New category and new composition in the shop

Now there is a new category in the shop! Under the header “Charts for free” I will subsequently publish four specially written charts that will be downloadable for free use, representing the four sub categories in the shop – arrangements and vocal arrangements, compositions and vocal compositions.

First out is the instrumental composition “The Queen”. A swing jazz piece with some solo space, some ensemble passages and a catchy main theme. Check it out; it’s a quite easy piece, and it’s for free.

New composition in the shop

A late night in early March 2012, I was lying in bed at my country house having trouble sleeping. It was one of those cold, clear nights; when the temperature falls below freezing, and the ground is bare from snow all but for some spots and shadowy places. It was moonless, and my room was pitch black and totally silent; I was alone in the house.

Then, all of a sudden, a shrill shriek repeatedly pierced the night; a shout that both made me happy, and comforted me. It told me that there was someone out there keeping an eye on the premises, and whom had taken on the role as warden of the night. The vernal calls for territory of the Tawny Owl, somehow made me relax and tiredness swiftly came over me.

Before I fell asleep, I wrote down a short poem – of which I wasn’t fully aware when I woke up – about this nightly experience, and the point between wake and sleep. Now, this text is turned into lyrics in this short tonal poem that from today is available in the shop.

Buy four to the price of three

I have bundled my latest composing project, Guitar Pastime Suite, so that you now can buy all four movements for the price of three. The suite is written for Big Band featuring two guitars, where Guitar 1 has a “major tonality” role in presenting the themes and soloing; whereas Guitar 2 takes on a more “minor tonality” function for themes and soloing.

The suite is a great way to give the band a stimulating opportunity to present two guitarists that are given plenty of room to showcase their soloing and interpretational skills.

New composition in the shop

Finally the composition project I’ve been working on for a long time is complete! From today the last composition to be finished in the Guitar Pastime Suite – part one titled Pick Your Point – is available in the web shop. The suite Guitar Pastime Suite, in four movements, offers two guitarists a lot of solo space, with melodic and rhythm playing as well.

December Sale

The December Sale is under way! The reduction is 20% off on all compositions, and 15% off on all arrangements. Take the opportunity to buy some cool and exciting charts for 2019 – or maybe as a Christmas gift. The sale continues through December 31:st.

I wish all of you visiting here Happy Holidays!

The midst of November

Maybe the dark and the cold, and the often murky weather this time of the year make people think of death more often than otherwise. Whatever the reason: November seems to be a month where many orchestras combine with choires to perform various requiems and masses. One famous piece that is not a requiem but strongly allude to death, is Pyotr Tchaikovsky’s 6th Symphony, which was the composer’s last major orchestral work and premiered not long before his death in November 6th 1893. It is a piece with strong emotional connotations; permeated by a sense of loss and sorrow, but also with a streak of revenge or triumph that eventually ultimately succumb to loss and sadness, with the halting heart leaving the listener at the end.

Here is, in the back row, the brass section from last Sunday’s concert of Tchaikovsky’s 6th Symphony. From left to right are: Jaan, Per-Arne, Me, Anders, Bj√∂rn and Erik.

There will also be a Christmas – New Year’s Sale here. From December 1st throughout the 31st there will be 15% off on all arrangements, and 20% off on all compositions. Take the chance to buy some new, exciting, challenging and fun charts for your band – to get a fresh start after the holidays.

Manual labor

I’m often asked how I work when I compose and arrange music, and it seems to me that many people today work more in creating, rather than composing, new music. To me, the distinction is in the physical methods of the working process, and the methods of self-evaluation and proof-reading of what has been created.

Here you can see the notestand by my CP5 electric piano I use when I write music. On the stand is my current sketchbook, full with drafts for the first movement of Guitar Pastime Suite – which is now, finally, under way.

To bypass the manual writing process, and the page-by-page layout and overview of the score, is to me to work with creating, and not composing. Composing is to me the process of manual labor with a draft score, and the methodical work of scrutinizing how the parts interact aesthetically in the score, and probing, thinking and rethinking, and ultimately killing ideas that seem good in thought, but turn out to be dysfunctional from aspects that not always include how they sound – though those other aspects most often turn out to have a strong congruence to musical adequacy.

