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America


by

Tom Atwood

 Genre: Classical

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Description
This is actually an extension of a piece originally posted as "American Fanfare." Several people felt the fanfare was too short, and needed to be expanded. So, this is the next movement of what will eventually be something resembling a symphony, which will include the fanfare, this movement and additional sections to be added later. At first I decided to call the completed work "American Symphony," but drakonis reminded me that there was an American Symphony in a movie with Richard Dreyfuss. Suddenly the title seemed trite. So I have renamed it "America," and will add to it down the road. Let's see, there aren't any songs with that title, are there?

Thanks to Mystified and pgreenstone for their support and assistance.

** update 11/30/04 This piece was later renamed -again-"American Plain."

Photo: Kansas
near Shady Bend, Kansas
June 2003

songs from the american plain
now available
the lost records™
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Song Stats
Hits: 5811
Comments: 54
Fans: 14
Plays: 476
Downloads: 256
Votes: 34
Uploaded: Jul 27, 2005 - 08:28:29 AM
Last Updated: Nov 30, 2005 - 09:01:54 PM Last Played: Mar 21, 2017 - 08:46:56 PM
Song License
Creative Commons License:
Attribution-NoDerivs-NonCommercial

Creative Commons

Song Actions
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Hardware:
Casio Privia PX-300
G5
Software:
GB2
Jampack 4 Symphony Orchestra
Comments
Mcboy said 4444 days ago (July 27th, 2005)
superb......
i also have your guitar movements and they inspired me
(along with pat metheny) to try something along those
lines......this is simply beautiful, like white clouds and gentle
breezes, the dreams of children and the smile of a pretty
woman...........thanks for sharing.....!
Check out my latest song called Bluesphemy (MJRF 2010)
Tom Atwood said 4444 days ago (July 27th, 2005)
superb......
My guitar pieces inspired Pat Metheny??? Oh, wait a minute, now I get it. They
inspired you. That's even better, McBoy. I appreciate that, and I appreciate the
nice things you wrote about this. Thanks.
Check out my latest song called Vanishing Pezzicato
Jim Bouchard said 4444 days ago (July 27th, 2005)
It sounds American
In that sort of National Park way. There's this sort of majestic landscape to the heart of America that this reminds me of, that open horizon, the Big Sky and all. I wonder what the strip mall and superhighway movement will sound like!
Very good!
Check out my latest song called Big Yawn (Apogee One mic demo)
Tom Atwood said 4444 days ago (July 27th, 2005)
It sounds American
Thanks, Jim. If I were to name this movement, it would probably be named
"Kansas." I am glad you saw the big sky in this, and that Mcboy saw clouds
and felt breezes. I believe America is, for all its faults and flaws, a beautiful
country.

I am already thinking about the strip mall/asphalt/commercial movement.
That's the one where convenience store lights shine so brightly at night they
tear a hole in the starry sky.

Thanks again for listening, Jim.
Check out my latest song called Vanishing Pezzicato
seabs said 4443 days ago (July 27th, 2005)
nice
i must say you did really really good
Check out my latest song called forest orchestra
Tom Atwood said 4443 days ago (July 27th, 2005)
nice
Thanks, seabs. Glad you stopped by, and Welcome again to MacJams.
Check out my latest song called Vanishing Pezzicato
Cori Ander said 4443 days ago (July 27th, 2005)
A creative wonder
This is really beutiful and different music! And you are a
creative wonder Tom! One thing I cant understand is how
you you get anything else done ... I mean ... I remember you
wrote some place that you still work for TV ... hmmm ... are
they getting any movies done any more ... or are you
creating all these musical wonders on your coffe brakes :)
Check out my latest song called O store Gud
Tom Atwood said 4443 days ago (July 27th, 2005)
A creative wonder
These are all good questions that you raise, Curry, about coffee breaks and
movies and such. Let's just keep those matters between you and me. No need
to drag any corporate types from CWK Network into this. They might
misinterpret what you're trying to say, about how hard-working and
dedicated I am...

I appreciate your kind words, and your support. And your email.


