Guest Composers

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by timbloke, Jan 18, 2006.

  1. timbloke

    timbloke Member

    Following on from the thread "I can't wait for the band version of..." in which I asked for your dream arrangements of existing pieces.

    Who, from outside the banding world, would you most like to see writing a new and unique work for band. Would you like to see a Classical composer, or maybe your fav pop star? Perhaps you think the best new music would come from a film score writer (after all we steal lots of their music - why not get them to write an original).

    Also would you like to see them write a test piece, or maybe a march? The choice is endless, hope you can come up with some good ideas.

    For my starter, I'd like to see Badly Drawn Boy writing some stuff, or Belle and Sebastian, both who I think would put an interesting twist on it.
  2. DaveR

    DaveR Active Member

    John Williams - his brass writing in his film music is fab, just think what he could do with a brass band :eek:
  3. Anno Draconis

    Anno Draconis Well-Known Member

    James MacMillan. I'd love to hear something as good as Veni, Veni Emmanuel or The Confession of Isobel Gowdie for band.
  4. HBB

    HBB Active Member

    I would have loved to seen Wagner write for brass band. I love his prelude to Tristan and Isolde!
  5. DublinBass

    DublinBass Supporting Member

    I would like to have seen Holst write a few (more?) Brass Band Pieces
  6. Naomi McFadyen

    Naomi McFadyen New Member

    John Adams... without a doubt.
  7. Nigel Hall

    Nigel Hall Supporting Member

    It would be great to have something original by John Rutter or Karl Jenkins specifically for Brass Bands.
  8. AndyCat

    AndyCat Active Member

    John Williams, along with every other Hollywood composer, doesn't actually orchestrate much of his own music. Not allowed by union laws apparently over there!
    Just out of interest that anyway, I'm sure anything he did would be great.
  9. Bass Trumpet

    Bass Trumpet Active Member

    I've been quite impressed by the music of Mark Anthony Turnage and have often wondered how his Momentum would work for band. While I agree that John Williams would provide an enjoyable piece to play, I feel that, judging by his main output, he would not actually be saying anything new. Sadly though, so much quality music goes unplayed because it is resistant to mainstream concert programming. I defy anybody to justify saying that Harry Birtwhistle's Grimethorpe Aria is a bad piece, but my band probably won't be playing it at the over 60's club! In the same way, it would be inappropriate to play Singalongamax in a serious concert venue.

    The brass band world to me seems a little stuck between wanting to commission challenging music and the need to balance the books. I don't necessarily think that the stuff coming from Karl Davis' pen (for example) is the way forward, being totally lacking in any virtues other than making him lots of money :wink: . I apologise here for being rather scathing, but in the pursuit of interesting and challenging music, we must try and keep our sencerity.
  10. Baritonedeaf

    Baritonedeaf Member

    The divine comedy always had great scoring in their music - would like to see what that sort of musician would make of the genre...
  11. Thirteen Ball

    Thirteen Ball Active Member

    Ah the old argument. Are you there to broaden the audience's mind or play what they want to hear? I'm not gonna start all that again as it's far too long a debate. (And a good way off topic) All I'll say is, I write/arrange what I like to hear and play, and Arr A.Cook pieces won't win any contemporary music awards! (or any awards at all for that matter!)

    I'd love to see Michael Kamen write something for brass band. His film soundtracks are very atmospheric and quite dark, and I loved the orchestration of the parts he wrote on Metallica's S&M album with San Fransisco Symphony Orchestra. It would've been easy to ruin the atmosphere of the pieces completely but he really got to grips with the metal Genre and pulled it in a completely new direction.

    Incidentally, I don't like the insinuation tha t brassies are the only ones who are 'set in their ways' and traditional, as both Metallica and Michael Kamen were pilloried at the time by their respective peers for even entertaining the notion of the concert they pulled off. Now, it's regarded as a seminal work in the metal world at least. And just think of the stick Simon Rattle got when he changed the Berlin Phil's repertoire toward more contemporary works. Challenging people is all to the good, but audiences it is a delicate balance between challenging and alienating.
  12. PeterBale

    PeterBale Moderator Staff Member

    I'd definitely endorse James MacMillan, and would add Peter Maxwell Davies, Alun Hoddinott and Dominic Muldowney. I'd like more from John Pickard - and Judith Bingham, if the experience with "Prague" hasn't put her off for life.

