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 Forum index » Discussion » Composition
when do you know a composition is finished?
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Stanley Pain



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PostPosted: Wed Feb 27, 2008 12:42 pm    Post subject: when do you know a composition is finished?
Subject description: deadlines aside
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when do you know a composition is finished? (deadlines aside)
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Blue Hell
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 27, 2008 1:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

When the previous version was better than the last one the previous one was finished ... that doesn't mean it was good of course Very Happy
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Low Note



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PostPosted: Wed Feb 27, 2008 2:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

If I didn't make plans for myself, I'd never accomplish anything.

I normally draw out a roadmap for what I want to do after I figure out whats going into the music. I try to keep myself from re-editing anything out of indecisiveness. That just wastes time.

I've got a handful of things I did a few years ago I want to edit because things came to me after listening to the piece repeatedly for a whilet, but I haven't found the time.
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Acoustic Interloper



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PostPosted: Wed Feb 27, 2008 3:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Because I mostly just play, recording only occasionally, and almost never notating, "finished compositions" for me fall into one of two camps:

Pieces where my playing gets stuck in a (sometimes listenable) rut, and I tend to play the piece largely "as is," with some minor variations, almost every time I play it.

Pieces that are more like "generators"' -- themes, fragments, even plain old instrumental licks -- that I string together, play around with, and pretty much never "finish."

I never really decide something's done; it just falls into one of those two patterns. An amateur's perspective.

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nobody



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PostPosted: Sun Mar 09, 2008 4:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Yeah, nothing is ever truly "done" for me either.

But for the purpose of producing works of art for the audience, I stop working on it when it just feels right - when what was in my head comes out of my monitors.

Sometimes I'll write something, put it away, and some time later take it out and give it a ginormous, hugantic make-over and it comes out much better.

I find myself constantly re-learning the importance of stepping back from the music, though, and approaching it anew after some time.
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Sam_Zen



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PostPosted: Sun Mar 09, 2008 9:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Right on, audiodef, it's never truly "done". So it's more a choice of publishing some version.
Some stay that way, others not. Maybe after years one decides to increase the playback speed with 1.7 %..

This is an extra aspect electronics have : it's quite easy to change an instrument or phrase, while the score stays the same.
A composition is maybe never finished, as a website is always 'under construction'.

If a score is performed live, there's no finished one either. Every time it will be a bit different, no matter exact logic.

One mark to stop adding anything could be the wondering : - I want more, but am I not repeating an old trick of mine?

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iPassenger



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PostPosted: Wed Mar 19, 2008 7:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

One of the following:

1. When I can't work out how to improve it further, even after several listens (on various systems) and days off.

2. When I realise it isn't that good an idea.

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seraph
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 19, 2008 1:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

when I get sick of it

Cool

and I can grow sick in no time

Shocked

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iPassenger



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PostPosted: Wed Mar 19, 2008 2:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Seraph,

that was my number 3. reason but i left it out cos i thought it sounded too negative. Wink

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seraph
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 20, 2008 2:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

iPassenger wrote:
Seraph,

that was my number 3. reason but i left it out cos i thought it sounded too negative. Wink


well...it's simply the truth

Wink

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Acoustic Interloper



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PostPosted: Thu Mar 20, 2008 6:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Coming back and revisiting a piece some months after it gets stuck certainly helps. Sometimes it overhauls the piece, or sometimes branches off to start a new, related piece.

I have a piece "Lost Soul" that I wrote on acoustic banjo on Halloween evening on the front porch in 2003. I had been trying to write a depressing piece, and the previous piece had started out melancholy, but when that previous piece stalled, I decided to try the blues for sadness, and instead it wound up with this rocking rhythm & blues piece that I called "Not for the Count" because in that one I was down, but not for the count (as they say in boxing).

Anyway, Lost Soul worked out pretty well, some surprising shifting harmonies in it, and it was pretty much "finished." Then, just this January, I started playing around with Max/MSP, and cobbled up some FX that made the banjo sound like playing bed springs, and at times like it was coming apart. I couldn't come up with a new piece for the sound, so I tried some of my old pieces to see what would fit, and "Lost Soul" was a perfect fit. Not only the harmonies, but now also the timbres, sounded like a lost soul.

It was actually too depressing to play, so I let it sit for a few months. Last night I was in a good mood, so I worked with it some more, deciding that I need to back off on the FX somewhat at places, otherwise it gets too muddy. Now it's a work in progress again.

So, it was nicely finished as an acoustic banjo piece, and now it's not finished as a processed banjo piece. Even for pieces that are "done" or "sick of," one can always get inspiration later to go open it up again.

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Sam_Zen



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PostPosted: Thu Mar 20, 2008 6:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

One aspect one never can be sure of : the right playback speed of the score.
Listen to it 2 month later and one could think "hmm, maybe a tiny bit slower..".

