Today I finally had some time and mental energy to sit down and work on something. I was going to work on some orchestra writing, but instead settled on this piece I had started earlier this year for Oboe or Flute and Piano. I've titled it "Stars Above" for now - but I'm thinking the name sticks.
I had about half of this written already, and the second half I've done only in the last two hours or so. Its sorta minimalist in parts, but the middle has some variety in it. I left off at a weird point hoping that when I open it next I will be inspired to write the ending.
Today I tried something new. I did my first attempt at what I'm calling the Speed Arranging Challenge. The goal is to get as much done of some kind of arrangement in one stream with the chat having a good chunk of input. Today's chat chose percussion ensemble instrumentation, and the fourth movement of Tchaik IV.
Four hours and forty minutes later - I have a roughly completed arrangement. You can always go back and watch the entire stream later on my YouTube channel. The goal of my series on YouTube is to show my process when writing and hopefully it helps newer arrangers in some way. Here's the audio in case you missed the stream. Just... keep in mind I was trying to write as fast as I could. There's a few things I already know I'd need to rework.
I'm pretty terrible when it comes to doing things daily. BUT! If you are a subscriber on my YouTube channel, then you have probably been seeing a stream pop up in your sub box every other day to every two days.
So that has to count for something.
If you haven't see the streams then you've been missing out! I've got about 1 1/2 shows I've worked on during stream. The chat is fun when there are people there, and its good to be able to get that feedback.
The audio below is an almost finished Beyond the Waiting Place (the Dr. Seuss inspired one) and two movements of an un-named mystery themed show. Have a listen and subscribe to the channel to see more stuff!
Today I streamed writing on Youtube for about 3 hours! Some great suggestions came from the chat, so be sure to check it out when I'm live tomorrow HERE!
Here's a recording of everything so far - we made it to the end of the ballad with most of the instrumentation making the total time approx. 5 minutes!
At this point this blog is very most certainly not daily. I'm just gonna roll with the series title because I'm lazy.
Here's an update on the Seuss show. I've started a ballad movement -- and spent about two hours today fighting Finale 25 with its crashing. It ended up that for some reason today it just refuses to work with tempo markings nicely when Human Playback is set to interpret them.
In other news I decided on a show title. So, that's a thing.
Its not daily, but its something!
Today I worked more on the marching band show I've been writing. I've got the general idea for the winds and some mallet stuff for the entire first movement. The idea is that this movement ends as the character in the story reaches "The Waiting Place". Before this they've avoided roads they should not take and made it out of the city.
Here's the audio:
Remember, I've been streaming almost the entire process behind this arrangement on:
I usually stream for about an hour each day in the afternoon/evenings (Mountain Time)
I made it two days and then there was a month gap.
I promise I was writing occasionally! In fact I've streaming on Twitch.tv/aforgottenlegend! I've streamed pretty much every day, but I'm switching back and forth between Finale and RPG Maker (the program I'm using to design my videogame).
I've got about a minute of this Places You'll Go show, which is inspired by Dr. Seuss. Its only just an opening section with a couple themes, and I'm planning on doing things that would sound like events in a Seuss book.
If you give a listen, be sure to leave some feedback! Until next time!
Last night I was looking through some of my old files and found a reduction I started in 2016. I vaguely remember writing it, but I also found my file where I was coming up with the theme that I eventually used. I decided today to kinda dabble in it for a while. The only new material is the last 30 seconds or so - and I just wrote with no mind to form or phrasing. I guess I would say I was experimenting with some things. Sometimes when writing for a large ensemble I used to do all on two lines and make the sounds strings to hear sustains. Eventually I would then copy the reduction into a new file and expand the lines outward.
Here's today's adventure:
I've also added a few more works onto the site. There's a two movement oboe quartet that I put on the solo and small ensemble page, and a (very hard) two movement choral work using two Lorca poems to the Large Ensemble page.
So, I'm going to attempt to write a bit each day and upload it here. Sometimes it might be marching band stuff, sometimes it might be string orchestra. Or both. Like today.
First off, here's a string orchestra piece in Bb minor that I worked on for a couple hours today. Its a little rough and the timing for each of the parts seems a bit hurried. I wrote it to pretty much reflect my mood the last few days.
Also, always remember to change the audio engine in final when you switch audio outputs or else its just going to freak out and crash. Like right now.
The last thing I've been working on today was some themes to use in a Dr. Seuss themed marching band show. My plan for this summer is to spend a day or two developing some melodic themes and then over a few days flesh them out into movements. When I arrange, I usually do four staff lines. One for woodwinds (played by a clarinet), two for brass (using a brass section sound), and one for percussion. I'm usually pretty bad at making sure to always be writing something in the last staff, but eventually I come up with something.
I might end up writing some more today - but probably not. Its nice having time to just sit and work in finale with it not relating to my classroom.