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Racket In My Head
by George L Smyth
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12 Hours was written in response to Disquiet Junto Project 0357: Clock Work .    Step 1: Think about your previous 12 hours as of the moment you begin this project.   Step 2: Note one single thing that best summarizes each of those 12 hours. That is: one thing for each of those 12 hours. Each “thing” should be one strong association with that hour, such as what you did, what you felt, what you thought, where you were, and so forth. This step’s process will result in a list of 12 things...
Topics: Flute, Clarinet, Horn, Trombone, Vibraphone, disquiet0357, Racket In My Head
Racket In My Head
by George L Smyth
audio

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327 was written in response to Disquiet Junto Project 0327: Time Zoned .    Compose a piece of music with three separate and distinct through-lines. Think of each of the three lines as an individual voice. The important thing is that the three through-lines occur in your composition simultaneously. One voice should be in 3/4 time. One should be in 2/4 time. And one should be in 7/4 time.   I recently released Fragment Of A Dream, where I looped the lines in the instruments in such a way that...
Topics: Flute, Clarinet, Violin, Wood Blocks, Cello, String Bass, disquiet0327, Racket In My Head
Racket In My Head
by George L Smyth
audio

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A Book Of Disquiet was written in response to Marco Lucchi's piano patterns no 1    Let us absurdify life from east to west.     - Fernando Pessoa from The Book Of Disquiet Marco Lucchi offered a set of piano patterns and allowed anyone to remix the piece.  I saw these patterns as being organized into seven sections and decided to address each one individually, so these have been used, abused, stretched, repeated, and otherwise altered.  I extracted meaning from each and offer...
Topics: Flute, Oboe, Clarinet, Bassoon, Horn, Trumpet, Trombone, Gong, Temple Blocks, Cymbals, Violin,...
Racket In My Head
by George L Smyth
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This piece was written in response to Naviarhaiku288 – A clear waterfall   a clear waterfall   into the ripples   fall green pine needles Among the four great masters of Japanese haiku, Issa was the most prolific: during his lifetime he wrote over 20,000 haiku, hundreds of tanka, and several haibun. I remember watching the Steve Allen show when I was a kid.  Someone would suggest a few notes to him and he would improvise a piece based on those notes.  So I decided to do the same. ...
Topics: Flute, Clarinet, Horn, Trombone, Violin, Viola, Cello, String Bass, naviarhaiku288, Racket In My...
Racket In My Head
by George L Smyth
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A Dream Itself Is But A Shadow was written in response to Disquiet Junto Project 0379: Open Studios     Step 1: The purpose of this week’s project is to provide participants opportunities to get feedback on works-in-progress. Consider work you’re doing you’d appreciate responses to from fellow Junto participants.     Step 2: Either upload an existing recording (sketches and mid-process takes may prove optimal), or record something new and post it online for feedback. If there are some...
Topics: Flute, Clarinet, Bassoon, Horn, Trombone, Vibraphone, Violin, Viola, Cello, disquiet0379, Racket In...
Racket In My Head
by George L Smyth
audio

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This piece was written in response to Naviarhaiku341 – A fragrant breeze   A fragrant breeze   Is blowing from China   Over these seven strings This haiku is by Tagami Kikusha (1753-1826), a Japanese multi-disciplinary artist and Buddhist nun, mostly known  as a poet, painter, calligrapher and tea practitioner.  The haiku was written when she visited the temple Hooryuuji in Nara, in 1812, and was allowed to play an ancient Chinese guqin. A Fragrant Breeze was written for seven groups of...
Topics: Violin, Viola, Cello, Naviarhaiku341, Racket In My Head
Racket In My Head
by George L Smyth
audio

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A Gift was written in response to Disquiet Junto Project 0402: Music for Tasks   Step 1: Think of someone you’d like to give a gift of music.   Step 2: Record a piece of music for the person you thought of in Step 1. You don’t need to identify the person when posting the music. A Gift is written for my parents.  In 1971 the writing of my music progressed (or some might say "regressed") from writing songs on the guitar to writing serial music.  I remember sitting at the piano...
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Topics: Flute, Alto Flute, disquiet0411, Racket In My Head
Racket In My Head
by George L Smyth
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A Sewing-Machine And An Umbrella was written in response to Disquiet Junto Project 0362: Operational Surrealism .      Just one step this week: Make something as “beautiful as the chance meeting on a dissecting-table of a sewing-machine and an umbrella.” The idea here was to work with two dissimilar items, in this case a twelve-tone row and a tonal center.  The more I worked on this the more I was able to find, and with hours to go before the deadline for completing the piece, I am...
Topics: Flute, Clarinet, Trombone, Violin, Viola, Cello, disquiet0362, Racket In My Head
Racket In My Head
by George L Smyth
audio

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This piece was written in response to Naviarhaiku258 – high-resolution snowflake .   high-resolution snowflake   a cobweb   covered in frost This is a haiku by Iliyana Stoyanova, a freelance translator and one of the co-authors of a collection of haiku poems, Matchbox Boats, published in 2014. A Snowflake, A Cobweb was written for Flute, Alto Flute, Clarinet, Bass Clarinet, and Vibraphone.
Topics: Flute, Alto Flute, Clarinet, Bass Clarinet, Vibraphone, naviarhaiku258, Racket In My Head
Racket In My Head
by George L Smyth
audio

