Lately, I Find Myself Gazing at Stars, and Hearing Guitars…

Dear Readers,

I do appologise for not posting much of late! Hence the title for this little article (an extract from the song “Young and Foolish,” or in my case middle aged and hopefully not so foolish). After completing a trio of piano guitar duets I have continued to refine some prior recordings over the past few weeks. But, mostly this week (says he, now sounding a bit like a skit out of “The Fast Show”) I have been focussed on all things Orchestration! It’s not something I’ve studied formally. Thus, my penchant for orchestration is instinctual and self taught. What a joy to uncover some new effect or depth of expression in new and or unusual combinations of instruments in a particular work. Naturally I find myself reading works on the subject of orchestration…so many rules, some helpful, some unneccessarily restrictive. I’m not a natural rebel, really. However, if I were to believe all that I read I may not ever find anything akin to a unique voice. Hence, I (self) study orchestration technique and its application with a proverbial pinch. I want to know the rules so that I might break them…at least in places.

I find myself listening more closely than ever before to lead-ins and choices of instrumentation in classical works and movie scores. Many of the effects I hear I want to emulate, many I want to morph. Without outside ideas I doubt my music would be where it is. I can’t get my ideas down on paper fast enough. Listening to other works lends a basis, at least, from which to build a new edifice. As I go along with this journey I realise and recognise how very much my ear has been trained and built by the works of those who composed before (and contemporarily create). How much richer is the tapestry, for loose threads sometimes lend beauty in texture from a distance! Mixed metaphors, I know, so what. Enjoying the journey! Not much more to say at the moment.

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