November 2013

Doctor Who 50th Anniversary Special: "Day of the Doctor"

November 23, 2013 14:30

50 years of Doctor Who have come to "Day of the Doctor", a fantastic 'movie' for the 50h Anniversary Special, and it was fantastic! I just finished watching it, and enjoyed every minute of it. What was cool was for the score, Gold brought back a theme he'd used in Series 1, as well as the epic Dalek choir of Series 4, and of course, 'I am the Doctor' and 'Clara's Theme'. So yes, I really did genuinely enjoy the episode, and it gave a pretty exciting plot twist that teased at what's to come this Christmas and especially for Series 8, which will be really exciting. Plus, it brought together three Doctors, which was pretty epic and amusing at times. So yeah, I just wanted to give a brief discussion about this episode, so if you've seen it... yeah! Maybe I'll watch it again later...

Anyways, the other part of this post I wanted to mention is I was thinking of writing a song - like a pops song - for voice and orchestra for probably the credits theme of 'The King of the Aliens' film, and from my Doctor Who mood all morning long leading up to the episode, I thought up lyrics and a melody (and chords) for the first stanza. Not sure what's going to be happening with that, but maybe it'll be a fun project to work on, along with the actual score. I'm probably going to do more with themes in the spring when I can go out for walks and work outside, because I tend to do better if I'm outdoors... Hmm...

Violin-related, our Prism concert is coming up soon! My group did not make it, but that's okay. Along with "A Christmas Festival", we're playing a piece called "Five Ukrainians in a Bell Tower", which has a swinging 5/4 time. And... it's written for two orchestras, so it's kind of like a battle! There's also a piano part, so it's quite an exciting piece. I'm still trying to figure out exactly how the stage will look when we perform, but we'll do a dress rehearsal after Thanksgiving Break next week, and I guess I'll find out that. For Solo and Ensemble this year, I'm thinking of doing Hungarian Dance No. 5 with a lot of chords, because it seems like it'll be fun to play, but I'm not 100% sure yet. So yeah. Sorry for all those crazy updates; have a fantastic afternoon and evening! :)

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The Many Fa├žades of Music

November 9, 2013 13:12

Music is a wonderful thing, as we all know, but recently I've been thinking about what (specifically orchestral) music does throughout each year. For example, at this current time of year, I'm starting "A Christmas Festival" in orchestra and enjoying videos of festive players playing. Whenever I play that piece, I think of bright lights and Christmas trees and snow and hot chocolate. It's a very cozy feeling, and it's a lot of fun to play Christmas music. However, come June of 2014, I'm going to be composing a score for "The King of the Aliens" (that film I mentioned in my last post that the symphony is based off), and this score is in no way related to Anderson's Christmas medley, yet still both use violins; both use an orchestra. But isn't that the great thing about music? It always keeps us on our toes, gives us more things to practice and prepare every day. Composers come out with new things every day, and yet we are still always looking back at Vivaldi, Mozart, Bach, Beethoven, Tchaikovsky. That's what makes music amazing, and especially as violinists, there are many, many things for us to practice. We don't play everything in the world; we pick and choose what we like. Specifically related to orchestral music, we can play one of the violin parts in a classical Mahler symphony or we can explain the wonders of winter in Vivaldi's violin concerto; we can explain an epic war in The Lord of the Rings with the rest of the orchestra, or we can weep (in the music) as the main character's friend dies; we can play sul ponticello at Halloween, or we can be a part of the joyous "Jingle Bells" with sleigh bells at Christmas. No matter what instrument you play (although I was specifically mentioning the violin), there is always something for you to do every day. And that is why music is the best thing on this world. That is why my violin is my absolute favorite object ever. And why things will always stay this way.

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My Completed Symphony ("The King of the Aliens Symphony")

November 4, 2013 16:59

Wow! Two months I've been working on this symphony, and now, I'm done! I'm just getting together the score (I 'published' it via FedEx Kinkos - it looks like an official score!) and the CD file so I can mail it in and see what happens with it! This symphony will be the basis for the film score for next year's summer film, so it'll be very important to me later on. The YouTube link is down below, so if you like, skip right to it. Or listen as I recount the story of this symphony, just for me to reflect. Ahem...

The second movement of the symphony is an almost exact replica of "Ebonique's Theme" which I'd originally used when writing the original soundtrack for the film in May 2013. I moved up the key and extended the theme, but that was really all I did to it, besides reorchestration. I remember writing the majority of the first movement while outside on a walk around the lake one afternoon, thinking a little bit of The Lord of the Rings as I did, with the beautiful violin and cello melody towards the end of the movement. The third movement was probably the most difficult one to write, due to all the changes in character. The fourth movement was my giant finale. Obviously, everything would sound much nicer, cleaner, and hopefully LOUDER if a real orchestra were playing this. Maybe... Maybe...
Anyways, this project was a lot of fun, and it's certainly not over: I have to write the film score at some point! I'll be coming back to this symphony time and time again, but for now, I'll be moving on to some smaller things, like piano solos and violin duets and things like that. I need to practice my counterpoint. :)

The King of the Aliens Symphony

Not related to this project in any way, today in orchestra we got Anderson's "A Christmas Festival"! I'm still second violin this year, although since next year I'll be a senior, I think I'll get to play first (and throw my Santa hat off!). So yeah! That's really exciting! I can't wait! (And did you hear my violin playing in the symphony?) I just can't wait for Christmas! Now that I'm done with my symphony, I'll have to work on some Christmas stuff... :)

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"Midwinter's Night" Recording Session

November 3, 2013 17:27

I can't believe a small piece I'd originally written just for fun turned into a ten-piece ensemble actually playing my work! This afternoon I had all my friends together and we recorded the piece. This was a requirement for the audition process, but that means I can share it with all of you! I wrote about this piece in past entries (September 2013), so check there for more information. It was truly a great experience, and this is the first time a composition was performed by a live orchestra (of sorts)! Hope you enjoy!

Midwinter's Night

I'm also basically, I think, done with my "King of the Aliens" Symphony! I will have a link to the piece sometime tomorrow, or Tuesday. It's due next Friday, so I have to get the score in a 'published' format to make it nice. But yeah! I'm really proud of both of these works, and now it's time to move on to other things. I have a template for a symphony with choir, but I think I'm going to work on refining basic things with piano solos or string trios, like counterpoint and things like that.

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