I decided to release a second video this week – something I’ve been working on and was too excited to fit into my usual schedule of one video per week!
I’ve been working on orchestrating some of my piano music recently (the first ones were Theme of Oppression and To Arms!, though the latter is a rock arrangement rather than an orchestration. I’ve got a few compositions in progress and have been figuring out what works when it comes to combining instruments and learning a little about how they’re played as I go along. I’ll make a more thorough study of orchestration when I’ve experimented more by myself, as I’m a firm believer in having some practical knowledge to stick the theory to.
The video this week is an wind and strings version of ‘Innocence’. I say version, as I believe that it’s worth making multiple versions of the same piece of music to explore the many different ways that a melody or harmonic progression can go. Arnold Schoenberg advocated a systematic approach to composition in his education materials, exhausting all of the possibilities that you can think of, and Moshe Feldenkrais designed his Awareness Through Movement classes in such a way that you try a whole bunch of different variations of movement that are “wrong”, but they give your nervous system more information to work with and allow you to find new ways of moving outside of the habitual.
Soundtracks often have many variations of the same compositions, to give a sense of coherency to the story and characters and is particularly effective in video games. I remember Jak II adding an extra layer of rhythmic elements over the existing music whenever you drew a weapon and finding that really raised the tension. More recently A Hat in Time impressed me with just how many versions of every piece of music it has – as you move around the levels and encounter different characters, the instrumentation changes to reflect the mood.
I’ll link the original piano version of this composition, so you can easily compare the two. I’d be glad to hear what people think works in each version, ad whether people have a preference for one or the other. If you use YouTube, please consider subscribing, and let me know what you think in the comments.