Instrumentation

Manuscript: Suite for Six Players

Posted in Counterpoint, Harmony, Instrumentation, Orchestration on May 6th, 2011 by leslieq – Be the first to comment

Audio: Coming Soon!

Score:

Stringy bits ‘n bobs

Posted in Cues, Drama, Epic, Harmony, Instrumentation, Lyrical, Orchestration on December 5th, 2009 by leslieq – 3 Comments

I’ve a whole backlog of String-y compositions that I’ve always avoided mocking up in virtual software instruments because I’ve never been able to get the Strings patches to sound right. Well I’ve been making friends with Logic Pro and the EXS24 instruments. I think it’s definitely getting there and would really appreciate some feedback from additional ears. I’ve been tweaking knobs and buttons for what seems like days now that I’m not sure I’m the most objective person when it comes to reviewing the results.

Anyway, here’s a little medley featuring bits of three compositions titled: The Story Begins; Arise, Sir and This Is Me.

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I write contrapuntally for parts so no block chords and most of the resulting harmony is a consequence of individual part-writing for the orchestra.

As an orchestral player I’ve really tried to use my experience of real orchestras to physically lay out my orchestra in sonic space. So if you were sitting in the audience listening to an orchestra in front of you, I’ve actually arranged the strings (from left to right):

Violins I (front left)
Violins II (mid left)
Cello (mid off-centre/right)
Violas (front right) and
Double Basses (far right, behind cellos and violas)

Physically this is a very common orchestra layout because you achieve the maximum sonorous and darker-tones of violas.

As usual. 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.

Manuscript: Comedic Antics

Posted in Arrangement, Counterpoint, Cues, Harmony, Instrumentation, Orchestration, Rhythm, Technique, Texture, Theory on October 7th, 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.

Manuscript: Mischief Managed

Posted in Arrangement, Counterpoint, Cues, Harmony, Instrumentation, Orchestration, Rhythm, Technique, Texture, Theory on October 7th, 2009 by leslieq – Be the first to comment

So to kick things off, here’s the score for Mischief Managed.

Audio:

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Score:

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

A good ol’ Disney family Christmas

Posted in Adventure, Animation, Arrangement, Comedy, Counterpoint, Instrumentation, Light Music, Orchestration, Texture on September 30th, 2009 by leslieq – Be the first to comment

I really do not know what’s wrong with me at the moment. I seem to have swallowed a happy pill by mistake. I can’t stop writing jolly music at the moment. Could this cue get any more infectious? Featuring sleigh bells; horses; chimes; things that go ting and other things that flutter – it’s all in here. Is it all too gratuitous? Leave comments and let me know.

Enjoy the moment while it lasts:

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I promise the next few posts are definitely going to feature compositions of much darker moods.

Revision: Mischief Managed

Posted in Adventure, Animation, Instrumentation, Orchestration, Texture on September 29th, 2009 by leslieq – 2 Comments

Along the same lines as Comedic Antics, I’ve revised the previous Mischief Managed cue to incorporate some more ideas.

Here is the revision:

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This is a cue intended for an animation with no dialogue. It is written and orchestrated in the ilk of the old Merrie Melodies and Looney Tunes cartoons where the music is often required to carry the slapstick and plot forward.

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…

Sneak peek: Christmas

Posted in Cues, Instrumentation, Library Music, Light Music, Lyrical on August 15th, 2009 by leslieq – 1 Comment

Yes, you heard me right. It is mid-August and the height of the British ‘summer’; I’m already thinking about Christmas. I’ve been preparing a suite of festive tracks with the intent of licensing them out as production music. The suite comes complete with a number of variations on a theme (lyrical, choral, jingle and vamp) and are being prepared to allow licensees to cut and loop segments and/or use complete tracks for their purposes. Here’s a short snippet from the suite.

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I’ll be producing fully mastered production versions of this suite and will be ready for licensing shortly. Music Editors, please feel free to contact me if you are interested in this suite but have further specific requirements.

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