Check out my latest song called Vanishing Pezzicato
said 4443 days ago (July 27th, 2005)
Shifting nature
Quite pretty song youve made here, I like the slow build up &
mix, I actually wish it was longer, very nice
Tom Atwood said 4443 days ago (July 27th, 2005)
Shifting nature
I guess I didn't want this piece to wear out its welcome. I thought about
making it longer, but since it will eventually be part of a bigger piece, I also
thought I needed to keep people from falling asleep.

I am glad you liked it, Mr Wounded. Thanks for listening.
Check out my latest song called Vanishing Pezzicato
Peter Greenstone said 4443 days ago (July 27th, 2005)
(%u2022)-]
Lovely. Slightly somber at times but mostly comfortingly
reflective. A beautiful and moving theme. The pacing is
perfect. I love how you make such grand music feel intimate,
personal.
Check out my latest song called Iridium Flare (2013 Re-Release)
Tom Atwood said 4443 days ago (July 27th, 2005)
(%u2022)-]
Thanks Peter. And thanks again for your help on this.
Check out my latest song called Vanishing Pezzicato
Macaudion said 4443 days ago (July 27th, 2005)
Made my day better
Thanks Atwood - this one really soothed my soul. A very
precious tune. Very well orchestrated. I love the way you
gently strole from phrase to phrase and from one end of
the dynamic spectrum to the other. I especially LOVE the
array of very warm and colorful textures on this one. I
always feel a little intimidated by your music writing
abilities, but at the same time, it gives me something to
strive for. (If I could ever get jp4 to work on my little
plastic music machine.

Congrads! on yet another beautiful work of art.

Cydniko
Check out my latest song called Picture country living
Tom Atwood said 4443 days ago (July 27th, 2005)
Made my day better
Well, Cydniko, that's about the finest compliment I can think of, that this
piece made your day better or soothed you in some way. Thanks for that.
Glad that you liked the colors.

As for intimidating? "Pffft," as Mystified would say. I sure don't feel
intimidating, not on this site. Not when I listen to "Theamazingcryingsoulact"
or your African Train piece.

Thanks for your comments.
Check out my latest song called Vanishing Pezzicato
Mystified said 4443 days ago (July 27th, 2005)
There is a beautiful simplicity...
...about your compositions, Tom.
And yet a depth of richness to them, too.
This is a wonderful contrast to the Fanfare--gentle and
shimmering in its wake.

I am so glad that you continued on with this to create a
symphony. You have a gift, to make such music.

Thank you for sharing it here.

Check out my latest song called Child of Yesterday
Tom Atwood said 4443 days ago (July 28th, 2005)
There is a beautiful simplicity...
I am tempted to joke with you, Cat, about simple music coming from a simple
mind. But seriously, this piece would not have been written without your
gentle urging. When I wrote American Fanfare, I was done. Next piece. But
after talking to you about that composition, and its unfinished feel, I decided
to keep going with it, and I am glad I did, even though as Cori Ander points
out, I may lose my day job. (And now I have to write a section on convenience
stores for Jim Bouchard!)

Thanks again for the suggestion and for your help along the way. I really
appreciate it.
Check out my latest song called Vanishing Pezzicato
White Hawks said 4443 days ago (July 28th, 2005)
this is such a beautiful pieace.
wow. this is such a beatiful pieace. I really like the harp
part of this song. thanks for sharing.

- Hawks
Check out my latest song called Shepherds Out in the Field
Tom Atwood said 4443 days ago (July 28th, 2005)
this is such a beautiful pieace.
Thanks Jem. Looking forward to hearing more of your "Lament."
Check out my latest song called Vanishing Pezzicato
mandolinquent said 4443 days ago (July 28th, 2005)
Goooooooooood
As I've said before, I really like your orchestral writing; it's
easy to use GB instruments to write stuff that sounds like
an orchestra; but actual orchestreation that lets the
colours shapes shine and develop like these pieces do, I'd
guess is much much harder. This writing is so very
beautiful and considered; I like the linear flow of some of
this - sustained string parts where the harmony and
rhythm changes underneath them, and the way each
section seems to hand a baton to the next. It has clean
modern clean lines and a sort of economy of writing, at
yet at the same time has this wide, nostaligic feel to it.
Excellent again.
Check out my latest song called Fair Jenny's Jig and Matthew Briggs
Tom Atwood said 4443 days ago (July 28th, 2005)
Goooooooooood
I'm sorry, William, no one from the UK is permitted to comment or vote on
this. Only US citizens. Admin will be notified and your vote will be strick---
wait a minute, let me check your vote...