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This haiku is by Mats Unden, a Swedish visual artist, sound artist, musician, and experimental composer, based in Darwin, Australia. Being a visual artist and a printmaker as well, some works end up in performances, videos and installations.
Topics: Racket In My Head, Electronics
Racket In My Head
by George L Smyth
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This piece was written in response to Naviarhaiku333 – A wild sea-   A wild sea-   In the distance over Sado   The Milky Way. This haiku is by Matsuo Bashō.  During the journey that would result in his masterpiece, The Narrow Road to the Deep North, Basho stopped at Izumo Point on the Japan Sea and gazed out to Sado Island which, at that time, was infamous as a place of exile. A Wild Sea was written for Alto Flute, Bass Clarinet, trombone, Bass Trombone, Gong, Cymbals, Violin, Viola,...
Topics: Alto Flute, Bass Clarinet, trombone, Bass Trombone, Gong, Cymbals, Violin, Viola, Cello, String...
Racket In My Head
by George L Smyth
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adorned with raindrops from the shower, a sparkling princess Azealia - Den Sutejo A contemporary of Basho, Den Sutejo was the eldest daughter of a distinguished samurai family living in the mountainous area northwest of Kyoto. After her husband’s death, she became a nun and spent the final years of her life as a Zen devotee. Adorned With Raindrops was written for Clarinet, Alto Saxophone, Bassoon, Vibraphone, Violin, Viola, Cello, and String Bass.
Topics: Clarinet, Alto Saxophone, Bassoon, Vibraphone, Violin, Viola, Cello, String Bass, Racket In My Head
Racket In My Head
by George L Smyth
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All Creatures Have A Name was written in response to Disquiet Junto Project 0451: Ursula’s Silences      Step 1: In the classic fantasy novel A Wizard of Earthsea, its author, Ursula K. Le Guin, writes the following: “For a word to be spoken, there must be silence. Before, and after.” While the words are her own, of course, they are spoken not by the narrator, but by the book’s main character. The statement occurs toward the end of the book. For emphasis, Le Guin informs the reader...
Topics: Violin, Viola, Cello, disquiet0451, Racket In My Head
Racket In My Head
by George L Smyth
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This piece was written in response to Naviarhaiku300 – four, five, nine years   four, five, nine years   always the first to bloom…   cherry tree The haiku was by Kobayashi Issa: his poems were often lively and humorous, despite his life was marked by sorrow.
Topics: Oboe, Clarinet, Vibraphone, Violin, Viola, Cello and String Bass, naviarhaiku300, Racket In My Head
Racket In My Head
by George L Smyth
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This piece was written for Disquiet Junto Project 0254: Fog and Steam – Step 1: Download these two samples: Fog Horn: freesound.org/people/schaarsen/sounds/69663/ Train Whistle: freesound.org/people/ecodios/sounds/119963/ Step 2: Create an original piece of music utilizing just those samples from Step 1. When taking my seventeen month old granddaughter to the library we go under train tracks on the way. Sometimes we can hear a train coming from a distance so I pick up my pace so that we can...
Topics: Harp, Racket In My Head, String Bass, Trombome, Tuba, disquiet0254
Racket In My Head
by George L Smyth
audio

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The beautiful season of autumn should be a favorite time of the year for everyone.  The leaves change color from their ubiquitous green to a panoply of exceptional variations that can be appreciated by anyone with eyesight. But in the back of my mind is foreboding, the knowledge that it will be many months before I will be able to leave the house without protection from the cold, the possibility that the snows will force the constriction of movement within the confines of my house, and the...
Topics: Celesta, Racket In My Head, Crotales, Vibraphone, Violin, Wood Blocks, disquiet0258
Racket In My Head
by George L Smyth
audio

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This piece was written in response to Naviarhaiku 213 – Autumn Storm   Autumn storm -   faces drawing close   in candle-light. This is a haiku by the 20th century poet Sekito. Instead of writing storm music, I had more in mind the feeling of sitting inside with someone I love, watching the storm while protected. It is written for Soprano, Alto and Bass Flute, Soprano, Alto  and Bass Clarinet, and Cello.
Topics: Soprano Flute, Alto Flute, Bass Flute, Soprano Clarinet, Alto Clarinet, Bass Clarinet, Cello,...
Racket In My Head
by George L Smyth
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This piece was written in response to Naviarhaiku303 – Whenever I speak   Whenever I speak   My lips are   chilled— Autumn wind. The haiku is by Basho. This poem has become a well-known Japanese proverb, meaning "It is better to leave many things unsaid". Autumn Wind was written for Violin, Viola, Cello and String Bass Autumn Wind - Score on YouTube - https://youtu.be/QcbvMZSnRfA
Topics: Violin, Viola, Cello, String Bass, naviarhaiku302, Racket In My Head
Racket In My Head
by George L Smyth
audio

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This piece was written in response to Naviarhaiku297 – awakened from sleep     awakened from sleep     surprised by the darkness–     late autumn The haiku was by Mizuhara Shuoshi, a 20th century Japanese poet. Shuoshi rebelled against the principles of emotional detachment in haiku, which he thought limited his ability to emotionally express himself through poetry: he started a magazine called Staggerbush which focused on a more romantic, lyrical type of haiku. I seldom sleep...
Topics: Vibraphone, Cymbals, Violin, Viola, naviarhaiku297, Racket In My Head
Racket In My Head
by George L Smyth
audio

