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

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...

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!)...

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...

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...

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

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...

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...

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...

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...

 

2015

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)...

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)...

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...

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)...

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...

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...

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...

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”...

C.75 - "This is just to say"

     After the first coursework for the 'Composition 1' module, "Mirrors", we were later given a small optional task to have a go at setting text to music. The text given was William Carlos Williams’ glorious poem, "This is just to say"...

C.74 - "Mirrors"

    This was my submission for the first coursework for the 'Composition 1' module during my first year, second semester at university. The task asked us to write a 1-minute single-line composition that we could perform ourselves. We then performed our pieces to one another, and for the most part, all of them were very experimental and dissonant (a lot of us seemed uncomfortable with that)...

C.73 - "Postcard Composition"

     This little piece was our first task for the 'Composition 1' module during my first year at the University Surrey. We were given a postcard and were instructed to write our contact details and instrumental ability on them. Then we shuffled them around the class, and we were tasked with writing a composition for the instrument and person whose postcard we were given. A small catch – the composition had to be written entirely on that postcard...

C.72 - "Allegro in D"

    The first of my large university works whilst I was studying at Surrey. This was a composition I wrote for a module entitled ‘Harmony and Analysis A’ which introduced us to species counterpoint from Johann Fux. The final coursework required students to write a pastiche in the classical style (Renaissance, Baroque, Classical or Romantic). The style I chose was Baroque, and I am sure you could guess the culprit – J.S.Bach...

C.71 - "Instrumental Writing"

     This brief little piece is the first of many works that were to be written during my studies at the University of Surrey for a Bachelor’s in Music. While the 1st semester did not offer any composition modules, one of the compulsory modules – 'Instruments and Orchestration A' – saw us writing an idiomatic 12-bar passage of music for (what I have only just realized as) a quartet; one string, one brass, one wind, and one percussion instrument...

 

2014

C.70 - "Easter Anthem - He is ris'n!"

     This little anthem isn’t too shabby. After singing at my local church for the Easter service of 2014, I was instantly inspired to write an Easter anthem. After writing the initial theme and opening bars, I soon fell flat and would not work on this piece again until the end of the year, where I completed it on 26th November (the same day as the previous piece, "C.69"). The text is entirely my own, and thus let the criticisms unfold...

C.69 - "Hostile Theme #1"

     One of my few early compositions on which I actually wrote the date when I finished it – 26th November 2014 – this piece was written to accompany an area of hostility in a video game, whether it be a dungeon, or a cave of monsters, so on and so forth. The idea to write a "Hostility Theme" came from when I was playing the much loved video game, 'Dragon Quest IX'  and came across this unnerving track...

C.68 - "Fugue in A Major"

    I believe I started this one whilst at college, following my favourite "Fugue in G Minor". However, this was completed after college, and I remember struggling to complete it (hence why it is so short – I ended it far too early). You can note my signature motif (as it appears in "C.55") occurs a few times throughout. Likewise to how I wanted to write four fugues for a woodwind ensemble, I wanted to write four fugues for a string ensemble as well...

C.67 - "Battle Theme #1"

     This theme was one of the earliest video game themes I had started (with its material being born out of the 'Chase' segment from "C.64 - Opening Fanfare" likewise to the previous "C.66"), but it took a while to finish. It is a "Battle Theme" in a JRPG sense in that the theme will play during an encounter with a monster, such as in 'Golden Sun'  which I was most familiar with...

C.66 - "Sad Theme #1"

     Ah, this is a cheerful one. The material for this theme was derived from the segment entitled 'Loss' from "C.64 - Opening Fanfare", albeit expanded with different instrumentation and further material. What more can I say with this one? It was intended to accompany a sad event in a video game (although the near-hopeful nature of the latter half of this theme could be mistaken for an "Inspirational Theme"!)...

C.65 - "Ambience No.1"

     This was a little organ piece I wrote in preparation for playing the organ for my first ever morning service at my local church on 26th October 2014. As I was not entirely adept at improvising on the organ, I wrote a composition that I could learn and build off of instead. It was constructed to become the background ambience preceding a service, and as such, it has regular cadential points where the piece can be ended for when the service is ready to start...

