• The last Festival of Psalms concert with Stephen P Brown might be in an arena!
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    Here’s a game we can all play

    If you have visited my website during the past month, you may have noticed a little floating bar on the right that says “sign in to play” and I know some of you have wondered what that’s all about. Here’s the game: Every time you comment, share or like one of my posts or pages, you earn points. Every time you perform one of my #PsalmQuest pieces, you earn massive points! In fact, every time you visit this website, you earn points! Over time, you achieve badges and levels of competence that are great fun to keep track of. Really – it’s fun, and very easy to suddenly rack up…

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    Quest #9 – Perspective

    This was an odd composition that kind of came out of nowhere, but ended up being the ninth composition in my psalm composition quest. And it’s a little strange, being written for bass clarinet and drum kit. Uh-huh. I met Calvin Falwell recently and during our chat he mentioned a project he and his USF Faculty colleague Robert McCormick were undertaking. I know Robert and was therefore interested. Vox Novus commission lots of new music from composers for a project called “Fifteen Minutes of Fame.” Composers submit brand new compositions no longer than one minute (60 seconds) and 15 of them are selected and joined together to form one piece…

  • Evelyn Glennie marimba
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    Piece #8: Sonata 2 for Viola, Marimba, Piano

    This is a fun little ditty! Another stab at the traditional Sonata Form, this piece is for a trio of performers: viola, marimba and piano. To my thinking, there is not enough marimba included in the standard instrumentation these days, (click it to tweet it) yet like the saxophone or bass clarinet, it has a great many experts and has become a common option thanks to folk like Evelyn Glennie. Sonata Form Structure This piece is based on Psalm 102 and although it does not follow a similar structure (the focus of this piece was the structure called “Sonata Form“) I did use the content of the psalm to influence the…

  • Conductor Composer Stephen P Brown's "Bagatelle for violin"
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    Next Piece #7: Bagatelle for Violin

    This was a surprise! In my 7 year composition quest, piece #6 took a little over a month to write. This one took a day. Yes. One day! Solo violin It helped that the piece was being written for just one instrument alone, which is a complete contrast to Warrior Peace. Another contrast is the style: actually, I’m not too sure where this style came from but it is clearly a “contemporary” piece. I followed my usual system for composing music based on the psalms (Steps 1 & 2 I’ve already shared with you, and step 3 is coming soon) and after composing the closing melody, decided the piece was…

  • Stephen P Brown Warrior Peace
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    New psalm composition #6: Warrior Peace

    Well, this was an unexpected mammoth! (If you are not aware of my current composition quest, click here to read the introduction.) I knew that composing for larger ensembles would take time, and was sort of risking things a little when I decided to write for a larger-than-normal ensemble but I didn’t plan for this piece to take a full month. Think of a chamber orchestra that plays Mozart and Haydn symphonies. Then take away all the string players. That’s what this composition is for! It’s not a standard combination of instruments, so I decided to call it a “Chamber Orchestra Non-Strings” ensemble. Says what it is, right?! The actual…