I sometimes say that I have just enough musical knowledge to be dangerous. It has lead me to believe that I can compose. I made up a chant for a small glbt Christian congregation that has ended up spreading all over the place and is included in a couple of hymnals, but I don’t take that accomplishment very seriously. I’m pleased by it, don’t get me wrong, but it could’ve just been one of those things.
A couple of summers ago my friend Elaine Kirkland opened my eyes to GarageBand. Although I had seen the program on my iBook, I hadn’t quite figured it out until she pushed me over the edge. So blame her if you must blame someone for my errant composing. It did propel me on a course to composing quite a bit of music over the past couple of years.
I began with a series of short pieces, experimenting with several different styles of music—working my way through the “genres.” Some of them seemed like they might be good to use during InterPlay classes, so I took of few of the original compositions and made them a bit longer, then composed a few new ones as well. I am in a very slow process of compiling them into a CD collection called “Indigo Waltz” which was stalled a bit when I dropped my laptop and mangled my harddrive. I lost the original GarageBand files but still had mp3s which I still need to gather and organize.
More recently I learned how to use Sibelius so that I could not only compose music but also be able to publish musical scores. I composed a woodwind quintet (“Spring Released”), a string trio (“Languish”), an organ piece (“Jubilee”) and a clarinet solo with piano accompaniment (“An Almost Longing”).
I think the next phase will be a series of “short symphonies”, not necessarily with multiple movements but with rich instrumentation and a certain scope. I have completed one, “The Point of Exclamation.” Hopefully more will come!
Launch music player. With this player you can listen to any or all of the compositions on this page without having to select each individual file.
Best with headphones if you have them handy.
Here’s a bit more of my second “Little Symphony” (what I have as of 11:36 a.m., Monday, May 4). My definition of a little symphony? Lots of instruments, goes on for awhile, but not too long because it is, well, “little”. Lots of movement but only one movement. The organizing principal of this piece? Lots of saxophones! First little symphony was “Point of Exclamation” below.
Little Symphony 2
excerpt · saxophones, trumpets, trombones, piano, bass, drums (eventually?)
1'58" · piano, drums, trumpets, flutes, organ, bass
2'25" · tula bass, fiji afterglow, coronados brass, percussion, electric guitar, horn, church bell
2'16" · flute, electric piano, percussion, bass, trumpets
2'02" · rawaii riffer, percussion, silicon strings, patara echoes, fiji afterglow, piano, electric piano, church bells
1'54" · piano, rhythm guitar, bass, percussion
Drawing Room Chase
2'19" · harpsichord
A Little Folly
1'06" · clarinet, bassoon, guitar, soprano sax, piano, percussion
Aunt Zaida’s Surprise
1'29" · clarinet, tenor sax, trombone, bass, percussion
4'18" · celesta, space harpsichord, deep bass, english horn, percussion
4'08" · electric piano, bass, percussion
3'47" · koto, triangle
3'08" · piano
4'05" · marimba, percussion, cellos, harp
2'34" · classical guitar, piano, strings, bass, percussion
4'05" · trombone, martian lounge, koto, moonbeam, percussion
3'34" · piano, flute, clarinet, bass, tuba, samoa sweep, percussion
On the Head of a Pin
3'28" · celesta, piano, percussion
3'50" · clarinet, accordian, bass, strings
3'52" · piano, percussion
3'14" · piano, bass, percussion
3'39" · english horn, martian lounge, upright jazz bass, percussion
To request a free pdf version of the sheet music for any of these pieces, email Phil Porter.
3'27" · clarinet, flute, oboe, bassoon, french horn
3'55" · organ
4'15" · violin, viola, cello
An Almost Longing
3'08" · clarinet, piano
Point of Exclamation
4'32" · trumpets, trombone, tuba, harp, timpani, percussion, organ, french horn, oboe
© 2007 Phil Porter, all rights reserved.