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Scarlet Daybreak


by

composerclark

 Genre: Classical

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Description
My friend and colleague Kristina Szutor will be recording a CD of contemporary piano works inspired by the Italian Baroque composer, Domenico Scarlatti (1685-1757), in early 2010, and she asked me to write something for that purpose. I understand that the planned name for the CD is Après Scarlatti.

While it would probably never have occurred to me to write a contemporary piece based in some way on Scarlatti's music, the fact that Kristina would be performing and recording it was ample inspiration for me to tackle this project, as she is one of the finest pianists I have heard and has already performed several of my compositions, always beautifully (such as Dream Dance and Last Dance).

My introduction to Scarlatti's music came through learning guitar transcriptions of his sonatas, and one of the most popular of these amongst classical guitarists is K. 208 (L. 238) in A major. Two of the most pervasive characteristics of that sonata are the steady, often repeated, quarter notes in the left hand, and the flowing melody in the right hand with frequent syncopations; these ideas formed the basis of Scarlet Daybreak.

I wrote two of these sonatas, and the second will be posted in about a week.

[Edit: Just to clarify, in case there was any confusion, this recording is just a MIDI rendering from Finale 2007. I had never done this with Finale before — I always opened my MIDI files in Digital Performer and did all my articulation, tempo, and dynamic editing there. This time, I just wrote all the articulations, dynamics, and pedal markings in the score, and Finale took care of the rest, and I was pleasantly surprised by the result. The other technical note to add is that the piano sound is the Steinway from Kontact2, something I've had for a couple of years but only just figured out how to use. Technology; takes me forever to figure it out some times.]
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Song Stats
Hits: 4384
Comments: 63
Fans: 30
Plays: 140
Downloads: 134
Votes: 6
Uploaded: Aug 15, 2009 - 06:57:33 AM
Last Updated: May 19, 2010 - 08:29:13 PM Last Played: Jan 28, 2017 - 11:57:38 PM
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Comments
bitfeld said 2896 days ago (August 15th, 2009)
Great piece
I particulary like the baroque "salute" with which you finish the composition. When the same appears in the middle I did expect just a little more of an excursion into the old style. As always it's nice to hear a new piece from you.
Check out my latest song called Been So Long
composerclark said 2890 days ago (August 21st, 2009)
Thanks
Thanks very much for your comment; just left a comment for your latest track.
Check out my latest song called A Little Song About Our Mom
Scott Carmichael said 2896 days ago (August 15th, 2009)
spacious and paced
I love the pace of this... the sun will take it's time arriving over the horizon... those cascading dissonent notes evoke an abstract & dreamy impression... a bit like waking up too early... I've always admired your ability, and I still want to grow up to be like you....

you have painted well Master Ross...



Check out my latest song called Dogwood
composerclark said 2890 days ago (August 21st, 2009)
Thanks
I always enjoy your comments and your music, and I'm pleased that you enjoyed this. As for growing up to be like me, I wouldn't recommend it… Too much time partying with Hollywood celebrities and fighting with paparazzi, not enough time watching reality TV. Uh huh...
Check out my latest song called A Little Song About Our Mom
Ibstrat said 2896 days ago (August 15th, 2009)
You
are a great composer.I can't imagine ever writing anything like this.Your compositions are really organic sounding- almost like an improvisation.I really think that you are as good or better than many modern "big name" composers.I used to play a bunch of Scarlatti transcriptions, if you ever write this out for guitar let me know!
Check out my latest song called What the
composerclark said 2890 days ago (August 21st, 2009)
Thanks
Wow! Thanks for the incredibly kind words! They are hugely appreciated. It would be nice to be a 'big name' composer, if for no other reason than it would probably allow me to write more music and have it performed more. But in the mean-time, all any of us can do is write the kind of music we would like to hear, and hope that at least a few others like it too. Thanks again!
Check out my latest song called A Little Song About Our Mom
magnatone said 2896 days ago (August 15th, 2009)
Scarlet Daybreak
OMG - Clark, this is just incredible - INCREDIBLE. I had a friend who played lots and lots of Scarlatti, always leaving my jaw on the floor. Your composition here is luscious and it's easy to recognize the Scarlatti influence. I will HAVE to get Kristina's CD when it's ready, keep us posted OK? You are a truly remarkable composer, my hat is SO off to you!
Check out my latest song called Hallelujah (Leonard Cohen) and Variations
composerclark said 2890 days ago (August 21st, 2009)
Thanks
Thanks so much, Karen! Your comments are always so kind and much appreciated. I think Kristina will be recording the CD in early 2010, and then it always seems to take a long time to get to the point where the CD is released, but I'll let people know when that happens.
Check out my latest song called A Little Song About Our Mom
Cori Ander said 2896 days ago (August 15th, 2009)
Wooohhh
1) Such a sensitive pianist! I just love this .. I reacted very strongly about her playing on 'Last Dance' too (must have missed 'Dream Dance', but I'll go back there to listen). Anyway, if it is convinient for you; pass forward my deepest appreciation. Her playing spells s e n s e t i v e. And on my list, that is the most important quality of music.

