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100 compositions online for the new year!

Posted by Richard Laurence on December 30, 2011 at 5:00 PM Comments comments (0)

Today I posted my 100th and 101st compositions online.  I still have about 8 in my mind and on paper to type up but it has been a good year for composing for me.  I have started to dwindle towards the end of the year though!

 

I thought I would run down through a list of new additions as I haven't added anything to my blog in ages!  (A little bit lazy!)

 

First of all, as usual there have been a few new additions to my educational pieces, notably 'Tired Eyes' which was my 100th addition to the website.

 

I have added 3 new pieces to my chill out music.  Each piece has been influenced by music that I have been teaching to students this term.  'Sunset through the Oaks' was based on a piece by Christopher Norton called 'Dreaming On'.  I find that Norton's music is a fantastic teaching tool as his pieces have so much versatility.  We were driving back home one day and at the end of our cul-de-sac are 3 oak trees.  The sunset behind it was stunning and very soothing so that's where the piece gets its title.  The other 2 pieces are influenced by a composer named Yiruma.  I was introduced to him by one of my pupils and I found his music very easy to listen to with a lovely stand out melody.  'One for Sorrow, Two for Joy' and 'Sweet Nothings' were very easy pieces to write because of him.

 

Another 3 pieces were added to my classical section as well.  'Little Sonnet Ballad' is a sweet and short piece in the same vein as 'Litlle Sonnet Waltz'.  The other two piece are both old pieces which I had forgotten about and randomly found when I was tidying up.  I remember not being that happy with either of them when I wrote them so I have altered them both.  'Mischievous Sprites' is not this piece's original name but it made me think of naughty kid when I re-played it.  'Variations on a theme' is a piece that never really went anywhere but I always liked the main theme so its here to stay.

 

There have been 4 new additions to the jazz section.  I have really enjoyed messing about with jazz this year and have been doing a lot of improvisation on all things that I have written.  'Blowing a Fuse' is by far my favourite and is also many of my pupils' favourites.  It really packs a punch and has a lot of drive.  'Sprint to the Finish line' is a shorter piece with the same feel but with a swing rhythm whilst 'Minty Fresh' just has a cool, relaxed swing going on.  'The Lazy Wagon' is a plodding blues that made me think of a western movie hence the name.

 

It is however, the modern pieces that have had the most additons.  8!  I have 4 pieces that I call explorations as they start in one key and wander through its relatives and other keys on its whimsical journey through to the end.  The one of major note is the one in F major.  It had a different title originally and was the second piece I ever wrote.  It lacks structure but I like the seventh chord changes.  I was 14 at the time when I wrote it and I still like ideas from it today. 

 

'For those in unmarked graves' was written after a visit to an American war cemetery.  It was mind blowing to see the wall of the missing as it went on forever.  The mood of the piece is sombre but grand, similar to Mussorgsky's 'Pictures at an Exhibition'.  'Snow Globe' was actually written last year when we got so much snow in the UK.  I never finished it and re-worked it a few weeks ago to give it an ending.  'Autumnal Sigh' was a short bittersweet piece that was written this Autumn. 

 

'The Last Leaf to Fall' was written after hearing the sad news that one of my brother's friends had been diagnosed with terminal cancer.  It made me think of Autumn for some reason.  My brother's friend passed away in early December and was such a lovely man so this one is dedicated to Robin Freeman.  Rest in peace.

 

On a happier note I hope you had a merry christmas and I hope that 2012 is a good one for you!

 

Richard 

Out with the old in with the new

Posted by Richard Laurence on June 11, 2011 at 2:29 PM Comments comments (0)

2011 has been a prolific year composing wise for me.  I still have a handful of old compositions to re-arrange and add as well as at least another ten new ones.

 

The 3 old compositions that have been added over the last month or so are all on my modern/other page.  These are 'Payn', 'Repetitive by Nature' and 'Windchimes of the Orient'.

 

'Payn' was one of my very first compositions which was written when my nan passed away.  'Repetitive by Nature' was a lot longer than the version posted now but the main gist of the piece is still there as is 'Windchimes of the Orient'.

 

I've also added new compositions to all my categories including a few new educational pieces.  All 3 of my Contemplations have now been added as well as another new Chill out piece called 'Bittersweet Whispers' which came about when I was teaching a pupil how to play 'Poor Wandring One' by Gilbert and Sullivan.  I like the slightly odd chord combination in the verse.

 

'One Stomp at a time' is a new jazz piece with a 12 bar blues  feel which drags itself along and another bluesy piece is 'Bombay Sapphire with a twist of lime' which is a take on a 12 bar blues  with floating melody line ( hence the title - blues with a twist!)

 

The last piece that I've added I'm really proud of.  'Emerging from the Chrysalis' has a stand out melody line which starts quite simply but ends up filled with rippling triplets.  I think my joining sections in this piece have also worked quite well.  Make sure you listen all the way to the end!

 

More Jazz Additions

Posted by Richard Laurence on April 19, 2011 at 2:30 PM Comments comments (0)

I've always felt that I should take a better look at some more jazz compositions.  Not necessarily trad jazz but the broad spectrum of jazz, blues and latin music.  I recently added my piece 'Lured into Temptation' which has a latin feel and I had a very prolific week last week as I composed two new jazz pieces.

 

'Bootleg Blues' follows a fairly simple 12bar pattern, however, I think the piece turned out quite well and I enjoyed playing the piece and improvising around it. 

 

'The Funk of Forty Thousand Years' is a basic funk piano piece.  I recently learnt some funk piano piees via yotube and thoroughly enjoyed tem so I gave it a bash.  Once again, I'm really happy with the outcome.

 

I hope you enjoy them as much as I enjoy playing them.

