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A Compositional Blog

     Throughout my years of composition, I have assigned all of my major projects a number in this list to denote their chronological order. This list does not only include music that I wrote myself, but it also includes transcriptions I made of other composer's work, educational tasks and unfinished works. For each piece, I provide a "reminiscence"; some narration to give some context and reflection on how and why I wrote it, and in the case of transcriptions, I provide a short analysis of the piece as well as any other useful insights.

2018

 

Coming Soon!

2017

 

Coming Soon!

 

2016

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C.109 - "Her Theme #1"

     This was a little piece that was born out of the earlier “C.103 – Boss Theme #1”. It is a reworking of the main theme from that earlier piece – a leitmotif that I intended to scatter throughout a video game if I ever got around to creating it which would represent “her” (yeah, I have not yet designed the character). This version of the leitmotif, with the harp being the most prominent instrument, would be the purest version of the leitmotif, possibly even being performed by “her” herself during her introduction (…hmm, words…).

C.108 - "Calm Synthesizer C"

     Akin to “C.97” and “C.99”, this is another experiment with synthesizers, utilizing mainly Native Instrument’s “Massive” synthesizer.

    The harmonic progression is another simple one...

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C.107 - "Ave Verum Corpus" (Wrath of the Abyss)

      This was the 2nd chanting track I created for an indie video game “Wrath of the Abyss”. Where the first track utilized the “Dies Irae” chant, this one instead used the “Ave Verum Corpus” chant...​

C.106 - "Dies Irae" (Wrath of the Abyss)

    They were two small tracks written for an indie video game I was working on, “Wrath of the Abyss”. The developer asked for numerous ambience track for dungeons, one of which called for a “Monastic Chanting”. Therefore, I wrote two small chanting compositions using familiar Latin phrases, and then created recordings of them (complete with my own singing!)...

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C.105 - "A Day in the Life of a Mode (Friday)"

     This is the 4th movement I worked on for the suite, “A Day in the Life of a Mode” (see “C.89”, “C.90”, and “C.94”). It was written during my 3rd year at the University of Surrey for the 'Composition 3A' module. This snippet from the commentary describes it best (written between 23rd to 29th December 2016)...

C.104 - "Christmas Bells"

     Now a yearly tradition, this piece was my Christmas composition for the year, written for the University of Surrey carol service competition, just like "C.87". I wrote it from 11th to 16th November 2016, in place of “C.105,” which was to be written the following week...

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C.103 - "Boss Theme #1 (Facta, Non Verba')"

     The earliest date I have for the start of this piece goes all the way back to 16th October 2014. Some years ago, following the months after I stopped working on “C.56 – The Rise of the Machines”, I had started experimenting with video game themes. One of these themes, as is typical for video games, was an RPG boss battle. It is this theme here that was to become my first ‘Boss Battle” theme. I started it on 16th October 2014 and finally finished it two years later on 23rd October 2016...

C.102 - "Ambience No.2 (Major)"

     Akin to “C.65 – Ambience No.1”, this is another organ ambience written purely to serve a purpose – something I can play on repeat and conclude at any time preceding a church service, to provide “ambience”. This one I first played for a Christian Science service in Woking on 30th October 2016, for which it was originally written (as I needed two ‘improvisatory’ pieces to play during the service). Here was the premiere from the 30th...

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C.101 - "Id (Return)" Transcription

    This transcription was heavily tied to "C.100" - check that out for some information on it. Otherwise, you can watch the transcription here below with another retroactive analysis here...

C.100 - "Id (Purpose)" Transcription

    I had been planning to transcribe “Id (Purpose)” from 2012’s "Fire Emblem: Awakening" for some time, simply as it was my favourite piece from the game and there were no full transcriptions available online. So, I decided to put my skills to use and make one myself

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C.99 - "Calm Synthesizer B"

     After my first foray into synthesizers with “C.97 – Calm Synthesizer, A”, I later decided to create another little track, this time by creating my own textures rather than manipulating presets. This result can also be heard (and downloaded again) on Freesound...

