General Musings

Scribd migration to Issuu

Posted in Announcements, General Musings on April 28th, 2011 by leslieq – Be the first to comment

Apologies everyone, the scores that I have embedded in these posts using Scribd seem be have degraded since they changed their plug-in. How annoying. Until I’m able to migrate fully to another service, you can still access the scores in much better quality over at my Issuu profile.

Thank you.

2009 Montage

Posted in Announcements, Cues, General Musings, Orchestration, Projects on November 30th, 2009 by leslieq – Be the first to comment

This is some of 2009 in a bite-size audio morsel. Although I haven’t been writing full-time this year, I’ve actually ended up with a lot of music—many of which have not yet seen the light of day. I needed to prepare a montage of my music for screen for some music editors. Simple enough in itself, but as I started thinking more and more about which tracks to include, it was a total nightmare. So here’s what made the cut:

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Track featured are:
The Story Begins, Bicycle Music, [untitled], Breaking the C-ode, Dorian, Comedic Antics, Mischief Managed, Suspect Intuition, Festive Bustle, The Magic of Christmas (Choral), [untitled], This Is Me.

On a little aside, I’ve been battling away in Logic Pro and the EXS24 instruments for a while now trying to model a good orchestral palette. I’m definitely getting there—particularly with the challenging espressivo Strings so brace yourself for a whole bunch of big tunes I’ve wanted to upload for a while but haven’t due to bad String section rendering. The top and tail of the montage above are a little taster of my developing String tuttis.

Comments, please.

Manuscript: Bicycle Music

Posted in Counterpoint, Cues, General Musings, Harmony, Instrumentation, Orchestration, Rhythm, Texture on October 29th, 2009 by leslieq – Be the first to comment

Audio:

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Score:

Fire any questions and comments about this orchestration using the comments facility for this post.

Posting my orchestrations for reference

Posted in Announcements, General Musings, Orchestration on October 7th, 2009 by leslieq – Be the first to comment

Right from the offset, I wanted to find a way of not only posting original audio to this blog but also making available their orchestral scores for reference. Primarily for those who are interested and/or can decipher the complexities of music manuscripts. I’d been toying around with Sibelius Scorch but found the whole user experience a difficult nut to crack – I knew I didn’t want to ask my readers to download this relatively obscure browser plug-in just to view my scores. I had to look elsewhere.

I came across a little online publishing service called Scribd quite a while ago but never really made the association that it might be the perfect vehicle to publish these manuscripts online. So I’ll be making the first manuscript post directly after this.

I’d really appreciate knowing what you think. How could I improve this offering? Could you suggest any other web technology that could do this? In the conversion process performed by Scribd, it appears that the fidelity of thin score lines are compromised. I’m looking into a solution for this.

Revision: Comedic Antics

Posted in Adventure, Animation, Arrangement, Comedy, Counterpoint, Cues, General Musings, Instrumentation, Orchestration, Rhythm, Technique, Texture on August 18th, 2009 by leslieq – 2 Comments

By far the most frequent comment I get from visitors and those who lend me their ear is that my audio samples are too short and they want to hear longer developed pieces. For a number of reasons—usually down to time and the fact that many are simply exercises, these samples are kept short. That said, SMN required me to send a longer sample track for panel review so I revised Comedic Antics in to more of a ‘piece.

Here is the revision:

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In time, I’ll work out a way to incorporate some of my longer-format works, including music for concert platform into this blog. However, first things first, I need to better organise my audio player. Coming soon…

My new Vimeo video avatar

Posted in Announcements, General Musings on July 30th, 2009 by leslieq – Be the first to comment

I really love Vimeo. Not only are they super-cool but I really believe the best new (and established) filmmakers, animators, directors and creatives are hanging out there. To top this all off (as if it couldn’t get any cooler), you can also have a motion piece as your profile avatar. He’s my quick avatar, set to the Dorian mode theme I posted previously.

If you’re on Vimeo, contact me up. It’d be good to meet you all.

Fragments of new ideas

Posted in Drama, Epic, General Musings, Harmony, Instrumentation, Lyrical on July 27th, 2009 by leslieq – Be the first to comment

To be honest, I’m not entirely sure where I am going with these but I thought I’d post them anyway. These are two different cue ideas for two very different scenes. The first is set in a Dorian mode which gives it a really distinctive sound. You have more than likely heard T.V. composers using this mode when setting music to those bleak, cold, winter scenes, wide shots and solitary subjects.