2) And such an intersting piece. Some of the rythmic structure of the Sonata K. 208 is there yes, but you take this one on a so much wider ride. We are in a different landscape. If Scarlatti's tunes takes place on mom's backyard, we are here in a much more exciting and unpredictable world. Here are more colours, more things around, and much more of the unknown. We are not at home anymore, we are out in some big world — another planet. I know I am going to listen to this one many many times.
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composerclark said 2890 days ago (August 21st, 2009)
Thanks
Thanks Johannes! I have really missed your regular presence and music here, and it's great to see you active again! You are very kind and generous with your comment.
Check out my latest song called A Little Song About Our Mom
peacepiano said 2896 days ago (August 15th, 2009)
Stirring
Hats off! Performance and composition are both inspired. Do keep us posted on the status of Kristina's CD

Take Care
Bill
Check out my latest song called Beat SoloMe-O
composerclark said 2890 days ago (August 21st, 2009)
Thanks
Thanks very much, Bill! It was very nice of you to have a listen and leave a comment! I'll check out your latest if I haven't done so already.
Check out my latest song called A Little Song About Our Mom
drakonis said 2896 days ago (August 15th, 2009)
words don't do it justice...
I would almost say that the "colors of the scarlatti sunset leave me quite Satie-sfied", but that wordplay would distract from the delightfully modern tangy sweetness of this... it starts out in almost a soft fanfare style, wanders into elegant modern minimalism, jazz, boogie, baroque... just about all the rhythm and hues of a great sunset, excellent writing, and superb dynamics on this to give it a live-played feel.

ttfn,
Drakonis
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composerclark said 2890 days ago (August 21st, 2009)
Thanks
Thanks as always for your generous comment, Eduard, and I really appreciate your reference to the live-feel of this MIDI recording, because it took some doing to get it to sound like this, and I was pleased with how it came out too. Cheers!
Check out my latest song called A Little Song About Our Mom
Ed Hannifin said 2896 days ago (August 15th, 2009)
You have an excellent brain, Clark...
...but you can't fool me... Well, okay, you can, but not this time...

Everyone knows that an Apres Scarlatti is an after dinner drink... Or a really nice sweater... It is certainly not a sonata...

Unfortunately for my strong desire to be a wiseass, however, this is really great, and I have to just dive in and say so. The slow pace has the pace of awe and of majesty and is not heavy handed or ponderous... It's an awakening slowness...

Neither does it sound stiff or martial or mechanical... It sounds very human and soulful, which is pretty cool if this is coming from a Finale rendering... And the piano tone is resonant, full and deep but also with air on the top...

I'm devastated that I'll be off in a tent when you post the next one, but I will endeavor to come find it the minute I get back...

Yeah, IF I ever grow up I want to be like you...

