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Postby K A H on Tue Nov 06, 2001 1:07 am

Or not....<P>Ladies and gentlemen, after three months of toil....<P>I present to you....<P>"SOUVENIRS d'AVALON"
(Memories of Avalon)<P>Suite of nine pieces for piano solo with themes
inspired by the characters in the online comic
"Avalon"
by Josh Phillips<P>Written by Matthew "K.A.H." Smith (b.1979)<P>This suite is dedicated to - who else? -
the many readers of "Avalon",
especially those who post to
the forum, and most of all
to Josh Phillips
for creating such a deep, engrossing
world of people and their stories.<P>Cambridge,
1 November 2001.<P>-Reproduction of the title page of the autograph manuscript.<P>32kbps MP3s, recommended for people with slow connections (with special thanks to Anh Minh for generously donating the webspace to host these):<P><a href="http://anhminh.nguyen.free.fr/Souvenirs/0_Ouverture.mp3">Ouverture.</a>
<a href="http://anhminh.nguyen.free.fr/Souvenirs/1_Hel%e8ne_Richer.mp3">1. Caprice. (Hel
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Postby Wapiko on Tue Nov 06, 2001 1:18 am

KAH, I can't seem to access your pieces on Darth Paradox's site. I'm getting "Forbidden-not allowed to access" messages.<P>I am still downloading, so I will tell you my reaction to the music later.<P>My reaction now is to say congratulations! I'm happy you've managed to accomplish this task. I look forward to listening.<P>Go relax with some potato chips.<P>Wapiko-chan<P>------------------
<I>potechi taberu?</I>
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Postby RJ Shep on Tue Nov 06, 2001 2:26 am

Errg, I can't access MP3's at work!
Damn filters!<P>
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Postby gwalla on Tue Nov 06, 2001 4:22 am

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by K A H:
<B>Or not....<P>Ladies and gentlemen, after three months of toil....<P>I present to you....<P>"SOUVENIRS d'AVALON"
(Memories of Avalon)</B><HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P>Wiigii!!!<P>(Oh wait, that'd be "Souvenirs d'SEMME" <IMG SRC="http://www.keenspot.com/KeenBoard/wink.gif">)<P> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR><B>
<a href="http://anhminh.nguyen.free.fr/Souvenirs/0_Ouverture.mp3">Ouverture.</a></B><HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P>Very nice.<P> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR><B><a href="http://anhminh.nguyen.free.fr/Souvenirs/1_Hel%e8ne_Richer.mp3">1. Caprice. (Hel
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Postby Carn_Carby on Tue Nov 06, 2001 5:16 am

I really like Alan's song and Ceilidh's song. The melodies are very pretty. Nice job, KAH. A lot of hard work obviously went into these pieces. I like the variety a lot.<P>Just as a question, which pieces did you find the most technically difficult? You seem to handle the fast sections really well. <P>KN
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Postby Darth Paradox on Tue Nov 06, 2001 8:02 am

I'm trying to figure out how to permit others to download files.
Working on it...
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Postby Darth Paradox on Tue Nov 06, 2001 8:27 am

motherleeg. The 403's apparently should be 404's.
Crap. The files are gone.
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Postby Strangeone on Tue Nov 06, 2001 11:56 am

All I have to say is, that is some incredible work, K A H. I envy your work ethic and will use your songs as motivation to stay off my but and keep plucking away at some non-Avalon related projects I'm struggling to find time to work on.<P>Honestly, I'm a complete dolt when it comes to anything musical, except for being able to listen to it. I'm not an expert critic, but those are some very fine tunes. <IMG SRC="http://www.keenspot.com/KeenBoard/smile.gif">
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Postby Darth Paradox on Wed Nov 07, 2001 1:35 am

The music is now up and functional.
It can be found at <a href="http://scatterplot.keenspace.com/avalon/">http://scatterplot.keenspace.com/avalon/</a>.
Incidentally, my <a href="http://scatterplot.keenspace.com/">comic</a> there starts tomorrow.
But the music is there today!
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Postby Rogue Princess on Wed Nov 07, 2001 3:19 am