C.64 - "Opening Fanfare"

     I began writing this piece before "Village Theme #1", likely in June 2014 as I recall working on the first few sections while at college. The reason I am placing it in this last after "Village Theme #1" is because I continued working on it until around September...

C.63 - "March Theme #1"

     This "March Theme" was originally going to be "Heat Theme #2", but after it started sounding increasingly militaristic, it became a "March Theme". While it follows a very cliché harmonic sequence (as do most of these video game themes), there is something rather catchy about the propulsive ostinato in the brass and strings. Combined with the chromatic segment with the trumpets and it becomes something more interesting...

C.62 - "Heat Theme #1"

     Going from one extreme to the other, the next video game theme was a "Heat Theme". This was going to accompany a desert landscape of some sort. By now, you can probably see a pattern in the structure of these video game themes; 4 bars of exposition material, then repeat these 4 bars with a melody on top, then return to the opening 4 bars but louder, followed perhaps by 8 bars of development before repeating, all with a pedal of some sort. Or something similar...

C.61 - "Winter Theme #2"

     This "Winter Theme" on the other hand is cliché rubbish that repeats an overused progression that you can find in any number of pieces, most of which are from 'Les Misérables'. Whereas the first "Winter Theme" would have accompanied a wintry area, this second "Winter Theme" would almost certainly have accompanied a village. In that sense, it could be considered "Village Theme #4", but as 2/3 of those themes could drive people insane, I think I've written enough of them...

C.60 - "Winter Theme #1"

     The next video game theme I wrote was a "Winter Theme" to accompany a snowy landscape in an RPG. Without a doubt, this is my favourite video game theme I have written due to its eerie harmonies that were simple, but effective. Also the fact that it starts in A minor, but that isn't the tonic! Since I usually always started my compositions in the tonic, this was deeply refreshing...

C.59 - "Village Theme #3"

     Aaaand it's another "Village Theme"! Whereas the two predecessors were rather simple and repetitive, this one is a little less simple and a little less repetitive. This theme might just have enough variation to not drive someone insane, and I do quite enjoy it upon listening to it after some years. There is a suitable amount of variety between the instruments, with the melodies swapping between the flute, oboe and violins...

C.58 - "Village Theme #2"

     Following straight after "C.57 Village Theme #1I wrote another with the incredibly creative title, "Village Theme #2"! This follows much in the same vain as "C.57"  – it is a piece intended to be looping while a character is exploring a village. This piece in particular drew heavy influences from a particular theme from 'Golden Sun'  – "Happy Towns– which was also written in a 5/4 time signature...

C.57 - "Village Theme #1"

     Ah yes, the video game themes. After experimenting with video game music foremost with "C.50", I played around with writing a few more little themes. The first experiments were "Village" themes. These were pieces that would play while your character is exploring a village, and I drew (once more) on the village themes from 'Golden Sun' for inspiration, such as the iconic "Vale"...

C.56 - "(Unfinished) The Rise of the Machines"

     This piece met the same fate as "Night of the Red Moon", in that I never finished it, but had worked on it so extensively that it deserves a mention on this list. I begun working on this around the same time as the "Sports Advert", towards the end of 2013, and then continued working on it all the way until my final days at college in July 2014, where I then ceased to work on it...

C.55 - "Fugue in G Minor"

     Ah, this fugue is my favourite I have written so far. Also written whilst at college, it is a triple fugue – the first of which to use what I would later deem (and abandon) as my ‘signature’ fugal subject. This 'signature' can be seen in the cello part of bars 10 – 12, with the simple 4-note figure. You should keep a lookout in other future fugues I wrote (I'm not sure if there are actually any, at least which were finished) for appearances of that 4-note figure...

C.54 - "Chorus No.3 - Messiah"

     The next of my choruses that followed my supposed ‘chorus’ structure of having a first chorus, followed by a second chorus, and then a final chorus that used material from the first chorus (and supposedly an accompanying hymn – but alas, the hymn is absent!)...

