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
Mov. 2 – Busts made of cork spinning slowly through the air
Mov. 3 – In the Hills Outside the City, the Old Man Sits by His Fire Conversing with the Forest Animals
english horn solo
Perc 1: Marimba
Perc 3: celeste
keyboard (“chiffy” organ sound)
Mov. 4 – Amidst The City’s Desolation The Anima Appears As A Woman Clothed In Radiant White
horn section & solo
Perc 1: tam-tam
Perc 2: grand casa
Perc 3: tubular bells
Mov. 5 – Twilight Peal in the City of Dreams
horns section (unison)
trumpet section (unison)
I’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:
For example, the instrumentation of this orchestral suite is as follows:
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 https://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.