This was composed in 1972. It has had several versions. This is the most recent. It is a series of variations (“strophes”) on an abstract Schenkerian melodic skeleton, embellished over the course of the variations as one might embellish a raga. Unlike a raga which is handed down by tradition, this underlying structure was composed by me. Two salient features that help the ear keep its place are the tonic cadences and the move from the raised 4th scale degree up to the 5th. The score is available at hiltonkeanjones.com/scores/A_More_P…gious_Tulip.pdf.
This concerto was composed in 1994 and slightly revised in 2015. It’s for piano and small orchestra (just piano, strings, and only 4 woodwinds–no brass, no percussion). The score is still being cleaned up but will eventually be available at hiltonkeanjones.com/music.
Here’s an old piece of mine: Festival Prelude for Piccolo Trumpet and Organ: https://soundcloud.com/hilton-kean-jones/sets/festival-prelude-for-piccolo-trumpet-organ. I don’t think I’m allowed to say who the trumpet player is because this wasn’t done for publication, just a demo. But, he’s the trumpet player for whom I wrote all my life. I love his concept of how the trumpet should sound, noble and strong. The not-so-good organist is me. The score is available at http://hiltonkeanjones.com/scores/Festival_Prelude_picc_trumpt_organ.pdf.
Although the arrangement and orchestration is my own, the melodic source for this movement is a traditional Native American tune called “Wendeyaho” that is often described as a “Cherokee Morning Song.” However discussion of it on the Internet indicates that the word, “Wendeyaho,” is not Cherokee. For a full, and fascinating discussion of this, please see Why You Can’t Find “Wendeyaho” in a Cherokee Dictionary
I finally (!) got the edited score for soundcloud.com/hilton-kean-jones/sets/meditations-reflections-for-solo-piano done.
It’s an entire set, and if played as a set, then it should be played in score order; however, it’s not at all necessary to play them as a set. They really all stand alone as individual pieces that can be performed separately as single pieces or in a grouping of one’s own choosing.
I added a new piece to The Geography of Dreams. The new piece is Dream of the City by the Sea and the Dark Castle Beyond Its Walls. There’ll be one more movement I think. Here’s the blurb: “A work in progress…These, and future movements to come, are all real dreams that have stuck with me over the years and that take place in a world that reoccurs very often in my dreams, ever since I was a kid. This dream world has a complete geography that is quite consistent and which I’ve explored over the decades. It’s a peculiar feeling to know that this other world exists. It seems to exist outside of this time stream…but it is very real.”
I’ve added another movement to my orchestral piece, The Geography of Dreams. It’s In the Hills Outside the City, the Old Man Sits by His Fire Conversing with the Forest Animals.
These, and future movements to come, are all real dreams that have stuck with me over the years and that take place in a world that reoccurs very often in my dreams, ever since I was a kid. This dream world has a complete geography that is quite consistent and which I’ve explored over the decades. It’s a peculiar feeling to know that this other world exists. It seems to exist outside of this time stream…but it is very real.
For me, the best part of having a church gig, is having an excuse to write original music and arrangements that serve a purpose in the real world and which must realistically fit the performance conditions/capabilities.
This is one such piece, fresh today. It’s an old plainsong melody, which I arranged for chorus, but I’ve re-arranged here for brass.
This piece has a very wide dynamic range, starting pianissimo and ending forte.
In the previous post, http://hiltonkeanjones.com/2014/08/23/new-anthem/, I had a link to the first of a series of choral pieces based on Transcendentalist poets. The two transcendentalists everyone knows are, of course, Emerson and Thoreau, but there are many more than just those two, and a surprising number of them are women. More than half of the poems I’ve selected are by these women transcendentalists.
The text of the first choral piece in the series, the one featured last week, is by a famous male poet, Longfellow. A friend asked if I was going to post a demo of the choral piece. I didn’t really want to do that–I think choral piece demos sound particularly cheesy (not that other things don’t). What I have done, however–and I intend to do this for every one of the choral pieces–is I reworked them, texturally, into orchestral pieces.
The group of pieces will be called Transcendentalists, and for the orchestral versions, instead of the poem’s titles, I’m using the authors’ names as titles. So, if you want to follow along with some notes, look at last week’s post. Eventually, I’ll post the orchestral score and edit this post to give a link for it.
Here’s the SoundCloud link for Longfellow.