C.53 - "Fugue in Bb Major"

     The third of my wind quartet fugues, this time with the subject beginning in the treble recorder. You don’t need me to tell you that the influence here was from Schoenb... uh, I mean J.S.Bach, of course – in particular, the fugue from his BWV 564 Toccata, Adagio and Fugue in C Major. I remember struggling to finish this one; I was stuck around bar 70 for a long time. And indeed, the ending is abrupt and comes out of nowhere...

C.52 - "Sports Advert"

     This was a fun one! For the 2nd year of A-level music, students had the option to write a composition as a part of their course. I did not hesitate to write one! Similarly to the previous year, Edexcel (the chosen exam board for music at my college during 2013/2014) published 4 different compositional briefs for the task. The only two I remember were...

C.51 - B2 - Melody No 6 - Gb (Sib6).jpg
C.51 - "Melody No.6 - Gb" (Book 2)

     See "C.30" for a brief description on this piece and the other "Melodies".

 

2013

C.50 - "Overworld Theme #1"

     Ah, the start of my curiosity into video game music.

     This is a piece that I only just rediscovered and retroactively added to the list in October 2017. Essentially, it is an "Overworld" theme - a theme that plays when your characters are travelling around the open world map, or the "Overworld" (such as in 'Golden Sun', which was most likely the game I had in mind when writing this theme)...

C.49 - "Christmas Chorale - With Wondering Awe"

     The second Christmas Chorale following the yearly tradition I had set myself from the previous year. This was written during December 2013 at my home.

     Compared to my previous "Christmas Chorale", this one is far more sophisticated and less cliché to some extent. I enjoy it much more as, once again, it involves swift counterpoint that I wrote with Bach's chorales in mind...

C.48 - "Sonatina in Eb"

     This little piano composition was during my second year at college. It was a practice piece for writing in the form of a sonatina as one of the composition briefs for that year was to write a sonatina.

     Ultimately, I chose a different composition brief (as you will soon find out) but this piece is nevertheless enjoyable. The persistent rhythmic motif is particularly lovely, although I question how playable it truly is...

C.47 - "Fugue in F Major"

     Yet another fugue! – Oh this is getting tiresome! Though I suppose I do owe a lot to fugues for teaching me counterpoint (to a greater or lesser degree!)

     This one, another written during college, was originally scored for brass instruments so that I could learn how to better score for brass, but I later rescored it for string instruments as well, so it can be performed by either a brass or string quartet...

C.46 - "Allegro in A"

     Woah, where did this one come from? – I had completely forgotten it!

     This was to be another string concerto in a similar sense as "C.21", this time for a single soloist, but as I struggled further and further just to write the Allegro, I decided not to write the other two movements and only finished the first. Stylistically, it also has influence from Bach and general Baroque concerto writing...

C.45 - "Small Fugue in D Major"

     Another fugue written during college and with influence from Bach’s fugues. Although it is a keyboard fugue, it is my first one specifically for piano and not harpsichord or organ.

     I don’t recall much from its creation, but there are parts of it I find rather pleasant. On the whole though, it is stylistically too close to one of my Melodies for me to find a greater pleasure in it (as those “melodies” were so horrendously course)...

C.44 - "Bright Fugue"

     This is a charming little fugue which I wrote during college as a lullaby of sorts, scoring it for glockenspiel, celesta and harp (or as I note on the original score, 'or 5 other bright voices’, which could mean for vocals or other instruments with a bright timbre).

     The fugal subject, as already noted, is derived in part from the flute in bar 30 of "C.42", and it is a peaceful and good-natured theme – a pleasant little subject that is delicate and child-like...

C.43 - "Melody No.5 - Db" (Book 2)

     See "C.30" for a brief description on this piece and the other "Melodies"...

C.42 - "Fugue in E Minor"

     This was the second fugue I was to write using a specific woodwind quartet (the first being the early "C.6 – A Four’s Fugue"), and it was to be in a very similar aesthetic to the earlier woodwind fugue.

     When I wrote this piece during college, I intended to write two further woodwind fugues at a later point, each one starting in an instrument that had not yet been given the first subject (e.g. "C.6" started the subject in the flute, this one starts it in the bassoon), but it seems I had forgotten about this concept...

