Tales of the Laughing Wizards

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It is so easy to get distracted in life, isn’t it?! My intention with this blog was to regularly call attention to past pieces I’ve written as well as new ones. It’s the “regularly” part of that intention that went astray. So, today, I’m trying to climb back on that wagon and see if I can stay on it.

Tales of the Laughing Wizards is a suite of pieces for electronic sound. Each piece within the suite is a different wizard with a name suggestive of the tone of that piece. I don’t write much electronic music any more, but at one point in my life that was “my thing” so to speak. Now, I prefer to write music that humans enjoy playing on acoustic instruments.

I wish I could find a way to make the sounds that are possible to make with electronics, but with an acoustic orchestra, but that’s beyond me. That’s ok… Getting older has taught me one’s limitations are best just accepted sometimes.

Here’s Tales of the Laughing Wizards!

Amidst the city’s desolation, the Anima appears as a woman clothed in radiant white

DSCN9937I added a new track to The Geography of Dreams: Admist the city’s desolation, the Anima appears as a woman clothed in radiant white.

There’s two kinds of programmatic music: what are often called “character pieces,” short pieces with a descriptive title, the music generally depicting the emotions and character of that description; the other being the “tone poem,” longer pieces depicting blow-by-blow actions of a story line. Late Baroque composers and were fond of the character piece and early 20th century composers of the tone poem (a generalization, of course…character pieces have been popular ever since they were invented, even into the present). This movement is closer to the tone poem approach.

If you’d like to download the score, HERE is the PDF.

The Geography of Dreams with two movements…more to follow.

Busts made of cork spinning slowly through the air

I’ve started a new suite of pieces, The Geography of Dreams. At various times in my life, I’ve kept a handheld tape-recorder in bed and recorded dreams immediately after they happened. Even before I started doing that, I was aware that certain “places” kept showing up in my dreams. Eventually, I got so curious about this, I drew a map of this dreamworld. It has an actual geography!

So…this suite will portray some of those places and dream-events that happened in them. So far, there’s only this one movement: Busts made of cork spinning slowly through the air — the title (and dream) has sort of a René Magritte feel to it, doesn’t it?!

If you’d like to download the score, HERE is the PDF.

Elven Drums

A good cyber friend from Second LIfe is, in Real Life, an expert creative seamstress and doll maker. A recent event for which she designed and made clothes was TribalXFest (also see LuluVoodoo for examples of her costumes).

This music is fascinating to me. In Real Life, the ultra-liberal church I work for has frequent drumming circles. In Second Life there are elven drum circles where groups of fae may jam one electronic drums while others of us dance widdershins. I confess I prefer worked out drumming to jamming but that’s from the perspective of a listener/composer. I’m sure for drumming participants it’s cathartic!

So, this new movement for The Forest is Elven Drums. I used traditional rhythms for part of the drums, tracks (Maqsum and Baladi for the main body of the song and Nawari and Bambi for the relief strain). Please don’t think I know what I’m doing with these rhythms. I tracked them down on the internet and then used them my own way. A purist will, I’m sure, be in pain listening to how I mangled them.

The Fairy Ring

Frideric in the snow by a fire ring_001 copyHere is a link to The Fairy Ring, the newest addition to The Forest. The first link takes you to the newe addition and the second link takes you to the complete set (only four movements at this point, but about a dozen anticipated).

If you don’t know for sure what a “fairy ring” is, here’s a good description and some background on celtic fairy rings: http://anamkaracentre.com/Celtic_Fairy_Ring.html.

One of my favorite pastimes has become spending time in Second Life as a fairy. (That’s me in the picture on the left.) This whole set is inspired by my activities and friends there.

The Forest

Larger pieces evolve and often change direction, entailing a complete reworking of the idea and its parts. That’s what’s happening with this new groups of pieces called “The Forest.” The Soundcloud tags I’m using are “electronic,” “ambient,” “fae,” and “elven.” So…that pretty well describes where this group is settling in!

This involved a makeover of one completed piece, a reassignment of yet another earlier piece, the deletion of another, and, most recently, the composition of a new one (“Forest Dawn”). It feels like there’ll be maybe another 5 pieces or so in this set.

Here’s a direct link to the Soundcloud set: http://soundcloud.com/hilton-kean-jones/sets/the-forest, and below is the widget. As I add new movements, I’ll up date the widget.

Tales of the Laughing Wizards

Admittedly, these are outright, unabashedly commercial pieces aimed at a specific audience, namely the good listeners of radioreddit.com. I’d uploaded some of my short pieces for piano there and surprisingly they’re getting repeat airplay and upvotes every day (so I know it’s not just my friends).

The piano pieces have a “classical” tag on radioreddit. These electronic pieces will have an “electronic” tag. I’ll be very curious to follow the daily stats on them.

Should you happen by radioreddit and care to check some of my pieces out, my nom de plume there is The Linnet. The piano pieces are in rotation now (usually on their “random” channel, but increasingly on the “main” channel). However, it usually takes a week or so before new uploads are approved, so it’ll be a few days from this posting before their getting airplay there.

The order of pieces in this set is important–more like a suite than just a collection of separate pieces.

PS: Yes, three pieces already on SoundCloud under different titles were renamed and reworked and made part of this set. I’ve deleted the hiltonkeanjones.com posts that linked to them.