Unfamiliar Place - Luke Sawczak - Music

"If a composer could say what he had to say in words he would not bother trying to say it in music."
  ~Gustav Mahler

Jump to History of my Music
Jump to Free Daily Melody

These ten songs, available both in MP3 and on Youtube, are arranged in no particular order.

mp3   youtube     A Change in the Wind
mp3   youtube     Omnia Tempus (A Time for Everything)
mp3   youtube     TDCHristmas
mp3   youtube     To Flower Somewhere Else
mp3   youtube     At Gray Gate
mp3   youtube     To Take Her Hand
mp3   youtube     Arrival
mp3   youtube     Darryl
mp3   youtube     A Little Sunrise Music
mp3   youtube     Cataclysm

Lots more pieces are available on my Youtube channel.
( I might as well tip my hat to MusicAnimation and CamStudio, the programs with which I made the Youtube videos look like they do.)

I've always had a liking for classical music. I think it must have started with video games, however nerdy that is. There I was, six years old, playing Age of Empires ... and hearing Stephen Rippy's synthesized soundtrack. Many of my favourite composers are still ones who work in the video game industry: Michael Giacchino, Jason Hayes, and Jeremy Soule come to mind instantly.

I didn't really think about making my own until high school. My brother Caspian used to use a program called PowerTab, which I tried out... I had no music theory and PowerTab didn't give you any. The music I created lacked everything, including a time signature, and you could hear it.

Flashback:       Concerto, 2005

Later my band teacher, K. Hayward, introduced me to a nifty program: Finale Notepad. It had two strengths: it didn't sound quite so bad, and it foisted basic music theory on the user. Of course, it wasn't perfect, but it worked for me. I used it for two years, and the music is somewhat more acceptable.

Flashback:      Joyful Canon, 2006
Flashback:     Servant of the Lord, 2007

But I was still just fooling around until, once I knew how to do more than Notepad's limits, I shelled out to get the full version of Finale. Mostly it had a lot of neat things that ease the more tedious parts of composing, including making orchestration easier.

Eventually I put together everything I'd done on a single album: Gray Gate Symphony (all the music is now free, though). It was a summary of all my stuff so far, run through, frankly, too much reverb. It's still recent enough to delight me when I listen to it.

Flashback:      Of Demons, 2008

In 2009 I acquired Garritan Instruments, which are real instruments recorded for your use at home. Sweet! I also worked on actually improving my composing. I regularly talk and discuss music with fellow amateur composers (like Sean Patrick Hannifin, see the section below), and I taught myself some basic music theory out of books. My list of influences shifted from video game composers to the classical greats. I also tried some new forms ;

Experimental piece:      The Royal Say, 2009

Recently I've been writing pieces with more thought, planning, and time. The list at the top of the page has most of them, but I also made another CD, An Unfamiliar Place (bet you didn't see that coming), which was a collection of pieces with the theme of moving on from my familiar home, my comfort zone, to a new place.

In spring and summer 2010, my friend Marc Wilkinson of Chaotic Edge asked me to write the scores for three short films, which I did:

Short film score:   Shadows of the Frozen (videoold version)
Short film score:   The Archaic Duel (video)
Short film score:   The Golden Hour (video)

Return to top of page

For six weeks in late 2008 to early 2009, I worked on a side project (Sean Hannifin's) called Free Daily Melody.

Each day, he produced a simple melody, played just by piano: the treble line and the chords. I undertook to orchestrate them all as well as I could, matching him one a day. It was a challenge because of the melodies' small format: I had to compose each piece quickly; I had to pack a coherent, listenable piece into only a few bars; and I had to scrounge for creativity since I had just one sequence of notes without much deviation allowed. Over time they got more and more developed, and I gained in several ways from this project.

Here are all the ones I completed while the project was underway.
= My Orchestration;     = Sean's Original


Return to top of page

©2011 Luke Sawczak.