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Topic: 24 Delightful Demos by Adam Burford

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2000
    Orcas Island

    24 Delightful Demos by Adam Burford

    Adam Burford has a web site devoted to showcase his arrangements of \"turn-of-the-century\" music. There are twenty-four delightful instrumental demos all arranged by Adam with interesting combinations and colors. The arrangements were done in Finale. The instrumentation on the web site was all done with GPO and there are too many to post here.

    Here\'s the link to Adam\'s site:


    I urge you to go to Adam\'s site and have a listen. This music will leave you smiling. [img]images/icons/smile.gif[/img]

    Which one is your favorite????

    Thanks Adam for sharing your arrangements.

    Gary Garritan

  2. #2

    Re: 24 Delightful Demos by Adam Burford

    Oh yeah! Smiling [img]images/icons/smile.gif[/img]

    I love the mill in the forest ..

    And who can resist making love with Revel of the Witches\'s interaction between intsruments [img]graemlins/tounge_images/icons/smile.gif[/img]

    (once the music is in my head, the music and i can do whatever we want, right [img]images/icons/smile.gif[/img] )

  3. #3

    Re: 24 Delightful Demos by Adam Burford

    Sounds like rigid MIDI files piped through GPO.
    Not flattering at all!

  4. #4

    Re: 24 Delightful Demos by Adam Burford

    I think that considering Finale doesn\'t have the realtime control capability to really milk the expressive value of GPO, it\'s sounds pretty good. You certainly get the idea of where the composer wants to go, and would be a great aid to someone wanting to hear \"color\" as they score.

    Remember - the objective is not to be broadcast on National Public Radio - the objective is to indicate orchestral color from within a certain time period.

    Spot on!

  5. #5

    Re: 24 Delightful Demos by Adam Burford

    I completely concur. I find the demos very charming. The coloring and performance reminds me of a lot of early Americana-style chamber music, if you can call it that. I would have to say that this is a nice way to show off the woodwinds in varying combinations more than anything (although I really like that mallet, harp, celesta combo in the Cupid song). The only criticism I would have is how the strings sound in ensemble in many spots. Maybe different combinations of ensembles would help some of the strings sound less synthy (it\'s a bit tricky and I find myself trying to find the right combination myself). I love the unique voice colorings used through the various pieces. It\'s very refreshing to hear arrangements that don\'t sound like another John Williams wannabe [img]images/icons/smile.gif[/img]

  6. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    UK- teeming with life....

    Re: 24 Delightful Demos by Adam Burford

    Burford, what a brilliant idea! Similar to an idea I wanted to cover but better!

    I don\'t think that there is a better way to show off woodwinds quite frankly. Such a shame that so much wonderful music gets lost during the decades, nay... centuries.

    Here and there I hear the links to Joplin.....same era.

    How marvellous that we have packages like GPO which enable us to capture the past. It\'s almost like the conservation of dying species!!! GPO is a potential conservationist!

    I can only repeat the previous poster\'s word.....Charming and I\'ll add one...delightful. Lovely to hear, rarely listenable to, music from a bygone era.

    A breath of fresh air....literally...through the mouthpiece!!


  7. #7

    Re: 24 Delightful Demos by Adam Burford

    I find the arranging as enjoyable as listening to the final product. And as I learn more about GPO I get a little more excited about the possibility of getting closer and closer to sounding like the real thing, and maybe even better--considering how accurate the ensemble will be.

