For several months I have been writing tracks with a view to using them in music scores for upcoming productions. I have used them for the past three films and that has given me 8 tracks which I have set aside for Holy Spirit of Hope music album. Today I took time out especially to write 2 more tracks so that I could finish this album and was very excited about it. Halfway through I remembered that I will soon be writing the music for Margery Kempe so for track 10 I loaded some very ancient instruments such as Koblikzek, Nykelharpa, Lute, Psalter and used these as inspiration for the final track with a view to being able to use it in the film. I am pleased to say that I have completed yet another album and also designed some of the artwork! Once I hand the tracks over to my sister she will make me a nice trailer with music samples so watch this space. It's nice coming right after the release of AUTUMN.
Thursday, 3 February 2022
Wednesday, 2 February 2022
Today my latest music album AUTUMN is available on all digital outlets. Watch this trailer to be inspired and then head on over to Spotify, iTunes, Pandora, TikTok, Deezer and more!
Thursday, 20 January 2022
Yesterday, after a big break, I got back onto writing my AUTUMN music album with the final 2 tracks and I managed to complete them in an afternoon, thus finishing the album! Today I have been working on the artwork and managed to release this new album on CD.
Autumn is a magical time of year when the leaves fall in an array of beautiful colours and mushrooms and toadstools spring up in the most unexpected places. The air is filled with the sounds of crunching leaves, crackling campfires and diverse new birds visiting for a short while. This new instrumental album captures these sounds and atmospheres through ten original tracks using instruments such as Celtic harp, guitar, erhu, ancient flutes, soundscapes, piano and so many more as well as subtly incorporating sound effects such as crackling fires, forest birds and thunder and rain to really encapsulate this wonderful time of year.
Monday, 29 November 2021
The past couple of weeks I decided that I needed to write something completely new and without pressure, something completely free. My sister suggested that I write a seasonal album called "Autumn". This really inspired me as I love the idea of falling leaves with their colours, mushrooms etc. I asked her to write me 10 track title names and I would use these as the basis for my writing.
When I write, I start with a picture or an idea and set up my basic project in Cubase. I have some standard instruments like harp, piano, strings, soundscapes, guitar. Mostly I briefly decided on a 4/4 or 3/4 time or something else and tempo and then I'll hit record and play in starting with usually either harp or piano or strings and record in something for about 30 seconds. I will go back to this, quantize it and normalize any velocity that's been played in way to loud or quiet, get it sounding nice, then I'll hit record again, change instrument and play in another tune or accompaniment over the top of what I have recorded. I do this about 5 times with bass, strings, voices or whatever I feel the piece needs and I gradually build it up.
When I started AUTUMN the first title was "Ode to the Fungi" so I used mostly guitars and stringed instruments which I switched about. I like to change instruments or bring in new ones after a minute or so. I was told once by my college tutor "overkill on the oboe" and he suggested switching the lead instrument regularly. This really helped and I am always aware of the need to bring in something new. My favourite samples are by Eduardo Tarilonte and I draw upon his soundscapes a lot. For this album I was able to use Forest Kingdoms more as it's not a "Holy Spirit" album or a religious contemplative track or film. I felt I could do what I wanted so I used forest soundscapes with subtle sounds of fantasy beasts and birds. I used sound effects like crackling fires and rain. It's been really fun and this album captures the atmosphere of the season well.
I certainly enjoyed the last 2 tracks, tracks 7 and 8 that I have written this past week "Walking the dark woodland pathways" as I was able to write something darker and more sinister using the piano and strings and some creaking trees soundscapes and wind.
I am gearing up to work on "St. Ralph Sherwin" music score, it's been a few weeks since I finished Anna Maria Taigi film score which was so epic I have not been able to go back to it through sheer exhaustion. I decided to write a couple of "pre-tracks" for St. Ralph Sherwin and ended up writing 3 in a row yesterday which was great. Finally I was inspired to use Highland Pipes which, if used well, can be so moving - like in Braveheart film.
