MLD BLOG

Kingley vale released at Apple etc and back to Metamorphosen 

Kingley Vale, my modern day Symphonic/Tone Poem, is now released at Apple, Spotify, Tidal and all good internet music stores. I am gradually moving my psyche back to working on my Digitiphonic version of R. Strauss' Metamorphosen, which the above Tone Poem distracted me from. More on that soon.

 

Kingley Vale 

I have finished my modern day Tone Poem/Symphonic Poem 'Kingley Vale' a challenge I accepted from my friend Richard Howard and inspired by a magical place in the South Downs, UK. Kingley Vale is a mixture of ancient Yew Forests, Steep Hills and antiquated burial mounds. the Yew Trees are believed to be up to two thousand years old, the burial mounds even older.

A Tone Poem was a descriptive, orchestral, programmatic piece inspired by a certain place or situation. I walked up Kingley Vale many times as a young child, then as an adult. This music was based on the first of those journeys that I can remember - I would have been about seven. When I was three quarters of the way through writing the music, I decided to take a trip down there, as lockdown was easing. it's only 10 miles away from where I live. It all seemed amazingly familiar, despite the fact that I haven't been there for many years..

 

 

Learning, always learning 

I feel like I have gone back to school. The two projects in particular that I am working on are both educative and inspiring, but I would not have thought to do them without being nudged into them. The first, I have been meaning to do for a while, but was waiting to finish my tenth Digitiphony before letting it engross me. I first heard Richard Strauss' Metamorphosen a few years ago, and it had a profound effect on me. I knew then that one day I would have to have a go at re-interpreting it in Digitiphonic style, but this idea was accelerated greatly when my friend, and music engraver, Graham Hall transcribed the whole thing for me (in a week ! - that would have taken me a year if I had tried to do it) into Dorico, which meant that instead of squinting at a pocket score I could port over midi files from Dorico to my DAW, saving me loads of time and inspiring me at the same time, also leaving me with enough energy to re-envisage Strauss' notes through electro-orchestral ears, and also to play with the idea of using the words by Goethe that first inspired him to write the music (it was going to be a choral piece originally, apparently) to take the music into the vocal realm as well as the Digitiphonic one. The second project is a challenge from my friend Richard Howard who, when I completed Digitiphony 10, suggested I write a Tone Poem. This musical form, though more something from the end of the 19th Century/beginning of the 20th than something employed in the 21st, first piqued my interest when I became obsessed with Bax's 3rd Symphony ('Tintagel' by Arnold Bax is one of the best known Tone Poems) and apparently Richard had been thinking for a while I should have a go at composing one. He said I needed to remember a place that meant a lot to me, and base it on that. I had no trouble remembering a place - Kingley Vale in the South Downs, which I first went to as a young child - it was a yew forest, burial mounds, steep hills and a view down to the Solent and English Channel from the top. It is a completely magical place. The reason I feel as if I am back at school is because to complete the challenge I feel I should only use orchestral instruments - as composers who wrote Tone Poems (Symphonic Poems) did, 'back in the day' - despite my natural inclination to compose in Electro, as well as Orchestral, soundscapes.

Digitiphony 10 and 4 videos 

I have two new videos out - one video made by VJ Sadler Johnson of a Trance Edit from Digitiphony 4, also a Teaser Video for Digitiphony 10, which is now available on all internet music platforms

 

and

Full length Digitiphony 10 preview 

From now until 3rd January 2021, when 'A Quantum Mass' is released, there will be a full length preview of the entire album on this site, both on the Homepage and here - 

 

Suntide 

In February of last year, while on holiday in Aldeburgh, Suffolk I woke up very early one morning as the bed in our hotel was so uncomfortable. I walked down to the beach just as the sun was rising over the North Sea. It was an incredibly still, foggy morning, that was destined to become a day of clear blue skies. As the sun rose and burnt through the fog I stood, listening to the waves lap up around my feet, and then started videoing the sunrise on my phone. When I got home I realised that the morning had been so still that the audio of the waves was in fact very useable (normally wind noise would overwhelm all the other sounds) so I wrote an ambient piece of music to go with the tranquil sound of the waves. It is only this year that I have got round to finishing the piece as I have been so busy working on Digitiphony 10 (even though I put the video I made last year up on youtube) and today that track, called 'Suntide' was released on all the streaming services - Spotify, Apple, Tidal etc and also as downloads on Bandcamp

 

Digitiphony 10/A Quantum Mass finalised and due for release 

My Tenth Digitiphony "A Quantum mass" has now been mastered by talented mastering engineer Marcin Bocinski for Legato Mastering in Warsaw, Poland, and is due to be released on 3rd January 2021 on Spotify, Apple, Tidal etc The highest quality version will be available on Bandcamp on 2nd February 2021 as 24/16bit, Flac or MP3 downloads. If you follow me there you will be notified when it is released on that platform.

Digitiphony 10 at bandcamp

 

 

Digitiphony 10 is written 

I have finished writing and recording the 5th Movement of Digitiphony 10/A Quantum Mass, so therefore the whole Digitiphony is now complete. The recordings are currently being mastered by a mastering engineer in Warsaw, Poland and I have high hopes for the result when he has finished with it.

So perhaps it will be released by the end of the year !

 

Digitiphony 10 Final Movement started 

I am 4 minutes or so into writing and recording the final part of Digitiphony 10 (A Quantum Mass). It has been a long, long journey writing this Digitiphony but I think I can see the last part of the road opening up before me. I'm still not entirely sure how much more I have to write, even how it is going to end (normally I at least have some idea of how I am going to finish a Digitiphony, but not this time) - like all Digitiphonies, the writing of it is an adventure that leads me to unpredictable outcomes.

 

Digitiphony 1 score completed 

I am relived, proud, excited and apprehensive to announce that after nearly 4 years meticulous, painstaking transcription and squeezed in between other projects, using the wonderful notation app Dorico (in all its iterations to date - 1,2 and 3) I have finally completed the full score to Digitiphony 1. It feels like this score and Dorico have developed, like brother and sister, in tandem (I couldn't have done this in any other app). It’s now been sent to a master engraver to be tweaked, burnished and finalised (also in Dorico, which has so many levels) before presenting it to orchestras for commission rehearsal and, hopefully, its Orchestral Premier (pandemic allowing) in late 2021/2022