When I compose, I work on my piano to find the lines, chords and dynamics I want and write them in a sketchbook. From the sketchbook I write a sketch score, which I modify, extend or cut until I deem the piece to be as I want it. Finally I use my computer as

Here are two pages from the sketch score of the first movement of Guitar Pastime Suite, titled “Pick Your Point”. I use a cutting mat on the table to get a nice surface to write on, and I use a 0.7 construction/architect pencil with HB pins. I use three different erasers, depending on what is to be erased, how much and if on print or not. The pages are pre-printed from a Finale-template a teacher of mine made some twenty years ago; I still haven’t found any better. The yellow plastic folder is a hand rest so I don’t smear what I write, since I’m left handed.

a typewriter, to edit the score and the parts. Writing the sketch score by hand, makes it possible for me to see and sense the music in a direct physical way, and I can directly see the layout of the piece and the parts visually, by laying out the pages. To me, this process is essential to make the music dynamic and fluent from an over all grasp of the piece and its parts.

Long interruption

Before: Piano wrapped in plastic bags and surrounded by tucked away stuff.

What should have been a simple and brief window renovation, turned out to be the Work-In-Progress from hell. The company doing the renovations took our windows out to do much of the work – such as changing glass, painting and carpentry – at their shop, and we found ourselves having to live with just some poorly fitting tarpaulin umbrellas over the empty windows for more than a month. Because autumn is now setting in here in Sweden, things got cold (the draft!) and damp in the apartment, and since we live by a fairly trafficked street it was also noisy. To keep my electric piano safe, I had to pack it in thoroughly and for more than a month I have been unable to do any serious writing work at home.

After: Piano unpacked, connected to its outlet and played for the first time in over a month. On the stand is the score for Guitar Pastime Suite part 1 “Pick Your Point”. Partly due to this abysmal renovation still not completed.

Today I am finally unpacking my workplace! After tidying things up I plan on a composing spree this weekend.

This year’s summer sale is over, but between 1st and 31st of December, there will be a Christmas-New Year’s Sale.

(Did things finally work out with the renovation? No. We finally got our windows back after a serious delay, but the job was poorly done. This is by no means over…)

Last days of the Summer Sale

Augustus was, as Emperor, also the head priest of the Roman state. Here he is portrayed as a pious, humble priest – the Pontifex Maximus.

The month of August got its name around 8BC, when the Roman Senate wanted to honor their Princeps and Emperor, Augustus. They chose the eighth month of the Roman year, because they wanted to highlight the fact that most of Augustus’s (his birth name was Octavius) military victories and conquests were achieved in this season. Most likely, this is because Summer was the main campaigning season of the year, and most campaigns and conquests came to their conclusion before Autumn set in and the weather made military operations and supply, difficult and hazardous. The Romans renamed their month, and we still use that name over two thousand years later – quite an honor!

This year’s Summer Sale ends on September 1st. I wouldn’t know if Augustus would have seen a sale as an honor, but nevertheless: Take the opportunity to buy some unique Big Band charts at a discount, to get your band on its toes right from the very first rehearsal after Summer recess. 20% off on all compositions, and 15% off on all arrangements.

Drought and heatwave

Sweden is right now in a severe drought, with large areas not having had rain since early May. Combined with a – for Swedish conditions – heatwave, with about a month of temperatures around and above 30C, or 86F, trees and lawns are now yellow, brown and autumn-like, and in forests around the countryside wildfires are ravaging unprecedently.

In such circumstances, a trombonist has to take shelter in the cool of his basement to get some proper bass trombone practising.

Fortunately, the Summer Sale is unaffected by drought and wildfires! Take the opportunity to buy new, unique Big Band charts at a discount – to keep your band practising during summer recess. 20% off on all compositions, and 15% off on all arrangements.