LYRIC RAGS — a sonata for violin and piano

LYRIC RAGS — a sonata for violin and piano
Mov 1 – City Nights
Mov 2 – Silent Waltz
Mov 3 – Sky Highway

Composed in 1975, the 3rd movement is my favorite of the three, but I’m also fond of the 2nd movement. The first movement is a bit severe…more dissonant than I remember. The score is available at http://hiltonkeanjones.com/scores/Lyric_Rags.pdf.

https://soundcloud.com/hilton-kean-jones/sets/lyric-rags-a-sonata-for-violin-and-piano

Score available for The Geography of Dreams (for symphony orchestra)

DSCN9937

In my last post, I was able to present the score for one of my three most recent orchestral pieces. Tn this post I can announce that I’ve finished editing the score of the second of these. It can be downloaded (free) HERE.

The audio may be streamed (free) HERE (or use the player below). I strongly recommend listening on headphones or good speakers, not just tiny laptop speakers.

In my last post, I also talked a bit about the orchestra I find myself writing for. Basically, it’s solo woodwinds, solo and ensemble brass, at least 3 percussionists plus timpani, keyboard, and harp, plus–always–a full string section. However, in multi-movement compositions different movements use different subsets of that basic orchestration.

For instance, in The Geography of Dreams, you can compare the instrumentation among the movements from this list.

 
Mov. 1 – Dream of the City by the Sea and the Dark Castle Beyond Its Walls

flute solo
trumpet solo
piano
strings

Mov. 2 – Busts made of cork spinning slowly through the air

oboe solo
harp
strings

Mov. 3 – In the Hills Outside the City, the Old Man Sits by His Fire Conversing with the Forest Animals

picc solo
flute solo
oboe solo
english horn solo
french horn
Perc 1: Marimba
Perc 3: celeste
harp
keyboard (“chiffy” organ sound)
strings

Mov. 4 – Amidst The City’s Desolation The Anima Appears As A Woman Clothed In Radiant White

horn section & solo
trumpet solo
tuba
timpani
Perc 1: tam-tam
Perc 2: grand casa
Perc 3: tubular bells
harp
strings

Mov. 5 – Twilight Peal in the City of Dreams

horns section (unison)
trumpet section (unison)
strings

Score available for The Forest (for symphony orchestra)

Frideric in the snow by a fire ring_001 copyI’m in the process of editing my three most recent orchestral pieces. I just finished editing the score of the first of these. It can be downloaded (free) HERE. The audio may be streamed (free) HERE (or use the player below). I strongly recommend listening on headphones or good speakers, not just tiny laptop speakers.

In retrospect–I didn’t do this intentionally, things just came out this way–I’ve noticed that the “orchestra,” for which I naturally tend to write, has the following characteristics:

  • Normal string section;
  • Far fewer woodwinds and brass which are used almost exclusively only in solo/soli writing;
  • Expanded percussion/keyboard sections;
  • Always harp but also sometimes other plucked instruments;
  • Except for string section which seems to always be present in every movement, not all movements have same instrumentation, and some instruments might only be used in one or two movements.

For example, the instrumentation of this orchestral suite is as follows:

Flute
Oboe
English Horn
Horn
C Trumpet
Percussion 1

  • Tubular bells
  • Sistrum or tambourine (or any metal or bright sounding shaken instrument such as “egg” shaker)
  • Claves
  • Anvil or brake drum

Percussion 2

  • Hand bells
  • 6 large drums of varying sizes (in a pinch, roto-toms would do); notes immediately repeated should be of slightly different tonal inflection; the lowest 2 (or 3) drums may be of wood–at any rate, the lowest drums should be significantly lower than the upper 3

Percussion 3

  • Orchestra bells
  • Dumbek or a similar, single drum that can create a variety of pitches and timbers.

Harp
Violins I
Violins II
Violas
Cellos
Basses

A More Prodigious Tulip for cello and piano

2015-04-12 12.47.16 copyThis 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.

Festival Prelude for Piccolo Trumpet and Organ

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.

New movement added to The Golden Thread — Wendeyaho

I’ve added a movement to The Golden Thread, Wendeyaho.

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
.

Addition to Geography of Dreams

DSCN9937I 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.”

In the Hills Outside the City, the Old Man Sits by His Fire Conversing with the Forest Animals

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.