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 Post subject: New music publishing house for contemporary classical music
PostPosted: Tue Feb 21, 2012 10:28 pm 
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Hi all,

This is my first post in your society and I would like to share with you some very interesting works for solo piano...

But a little about me, first of all.

My name is Nikolas Sideris and I'm a composer and publisher, owner of Editions Musica Ferrum. I've studied piano in the past to a performance diploma level and I do seem to always get back to piano writing, despite my occupation as a composer for contemporary classical music in the general sense.

I have written a couple of piano works in the past, which are already published but I'm working towards composing more piano music as time goes by...

Right now, and since this is the repertoire forum, I'd like to share these two works (or excerpts of the whole work) through youtube.

The first one is called Sketch Music and it's a series of 21 short works for solo piano.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DeTFz-6G-SY

Each work features some different technical demands, which however are not difficult to master. The pieces range between 10 secs and 2 minutes roughly and the whole set is about 20 minutes long. The score has 21 illustrations from Piero Pierini (who, in all honesty is fabulous and it was an honor to have his illustrations in the score!), and fingering from an experienced piano teacher. Some of the illustrations can be seen in the above video.

The second work I'd like to share runs in a completely different vain and is called Perniciosus.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=grGh-U26Db4

This is a much longer work than the above. Much more technical demanding and complicated in its language it still is driven by music, rather than algorithms and intelectual ideas fully (though these both exist to an extent here. For example the melodic material (for those who have an interest in such stuff) is computer generated by an algorithm that produces non repeated paterns, while the harmony and chord construction is also algorithmicly produced.

Editions Musica Ferrum has more piano works and there are more piano works schedule for release in 2012 (Christos Anastassiou, who's already composed and published a work for solo piano called Intermezzo is working on another great piano work, while I'm working on both a set of preludes for solo piano and a small series of long works titled The City Under Different Eyes.

All comments, on anything are most welcome.

Please note that the recording of 'sketch Music' was created with a sampled piano, but performed live by me and without any editing (just *ahem* added a couple of coughs...).

Regards,

Nikolas Sideris

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 Post subject: Re: New music publishing house for contemporary classical music
PostPosted: Wed Feb 22, 2012 5:36 am 
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Location: Springfield, Missouri, USA
Hi Nikolas,
I enjoyed these miniatures (Sketch Music) very much, and the illustrations are also excellent. These would make a fine contribution to the elementary teaching literature. My only observation was the odd (IMO) notation you used in VI (Dance of the Moron) for the left hand on the second "page" where you beam the first 8th note of successive 1/4 beats together. Either use flagged 8th note alternating with 8th rests, or just use staccato 1/4 notes. Beamed the way they are, conveys no musical concept, but rather confusion.

Sincerely,
Eddy

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Eddy M. del Rio, MD
"A smattering will not do. They must know all the keys, major and minor, and they must literally 'know them backwards.'" - Josef Lhevinne


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 Post subject: Re: New music publishing house for contemporary classical music
PostPosted: Wed Feb 22, 2012 6:01 am 
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Location: Springfield, Missouri, USA
Nikolas,
I just listened to your Perniciosus. I must say that I was extrememly impressed. Though this may not be to the taste of some, for the language given, it is IMO a fabulous work! I love it. Though the opening used rows that Schoenberg would not approve of (due to some clear harmonic suggestions), this is a most successful and artistic (and pianistic) work. Just when I thought I would tire from the pervasive 2-voiced polyphony, you began to do more with it. I enjoyed the presence of the spatial notation and thought you managed the ebb and flow of the work overall with masterful skill. In short, this work should be being performed in the recitals of advanced performers. There where moments when I alternatively felt the spirit of Prokofiev, Bartok and Crumb as I listened. Bravo to you sir! If I have any criticism, I would dispute with you the beaming (or the time signature, but not both) of measure 21.

With admiration,
Eddy

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Eddy M. del Rio, MD
"A smattering will not do. They must know all the keys, major and minor, and they must literally 'know them backwards.'" - Josef Lhevinne


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 Post subject: Re: New music publishing house for contemporary classical music
PostPosted: Wed Feb 22, 2012 10:50 pm 
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Eddy,

Thank you for both your posts!

I'll get to both of them here...

I'm glad you liked the 'sketch music'. The comment you made about the 8ths... Yes I wanted 8ths because I wanted to have a very light and 'sharp' (not sure if these terms contradict each other) left hand and as such quarter notes were excluded. Perhaps I could've connected all four of them with a single beam, now that you mention it, but in my mind it still works in 2 beats per bar/measure (in which case perhaps the tempo should be notated differently)... Oh well...

