Seascapes for Wind Ensemble

Genre/Style: Classical/Sea Chanty

Creative Vision for the Track: For the past couple of months the military has been putting restrictions on where we can go. We are not supposed to congregate with more than 10 people and we are not allowed to go to public beaches. Since I am stationed with the Navy Band Southwest in San Diego, CA I am missing the beach and some of the cool things people experience in California. I decided to write an epic Majestic theme in the style of a sea chanty. Sailors in the navy work hard every day to keep us safe, some deploying on ships that take them away from their families for many months at a time. The sea chanty historically was sung by sailors who were engaged in hard physical labor while out to sea. This composition is dedicated to them for all of their hard work and service to the country.

Composition Details (Tempo, Key, Main Chords etc): Title: Seascapes. Dotted Quarter note= 108. Begins in 6/8 time signature in the key of Amin and modulates through various keys. Middle section is in a slower 4/4 time signature with a cascading solo flute and oboe with other countermelody instruments interspersed. Later goes back to the 6/8 sea chanty feel where the original melody is further developed and then back to the 4/4 section where the climax is reached leading to the end.

Main Instruments used: Wind Ensemble

1 Like

Here are my notes I wrote while listening. Congrats on a really fine work.

Begining a bit abrupt. Great use of dynamics. Starts off majestically enough. I love the passages with the brass that starts right after the quiet part. The tympany sounds excellent. The softer quieterpart in 4/4 to me seems a bit on the mellow side for a majestic piece but I really like how you bring in the brass and build up the dynamics. The use of the tympany to tie the next section works perfectly and the themes that follow that are also perfect for a majestic piece. This section too really brings out the theme of the sea and I can imagine being out in the ocean in a ship somewhere with the wind blowing and the wave crashing. The ending too is a bit abrupt. My grade for this would be an A if I was asked, aside from a couple of minor flaws this is excellent, cleverly written and very skillfully arranged.

Thanks. Is the 2 bar intro too abrupt? Should I just have a tympani roll instead or come up with a different intro? What would you change at the end? Chord progression? Melodic ideas?

Nice arrangement! You have some really interesting chord progressions. It’s a little bit pirate-like, which I wasn’t expecting in a majestic piece, but it works, especially in the last half. Great job!

I definitely get a “sea” feeling with this. Some clever writing. You might consider upgrading some libraries or tools to sound less “midi” like. Since you probably don’t have much room on a base or a ship, highly recommend checking out StaffPad for iOS. You can develop your ideas for an entire symphony using an iPad and a Apple pencil! You can compose just about anywhere. Enjoy SD!

I felt the same as Brandon, the sound of the samples gets in the way of getting a good impression of the full potential of the piece (at least for me it does).