I’ve fallen into the habit of pairing the first listen of a much-anticipated album with a good bottle of something fitting. For the release last year of Brandi‘s “by the way, I forgive you” I choose a London Gin because of conversations during the album’s string sessions with engineer @edwardspear about what we were into at the moment. So happy to have been able to do the music prep for arrangers Kristin Wilkinson and the late legendary Paul Buckmaster on the project, and thrilled to see Brandi and the twins winning Grammys for it tonight!
I have loved the Alias Chamber Ensemble since I moved to Nashville (and have seen most of their concerts over the last 13 years) so I’m thrilled to be writing a piece for their next concert in February.
I’m excited to have a piece for string quartet and clarinet on Lydia Luce’s Lockeland Strings concert series tomorrow night.
These two books have been tremendously helpful to me recently in thinking about how to approach orchestrating Alicia Enstrom’s composition for solo violin with electronics, “Frenzied Whispers.” In considering ways to have a chamber orchestra interact with loop pedals and the generated repeated patterns, Bachelard’s chapter on miniatures has provided plenty of food for thought, like his musings about how “as soon as the imagination is interested by an image, this increases its value,” and this quotation from a Botany dictionary, of all things: “Reader, study the periwinkle in detail, and you will see how detail increases an object’s stature.”
Ben Ratliff’s thoughts about recordings where “the air around the music becomes an almost tangible quantity” have helped me think about how pizzicato notes from a string section and harp harmonics and the decay around a note produced by soft yarn mallets striking a marimba can compliment the space created by the reverb in samples triggered by a solo violin. And this: “Feeling the rhythm is not too far from playing the rhythm, and one’s response to a repeated tone is to replicate the tone for yourself, hold it in your head, think along with it or sing along with it, and experience the musician darting above it and below it, putting it against other notes and chords.”
I think we’ve come up with something pretty cool that should be fun to witness. We’re performing it with a great group of musicians this Saturday at 3:00 at West End United Methodist, under the auspices of the Nashville Concerto Orchestra. I hope to see you there!
Sussing out what’s going on in these Reed Arvin string arrangements while I work on music prep for Sunday’s Rich Mullins show at the Ryman has been pretty cool.
Thanks to Joe Morgan and the Nashville Arts Magazine for the nice review of last month’s Nashville Composer Collective concert!
Excited to spend the next two days working at Abbey Road with Carl Marsh and Chris Greseth and a 65 piece orchestra.