'Perniciosus', if I may say so myself, is probably a favorite of mine as well. I do agree that it would make a great show for any pianist capable of playing it, but it's quite difficult as well. The 'Prokofiev' sense IS there, I do agree and I'm a huge fan of Prokofiev... Finally the comment about bar 21. I see what you mean, but this is probably due to the recording, as I did want 4+5 8ths ending in 9/8 in that place... The specific 'accented phrase' as it stands.

Thank you for listening and for your comments! I also hope you enjoyed the videos. It took me a little while to get to know the software and make the videos (especially since I'd never done that kind of work before), but I believe they turned out ok.

Nikolas


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 Post subject: Re: New music publishing house for contemporary classical music
PostPosted: Thu Feb 23, 2012 8:15 pm 
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I liked Sketch Music a lot too. It has much humor and sounds contemporary yet tonal (a combination I like). They reminded me a bit of Gubaidulina's Musical Toys. Great work. Cute titles too, and indeed the artwork is spectacular. One would buy the book for that alone :D

I felt less affinity with Perniciosus. The first part I find rather contrived without any tonal center that a simple mind like mine could focus on. And to be honest I do not see the point of generating music via algorithms or patterns. Fopr me it takes the emotion and humanity out of music. But the fast section is interesting and engaging, rather trying to sound like a Ligeti etude towards the end. Did you have something particular in mind while writing ?

Before anyone remarks that PS rules do not allow advertising one's product : Nikolas discussed this with us beforehand, and we felt that this would be more of an artistic than a commercial thing, aimed to discuss and promote the music rather than making money per se. As such we thought it was perfectly appropriate for him to post here.

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Nothing is always absolutely so -- Sturgeon's law
Chris Breemer


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 Post subject: Re: New music publishing house for contemporary classical music
PostPosted: Thu Feb 23, 2012 10:17 pm 
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Location: Springfield, Missouri, USA
Nikolas,
Since you have mentioned algorhythms several times, I wonder if you might reveal a bit more to what degree this is actually stochastic in origin.
Eddy

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Eddy M. del Rio, MD
"A smattering will not do. They must know all the keys, major and minor, and they must literally 'know them backwards.'" - Josef Lhevinne


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 Post subject: Re: New music publishing house for contemporary classical music
PostPosted: Thu Feb 23, 2012 10:52 pm 
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musical-md wrote:
Since you have mentioned algorhythms several times, I wonder if you might reveal a bit more to what degree this is actually stochastic in origin.

Yeh... give us a FORMULA ! A nice complicated one with lots of parameters please.

Funny rhythms indeed, these algorhythms :lol:

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Nothing is always absolutely so -- Sturgeon's law
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 Post subject: Re: New music publishing house for contemporary classical music
PostPosted: Fri Feb 24, 2012 8:10 am 
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Posts: 8
chris thank you for your post...

techneut wrote:
I liked Sketch Music a lot too. It has much humor and sounds contemporary yet tonal (a combination I like). They reminded me a bit of Gubaidulina's Musical Toys. Great work. Cute titles too, and indeed the artwork is spectacular. One would buy the book for that alone :D
Heh... Piero is a great artist and I was quite eager to be working with him! In fact, prior to agreeing with him, I decided that it would be healthy to look elsewhere. So I placed an ad and over a weekend I got over 50 replies! Some were interesting, most were not. I did offer some 'demo money' (few $ but anyhow, didn't want them working for free) to do a sample. Piero won by many miles! And thus I returned to him! :D

Yes, I hope that the music will be fresh, though I will admit that going further into the book things get a little more tricky as far as the required technique is concerned. And of course the artwork and titles are not exactly for too young kids, but for kids above 10-12 or something... I would imagine that an 8 year old would have some trouble getting most titles.

Quote:
I felt less affinity with Perniciosus. The first part I find rather contrived without any tonal center that a simple mind like mine could focus on. And to be honest I do not see the point of generating music via algorithms or patterns. Fopr me it takes the emotion and humanity out of music. But the fast section is interesting and engaging, rather trying to sound like a Ligeti etude towards the end. Did you have something particular in mind while writing ?
I get what you mean... For the algorithmic part and so on, I'll get back to you on a later post, but for now:

Perniciosus stands for 'the one who corrupts' in Latin (I kinda like Latin titles...). The idea was quite simple: To create an engaging and energetic work that 'transfers' energy from me (the composer through the work), to the performer and then to the audience (through his/her performance). If the audience feel agitated then... job done! I wasn't following any particular style, but if I was to say I'd feel that it has quite a few Prokofiev-ish moments...

Quote:
Before anyone remarks that PS rules do not allow advertising one's product : Nikolas discussed this with us beforehand, and we felt that this would be more of an artistic than a commercial thing, aimed to discuss and promote the music rather than making money per se. As such we thought it was perfectly appropriate for him to post here.
Thank you Chris.

