Friday, July 5, 2013

Joseph's Bike Ride

A recent home video of my son learning to ride his bike came to mind as a great inspiring video on which to add music. The low-budget amateur home video, paired with my original chamber music makes for an artsy indie feel. The music is repetitive on purpose. As I watched my son make repeated attempts at successful bike riding, so repeats the music. . . until he finally achieves his goal, at which point, the music moves right along with him. Note that I wanted the music to sound raw, unrefined, and even choppy, to match the nature of learning to ride a bike. Think of a quirky Philip Glass minimalist piece, only with classical woodwind instruments, horn, piano, guitar, and percussion, with their unique styles and characteristics, and a triumphant ending.

Hiding Place: Will There Ever Be a Choir?

I originally composed "Hiding Place" for choir a' cappella with words from my mother Donna Lawyer's poem by the same title. Being a full-time active duty Army musician has made finding and rehearsing a choir almost impossible. I haven't given up all hope though. 2012 could be the year the song finally gets sung. Being recently transfered to the Hampton Roads area of Virginia, there are church, collegiate, and community choirs nearby. Also, being on the East Coast with so many major cultural centers up and down the coast greatly increases the chances of this piece being performed and recorded. I look forward to the many musical opportunities the US East Coast has to offer.

The original poem:

Hiding Place
by Donna Lawyer (Ben's mother)

Do you long for a hiding place
To rest your weary soul?
Perhaps beside the firelight
Content within its glow.

A cottage warm with gardened walls
And flowers all about;
Where the gate opens to let you in
But keeps your troubles out.

A hiding place where you can dream
Or even sit and cry;
A place where you are safe within
From all the passers by.

Is not the Lord our hiding place,
His love our firelight?
His arms reach out like gardened walls
To keep us safe inside.

The string version:

A Purpose and a Promise - Revision Plans

My work-in-progress, "A Purpose and a Promise", is undergoing an overhaul. Nothing too drastic, but the first version I uploaded was recorded directly from the Sibelius music notation software and sounds somewhat decent as-is. I can fine tune using a program like Logic Pro, which was actually made for generating music, rather than Sibelius, which is primarily for printing and sharing pages of music. Another thing I may choose to do is beef up some of the sounds and trim some others. I'm also considering lengthening the piece, adding variation and revisiting some of the themes.

Blog Lift-Off!

Greetings! Today is the first day of my composing blog. The purpose of this blog is to keep fans, clients, and colleagues updated on my latest compositions and arrangements. This blog is interactive. Please comment, and you will receive prompt replies from me, the composer. I may post two alternate endings and ask fans to pick one. I enjoy being innovative and having fun at the same time.

Ben Lawyer