This is incredible! Out of curiosity, is it solely piano, or are there other instrumental pieces written as well? (As both a violist and a harpist, I'm interested in the harmony portion) Actually, is there any way I could get a copy of the piano pieces to learn on harp?
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Postby AetherKnight on Wed Nov 07, 2001 3:47 am

I loved it!<P>Any doubts you may have had about the quality of the work were completely unfounded.<P>Hel
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Postby Dent on Wed Nov 07, 2001 4:50 am

Bravo, K! You've done a fantastic job. You've managed to interpret all the characters very faithfully and artistically (Alan's theme is my personal favourite). This is terrific stuff, and thank you very, very much for working on it.
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Postby K A H on Wed Nov 07, 2001 7:21 am

(In keeping with my inability to go to bed before 3am now that I'm back at university....)<P>Gosh. I'm floored by the reaction to the suite in its first thirty hours in the public eye. It already feels as though all the hard work and the price I've paid for it (comprehension in my lectures and timely progress on my graduate school apps - so I know how you feel, Tae!) were worth it.<P>It's also a treat to hear people comment on which pieces are their favourites; as I've said before, I'm most pleased with Phoebe's piece, but I like how all of the pieces turned out. I think all of the pieces have been mentioned on favourites lists thus far except the overture, so it's reassuring to know that I didn't completely put my foot in it on any of the pieces.<P>A few follow-up remarks: first of all, Darth Paradox, thanks again for the webspace for the 56kpbs MP3s, I hope it doesn't cause problems with your account once you launch the eagerly awaited "Scatterplot"! (Although I'm an algebraist and number theorist rather than a statistician, a maths-based title still piques my interest. <IMG SRC="http://www.keenspot.com/KeenBoard/biggrin.gif">)<P>I've had several requests, both by e-mail (speaking of which: Tae, check your inbox <IMG SRC="http://www.keenspot.com/KeenBoard/smile.gif">) and in this thread, to make the sheet music available. Well, I don't own a scanner, but while I don't know this for certain, it seems fair game to assume that either my college library or the maths department has a scanner. Consul, this will be a lot cheaper and easier than photocopying the manuscript, and the result might also be a bit clearer. (Word of warning, though: the pieces are on A4 paper, which is more than 11 inches long and, I think, less than 8.5 inches wide, so some adjustments will need to be made before printing.)<P>Rogue Princess, it is indeed for piano solo, although I can imagine a lot of the more mellow pieces (not so much the pieces for Hel
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Postby RJ Shep on Wed Nov 07, 2001 7:50 am

Wow... Just, Wow!<P>I would SO kill to be able to play or write music like that!<P>My favourites are Alison, Ceilidh, and Helene.<P>K.A.H.- If you would not mind me E-mailing you, I have a few questions about putting words to the Ballade before I begin. No reason to clutter the forum, or to display my musical ignorance for all to see <IMG SRC="http://www.keenspot.com/KeenBoard/wink.gif">
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Postby Friggin' Cornflakes on Wed Nov 07, 2001 8:11 am

These are amazing. I think you could make some good money off selling sheet music of this. I put ID3 tags on my MP3s to be respectful of ownership on these.<P>And, for those of you who have any type of Sound Blaster Live!, try kicking up the reverb in Environmental Audio, it sounds terrific in Concert Hall.<P>Are there any files with even higher quality? Anything around CD range, 128kbps?
It would just be nice to have. Maybe after these files are up for a few weeks, you can split up the webspace into one or two large MP3s for a few days, and cycle through them all. Just a thought.<P>Much appreciated!
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Postby BenTGaidin on Wed Nov 07, 2001 8:21 am

Hmm.. Any possibility of being able to get a physical copy of the music some time? A CD or something? I unfortunately have both a slow modem and limited disk space, and so downloading the songs isn't really a good option for me. On the other hand, I'd really love to hear the music. If you can find someplace that would let you produce a CD, I'd spend money for it.
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Ruri : Possibly. I guess that means we're all idiots here.
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Postby Balfegor on Wed Nov 07, 2001 11:31 am