I will say that nobody has complained in private (and not here, since nobody posted anything).

I try my best not to step on any rules and remain as civil as possible. I hate spam as much as any guy and I love promoting music (and not only my music).

so again thank you Chris and thanks to the rest of the staff for allowing this thread to happen!


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 Post subject: Re: New music publishing house for contemporary classical music
PostPosted: Fri Feb 24, 2012 8:21 am 
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musical-md wrote:
Nikolas,
Since you have mentioned algorhythms several times, I wonder if you might reveal a bit more to what degree this is actually stochastic in origin.
Eddy

Okie...

In music you get three main elements: Melody, Harmony and Rhythm. I think it's plain obvious that the rhythmic part of Perniciosus was left to my discretion.

So I will concentrated on the two other elements.

Melody

The melody that came directly from the computer can be found in bars 57 (6:13) to 123 (7:23). So 1:10 minutes of continuous stream of pitches. This came directly from the computer, and I just added dynamics and some pedaling. It sounds like that, doesn't it?

The point there was to create a matrix which has no place for the audience (or the pianist I'll admit) to latch. To create a mathematical formula that would disallow the melody from repeating itself. And thus I used a computer to generate these pitches! The pitches come in permutations of 23 notes (*I think*. It's been a while since I composed this) and no permutation is the same with the other, or has similar patterns or others. It's a constant stream of notes coming to the face of the audience.

The same melodic material was used in the slow part, but treated in a completely different way and in a rather romantic fashion (as far as gestures are concerned). You can notice it in the first few bars...

And while I agree that there isn't a clear tonal center, things do revolve around C (the first and final note of the permutations)...

Harmony

In the chords I had the same idea as before: Not to let two chords sound the same! So I wrote down all possible chords with 2,3 and 4 notes, without any repeating intervals in them (using a computer again), mixed them up and printed the info.

_________________________

If you separate the work into three parts (slow - fast single pitches - tocatta like part) then you can say that I and II were influenced by computers, while the third is completely free.

II is just the computer speaking, and I uses the same material but in completely different ways.

I was very curious (as a research method probably), to study the extent that a composer can influence a given and non human material. Not a Bach melody but a computer melody. And I do feel that the first part is doing that very well. With great variation, difference of pace and interest. Then again this is me talking... ;)

Thoughts behind the work and the technique

The main idea of the work was explained above. The idea behind the technique is that if you give the audience a completely grey background (a stream of notes with no connection with each other), any element that stands out will be amplified! Computer generated material, so 'equal' in a sense, but the composers' use of it, and the control applied gave it shape... (Again I think).

The same technique was used later on, while doing my PhD for different reasons... Again the results are... interesting to say the least (and not displeasing I hope)! :)

Thanks for offering me a chance to talk about this! ^_^


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 Post subject: Re: New music publishing house for contemporary classical music
PostPosted: Fri Feb 24, 2012 3:11 pm 
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Interesting Nikolas,
However I would say that you didn't need a computer with given algorhythm to produce your atonal melodic stream, as all good atonal composers of the early 20th century did so without such aid. And such music's elements, though having a mathematical relationship of it's melody and harmony, were never appreciated by listening, only by analysis. Last, when you mention the "23-note permutation" it sounds a lot like the color and talea of the isorhythmic motets of the Ars Nova period.

Eddy


Edit: grammar

_________________
Eddy M. del Rio, MD
"A smattering will not do. They must know all the keys, major and minor, and they must literally 'know them backwards.'" - Josef Lhevinne


Last edited by musical-md on Fri Feb 24, 2012 5:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: New music publishing house for contemporary classical music
PostPosted: Fri Feb 24, 2012 3:46 pm 
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musical-md wrote:
Interesting Nikolas,
However I would say that you didn't need a computer with given algorhythm to produce your atonal melodic stream, as all good atonal composers of the early 20th century did so without such aid. And such music's elements, though having a mathematical relationship of it's melody and harmony, was never appreciated by listening, only by analysis. Last, when you mention the "23-note permutation" it sounds a lot like the color and talea of the isorhythmic motets of the Ars Nova period.

Eddy

Thanks for your post Eddy,

it wasn't just 'some atonal melodic stream', it had some very specific requirements, which human mind couldn't solve alone (I tried). It was more than that.

23 notes because I used up to a 7th major as an interval in the permutations (you won't get a bigger interval there), in which case if you count both the upward and downward intervals you get... (11+11=) 22 intervals, thus 23 notes! :D

Plus it was fun to do! :D (I like mindling with such stuff and doing post graduate studies in music composition gave me that chance for a little while...)


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