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Wayne Higgins



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PostPosted: Fri Mar 21, 2008 10:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I look at my music as drawings. When I do a drawing, I take a good look at it. I either throw it away, file it away, or add it to the portfolio. Same with the music. Once I'm done with it, I'm done. Time to move on. There usually isn't anything I want to add to how I felt on 11/28/07 (random example). If the drawing is simple, complicated, stressed, complex, abstract, noisey, abrasive, pleasant, ... so be it. Few occaisions, I find that I want to add to the work. (Wake up at 6am thinking "you should redo that one!") More often, I just work on the next one, do something different. It's later when I decide wether or not to file it away, how to enhance (frame/matte) the work. I try not to labor over anything. I have in the past, often with frustrating and undesireable results.
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kijjaz



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PostPosted: Sat Mar 22, 2008 11:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

for me, it finished when the fun of making is starting to decrease.

but actually.. fun is what i usually want to boost all the time whatever kind of music work i'm doing. ^_^"

hmm.. i kinda get lazy too often, that's all.. zzzz
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nobody



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PostPosted: Mon Mar 24, 2008 6:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

This doesn't say whether the work is "done", but...

I've found that my musical "first instincts" are usually the best, and that if I do more than expand upon that instinct, such as try to add new ideas, well, it's just not as good.
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Veil



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PostPosted: Mon Mar 24, 2008 2:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

When you can listen to it and get a buzz from it, and the nagging 'what ifs' aren't strong enough to make you want to try them out.
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anigbrowl



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PostPosted: Mon Mar 31, 2008 12:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

When I start putting it on just for the pleasure of hearing it rather than because I want to edit it further.
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Acoustic Interloper



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PostPosted: Tue Apr 01, 2008 3:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

anigbrowl wrote:
When I start putting it on just for the pleasure of hearing it rather than because I want to edit it further.

That's a good answer! Very Happy Me, too.

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Sam_Zen



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PostPosted: Tue Apr 01, 2008 5:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

A clever expression indeed.
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Acoustic Interloper



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PostPosted: Thu Apr 03, 2008 11:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

"How do you know when a composition is started?" is an equally interesting question. Over the last few weeks one of my banjos has started whispering what I think of as an "overlaid harmony" -- two (in this case) disjoint harmonies that flicker back and forth -- mostly caused by a finger picking style I've been developing, where the right hand picks a rhythmic pattern that normally requires harmonic stability in the left (fretting) hand, but the left hand changes back and forth between the two harmonic sequences in tight synchronization with the right hand's picking -- it can be a little tough to coordinate -- and you get this sense of flashing back and forth between two pieces.

Anyway, I have a new seed for a composition that I need to nurture, based on a more intensive use of this picking technique than I have tried before, so the problem now is how to start a full composition without falling into any existing ruts. The answer for me is to work on it slowly, a little at a time, but not so infrequently that I lose it.

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Per



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PostPosted: Fri Apr 04, 2008 1:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I have spent some time in the old electronica area where there never where talk about "compositions" or "concerts". Instead, it was "realizations", a moment of music that where recorded or played in front of an audience.
And there is something reliving in that word, "realization". We have got thing far with this music and our equipment and our s´kills, let us realise it, and it becomes a piece of music. Next time we do it, the basic things can have changed, and it becames a different piece of music.
It is a good attitude that take away a lot of the mental pressure of composing and preforming.
So. adding new things to a composition is not a question of finished or not, it more of adding more things to the next "realization".
I have used the metod myself for a 20 minute live act with G2´, drum machines and other gear. Each time it expands in time and varitation. I hope it never will be "finished". On the same time, every live act is a "realization", a finished piece of music.

Per
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Sam_Zen



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PostPosted: Fri Apr 04, 2008 8:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Right on.
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Wayne Higgins



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PostPosted: Wed Apr 09, 2008 6:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I was going to add that I let a disc sit for a month (more or less) after I have finished it, then listen to it to see if I should add or take away.

Per WELCOME
I really like the fact that someone else uses the term "realiztion" when refering to electronic music.

Please look at my site.
http://www.oenyaw.com

Where is your music?

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Per



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PostPosted: Wed Apr 09, 2008 2:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Nice site you have. Being a lazy guy I have no site, nor any myspace area anymore. But I use my music regular in the TV documentarys I make for living, and that is a sort of reuse, beside the recordings.
As I have emptied most of my download area on this site, I add my recent music piece. It is mainly written to be used for live use, it is based on a G2 performance, with some overdubs.
Per


08 mix1.3.mp3
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A piece of music. Nord G2 and Nord Wave for the overdubs, with Korg Electribe bass drum.

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 Filename:  08 mix1.3.mp3
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Blue Hell
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 09, 2008 5:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Nice track per !

And next time please complain that you have no room enough before you delete ... we can't have stuff like this deleted Shocked

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