Diary of an Orchestrator – Mission Estate Concert project, days 16-24

Tuesday, February 11 8:30 a.m. A huge amount of time has passed since my last journal entry. This delay is pretty typical of the ending stretch in a project: the work starts to pile up as everyone involved realizes that they’re much too close to the kill date for comfort. In my case, I was …

Diary of an Orchestrator – Mission Estate Concert project, day 15

Sunday, January 26 Today is a red-letter day in the project. In 7.5 hours I completed song no. 10: “There’ll Be Sad Songs” by Billy Ocean. My tenth song was supposed to be “Mná Na h’Éirann” by Sharon Corr, but I moved up that add-on song I was given a few days ago. I’m sure …

Diary of an Orchestrator – Mission Estate Concert project, days 13 & 14

Saturday, 25 January 7:30 p.m. It’s been a sluggish couple of days, but not without results. I started scoring Mel C’s version of “Both Sides Now” yesterday and finished it today. I don’t know if anything I ever do is perfect, but this score was as close to perfection as I’ve gotten so far, at …

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 …

Diary of an Orchestrator, April 10: Orchestral Treasure in the Desert Sands

There’s no other way to write this entry other than narratively. So here goes. Forgive the human drama, and rest assured that there’ll be orchestration in there eventually. About 100 years ago, in a little town in Arkansas, there was a rich but infertile housewife, and a 15-year-old, secretly pregnant teenage girl. The mother of …

Diary of an Orchestrator, April 9: Harp Concerto Rehearsal 2

6:52 p.m. I’m typing this at an internet cafe just a few blocks down from the rehearsal site, where I’ll shove off to in a few minutes. But first, I thought I’d write down a few words about the conductor/soloist meeting I just attended. It was over in Century City, a couple miles down the …

Diary of an Orchestrator, April 8: Harp Concerto Notes III

9:25 p.m. Currently uploading photographic files to the macProVideo server. mPV got me a license with a royalty-free image company, granting me the ability to download up to 25 shots per day for my orchestration course. It’s not a bad source for certain images – good closeups of orchestral instruments and their players are in …

Diary of an Orchestrator, April 7: Harp Concerto Notes II

10:30 p.m. Very little in the way of work today. I tried out the new camera, shining a light against the wall in a dark room, then checking the corners of the image for noise. There’s still some, but not so pronounced as with my cheap little pocket camera. Hopefully, this will resolve the resolution …

Diary of an Orchestrator, April 6: Harp Concerto Notes I

11:55 p.m. Been a very long day, filled with intense personal commitments. Still, there was time for my career, which never stops. Even at my most distracted, it’s always humming along, like that train that I can hear passing by about a mile from window, rippling the soundwaves with its churning as it bites off …