C.41 - "Small Fugue in E Minor"

     My first composition consisting of entirely brass, this one was inspired out of Bach’s Fugue in A Minor BWV 904 – specifically an interpretation made my Stephen Malinowski with his Music Animation Machine (which is an excellent visualizer for music). This was written also during my time at college. I wanted to teach myself how to write for brass (something I still have to teach myself as of writing in 2016!) and this was my earliest piece in an attempt to do this...

C.40 - "(Untitled) Vocal Piece"

     Ah – I had forgotten about this one – and a shame, for it isn’t too bad either.

     Another piece written whilst I was at college, this one is a rhythmic canon for six wordless voices (I think, intentionally wordless this time!) divided into three sections. I believe it may have been inspired by Stanford’s Beati Quorum Via...

C.39 - "Chorale - Thwart all evil"

     Yet another chorale in the style of Bach, still written while I was at college. This one again uses the techniques of chorale that we were studying, perhaps more so than my previous chorale. It also adopts the strophe format I used just before in "C.34". Nevertheless, the lyrics are once more my own, as cheesy as they can get might I add! I do hope, though, that it is musically at least more acceptable by adhering closer to the principles of chorale writing (complete with 'tierce de Picardi'!), but of course, I don’t expect it to be entirely satisfactory...

C.38 - "Fugue in G Minor"

     Hey look, another Fugue with inspiration from Bach! Which piece was the influence this time?

     This one in particular was inspired directly from Bach’s harpsichord fugue in BWV 915 which I was absolutely captivated by (and still am!) by its relentless persistence of the fugal subject. And so this piece grew out of that, as you can tell due to the end of the fugal subject stating note for note a part of Bach’s subject. Actually, the entire crux of the subject is nearly identical to Bach's...

C.37 - "Aria"

     Oh I love this delicate little piece. I wrote it after attempting to write another piece – a recitative entitled "I’ve made the day a night" which completely failed and never went past 20 seconds. This piece was supposedly going to be another recitative, but I made it an aria instead (although, to some extent, it is not aria-like at all). However, the title "Aria" is not a reflection of its title, but actually of one of the characters involved in the song...

C.36 - "Chorale - Dark once was thine night"

     Another chorale in the style of Bach’s chorales as we were still studying them in our music course at college. The lyrics here are once more my own, and you can quickly see stronger connections to Bach’s chorales through the use of 'ii7b – V – I' cadential points and other cadences. Of course, it is still a far distant away from Bach’s mastery, but it is certainly at least better than my previous chorales...

C.35 - "Melody No.4 - Ab" (Book 2)

     See "C.30" for a brief description on this piece and the other "Melodies".

C.34 - "If only we could see the wind"

     Ah, this one. This piece coincided with my sudden interest in poetry, for at the same time I was taking an English course at college. And the bulk of any English course includes the lovely art of poetry. I  ventured out to write some of my own, and the first poem was one apt little fellow entitled "If only we could see the wind" which I attach thus...

C.33 - "Small Fantasia and Fugue in G Minor"

     Once more, another organ piece inspired by Bach. I had completely forgotten about this one until I listened to it again here.

     The opening fantasia was written after the fugue, and it is incredibly cheap as you can likely tell. I do remember struggling to write it (oh dear…)...

C.30-32, 35 and 43 - The "Melodies" (Book 2)

     Hurrah – the highly anticipated* continuation of the Melodies idea in the style of Bach’s Inventions. This “Book 2” supposedly explores all of the major flat keys (ignoring C major as that was explored in "Book 1"). All of these ones were also written during my time at college and are also at the same moderato tempo of 100 beats per minute...

C.29 - "Chorus No.2 - The Star will rise once more"

    The second chorale influenced by our Bach chorale work at college. This one features remarkably poetic and devilishly ensnaring words written by yours truly (no sniggering!). This was the first of the ‘Christmas Chorales’ I would write, in which every year I would try to compose a new chorale around Christmas – a task I would only repeat for only the next year. Nevertheless, the harmony here is more acceptable than in "C.22" (I use the word 'more' acceptable, which does not imply it is "acceptable"!)...