    Crackbaby, The Mill In the Forest is a favorite of mine, and from what I’ve come across, it was a huge hit in the 1890\'s through the 1920\'s. As for making love with The Revel of the Witches, I laughed! When I first saw the music I thought, “Let’s see if opposites attract. Can a harp and contrabassoon get along?” I think they’re having a good time playing together.

    mitchb2, Criticism of rigidity accepted--with the understanding that I’ve put in subtleties that maybe you’re not appreciating. Like for instance, in Scented Violets, the Bassoon fades out at the very last moment on some sustained notes. In the same piece I use 3 different attacks on the bassoon notes (note velocity), in addition to slurs (sustain pedal). I shorten some notes to create the impression of the tongue stopping air flow before the sounding of the note. I put in some rubato. And all notes are not equal volume in the chords of the piano. I use Finale and am gradually developing my own GPO-Specific ways of making midi files, so hopefully I’ll be able to produce more artistic renderings.

    Houston, For me as an amateur, I get to hear exotic sound colors for the price of a couple hundred bucks, and I don’t have to pay recording fees for local talent! GPO has given me an expressive outlet that I’ve been hoping for.

    Trevor, Thanks for the “charming”. I’ve tried to do my best to preserve the spirit of the composers. They all sound like good-natured cheerful people! I wish I could meet them. I’m going to have a look at the strings some more. I first learned how to get attacks on the woodwinds and just assumed that the same would apply to the string sounds... but maybe not? Hmm.

    Frank, I’m woodwind-centric; that’s what I learned a while back, so that’s what I’m most comfortable with, but now with GPO I can start learning all the rest. What I\'ve discovered collecting old sheet music is that there was a lot more going on back then than just ragtime in the popular music world. The only thing that comes close to ragtime that I\'ve done is the \"Ragtime Song\" \"He\'d Have to Get Under, Get Out and Get Under (To Fix Up His Automobile).\" And thanks for the compliment. [img]images/icons/smile.gif[/img]

  8. #8

    Re: 24 Delightful Demos by Adam Burford


    It seems everyone has beat me to all the good words, \"breath of fresh air,\" \"charming,\" even witty. It was really a treat to listen to this music. Nowadays, it is so easy to get caught up in overly complicated textures and modern harmony and overdone orchestration. Listening to these, it was so ... nice! Talk about smiling.

    Very enjoyable orchestration. Thanks for sharing!

  9. #9

    Re: 24 Delightful Demos by Adam Burford

    Those pieces are quite enjoyable.

    Originally posted by Adam Burford:
    As for making love with The Revel of the Witches, I laughed! When I first saw the music I thought, “Let’s see if opposites attract. Can a harp and contrabassoon get along?” I think they’re having a good time playing together.
    <font size=\"2\" face=\"Verdana, Arial\">John Williams effectively combined the harp and a contrabassoon for the soundtrack to Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. I quote Maestro Williams: \"There is a three-headed dog who guards a secret chamber. Of course, when he\'s awake, nobody can get past the dog. The dog is called \'Fluffy\' incidentally. And there\'s a magic harp that kept Fluffy asleep. As long as the harp was playing it was safe to go into the chamber because the three-headed dog was asleep. Hence, the music of the magic harp; and Fluffy, the three-headed guard dog was big and threatening and ominous characterized by the contrabassoon which has the lowest pitches of all the orchestra; putting these two unlikely instruments together in a sort of somnambulent duet.\"

  10. #10

    Re: 24 Delightful Demos by Adam Burford

    I appreciate all the kind words. I believe that the happiness–potential of music has yet to be exploited fully by composers. I found myself seeking out the compositions of the turn-of-the-century composers who were writing for everyday people going about their daily lives in a cheerful mood – a rather different outlook from our current world. [img]images/icons/frown.gif[/img] On a practical note, without obtaining special permission I can only photocopy and arrange music that is in the public domain, which, according to several archivists I’ve talked to, means music copyrighted before 1923.

    I recall hearing at the theater the John Williams contrabassoon & harp duet, and perking up, thinking, “Awesome!” I had trouble watching the rest of the movie ever vigilant to catch the next contrabassoon solo. [img]images/icons/wink.gif[/img] It’s my attitude towards GPO, “Awesome! – now I can hear exotic combinations anytime: Contrabassoon with Harp, Chimes with Oboe, ... whatever!”

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