Tuesday, May 22, 2007

What I've been up to lately

Like you need me to point out that it's been a bloody long time since I've written anything? The truth is that I've pretty much run out of things to say and there's a limit to just how much fun I can decently poke at Andrew. I could also use that old saw about if you have nothing to say that's just what you should say!

Well that's one reason. Another reason is that I've been busy doing other things; like realising a long (very long) held ambition - that of writing a symphony.

If you're interested, you can hear the first movement (the only one completed thus far) here[^].

This was done using the Garritan Personal Orchestra for the sounds and Overture 4 for notation. It's scored for full orchestra plus harp and gong. Heck, if I've got the full orchestra available why not use it?

You'd reckon, if I've been playing around with electronics for over forty years and computers for just over thirty years, that I'd be keeping up to date with what they can do. Wouldn't you? But nope, not a bit of it.

Twenty years ago I played around with synthesisers, back in the days when they were incredibly expensive external boxes, but I could never get the sound I wanted. Ie, something that sounded akin to a real orchestra.

A few months ago I stumbled across Garritan and it blew me away. Some of the demo tracks on their site sound very convincing, especially the ones of works with which I'm familiar. Yes, I can tell that the rendering of Dvorak's 9th symphony isn't a real orchestra but I had to listen very carefully to be sure!