Lesson Anna Lu 18-09-2020


1. How to make an orchestra sound best (see image ‘timbre/frequency’):

  • Good Composition:
    • Orchestration:
      • Creation of SPACES and SILENCES. Relation to FORM.
      • Combination, mixing of sound-colors.
      • Too literal orchestration of events.
      • Strange objects in percussion: distraction.
    • Harmonics:
      • Chord- stacking: wide / narrow / natural order of I I V III
      • Octave: relation composition and instrument.
      • Harmonic Rhythm: holding hands; predictability and surprise. Playabiliy.
  • Players: Right training (FC, RT), train them to listen (re-hear-sal).
  • Conductor: Right training, right mind-set.
  • Listeners: Concentration / Distraction. Everybody will hear something different. I will hear something different every time.

2. How to organize orchestration in a composition over TIME:

  • FORM dominates orchestration: repetitive orchestrations in an ‘orchestration rhythm’.
  • Energy-curve dominates orchestration: consciously building orchestration up to climax.
  • Let the instruments talk: no plan, intuitive approach.

3. Common orchestrations versus experiments:

  • Dream versus Practical: can I get the composition played? Will it be picked up?
  • Experimenting with ‘arrangements’: Every time a new composition emerges, it’s not simply writing different instruments. This is a useful exercise, but it only shows possibilities, not definite solutions.
  • Dream: Strings with windensembles (flutes, saxophones, tuba/euphonium, percussion)
Dream orchestration ‘I Paint Music’

Stage Set-up of Dream Orchestration:

  1. The percussion is divided into 3 pits: one (timpani) in the back and 2 (mallets) in the front
  2. The flute ensemble is standing at the left front.
  3. The brass ensemble is seated at the right front.
  4. The saxophones are standing/seated in the middle front.
  5. The strings are standing behind the wind-instruments.
  6. The singers are behind the audience, at a balcony.
  7. The video screen is behind the orchestra. The live sand-artist is the soloist of the evening. (Click-track signal with video available.)
  • Set up on stage: Explain the dream. Standing musicians?
  • The 30 players orchestra. Will it sound grand? Set up?
  • Does this huge sound happen without a PAD bass? When outside?

4. Busoni: Words:

  • How words distract from Music, how they are not Music. (The brain processes: 1. images, 2. words, 3. music. Meaning the images will dominate, are the ‘soloist’)
  • Use of words (AHAB versus DAVID): telling or singing. (Point at the horizon: off/online musical puppet theater)

5. Busoni: The THIRD option:

  • How to go beyond absolute versus programmatic. How to make develop beyond this point?

By Anneloes Wolters