    Also, having been impressed by some of Yasuhide Ito's pieces for wind, I reckon he could come up with something a bit different for brass band.
  13. John Brooks

    John Brooks Well-Known Member

    I wonder what Mozart would have written for the brass band. I think some of his music works well when arranged or transcribed (The Magic Flute for example). And just imagine an original piece from Tchaikovsky! From a more modern era, how about Richard Rodgers (has anyone thought of arranging his Victory at Sea for bands)?

    I agree with the previously suggested John Rutter and thinking of Gustav Holst, has anyone transcribed Hammersmith (for example)? Would it work?
  14. DaveR

    DaveR Active Member

    Yes, I'm sure "Max" would write a cracker for brass band. I'd also like to hear what Howard Skempton could do with a brass band - it is a very different medium from all of his music that I have heard so far (he tends to be quite "minimalist"), but I bet it would be interesting as he is a great composer (and I'm sure it would be nice to listen to as well!!).
  15. DaveR

    DaveR Active Member

    Before anybody jumps on me, I'm not using the term "minimalist" in a derogatory way, although I do know that some composers hate this! It is just a convenient word to describe the sort of music that Howard writes (at least, those pieces that I know anyway)! :rolleyes:
  16. James Yelland

    James Yelland Active Member

    There is of course a gaping hole in the 20th Century band repertoire where the works of the country's most eminent composers should be, on account of the fact that bandsmen were all far too busy concentrating on the next contest to worry about the trifling issue of music - but just one piece by Benjamin Britten would have mitigated the loss just a little. Sadly, he wrote very little for brass, because, according to Philip Jones, who asked him for something for PJBE, he couldn't hear the sounds in his head. Anyone who has heard the Fanfare for St. Edmundsbury would find that difficult to believe, though.

    Peter Bale wrote: I'd ...add Peter Maxwell Davies, Alun Hoddinott and Dominic Muldowney.

    Not sure if you are implying that these three haven't already written something, but it's worth mentioning that our Master of the Queen's Music has written at least one piece (of sorts) for brass band - The Peat Cutters, for band and children's choir. Muldowney recently had his Rote Fahne Musik played by the NYBBGB, and I think that Hoddinott, too, has contributed something, hasn' t he? Welsh Dances, was it? My mind's going...anyway, suffice to say that we rarely hear any of these pieces. Shame.
  17. ian perks

    ian perks Active Member

    Well there are 2 for me
    The Man Himself and the name of my cat BERLIOZ:clap: wrote some blinding pieces of music of which we all know a good number been arranged for brass band test pieces.
    2ndly:I know he wrote for brass bands but died before he really got into brass band writing none other than :GILBERT VINTNER Just awsome pieces wrote. my favorite brass band composer by a mile with "James Cook Circumnavigator" my all time favorite test piece:clap:
  18. Anno Draconis

    Anno Draconis Well-Known Member

    One of my "back-burner" projects is to arrange Orkney Wedding, although the scarcity of highland pipers in the Greater Manchester area is putting me off...

    The mighty Professor Hoddinott has already written two BB pieces that I know of, the lightweight but very enjoyable Welsh Dances and his much more serious Symphony No 8 for Brass and Percussion which is an absolute belter of a piece and a proper beast to play. Both have been recorded by the NYBBW although I'm not sure the recordings are still available; the conductor on both occasions was Edward Gregson who has been a bit of a champion for Hoddinott.
  19. jonford

    jonford Member

    Agree with Macmillan, would also like to of seen something by Xenakis, could of been interesting!
  20. brassneck

    brassneck Active Member

    Steve Roach would be my choice. Very contemporary and uses sounds and textures never really heard before in brass bands.

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