Making my music shareable!

Posts tagged “grad school

Older Music

I’m not going to spend a lot of time expounding on the background of these pieces, but I decided to get more of the worth-listening-to music I have sitting around from grad school posted. 🙂 Audio only (at least for now).

One of our projects was writing some music for a six-minute segment from a documentary on sword-forging. It didn’t have any dialogue with it yet, so it was purely some very nice footage of a modern blacksmith working in his smithy. We had some “global folk” instruments as special guests for the concert, including a ney flute, an erhu, a duduk, a didgeridoo, and a lute-like instrument that I can’t remember the name of offhand.
Live Recording: Elemental

Our Orchestration II class required us to write several different pieces spotlighting one instrument or another. The centerpiece instrument was recorded live and added to a mock-up of the rest of the piece.
Oboe: Memories
Cello: The Other Woman – written to a scene from The Age of Innocence, if I remember correctly. Video not included.
Brass: Lament
Violin: Tub Scene (Violin) – written to a really awkward scene from a really weird indie movie called Birth. Video not included. For a different project, we had to score another segment of the same scene: Tub Scene (flutes) (mock-up only)

We also worked on a scene from a black-and-white French film called The 400 Blows. I think it is about a young boy living on the streets or something – the scene we did was him being driven through the night streets in the police carriage and then being taken into the police station for booking.
400 Blows

For an assignment on rhythm, we were given a melody that we had to use, um, I think eight times in a row. We were only allowed to modify it rhythmically, if I remember correctly, and, of course, orchestrationally. I don’t remember what the instructions were as to how it was supposed to build or if it was supposed to fit a certain mood.
Rhythmic Etude

I also have the music from my thesis score. I was working with a student short film called “Coq-au-vin” that was about a family conflict, grandma always made coqauvin but grandma passed away recently and the sisters are fighting about making it or something. Haven’t watched it in several years and don’t really remember the plot beyond the sisters fighting, one of them going to the hospital (having a baby?) with her husband and grandpa, and the other sister screwing up the courage to actually behead the rooster, making the food by herself, and taking it to the hospital for everyone.
Selecting the Victim
The Critical Moment
Coq-au-vin Montage
A Sweet Ending

Just for the fun of it, I’m also including in this post a couple of voice pieces I haven’t posted yet. I sang “Goodbye” at my senior recital in undergrad. “Burn for You” was written for a special my mom and I were doing at church (she is playing violin).
Burn For You

Hope I haven’t bored you too much with this lengthy (but non-informative) post! 🙂


Music & Movement

Well, another week gone by, and still no way to produce mock-ups…In the meantime, here are some more “old pieces” from Composition II: Music and Movement.

To try to relate music to movement, we used the eight basic efforts and four “drives” from the Laban movement theory.  They are derived from the continuums of space, time, weight, and flow, basically…The usefulness is by noting which characteristics the action has (pressing, flicking, wringing, dabbing, slashing, gliding, thrusting, floating) and then looking at the definition of each for where it lies on the continuum so the music can be written to possess those qualities.  Confused yet?  Yeah, the only reason I was able to list what I did was b/c I pulled out my old Laban for All book.  It was a little mind-bending when I was in the class; after not thinking about it for several years, I definitely can’t explain the theory right.

First, Vision drive: “weightless”  Revolves around time, space, and flow.  In this little scene created & performed by a couple of CCC Laban grad students, a little girl is running from something in a dream.  She discovers a sentient tree that calms her down and sends her back into a peaceful sleep.
Video: .mov file
Or, for those of you would like music only, you can listen to the .mp3here
And, of course, the score 🙂 :Vision Dance

Next, Spell drive: “timeless”  Revolves around weight, space, and flow.  In the first scene, created & performed by CCC Laban grad students, a girl loses herself in the story she is reading.  She meets a creature or two and a fairy before wandering back to reality.
Video: .wmv file
And the .mp3 for those of you who want it
And score: Spell Dance

Finally, another Spell drive.  This scene (created & performed, once more, by a CCC Laban grad student) is a bit odd…the girl catches a bird, crushes it, and eats it, after which she transmogrifies into a bird herself.  Like I said, weird.  I didn’t actually do this one for an assignment–it was something to keep me busy and writing later during the semester.
Video: .wmv file
The .wav file
And score: Spell Transmogrification

Thanks for reading/listening!

Time Gone By: When I Knew How to Score

I finished cleaning up the score for my newest choral & piano piece based on Psalm 40 today (I limited to myself to SATB–four parts only!), but since I still don’t have a solution for Sonar, the printed manuscript will have to sit in my binder for a bit longer while I start on the next project (haven’t decided what yet…).  Of course, Sibelius has decided to start acting up now. *rhe*  Nothing much–I just can’t set the Devices to use the MIDI input from my keyboard (it locks up when I try to close the dialog).  Which means I have to “type” in all my notes instead of playing them in–that means typing “A” on my laptop keyboard for an “A”, a “3” to stack the note a third above an “A”, and a “4” to stack a note an interval of a fourth above that to get an F chord in first inversion and then using Ctrl-up or down to adjust to a different register if necessary instead of simply hitting all three notes in the correct octave at the same time.  Slightly more time involved, but it works.

Since I finished a piece and didn’t feel like deciding just yet what I’ll start on tomorrow, I decided to take the time to hunt down a few of my old .wav files.  Ah, when I knew how to score!  When I could make a mock up without even trying, hardly!  *sigh*  Of course, maybe if I had bothered to PRACTICE more during the last three years, I’d still be able to, neh?

First, the final assignment for my Dramatic Scoring class my first semester in grad school: Lydie Breeze.  The scene was NOT something I wanted to watch twenty gazillion times (necessary for writing good score), but I managed to write a pretty decent piece, anyway.  I’m not sure whether or not I should be horrified that I did such a good job…  Since I don’t like the dialogue that came with the live recording at the concert, I made a MIDI mock up while listening to the live recording and trying my best to match it. *happy sigh*  I LOVE my muted string samples!!  Oh, if only I could make mock-ups like that all the time…  
Listen to the wave 
And, of course, the score 🙂 :Lydie Breeze

Next, the piece that, with Lydie Breeze, I submitted for the ASCAP/Mancini scholarship competition: Motorcycle Chase.  This one was third semester, Music & Movement.  The assignment was to take elements from Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring and Don Davis’s Matrix score, both of which we had just studied, and create a one-minute action piece.  I had fun with this one. 🙂  I never cleaned up the score, since the assignment was purely for the audio, but here it is if you’re brave: Motorcycle Chase  And the .wav

Last one for today, and then I’ve got to go make supper. 🙂  Also from the Music & Movement class, a chase scene from Bullitt.  This was composed to an actual scene, but I can’t find the video on my external hard drive…so music & score only, I’m afraid.  Same story on the score, so again, if you’re brave: Bullitt  And the .wav

Enjoy! 🙂