Really splendid! I particularly like the Phoebe theme. Can really imagine it being used in a nice, brooding introspective scene.<P>I'm not sure if anyone else is noticing this, but are the higher-quality files a little tinnier than the lower-quality files? And a bit quieter?<P>-Tae
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Postby K A H on Thu Nov 08, 2001 1:07 am

Well, in the eighteen hours since my last post, 'twould seem that interest in replying to this thread (if not necessarily reading it and/or downloading one or the other of the sets of MP3s) has waned considerably and the thread has begun its inevitable journey to the back of the forum. Although if anyone has listened to the pieces but hasn't replied to this thread, by all means say something (preferably pertaining to the content of this thread <IMG SRC="http://www.keenspot.com/KeenBoard/tongue.gif">).<P>Although I realise, naturally, that fanmusic is at a disadvantage compared to fanart and fanfiction in that the masses who read "Avalon" from work or from other computers that don't actually belong to them can easily look at fanart or read fanfiction on these computers, but downloading nearly ten megabytes of MP3s is a bit out of the question. And there's also the fact that, whether I like it or not, classical music has a far smaller audience these days than popular music, and just because an "Avalon" fan <I>can</I> download the MP3s doesn't mean s/he <I>will</I>. Although I stated this qualm when kicking off the project three months ago, and then as now I had the impression that this is a minor consideration at best.<P>I do know this: I've been spending an unhealthy amount of time listening to the MP3s lately. I'm disturbed by the fact that I actually quite like them, mediocre performances aside. I have to keep reminding myself that <I>I</I> wrote these and shouldn't start thinking too highly of them lest my ego rages out of control. I've never been so, erm, taken by <I>any</I> creative endeavour I've undertaken. It feels wrong somehow.<P>To answer the question that has come up since my last post - specifically, that of burning the pieces onto an audio CD - I could certainly do that, but those who are eager for an audio CD of "Souvenirs d'Avalon" might want to wait for the more professional quality recording (still looking for a scanner to help bring that about). Of course, I'll make audio CDs for the particularly eager with painfully slow connections and not enough hard drive space (although I should add that the 32kpbs MP3s only add up to 9.52MB; hardly a small figure but surely small enough for most?)<P>K.A.H.
Could be worse, the WAVs add up to 422MB.<p>[This message has been edited by K A H (edited 11-08-2001).]
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Postby Balfegor on Thu Nov 08, 2001 6:36 am

Hmm. I think this would be an interesting sort of thing to put on a CD. Ideally, Josh himself would 'authorise' it all, and it could be an official work (sort of like that Evangelion Refrain CD, that had all the pop artists' pieces) released through Caf
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Postby warmbase on Thu Nov 08, 2001 10:44 am

Bravo. Sheer brilliance. Bravo<P>-ChaosReactor
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Postby BAZERKER on Thu Nov 08, 2001 11:29 am

*written while Listening to Lamentation*
*claps* BRAVO *claps!* BRAVO!
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Postby Ghostwolf on Thu Nov 08, 2001 11:40 am

I...wow...This is just...wow. It's beautiful. I've only just gotten the Archives finished, and i must say thank you for the music. They're great pieces. Now I have new music to write to. Amazing work.<P>Ghostwolf out...<P>------------------
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Postby Shatteredtower on Thu Nov 08, 2001 11:48 am

