Every. Note. Matters.

When it comes to music, the quality one expects to hear as he listens to a recording will only ever be equal to the quality of the work that was put into creating the music. As an orchestrator, it’s my job to be sure that every instrument chosen, every note to be played, every dynamic and expressive marking that is to be interpreted are all exactly as they should be.

When put like that, it makes orchestrating sound like incredibly detailed, delicate and tedious work. In a lot of ways it is. But when your brain is equally balanced between the right and the left, it only makes sense to be as creative as possible while simultaneously being as intricately involved in the minute details of the music.

Why go to this extreme? Why be this concerned about every aspect of the music itself?

What happens as a result of this intentional focus is instantly recognizable – orchestral balance, ensemble unity in regards to expressiveness and articulation, wonderfully unique subtleties, and a performance that is unmatched.

Why do you use an orchestrator? Why do you partner with someone who knows the instruments – their capabilities, their expressive qualities, their individual contributions to the ensemble?

The answer is surprisingly simple: Every. Note. Matters.

 


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Soundtrack for Dragon Age: Inquisition

I recently had the opportunity to once again work with Trevor Morris and his L.A.-based team to create portions of the soundtrack to Dragon Age: Inquistion.  They called on me to serve as the orchestrator and also to conduct the orchestra sessions. Nothing beats standing on the podium in front of a room full of… View Article
Blog . . .
From time to time, I'll post news about recent projects or maybe feel the need to share with the world an idea I have in regards to arranging, orchestrating, or just music in general. Also, for those who enjoy reading my FinaleGuru blog posts, you'll now be able to find them here.

Just Because You’re Resting, Doesn’t Mean You’re Lazy…

Placing Rests for Use in Slash Notation They say “rest is good for the soul.” Well, The Finale Guru says that “rests are good for the rhythm chart.” Let’s face it, most rhythm charts have a lot of measures with slashes in them (slash notation). Sometimes there’s only one chord, or maybe two, in any… View Article

Attack of the Clones!

Cloning Lyrics Okay, hopefully this will be more helpful to you than George Lucas’ episode 2, in all its glory.  Personally, I’m not really a fan of cloning. I think there are some inherent risks involved, like accidentally cloning Jack the Ripper, Hitler or maybe Carrot Top, for example. However, when it comes to lyrics,… View Article

Top Tip #6 – EVPU’s

#6 – Set EVPU’s as the Measurement Unit Quick! What’s the value of the top system on page 3? – 0.23611. What about the distance between systems 7 and 8? – 0.3125. What’s the definition of pi? – 3.14159265358979323846… I know, these are easy questions for all those math geniuses out there. But what about… View Article

Top Tip #5 – Don’t Be a Drag

#5 – Don’t just drag an expression around to wherever you want it – always anchor it to the closest item you can. Yes, this seems a bit picky, maybe. But, if you know me personally, you know that I’m a perfectionist. So it is really not uncharacteristic of me to point out piddly, little editing… View Article

Top Tip #4 – Linked Parts

#4 – Use Linked Parts no matter how small your score is. I recently had a friend tell me how much he hated cars. “Why?”, I wondered. Was it because of the emissions, or maintenance, the price of gas, etc…?  “No,” he said. “It’s because your arm gets so tired doing all of that cranking –… View Article

“In a fast-paced, high-pressure world where creative ideas are often required in a minimal amount of time, David has been a great help to me as fellow arranger. Every time he brings to the table a high level of skill and dependability, but more importantly the attitude of a humble servant  — and that indeed is a very strong combination!”

David Hamilton
Producer, Arranger, Conductor