Saturday, February 20, 2010

"Morning: Film Noir"

Today? Perhaps something you are not quite used to calling 'music.'

Well ... (you think) ... that could be a lot of things you write Winstin!

(Laughing) You are probably right!

But - let me set this up for you - Sound sets the scene: a wind chime clacks slowly and languidly in the background. A clock ticks away the seconds. Somewhere a coffee pots starts to life and a forlorn clarinet begins it's plaintive call. A ringing of the phone. No answer. Concern pounds on the door. The phone rings again. It is, again, not answered. The clarinet finishes, the clock insistently ticks away with the slow moving wind chimes in the background. Suddenly, the phone is dis-connected. Time ends.

So ... what is it about?

Another ho-hum usual morning in the big city? A sad preview of death? The loneliness of being?

You decide.

For me, writing programmatic music (as opposed to 'through-composed') is not about trying to create the majesty of swans in flight with that single f sharp - always leaving the listeners shaking their collective heads - but creating an almost cinematic audio experience of sound for the listener.

Part of the compositional process is to record not only music, but to script and record the sounds needed to accompany the audio.

As you can well imagine - this is fun stuff to do. (You also start to stalk some of the best sounding water coolers and desk phones.)

I wrote this piece for my friend and colleague Eddie - a fantastic clarinetist - as you can hear. Originally the piece was titled "A Short Study for a Big Talent." And he is - big in talent! Of course, he was incredibly gracious to get up in the morning and come out and record it. (He was also very trusting knowing that I was going to surround his playing with additional sounds.)

I don't think he quite bargained for the coffee maker sounds, though!

I think I'll call the piece "Morning: Film Noir." (Kind of reminds me of those great black & white detective flicks.)

My thanks to Eddie and all who have written, commented and called me about this blog. It is rather funny, but when I started this thing it really was a way for me to get motivated and excited. Thankfully (and a bit strangely) it has turned into something more with a lot of listeners.


Tomorrow? A piece for solo violin. Monday - a piece about a typist, or a bird ... or cars. Hey! Chickens!

Robert Ian Winstin

Stats: Blog Views to Date (February 19, 2010): 12,115 Sheet Music Downloads to Date (February 19, 2010): 8991

You can grab the FREE sheet music to most of the music in this blog series at

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