Archive for May, 2012
30 May

All In Green

Listen: All In Green

This is another song in my e.e. cummings series. I thought the character of this piece suggested an older, but civilized form of music. Given the hunting theme, I chose to write a brass quartet, with french horn.

This poem has a more regular structure than a typical cummings poem. The piece has four sections, each with four parts, though the final section ends half-way through. I wanted to use this structure of cummings. I transposed the sections modally through a simple chord progression. The first section in D, the second in E minor, third in A dominant and the final two lines back in D.

All In Green is, at heart, a tragedy- retelling the story of Actaeon. He had offended the goddess Artemis and was changed into a stag to be killed by his own hounds. In cummings poem, Artemis tells the story in two voices. A warm voice speaking of “my love,” and “dappled dreams.” This alternates with a harsher voice, that of “the cruel bugle,” and “the famished arrow.” I assigned the warmer voice to a french horn, and the harsher one, a trumpet.

I used Finale to realize my composition. Finale has a feature that adds performance elements to a composition. When creating a midi file, it incorporates these elements. Subtle things like swells on held notes and fall offs at the end of phrases. I imported this file to Protools.

I used orchestral samples to give voice to the midi file. Except for a couple of blatty notes on the trombone, it works out very well. I added some reverb, subtly (I hope), to give an old stone hall ambience as a final touch.

Categories: Compositions
21 May

Mr. Gold And Mr. Mudd

Listen: Mr. Gold And Mr. Mudd

I love this song, a poker fantasy by Townes Van Zandt. I no longer have the original record, but I seem to remember the recording having a solo intro and a long solo out, with the story in between.

I always thought that the story had a couple of breaks where solos would fit naturally. I wanted to take advantage of this. And I wanted an excuse to play some guitar solos.

This one was just for fun, so I won’t over-analyze it.

I re-mixed this song. I had put it up on my myspace  page last December,
and I’m glad I took the time to file off some of the rough edges.

Categories: Recordings