Never mind. Thanks for the comments and the vote.
Check out my latest song called Vanishing Pezzicato
Ed Hannifin said 4442 days ago (July 28th, 2005)
Goooooooooood
Yep, that's how we do it here in the USA...check your vote and the decide if we'll
count it...


cormacbrenock said 4443 days ago (July 28th, 2005)
just downloaded it for myself.
This piece draws you in .
I love the close harmonies bordering dissonance.
Beautiful warm orchestration .

Check out my latest song called Contact is made
Tom Atwood said 4443 days ago (July 28th, 2005)
just downloaded it for myself.
Okay, Cormac, I guess the British floodgates have opened up. Give me your
poor, your tired, your Scottish hens...

Nice to meet you yesterday. Thanks for stopping by and downloading. Keep
your distance from mandolinquent.
Check out my latest song called Vanishing Pezzicato
mandolinquent said 4443 days ago (July 28th, 2005)
just downloaded it for myself.
Be wary of who you call British round here, Mr Atwood. When I last looked
Cormack came from Cork. I think they fought a war of Independence too...
Check out my latest song called Fair Jenny's Jig and Matthew Briggs
Tom Atwood said 4443 days ago (July 28th, 2005)
just downloaded it for myself.
Thanks for the anglo-clarification mando. My apologies to Cormac. Your
comment prompted me to check his songpage, and his new piece "Believe My
Love," and now I must go commit suicide. Be right back.

Check out my latest song called Vanishing Pezzicato
cjhoose said 4443 days ago (July 28th, 2005)
Lovely
Definately has that breezy, lazy Midwestern feel. I could
imagine myself walking down a gravel road in Iowa,
driving through Missourri's lush hills, passing through
Ohio. Next stop Pennsylvania...

*drifts off*
Check out my latest song called Vapor
Tom Atwood said 4443 days ago (July 28th, 2005)
Lovely
You know what I love about the Midwest? It has a beauty that is subtle.
Doesn't ever slap you in the face like Colorado, or California, or Utah, or
Oregon. It has beautiful smells and sounds. Yard bugs. Corn. The municipal
vehicle spraying for mosquitoes on a soft summer evening. Kids running
through the fog of chemical spray, laughing.

Thanks for your comments cjhoose.
Check out my latest song called Vanishing Pezzicato
Tadashi Togawa said 4443 days ago (July 28th, 2005)
My mind sees harmony.
Gentle music scale.
The mind sees harmony.
Performance of scene of play.
The oboe is beautiful and gentle.
Check out my latest song called Mexican taste
Tom Atwood said 4443 days ago (July 28th, 2005)
My mind sees harmony.
Lovely comments, Tadashi. Thanks, and thanks for listening, and for "Space
Swim." Great funk.
Check out my latest song called Vanishing Pezzicato
jackstone said 4443 days ago (July 28th, 2005)
Beautiful
I say again,you loved by music.
What a bautiful sound and melody!
I really love this great work!
I

Check out my latest song called watchawant session
Tom Atwood said 4443 days ago (July 28th, 2005)
Beautiful
Jackstone, I am glad you like this. I appreciate the kind words.
Check out my latest song called Vanishing Pezzicato
Cameron said 4443 days ago (July 28th, 2005)
contemplative
You created a wonderfully contemplative, introspective
mood with this piece. It is reminiscent of Copland and
Hovahness.

The treatment of clarinets is excellent; good phrasing and
reverb.

The string chords are captivating and quite beautiful.
However, the endings of notes are a bit sudden and
abrupt; I might suggest using more reverb in the strings
to smooth things out.

The ending seemed sudden. Maybe hold out the final note
longer?

Overall, this is a lovely piece of music.
Check out my latest song called Trio for Horn, Violin & Piano
Tom Atwood said 4443 days ago (July 28th, 2005)
contemplative
Thanks, Cameron. As usual, your ears have locked on to key issues. I always
wait a little nervously for your comments on these orchestral pieces,
especially one that features a "horn."