C.98 - "Ambience, Peaceful Synth"

     I had recently downloaded an excellent piece of software – “Paul’s Extreme Sound Stretch”, or “Paulstretch” as it may be more commonly known. This software takes a sound file and stretches it out. Simple enough! When using this in combination field recordings, the results can sometimes be quite jarring, but when using it in combination with a synthesized music track, the result turned out to be quite gorgeous and relaxing...

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C.97 - "Calm Synthesizer A"

   Taking a small detour from acoustic composition, this little track here was my first exploration of electronic music using synthesizers..

C.96 - "Common Cents"

    For this work, it is very important that you listen to it before reading about it. Thus, I have attached a recording here at the top of the page - do please have a listen before reading on, for this is a work you can only experience once...

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C.95 - "Screen Score #1 (Carrot Crazy)"

     Written just prior to “C.96 – Common Cents” is a film score for a short film – my first! This was my final coursework for the semester 2 module, 'Screen Music Studies', which gave us the option of a 3,000 word analytical essay, or scoring 2 minutes of music to a scene of our choosing...

C.94 - "A Day in the Life of a Mode (Thursday)"

    A continuation of “C.89” and “C.90” – a 7-movement suite for two pianos entitled “A Day in the Life of a Mode” – this is my musical interpretation of a “Thursday”, which I combined with the Phrygian mode and assigned a theme of ‘Funeral Rites’. This was one of my portfolio submissions to the semester 2 module, 'Composition 2B'. The commentary explains it well...

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C.93 - "Prince of Egypt" Overture

     Now well into the New Year, this was one of my coursework submissions to a semester 1 module 'Orchestration and Arrangement'. We had a choice of three tasks for the coursework; arranging a pop song from a recording, arranging a musical theatre number from a vocal score, or writing an overture to a musical. This latter option caught my eye the most...

C.92 - "Sakura Sakura" Transcription

     The first of many transcriptions to come, this was the second part of my portfolio submission to the university module ‘World Music’ which gave us the freedom to do any task relevant to us so long as it has some connection to the world musics discussed during lectures: African rhythms, Indian ragas, Javanese gamelan, Japanese pentatonicism, Arabic maqam, Bulgarian horo, Spanish flamenco, jazz – quite a lot of choice...

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2015

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C.91 - "Journeys of Ryo"

     Originally, this was titled "Journeys of Yo" out of a mistake I had made regarding which Japanese scale I had used. This was a part of the final portfolio I submitted for the year 2, semester 1 module, ‘World Music’, which was an open portfolio which could be anything relating to what we explored in the lectures. From Indian raga, to Javanese Gamelan, I decided to write a composition based on Japanese traditional music...

C.90 - "A Day in the Life of a Mode (Sunday)"

     And continuing straight from "C.89", here is the portion of the commentary that discusses "C.90". ‘Sunday’ was vastly different to ‘Monday’. Here, the influence was strictly from bell-ringing, insofar as even the tempo marking being a reference to a psalm. Not only did I try to use ionian for the entire piece, but I also attempted to constrain myself to construct everything from a single motif (figure 11)...

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C.89 - "A Day in the Life of a Mode (Monday)"

     The next two compositions are closely linked, and so a lot of what I say here can be equally applied to "C.90 - A Day in the Life of a Mode (Sunday)". The second coursework for the composition 2A module, in which we had to engage with musical modes in some shape or form. I decided to do this by assigning the seven common modes each to a day of the week, and then attaching an activity that I personally associated with each week, and working from there...

C.88 - "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland - Chapter 6/7 (Partial)"

     The mad-tea party. An interesting jump in Carroll's chronology. As this was for the 'Composition 2A' module, I wrote a commentary accompanying this, and here it is (written on 16th November 2016)...

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C.87 - "Blow, blow, thou winter wind"

     This was a piece that was my submission to the annual university carol competition, in which a few pieces written by students were chosen, rehearsed, and performed alongside the Christmas carol service at the Cathedral, attracting an audience of hundreds every year...