 

 

New Editions

Posted by Richard Laurence on March 4, 2011 at 10:06 AM Comments comments (0)

I have added 6 new compositions to the site over the last couple of weeks.  Apart from my educational version of Baa Baa Black Sheep, all of these pieces are available to listen to via the music page.

 

"Love can pass you by" was written about 7 years ago after watching a film called he "The legend of 1900".  If you haven't seen it I suggest you do because its brilliant.  This piece of music pays homage to a piece from th film called "the crisis".  It's very repetitive and I found this very haunting ad moving.  Listen to the piece and it will hopefully explain why I gave my piece its name.

 

"Battle of the times" is another old piece, around 8 years old.  It changes simple time signatures regularly and I find it difficult call it a Waltz or a March.  However, I think it works well considering. 

 

"The Grand Finale" is another majestic piece but this one is strictly a March.  Its only a year old so in terms of this website its probably one of the most modern I've put on!

 

I have written 3 contemplations which all started a thoughtful improvisations.  They should have that feel about them when they are played and are all played molto rubato.  The other 2 contemplations will be posted shortly.  These contemplations were all written this year.

 

"Sesame Shuffle" is basically the sesame street theme by Joe Raposo with various boogie and jazz basslines and embellishments.  I was playing around with boogie one day and ended up putting the main theme over the top.  I think it works quite well.

 

Enjoy

New Piece/New Year

Posted by Richard Laurence on January 11, 2011 at 9:29 AM Comments comments (0)

I've just added my first piece of 2011.  It's another old piece written when I was 16.  The millenium seems like only yesterday....

 

I was asked to compose and perform some music for a play called "Six characters in search of an author" by Pirandello for my local University.  The play is quite depressing but has a great climax.  I decided to write mostly incidental music to give an underlying tension to the play, however I kept returning to the same motif throughout the play as it had a effective pounding feel. This grew and grew until the final climax which thumped out a monotonous chord progression.

 

After the play ended I decided to write up this motif and condense it into a smaller time frame.  It may not be the most interesting piece but I think it works as a desperate drumming headache.

 

I'm having problems getting this piece turned into an audio file so the music might not be available to listen to for a while.

 

Anyway, I'd like to wish everyone who reads this a happy new year.  I hope it's a good one for you!

 

 

Y did I write this?

Posted by Richard Laurence on November 28, 2010 at 10:27 AM Comments comments (0)

I've just posted an old composition on my music and photos pages.  It's called Y but thats not it's original title.  I composed it during college because I wanted to write something that would be tricky to play.  I have since learned that doing this usually means that the music is often not great.

 

My piece of music called "Change is Inevitable" was an old college piece as well however I feel that that piece actually still sounds good to my ears.  "Y" on the other hand does not.  I like parts of the music but I feel that it just wanders around to much.  The piece was written deliberately in A sharp minor because a fancied the challenge of writing in 7 sharps or flats.  I do realise that it would make more sense if the piece was in G flat minor however I decided to be faithful to how I originally had written it.

 

All in all, its not my greatest work but I hope some people out there will find it interesting anyway!

 

 

Homage to Chopin

Posted by Richard Laurence on November 18, 2010 at 12:08 PM Comments comments (0)

I have just added my composition 'Twelfth Nightmare' to my classical sections.  It is based around Chopin's Revolutionary Etude and is dedicated to the great pianist and composer.

 

It is named Twelfth Nightmare due to Chopin's revolutionary being his 12th Etude and also because it is so tricky to play.  This should be a challenge to even the best of pianists I hope!

 

Any feedback on the piece would be great, whether positive or negative!

 

Richard

Cloud Suite

Posted by Richard Laurence on November 2, 2010 at 10:15 AM Comments comments (0)

I have finished making the videos for my suite of music called "Clouds".

 

The suite is designed to show changing weather throughout the day.  It starts brightly with Cumulus clouds but the weather turns and becomes rainy with thunderstorms but then brightens up towards the end again.  The order of the pieces of music in this suite are as follows:

 

1.  Cumulus

2.  Cirrus

3.  Cumulonimbus

4.  Stratus

5.  Altocumulus

 

The sheet music is availble to view in my photo album and the mp3 is available to listen to via my music page.

 

I hope you enjoy the suite.  I am happy to take any comments good or bad!

 

Thanks for reading

 

Richard

Membership

Posted by Richard Laurence on October 22, 2010 at 8:24 AM Comments comments (0)

I am now offering any new members to my site a free piece of sheet music of their choice from any of my catergories in my photo page.

 

If you would like to join as a member please e-mail me at [email protected] and I will add you as a new member.  I will then send you your free sheet music via e-mail.  If you wish to receive a hard copy there will be a postage charge.

 

Thanks for reading

 

Richard

Educational pieces

Posted by Richard Laurence on October 22, 2010 at 8:09 AM Comments comments (0)

I'm now starting to put on my educational pieces.  These pieces were orginally written for 2 music books.  The first one focused on all the musical things to do with the letter A and the second was all to do with the letter B.

 

You will find that most of these pieces are in the A keys and B keys because of this.  I had a few publishers interested in the idea at first but I would have needed to write an seven books to cover each of the note names as well as possibly another 2 or 3 books to cover the other letters that I had missed.  Each of the books took me about 6 months to complete and I eventually got a bit bored knowing I would need to spend another 3 or 4 years completing the others.

 

Every now and then I'll write another page of the C and D book but I don't write them often enough.

 

Some of the pieces have been given new titles as I prefered the names to the old names otherwise they are pretty much the same.  I do have copies of these pieces with keyboard chords added as well.

 

For the time being I am happy to send copies of the educational music for free so if you would like any of the sheet music in the educational section please send me an e-mail at [email protected] or post a thread in the forum page.

 

Thanks for reading

 

Richard


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