C.28 - "Chorus No.1 - Sing Praise to Him"

     Ah, the first of the choruses! Well, these were certainly interesting compositions. Originally, I was going to write two of these choruses a year, each one with an accompanying hymn using material that often recurred in the main chorus. I believe they were influenced by cantatas, but I remember wanting to devise my own ‘chorus’ format. Each chorus would explore different compositional techniques – this one being simple, homophonic and chordal...

C.27 - "Fantasia and Fugue in Bb Major"

     This one I remember little of its creation. I do recall that I wrote the Fantasia with (take a guess) influence from Bach’s Fantasia in G Minor BWV 542/1, by interchanging between fast and slow sections. Of course, it is very cliché and the slow sections have many mistakes...

 

2012

C.26 - "Christmas Chorale - The Feast"

    The second chorale influenced by our Bach chorale work at college. This one features remarkably poetic and devilishly ensnaring words written by yours truly (no sniggering!). This was the first of the ‘Christmas Chorales’ I would write, in which every year I would try to compose a new chorale around Christmas – a task I would only repeat for only the next year. Nevertheless, the harmony here is more acceptable than in "C.22" (I use the word 'more' acceptable, which does not imply it is "acceptable"!)...

C.25 - (Unfinished) "Night of the Red Moon"

     Ah! This piece is of great uncertainty. This was one that I retrospectively placed on this list, as I never actually completed it, yet I had worked on it to a great extent that it merits a discussion on this list. Chronologically speaking, this was my first large ensemble piece (I started writing it in 2011 long before "Into the Forest"), which I remember first thinking of in my downstairs room at home at night, staring out of my window and playing around with a very generic harmonic progression that would later become the groundwork of the chapter ‘Dance of Rain’...

C.24 - "Small Prelude in Bb"

     This is a peculiar little piece. Writing it just following "Melody No.8", you can tell it is an exercise-style piece working on acciaccaturas. This was also one I wrote during college, and there really isn’t much more I can comment on except that it is very basic but has a pleasant motif throughout. Dare I even say that there is some Mozartian playfulness...

C.23 - "Melody No.8 - C#" (Book 1)

     See "C.10" for a brief description on this piece and the other "Melodies"...

C.22 - "(Untitled) Chorale"

     Ah, the first chorale. As part of my music course at college, we were intensely studying all of Bach’s chorales, learning their technique and practicing how to write within their rules as we would need to complete a chorale as a part of the exam. This chorale was my first attempt at writing in a manner such as this – and, well, you can see just how far I disregarded the rules...

C.21 - "String Concerto in G"

     This was a very basic piece, inspired out of Bach’s Double Violin Concerto in D. All I can remember from writing it was that I spent many lunch hours at college scoring it. I attempted to mimic Bach’s fortspinning style and juggle the themes between each soloist so that neither seemed more virtuosic than the other...

C.20 - "Into the Forest"

     Ah! This was where my interest in contemporary orchestral music began (perhaps the "Night of the Red Moon" was also in this vain). Contextually, this was the composition for my AS-level (the first year of A-level at college in the UK; equivalent to U.S. Senior High School) which asked us to score a piece suggested by the title ‘Into the Forest’. At this time, I had begun discovering Stravinsky, mainly through the film Fantasia which triggered fond memories from my earliest childhood when I used to regularly watch the film...

C.19 - "Theme and Variations in C Minor"

     This is a title I have retrospectively added now, it was originally simply called "Melody in Cm". The context behind this one is to do with college; in preparation for writing our compositions as required as part of the module, we had a quick practice of writing some themes with two variations using the Sibelius software. This piece was my result of that...

C.18 - "Forlorn"

     Hmm, I don’t remember much about this piece, nor why I wrote it. I do recall my older brother once hearing it upon passing by and comparing it to Howard Shore’s score for The Lord of the Rings, but I fail to see that comparison. It is basic, cliché and quite dreary, although I’m rather surprised how absent the violins are – I don’t see myself doing something like that unless I was striving to do something "artistic"...

C.17 - "Toccata and Fugue in E Minor"

     More influence from Bach! No surprise there – the Baroque style was everything to me when I first started composing. And this piece in particular was my first attempt at a toccata and fugue for organ. I wrote the Fugue first and the Toccata came later (I remember struggling with the toccata). I also remember writing parts of the fugue in the college library, and at one point a friend listened to it and complimented it (out of kindness, surely!)...

