I just uploaded my latest project, “Toccata and Fugue“, as it is called right now. I just wanted to share a little bit about this song and how it came about.
First, for those who just listened to my ‘Lullaby Album’, you should know this piece is of a completely different callibur or style. If you have a sub-woofer on your computer speaker system, you may want to turn it down a bit because the song has a lot of bass to it. It’s quite “boomy”.
I love, love, love Classical music. And I especially love to tweak it. Which results in much of my music being of a “Classical Crossover” genre in nature.
“Toccata and Fugue” is based off of J.S. Bach’s Toccata and Fugue in D Minor, BWV 565. (Bach wrote 2 Toccata and Fugues in Dm, but the one I am referring to is BWV 565). This piece is a very well known organ solo, and over the years it has traditionally been used around Halloween time because of it’s thematic elements and somewhat frightening minor chords that can rumble an entire concert hall.
You can view/listen to the traditional version here in this youtube video:
I have been quite familiar with this piece for several years as my college symphony orchestra performed it for a Halloween concert one year. It is one of those pieces that gets into your head and kind of haunts you.
About a year ago, I was in my home music studio and started fiddling around with this piece on my keyboard. I started adding more instrumentals to it and came up with a very cool 1 minute clip of some ideas. Well, and then, the piece got brushed aside as the muse left, and I didn’t work on it again for a long time.
About two months ago, I decided that I really wanted to finish my rendition of this song. So I opened up the file that I started over a year ago and listened to it. Then I sat down at my piano and started writing parts out.
As with a lot of pieces that I write, I started going off on some solo-esque cadenzas on the piano (in other words, tangents) and made the piece completely un-listenable to anyone but myself. Well, because I really enjoy Classical music for that very reason. You can do things like that. However, that is also why a lot of people today find it hard to follow Classical music and understand it.
So I re-worked this song and reworked it to make it appeal to a broader audience. I think I ended up with 7 or 8 different drafts. Each time, refining it, simplifying it, and structuring it.
In the end, I ended up with a song that is about 30% Bach, and 70% Jennifer Thomas. You will hear what I mean in a second once you hit the play button.
I was fortunate to work with a couple of great musicians on this piece. Glen Gabriel from Sweden formulated most of the beats and effects, and Adam Amos of the UK also did some of the beats and effects. Zak Dewey of Seattle did the mixing and mastering, and I did everything else – the piano, orchestration, and the kitchen sink.
Thanks for taking the time to listen to my late project – hope it doesn’t disappoint. And for reals, turn down that subwoofer. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
Here it is the URL where you can go take a listen to my new song, “Toccata and Fugue”:
Or you can hit play here: