Original Music 2018

Compass Jerusalem

 Compass Jerusalem

4 minutes 51 seconds|  The melody that lies at the heart of this piece was lifted from an accompanying line of Seldom Organs. Its simple presentation occurs in the second statement of the theme. The title was inspired by Luke, Chapter 19, Verses 43 and 44: “For the days shall come upon thee, that thine enemies shall cast a trench about thee, and compass thee round, and keep thee in on every side. And shall lay thee even with the ground, and thy children within thee; and they shall not leave one stone upon another; because thou knewest not the time of thy visitation.” (Image by Painter George Ault.)

Time stamp: 3/30/18.

Record Icon Baked into the Mix: The two hardest endeavors I have undertaken as a creative artist is to write a novel and mix music. Both push my perfectionist buttons, and there is no end to the improvements. Writing music for me is comparatively simple to mixing it. Most of my works were written over a short period of time—two years (2009 and 2010). I am still remixing many of these pieces nine years later. What I did not understand until recently is that how a piece of music sounds is determined at the moment it is scored: that is, in what instruments are chosen and what loops are appropriated. Though I have written far less music in recent times, I fuss less with the scores because I have learned from the pitfalls of earlier efforts.

You always want to blend the smoothest possible waveform. Classical and jazz music is top heavy in midrange, which is why both are recorded at a lower volume. The reverb of recital halls is incorporated into the mix to both boost volume perception of the music and to smooth out those annoying peaks and valleys. I have learned the hard way that, though I love the velvety effects of woodwinds, they are a nightmare where you add drums and other instruments around them. Even if you trim an oboe’s harshest frequencies, it will still sound harsh because it re-acquires that perception from nearby tom-toms and percussive pianos. Instrument combinations have consequences.

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