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This piece was written for  Disquiet Junto Project 0250: Soothing Sounds  – Make some peaceful music for an infant child. One of the coolest things about being retired is that I get a chance to sit with my 16 month old granddaughter a couple of days a week. When I put her down for a nap I sing _Misty_ to her (during the first verse she holds up her hand, I think because she recognizes the words “I get misty, just holding your hand.” Watching her on the monitor when she wakes up I see...
Topics: Chorus, Racket In My Head
Racket In My Head
by George L Smyth
audio

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This piece was written for the Disquiet Junto Project 0286 . The idea here was to translate, transliterate, and interpret a piece of music, so I selected Awakes , a piece I wrote last year that described my granddaughter when she wakes up. The piece is in four sections.  The first part is the initial sequence of what I originally wrote.   The second part has been translated.  In this regard I thought of myself as a child, with more energy than one has a right to own, which offered its own...
Topics: disquiet0286, piano, Racket In My Head
Racket In My Head
by George L Smyth
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This piece was written for Disquiet Junto Project 0294: Offline Status Bassel Khartabil was an open-source coder who did a lot of work in CGI before being imprisoned in Syria. Word of his execution just recently became public. Record a piece of music that either begins with or ends with the full audio of Bassel’s voice. In listening to the clip the first thing I heard was something ticking in the background, which sounded ominous to me.  I decided to use that element in the form of a single...
Topics: Clarinet, Flute, Oboe, Xylophone, disquiet0294, Racket In My Head
Racket In My Head
by George L Smyth
audio

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This piece was written for the Disquiet Junto Project 0295: Disregard Echoes . I know little about the history of Australia, but Americans know how we treated the indigenous people when the Europeans arrived.  This is a stain on our history that cannot be erased, and should not be erased. Bathurst Stain is about the treatment of the Wiradjuri in just one instance, where locals poisoned a waterhole to rid themselves of these people. This piece is scored for Oboe, Clarinet, Bassoon, Timpani,...
Topics: Oboe, Clarinet, Bassoon, Timpani, Side Drum, Violin, Viola, Cello, String Bass, disquiet0295,...
Racket In My Head
by George L Smyth
audio

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This piece was written in response to Naviarhaiku278 – coolness   coolness—   a mountain stream splashes out   between houses This is a haiku by Masaoka Shiki, who dedicated most of his life to haiku and is usually credited with reviving this Japanese poetic form. He advocated realistic observation by “sketching” (shasei) poems and going out into nature with notebooks, thus abandoning the traditional subjects of haiku of the time. His advice for an aspiring poet was, "Use both...
Topics: Flute, Alto Flute, Clarinet, Bass Clarinet, Wood Blocks, Gong, Vibraphone, Cymbals, Violin, Viola,...
Racket In My Head
by George L Smyth
audio

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This piece was written in response to Naviarhaiku310 – Beyond the Smoke Is Light   Life here was marvelous   But we are slaughtering the world   Watch the forests burn From Marco Sebastiano Alessi: "Ella, the youngest daughter of SityPhoxx has been studying poetry in her English class at High School. For an assignment she had to write 5 poems in different forms. One of them was a Haiku. She knew of the Haiku musical challenge as she often comes up with titles for the music that...
Topics: Flute, Clarinet, Horn, Trombone, Bass Drum, Cymbals, Gong, Vibraphone, Chorus, Violin, Viola,...
Racket In My Head
by George L Smyth
audio

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This piece was written in response to Naviarhaiku309 – bitter winter wind .   bitter winter wind   ends there —   sound of the sea The haiku is by Ikenishi Gonsui (1650–1722), a haiku poet from Nara who settled permanently in Kyoto in 1684. A collection of his works, entitled Ikenishi Gonsui no kenkyū, was published in 2003. Bitter Winter Wind was written for Altos, Tenors, Basses, Organ, Viola, Cello and String Bass.
Topics: Alto, Tenor, Bass, Organ, Viola, Cello, String Bass, Viola, Cello, String Bass, Naviarhaiku309,...
Racket In My Head
by George L Smyth
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Blue Rhythm was written in response to Disquiet Junto Project 0358: Rhythm + Blue(s) .    Step 1: Consider the term “rhythm and blues.” Not the genre, just the term.   Step 2: Imagine what you might think “rhythm and blues” meant in terms of music had you never previously heard “rhythm and blues” music.   Step 3: Record a short piece of music that expresses the idea of “rhythm and blues” that occurred to you in Step 2 above. Rhythm is a strong, regular, repeated pattern and...
Topics: Flute, Oboe, Clarinet, Vibraphone, Violin, Viola, Cello, String Bass, Racket In My Head,...
Racket In My Head
by George L Smyth
audio

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This piece was written in response to Naviarhaiku281 – The summer grasses   The summer grasses   All that remains   Of brave soldiers dreams This is a haiku by Matsuo Basho, who moved to Edo (now Tokyo) and joined the local active poetry community. he started writing under the name Basho after he received a basho tree from one of his students. He wrote in a particular form called Haibun, a fusion of haiku and prose: his most famous haibun collection is The Narrow Road to the Interior.
Topics: Flute, Clarinet, Horn, Trombone, Violin, Viola, Cello, Sting Bass, naviarhaiku281, Racket In My Head
Racket In My Head
by George L Smyth
audio

