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 …

Composers on Camera: Ken Russell’s “Elgar” and “The Debussy Film”

Hello, and welcome to my notebook! This review and those that follow are essentially a detailed set of notes to myself for the upcoming 5-part Radio New Zealand series: Composers on Camera. For 250 delicious minutes, I plan to discuss and dissect the narratives of films about composers – from golden-age cinema like “Song of …

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 …