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Bring Bach Classical (Romantic) Music

Discussion in 'General' started by pianoman342, Sep 21, 2013.

  1. pianoman342

    pianoman342 Member Piano Society Artist

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    Hi Friends of the Forum,

    I am pleased to announce my new kickstarter campaign. I have been inspired by the success of Heather's successful recording project to give it another go (for those of you who didn't know, I launched a campaign earlier this year and it wasn't successfully funded)! I will be releasing some more pieces. For more information, please have a look at it's home site:

    http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/561693284/bring-bach-romantic-music

    Cordially,
     
  2. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    A nice enterprise Riley. You have written some good pieces that deserve to be heard. The problem with them is that they are all so very short. You really need to work on something longer and more ambitious - though that of course is where it gets so much more difficult.

    I find your project title a bit pretentious. It seems to suggest two things

    1) That you are bringing romantic music to Bach. As if he needs anything brought to him! Everything flows from Bach.
    2) That romantic music is dead. This was maybe perceived so a few decades ago, but it's come back with a vengeance. There are a lot of people writing unabashedly romantic music now.

    I did not see any samples of your music on the kickstarter page. What will make people chip in ? Or are you aiming for donations of those people here at PS why know your work ?

    I'm a bit peeved that you want the London Symphony Orchestra to perform your music. I'll say nothing bad about them, but surely our Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra is by large the best orchestra in the world :!: (I fear they'll be a bit more expensive though...)
     
  3. pianoman342

    pianoman342 Member Piano Society Artist

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    Hi Chris,

    Thanks for your critique.

    Yes, I am working on longer pieces, my piano works are typically 4 minutes or less, but with organ and orchestra, I have ambition to write pieces that are over 10 minutes, perhaps 20. It is certainly a challenge. There's a big difference between a Studies in Song miniature by Gerhart and Vysehrad for 4 hands by Smetana.

    I certainly wasn't intending that! I actually had never thought of that. Really I just meant it as play on words. Hope Bach will forgive me. :oops:

    Interesting, maybe I'm not looking hard enough, but I don't see that. Perhaps in film music, but I don't see many writing in the style elsewhere. There is a concert commemorating Stravinksy's Rite of Spring (ritenowproject.com). I wouldn't classify that ballet as romantic! :lol:

    I am planning on adding some updates to the page, starting a blog with some excerpts. I'm still a noob when it comes to marketing, but hopefully the actual package will be more appealing than the gift wrapping! If anybody here wants to chip in I would be very grateful, but not looking for funding from PS community solely.

    If you have contacts with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra Chris, I would be grateful for you to pass my name on. Perhaps they favor Hollander Composers? I would say you are right, they are a great orchestra, in fact the website reads, "The Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra is one of the very best orchestras in the world." (Strike great ONE OF THE VERY BEST) :p
     
  4. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Hehe :)
    Actually, my violin partner is chairman of the Donator's Association of the RCO. Alas he's not in charge of the repertoire. Even if he were, you'd probably have to have a bit more clout to get noticed. I''l be interested in your organ concerto. Concerti for organ and orchestra are quite rare apart from those by Handel. It is a difficult combination unless you use a chest organ. Organ does not sit so well with other instrumants, let alone a whole collection of them. It's very ambitious !

    Typical Dutch modesty. According to a comprehensive survey by Gramophone (allegedly the best classical music magazine in the world) the RCO *is* the best. Not that I am chauvinistic about it of course :roll: :lol:
     
  5. hreichgott

    hreichgott New Member

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    I don't know about pretentious, but I find the title confusing -- it seems to indicate that the project is about Bach, which it isn't, and about Romantic music, which it almost isn't.

    You might want to reorganize things so that it's really obvious what you're doing. If the purpose of the campaign is to raise $300 to buy Finale and make an electronically performed demo CD of your compositions, say so! Say so right up at the top, not buried somewhere underneath all the semi-relevant pictures, Jackson Pollock etc. etc. Provide some clips of your music so that people who aren't familiar with it can hear something close to the product they're being asked to support. Take out all the non-relevant pictures and either use some that help us understand what you're doing (mockup album cover? photo of composer at work?), or don't use any.

    If you're only pitching this to friends and family and people who have already heard enough of your music to be familiar with it, none of this will pose a problem. $300 sounds like a feasible amount to raise from those quarters. But if you really are interested in getting people to donate who don't know you that well, or who know you personally but don't yet know your music, you do need to make it really clear, and do post clips so that people will know what they are contributing to.