Ed
composerclark said 2890 days ago (August 21st, 2009)
Thanks
Thanks Ed! Your comments are always eagerly appreciated by me, and I'm glad you were able to have a listen! Have fun camping!
Check out my latest song called A Little Song About Our Mom
guitapick said 2896 days ago (August 15th, 2009)
Scarlatti...
...is one of my favorite composers.
I love the way you throw in the "classic" interpretation, here and there...bridges things quite nicely.
This is a very mysterious piece with an air of familiarity, brought on by good ol' Dominico...very fine, indeedy, Clark!
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composerclark said 2890 days ago (August 21st, 2009)
Thanks
Thanks very much! If you happen to know K. 308, I think it enhances your listening experience for this piece because I have a few direct quotes in there. I'm a big fan of D. Scarlatti too… I suspect most guitarists who have ever played any of his music are as well. Thanks for the encouragement!
Check out my latest song called A Little Song About Our Mom
paul f. page said 2896 days ago (August 15th, 2009)
Delightfully...
...contemporary and classical all at the same time...I appreciate your notes about the driving quarter note business. It never gets tiresome because your right hand filigree is so rich and varied throughout the number. There are shimmers of jazz chording sprinkled here and there that always give (me) a lift. Such an interesting composition--one that will take several listens to digest completely. It is also beautifully played. You are so fortunate to have such a fine pianist to realize your music. I thoroughly enjoyed this and am glad to head a solo piano. There's very little of that here at MJ.
Peace.
Paul
Check out my latest song called Andante Languidamente
composerclark said 2890 days ago (August 21st, 2009)
Thanks
Thanks so much, Paul. Means a lot, coming from as fine a pianist and composer as yourself!
Check out my latest song called A Little Song About Our Mom
Feter said 2896 days ago (August 15th, 2009)
Scarlet Daybreak
You ve done some awesome job here ..the dark
emotions of modern world and apply it to the
happy old world theme of Scarlatti that's just
awesome ...very impressive piece really first
class and what to say more ...it will be
wonderful to hear a recording of a real piano
playing this indeed ..cant thank you enough
for such composition to be shared here Sir !!
what a gem !
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composerclark said 2890 days ago (August 21st, 2009)
Thanks
Thank you sir! Your comments are appreciated by me, and by all MacJammers too, I am sure! Very nice of you to say such nice things!
Check out my latest song called A Little Song About Our Mom
LunaTrick said 2896 days ago (August 15th, 2009)
Very tasteful
Lovely piano work.... loved the upper register dissonance.... some Satie influence... perhaps some Keith Jarrett too. Enjoyed!
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composerclark said 2894 days ago (August 17th, 2009)
Thanks
Thanks Daniel, I appreciate your comment. I was aware of the little jazzy bits that crept in periodically, so I can hear what you mean about Keith Jarrett, but it had not occurred to me that there might be some Satie in there too... will have to think about that!

Just left a comment on an older track of yours (guitar to calm the soul).
Check out my latest song called A Little Song About Our Mom
Bowman said 2895 days ago (August 16th, 2009)
It was a pleasure
to hear the beautiful clarity of thought that permeates this.

I love its deliberate pacing and its drama. As the piece went on I particularly liked the easing back and more casual jazzier contemporary aspect to this. The dynamics of the performance where terrific only the "machine like flutter of continuous notes occasionally took us away from the very human like performance.

I enjoyed this a great deal Clark. Wonderful work. Can't wait to hear your 2nd offering.
Cheers,
Charlie
Check out my latest song called A FISTFUL OF PENNIES
composerclark said 2894 days ago (August 17th, 2009)
Thanks
Thanks Charles! Nice of you to have a listen and leave a comment. The little jazzy bits that work their way in there at times just kind of happened... it was certainly never my plan to do that, but then again I never have much of a plan of any kind when I write music... just go wherever the spirit takes me (which is usually into a brick wall, so I should probably be wearing protective headgear when I compose.)
Check out my latest song called A Little Song About Our Mom
VicDiesel said 2894 days ago (August 17th, 2009)
Interesting hybrid
You clearly know your music history: it feels like you're sliding through different styles here.