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This piece was written in response to Naviarhaiku317 – not heard my breath .   not heard my breath   in years.   breathe This haiku is by Jamie Lickfold aka sevenism.  His album Saline Celestial was Naviar’s first solo publication.  "I’m a self taught musician and sound mangler blurring the boundaries between analog and digital, acoustic and electronic, generative and human. I work in the present moment letting the music flow wherever it wants. My aim is to make music that is...
Topics: Flute, Clarinet, Horn, Violin, Viola, Cello, Naviarhaiku317, Racket In My Head
Racket In My Head
by George L Smyth
audio

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This piece was inspired by the At Water's Edge challenge, 52 Stories Up.   Create a track that uses elements of your favorite story AND your favorite card game. This was a tough one.  My favorite story is The Giving Tree, but I get so emotionally involved that, like Goretsky Symphony #3, I can only deal with it once every five years or so.  Also, I do not really have a favorite card game - I do not like the element of chance in each game, as I am more of a person who enjoys playing chess. If...
Topics: Flute, Clarinet, Horn, Trombone, Vibraphone, Violin, Viola, Cello, Racket In My Head
Racket In My Head
by George L Smyth
audio

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This piece was written for Disquiet 0268 . On most days I take a walk through the woods near my house, which normally takes about forty-five minutes.  I listen to music as I walk but decided to remove the headphones while slowly walking over the bridge. As I listened to the quiet, which was intermittently broken by birds in the distance, branches and leaves blowing as the wind picked up and died down, and the water flowing below, the ear of my mind added memories of a time to come when the...
Topics: bridge walk disquiet0268, Racket In My Head
Racket In My Head
by George L Smyth
audio

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This piece was written in response to Naviarhaiku334 – Bright the full moon shines   Bright the full moon shines:   on the matting of the floor,   shadows of the pines. This haiku is by Takarai Kikaku, one of the most accomplished disciples of Matsuo Bashō.  He was famous also for writing a manuscript describing his master’s final days, and the immediate aftermath of his death. This haiku suggested to me a choral piece.  Of course, I need a chorus, but that's life. Bright The Full...
Topics: Chorus, Violin, Viola, Cello, String Bass, Naviarhaiku334, Racket In My Head
Racket In My Head
by George L Smyth
audio

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Broken was written in response to Disquiet Junto Project 0380: Ears Only     Just one step this week:     Step 1: Record a piece of music for someone in particular. (You don’t need to identify who the person is. You alone need to know the person for whom you are composing.) I meet on a monthly basis with a small group of photographers to share the work we have done recently.  I have found that surrounding myself with smarter and more talented people is the best way to develop my skills...
Topics: Clarinet, Horn, Violin, Viola, Cello, disquiet0380, Racket In My Head
Racket In My Head
by George L Smyth
audio

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This piece was written for Disquiet Junto Project 0253: Doorbell Rehab – Record some welcome music. Our doorbell is not working. However, when someone does press it I am sure that it wants to ring. I imagine what it would like to do and how its attempt sounds to the doorbell itself, as well as how it would like to sound to the potential visitor.
Topics: Glockenspiel, Racket In My Head, Tubular Bells, Vibraphone, Xylophone, disquiet0253
Racket In My Head
by George L Smyth
audio

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Broken Is The Golden Bowl was written in response to Disquiet Junto Project  0442: One Sentence      Step 1: Choose a favorite single sentence. The sentence should be from prose or poetry, but not a song lyric.   Step 2: Say the sentence out loud, slowly, several times in a row. Consider its shape, its tone, its cadence, and its content, and how these connect with each other.   Step 3: In some way that you can understand, map the exploration of the sentence from Step 2.   Step 4: Compose...
Topics: Clarinet, Trombone, Violin, Viola, Cello, String Bass, disquiet0442, RacketInMyHead
Racket In My Head
by George L Smyth
audio

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This piece was written in response to Naviarhaiku314 – Buoyantly We Go   Buoyantly we go   Like the wind,   Tasting water. This haiku is by Taneda Santoka, a Japanese poet and mendicant Zen priest who specialised in free verse haiku. Santoka was a disciple of Ogiwara Seisensui (1884-1976), the founder of the free-style haiku which discarded the traditional use of the 5-7-5 structure. Buoyantly We Go was written for Flute, Clarinet, Horn, Trombone, Violin, Viola, Cello and String Bass.
Topics: Flute, Clarinet, Horn, Trombone, Violin, Viola, Cello, String Bass, Naviarhaiku314, Racket In My...
Racket In My Head
by George L Smyth
audio

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Coding Factory was written in response to Disquiet Junto Project 0324: Factory Floor . Consider what sort of music is appropriate for collaborative workplaces, such as newsrooms, design studios, software development teams, and so forth. Think about music that (1) isn’t distracting and (2) suggests momentum. A while back I wrote a 45 minute piece for myself to listen to while on the elliptical.  The idea was to provide a specific rhythm throughout my workout on which to base my actions.  As...
Topics: Flute, Oboe, Clarinet, Bassoon, Violin, Viola, Cello, String Bass, disquiet0324, Racket In My Head
Racket In My Head
by George L Smyth
audio

