Btw, I just downloaded your paper on Schoenberg's op. 16, thanks for sharing this online.

#1237345 - 07/25/09 08:36 PM Re: two complete tracks now on my MySpace [Re: pianovirus]  
Joined: Jun 2009
Posts: 36
adamscottneal Offline
Full Member
adamscottneal  Offline
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Joined: Jun 2009
Posts: 36
New Jersey
Hi there pianovirus -

Thanks for the comments, and I hope you find the paper on Op. 16 useful.

Minimalist and/or New Age would be terms I would apply to Boulders. I suppose that I am a rare musician who actually doesn't mind genre labels. Maybe it's because I don't see the labels inherently pejorative and many musicians do.


www.adamscottneal.com <=== main site
www.cdbaby.com/artist/adamscottneal <=== CDs for sale
www.adamscottneal.blogspot.com <=== works-in-progress blog
www.twitter.com/adamscottneal <=== follow me
www.myspace.com/asnmusic <=== be my friend
#1238686 - 07/28/09 05:58 AM Re: two complete tracks now on my MySpace [Re: adamscottneal]  
Joined: Oct 2007
Posts: 36
stavroski Offline
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stavroski  Offline
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Joined: Oct 2007
Posts: 36
Liverpool, UK
Hi Adam,

I like both of the piano tracks, they are very dreamlike in their progression and repition and texturally I love your other stuff. I have no idea how you go about writing some of the other pieces, however I guess you would learn techniques in your compositional studies.

I'm going slightly off topic here, what did you use to record the piano? Was it in a studio? I recorded my (admittedly not the best) upright recently at home with a couple of condenser mics straight into Cubase (tracks on my myspace) on my friend's mac and got some pleasing results, but the piano sounds nowhere near as refined as on your recording. I found (I'm a newbie to recording accoustic piano btw) that the subtle degrees of dynamics that are inherent when playing do not feed through to the recording, and for me at least I had to almost exaggerate to get some dynamics to come through. Again, whether or not this is down to my instrument or the recording setup I don't know. I'd be interested to know your views or anyone elses on this. I'm pretty sure piano recording is a dark art and very subjective......

I've requested to add you as a friend on myspace.

Cheers dude

Stavroski


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#1238805 - 07/28/09 10:57 AM Re: two complete tracks now on my MySpace [Re: stavroski]  
Joined: Jun 2009
Posts: 36
adamscottneal Offline
Full Member
adamscottneal  Offline
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Joined: Jun 2009
Posts: 36
New Jersey
Hi Stavroski,

Thanks for the comments. I would be happy to tell you more about the other pieces if you're interested.

For the recording:
This was recorded on a Steinway Grand in the Harty Room at Queen's University Belfast. Unfortunately, I do not remember the models of microphones we used, but I'm sure they were higher-end condensers (uni equipment...). The piano was open full-stick, and we had two mics inside the piano, around roughly C2 and C6, angled toward the keyboard, a few centimeters behind the hammers. We also had two room mics, about 3-4 meters back, in an XY pattern.

We recorded straight to ProTools via a Digi002. Post-recording we spent some good time applying light compression and EQ to improve the sound (there was a little bit too much mid-range in the raw recording).

I checked out a few of your pieces - I especially enjoyed Pyro. I think the recording sounds very good, though I can hear what you mean about the dynamics. The difference between our recordings is probably due to the difference in mics - mine were more sensitive than yours and therefore could display a greater dynamic range. Also, the mastering process on mine surely helped liven things up.

cheers,
adam


www.adamscottneal.com <=== main site
www.cdbaby.com/artist/adamscottneal <=== CDs for sale
www.adamscottneal.blogspot.com <=== works-in-progress blog
www.twitter.com/adamscottneal <=== follow me
www.myspace.com/asnmusic <=== be my friend

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