I have been teaching myself Max MSP lately. Max is a programming package which can be used to process audio and video. Its very sophisticated. Check out the Cycling 74 website if you are interested. Its a long haul I think but hopefully worth it. I have done a couple of composition with it already which was very interesting.
Here is todays output - using a Liquid crystal display object which is quite cool.
Advanced notation in Sibelius 7.5
Its important to be able to use notation software to high standard. I use Sibelius 7.5. Like anything it takes practice. Its relatively easy to learn the basics. However some of the more challenging contemporary scores need a higher level of knowledge. I have made a number of videos of some of the techniques which those who use Sibelius might find helpful.
I am very sad to hear of James Horner's death today. He died yesterday when his plane crashed.
Famous for writing scores such as Titanic, Braveheart, Field of Dreams, Apollo and Avatar, he was an enormous talent. Although many of us have heard Titanic too much it is still an absolute masterpiece. It was the first films track that showed how important it could be to commercial success of the film. We all think of the Celine Dion song. However go back and watch just the first 15 minutes of the film and pay attention to the soundtrack and you will see just how good this soundtrack is. The detail is just astounding.
What a loss!
Here is a piece from Avatar. The Bioluminescence of the night. Absolutely gorgeous. Coincidentally the film was on television just last night in the UK.
Alasdair Fraser and Natalie Haas
Excellent night watching the amazing duo Alasdair Fraser and Natalie Haas tonight in Edinburgh. They played some of their new album Abundance.
Alasdair Fraser talked about his life following the fiddle and how it leads to all sorts of amazing experiences. I can vouch for that. Following my fiddle, I have been many places, made many friends, and become a composer.
Coincidentally I am practising hard for two performances on Thursday and I'm playing a couple of the same tunes as they played tonight.
National Anthem for Scotland
I have just been out to the Storytelling Centre in Edinburgh to hear a friend, Bob Murray talk about and sing possible national anthems for Scotland. There were lots of contendesr - eight of which we heard to night including
Scots Wha Hay
Flower of Scotland
Auld Lang Syne
Scotland the Brave.....
and the current national anthem.
Lots of thing to consider such as ease of singing, range and intervals, how they would sound on different instruments, what the words meant, whether they were introspective or outward looking, positive or negative etc.
Not one of them tired al the boxes. However I was pretty shocked to hear more of the versa of the current Royal nation anthem which is as follows:
" Lord grant that Marshal Wade
May by thy mighty aid
May he sedition hush,
And like a torrent rush,
Rebellious Scots to crush.
God save the Queen!"
Hmmm. It rarely sung now thank goodness.! Of course this song was written and being performed around the time of the Jacobite rebellion. Nevertheless I didn't clock that verse before now. Very interesting night.