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by K A H:
<B>Well, in the eighteen hours since my last post, 'twould seem that interest in replying to this thread (if not necessarily reading it and/or downloading one or the other of the sets of MP3s) has waned considerably and the thread has begun its inevitable journey to the back of the forum. Although if anyone has listened to the pieces but hasn't replied to this thread, by all means say something (preferably pertaining to the content of this thread <IMG SRC="http://www.keenspot.com/KeenBoard/tongue.gif">).</B><HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P> I'm only doing this because you did ask. Keep in mind that I forget everything I've learned about music - I pick it up quickly, and forget it within a week. (The bass drum in a marching band didn't need sheet music as a rule.) So my attempts to describe what I did hear are going to be expressed very poorly. <P> In fact, I'm only going to touch on two points - both relating to tastes. I haven't gotten to the second half of the music as of yet, but allow me to comment on things I did pick up in the first half.<P> First, you mix moods quite well - going from contemplative and sedate to lively in a fairly natural fashion. As you can tell, I was most taken by your Helene effort up to this point, though I did like Alison's piece quite a bit. (I can't say it sounds like Beethoven to me - his music always reminded me more of Tarrasch's incredibly dogmatic, but logical, chess style, while this reminds me more of Schlechter's methods of stilling the board down to a very simple game, often leading to draws in top play.)<P> The only trouble I had was I found you tended to repeat a series of notes too often. I don't know the technical term, but it seemed as though whenever you'd have a pattern that repeated every four to ten notes, you repeated it once or twice past the point at which I began to find it distracting. I might not notice it once or twice, but it recurs through every section I've heard thus far, a few times in each.<P> As I said, I can't describe this well. But it felt like filler to me. It also reminded me of Mike Myers' tendency to beat a joke to death, though with less intent. (Sometimes, that seems to be part of the humour in Mr. Myers' case.) And less excess, of course. <IMG SRC="http://www.keenspot.com/KeenBoard/redface.gif"><P> Once again, these are just my feelings on the work - and I am not qualified in any way to offer proper criticism of it. (At best, I hear "what might have been" in a piece of music - but I could never construct that, or even the original that falls short to me.) I also feel like I'm telling Mozart that he used "too many notes."<P> I didn't reply before now because I really didn't feel I had anything worthwhile to add. I still suspect that's the case - it's like me telling Josh Waitzkin how to improve his game. But you did ask anyone who had listened to this for feedback - twice, in fact. <P> Thank you for your time, and the fruits of your efforts. With luck, I will hear more of your work in the future.<p>[This message has been edited by Shatteredtower (edited 11-08-2001).]
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Postby Jen Aside on Fri Nov 09, 2001 3:11 am

Wow... there's a little distortion where it caps off (upper limit on the audio), but nice.<P>Have you considered MP3.com? <IMG SRC="http://www.keenspot.com/KeenBoard/smile.gif"> There's a bunch of artists hosted there who just do game music or whatever, so I'm sure they'd host these songs, too... oh, I added WinAMP tags to the copies I got, too--otherwise, there's no embedded credits or anything on them (I think MP3.com does that automatically, tho).
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Postby notRKB on Fri Nov 09, 2001 3:11 am

I love it, and (given a matter of weeks) I can play it.<P>I must respond to those who have remarked on the similarity of certain sections to certain established composers. I was brought up in a household where, no matter what other music was played in other rooms, the local Classical music station was always on the kitchen radio. <P>I've been exposed to a lot of modern and more Baroque forms, and one composer always seemed to be able to synthesize the many centuries of music before him into his own blend that, well, sounded BETTER. His name was Antonin Dvorak, and he's my personal favorite human composer (Bach was not a man).
Les Souvenirs d'Avalon is as close an imitation of that great man's style as I've heard in so-called "contemporary Classical." The very fact that the composer is a CS student who writes and plays as a hobby more than explains away any handicaps in the art.
In regards to the style of the Overature, I agree with Damonk's interpretation, but I wonder if this is not perhaps the correct way to play it. As the suite is stated to be a rememberance, I would expect this sort of dreamyness, akin to that of perhaps parts of Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker Ballet, wherein the little girl (Clara?) is either about to begin the dream sequence of the body of the ballet or is about to wake up.
This manner of playing also conjured up a sense of the Winters in Canada, and perhaps a sort of idle/idylic feeling to the life that is being remembered.
I've got to congratulate the author for coming up with just the right tempo and style to complement and recall each character in their respective movement. The
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