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Although the harmony shifts around the melody, I use an upper-pedal note that sounds constantly to add to the expanse and emptiness. I’ll talk more about pedals (high and low) in other music posts but they are very useful devices. I think my EQing is steadily improving (moving in the right direction anyway). I really like the clarity of the piano sound now. So much so that this next idea was initially one of those really broad string melodies but couldn’t resist adding a piano figure.

I’ve previously shied away from posting very obviously String orchestra tracks because I’ve not been happy with my string mock-up sounds. Try as I might, nothing can replace how a human string player would interpret a single note. Give a good violinist a single held note and they’ll be able to do the most amazing things to that one note — colour it; shape it; change it’s nuance; give it direction — a whole multitude of things a computer simply cannot recreate or imitate. So here goes… it is only about 8 bars (but a very broad 8 bars).

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Not music for a small screen – broad sound, broad visuals. So as I said, I’m not sure yet where I’ll take these ideas but I’ll be sure to post the results here.

My Garritan Personal Orchestral template for Logic Studio – 1st attempt

Posted in General Musings, Harmony, Instrumentation, Orchestration, Texture on July 14th, 2009 by leslieq – 2 Comments

Some people love them, so hate them. Me? I can definitely see the benefits of having templates at my disposal and ready. The amount of setting-up time that could be time better-used for composing is incredible. This is my first stab at doing an orchestral template in Logic Studio. All in all, it has taken me about 3 days (not constant) to get a full (full) orchestra template prepared to speed up the creation of mock-ups. Here’s an ebbing little modern classical piece that I just doodled with—by no means a proper composition but there are definitely some nice nuances and textures. Based on a whole-tone scale, the oft used scale of composers such as Debussy.

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As an instrumentalist who has sat in many orchestras, the spatial distribution of the individual parts in real life was what I have been trying to achieve with this template. I’d be interested to know what you all think.

I’ll find some time in the coming weeks to really put this template through its paces with some proper composition work and will post the results here.

For those interested, this is the complete instrumentation:

Woodwind
Piccolo, Flute 1, Flute 2, Oboe 1, Oboe 2, Cor Anglais, Piccolo Clarinet, Clarinet 1, Clarinet 2, Bass Clarinet, Bassoon 1, Bassoon 2, Contrabassoon

Brass
Horn Solo, Horn 1, Horn 2, Horn 3, Piccolo Trumpet, Trumpet 1, Trumpet 2, Trumpet 3, Tenor Trombone Solo, Tenor Trombone 1, Tenor Trombone 2, Tenor Trombone 3, Bass Trombone 1, Bass Trombone 2, Tuba 1, Tuba 2

Percussion
Timpani, Bass Drum, Snares, Cymbals (assorted), Percussion Toys, Crotales, Glockenspiel, Marimba, (not symphonic grand), Xylophone, Vibraphone (+sustain)

Harp and Keys
Chromatic Harp 1, Chromatic Harp 2, Celesta, Piano (percussion), Piano (solo)

Strings
Violin 1 Solo (A & B – different models), Violin 1 Section, Violin 2 Solo, Violin 2 Section, Viola Solo, Viola Section, Violoncello Solo (A, B & C – different models), Violoncello Section, Double Bass Solo, Double Bass Section, Full Orchestra Filler

Come on this journey with me

Posted in General Musings on June 27th, 2009 by leslieq – Be the first to comment

So here I am – finally up and running (well maybe walking but I’ll get up to speed with this blogging thing in no time). What is this blog about? Well, the aim is to achieve a few things. Firstly, I just want to start a regular dialogue about music from composer to composer; composer to instrumentalist; composer to music-lover and vise-versa. Secondly, I want share knowledge and hopefully we’ll all grow and learn together. Thirdly, I just want to engage with new and interesting people.

How do I plan on doing this? Everything will have a music bias – after all that’s why I’ve started this blog. The plan is to post up musical ideas primarily aimed at music for film, television and multimedia. However, I may throw in the odd piece of concert hall music too where a discussion might be appropriate. With these posts, I’ll be looking at the initial genesis of an idea and take you right through to the full development and orchestration of the idea into a cue. Where ever possible, I’ll include notation, scores as well as sound samples so you can see exactly what I’m talking about. I’ll try not to get too technical but apologies now if I drift into academia.

Okay, so here goes… enjoy the ride.