Thirteen! (Music Video)

Small clip of score - music by Trent P McDonald, phot by Trent P McDonald

Several years ago, when I was deep into composing contemporary classical music, I belonged to a music forum.  One of the things we used to do on the forum is have challenges.  You can see this post for more detail, but basically the winner of the last challenge would come up with a motif and everyone else had to write a piece of music based on the theme.  I thought I had a real chance to win Challenge 12 (I might have if I would have only put in one entry) so I decided to create a theme for Challenge 13, just in case.  I wrote a short sample piece to go along with this little motif, not to play as I posted it (no influence to the competitors) but just to show that the abstract motif wasn’t that far out.  I didn’t win Challenge 12, so I never used that theme except for this short work.  I posted it and everyone loved it, but that was the end.  I had always meant to expand it, and the people on the forum expected me to, but I never got around to it and eventually stopped writing classical music.

I really liked the music, Thirteen!, and so I decided to make a little video of that snippet I created as an example.  It’s a little dark at the end, so I thought “Halloween”, but I didn’t have time to make Halloween graphics.  I used fall foliage scenery, including short videos of me running around in the woods behind my house and call it “autumn inspired” instead of “Halloween”  Enjoy!

(If you don’t see the video below, click here)

A Quick note.  The theme/motif I wrote as a challenge, which is heard towards the end, is 13 beats long and has 13 different notes (it’s a 12-tone row, but I had one of the notes skip an octave).  So 13 notes, all different, played in 13 beats.  Besides being an alternative for Challenge 13, it had 13 built into it, thus the name, Thirteen!

Another note.  I’m thinking seriously of expanding this and doing an electronic version.  You know, like the all old-school synth music I’ve recently posted (see Lost Star).  Let me know what you think of the idea!



8 thoughts on “Thirteen! (Music Video)

  1. Pingback: Challenge Thirteen | Trent's World (the Blog)

  2. Pingback: If We Were Having Coffee on the 5th of November, 2016 | Trent's World (the Blog)

    1. trentpmcd Post author

      Thanks! This is my favorite time of year, so I can turn anything into an autumn theme ;)

      Now I’m curious what the lied was. If you think of it, let me know. At the time I wrote this I was listening to a lot of late Romantic and early modern.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Charlotte Hoather

        Erlkönig, also called Erl-King or Elf-King, song setting by Franz Schubert. I only heard it once in a competition when I was about 15 and the man acted out the story and it really stuck with me, I just googled forest King because that’s all I remembered, I love Google 😀

        Liked by 1 person

        1. trentpmcd Post author

          Although i haven’t heard it live I do know Erlkönig very well. It is great how the one singer can make the different voices sound different (child, narrator, father and elf king).
          Yeah, I love Google :) We had an issue at work, and I answered an email chain with “As an expert with 10 minutes of Google experience, I think…” Everyone got what I meant ;)

          Liked by 1 person


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