Friday, December 23, 2016

Merry Christmas! (Again)

As mentioned in previous posts, I got a new sound library early last year that provided some noticeable improvements in several instruments, particularly the trumpets, so I thought that my Christmas piece from 2011 -- Bells -- was overdue for an update. I initially intended to just make the dynamics and articulation adjustments called for by the new sounds, but ended up making other changes as well. The more major ones were to extend the opening, make the ending a little less abrupt, and add a bass clarinet to give more body to the clarinet section. I also slightly extended the transition into the C major section in the middle, and added various flourishes, especially with my improved trumpet section.

Here it is -- Merry Christmas!

Friday, September 2, 2016

Prelude in F Major

Yesterday on the way home from work, I heard on the radio that it was both National Classical Music Month and -- rather suspiciously -- also National Piano Month. So, when I got home, I decided to take a look at the F Major fugue I've been working on recently. It occurred to me that the fugue could use a prelude as a companion, so I added some harmonic debris to an F Major chord and decided to see what I could do with that. This is what happened:

Sunday, April 24, 2016


This is being posted out of order; I actually finished this a few days before Easter, but got distracted with other things, and so Aftermath and Restoration got here first. I had been listening to the King Crimson "Discipline" album, and thought it might be interesting to do something for string quartet using a jerky rhythm similar to that on the opening of the track "Indiscipline".

Part of the way through, I realized it was shaping up to be in octatonic mode (like my String Quartet #2), and thought of the title track of the KC "Red" album, which employs the same octatonic mode. Another connection that I didn't make until it was nearly finished (it took a couple of weeks) is the layered approach of my little Passacaglia sketch for string quartet from early last year (first 45 seconds, apart from the two-bar intro).

So, here it is -- inspired by King Crimson, although I have no idea what Mr. Fripp & Co. would think of it:

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Aftermath and Restoration

Here's something a little different. Sunday before last, I had a bass line pop into my head, too late to do anything more than just scribble it down in order to not forget it. Over the next couple of weeks, in between doing my taxes and being annoyed at having to do them, I worked it into something that I think isn't quite rock, but avoided becoming jazz -- which it threatened to do until that 13/16 section showed up at 3:49. Then the time signatures stay a little crazy for about a minute before settling into a coda based on the transition from the intro ("Aftermath") to the main section (the initial bass idea, starting at 2:20).

Also, I know that normal bass tuning only goes down to E, but this was E-flat in my head, so the bassist just has to loosen that bottom string a little.

4/27: A few details were bothering me, so I did an updated version. Almost exactly the same as before, except a little different.