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This piece was written in response to Naviarhaiku353 – Coffee Break   coffee break   a crumb   for the sparrow This haiku is by Bill Kenney, who writing haiku in December 2004, a month before his seventy-second birthday. His haiku and senryu have appeared in leading haiku journals and anthologies. He is the author of two books of haiku/senryu: “the earth pushes back” (2016) and “senior admission” (2018), both published by Red Moon Press. Coffee Break was written for Flute,...
Topics: Flute, Clarinet, Horn, Trombone, Violin, Viola, Cello and String Bass, Naviarhaiku353, Racket In My...
Racket In My Head
by George L Smyth
audio

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Come To Me was inspired by the poem by yaskhan of the same name - yassy66.wordpress.com/2020/08/22/come-to-me/ It is dedicated to my dear wife, Kathy, who is one of the few capable of putting up with me over a long period of time. Come To Me Come to me in the wild blue yonder Come to me in the azure twilight Come to me when the stars are bright Come to me with passions thunder. Come to me on wings of cupid's dove Come to me under a teal canopy Come to me in a symphonic fantasy Come to me with...
Topics: Flute, Clarinet, Horn, Trombone, Violin, Viola, Cello String Bass, Racket In My Head, yaskhan, yassy
Racket In My Head
by George L Smyth
audio

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This piece was written for Disquiet Junto Project 0252: Sonic Palindrome – Make music that sounds the same backwards and forwards. My fear of creating a musical palindrome was that it would be too predictable so I broke a number of things up, like the initial chords are mostly played in retrograde but are separated with a measure of staccato notes. This short piece is a palindrome itself, with the eight quarter notes in the middle separating the two halves. The music and score are Creative...
Topics: Piano, Racket In My Head
Racket In My Head
by George L Smyth
audio

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Concrete Wallpaper was written in response to Disquiet Junto Project 0371: Concrete Ambience   The Assignment: What could concrete wallpaper music sound like?   Step 1: Consider the concept of wallpaper music.   Step 2: Consider wallpaper designed to look like concrete.   Step 3: Consider what concrete wallpaper music might sound like.   Step 4: Record concrete wallpaper music. I imagine looking at a wall from a distance and deciding to meditate on it, its strength, its impermeability.  I...
Topics: Trombone, Bass Trombone, Tuba, disquiet0371, Racket In My Head
Racket In My Head
by George L Smyth
audio

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Connection String was written in response to Disquiet Junto Project 0412: One Chord Wonder   Step 1: Choose a chord, any chord.   Step 2: Make a list of the notes that the chord is comprised of.   Step 3: Record a piece of music in which each of the notes in the chord are played by different instruments (more broadly: different sound sources).   Step 4: As the piece proceeds, change each of the instruments/sources, while never altering the notes that make up the chord.. Connection String...
Topics: Flute, Clarinet, Horn, Trombone, Vibraphone, Violin, Viola, Cello, String Bass, disquiet0412,...
Racket In My Head
by George L Smyth
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This was written in response to  naviarhaiku 192   The lamp once out   Cool stars enter   The window frame.     The piece is written for two Flutes, two Oboes, two Clarinets and Triangle.
Topics: haiku, Natsume Sōseki, Flute, Oboe, Clarinet, Triangle, naviarhaiku192, Racket In My Head
Racket In My Head
by George L Smyth
audio

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Copernican Transience was written in response to Disquiet Junto Project 0373: Copernican Music .   Step 1: Compose a work of music for sentient beings elsewhere in the universe. Aside from sentience, assume nothing about your audience culturally or cognitively. Make a connection by modulating frequency and amplitude over time.   Step 2: Share your work with the cosmos. Very recently I wrote a piece that came quite close to fitting the intentions of this project.  Of course, I did not want to...
Topics: Violin, Viola, Cello, String Bass, disquiet0373, Racket In My Head
Racket In My Head
by George L Smyth
audio

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This piece was written in response to Naviarhaiku265 – dark moon .   beyond Pluto        the pull of a planet   dark moon This is a haiku by Lorin Ford.  Lorin has written haiku since 2004. Selections of her haiku are anthologized in, eg. Haiku in English, Where the River Goes , Haiku21 and Nest Feathers. Her a wattle seedpod (PostPressed 2008) won a first place in the HSA Merit Book Awards, the first Australian book to do so. Her e-chapbook, A Few Quick Brushstrokes,was a 2011...
Topics: Trombone, Bass Trombone, Bass Drum, Violin, Viola, Cello, String Bass, naviarhaiku265, Racket In My...
Racket In My Head
by George L Smyth
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This piece was written in response to Naviarhaiku257 – daybreak .   daybreak;   from the middle of the rain   a skylark song This is a haiku by Onitsura (1661–1738), who together with Basho, helped redefine the haikai no renga (linked verse) and elevated it into a literary genre in its own right. Around this time, the opening stanza of this collaborative linked poem (hokku) started appearing as an independent poem, which Masaoka Shiki will rename haiku in the 19th century. Daybreak was...
Topics: Flute, Piccolo, Clarinet, Horn, Trombone, Vibraphone, Violin, Viola, Cello, String Bass,...
Racket In My Head
by George L Smyth
audio

