Diary of an Orchestrator – Mission Estate Concert project, days 6 & 7

Thursday, 16 January 9:42 p.m. after a long day. It’s good to get back to this journal after a few days off, somewhat enforced. After leaving Collingwood, I dropped in on a composer friend of mine who lived not too far from there, around the Tasman Bay area where the weather was a bit nicer. …

Diary of an Orchestrator – Mission Estate Concert project, day 5

Thursday, 9 January It’s 4:20 a.m. as I start this journal entry. Usually around this time of the morning, I like to be starting my workday. But in fact I’ve just finished up a song. It’s all due to the previously mentioned logistics forced upon my schedule by vacationing in this place. This morning, I …

Diary of an Orchestrator – Mission Estate Concert project, day 4

Tuesday, 7 January, Part 2 After re-scoring the Keating yesterday, I sent the whole thing along with the Tubular Bells score to my MD, and got a good response back. That’s what matters, really. A thumbs-up at this point in my career is more about the relief of saving me from rewrites than it is …

Diary of an Orchestrator – Mission Estate Concert project, day 3

Tuesday, 7 January, Part 1 I’ve been slack about my journal for the past two days, and finally catching up today. Well, I did finish the Ronan Keating song “When You Say Nothing At All” in one day on Sunday the 5th, but strangely it was a lot more of an effort than the awesome …

Diary of an Orchestrator – Mission Estate Concert project, day 2

Saturday, 4 January 2013 A very exciting day. It’s hard to complain about a day that starts good, flows well, and ends great. Today I decided to orchestrate Tubular Bells, and I made it all the way through 128 bars and 3.5 minutes. I was helped enormously in this by the semi-orchestral nature of the …

Diary of an Orchestrator – Mission Estate Concert project, day 1

Friday, 3 January 2013 – Collingwood, New Zealand Day 1 of work on the Mission Estate orchestration job. It’s good to be back to it again, though the circumstances are a little strange. It’s 4:50pm as I start this journal entry, leaning back from my little workdesk in a little cabin on the South Island …

Lili Boulanger in Her Own Right

Author’s note: this article is based on a Composer of the Week programme I scripted and presented for New Zealand National Radio’s Concert-FM. Embedded are links to various works of Lili Boulanger posted on YouTube for the reader’s listening and enjoyment. Saturday, July the fifth, 1913. In the great meeting hall of the Institut de …

Musings on Le Sacre’s 100th Birthday

Everything about Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring is eternally fresh, and re-invigorating with each repeated listening, just like the birth of the season it purports to celebrate. But of one thing I am completely fed up with – the sanctification of its raucous premiere.  Here’s the thing about the events of history: they are messy and …

Diary of an Orchestrator, April 19: Harp Concerto Premiere, Baby Pops, and Aftermath

The view outside my window has shifted from a condo parking lot to a stand of redwoods. I’ve changed locations 5 times over the last seven days as my business trip has shifted over to some more personal vacation time. From this point on, this Diary is going to go on hold, to be replaced …

Diary of an Orchestrator, April 11: 3rd and Final Harp Concerto Rehearsal

10:55 a.m. I’m listening to the recording of Tuesday night’s rehearsal and taking more notes as I go. Here’s the complete list: Movement I bars 7 & 74 trombone solos need to be played with more projection bar 14 horn I solo ditto winds need to back off a bit at the intro fine-tune bars …