I was recently commissioned to arrange 3 works for opera singers and Birmingham Sinfonia.
I really enjoyed the challenge. Here’s a wee snippet (not the best recording quality but you get an idea):
For some time now, I’ve been really fed up with hearing about (mostly) bad news via the media, so typed ‘good news’ into my browser a few weeks back,
I came across this website, The Good News Network.
I like the following news stories:
3 . Although my roman catholic days ended with secondary education (I have BIG problems with the church’s views on homosexuality, abortion etc.), I found this news story quite moving. Watching the pope pull up in a rather humble blue ford focus, to bless a disabled woman tweaked the old heart strings. There was no media, no agenda to him stopping the car, I just saw a man using his position to genuinely care for people. That moved me.
Love that it’s easy to follow scores and listen to audio on youtube. It has been an amazing educational resource for my post-grad studies.
Here’s some of today’s listening:
Wojtek Blecharz — Small Talks
Claude Vivier – Zipangu
I like the use of texture and how there is also strong melodic content. I don’t get bars 39-39, they don’t sit right for me, but I find the piece interesting nontheless.
Discovered Dilla’s gem via Jill Scott’s latest offering:
Drums are sampled from The Detroit Emeralds:
“Mbongwana Star (‘Mbongwana’ meaning ‘change’) are a newly formed band from Kinshasa, Congo. Tired of the pre-conceptions around African music, they’re creating their own identity, fusing traditional Congolese rhythms with post punk and electronics. Full of energy and utterly original, here’s a brand new track from their forthcoming album.”
Liking the trippy psychedelic grooves. On the wish list.
It’s great to learn that Congolese musicians are fighting against ‘pre-conceptions’ about African music.
And what, with all the heinous activity happening out it’s great to hear such well crafted music. Enjoy!
Feeling the spacey chords, simple harmonies & goosebumps at the start.
I’d tailor the vocal line, some tuning issues. I like the low sustained notes sung at the beginning. Like the vibe though.
“I hope that you’re the one
If not, you are the prototype
We’ll tiptoe to the sun
And do thangs I know you like”.
Yes Andre 3000!
Addressed to Erkah Badu’s ma:
Phase 1 of for-wards is done. It’s lovely to have space to think about other things.
and this, circular breathing whilst playing two saxes:
many hands make light work is a piece about sharing the load.
for its first incarnation we did well in such a short space of time and yay we didn’t burn down minerva works!
thanks to photographer david rowan for some top photos!
Time to listen!! Enjoying a composition hiatus as I’ve been composing nonstop since the summer. Time for a well-deserved break.
Vibin’ off these tunes at the moment…
Cate Le Bon – Sisters
Art Farmer – Soul Sides:
The 8th Day – Cheeba:
Samuel Coleridge-Taylor – Moorish Dance:
Eric Dolphy – Eclipse:
Aerial M – Dazed and Awake:
Sufjan Stevens – The BQE:
There was an opportunity to compose a one page score for top ensemble Noszferatu as part of Frontiers Festival. I was mad busy working/writing essays/finishing other pieces and had resigned myself to not being able to do so. However, when I spotted my name down on the list, I thought I’d rise to the challenge anyway.
I wanted to further explore my interest in parasitic relationships.
The relationship between a flatworm parasite and snails was intriguing, the fact it became almost like a zombie was curious. I wanted to find a way to explore the imbalance. One idea starts with a lot and is stripped bear, the other multiplies and grows at the expense of the former. Non-mutual symbiotic relationships.
As a title I thought ‘Flatworm’ sounded a bit dry, so opted to entitle the piece ‘Tapeworm’, another parasite, sounds cooler, and it connected to a piano piece ‘Tick’ I had written earlier – which explored the same idea in a slightly different way.
You can have a listen here
Many thanks to top musicians Finn Peters, Joel Bell, Ivo de Greef and Percy Pursglove!
I have been asked to compose string arrangements for Lizzie Emeh’s new LP. I thought I’d find this quite easy as my compositions tend to be quite melodic, oh how naive of me!
So as the stress levels have increased
(writer’s block) – I decided to take a day off working on the tracks, start a 6000 word research essay due in 3 weeks (!!), and listened to great string arrangers. Whilst figuring out how to create arrangements for Lizzie’s tracks, I have enjoyed working on the texture/warmth/subtleties. What I have found challenging is being bold at the right moment. Thanks to Mark at Heart and Soul for being patient with me and giving me this opportunity. Time to step up now!
Listen and learn from great string arrangers:
David Van DePitte: