String Arrangements

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:

Patrice Rushen:

Rod Temperton:

Will Malone:

Will Gregory:

Lalo Schifrin:

Glen Page:

David Van DePitte:

David Whitaker:


A nice interview with Mr. Whitaker.

Chef Concertino

At the start of the year, I was fortunate to have an orchestral piece called “Chef Concertino” performed at Birmingham Conservatoire. The composition department has an annual competition where composition students can submit works to be performed; the best 6 are chosen.

My performance incorporated two passions: food and music. It featured my chef uncle and Graeme Rose from Stan’s Cafe. It was a good first attempt and a lot of work went into it. I would make more tweaks if I had time, such as more interaction between orchestra and chef, but there’s only so many hours in the day.

Have a listen:

 

Video:

 


 

May sketch a day: black and white

black and white. african animal noise, sampled, fela kuti chatting ’bout demo-crazy, kalimba, marimba, time ran out.

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May sketch a day: receipt

‘receipt’, found this on youtube, bish bash bosh,

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oh dear, racist papa jons!

mr.sergeant, nah, not tired of this, finding time to do it is the mission. still need to catch up on ‘drinks’, ‘fit’ & ‘letters’. hold tight! what am i learning? i like long intros, minimal sounds, i can write these sketches in less than 30 mins, the muscle has been exercised. i need to up my game.

Rose Oliver and Jen Folds, what’s happened to your photography version of this May project? ahem…

May sketch a day: kitchen

kitchen sounds.
one iPhone, record sounds in kitchen, edit in logic pro. job done.

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May sketch a day: mum

nice synergy with it being mi ma’s birthday this week.
a remarkable woman, i am biased, but t’is true.

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May sketch a day: danger

danger, danger!

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what’s the name of that david lynch film, with the mask?

May sketch a day: funny

laughter. nuff said.
a bit lazy this one, sorry.

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May sketch a day: memory

well behind. still got 3 to do, but was able to blitz some today. a crazy week.

here is memory. audio from youtubes ennit.
i took the piano triad used on the video and messed around with it, took half the time, it is very simple. white notes.

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May sketch a day: stranger

Day 9:

Where are days 5-8? Coming, sorry, I had some teething problems and was away. Needed more time off-line.
Today’s word: ‘Stranger’.
Was a bit stuck, so perimeters quickly set; the orchestration was strictly for wind instruments. Mulled over what ‘stranger’ meant: think mysterious, unknown, my person is a bit quirky, smokes fags in alley ways.

This is what I did:

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May sketch a day: snack

I haven’t done it, yet, but one of my fave snacks is hummus and pita. So gonna steal the audio from the video and play with it some.

Here she is:

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dark.

May sketch a day: blurry

absolutely shattered, so many places i should be tonight, sleepy, but gonna fight it. i blame the hunt for real-life xlr leads. ended up buying the blimmin’ things online whilst on the bus, was loads quicker, than failed attempt at maplin and hockley repairs shop, apparently the geezer will solder you up any leads you want. where he at? steve!

more ambient stuff, today’s remit was ‘blurry’. so no reference to damon albarn, straight in with synths. with 30 mins you have to go for it, no turning back.

use headphones, seriously, no, seriously bab, you’ll miss the bass frequencies….

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does this sound blurry? my emotive response to having steamed up contact lens, steamy windows in a greasy spoon.

i know five people are listening: loz, marcus, rose, jen, sergeant, zip. feel free to say you don’t like ’em. developing a thick skin. i’m womaning up.

right, time to have a life. booze! sure this is day 4? 27 to go.

May sketch a day: pink

Musical alphabet: A B C D E  F  G

pink =  b,b,g,d = my note row.

i can only use these notes. 30 mins. inspired by the question ‘what does pink feel like?’ pink is raw, pink is apparently girly, pink is sakura. pink shaded the colour of the sky when i climbed mt. fuji whilst severely hungover with ‘h’, (celebrating my move to tokys), i looked a right state after. d’oh. think mt. fuji is winning, yup, let’s go with the clouds. timer.

here she is: 

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hmmm, this sketch is my least fave, i like minor, moody shades, restricted by my note row. pah! then, again with a reframe, i am getting david lynch vibes. mulholland dr., what a creepy, amazing film. i’ll try harder next time.