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This is one of those ideas that came in fits and starts, where each attempt resulted in things quickly turning to mush.  I finally realized that it needed to be a single line to allow one to follow what was going on.  This piece is a bit longer than my other works but that length is necessary to allow things to play out. The initial palindrome progressively has notes added to the row until it is filled, then notes are continuously removed by lengthening others, eventually returning to the...
Topics: Piano, disquiet0281, Racket In My Head
Racket In My Head
by George L Smyth, Vonna Wolf and Eithan Hein
audio

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Engage Trio was written in response to Disquiet Junto Project 0369. This is a collaboration with the piece  TuTu Looking Bass Wolf Code MtnView by Vonna Wolf, which had been created using MtnViewMark-Bits's Trioh - Bass and Trombocoder by Eithan Hein.  This had a very tribal feel, so I decided to work with that in the respect of featuring a clarinet part that could act as a dance.  I used the same instrumentation that had been used in the previous two tasks. Engage Trio was written for...
Topics: Flute, Oboe, Clarinet, Bassoon, Violin, Viola, Cello, disquiet0369, Racket In My Head
Racket In My Head
by George L Smyth
audio

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English Vignettes was written in response to Disquiet Junto Project 0372: Honeymoon Phase   Step 1: Locate the latest instrument, piece of music/sound software, or related technology that has come into your possession. (If there’s something inexpensive, like an app, you’ve been meaning to try out, this project might provide an impetus to do so.)   Step 2: Employ only the single thing identified in Step 1 to compose and record a short track. When I started photographing seriously, like...
Topics: Wagner Tuba, Baritone Horn, Cimbasso, disquiet0372, Racket In My Head
Racket In My Head
by George L Smyth
audio

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This piece was written in response to Naviarhaiku 236 – An evening cloudburst .   An evening cloudburst   sparrows cling desperately   to trembling bushes  This is a haiku by Yosa Buson, Japanese painter and one of the greatest poets of the Edo Period. Evening Cloudburst was written for Trombone, Bass Trombone, Timpani, Bass Drum, Cymbals, Gong, Tom-toms, Vibraphone, Violins, Viola, Cello, String Bass.
Topics: Trombone, Bass Trombone, Timpani, Bass Drum, Cymbals, Gong, Tom-toms, Vibraphone, Violins, Viola,...
Racket In My Head
by George L Smyth
audio

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This piece was written in response to Naviarhaiku296 – evening haze     evening haze:     when memories come, how distant     are the by gone days The haiku was by Takai Kito, a disciple of Yosa Buson. Despite becoming a professional haikai master in 1771, Kito remained one of Buson’s most trusted disciples until the death of the great master, and was the de facto coordinator of Buson’s haikai group. Imagine taking that last sip of coffee on Mount Mitchell as the sun slowly hides...
Topics: Flute, Oboe, Clarinet, Bassoon, Horn, Trombone, Cymbals, Gong, Crotales, Vibraphone, Violin, Viola,...
Racket In My Head
by George L Smyth
audio

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Everything & More was written in response to Disquiet Junto Project 0387: Everything and More   There is only one step to this project:   Step 1: Make a single piece of music using every single instrument that you have at your disposal. I write my scores using Sibelius software and play that score through Noteperformer.  This means that in addition to just about every instrument you have heard of, I have at my disposal instruments such as the Taiko, Cimbasso, and Bandoneon.   So I...
Topics: Clarinet, Baritone Horn, Piano, Acoustic Guitar, Electric Bass, String Bass, Voice, disquiet0387,...
Racket In My Head
by George L Smyth
audio

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Fighting The Default Mode was written in response to Disquiet Junto Project 0321: Let’s Active .  Mind-wandering is an internally-oriented cognitive state somehow opposite to focused attention on a task or on a specific sensory input. Sad music, compared with happy music, is associated with stronger mind-wandering and greater activity of the nodes of the Default Mode Network. Thus, when listening to sad music, people withdraw their attention inwards and engage in spontaneous cognitive...
Topics: Piccolo, Baritone Saxophone, Tambourine, Glockenspiel, Xylophone, Celesta, disquiet0321, Racket In...
Racket In My Head
by George L Smyth
audio

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This piece was written in response to Naviarhaiku 229 – finally a clear sky .   finally a clear sky   yet no moon...   summer mountain This is a haiku by one of the greatest haiku poets, Kobayashi Issa, who was extremely prolific.  He is better known as simply Issa, a pen name meaning Cup-of-tea. After five days of rain, two of sun, then back to rain, this haiku worked itself nicely into my office, as I wished for a hastening of the sun's inevitable return. Finally, A Clear Sky is...
Topics: Flute, Clarinet, Trombone, Bass Trombone, Violin, Viola, Cello and String Bass, naviarhaiku229,...
Racket In My Head
by George L Smyth and Lia Brazelton
audio

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Not long after my granddaughter turned two years old I put her on my lap and had her play the piano.  I had done this numerous times in the past, but this time I decided to record what she played.  As it turned out, this time she went on for about five minutes. Almost a year later I decided to do something with this recording, so I transcribed it.  I decided to assign what she had played to a clarinet and trombone, taking a few minor liberties to allow it to actually be playable.  I then...
Topics: Clarinet, Trombone, Viola, Cello, String Bass, Lia, Racket In My Head
Racket In My Head
by George L Smyth
audio