C.86 - "King" (Arrangement)

   This was the 1st coursework for Year 2, Semester 1’s ‘Orchestration and Arrangement’ module, which was a group-based project. As a group, we had to choose a popular song and make an arrangement of it. Much like "C.81 - Night Cries", I welcomed the challenge... at first...

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C.85 - "Metric Deception and Modulation"

     I was debating about whether or not this little piece actually merits being given a ‘C’ number, as it was nothing more than a small university task exploring new techniques we were learning in the 'Composition 2A' module (I was now in my 2nd year of university). However, as I did include the previous (and glorious) task, "C.75 - This is just to say", and because the techniques used here become far more prevalent in a later piece I wrote, I will include this here...

C.84 - "Adventures in Wonderland - Chapter 1 (Full)"

     This one had completely swept past me – I somehow forgot to add this to my completed list. This isn’t so much a wholly new composition, but instead it is a continuation of "C.79 - Adventures in Wonderland". By this time, I had been researching into "Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland" for some time, and had been cooking up themes and motives for as many characters as I could (all of which are kept in my little manuscript book)...

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C.83 - "Tavern Theme #1"

     Another video game theme which I wrote during my trip to Florida in the summer of 2015. Its function would be to accompany a tavern full of drunken, cheerful folk, and as such the music is a little unpredictable and tipsy. It’s a rather fun little piece, with a chromatic descending motif directly influenced by the score of "Wreck-it Ralph", which had become one of my favourite Disney films at the time...

C.82 - (Unfinished) "Ring Out, Wild Bells"

     This is an unfinished choral work which was setting Lord Tennyson’s poem Ring Out, Wild Bells to music. Looking back nearly 3 years later, I don’t recall much about it other than the struggle to try and complete it. Here is his text...

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C.81 - "Night Cries"

     Oh, this was hilarious! This work was written for ‘Harmony and Analysis B’ (you will remember ‘Harmony and Analysis A’ and the pastiche that was required for that). This time we had to do another pastiche, but instead of it being of a Classical piece, it had to be of a popular song. I had recently watched the renowned horror film, "Watership Down", for the first time (following my discovery of it from my ‘Sound Design’ lectures)...

C.80 - "Unexpected Song" (Arrangement)

     For the final coursework of 'Instruments and Orchestration B', we had the choice of arranging various songs for various ensembles. The task I chose was to write an arrangement of a musical theatre song for a small pit band of specific instruments. The theatre songs available were: Lloyd Webber’s "Unexpected Song", Sondheim’s "Comedy Tonight", or Schwarz’s "Corner of the Sky". Of course, from the title you know which one I chose...

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C.79 - "Adventures in Wonderland - Chapter 1 (Partial)"

     My earliest interest in setting Carroll’s classic novel to music came from a concert I attended on the 21st of March earlier that year at St. Mary’s church itself (where Carroll once preached), commemorating the 150th anniversary of the novel's publication. The concert consisted of 12 chapters of music, each written by a different composer, and set to a narrator reading the text...

C.78 - "The Parting Glass" (Arrangement)

     But first, here was another work written for a separate module during the 2nd semester – ‘Instruments and Orchestration B’ – which required us to work in groups to orchestrate and perform a traditional melody to be suitable for children to play on a recorder and sing at school. Of the three options we were given, we chose ‘The Parting Glass’ – a traditional Scottish folk-song...

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C.77 - "A Night Thought"

     This was originally going to be my submission for my final coursework for the 'Composition 1' module at Surrey, which asked us to write a piece and find people to perform it at a certain concert at the end of the year. Thus, I inquired whether I could use the university chamber choir to perform a choral work should I write one, and the director agreed without hesitation. And so I quickly got to work writing a choral piece...

C.76 - (Unfinished) "Discovery"

     As I completed my college exams in 2014 and awaited the results, I was becoming increasingly anxious that I would not achieve the grades needed to get into the University of Surrey (which at the time required the grades "AAB"). Out of this stress, I decided I would compose a portfolio of compositions to send off to Surrey should I not meet the grade boundaries required for entry. The first (and last) of these compositions is this unfinished work, “Discovery”...