Sunday, August 09, 2009

More of a Composter Than a Composer

Remember last time when I inflicted my beginner violin "stylings" on the web? Now four months later, and three months after I got my viola, I figured I'd oblige my adoring fan(s) with another. That's you, Mom...and maybe one anonymous reader who only enjoys these for their mockery potential.

A bunch very short clips would be way more entertaining and easier to digest, but I opted for the opposite: two relatively complete pieces of music that I came up with. They're still just over a minute each, but this is not riveting footage -- the nerdy guy with the poofy ponytail just stands there sawing away in his dining room. The first tune is one I came up with for my recital, and I'm still enjoying playing it months later, which is a good sign. The second is one I've been working on for the past couple of weeks -- more of a classical piece, with some early (and shaky) experimentation with vibrato and third-position playing.

12 comments:

Dianne said...

"Came up with" is too modest. You're composing - for the viola! I love it. I feel inspired to do something creative.

Anonymous said...

Hey, glad I took the time to listen - sounds nice (except I had the volume too loud and G just came down looking for what was making that noise! haha) Hope you keep having fun with it. Soph

Anonymous said...

Wow, Jer, that is beautifully done. Love the lilting light melodies. It's come a long ways from the day that viola arived! Keep playing! Pearl

Chris said...

Wow...this piece has a Swedish feel to it. Have a listen to Vasen, a traditional band from Sweden to see what I mean. The viola almost comes off with a nickelharpe sound to it, deep and dark. Really nice.

So now we have a viola and guitar/flute/singer for the Ezra Hiebert Cherry Disaster...all we need now is a drummer and we can take this on the road.

Bring it to Princeton.

Ang said...

Sweet man.
That stuff sounds awesome. Love the viola, neat vibrato sound.
Really good pieces!
Seriously!
How long you been playing?
Steve P.

Jeremy said...

This project has been mostly a solitary pursuit, and I do like my solitude...but when I put a lot of effort into something, it's very nice to get some feedback. Even knowing that all of these dear people would say it sounded good when it was really beyond awful, it's still very encouraging, and I don't much care that admitting that reveals some insecurity surrounding the whole thing. So, thank you!

Mom, you and anonymous mocker showed up, as predicted. Thanks, as always, for the unwavering support.

Soph, I've been missing you guys like crazy. Hope your summer has been as excellent as possible.

Thanks, Pearl. It's good for me to remember how bad it sounded that day it arrived.

Chris, I have heard Vasen, but it was you who first introduced me to those Swedish sounds through that incredible list of Scandanavian folk songs that has enchanted me ever since. I've also much enjoyed the work of Barry Phillips, a cellist and composer who integrates similar melodies and harmonies. I haven't yet set out to emulate these sounds, but I think it's seeped into my subconscious a bit. And yes, I've tried jamming with friends a couple of times now it was really fun (and humbling, which isn't all bad) -- would be great to hook up in Princeton.

Steve, much appreciated. I guess I started with the viola in April, but it's much like the violin, which I started in October...so it will be a year this fall. I've worked pretty hard at it, and found that some of my old heavy-metal bass "skills" were helpful...not with the bow, of course, but more just in having the ear for it and the left-hand coordination.

Thanks also to RP, who resisted the urge to belittle my efforts in a chat earlier today.

Chris said...

Very good then...the plan for world domination by subtly creating folk musicians at every turn is paying dividends!

Jeremy said...

Ha! The dastardly plan for global folk-tune domination. Brings to mind an old favourite...

Pinky: What are we going to do tonight, Brain?
Brain: The same thing we do every night, Pinky -- try to take over the world.

Heather said...

Sometimes, for the sake of entertainment, I'll try to imagine what life would be like if MY husband were - in this case - learning the viola, and writing his own compositions. For some reason that thought has me in stitches! Great work - it sounds good.

Jeremy said...

ha! That is a funny image, Heather. Although he does play guitar, doesn't he? No big difference there...

Marj said...

haha. just had to tell you. i was listening to this and billy, head in the fridge, says, "that's playing by accident, right mom!? x out x out!" thought you'd like that. i must add that my computer was having trouble downloading and it was a bit jerky. so i "x-ed out". you are a star in my books anyway!
Marj

Jeremy said...

HA! Classic. An appropriate response, methinks.