    Good luck. A Kickstarter campaign can be stressful and exhausting with all the constant self-marketing you have to do. It's like another job. It can be a lot of fun though. I enjoyed discovering fans I didn't know I had, including acquaintances who I didn't even know were into classical music.

    Hope it goes better this time!
     
  6. pianoman342

    pianoman342 Member Piano Society Artist

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    Chris,

    More clout, is that a code word for $$? :wink:

    Sang a few pieces last year for my choir concert that featured the orchestra, choir and organ. It gives a new meaning to the phrase, "Wall of Sound" :lol: And ambitious is good. If this piece doesn't sound good, at least it will sound ambitious!

    And here I was thinking I was the smartass !

    Heather,

    The reason I put Bach down besides wordplay is because I'm pretty certain everyone who has heard of Classical Music has heard of Bach. I don't know why this project isn't about Romantic music, I agree I could repeat the project goal, but the tagline already has that: Be a part of something special--reviving romantic music in the year 2013. Fund a CD of all romantic music written by Riley Tucker!

    I feel like I would lose a lot of people right away if I tell them my goal first, without the motivation. For example, in your project, you have what is in showbiz called the "cold open" style of programming. You don't introduce yourself, you just start playing the Homage to Henry Cowell. I ought to do just what you did and I'll be funded :p I was thinking about using crowdspring to produce an album cover but it seems like the minimum cost for that service is high, even though it seems like an interesting way to collaborate and a way in and of itself to increase project awareness.

    Thanks, kickstarter is an interesting place. Already, someone I have never heard of before funded 10 dollars. She has a project and I funded hers as well. If it fails then so what. I figure if nothing else, I will have learned a thing or two about marketing, finding an audience and good ol' music composition. :mrgreen:
     
  7. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    Good luck with your new project, Riley! :)
    Also, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra isn't too shabby either.... :wink:
     
  8. pianoman342

    pianoman342 Member Piano Society Artist

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    Thanks, Monica! I'm already excited about sharing some new pieces I have written. The Organ and Orchestra piece is proving to be a very tough challenge. It's like I'm flying a plane that has 1000s of controls! Oh yeah, and I approached CSO. They wrote me back "Our Artistic Department generally does not consider unsolicited musical submissions or collaboration requests. However, if you would still like to send us your material to review for future concerts, please use the below address" I'm reminded of applying to a job, asking them if they are hiring, then them saying "we aren't hiring, but we are accepting applications." :|
     
  9. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Sounds like a standard template reply, maybe even an automatic reply. I don't want to sound discouraging, but it's a bit optimistic to expect an institution like the CSO to strike a deal with an unknown beginning composer nobody knows, especially when there is no suitable material
    submitted. You may want to set your goals a bit more realistic, and try get your foot in with some local amateur orchestra or ensemble.
     
  10. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    Also, the CSO has 'composers-in-residence' and that's probably the only new music the orchestra would play. A local amateur orchestra is a good idea! Or maybe a school orchestra...?
     
  11. pianoman342

    pianoman342 Member Piano Society Artist

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    I agree, it is optimistic. There are a few orchestras that are receptive to my project (namely, the ones that are into playing new pieces) but I think I will have to wait to have a major orchestra play my work. I talked to the local orchestra and was told that scheduling was made up two years in advance... I hate to think that orchestras would not touch new pieces without receiving a guarantee of payment. If it's for experience, as a player myself I would be interested purely on gaining experience alone.

    Yep, the current CIR is a composer of acoustic and electro-acoustic music. The phrase "electro-acoustic" brings to my mind a DJ spinning a record on a turntable. I probably have that wrong.. :wink:

    Special Thanks to Heather who has pledged money toward my project! :D
     
  12. hreichgott

    hreichgott New Member

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    Yep. It's great to aim high and try to get a major orchestra interested. But if it isn't happening then try to connect with another performer or ensemble who might be more receptive. Looks like you already have some pianists here who have enjoyed playing your work. Maybe there are other ensembles near you, or with which you have some sort of connection?

    By the way, the two years in advance thing sounds pretty normal. Don't interpret that as a nice way of saying no... try instead to get on the rotation for two years from now :)
     
  13. andrew

    andrew Member Piano Society Artist

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    I must say I'm horrified by the orchestra quote! So for a full symphony, that's £10k per hour :shock:

    Kickstarter doesn't seem to have a PayPal mechanism, which is unfortunate.
     
