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Credits & Info
- Nov 23, 2008 | 11:58 AM EST
- File Info
- 2.5 MB
- 3 min 5 sec
- 4.21 / 5.00
Please contact me if you would like to use this in a project. We can discuss the details.
My note to the judges of Reflections 2008:
When I first heard the theme, "Wow!" it triggered a memory or two. I've worked for the past three years toward achieving my dream of becoming a professional composer, and my work has just recently begun to pay off, often quite literally. Two years ago, I wrote a piece called "Internal Combustion Clock." I played it for my mom, it being my first real song to call any achievement. That happened to be the first thing she said; "Wow."
She said it again when that same song became the opening track to a full-length album, after two years' hard work, and again, when I managed not only to get it onto iTunes, but to begin generating a profit. Some kids fix things, some rake leaves. I write music-a side-job, hobby and passion that brings a little fun into peoples' lives.
This piece is chock full of bits of symbolic phrasing, instrumentation, and orchestration. Most every segment has some sort of meaning that you'd never catch without knowing me personally. I began to play music in fifth grade band, when I took up snare drum. This piece starts just that same way-with percussion.
It begins to branch out, into bass guitar, then Marimba. I came in contact with these two instruments under serious study at about the same point in my life, playing Marimba for Drumline and Marching Band, and playing bass for Jazz band. Slap bass was a big interest of mine, as well as four-mallet marimba, both used here.
From there, it goes into a Hammond B3 Organ, with the sort of groove I can play. I'm not an experienced keyboardist, but I play often enough to work out things I simply enjoy playing and find fun-sounding, without the limits of a private teacher on the instrument.
From there, the slap bass becomes a bit more complex, marking the point when hammer-ons and pull-offs became a staple of my technique.
Then the B3 begins its solo, in an A Blues scale. Some people equate major scales with happiness, and minor ones with sadness or mourning. I see things differently. When my life is going well, I think in pentatonic and blues scales. They're interesting-flavorful. They, to me, are more of the feeling of fun itself rather than happiness. Pure happiness is boring without some spice to it.
Then enters the string section. Rather than my learning, this marks the sort of strings that got me to notice the latest instrument I've taken up, the Violin. This influence is expressed as I begin learning the violin, in a much slower, beginner level solo later in the piece. This recounts a specific memory of a strings ensemble piece I played in, in which I played a resolving note by force of theory habit during a concert in which the phrase stops rather than resolving, leaving myself alone after an otherwise perfect cutoff. The violinist is instructed to emulate this embarrassment facially during performance.
Next comes the eternal battle of marching percussion versus drumset, versus the meek percussive keyboard, which I never saw as a competitor for my attention until that fateful turning point that brought me to the level at which I stand now, when I began playing and succeeding.
With a final round through a transposed verse, then dropping back down, the piece ends the same way it started. My foundation, and the driving force through the whole piece, percussion.
The instrumentation is arranged entirely for instruments I myself can play, but I did not physically play any of the parts in the recording. The parts were all played with soundfonts, and the piece was notated back and forth between FL Studio and Sibelius 4, the final score set in Sibelius format. It is written to be played by seven musicians, each doubling a relatively simple part on another instrument at some point, save the drum set player. The instrumentation is as follows:
Synthesizer One (Hammond B3 Organ and String Ensemble)
Synthesizer Two (Pizzicato Strings and String Ensemble)
Electric Bass/Quads with Mounted Cowbell
I sincerely hope you enjoy my project.
~Wesley William Boynton