Initially it sounds like one of those ruminating pieces that gets posted on MJ under "classical" by people who dont really know "classical": lovely to listen to, but essentially spinning chords. Then that starts being developed by gradual introduction of dissonances. I'm much amused by the classical cadence at 2:38.

It picks up in intensity. You have a nice sense of architecture that you can take 3 minutes to build up to this point!

I guess you'd call this a "sonata in the classical style"? I recognize the flowing ever inventing melody, though the style is in general quite contemporary. Very much enjoyed.



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composerclark said 2894 days ago (August 17th, 2009)
Thanks
Thanks Vic. I always look forward to your comments. "Classical" covers a huge spectrum of styles, esp. if you include the explosion of musical styles within the classical music world over the past 100+ years, so labeling something as "classical" doesn't always tell you very much about what to expect. In spite of this, I agree that sometimes tracks get posted under the "classical" genre here and elsewhere that seem to have little connection to it, which I always find interesting, as in, "gee, it's interesting to see what the word "classical" means to different people."

As for the form, this is a sonata in a similar sense that the 555 sonatas by Scarlatti are; the form became much expanded by Haydn and others in the classical period, and Scarlatti's sonatas somewhat simpler in form by comparison. Mine is maybe a hybrid between the form of Scarlatti's sonatas and later sonatas... it's a binary form with some development, but without the return of two theme groups in the tonic key within the recapitulation.

Thanks again for the comment.
Check out my latest song called A Little Song About Our Mom
MidiOrleans said 2894 days ago (August 17th, 2009)
Much
ENJOYED!
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composerclark said 2894 days ago (August 17th, 2009)
Thanks
A LOT! ;-)

Glad you had a chance to listen and comment!
Check out my latest song called A Little Song About Our Mom
composerclark said 2894 days ago (August 17th, 2009)
Thanks
Thanks Len, glad you liked it! Cheers.
Check out my latest song called A Little Song About Our Mom
lengold said 2894 days ago (August 17th, 2009)
Beautiful
Cheers
Len

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composerclark said 2894 days ago (August 17th, 2009)
oops!
Just replied to Len's comment below MidiOrleans' comment! Sorry 'bout that!
Check out my latest song called A Little Song About Our Mom
said 2894 days ago (August 17th, 2009)
well -
I can't comment in critique, as I don't know how for this level of work.

I CAN say that I like it very much!

. - Harold
composerclark said 2894 days ago (August 17th, 2009)
Thanks
Thanks for having a listen, Harold — glad you like it!
Check out my latest song called A Little Song About Our Mom
richardhowardjones said 2890 days ago (August 21st, 2009)
A pleasure
Very nicely put together. It made me think of falling leaves in Autumn.
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composerclark said 2890 days ago (August 21st, 2009)
Thanks
Thanks very much for having a listen! I look forward to hearing your music soon.
Check out my latest song called A Little Song About Our Mom
Parichayaka said 2890 days ago (August 21st, 2009)
So reassuring...
to find something like this on MacJams - proofing that it's ok to give 10 out of 10 every once in a while without feeling guilty:) This is wonderful. I loved the beginning and especially enjoyed the second half with its restrained, mature intensity, almost taking a step back to observe itself after taking a deep breath. To me the first part has a more youthful, joyful and exploratory feel. You create suspense with subtlety and I've learned to appreciate the nuances an expert composer can add to a piece, contrasting what hobby musicians like me do - sit down, play around a bit and see what happens:) I was surprised around 5:10 and thought the dynamics (pianissimo and fortissimo) where a little far apart - I had to adjust the volume while listening, but you're right - this sounds surprisingly good and could only be surpassed by an actual live performance. I also tried many midi pianos and now switch between the Steinway and light Bösendorfer with Kontakt2 - crisp, but warm and organic sound.
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composerclark said 2890 days ago (August 21st, 2009)
Thanks
Thanks! You are one of several MacJammers who I consider a friend, and I really value your thoughts on my music. I will have another listen to figure out what happened with the dynamics at 5:10, and thanks for pointing that out! Cheers.
Check out my latest song called A Little Song About Our Mom
cchaplin said 2889 days ago (August 22nd, 2009)
Clark,
This is sooo lovely. The recurring opening motif as it develops throughout the piece is wonderfully hypnotic, and deeply melancholic… I simply love it… I keep coming back for more.
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composerclark said 2889 days ago (August 22nd, 2009)
Thanks
Thanks for the comment; I really appreciate it!
Check out my latest song called A Little Song About Our Mom
Daugrin said 2884 days ago (August 27th, 2009)
Scarlet Daybreak
I played that transcription of Scarlatti too, man that was a long time ago. Opps took me back.
Always inspiring and challenging, I enjoy hearing your melodic lines. I have a composer question, because I am curious about how you feel about composition. The lines are moving in a modern manner, and the ornaments appear "awkward" to my ears. This is a style issue for me for sure, but I wonder when you created this if you gave thought to goosing the ornaments? When writing "in the style of" making a consideration of ornamentation, would you ask yourself, "Ah, traditional or something "cool"." as far as the ornaments go-or is it more like, " Ya-got to have this one here!"