I started with subtle soundscapes to give an atmosphere of depth and expanse, then I used the pipes with a lot of reverb to "call out" over the "landscape" that I was picturing. To this I added a fidule and it gradually built up from there with strings and bass and a bit of subtle nylon guitar to keep in moving. I fell in love with this piece but had to stop for dinner and just managed to finish it. Every hal hour or so I would record 30 seconds of video and music and tweet it on my Twitter account. There was a lot of response to this and people got to hear what I was working on. Today I've set up the St. Ralph Sherwin film and hope to incorporate this piece into the film as it hit that emotional spot. It will mean at some point in the score, introducing the pipes and bringing the themes around to this kind of epic thought - probably towards the end where you know the character is going to prison and be executed.
Tuesday, 9 November 2021
This summer has seen me not doing any blog posts at all! I can't believe how fast it has gone. Earlier this year I started to write some tracks for my next album "Holy Spirit of Hope" which were also for me to draw upon when writing the music soundtrack for our next film on Elizabeth Prout. When it came to writing the score I had two tracks previously written and this made the music so much easier to write. When I had written the introduction, opening titles and beginning, it was mostly underscore but when it came to needing something new or different, it meant I could drop in a track without composing it there and then. This method works really well.
Sadly, once I've written a score I go onto the next project and don't really remember what took place. As I've not been posting for months I can't honestly remember the Elizabeth Prout music score or the film other than that I was very pleased with it, it's frustrating that I didn't post any blogs about the process as I did it as I have now completely forgotten. The film has met with a good reception and it's great to have finished it along with John Henry Newman and Dominic Barberi.
You can watch a trailer for the film here:
|Elizabeth Prout DVD|
The film is now available too on DVD and Instant Video from all the usual places.
Once these 2 films were completed it left us with 5 more outstanding, St. Ralph Sherwin, St. David Lewis, Margery Kempe, Ignatius Spencer and Bl. Anna Maria Taigi which had been requested. After a short break we decided to work on Bl. Anna Maria Taigi which we knew was going to be a big film. We filmed everything we needed in the Spring as well as some Ignatius Spencer footage for use in Elizabeth Prout film but also for his own film. Editing on Bl. Anna Maria Taigi began and I started to write some interesting, mystical music tracks that I could draw upon - 3 in total and also an "Epic Track" for her trailer.
Thursday, 25 February 2021
Please head on over to our website to find out more about the NEW album at www.marysdowryproductions.org or look it up on Amazon or Ebay.
Friday, 18 September 2020
Since April I have been working on my next instrumental album "Holy Spirit of Love". For this album I took a different approach; for each track I thought about various people's stories and used their stories to inspire me. It was interesting to focus on different aspects of love. For example for track 1 I thought about two characters, a mother and daughter and the bond of love between them. I also drew upon ancient instruments such as Tenor viola de Gamba, harps and soundscapes with subtle pianos, my usual choice of instruments but with added Celtic and ancient instruments.
The past few days I have worked on track 9 for this album and I really made it difficult for myself by using a Bodhran drum rhythm which was very complicated. I can usually write a track pretty quickly but this was rather difficult and took me longer to get everything in time with the beat. In the end I was so pleased with the result! Because of this I decided that track 10 would be much simpler so this morning I have written track 10 with simple piano, harp, cello and strings, with a bit of a Celtic soundscape for atmosphere.
Here are my current notes for working out the titles of each track. The notebook is all I had to go on for this album and I've been adding names of people's stories as I write them as a reminder of what each track is based on. Now I am taking these simple names and matching up a suitable title.
I am so pleased to have finished this album! I am currently working out the titles. I like to use titles from scripture but it's been a challenge to encapsulate the stories of each track with a simple line. I have however pulled together some relevant simple titles such as "Love Never Gives Up" to represent the first track. My next job will be to design the artwork for this next album.
The previous album in this series is "Spirit of Solitude" which was very different and possibly my favourite one, although this new one might top it. I will keep updating this blog with the progress and release of Spirit of Love. All of my albums are available on CD through Amazon or from our website www.marysdowryproductions.org. Many of them are available through Spotify, iTunes etc too. Just search for "Bernadette Bevans".