Category talk:Besset, Julian Raoul

Biographical Information

I am a French citizen, born in France in 1939. My mother was English, my father French. The latter did little music although the few pieces he could play on the piano he played well according to his spouse, but I never heard him play, except one time (Mendelssohn's Spring Song). His father whom I never knew played the clarinet (Bb and E) and the cornet in a local band. But my mother had been steeped in music, and so was I, through her. She had learnt the piano with Miss Lasker who was associated with Gustav Holst as a copyist (, at any rate that's what she told me. She also had an appealing contralto voice. She had my brother and I take piano lessons at an early age, and the violin later on. My urge for music was initially made manifest by an inquisitiveness in "discovering" obscure composers (at the time) and little by little I collected a vast amount of musical material and contented myself with sight-reading. I also spent some time doing chamber music, as a pianist, violist or cellist depending on who was available. Quite soon however I broke away from merely playing music by others and almost exlusively devoted my spare time to composition, which I found far more rewarding than mere "strumming" as my mother used to say. My first attempts in that area were untutored, and all my attempts to learn theory were quashed by utter boredom in ploughing through manuals and books, so I am to be considered as self-taught, for better or worse. My first scores were penned traditionally, but the advent of the computer provided a tool that has proved vital for my development, a kind of rounding-off tool. Thus, I have decided to make all my scores freely accessible; that way, I am under a constraint : to try and put finishing touches to all my stuff, of which there is a fair amount, to the point it will take some time, all the more so as my "inspiration" is still intact, which means I am committed to writing new things in an idiom that can be termed boldly conservative.

13:36, 27 October 2011 (UTC)13:36, 27 October 2011 (UTC)Julian R. Besset 13:36, 27 October 2011 (UTC)

24th Oct. 2011 : To edit my scores I have used Finale since version 97 but am investigating Sibelius which I have just ordered. I am impressed by its audio rendering, so may be constrained to switch at least partly to Sibelius, while retaining Finale for the editing part, as I am well used to it. Up to now I have used Pianissimo instead of the Aria player of Finale, which I do not find completely satisfying.

13:36, 27 October 2011 (UTC)13:36, 27 October 2011 (UTC)Julian R. Besset 13:36, 27 October 2011 (UTC)

27th Oct. : To my surprise, the audio files (Ogg) I submitted have vanished into thin air or are inactive*. Is there a reason for this ? I am the composer, the files are well under the fixed size limit. So what ? Carolus, are you there ?

  • Correction : they have now ALL disappeared, am I being victimized ?
They have been moved to the "Synthesized/MIDI" tab because they are computer-generated synthesized audio. The "General" tab is only for recordings by real musicians. --Feldmahler 13:46, 27 October 2011 (UTC)

Oops, thank you Feldmahler.

I have dropped Sibelius for the time being having mislaid the installation discs : I find it impossible to get the program to latch on to the virtual sound folder : it seems it can only do so through reinstallation, but I have succeeded at last in getting Finale to behave properly in this respect, so it is taking over.

My activity as a composer rests currently on two separate considerations, one is editing all my past pre-computer work, the other branching out with computer aided compositions. My main instruments are the piano my mother bought in the 1930s, a Görs & Kallman baby grand, a Kurzweil keyboard, and a Viscount 2-manual organ. I can put my organ pieces to the test on an acoustic instrument in a local church. My compositions are open in the sense that I tend to correct or modify them constantly, although as time goes by, this inclination weakens, and my consecutive uploads of a given piece diminish. The fact is, whenever I pick up an old number, blemishes, whether in the print out, or in its effect, stick out like sore thumbs, which accordingly I have to put right. Will I ever be satisfied ? I doubt it.

The effort involved in revising old works, and my commitment to imagine new ones, are sometimes concurrent, sometimes at loggerheads, with a resulting difficulty to carry all those projects through. But the computer tool has played and is playing the role of a springboard.