Daug
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composerclark said 2880 days ago (August 31st, 2009)
Thanks
Thanks, Daug, I appreciate your comment very much. Regarding your question about style, my sense is that large parts of this piece are based on a 19th-century style — melody in the right hand, accompaniment in the left consisting of a low bass note on beat one and repeated chords on the other beats in the bar. You'd never get something like this in the baroque, the period in which Scarlatti lived. But I wrote it that way because (a) I wasn't trying to emulate Scarlatti, just have a few bits that brought him to mind, and (b) I liked it. The aspects that are more modern are some of the harmonic material (although much of it is strongly rooted in tonality), and the fact that I am combining stylistic aspects that are derived from different periods of music history.

Regarding ornaments, I am not quite sure what you are referring to… my second Scarlatti-influenced piece has actual ornaments (mordents, mostly), but I don't think this one has any, although I could be misremembering. The opening has grace notes anticipating the downbeats in the right hand, so maybe that's what you're hearing, and that sort of thing is more typical of Chopin than Scarlatti (it is not found in Scarlatti at all, to my knowledge). But again, that was just me playing with anachronistic styles, something I like to do. For the most part, my compositional decisions are based on trying something with no particular intellectual objective in mind, and if I like it, then my reaction is "cool, I think I'll keep it!", and if I don't like it I get rid of it. A little bit of intellectual process works its way into things sometimes, but usually that comes later, when I get stuck.
Check out my latest song called A Little Song About Our Mom
Monkaton said 2881 days ago (August 30th, 2009)
Good One
I, too, congratulate you on a well composed and played piece. I liked the jazz riffs that you put in there with the more classical sounding parts. I also liked the dissonance throughout.


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composerclark said 2879 days ago (September 1st, 2009)
Thanks
Thanks Tim! Glad you were able to leave a comment… I just left one for your latest, which was a lot of fun.
Check out my latest song called A Little Song About Our Mom
MarkHolbrook said 2880 days ago (August 31st, 2009)
Beautiful
Very relaxing intro and just generally a great feel to this.
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composerclark said 2879 days ago (September 1st, 2009)
Thanks
Thanks Mark! I just left a comment for your very cool guitar jam (LIOLI-9)… Great stuff!
Check out my latest song called A Little Song About Our Mom
J.A.Stewart said 2880 days ago (August 31st, 2009)
Musically Meandering...
through a field of gentle dissonance, but still with an eye --- and an ear --- for the recurrent beauty and splendor of that ever-changing moment that heralds each new day.

Equal parts of mystery, anticipation, uncertainty and revelation make this a rich musical journey. A gentle, dreamy little wake-up call.