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For Baby Peggy was written in response to Disquiet Junto Project 0421: Marquee Ghosts   The Assignment: What sounds haunt a discarded movie theater in the middle of the night? I made the decision to slightly alter the assignment for this week.  As an avid lover of silent films I have spent the past decade traveling to upstate New York on a yearly basis to attend a film festival of silent movies and obscure films from the 1930s.  The assignment of discarded movie theaters in the middle of the...
Topics: Vibraphone, Violin, Viola, disquiet0421, Racket In My Head
Racket In My Head
by George L Smyth
audio

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This piece was written in response to Disquiet Junto Project 0320: Table of Contents . Choose a favorite book. Consider the tone, the temperament, and the content of each chapter in the book. Compose a piece of music with as many segments to it as there are chapters to the book. Compose each individual segment with the idea that it is loopable as background music while someone is reading the given chapter. Consider making connections between chapters through melodic themes or instrument choice...
Topics: Flute, Alto Flute, Clarinet, Bass Clarinet, Gong, Marimba, disquiet0320, Racket In My Head
Racket In My Head
by George L Smyth
audio

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This piece was written in response to Naviarhaiku 222 – Ghostly melody .    Ghostly melody   follows me into my day   fragment of a dream This is a haiku by Jason Richardson , musician and poet.  The idea was to establish a simple melody, build an accompaniment, and then loop the various part of the accompaniment out of sync so that the measures never repeat as they originally had, like a dream that fades away like water through the fingers. Fragment Of A Dream is written for three...
Topics: Flute, Clarinet, Vibraphone, Violin, Viola, Cello, naviarhaiku222, Racket In My Head
Racket In My Head
by George L Smyth
audio

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This piece was written in response to Disquiet Junto Project 0302: Gronkytonk . I imagine Gronkytonk as the music one hears down the street coming from an - at best - sketchy bar.  Going inside the music reminds one of the poem Jaberwocky - it's understandable but occasionally falls into the realm of confusion. Frank's Gronkytonk was written for Bassoon, Clarinet, Horn, Oboe, String Bass, Cymbals, Drum Set, Timpani and Wood Blocks.
Topics: Bassoon, Clarinet, Horn, Oboe, String Bass, Cymbals, Drum Set, Timpani, Wood Blocks, disquiet0302,...
Racket In My Head
by George L Smyth
audio

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This piece was written in response to Naviarhaiku 196 .   the waves charge and crash,   then they return, again and   again — and again My idea was not to replicate the ocean, but more to replicate the feeling of the ocean. When I have a chance to watch it do what it has been doing for millions of years, I think of how small I am. The piece was written for Clarinet, Cello, Flute and Violin.
Topics: Clarinet, Cello, Flute, Violin, naviarhaiku196, Racket In My Head
Racket In My Head
by George L Smyth
audio

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A stay in New York City cannot be completed for a photographer without a visit to the High Line.  I selected some of the "half" images I photographed from there and wrote music to accompany what I saw. The video for which the music was written can be found at www.youtube.com/watch?v=JxpURdhIYxM .
Topics: New York City, High Line
Racket In My Head
by George L Smyth
audio

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The request this week ( Prison Sky: Disquiet Junto Project 0271 ) is a piece to remember Bassel Khartabil , a Palestinian Syrian open-source software developer who has been in captivity since 2012 and whose whereabouts are currently unknown. The piece was originally going to be a dance but as I started writing it turned itself into a fugue (I am breaking a number of rules here but that is the best description I can offer). The piece is scored for Saxophone Quartet (soprano, alto, tenor and...
Topics: Soprano Saxophone, Alto Saxophone, Tenor Saxophone, Baritone Saxophone, Bass Clarinet, Racket In My...
Racket In My Head
by George L Smyth
audio

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Fulfillment was written in response to Disquiet Junto Project 0351: Selected Insomniac Works Volume II .    Step 1: Last week, about 60 members of the Disquiet Junto recorded ambient music for the middle of the night. The specific request was to "Make very quiet music for very late at night for very fragile psyches."” This week, we’ll each select a track from last week and proceed to dial it down even further.   Step 2: Listen through the tracks from last week’s project, and...
Topics: Violin, Viola, Cello, electronics, disquiet0351, Racket In My Head
Racket In My Head
by George L Smyth
audio

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For the piece Gobzt I collaborated with Stephen M. Weinstock.   He sent me a short movement of a twelve tone string quartet he had written a number of years ago.  I pulled the four themes out and reworked them, adding flute, clarinet, bass clarinet, vibraphone, string bass and drum set - basically I changed everything.  His themes, however, are completely the basis for the Largo sections.
Topics: Flute, Bass Clarinet, Clarinet, Vibraphone, String Bass, Drum Set, Racket In My Head
Racket In My Head
by George L Smyth
audio

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This piece was written in response to naviarhaiku 197 .   Gratitude!   tears melting into   mountain snow It was written for string orchestra, chorus and piano.
Topics: Violin, Viola, Cello, String Bass, Chorus, Piano, naviarhaiku197, Racket In My Head
Racket In My Head
by George L Smyth
audio

