Since the late summer work on some new pieces (see Horns 'n Strings 'n things below) has been suspended in order to complete entries for two composition competitions. Since entries are submitted to the judges anonymously, I'll have to wait until the results are announced in 2013 to reveal details of the pieces.
Just in time for summer ... a musical journey along the Niagara River.
Living in the Niagara region of Canada, I've taken many a meandering drive along the Niagara Parkway, taking in the sights and sounds of the Niagara River and environs, as it wends its way from Lake Erie to Lake Ontario.
The majesty of the river, and of course Niagara Falls, make this a memorable journey. But if you stop along the way you will also find numerous markers of past events - particularly those of the War of 1812 - that fill you with a sense of our history (a taste of this can be found here).
It was a combination of these factors that inspired me to start writing the "Niagara Suite", which takes this journey in music that strives to give a sense of place (both of geography and time) rather than literal "sounds like" depictions.
I'm back to work on this now that the competion entries are done.
Late last year I acquired several new sample libraries with a view to writing smaller ensemble (vs. orchestral) pieces and getting away from "classical" music for a while, into more contemporary styles, including electronic music.
Right now I'm writing a piece for two saxophones, a small string ensemble and piano. At the moment it has a "pop" feel to it, at least in the rhythms, but I decided to go without a fixed plan so we'll see where it ends up. The working title is Saxophony and a short preview is available from the playlist.
Next up will most probably be some electronic pieces using the Kontakt library, the myriad of synths that comes with my Sonar software, and perhaps even space for some of the great sounds in my Roland hardware synths.