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From:Sally Caves <scaves@...>
Date:Friday, March 14, 2003, 22:00
Good Goddess, but the polymaths are proliferating on this list!!!  Now both
Teoh and Jan are composers (Jan said this was his primary passion in his
survey answers); so is Herman Miller.  Miller's music has the added
strangeness of quarter tones.  I love his Porcupine Concert.  How many other
of you conlangers are so musical?  Me (yry), I am primarily a songwriter in
Teonaht, with music to accompany my songs.  Most of you've heard them at

but I'll blow my horn again, anyway (so to speak).  I'm working on a more
complicated presentation on the digital recorder my husband bought, but it's
difficult because only he knows how to use it yet.  I used to play piano
hungrily, and have composed several short piano pieces.  All of them
deliberately weird.  Now Teoh, I want to know if this piece you showcase,
the second one, was performed, or if you synthesized it.  If the latter,
how?  And why am I "forbidden" entry into Serenity.mp3 site, but I can hear
your Am6_8_2 quite well?  Jan do you have any music we could hear?

How does anyone record on MP3?  I have an MP3 player, but not the recorder.
Is the software expensive?  Could I upload a CD onto it?  It takes a
GODAWFUL long time to load on my machine, mainly because I still have
dial-up.  hissss!

Finally, Teoh and Jan... do you have recorded excerpts of your LANGUAGE?

In fact, if anybody will come forward with recorded excerpts of your spoken
or sung CONLANGS, I would be interested in hearing them.  I have a paucity
of examples to show my Berkeley audience.

Sally Caves
Eskkoat ol ai sendran, rohsan nuehra celyil takrem bomai nakuo.
"My shadow follows me, putting strange, new roses into the world."

----- Original Message -----
From: "H. S. Teoh" <hsteoh@...>

> On Fri, Mar 14, 2003 at 07:33:35PM +0000, Jan van Steenbergen wrote: > > --- H. S. Teoh skrzypszy: > > > > > writing orchestral music that I will probably never hear in my > > > lifetime[2], > > > > > Don't say that! Having your music performed is merely a matter of > > knowing the right people. > > Which is exactly my problem.
> > Now, I am not pretending that I know them, but I have been asked at > > least twice if I had something for orchestra. Usually, I am quite > > suspicious against this kind of invitations from people who never ever > > heard anything I wrote. But anyway, in these two cases they might > > actually do it. The only problem is that I don't *want* to write for > > orchestra. And I don't consider myself ready for that. > > I'm not sure I'm ready to write for orchestra either, but that doesn't > stop it from being my passion! :-) > > [snip] > > > [4] Although that depends on one's perspective as to what is
> > > ... I mean, if I write something that only professionals have any hope
> > > performing, and I am an unknown with no recognized portfolio, then
> > > all moot. But that symphony orchestra in my head just refuses[5] to
> > > playing! > > > > To be honest, I am very curious about the music you write. Is it > > similarly "unearthy" as Ebisedian? Personally, I see a lot of stylistic > > correspondances between my music and my conlangs. Or maybe that's only > > in my head. Have you ever scanned pages? Or, if not, would you consider > > doing that? Did you also write for smaller ensembles or soloists? > > In my case, I'm more of a neoclassicist than anything else. I *have* > written less conventional pieces[1], and have plans for at least one quite > unconventional piece[2]. But most of my pieces[3] are really nothing near > the otherworldliness of Ebisedian. :-) > > As far as stuff for smaller ensembles go... I do have a lot of small piano > pieces[4], as well as an unfinished set of variations for string quartet. > (But I hesitate to showcase that one since I had very little idea about > quartet writing when I wrote it.) The Serenity piece referenced in [1] is > also in this category, I suppose, it's for piano and flute---although it's > probably better suited for an alto flute or clarinet because of its > tessitura. Or maybe a recorder. At any rate, it's for some kind of pipe. > :-) > > [1] Such as: > This is supposed to depict a village shaman playing the flute at sunset > while looking out over the plains and the distant mountains beyond, with > the evening breeze blowing. The cadenza depicts when he gets carried away > by the magic of his flute, and proceeds to show off his flute technique. > > [2] Involving slides and glides by the string section (which plays a > "melody" where almost every note is a glide) and retorts, guffaws, and > maniacal chuckles from the brass. Besides this one, I have plans for a > darkish piece similar to Sibelius' Tapiola. > > [3] Such as: > (unfinished). I don't really like the MIDI realization of this; the part > towards the end sounds overly wind-y. The orchestration also needs heavy > re-workings; but at least this gives an idea of the motifs and passages > that I have in mind. > > [4] The one of which I'm most proud being the Sonatina in E-flat major: > > > > I know the portfolio problem very well. It is true: if you don't have > > the right piece of paper (as if a piece of paper, or its absence, could > > prove or disprove your artistic abilities!), it is a tough struggle you > > have to fight for every kind of recognition. But not impossible. Even > > among the famous composers of the past, there were amateurs, people > > without any serious kind of musical education. > > For example, Beethoven didn't actually know polyphony (at least in the > Bach sense) until he was an established composer. And Sir William(?) > Walton didn't even know what a fugue was until he decided he needed one in > one of his symphonies! > > > My opinion is that most of the things you learn at a conservatory (at > > least: in the field of composing) you can also learn without a > > conservatory, and even better! > > Most certainly. And I do have a beef against the way music is commonly > taught nowadays... but I'll save that rant for another time. :-) > > > But the conservatory is not the place where you learn things; it is also > > the place where your career begins, where you meet those people who will > > "launch" you later for the first time. Without those people, often a > > tight knit in a closed circuit, it is very hard to achieve anything. > > Too true. I had the option of minoring in music when I was still in my > undergraduate years; however, I was not ready (musically) at the time. Now > it's really very difficult for me to get "into the loop". Besides, I do > have other priorities that require time as well; I can't have *everything* > I want, after all. With my current commitments, I'm afraid the most I'll > end up writing in my lifetime would be about 4-5 short pieces (as far as > orchestral writing is concerned, that is) that I've time to work on. > > > But again: it is possible, it depends merely on the confidence that your > > music is good, and on convincing the right people of that. > [snip] > > All the lay people tell me my music is good, and all the professionals > smile and nod and walk away. So I'm kinda stuck in limbo at the moment. > Which *could* explain the otherworldliness of Ebisedian... (Mind you, I > said *could*. ;-)) The fact that I'm an amateur pianist---amateur in the > sense of able to impress the crowd but having horrible technique and bad > habits accrued over the years due to lack of formal training---probably > doesn't help very much either. > > > T > > -- > "You know, maybe we don't *need* enemies." "Yeah, best friends are about
> I can take." -- Calvin & Hobbes >


Paul Burgess <paul@...>
David Barrow <davidab@...>
Danny Wier <dawier@...>
Herman Miller <hmiller@...>
Jan van Steenbergen <ijzeren_jan@...>
Terrence Donnelly <teresh_2000@...>
H. S. Teoh <hsteoh@...>
Rachel Klippenstein <estel_telcontar@...>