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The idea of  Disquiet Junto Project 0288: Interspecies Duet was to use samples of two different animals and have them make music together, with a bonus for adding myself.   I decided to use existing samples I have made over the years, one a recording of frogs in a pond near my house and the other crows deciding to be loud very early in the morning.   In this piece the two animals use their periodic calls to contest one another.  I am represented as a collection of percussion instruments,...
Topics: disquiet0288, Cymbals, Wood Blocks, Tubular Bells, Xylophone, Vibraphone, Harp, Racket In My Head
Racket In My Head
by George L Smyth
audio

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Ground Swell was written in response to Disquiet Junto Project 0356: Ground Swell .    Step 1: The goal is to create a piece of music that uses layers to create a sense of unease, eeriness, or disquiet.   Step 2: Think of a place that summons up the sensations described in Step 1.   Step 3: Derive sounds from the place that came to mind in Step 2. If you have access to the place, consider strategies to accomplish this (from field recordings, graphic notations, etc.). If you do not have...
Topics: Alto Flute, Bass Clarinet, Trombone, Bass Trombone, Violin, Viola, Cello, and String Bass,...
Racket In My Head
by George L Smyth
audio

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Hold Music was written in response to Disquiet Junto Project 0335: Alone Time .    Step 1: Hold music is a ubiquitous fact of modern life. Ask yourself what hold music you’d like to hear while waiting for someone to pick up the other end of the line, or while waiting for a conference call to begin.   Step 2: Record a short piece of hold music that satisfies the scenario you pondered in Step 1. Your finished track should be suitable for looping, since you never know how long you’re going...
Topics: Violin, disquiet0335, Racket In My Head
Racket In My Head
by George L Smyth
audio

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This piece was written in response to Naviarhaiku275 – Home is not a place   Home is not a place.   It could be anywhere when   you are truly loved. This is a haiku by Richard Ratcliffe, whose wife, Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, a British-Iranian citizen, was arrested three years ago “for allegedly plotting to topple the Iranian government.” She’s been held captive ever since. This year, supporters have been asked to write Haiku poems about what home means to them to hang from the tree...
Topics: Violin, Viola, Cello, String Bass, naviarhaiku275, Racket In My Head
Racket In My Head
by George L Smyth
audio

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Musical decorations include passing tones, neighboring tones, and other ornamental additions to the primary structure of the line.  The task here was to make a clear distinction between these decorations and the structurally significant portion of the lines at the beginning and end, but make these ambiguous between these endpoints.  In this piece I have buried the ornaments into the body so that they become as significant as the other notes. This piece is scored for piano.
Topics: piano, disquiet0282, Racket In My Head
Racket In My Head
by George L Smyth
audio

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This piece was written in response to Naviarhaiku 201 .   In the calm stillness   after the rainstorm:   flies.    This is a haiku by Taneda Santōka.  In reading about him I was struck by the following:   Westerners try to conquer the mountains.    People of the East contemplate the mountains.    For us, mountains are not an object of scientific study but a work of art.    Patiently I taste the mountains.      September 20, 1930 This and the haiku inspired me to write I Taste...
Topics: Clarinet, Contrabassoon, Flute, Violin, Cello, Wood Blocks, naviarhaiku201, Racket In My Head
Racket In My Head
by George L Smyth
audio

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This piece was written in response to Naviarhaiku250 – I was silent all day: .   I was silent all day:   Facing the sea,   The tide came up.  This is a haiku by Santoka, who spent 16 years of his life as a mendicant Zen priest, probably one of the last of his kind in Japan.   When I am silent, my mind fills with thoughts that both dance and clash with one another, like a mosh pit. I Was Silent All Day was written for Flute, Clarinet, Trombone, Vibraphone, Violin, Viola and Cello.
Topics: Flute, Clarinet, Trombone, Vibraphone, Violin, Viola, Cello, naviarhaiku250, Racket In My Head
Racket In My Head
by George L Smyth
audio

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This piece was written in response to Naviarhaiku318 – in the beach breeze   in the beach breeze   my travels forgotten…   evening cool This haiku is by Kobayashi Issa, who wrote over twenty thousand poems written in his lifetime In The Beach Breeze was written for Bass Drum, Cymbals, Temple Blocks, Crotales, Tubular Bells, Xylophone, Marimba, Vibraphone, Harp and Celesta.
Topics: Bass Drum, Cymbals, Temple Blocks, Crotales, Tubular Bells, Xylophone, Marimba, Vibraphone, Harp,...
Racket In My Head
by George L Smyth
audio

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This piece was written in response to Naviarhaiku 205 – shrapnel .   shrapnel   brings from the grove of trees   a circle of birds This is a haiku by Georges Sabiron, who lost his life in the trenches of northern France in May 1918. The designation of (condensed) has been added to the title because I will be expanding this idea into a much larger piece. It was written for Oboe, Bassoon, Horn, Trombone, Timpani, Vibraphone, Violin and Cello.
Topics: Oboe, Bassoon, Horn, Trombone, Timpani, Vibraphone, Violin, Cello, naviarhaiku205, Racket In My Head
Racket In My Head
by George L Smyth
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This piece was written in response to Naviarhaiku 209 – I am all ears   I am all ears   in wild rice fields   the song of warblers This is a haiku by Ryōkan Taigu. It was written for Flute, Alto Flute, two Clarinets, and two Bassoons.
Topics: Flute, Alto Flute, Clarinet, Bassoon, naviarhaiku209, Racket In My Head