August 31st, 2011
I’m revisiting a piece I did a few months back. It might be the piece I am most proud. I was taking Intro to Music Technology at the time and we occasionally would get assignments that were basically to create whatever we wanted using the tools and skills we were learning about. For this one, we were instructed to use the website freesound.org, a website with a huge collection of creative commons sounds. I hit Random Sample in the side menu about 25 times and downloaded all the sounds I got, which included boats creaking, footsteps in snow, a Chinese street performer, a ping pong game, and a French guy explaining what freesound.org is and how to upload files. I used all of these, sometimes looking for more similar sounds to use for more variety. I then processed these sounds in Logic and another great program called SPEAR and added some music of my own.
http://pathock.bandcamp.com/track/walking-sideways It’s a free download, by the way! Read the rest of this entry »
August 30th, 2011
I am excited to report that I am now a writer for CASA.org! That’s the Contemporary A Cappella Society of America. My first article is a review of Simply Put’s self-titled debut album.
July 7th, 2011
Unfortunately, my Bond series has been on hold for the past few weeks. I started Goldfinger a while ago and didn’t post it, but since I don’t know when I’ll get back to it, here is the UNCUT, UNEDITED, UNCENSORED VERSION of GOLDFINGER (don’t you love that positive spin?)!!!
Goldfinger (1964) Music by John Barry The traditional opening with the Bond theme. Read the rest of this entry »
June 24th, 2011
** My formatting at the beginning got messed up… sorry ’bout it! Proofreading and final thoughts coming soon! **
I’ll waste no time. We have a lot to talk about.
From Russia with Love (1963)
Music by JOHN BARRY
Fig. 1 The cello part in the opening. Click to enlarge.
This scene is unbelievable. I absolutely love it. I watched it a dozen times because there’s so much to say. After a brief statement of the James Bond Theme (just the Guitar Part), the opening scene starts in silence. Bond is sneaking around and we only hear footsteps, birds, and crickets.
The bad guy steps on a twig- cue huge brass hit. Notice that it’s in the same key as the Bond theme. And this starts the music for the scene. It starts with a quiet, low, very slow cello line repeating six notes over and over (Fig. 1). It’s minimal to help us transition out of silence, but don’t take that to mean there isn’t depth. This is a simplified, slowed down version of the Guitar Part in the Bond Theme. What I mean by that is if you boil down the Guitar Part to its simplest form and leave out all repeated notes and chromatic passing tones, you are left with the pitches F G F Ab G F which is exactly what the cello plays. It’s no coincidence that’s the only part of the theme we’ve heard at this point in the film. It’s also still in the theme’s original key which makes the connection even stronger.
Read the rest of this entry »
June 23rd, 2011
This was originally part of my piece on Dr. No, but it grew too large and cluttered an article that was supposed to be about the film.
Here’s the structure of the whole theme-
Interlude, Guitar Part x2, Interlude, Trumpet Melody x2, Brass Bridge, half Interlude, Guitar Part, Ending. Read the rest of this entry »
June 22nd, 2011
First I want to go over the structure of these articles. I’ll start by going over background information about the film, composer, or score. In this one, I focus on the origins of the iconic James Bond Theme. Next is the listening guide. It’s basically just the notes I took while watching the film. You can follow along while watching the film and I’ll highlight specific aspects of the music and sound that you may otherwise overlook. At the end, I’ll summarize my observations and conclusions.
1. Background Information
2. Listening Guide
3. Recap Read the rest of this entry »
June 21st, 2011
I’m finally beginning my long-planned, frequently delayed James Bond film music project is finally about to begin! I’ll be looking at the use of sound and music and its evolution through the series. The first post will be tomorrow at 12:07 AM (0:07, if you will). I’ll be going in chronological order, so Part 1 is Dr. No and talking about the James Bond theme and Monty Norman’s score for the film. One of my inspirations was John Gruber, who is in the middle of a similar series, talking about each Bond film in order. I’ve been wanting to do this for a long time- ever since John Barry passed away on January 30th of this year. He did the score for 11 James Bond films and is responsible for establishing much of the mood for the series as a whole. But I don’t only want to look at Barry. What I’m really interested in is how the sound and music has evolved over the course of the series. There have been 22 Bond films over the past 50 years, which means there has been a new one almost every two years. That’s a remarkable pace and speaks to the tremendous following Bond has garnered. But in all those films, only one composer besides Barry has worked on more than one.
Read the rest of this entry »
May 12th, 2011
An update on what I’ve been up to. First I’ll mention that The Undertones are opening their show Family Reunion TONIGHT.
I’m also music directing a very exciting show right now! I’m working with Emily Loesser (Frank Loesser‘s daughter) and Barry Kornhauser, TYA playwright extraordinaire, and a great director and production team to bring a collection of Frank’s unpublished songs to life! The songs were originally written for an animated film that was never made, and Barry’s written a new script to tie the songs together. The musical is called Of Mice and Manhattan and we are thrilled to be able to work on this amazing show! The performance is May 21 at noon.
April 7th, 2011
I read the A Cappella Blog and today they mentioned this Youtube cover of a J. Biebs song, Pray, by some Sing-Off superstars- Peter Hollens from On The Rocks, Therry Thomas from Committed, Courtney Jenson from The Backbeats, and arranged by Tom Anderson. I started writing this analysis with the intention of sharing it with two other member of the Northwestern Undertones I’m currently arranging with, but it turned into a more massive and thorough endeavor, so I thought I’d share it with you all! So first watch the video, and if you love it like I do, buy it on iTunes because all proceeds go directly to support disaster relief efforts in Japan.
One of the best ways to learn how to arrange, or to get better, is to listen to what other people have done. Listen to it first, then think about the questions posed below before proceeding to my analysis.
I found this picture by Googling
Did anything immediately get your attention/ get you interested/ engaged?
What was the coolest moment of the piece? Why was it the most effective?
Pick a section and listen for what exactly is going on. Try to identify about 4 different ideas that are going on at once. Now pick another section. Is anything the same? Are any parts derived from material in the other section? What changed? How do these changes affect the mood?
Read the rest of this entry »
February 5th, 2011
On another personal note, I am in an a cappella group at Northwestern called The Undertones. I finally got around to uploading videos of our Fall show on YouTube. Check it out!
Update: The video from our Winter show are now up on our group’s official YouTube account. This show was even better!
Update 2: Our Spring show is now up! This link is a playlist that has every song in show order.