David Keeffe

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Welcome to Music3149


Music3149 is the business name for work by me, David Keeffe, and my musical associates. You'll find lists of works, the occasional article and news item, and things to see and hear.

Why music3149? I'll leave that as a puzzle, just like the logo. It's an official business name owned by Systemsolve Pty Ltd, registered in Victoria, Australia. And yes, that's me, David Keeffe, too.

Writing computer programs and writing music have a lot in common (and many differences, of course): you have to be precise in your instructions, you have to make your point effectively and efficiently, and great presentation counts for a lot. You also have the chance (nowadays, at least) of testing your work before releasing it into the wild. And you can fix it afterwards too.

Does that make the music dry and academic? I sincerely hope not - but I hope you can be the judge.


I have a publisher

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I've had three works (with more to follow I hope) accepted for publication by Wirripang, who specialise in Australian composers. As you can imagine, I'm very pleased by this, especially as they use an anonymous peer review process to decide on whether to sign a composer or not. There are some illustrious Australian names in their list (Colin Brumby, Houston Dunleavy and Margaret Sutherland to name just three), so it's nice to bask in a bit of reflected glory.

The three initial works to be published by them are:

  • Four Haiku - a song cycle for high/medium voice and piano
  • Lazarus in Ilium - for wind quintet and piano
  • The Undone Years (Fire) - for tenor sax, strings, piano and timpani

This means that the Lulu score of 'the Undone Years' will be withdrawn. I mentioned in an earlier post that while I was abandoning the on-line store, and making scores more readily available, acceptance of works by a publisher would mean you would have to go to them.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 03 August 2011 12:34

Tuba and Wind Quintet - a great combination!

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What can you do to improve a "classic" sound? Add a tuba!

The "classic" wind quintet (flute, oboe, clarinet, horn, bassoon) has been with us since the late 1700's, and despite a quiet period in the later part of the 19th century and early 20th, is now a popular ensemble with a growing repertoire. I've played in this sort of group on and off over the years. Add a tuba and you get a rich bass, and something to partner the horn in sound.

A local tuba player, Per Forsberg, has been promoting this ensemble for a little while now and I was asked to write something for them. Today I had the pleasure to hear a workshop of "Merry-Go-Round", a carousel-like waltz. It follows a classic form of sections, but is a "harmonious" 12-note piece, based on the row in Berg's Violin Concerto. Also, each statement of the row is a semitone lower than its predecessor, yielding a "big form" that interacts with the "small form".

It's been a challenge to write a work in a lighter style but using a "serious" methodology.

Last Updated on Sunday, 17 July 2011 20:38

New Editions of Old Favourites

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There is a lot of old brass band music that still deserves its place in the repertoire, but is not really in a playable state.

The sheet music is often small, and distorted because it's a reprint of a reprint of a reprint of suspect plates. There is no proper conductor's score - even though there must have been one at some time.

Music3149 is gradually preparing new editions of these pieces: we have two ready now -

  • the Overture to Mozart's "the Magic Flute", arranged by William Rimmer, and newly edited by David Keeffe - some minor errors have been corrected, a separate flugel part has been made, and Mozart's timpani have been reinstated.
  • Rimmer's own "Irresistible", newly typeset with a full score and separate flugel part, trombones now in treble clef and clearer articulations and dynamics

Please contact us if you're interested. The music will be supplied in printable PDF format.


The Undone Years - Fire - Sydney - April 3 2011

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I and the family drove from Melbourne to Sydney (and back) for the weekend of the 2nd-3rd April to hear the first performance of The Undone Years - Fire with Jason X and the Bourbaki ensemble under David Angell.

We were most impresssed. Jason gave a totally different performance, balancing the percussive transparency of the string sounds and producing some magical whispers. The ensemble were clearly on the edge of their seats, and clearly had put a lot of work into understanding the music.

I'm almost prepared to say these two versions are different works, even though they share all the musical material and soloist. The Fire/Flood contrast is a significant expressive difference.

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