by Broadcast TV and Film Music Composer: Joe Wiedemann (ASCAP, NATAS)
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A solo piano piece, for multi-tasking millennials with relatively short attention spans. Nothing boring here. After an initial search for direction, and a few tangent paths, focus returns to the task at hand, and much has been accomplished in a short time.
Element of Risk
While it begins and ends in “comfort zones,” but the activity in-between can be exciting, unsettling and exhilarating. Virtually everything we do contains an Element of Risk. From the moment we groggily step out of bed, we encounter uncertainties in our physical environment, from the weather, to people on different channels, traffic, new adventures, employment challenges, physical dangers, and any number of unexpected occurrences. You don’t have to be a thrill-seeker to be confronted with life-altering choices. Everyone loves their comfort zone. After making yourself at home, it’s usually necessary to leave again for parts unknown. It can be challenging, frightening, unsettling and confusing. But, settling back in, is always the end game.
Scored for: Flutes I-II, Oboes I-II, Clarinets I-II, Bassoons I-II, Horns in F I-II-III, Trumpets I-II, Trombones I-II, Tuba, Timpani, Violins I-II, Violas, Cellos, Contrabass
The sleepy intro droops into a slightly dissonant chord, which signals the beginning of the dreams. If you’ve ever noticed someone twitching as they sleep, you’ll understand what comes next. Just as sleep has its cycles, dreams stretch and compress, morph and change. A synthesizer adds a touch of surrealism that reminds us “it’s only a dream.” As an integrated player in the orchestra, the synth adds color and timbre, shining through on its own only occasionally. Various scenarios play out, until the cycle ends with that familiar dry-sounding mechanical alarm clock.
Scored for: Synthesizer (with one-button patch/program change), Flutes, Oboes, English Horn, Clarinets, Bassoons, Horns in F I-II, Trumpets I-II, Trombones I-II, Tuba, Timpani, Glockenspiel, Violins I-II, Violas, Cellos, Double Bass.
Synth Concerto #2, 1st Mov’t
The 2nd Concerto re-establishes the synth’s parity with the orchestra, by adding new sounds at every turn. As a versatile chameleon soloist, the synthesizer re-invents itself continuously. This Concerto is a spirited showcase of a synth’s best talents: quick, sharp, sometimes quirky sounds, and often repeated notes and patterns. With many rubato, slowing and accelerating tempo changes, and full dynamic range, the synth is given a wide open opportunity to shed it’s reputation of being mechanical and unfeeling. The piece is perfect for a university or community orchestra, with a talented young keyboardist, and an eye to the future.
“Electronic” Symphony #1, 3rd Mov’t (excerpt)
The “Electronic Symphony” is scored for electronic instruments, preferably synthesizers. Movements I-IV contain 13 individual parts. The symphony can be performed in a number of ways: a live performance with all musicians playing separate keyboards, or as few as one synthesist recording each part individually with a sequencer. In the latter, playback can be either recorded audio, or MIDI messages sent to the instruments for a virtual live performance. To perform with fewer musicians, parts that do not overlap may be combined. Since the number of parts does not exceed the basic set of 16 MIDI channels that newer multi-timbral instruments are designed for (such as the Waldorf Blofeld), the whole symphony could conceivably be performed by one person on one synthesizer. On the Orchestronics cd Electronic Orchestra, the Symphony is recorded this way.