Nicely done, Clark. ;)


--- Joe
Check out my latest song called Crankenhurst Challenge - Verse 1-7 (Inst. Break)
composerclark said 2879 days ago (September 1st, 2009)
Thanks
Thanks, J.A. I appreciate the support. Just left a long overdue comment for an older one of yours, "Song for a Friend."
Check out my latest song called A Little Song About Our Mom
composerclark said 2879 days ago (September 1st, 2009)
Thanks
Thanks very much for your kind comment! Just left one for your latest, which I enjoyed very much.
Check out my latest song called A Little Song About Our Mom
bud said 2880 days ago (August 31st, 2009)
Wonderfully evocative piece of music
I really enjoy the separate movement of the left and right hands - especially around 2:30 with the descending bass. Thanks for the thorough description of the process as well.
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composerclark said 2879 days ago (September 1st, 2009)
Thanks
Oops! The previous comment was meant for bud, so I'll repost it here:

Thanks very much for your kind comment! Just left one for your latest, which I enjoyed very much.
Check out my latest song called A Little Song About Our Mom
sschedra said 2880 days ago (August 31st, 2009)
Clark
I forgot to comment on this one. As I said I like the Nightfall piece a bit more. But this one has so many delights in it Its like deciding between a real good steak dinner and an excellent buffet. I guess it just depends on your mood. Today, in reconsidering this piece, I guess I'm in the mood for a buffet.
Very well done,
Stephen
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composerclark said 2879 days ago (September 1st, 2009)
Thanks
Thanks again, Stephen! It really is a pleasure to discover your music, and I very much appreciate your taking the time to comment on mine. Cheers!
Check out my latest song called A Little Song About Our Mom
damiengh said 2879 days ago (September 1st, 2009)
introspective
Love this kind of piano music, for it provides an environment for an introspective walk through our minds in an unrushed manner.

Yes, give me an easy chair in an unremarkable room of hardwood floors, white walls, a pair of walnut boxed speakers playing this music to walk me through my thoughts of the day.
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composerclark said 2879 days ago (September 1st, 2009)
Thanks
I love your imagery! Just left a comment for your brilliant homage to the simpler things in life, Tea and Scones… Great song, and thanks for leaving me a comment!
Check out my latest song called A Little Song About Our Mom
Moviz said 2879 days ago (September 1st, 2009)
Love the
places that this piece takes me in that slow, but constant moving forward through light and shade.... I do hear that slight jazz feel in a couple of places and as others have said, this is modern, yet timeless..... oh to be able to write music on this scale and to this degree of ability. Very much enjoyed, regards M
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composerclark said 2879 days ago (September 1st, 2009)
Thanks
Thanks very much! Your comment is much appreciated, and I really enjoyed your latest!
Check out my latest song called A Little Song About Our Mom
Char said 2866 days ago (September 14th, 2009)
I am unfamiliar with Scarlatti.
I can hear a baroque flavor but it was very contemporary and spell-binding. Really exceptionally evocative photograph to go along with it. A nicely wrapped package. Thanks.
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Doug Somers said 2843 days ago (October 7th, 2009)
Nice surprises
The development is anything but predictable and is so delicate and careful in how the piece flows. I'm hooked.

Peace,
Doug
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Scorpjammer said 2770 days ago (December 19th, 2009)
Sipping Hot Cocoa...
...on this wintry night and feeling relaxed (listening to this composition) after a brutal round of snow shoveling out the cars. Got me feeling really good right about now, C. Say thank you to Kristina for this wonderful piece for me!

E:)
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867-5309 said 2608 days ago (May 30th, 2010)
Scarlet
Mr. Clark,
Another great scarlet it is !
Exceptional sense of rhythm and
placement in this one.
Nice construction technique here - to withstand rigors of time.
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SpaceAlien said 2484 days ago (October 2nd, 2010)
The rhythm is breath of nature.
The scenery of the sound is nature in the earth.
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Name: Composition Blog
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I've been teaching music composition and music theory at an east-coast university for 23 years, where I have also taught classical guitar and electronic music. I've been writing music for about 38 years, and still haven't figured out what I'm doing,... [see more]

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