The strings have been the main problem for me throughout. It is what
pgreenstone has been helping me with. The sound is much improved over
earlier versions, but still has some problems. I think the endings of phrases
are still mechanical. More reverb muddies the staccato notes, though. So,
there it is.

As for the ending, I am hoping it will seem less abrupt when this is all fit
together someday. This is the middle part of a planned larger work. But
sustaining the last notes a bit can't hurt.

Thanks again for listening. Thanks for not slamming it!


Check out my latest song called Vanishing Pezzicato
Cameron said 4443 days ago (July 28th, 2005)
contemplative
Tom, thank YOU for being so receptive and open to my comments (and
everyone else's, for that matter!).

You bring up an interesting dilemma regarding the strings, which I've
wondered how to solve, myself.

In orchestral pieces, there's usually a wide variety of string articulations. It
would be appropriate to use more reverb in sustained notes, especially for
endings of notes. (One usually wants to simulate a concert hall.) But for
pizzicato notes, there shouldn't be as much reverb, especially when combined
with other sounds because they would tend to be muddy, as you pointed out.

So my immediate thought to address this would be to have separate tracks
for sustained strings and for pizzicato strings, so you could control the
reverb of each independently.

Gosh Tom, I would NEVER "slam" any of your pieces, and hopefully not slam
**anyone's** work submitted to this site. It takes a lot of courage to put one's
music "out there" for everyone to hear and critique. I admire everyone here
for doing so.

You have a well-developed musical sensibility and your pieces are always
gratifying to listen to.
Check out my latest song called Trio for Horn, Violin & Piano
Ed Hannifin said 4442 days ago (July 28th, 2005)
Somehow tonight...
...all of my downloads are ending up classical...

'Cept for something about a jellyfish. Well. Maybe that is
classical, come to think of it.

This is out of my league for real commenting, only
responding. It feels American, it feels strong, it feels
heartful, it feels 'about right.' I look forward to more.

Another good one, Tom.

Ed
Tom Atwood said 4442 days ago (July 29th, 2005)
Somehow tonight...
Thanks, Ejh. I assume another piece you downloaded was "Believe My Love,"
by cormacbrenock. Wonderful, sad, Irish lament. Thanks for shopping here at
K-Mart, too.

Check out my latest song called Vanishing Pezzicato
said 4442 days ago (July 29th, 2005)
Spring Sunday Sunrise
I like the melodies and arrangement here. Very soothing.
When we all get laid off from our day jobs, maybe we can all
work for MacJams!
Tom Atwood said 4442 days ago (July 29th, 2005)
Spring Sunday Sunrise
Laid off? Do you know something I don't know? Cori Ander has been timing
my coffee breaks hasn't he?

As for working at MacJams, nice work if you can get it.

Thanks for listening, Bill.
Check out my latest song called Vanishing Pezzicato
bronco said 4441 days ago (July 29th, 2005)
Sweeping Sound
Beautiful music from a beautiful man.
Check out my latest song called Playing With the Rain
Tom Atwood said 4440 days ago (July 30th, 2005)
Sweeping Sound
Thanks, but watch it, Tom. People will talk.
Check out my latest song called Vanishing Pezzicato
said 4440 days ago (July 30th, 2005)
Exquisite... a true accomplishment...
GarageBand-wise, musically in my mind. I know a little of
what it is to play in an orchestra (clarinet). I know what
the sound and feel of the music is. Tom... you capture it
here. And I am in awe that you have done this thru the
digital world of GBand. I gave you straight 10's, because
this is no small feat. Can I tell this is not a real orchestra?
If I listen carefully. But as I listen the music carries me
and I have to pause and ask myself is this an orchestra?
OK... it isn't... but.... it is truly a wonderful musical work.
Hats off to you Tom. Thanks for a great song... what do
you do in your spare time?

Jack
Tom Atwood said 4440 days ago (July 30th, 2005)
Exquisite... a true accomplishment...
Thanks, Jack. Just went to your artist page. Guess I haven't been there, or else
forgot that you are a reed man. I am glad that you enjoyed this clarinet-
driven piece. I have found that some instruments in Jampack 4 are more
realistic than others, and I guess I tend to use those in hopes of achieving a
sound that is not overly synthentic. By the way, the "french horn" in this piece
is really the Jampack 4 tuba played way up above its intended range.

