September 2013

Music-Majors in Colleges Event

September 24, 2013 20:00

Tonight I went to another event about music majors for college! The speakers there (Mr. Jastrow from last night was there as well) talked about general things about music and colleges, and how music helps in every respect, and they also explained that there are lots of options! I already knew that, but I took careful notes over things I should be working on now so I can prepare for college. (And I know I've seen a number of college-related articles here on, so thank you for writing those and please continue!)

Afterwards, my Music Theory teacher from last year told me about composition teachers, as did Mr. Jastrow, who I spoke to as well. Mr. Jastrow also helped divide a fear of money from right out of college, saying how great film composers usually had to go into commercials first, and then gradually move up into film. So it's a continued wait-and-see, but I'll want to start thinking about everything I want to do for college. Tonight was a really fun and eye-opening night, and there's another event on Saturday at Navy Pier that I may go to, so... yeah. Fun stuff. :)

Unrelated to the above, I've been thinking of getting a small orchestra together to play "Midwinter's Night", a composition I wrote, for this year's Prism concert (our annual Christmastime concert). If we don't play my grand symphony during Pops (I can only dream), this would be as close as I can get to playing in an actual orchestra with my music. :)

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Tri-M/Musical Anecdote

September 23, 2013 18:47

I'm joining Tri-M this year, which, if you don't know, is a music organization that basically will help out musically in the community, whether it's doing fundraisers, or just helping out in concert. This evening there was a ceremony for induction (which I was a part of), and Mr. William Jastrow, the coordinator of music in District 204, was our guest speaker. He explained to us about what music means to him by telling a story of when he was in high school. He played in a community orchestra, a percussionist, and he was playing Tchaikovsky's Sixth Symphony, the "Pathetique". And he was playing the cymbal part! There are four notes for a forty (or so) minute piece, in the third movement. I won't go into details of the whole story, but in the end he found the end of the third movement, the last forty-six seconds, to be 'magical', or, as I call it, the 'goosebump moment', and we even got a copy of the score to follow as we listened to it. That's when he began to open up and listen to the music played, not just play what's on the page. I can definitely relate to the 'goosebump moment', as I have those all the time. In my own works, I try to include as many of those as I can, although in composition it's more for when I create a magical moment inside my head that I write down on paper. The point is, you should always be not just playing violin in the orchestra, but listening to how you play. Listen and feel the music. I try to do this on a daily basis every day in class. We even discuss why certain accidentals are placed in the music. Although I've taken AP Music Theory and can usually find these on my own, it's nice to go through them in class, and it's a lot of fun. So yeah! Lots of fun stuff going on.

By the way, I'm also busily writing my film symphony I believe I talked about before. Currently, I have the basic structure of the four movements down. I just need to expand them so each movement lasts at least a couple minutes long. So far, it's not going too good, so we'll have to wait and see. I get scared to touch parts that I already have because I don't want to break what sounds good away, so... Yesterday I walked around the lake by my house and composed, so it was like walking and writing. :P

Oh, I guess I never talked about it? Well, you know how before I got into the Doctor Who movie stuff, in May I was talking about a film? Basically, as Shore's Lord of the Rings Symphony is to his film score for the trilogy, this symphony I'm currently writing (and will share come early-November) will be the basis of the score I'll write next year at about this time after filming that movie this summer. Kind of make sense? I'll probably talk about it again later. :)

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Doctor Who: The Puppet Master - YouTube

September 9, 2013 16:00

Our summer movie is finally online! I worked on script, filming, composition, and visual effects mostly at the end of July and beginning of August, so it's been complete for a while now. Hope you enjoy! I composed the entire soundtrack. It's certainly not my best work, it's actually a pretty sloppy score in my opinion, but it works. Hopefully for next year, we can plan out a full-fledged film, rather than throw stuff together, although this wasn't too bad. We just didn't have a lot of time! :) Well, sit back, relax, and enjoy the show!

Click here!

