Thursday, September 27, 2012

Keepin' It Real

This has been a much more productive week of music writing.  I attribute it to two things:
  1. better (rigid) time management, and 
  2. returning to the use of old fashioned manuscript paper.
Maybe I'm showing my age, but I love working with pencil and paper.

It has been insightful to blog about my process as I go about arranging music.  Every once in a while I have an "ah ha moment" where I make a major observation about myself and how I work best.  I had one of these realizations when I saw how much faster ideas came to me when I turned off my computer and worked at the piano, rather than in front of a computer screen. As nice as the music looked in a previous post when presented using Finale notation software, I think I was jumping the gun.  I don't normally use Finale until later, and by using it early on, I inadvertently slowed myself down.

In an effort to "keep things real" and to honestly present how I go about writing, I've decided to show more of my pencil sketchings (complete with many visible erasures),  rather than transferring my work to music notation software as I go. 

Here is a sample of what I wrote on Tuesday.  It is a shout chorus which will utilize surrounding drum fills/hits.  I wanted to keep the intensity up after the initial statement of the head (melody), and to feature the drums early in the piece, as the composer, Tyler Hornby is a drummer.  I also like the idea of "messing" with the form by presenting a shout chorus towards the beginning, rather than at the end as one sees in 90% of published big band music.

The audio clip is a recording of me at the piano, but the passage will be played by the entire horn section, with the exception of the fourth measure which will be played only by the rhythm section, to allow the music to breathe.  The lead lines presented here will be fully harmonized by the horns.

After this section there will be a quirky, paraphrased restatement of the head with plenty of space for drum solo fills to continue.

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