Christmas 2016 Fun!/Ravel Orchestration(s)

December 23, 2016, 3:18 PM · Merry Christmas, everyone! I know it isn't Christmas quite yet, but it's getting there; I've spent some time getting my gifts prepared and listening to some great Christmas music along the way. I love all the Christmasey strings and winds when there are orchestral accompaniments with the music, and in my 12-hour "Classic" Christmas music YouTube video playlist, orchestras are pretty much guaranteed to be in the various records used to make up the selections! (I also love the soft jazz trio of the Charlie Brown Christmas music.)

The other big thing I've done recently has to do with Finale! Basically, there's some plug-in that allows the instrument playback to sound cleaner. Not completely great; some of the winds and strings are still not the greatest. (And in my Acoustics class, I'm learning about how synthesizers work! Fun Fact: The organ was a 13th-century synthesizer - they work similarly! Computers obviously do it much better now than they had back then.) However, it's allowed me to have a fresh look on old pieces - last night, I transformed "Birds of Prey" into something cleaner, and I have also done last year's String Quartet - the pizzicato strings sound particularly great I think. So I decided to publish to YouTube my orchestration of Ravel's Second Violin Sonata, the "Blues", today with these new instruments. You'll hear the pizzicato strings, tuba, and celeste that are some of my favourite sounds, and the wood-block I just added today. (I originally wrote this orchestration last November 2015.) So enjoy!

In addition, I have plenty of fun music projects that will accompany me as I get through New Years Day and beyond till I go back to school on January 9th. Practicing, of course (working on the third movement of Persichetti's Violin Sonata) and on piano, my own Saxophone Sonata, but I'm also doing an 83-page orchestration of Ravel's Sonatine for Piano, a piece I learned throughout 2015. It's technically for a chamber orchestra (so the strings are, but I think it will still sound fine when I've gotten it together. I've been starting with the fast end movements since there's so much to write and it takes so long! I've also got my (Second) String Quartet, a little jazz swing piece, and a future film score I will be writing where I'll be creating musical leitmotifs for a cat, a typewriter, and cake! (Three fantastic things!)

So yeah! It's a great time to be musical, what with Christmas music (and kind of Star Wars, I've noticed), but of course mainly just enjoying being a normal musician and practicing/working hard! Hope you enjoy my little orchestration below, and have a very merry Christmas!

Ravel "Blues" Orchestration


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