  14. pianoman342

    pianoman342 Member Piano Society Artist

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    I've talked to one of them but I think they think of playing the piece on the next concert as a risk, like not many people would like it. So they stick with the pieces everybody knows or that most people know. Nothing wrong with that, just the way it is I guess. Some orchestras are open to pieces by living composers, others... aren't. Two years from now is a long time to wait! :x

    Yes, considering a "symphony orchestra" and by that I mean at least twenty string players each, it really does add up. It seems that you are right. Don't know why it accepts amazon but not paypal. They must not have been happy with the percentage paypal wanted.. :wink:

    Not sure this is the right place to post this, but here goes anyway:

    I saw a great concert today. The program featured:

    Sursum Corda -- Elgar

    Piano Concerto No. 2 -- Rachmaninov

    Symphony No. 3 -- Saint-Saens

    The pianist was sick and so for the Rach they only played the first movement. Quite an interesting use of the piano. Instead of it being a solo instrument, it was more of an accompaniment tool for the orchestra. The Sursum Corda was really excellent. Chromatic, recalling Wagner or Brahms. The last piece was the Saint-Saens Symphony, the key centers shifted throughout, like the other two pieces (both it and the Rach were in the key of C minor) here is an excerpt of the end:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VCujlMkmvBQ
     
  15. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    That seems a most unusual decision. As a rule, when a pianist is indisposed they find another to play the same (or a similar) piece.
    To offer only one concerto movement with adapted use of piano, a bleeding chunk as it were, is strange. I guess the public did not appreciate this at all. I know I would not have.

    I'm reminded of going to a concert, long time ago, where Ashkenazy was to play Rach 3. But he did not feel well that evening and chose to play Beethoven 4 instead. Not to gripe about that most wonderful of concerti, but I felt disappointed all the same, having expected the fire and thunder.
     
  16. hreichgott

    hreichgott New Member

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    You're confusing 3 things here:
    1) Most professional arts groups make their programming at least one or two years in advance, if not five years, for ALL pieces/performances.
    2) Programming pieces by living composers at all (this is its own issue)
    3) Programming pieces by a relatively inexperienced composer who is just starting out and does not yet have a long work history or a large fan base.

    It is really uncharitable of you to say that because an orchestra passes on your piece for this season, it's because they are too scared to play music by living composers. It sounds like you're putting down the orchestra, which is the last thing you want to do in your situation. For your own good I beg you to stop saying things like this any more publicly than you already have.
     
  17. pianoman342

    pianoman342 Member Piano Society Artist

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    Heather I appreciate your feedback, but it seems you must have misunderstood me. I'm not saying that orchestra directors are scared of playing new music. Really, I'm just sharing my experiences on here. It's uncharitable to me that I can't get things for free just for the price of asking! Standard business theory dictates every company survives given its profit margin. That orchestras are in the biz of music performance doesn't change that they are a business like any other that delivers a product. I'm trying to be honest here. :?
     
  18. andrew

    andrew Member Piano Society Artist

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    Two years in advance seems perfectly credible to me. Even for solo recital work at local universities here, you need to be thinking nearly a year ahead.

    (Going to play devil's advocate here, so please excuse me.) Exactly, and that raises the unfortunate question of why should they play your music? Not unfortunate because it's bad, but unfortunate because there isn't actually a tangible business reason why, unless you can create one for them. Your name isn't going to be known to the audience, hence it's not going to impact on ticket sales and might even be detrimental. You need to find a way of getting your name known as a composer, and I know this is Catch-22. Sadly, a large cash payment does provide them with a tangible business reason, hence (I imagine) the response.
     
  19. pianoman342

    pianoman342 Member Piano Society Artist

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    What I haven't done yet is sent a short midi file of the piece in the email. I've just told them I wrote a piece, not that a MIDI file can do justice, but what I was always told in film school is that in storytelling, you always show (visually), don't tell. Perhaps that is the best method of persuasion at my disposal. I appreciate all of this advice by the way.
     
  20. andrew

    andrew Member Piano Society Artist

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    I think you do have to give them some idea of what you will be producing. A midi is probably the most practical way forward for the time being. I think you have a severe uphill task here, but remember - there is one surefire way to ensure your music won't get performed, and that's doing nothing. It's not the same scenario, but sufficiently similar that it might be worth quoting. I was told by my teacher that if you do speculative mailshots to music societies, universities etc, offering to do a recital, you should anticipate that the vast majority won't respond, and that getting a 2%-5% yes response rate should be considered positive. The best way to improve that is if you know someone within the organisation, or someone who knows someone. I'm fairly sure I got my first public recital largely because the organiser was the son of my first teacher. Good luck.
     

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