52 Weeks – Week 8 – Dun dun dun!
Today’s piece of music is:
A funny thing happened after high school. During most of my high school career I had written for two basic formats: SaXon Geat, and Travels. Consequently, I had a good amount of experience writing for both a pit orchestra and a ska band minus guitar (yeah, yeah, I know). Now, all of the SaXon Geat stuff I’d done hadn’t been under a deadline or under any pressure or even really for a client (since none of my songs actually got performed by the band anyway). However, both Travels and the stuff I wrote for assignments during my first year of college were obviously under more constraints, both in terms of creativity and time. So somehow, whenever I wrote anything that wasn’t for a specific purpose (to blow off steam, to explore musical ideas, etc.) I defaulted to writing another SaXon Geat-type song, i.e. writing for a rhythm section (bass, drums, keyboard), and a brass section (trumpet, trombone, tenor and alto sax), even though the band itself had long since been disbanded.
“Dun dun dun!” was one such piece. It never really had an official title, and was just something I wrote for no particular reason during the summer of 2001. While not a particularly inspired piece, it still possessed a fair amount of energy driving it, even in this early MIDI incarnation. The bass was a better sample than usual, it had a synth lead, and some strings were used for a pad (which is something I actually do a lot, I’ve noticed; even in my most recent work.) The sounds had a certain fluidity that built upon each other and created a smooth, driving, groove experience. All except the brass sounds. Since I still always wrote a part for the brass, we’ve got one here, accenting the off-beats of beats three and four. However, since the brass sounds I had at the time were atrocious, they seem to interrupt the flow the music is trying to create rather than add to it. The result is a potentially awesome sound ruined by this “eeh-eeh” every measure. Hopefully, I learned my lesson. If memory serves, this was the very last piece I wrote with that instrumentation thrown in there as a throwback to SaXon Geat days. All the songs I’ve written since then that have a brass section have had one because I wanted that type of sound in the piece, not simply because they were there by default, and I think it’s improved my compositional techniques.
The piece is still fun to listen to, despite the horrible brass sounds (and the fact that it’s basically just a 50-second loop).
Coming up next week: “New,” yet another untitled SaXon Geat-esque work!