C.10-16, and 23 - The "Melodies" (Book 1)

     More youthful arrogance saw my attempt at rivalling Bach’s Inventions and Sinfonias, in these little harpsichord pieces I simply entitled "Melody no.[x] in [key]". I wrote these towards the end of my time at secondary school, and in the beginning of my first year at college. It originally started as a single harpsichord piece in G major, but I stretched it out into a “book” and wrote a small piece in each of the sharp major keys and C major...

C.9 - "A Joyous Parade"

     I’ll let you guess the influence behind this one – ah, no prizes, it was Bach. Specifically his Brandenburg Concertos which I had recently discovered (surprisingly late, especially after knowing of Bach for about 2 years already!). It was the first movement of his 2nd Brandenburg Concerto that drove me to write this piece, which I originally fantasized about being used for a celebratory parade of some kind – hence the title. The original score below, which I have left unedited from when I first wrote it, holds several notational errors...

C.8 - "Elder Fantasia"

     Well, where to start with this one (as I hang my head in shame and embarrassment). Again, this was another piece constructed out of my obsession with Bach’s music, this time particularly his Fantasia in G Minor BWV 542, which I had not yet taught myself how to perform This was my longest work yet, and still holds some material that I actually find a likeness to as of writing this...

C.7 - "Sol and Luna"

    This is another piece that I have added to the list retroactively. This was perhaps going to be my earliest large ensemble piece, but I ultimately stopped working on this piece in April 2012 and it remains unfinished. It was going to be a two-movement work; one dealing with "Sol" (the "Sun") and the other, "Luna" (the "Moon"). "Sol" was going to be filled with brass instruments, while "Luna" was more calm and serene, utilizing softer and instruments of a twinkly timbre...

C.6 - "A Four's Fugue"

     Now this was a fun one, and my first fugue! For a few reasons, this composition was built around the number four; it was my fourth (traditional) composition (at least before I updated this list to include “C.1 – Free”), it was scored for four soloists, it was just about four minutes long and I wrote it in April (the fourth month – even perhaps on the 4th?). As peculiar and sad as these circumstances may be, this is where the title originated from, even if it makes no musical sense...

C.5 - "Small Passacaglia in C Minor"

     One of the pieces was this small organ work that I wrote during my lunch hours in the music practice rooms of my secondary school. Having been obsessed with J.S.Bach over the past years of 2009 – 2012, I found myself learning a few of his organ pieces arranged for the piano – the Toccata and Fugue itself, but also the Great Fantasia and Fugue in G Minor BWV 542, the Little Fugue in G Minor BWV 578 and most importantly, the Passacaglia and Fugue in C Minor BWV 582...

C.4 - "Three Melodies in F, C and G"

     This was a composition also grounded in my interest in the Baroque period. It was written for the final compositional task required for GCSE music (Year 11), which here was asking for a composition to be written in the 20th century popular style (I'm not not sure how the Baroque applies there). The only way I linked it to this requirement was via 32-bar form, repeated three times with two transitions between sections of 6 bars in length...

 
 

2011

C.3 - "Andante in A Minor"

     This was my first traditional composition, written before July 2011 as my compositional project required for GCSE Music (Year 10) which asked for a free composition. I can’t directly remember its feedback, but it was at the least above a C-grade. The score given below is the original score that I submitted and have left unedited, using the software Sibelius which would be my canvass for almost all future compositions...

2010

C.2 - "Blah Blah :)"

     I only just came across this relic on my hard drive. This... *ahem*... intricate piece was the first piece of music I ever wrote using the software that would later become my compositional canvas - Sibelius. As deduced from the title, I did not complete the task with much maturity. The title of the filename is at least a little less embarrassing - "[Teacher's Name] Task 1" - as our teacher was introducing the software to us...

C.1 - "Free"

     Now this is one of uncertainty. My first, and arguably most tedious composition, this piece originated in 2010 during my third year at secondary school – the academic “Year 9” as so it is called in the United Kingdom. This was the last academic year in which Music was a compulsory module for all students, and the final task saw students writing their own popular song, either in groups or on their own...

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