Tag Archives: video

The Coventry Carol – Video

Notre Dame

I have always like The Coventry Carol.  I’m into dark, medieval music, particularly Christmas music, which seems like it should be bright, not dark.  So I decided I wanted to record it.  But I needed a little research first.  I was surprised at what I found, and this led to the video (hint, read this before listening)

The carol was part of a “mystery play” that went back to the 14th century.  The words were written down in the early 16th century and the music in the late 16th century, some believe in a bid to try to get it performed again (it wasn’t).  This song is about the slaughter of the innocents.

Yes, The Coventry Carol is a lullaby sung by the women of Bethlehem to try to calm their frightened babies as they wait for Herod’s men to murder the babies. “Bye bye, lully lullay.” Nice, right? So “the little tiny child” in the song is not the baby Jesus, but some poor, doomed child.

The words and music survived as much by accident as anything, as such things do, and was revived again in the 20th century.During The Battle of Britain in WW2, the Germans bombed Coventry on the 14th of November, 1940.  On Christmas, 1940, the BBC played The Coventry Carol live as it was being sung from the bombed out ruins of the Coventry cathedral.

So the song went from the poor woman resigned to their fate when brought up against powers beyond their understanding to the women shaking their fists at the sky when brought up against these powers.  You may bomb us and kill our children, but we will rise from the ashes. Continue reading

Promo Video – Again

Fireborn-v-001

In the shadowy area where myth and history collide…

I have put up a series of posts about The Fireborn talking about some of the main ideas – the main character, Elliot; the Cauldron; the fireborn; and the sword.  You can get to them all at The Fireborn page.

So, after reading those pages, I want you to revisit my little promotional video.

(Click here if you don’t see the video)

Now that you know a little more about the book, does the video make more sense?

The Fireborn will be released on August 21.  Look for links to preorder the Kindle version soon!

 

 

House of The Rising Sun Part 2

Steamship Paddles

If you couldn’t tell from my first post about my video for The House for the Rising Sun, I was not happy with my voice.  OK, part of it was that I made an arrangement that pushed my range from the A below the staff to the A above the staff.  That’s three ‘A’s and two octaves. Also, I’m not a great singer to begin with so…

I decided to do a new version with a synth line instead of vocals.  I used the same background but I changed the mix slightly to bring down the arpeggios and bring up the organ.  I also added a little counter-melody part.

(Click here if you don’t see the video)

The video is still the same, just a change in the music.

OK, question time.  When I posted this, I noticed Sony records put a Copyright claim to the video.  As I said in my last post, this is a traditional song that has been performed for a century and recorded for almost a century.  The melody has its rots in the 17th century.  I spent several hours trying to hunt down the copyright and read a lot of interesting stuff about copyright.  Everything indicated that it is Public Domain. Continue reading

The Fireborn – Promo Video

Fireborn

In the shadowy area where myth and history collide….

My book The Fireborn is almost ready to be published.  I decided to do a little promotional video for it.  Don’t you ever do things like that?  So I wrote (and played) a little music.  I made some drawings and paintings (two water colors and a pastel).  Did a bit of simple animation.  And here it is!

(Click here if you don’t see the video)

As the publishing date gets closer, I’ll start to introduce characters and ideas, often using stills from the video I made.

Who said marketing can’t be creative? ;)

(Note – the drawing at the top of the page was not used in the video – perhaps it will be in the next one)

 

Challenge Thirteen

Osprey

One of the very first posts I ever put up on this blog was called Challenge Me!  It was about musical challenges that I used to participate in when I followed a music forum back about a decade ago.

Here is a super quick synopsis of that post.  Someone would post a phrase or a theme.  The “contestants” would compose music based on that theme.  The music could take any form, any genre, etc., as long as it used the music software that the music forum was about.  The winner of each challenge would post the theme for the next challenge.  You can read more on the original post. Continue reading

Music That means Something – Day 1

Pyschodelic Music

This is Day one!  I’ll tell what album I chose in a minute.  Look here for my intro.

