Return of the Son of the Bebop Variations
for chamber orchestra with drumkit — 2012
A spin-off of a spin-off of a spin-off of Bebop...
When I composed Son of the Bebop Variations in 1992 it occurred to me that it might work well in an arrangement for some sort of chamber ensemble. It took me a mere twenty years to get round to it, but finally in 2011/12 I arranged it for a ‘one of each’ chamber orchestra with an added drumkit. It’s a very literal arrangement — almost a transcription — which, like its predecessor, lasts 15 minutes. One important difference is that whereas Son of the Bebop Variations had highly virtuosic trumpet and trombone solo parts, those are now distributed along with the material from the tape among all the players. From the original I preserved only the quasi-jazz solos for trumpet and trombone in a section marked ‘sleazy’ about two thirds of the way through the piece.
I was careful to use the designation ‘for chamber orchestra with drumkit’ rather than ‘for drumkit and chamber orchestra’ because the drumkit is not intended to be a solo part in any concertante sense (I would envisage the player being at the back of the platform with the other percussionist, not out in front), although it did end up assuming a certain prominence and is a distinctive feature of the piece.
- flute / alto flute / piccolo, with claves
- oboe / cor anglais, with claves
- clarinet / bass clarinet
- bassoon / contrabassoon
- horn in F with standard horn mute, also tambourine
- trumpet in B flat or C with straight, cup, harmon & plunger mutes
- tenor trombone with straight, cup, harmon & plunger mutes
- tuba, with claves & tambourine
- percussion 1: vibraphone, marimba, glockenspiel, 3 log drums, 5 temple blocks, 5 cowbells, 2 shakers, suspended Chinese cymbal, triangle, tambourine, tam-tam
- percussion 2: drumkit (hi-hat, 2 cymbals, snare drum, 4 tom-toms, bass drum), finger cymbal, 2 triangles, tambourine, shaker, claves, tam-tam
- piano / celesta
- viola, with claves
- double bass
Performances / broadcasts / ‘real’ recordings
None so far... anyone?
Listen to MIDI version (15:00)
This is the identical recording twice, the choice being offered in case of technical hiccups on either of the ‘mother ships’. Note: these two players will run simultaneously, so unless you fancy a double dose (out of sync) of my ‘spiritual output’, I recommend that you take care to avoid this happening!
This a computer-generated mockup of music for ‘real’ instruments. Clearly it is no substitute for a live performance, but it’s all I’ve got — or perhaps all I can make public for various reasons. There’s a fuller disclaimer on the Listen page.
...with a sneak preview of the score
Or just in case YouTube isn’t co-operating today...
- Sequencer: MOTU Digital Performer (Mac)
- Each part recorded dry to a mono audio track, then positioned for final stereo mix, with very gentle application of MOTU MasterWorks EQ and MOTU MasterWorks Limiter; reverb is MOTU ProVerb.
- Woodwinds: EastWest Hollywood Orchestral Woodwind (host: Play)
- Brass: Sample Modeling Horn & Tuba; The Trumpet; The Trombone (host: Native Instruments Kontakt 5)
- Tuned percussion, piano: Modartt Pianoteq 4
- Unpitched percussion, drumkit: Native Instruments Battery 3
- Violin, viola and cello: Spitfire Audio Solo Strings (host: Kontakt 5)
- Double bass: Kontakt Factory Library/VSL Strings (host: Kontakt 5)
- Score: MakeMusic Finale
- Movie: Apple iMovie
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