O Come, O Come Emmanuel – Saxophone Duet

November 29th, 2012

This arrangement of “O Come, O Come Emmanuel” was written for my saxophone playing friend, another Caleb, and me to play are our church’s christmas eve service in 2012. But besides simply wanting to write pleasant Christmas music to get into the season, I’d also been wanting to experiment with playing a saxophone through a delay effect. This means that whatever is played gets played back which enables a musician to play a saxophone duet with him/herself. At first I wanted to keep this strict and only write notes that could actually be performed by a single instrumentalist with a computer. However, the duet benefitted greatly from having moments of unisons and harmonies to give the listener a break from the constant chasing effect that results from a duet like this. So while it is still written with this delay idea in mind, this arrangement of “O Come Emmanuel” has ended up being a fairly traditional and yet a very unique twist on this ageless Christmas carol.

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Preview first page of score.

Below are two verses from “O come Emmanuel” on which the music is focused:

“O come, O come Emmanuel
And ransom captive Israel
That mourns in lonely exile here
Until the Son of God appear
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.

“O come, Thou Day-Spring, come and cheer
Our spirits by Thine advent here
Disperse the gloomy clouds of night
And death’s dark shadows put to flight.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.”

 

This is one of my favorite christmas carols. This was a joy to work on, and I hope it’s a joy to play.


Bassoon Concerto for Orchestra – Against Indifference

November 28th, 2012

I would consider my bassoon concerto to be one of my best pieces. It began as a piece for piano and bassoon, but from the beginning I had plans to orchestrate it. It now works very well in both the piano and orchestral versions, has been reviewed by several bassoonists, and is a favorite among those who listen to my work. Any bassoonist looking for a new challenge to enjoy should most certainly download the free solo part and read through it. You, your accompanist(s), and your audience will love this piece.

Download solo part (free)
Download score and parts (PDF) ($139.99)
Download piano transcription (PDF) ($14.99)

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Sample Score
Sample Parts
Sample Piano transcription

Additional information:

Instrumentation: bassoon and orchestra (or piano)

Duration: 17:00

Performance notes: I highly recommend that the bassoon be amplified artificially.

This bassoon concerto was heavily influenced by two primary sources. Very few people know it, but John Williams writes fantastic music outside of the film industry. His bassoon concerto (Five Sacred Trees) is pretty much all that I listened to while I was working on this. The other source is actually from literature. Blaise Pascal, a 17th century French philosopher and mathematician, wrote a passionate argument against apathy for eternal matters; a philosophical discourse entitled “Against Indifference.”  Below is the title of each movement and a summary of the argument Pascal was making (the last one is my paraphrase):

Movement I, To the Apathetic

“But as for those who spend their lives without a thought for this final end of life and who, solely because they do not find within themselves the light of conviction, neglect to look elsewhere, and to examine thoroughly whether this opinion is one of those which people accept out of credulous simplicity or one of those which, though obscure in themselves, none the less have a most solid and unshakable foundation: as for them, I view them very differently.”

-Pascal

Movement II, A Lament for Doubt

“I can feel nothing but compassion for those who sincerely lament their doubt, who regard it as the ultimate misfortune, and who, sparing no effort to escape from it, make their search their principal and most serious business.”

-Pascal

Movement III, Search and Fruition

To live a life within the context of eternal existence gives us joy beyond our understanding. Seek this truth, and it will reveal itself to you.


Bassoon Concerto – Orchestral Version

November 24th, 2012

The long awaited orchestral version of my bassoon concerto, “Against Indifference”, is scheduled to be released on November 29 (next Thursday). The full recording will be rereleased as well, and both will be available here.

Of course there is a Facebook event associated with the recording. Join and invite if you’re excited about this!


“Tear of Ambiguity” on a Real Piano

November 8th, 2012

The real recording of Tear of Ambiguity is being released on an event page of the Facebook site on Thursday, November 15. Invite some friends to the event and come listen to this special release of one of my first compositions.

Along with this new recording, I will be releasing the revised score to Tear of Ambiguity as well. I’ve been meaning to do this for a very long time and have finally gotten around to it. It will also be available on the 15th.

Special thanks to Cornerstone University for allowing me to use their 6 foot Yamaha grand player piano. The recording (while being a real piano) was actually still made by a machine. A few years ago I was at Cornerstone, and I had an opportunity to program some of my work into the player function of a grand piano. Using 5 carefully place microphones to capture the sound, I let the piano execute the programming and I had a recording. Technology really is amazing…and this is old technology too!

A big thank you as well to my teachers and peers who helped me to polish and revise the score to this work. The people surrounding me at that point in my life were the ones who helped get this whole thing started.


"Tear of Ambiguity" on a Real Piano

November 8th, 2012

The real recording of Tear of Ambiguity is being released on an event page of the Facebook site on Thursday, November 15. Invite some friends to the event and come listen to this special release of one of my first compositions.

Along with this new recording, I will be releasing the revised score to Tear of Ambiguity as well. I’ve been meaning to do this for a very long time and have finally gotten around to it. It will also be available on the 15th.

Special thanks to Cornerstone University for allowing me to use their 6 foot Yamaha grand player piano. The recording (while being a real piano) was actually still made by a machine. A few years ago I was at Cornerstone, and I had an opportunity to program some of my work into the player function of a grand piano. Using 5 carefully place microphones to capture the sound, I let the piano execute the programming and I had a recording. Technology really is amazing…and this is old technology too!

A big thank you as well to my teachers and peers who helped me to polish and revise the score to this work. The people surrounding me at that point in my life were the ones who helped get this whole thing started.

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