In the Works…

I haven’t been the best at posting news lately about the new album, and so I thought it was time for that.

I’m about 5 songs into the album now.  Well, technically 6, and if you count the one in my head that isn’t written down yet then 7. 

I finally finished my Spanish song – which will end up being called something along the lines of “The Fire Dance“, or “Dance of Fire” or something like that. It’s based on two very famous Spanish pieces called “Malaguena“, and “Asturias“. I’ve got the piano part recorded, and now it just needs to be orchestrated.  Not an easy task though. I’ve never orchestrated a Spanish song before, and have been finding it one of the most challenging things I’ve yet to accomplish.  I can tell you that I have watched my fair share of youtube videos of Flamenco dancers, and Spanish guitarists.  I’ve also been consulting with a Flamenco Guitarist who has been helping me learn the beat placements in 12/8 time. 

I’ve been working on an original piece that, in accordance with my album theme, will go along with a high mountain photo.  I actually started this piece a while ago and stopped, and only just within the last couple of weeks after digging it out again and contiuing composition on it – have realized how perfect it fits a theme of high altitude, soaring among the clouds next to huge volcanic ranges.  My husband’s many adventures climbing the Cascade Mountains lies as a huge inspiration for this song as I continue to work through it.  If you’ve ever visited his youtube channel, watch his video on his trek through “The Enchantments”.  That is how I visualize this song. Particularly at about 3:19 minutes into the video.

Moving along here, I’ve also been working a forest themed song which is turning out to be quite ambient.  No true featured piano here, but instead it’s used for emotional effect only here and there.  This song will feature a lovely vocalist by the name of Poppi London, whom you have heard in various movie soundtracks over the years. The photo that will be featured with this song will be of a deep forest in the Redwoods with mist and light coming through.  Very beautiful.  And the song itself will feature some echoey drums, and also perhaps a dijeridoo.

One of the harder songs I’ve been composing at the moment for the album, is an arrangement that I’m doing of Dvorak’s New World Symphony and Rachmaninoff’s 3rd Piano Concerto, mov. 2.  These two pieces actually flow together quite beautifully.  It will be a “bigger” and emotional piece, with full orchestra.  I wrote the arrangement of Dvorak’s work myself, but am using the actual true excerpts from the Rachmaninoff and because of this, I’m having to put in a lot of practice time to get it learned and down well enough to record (as you know Rachmaninoff had very large hands and his compositions are not for the light hearted).  This particular arrangement will be called “Home“. If you are familiar with the New World Symphony and the story behind it, then you will understand why I titled it that.  The photo for this song is already taken – a very picturesque setting of a home set on a hill in the evening, with stars in the sky.

The song in my head that I have yet to sit down and write out/work on, is an arrangement of Gymnopedie #1 by Erik Satie, a French composer.  This particular song is special to me and will coincide with a beach photo, possibly of either the Oregon Coast or the Washington Coast over on the Olympic Peninsula.  Seashells, sand, sulfery bubbles on waves, tidepools….that is the essence of this song.

I also have my version of “Toccata and Fugue” (by Bach) finished, but will be re-working that a bit for the new album. You can listen to here:

I have 2 other songs that I’m working on, but don’t want to mention yet because I feel like the ideas are so stellar I must keep them top secret! Haha!  So just know there are 2 more I’m also working on and you will be surprised at some point.

Seems my album is turning out to be 50% Classical arrangements, and 50% of my own original work.  As I discover more and more about myself and my love for different types of music, I have found that I just absolutely love fiddling around and arranging the Classics.  And so it is with this album I move into more crossover arrangements  as well as my own originals.

I’m hoping to get the bulk of my composing done for this album before August, when the baby is due.  Right now I’m able to manage some work here and there during naptimes with my almost-2-year-old son, and also in the evenings.  However, once the newborn joins the family…it will be another story.  At least for the first few months.  I will be getting very little sleep, which isn’t the most condusive state of mind to concentrate on composing. At least for me.  I’m not setting any time schedule for this album, but in my head…I see having about 80% of the songs composed by August.  Taking a few months off to adjust to the new baby and riding the downflux of hormones which is always fun.  Then early 2011 be in full orchestrating mode.  I hope to have my pre-pregnancy body back by summer of 2011 and finally get some new photos taken of me for the album cover.  And then have the album done by Fall or Winter of 2011. 

Oh! And I’m going to have the help of a very talented artist named Thomas Christian Wolfe design my Cd cover.  You can check out his work here:

No guarantees….because in seems these things always take longer than I anticipate, but that is sort of the timeline in my head right now for this project.

Stay tuned later today…we are finding out the sex of the baby and I’ll post it on my Facebook Fan Page. 

– J.T.

POST EDIT:  We’re having another boy!


One response to “In the Works…

  1. Hi there,
    Just thought you should know. Your website lists your website address under “email”. there is no way to contact you through email right now. Kinda inconvenient.

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