• String Quartet 2 by British American Conductor Composer Stephen P Brown
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    #PsalmQuest 11 – String Quartet 2

    It feels like forever since I published a #PsalmQuest piece, and I guess it was, really – over a month ago! In fact, I finished composing that last piece at the end of September, so it’s really been 8 weeks. Some of that time was spent resting, but much of it was actually spent re-writing. This was a difficult piece to extrapolate from the recesses of reality and it saw several completely written-out ideas before I hit the ‘delete’ button on the whole lot. But it’s here now, and it has quite a story to it, methinks… String Quartet 2 (actually, the title was bothersome for quite some time as…

  • Conductor Composer Maestro Stephen P Brown / Swedish Chamber Orchestra
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    How I compose: Step 2 – Instrumentation

    A couple of weeks ago I shared how I start composing each of the pieces in my composition quest. It seemed to be a popular post! So after I’ve read the psalm, understood its meaning through commentary, and established the structure for my piece, the next step in composing music for me is choosing the instrumentation. Instrumentation. The purpose of this quest is to improve my composing skills. One of my dream goals is to finish the quest by writing a piece of music based on Psalm 33 for large chorus and full orchestra. That’s a lot of people and parts, and like an Olympic Triathlete or Astronaut, there is a…

  • Conductor Composer Stephen P Brown
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    When to say no

    Last night I performed at an awards ceremony. It was a great show directed by a great showman Peter Stark (the former American ballet dancer, not the English conductor). One of the musical highlights for me was conducting a special arrangement of “Kashmir” made famous by Led Zeppelin, and more recently by the electric string quartet “Escala“. Our arrangement was for full orchestra, rock band, vocal soloist and two choirs – love it.     But also on the programme was a peppy little number I wrote myself – the last movement of my Marimba Concerto 1. I led a performance of the whole piece earlier this week with Glenda…

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    Exclusive “Schmooze with Stephen”

    Let’s take a break from seeing how a composition is created for a moment, because here’s something really exciting for you. Over the next couple of months I have three pretty important events (amongst many others) taking place around the USA. All three are featuring new pieces of mine, including the Sonata for Chamber Orchestra we’ve been exploring in this blog, a brand new marimba concerto (in which I’ll attempt to play the solo part – should’ve been a bit kinder, methinks!), my string quartet, my wind quintet, and a cute little ditty called Green Painting based on one of three pictures I bought from a legless (literally) street vendor in Lilongwe, the…