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First Live Orchestra Premiere! - 'Into the Forest' for Strings and Piano

Joshua Iyer

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Published: March 11, 2015 at 8:43 PM [UTC]

Last evening was my very first premiere of my own composition: “Into the Forest”, by the WVHS Symphonic Strings! It was very cool, first off, to have all of my friends supporting me in the audience and some of the adults too very impressed with my work. My teacher gave a huge speech at the beginning about my composing and all that which was really cool. I also noticed just how much my orchestra has bonded throughout this whole school year, and how it will be sad to leave everyone next year. I’ve been with a few of the same people since beginning to learn the violin in 5th grade, and it’s cool to look back on all the fun times we’ve had before preparing to leap forward. In my piece, we had a grand piano tucked in the back which was awesome, and several soloists who really did a fantastic job on realizing how I wanted these solos to sound and pictured when I wrote them, and we stayed together as a group wonderfully. It’s just so cool to have come full circle on this piece, since I began writing it to now. I’ll put a link to the YouTube video below so you can enjoy a trip into the forest. :)

I began writing this piece in 2014 in February, as an entry to some contest. In 2015, when my teacher suggested we play it, I had two sessions of making changes, and it was cool because the orchestra provided me with feedback to help me continue writing the second draft. The piece takes the listener on an adventure through the forest; Mr. Burck describes it as “movie music”. One thing that was difficult is that I changed sections throughout, which creates a nice contrast of styles a little bit, yet not too much so – I had to still keep in the original style of the piece. It was cool getting a grand piano within the orchestra for the piece as well, and although I chose to play on violin, my friend who did play did a fantastic job. Originally, the piano melody was on harp, so lots of techniques were switched around to better suit the piano. And overall, the final product is as Mr. Burck says in the beginning of the video, and it's cool to look back at when I composed it, and thinking of the compositional techniques I used, like 9 and 11 chords, and some of the inspiration (look back at entries from the past two months when we began this piece for learning it).

Overall, I had a fantastic time, and got a load of congrats and compliments by a lot of people after, so it was a cool event. Hopefully you'll take a listen below! It was kind of bad, I had some last-minute fingerings at the end with my teacher... Overall, it sounded great, I think. Thanks for reading!

Listen to the piece!

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