Don’t know this challenge?  Here is the basic idea (which I’ll semi-ignore):

Post a song a day for five consecutive days. (will do, well album, not song)
Post what the lyrics mean to you.  (Optional) (nope – instrumental)
Post the name of the song and a video. (will do – a song from the album)
Nominate 1 or 2 bloggers each day of the challenge. (Well…, All of you)

— —

Sometime when I was five or six years old I visited some cousins on my dad’s side of the family.  I’ll admit now that I’m not 100% of exactly when it happened and believe it may have been two different visits, but there were two albums that I fell in love with.  One, which if it was two visits would be the second visit, I remember very well hearing it the first time, asking questions and all (next post).  The other, must have been the first visit and I don’t remember much about it, but my mom tells me that I was completely entranced and made them play it over and over and over…

My mom ended up buying the album for my brother for Christmas.  It is possible it was that same year, in which case I would have been five.  I quickly learned all of the words and listened non-stop to the instrumentals.

So when other kids my age were singing itsy-bitsy spider, I was singing about child abuse, pedophilia, bullying, tripping on acid, cult-religions, etc., etc.  Have you guessed it yet? Continue reading

Dark Jingle Bells

Earlier today I posted about recording a dark version of Jungle Bells.  I said I wasn’t going to post it, but I changed my mind :)  I’ve had zero views in about 3 hours, so I think it’s safe that nobody is going to see it anyway, so this isn’t a big risk…  The big bass sound I talked about in the first post is hard to hear in the video – making it into a video takes out all of the heft.  But it should stillbe dark.  and i hope fun!

Click here if you don’t see the video
https://youtu.be/cwdr7IRg4Ys

I hope you enjoyed that bit of analog modular synthesizer madness….

 

Thirteen! (Music Video)

Small clip of score - music by Trent P McDonald, phot by Trent P McDonald

Several years ago, when I was deep into composing contemporary classical music, I belonged to a music forum.  One of the things we used to do on the forum is have challenges.  You can see this post for more detail, but basically the winner of the last challenge would come up with a motif and everyone else had to write a piece of music based on the theme.  I thought I had a real chance to win Challenge 12 (I might have if I would have only put in one entry) so I decided to create a theme for Challenge 13, just in case.  I wrote a short sample piece to go along with this little motif, not to play as I posted it (no influence to the competitors) but just to show that the abstract motif wasn’t that far out.  I didn’t win Challenge 12, so I never used that theme except for this short work.  I posted it and everyone loved it, but that was the end.  I had always meant to expand it, and the people on the forum expected me to, but I never got around to it and eventually stopped writing classical music.

I really liked the music, Thirteen!, and so I decided to make a little video of that snippet I created as an example.  It’s a little dark at the end, so I thought “Halloween”, but I didn’t have time to make Halloween graphics.  I used fall foliage scenery, including short videos of me running around in the woods behind my house and call it “autumn inspired” instead of “Halloween”  Enjoy! Continue reading

Another Victim of 2016 – Throwback Thursday

(Click here if you don’t see the video)

At the tender age of 6 I became a synthesizer fanatic.   My first exposure was Wendy Carlos’ epic album, Switched on Bach.  After hearing that I tried to find anything and everything that had synthesizers, particularly the big Moog modular synthesizer.

At about 12 I saw an album cover with the coolest synthesizer on the back.  I had to have it!  But at that age I really couldn’t afford it.  Now the stories differ.  I remember buying it for my brother for Christmas while he says he bought it himself, the first album he actually paid for.  Whichever way, that cool looking album ended up in my brothers hands.  Of course at 12 that meant it is almost mine forever.

I was totally blown away when I first heard it.  Although I was a synth-fanatic, I had never heard sounds quite like it.  There was lush soundscapes, complex textures, shimmering glides, ethereal voices and surrealistic instruments.  Sure, there were some quirky, silly and novelty sounds mixed in, but as a kid I loved it.  More than anything I’d heard created by synthesizer, this sounded living, organic.  And yet it sounded spacey and futuristic. Continue reading