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Composition Updates

September 8, 2013 10:46

I'm pretty darn sure I'm finished with "Midwinter's Night". Obviously, there will be a lot of editing from now until Halloween when it'll be due, but for now I'm pretty pleased with what I've come up with. There are a few sections that err on the rumbling side of things, but most of it is pretty tranquil, how I pictured it as I began writing it a couple weeks ago.

Every so often, my sister asks me for help with her novel she's trying to get published. I won't say anything now, but it's a pretty awesome book! I'm thinking of writing a symphonic work to submit that could be a track in the film, assuming that the book is published, turned into a movie, and I get to compose. It's mostly just me dreaming, but sometimes, it's fun to picture myself giving comments about a piece I wrote like Howard Shore did in the video form of his Lord of the Rings symphony did... Either way, I'll put all the pieces I submit for IHSA on YouTube early November, so you can look forward to those then! For now, I can just journey on....

Oh, there have been these weird times in orchestra class where I'm sitting with my violin, and Mr. Burck passes out a piece of music and I get extremely giddy and excited to try it. And one time this happened was when the sheet music looked like an old typewriter had written it with the older colored paper, and it said 'Violino I' in newspaper-worthy print. I don't know, I just got excited to play. :)

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The Magic of a Movie-Musical

September 2, 2013 06:28

(I wrote this article Sunday night. I’m just posting it Monday morning.)

I finally got around to watching Les Misérables last night and tonight. Last night we (my family) watched the beginning with Young Cosette and Fantine and today we finished it off. It was an amazing film, and definitely had a holidy-esque feel at the end, due to it being released around Christmas. The thing I loved about the film – which should come as no surprise – was the score. It’s a musical! The entire film was based around song, and this was not just a musical with synth instruments or drums and guitar. This was for a full orchestra in the background, with children’s and adult’s voices mingling together to create a fantastic sound. I really could focus on the music because I was forced to in order to follow the plot. Along with the lyrics, though, I could also say in my head, ooh! Violins follow Cosette’s melody, or ooh! Flutes flurry up here! You know. Things like that. It was all very well done, and what was cool was when there were two singers singing in complete homophony, each with different lyrics. There was a wide range of musical textures, of course, to represent the different sides of the story, like romance, and action. I also loved reading A Tale of Two Cities, so I knew a bit about the French revolution coming in. This is pretty much my favorite film now, so maybe throughout this week I can try to listen to the soundtrack and relive the magic. This is why I love musical films… it’s cinema, but you’re forced to focus on the beautiful music, which is amazing.

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Summer Reflection

September 1, 2013 13:57

Happy Harry Potter First Day of School! :)

As August and summer begins to come to a close, and fall begins to take shape, lots happen in the music world as well. School is starting, and so is my daily orchestra class. This year I'm first violin, which is awesome! :) I'm also usually finishing up piece(s) for the IHSA composition contest. At about this time last year, I was working on my symphony. This year, I'm working on several shorter pieces at once, so I can spend more time thoroughly editing each one. "Midwinter's Night" is my major one at the moment. I thought of the idea when playing Animal Crossing: New Leaf for the Nintendo 3DS and hearing its 8pm theme (YouTube it if you wish), and an idea just dropped into my head. I played it out on my keyboard, then wrote it down. After that, the piece continued for strings, French horn, and flute as the orchestra, instead of a full symphony. I'm also writing a now untitled piece based on the rhythmic excitement of Soon He Newbold's work. We played through "Persius" this year (and I have a track record of understanding her music, having played lots of it in the past), and I started my own for strings. Not sure what I'll do with this one, it's seemed to have lost its touch... Anyways, the final piece is about a Paris evening for full orchestra, and that's faded... But yeah, those are my composition projects I'm still working at.

I don't know if I've ever mentioned my podcast SymphonicScore before or not, but it's basically me analyzing movie music. I have twelve episodes, four of which are for Harry Potter, and it's fun listening to them on walks! I'm not sure if I'll put them on iTunes or not, but maybe in the future...

But yeah! It's been a great summer (too short). The Doctor Who movie I obsessed over the soundtrack with in July has been officially completed, and I watched through it the other day. It's pretty nice! :)

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