Exercises, Warm-Ups and Having Fun (Update)
The results are in for this new way of composing for me, and I can already tell that it is going to be an effective change in my compositional technique. Several things I noticed:
When I felt that the piece I was working on was "just for fun," and wasn't expecting the piece to be a masterpiece, it freed up my creativity and helped me feel comfortable to try out things I wasn't as familiar with. For example, I tried several unusual ostinatos, different special effects, and some chord progressions that I haven't used as much in the past. When I've been composing "official" pieces, I've been somewhat hesitant to use any of these neat but currently difficult for me to use techniques.
Because I wasn't thinking as much about a final result, I was also able to let the form take on whatever shape it seemed to need, and the piece I worked on didn't feel contrived or fitted to a specific pattern.
I also was having fun and feeling as if I was accomplishing something as I worked, even if the sound wasn't totally 100% where I wanted it yet. The final result of all of this was very pleasing, and - though I am likely biased - really awesome sounding.
Check out the result of the efforts of a couple days of work!
These daily efforts will likely be compiled and shown off in a section of there own and/or through future posts. I'm hoping to talk about what I was hoping to accomplish, whether I feel I was successful, and what I learned.
For this piece (which I am calling "Triumphal"), I was hoping to try and create a sense of fear through the use of some different string ostinatos. I had hoped I could experiment with a few different patterns and see what might work well.
I ended up using two patterns in the piece. The first I tried was a measured tremolo seen in the viola about 22 seconds in. My first attempt sounded awesome, and I tried to enhance it by using the same ostinato in the violins in harmony with the viola. This effect was less satisfying, and I eventually tried a triplet ostinato in this spot instead, and it was so effective that I ended up using it throughout the piece, starting right at the beginning with the violas. (Let's face it: I'm a violist, and I am completely biased towards my instrument and give the violas preferential treatment. Sorry Violins)
As I wrote, the piece morphed into something other than what I originally intended it to be, but the sound was so awesome that I kept it that way.