Thanks again for your comments. I really appreciate it. Hope you enjoy your
new keyboard.
Check out my latest song called Vanishing Pezzicato
said 4440 days ago (July 30th, 2005)
You have...
... a sensetivity beyond belief. I've been here before, often.
Yet I don't go there intentionally. Thanks for letting me
visit Kansas from your point of view. I will be awaiting the
next movement. I may already be there passing you in the
streets of "Anytown" USA.
drakonis said 4439 days ago (July 31st, 2005)
Pastoral Americana
Love the clarinet writing (being an ex-clarinet player),
good pacing and maintained interest, I like your dynamics,
keeping the dit-dah rhythm of the strings in the
background with horns over them... having two horn
sections (and two pizzicato cello sections?), one panned
left and one panned right sounded a bit odd with the
ping-pong handing off of melody back and forth, but that
may just be due to headphones. Overall, you did
masterfully in separating the instruments and keeping it
from getting muddy, everything was clear and distinct...
that's hard to do with an orchestra, great job! I liked this
a great deal, and look forward to seeing how you'll weave
these together. A symphony aye? Wow, that'll be a grand
achievement, but you seem to have the talent! Tell me
when the tickets go on sale, I'll be there! When it is
premiered at the San Diego Symphony, stop by and say hi!
ttfn,
Drakonis
Check out my latest song called Miwok
thetiler said 4439 days ago (July 31st, 2005)
nice
Nice work, lots of careful placements of instruments. Nice
buildup towards 3/4 of the way. Like your use of the harp!

The violins sounds fine. It would be a nice section for a
movie drama.

Good going

Thanks for shaing Tom!
Check out my latest song called They Went Underground
Myshkin said 4439 days ago (August 1st, 2005)
Gorgeous
I'd love to hear this played by a full orchestra! Not that your production is lacking by any means, I just think it'd sound amazing. Love the melodies and the twin clarinets. You've outdone yourself!
Check out my latest song called Plumb Locomotion
Chris Boros said 4438 days ago (August 1st, 2005)
Beautiful
Just beautiful stuff.
Check out my latest song called Sunless Sun - 2013
jgurner said 4438 days ago (August 1st, 2005)
This reminds me...
...of a piece I played at a band clinic in high school. Not the
tune really, but the feel. A nice flowing, melodic feel that,
since there was damn little for the French horn section to do,
we just got to sit back and enjoy. This is a great expansion,
continuation, addition to "Americna Fanfare." Can't wait to
hear what you come up with next.
Check out my latest song called 13
Komrade K said 4438 days ago (August 2nd, 2005)
Floaty
Be brave - make this piece last for hours
Check out my latest song called Urra Moor/The Leckie/Reel CJ/Willafjord
JOAN said 4438 days ago (August 2nd, 2005)
morning again
there's a lot of hope in this piece of music. thanks for
reminding us that it's still possible to feel it.
Check out my latest song called snotty featuring Moussaka Mary
zxcvbnm said 4437 days ago (August 2nd, 2005)
very very cool
there probably are some songs with that title out there
somewhere.

did you compose this an then do it in garageband? or
work with is as you went?
Check out my latest song called roundsound
jiguma said 4437 days ago (August 3rd, 2005)
Beautiful piece of work!
Tom, thanks for posting this one - just shows what can be
done with a little spare time! If you have to go on a MJ
vacation, this is a nice parting gift.

Look forward to more on your return - relaxed and
refreshed (musically at least).

Neil
Check out my latest song called We End Up Being All The Same (42)
GMR said 4436 days ago (August 3rd, 2005)
Super!
I love this piece. It takes incredible talent to be able to paint a vivid landscape using music. But alas, you have done it! Great job.
Check out my latest song called Main Titles and Battle Ready
rik said 4373 days ago (October 6th, 2005)
Beautiful
What I like most is the little wind instrument choral in the central section,
but the whole piece is really enjoyable.
Check out my latest song called Kind of Electric
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Name: Tom Atwood
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I guess I could be a 'poster child' for MacJams. I joined the site on New Year's Eve 2004, after several years of not making much music at all. A long dry spell. Since then, I have posted more than 50 songs here, collaborated with some wonderful arti... [see more]

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