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Roger Aldridge / Blog

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New Recording In The Works

David Arivett has started to work on a recording of my composition Salt Marsh Rag (5 woodwinds & jazz rhythm section). I am impressed with David's work in creating recordings of big band scores with electronics and, at times, live musicians. His recordings sound like a live big band. I am looking forward to David working his magic on Salt Marsh Rag and hearing the result. The recording will sound like a woodwind quintet with piano, bass, and drums. It will enable others to hear some o [.....

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Sleepy Creek Samba Arrangement

Thanks to assistance from George Spicka (composer friend in the Baltimore Jazz Alliance), my hand-written score for Sleepy Creek Samba has been put into Sibelius software. This piece is for jazz soloist, 5 horns, and rhythm section. Flexible instrumentation is used to enable the music to be played by many configurations of instruments. The Sleepy Creek Samba page on my website has a link to the ensemble score. Bands that are interested in playing this piece can write to me from the Contact ...

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Interstitial Arts Foundation Page

An information page for the Interstitial Arts Foundation has been added to my website. For many years, my creative process is to write down music that comes to me. I do not put a stylistic filter on my work. Sometimes the music fits (more or less) into a particular style, sometimes it is a blend of styles, and sometimes I do not know what to call it. When I discovered the Interstitial Arts Foundation earlier this year I suddenly found a community of kindred spirits who are not constrained by art...

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Building Virtual And Live Audiences

Being primarily a composer and not having a performing band, a challenge that goes beyond writing new music is how one builds an audience for their music. How to do that was not taught in the composition courses I took back in the day. Thus, in large measure I have been flying by the seat of my pants since I started to use various internet resources for my music in 2010. I am grateful to the musicians and ensembles who have discovered my originals and are performing them. Along with seeking...

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Amy Duncan: The Creative Process

Composer friend Amy Duncan has a wonderful new blog: The Creative Process. Here is her description of it: "A few weeks ago, I posed these questions on Facebook:Here are a few questions for my creative friends (writers, musicians, composers, artists, photographers, etc.): What is your creative process? How do you approach your work, day by day? What are your work habits? Your frustrations (if any!)? Feel free to be wordy!I received so many interesting and varied answers that I decided to sha...

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A Big Band Misconception

There is a common understanding that each saxophone, trumpet, and trombone player in a big band has an individual part. However, that is a misconception with regard to harmony. Traditional big band arrangements -- with 5 saxophones, 4 or 5 trumpets, and 4 trombones (13 or 14 players) -- typically use 4 or 5-part harmony. Therefore, doing the math, 2 or 3 players are going to play the same note, using unison or octave doubling, in a given harmonization. A traditional way to harmonize [...]

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Baltimore Jazz Works 6/22/14

Baltimore Jazz Works -- George Spicka (piano), Phil Ravita (bass) and John Kessell (drums) -- will perform my original A Samba Named Nancy on Sunday, June 22, at the 49 West coffeehouse in Annapolis, MD. The show is 7:00 to 9:30 pm. BJW's music includes originals by George Spicka and Phil Ravita.   [...]

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Climate Message Video Festival

Here is a link to The First Climate Message Video Festival. It is a work of love by Warren Senders who coordinated the project and edited over 120 submissions. The scope of the music in the video is fantastic. Many countries from around the world are represented. The clip of my tune Sunset on the Chesapeake starts at 13:12. The Climate Message website has information about this on-going project. Warren plans to create a second Climate Message video. For those interes [...]

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Unrecorded Originals

Over time I will include more originals on my site that have not been recorded. When they have been added to the Previous Featured Music page (after being featured for a week on Bonus Track) they will be designated with an asterisk. These pieces will be a mix of recent work and older ones that I especially like. By doing this, it is my hope that ensembles will discover these pieces and perform them. The unrecorded pieces that I have so far on my site are Cloud Dance, Gina's Waltz, Smaller Ups &a...

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Lead Sheet Vs Score

Now and then I reflect upon the relationship I have between writing original tunes (lead sheet format) and ensemble pieces. I like to write for ensembles. However, it seems to me that my most creative work is in writing original tunes. When I'm working on an ensemble score I already know what it will sound like, depending upon the amount of freedom in the piece (see my blog Beyond Notation). Whereas, with an original tune the performing musicians in a small group can take the music anywhere. I l...

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