Composing a Fanfare for Crew Dragon: Day 5

Fighting a horrible mood by making progress anyway. Not much. But enough.

Assumed audience: Anyone interested in the process of writing composed music.

One thing I really wish I knew more about is using getting the full range out of digital instruments. When I listen to the sounds that other composers can pull out of the sound sets that come with Dorico, it’s extremely apparent that there are profound depths there I simply have no idea how to access. (Tutorial links, anyone? I’d be curious!) Digitally-produced music never sounds quite like a live recording… but it gets awfully close sometimes, while the recordings I’ve put up this week do not.

That’s for another time, though. For now, I’ve contented myself with just making some progress on this next section. I had, frankly, a pretty bad day personally today — but I refuse to let that be the final note (no pun intended) for this project, and hammered away at getting some of the ideas I was working with last night and today into Dorico. It’s nothing great, but it’s something, and I’ll take that.

I wrote the next two paragraphs… and then ended up making more progress. Read these for context, because the point of this whole series is that it’s capturing how works-in-progress work — and then jump down past the break to see what happened later in the day!

I would put up the day’s materials, but there really isn’t almost anything to share. I’m hoping that I’ll be able to spend some more time on this tomorrow, and if so I will post what I get to then. Today, it would just be another couple staves of notes in my staff paper notebook, and a few more notes in the score: not enough to really elaborate, or so it feels.

I’m happy with those new notes, though: it took me all day to really start getting to them, but I think I have the key bits I need to keep going, and that’s really critical. Not least for my emotional state, which for reasons unrelated to composing took a beating this week! Making forward progress, even on a bad day, is a good thing.

As noted in my Note above: I actually did make some progress! This orchestration is thin; some of the notes are straight-up wrong still; the percussion lines (both in the drums and in the piano, contrabassoon, and bass trombone) are overly repetitive… but it’s progress, and you can get a sense of the direction I’m headed from it:

moving into the second section

That also has a few tweaks to the fanfare since yesterday — bits I noticed on relistening. If you’d like to compare, here’s the latest version of the score.