Welcome to my blog

I have created this site in order to provide performers, listeners and composers with a description of a composer's experiences with the creative process. The posts will provide discussions of the inspirations, challenges, and successes of a composer from the inception of the piece to the culmination in performance. I will provide a link to where you can see and hear the works in progress. Comments and questions are always welcomed. They will not posted unless you grant me permission.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Band Commissioning Consortium

Please forgive my own self promotion of this project, but I am very excited about this and want to give band directors an opportunity to be a part of it.

“Bandscapes” Commissioning Consortium

I would like to invite you to participate in a band commissioning consortium for $50. Each participating school or organization would receive the following:
·      PDF files of the score and individual parts along with an mp3 of an electronic realization
·      A listing as one of the commissioning organizations and its director on the title page of the composition that will be published through Co-op Press and distributed through J.W. Pepper
·      The right to print as many copies of the score and parts as needed for personal use and the right to perform the composition as often as desired.

The composition I am planning to write is a 10 minute piece called “Bandscapes” that would be a showcase for the sections of the band. The first movement would have an opening section that features the full band followed by features for the woodwinds, brass and percussion sections. Short movements (around 30 seconds each) showcasing each of the families within the band (flutes, oboes, clarinets, low clarinets, etc.) will follow. The finale will once again feature the entire band. The composition would be playable by high school/college level bands by my creating A and B versions of the movements and by carefully cueing exposed parts. Bands lacking instrumentation for the instrument family features can simply omit those movements. A suggested optional narration will be included so that the composition can be used on educational concerts.

The timeline for this project is as follows:
·      No later that November 1, 2013 – expression of interest
·      November and December – creation of the composition
·      January 2014 – payment required and emailing of pdf files of score and parts and mp3 of electronic version of the composition

My bio and samples of my music can be found at my website http://www.cooppress.net/

Please feel free to contact me using sybrandon at gmail.com if you have further questions. Thank you for your consideration and I look forward to hearing from interested parties.

Dr. Sy Brandon
Professor Emeritus of Music
Millersville University of PA

Monday, October 7, 2013

Modern Jazz Suite Movement 4

Hello readers,

It may seem like I have fallen off the face of the earth as I have not posted in quite a while. Part of the reason was because I as on tour to Oklahoma for performances of my music by the h2 Saxophone Quartet in Oklahoma and for some presentations along the way. Another reason is that I was waiting to hear back from Todd and Mark regarding the last movement of Modern Jazz Suite. They were both busy with other projects this summer. We now have the premiere scheduled for April 21, 2014 at Texas State University so it is time that I got caught up discussing the last movement.

It was while writing this last movement that I decided to change the titles of the movements to tributes to the major figure in each modern jazz style. Therefore the movements are Parkeriana, Milesiana, Schulleriana, and Corealiana respectively.

Since the last movement is in a jazz rock style, I decided to use an electric guitar. The form of the movement is head, guitar solo, saxophone solo, riff passage, head, ending. A lot of different guitar effects are used including slap tone, tone bends, pizzicato, and use of the whammy bar. The saxophonist does some slap tonguing. Jazz rock rhythms permeate the movement.

I am now using flip pdf technology for the musical examples that go along with my posts. It uses Flash Player that most browsers come with. You will be hearing an mp3 of sampled sounds playing the music and you will see the score at the same time. You will need to turn the pages by clicking on the arrows at the appropriate time. To see and hear what I have discussed, go to http://www.cooppress.net/modern_jazz_suite_blog.html.

As always, your comments are appreciated.

Dr. B