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LA Times compliments my orchestration (indirectly)

This is probably the best orchestration compliment I could ever hope for from the LA Times’ recent review of The Invention of Morel:

“Scored for a 16-piece band that often sounds as if ballooned into something 10 times its size, the music hectored the audience persistently, often at odds with the contours of the vocal lines.”

I worked on this for two years with Stewart Copeland to get that big sound out of a little orchestra, and the shows at the Chicago Opera Theater and the Long Beach Opera have been close to sold out. SUCCESS!!

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The Invention of Morel comes to the Long Beach Opera

Here’s Stewart Copeland at last year’s premiere explaining why opera is a lot like South Park, and why there’s nothing about opera that a good new opera can’t fix.

On March 17, 24, and 25 the Long Beach Opera will present The Invention of Morel in its west coast debut. I orchestrated it for composer Stewart Copeland, and it took about two years to complete. It was premiered last year by the Chicago Opera Theater. Conducted by the great Andreas Mitisek and with a brilliant cast, you’ve probably never seen anything quite like it. I highly recommend it.

LA Weekly wrote a great article about it, and there’s more info on LongBeachOpera.org.

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Penka Kouneva’s new album Rebirth of ID

I have been honored to be a part of Penka Kouneva’s orchestration team for many years now, and the quality of her work is always inspiring. Her most recent venture is a full-length orchestral album released today by Varèse Sarabande. It contains four tone poems of four movements, each telling its own story in a different genre. It is a pure art project intended to display the full extent of her considerable depth as a composer and orchestrator, and it does not disappoint. The compositions are evocative, the orchestra is exquisitely controlled, and the album is emotionally sophisticated and deeply moving. The music is entirely hers from top to bottom, but I had the honor of helping her with orchestrations on two of the tracks.

Please do yourself a favor and buy it!

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Orchestrating for International Dota 2 Championships

Every year in Seattle players of Dota 2 converge in Seattle for one week at a massive championship gamer playoff called The International Dota 2 Championships. The competition is streamed via Twitch and watched all over the world. This year the total prize pool was $24,787,916, with first place winning $10,862,683 and each of the top 20 getting over $100k. To say that it’s a massive event is a massive understatement.

Naturally, part of the festivities during the week is live entertainment. The game music band Critical Hit put together a long arrangement of music from Dota 2, and I helped to orchestrate the music for the Seattle Symphony to play. It was an orchestral/rock hybrid and featured soloists throughout. My colleagues on the music team were Adam Gubman, Penka Kouneva, and Joris Daniel Hoogsteder.

This performance was on August 12, 2017

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Orchestrating for video game Diablo III: Rise Of The Necromancer

Out today: Diablo III Rise of the Necromancer is the lastest expansion pack for the dungeon crawler action role-playing video game from Blizzard Entertainment. Diablo has sold 30 million units and has 3 million daily players.

Necromancer adds a new class to the gameplay, new weapons, new armor, and of course new music! As with all Blizzard projects the resources available to us are massive, so we had another very large orchestra to work with. This time around I was orchestrating with Penka Kouneva for composer Erik Desiderio, a fellow composer here in Los Angeles.

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Orchestrating for Christine Hals, live concert in Bulgaria

Three weeks ago I was orchestrating again for the excellent Norwegian composer Christine Hals. Tonight she is conducting the music in a live concert in Ruse, Bulgaria. The piece is called Storms of Freya, and it depicts some elements of the Nordic weather of her home country. We spent a lot of time depicting the weather with very specific and experimental textures, and the end result is just as good as we imagined. Christine was conducting the Rousse Philharmonic Orchestra as part of the Los Angeles Film Conducting Intensive (LAFCI).

You can see a video of Christine conducting Storms of Freya piece here.

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The Son starring Pierce Brosnan

The Son from AMC Studios is a multi-generational epic telling of the story of America’s birth as a superpower through the bloody rise and fall of one Texas oil empire. Starring Pierce Brosnan, it’s halfway through the first season. Episode 10 came out today, for which I was on the music team working with Penka Kouneva as orchestrator and music copyist for composer Nathan Barr. Much of the score is recorded here in Los Angeles in Nathan’s studio.

Stewart Copeland – The Invention of Morel in Chicago

For the last two years composer Stewart Copeland has been working on a new opera based on the book The Invention of Morel by Adolfo Bioy Casares. It was commissioned jointly by the Long Beach Opera and the Chicago Opera Theater, and the world premiere was last night. It was a fantastic success, and the reviews are wonderful. I’ve been Stewart’s orchestrator and music copyist since 2010.

Chicago Tribune: “A brilliant piece of musical surrealism”

Chicago Sun Times: “winningly haunted and haunting … alternately unnerving nightmare and beautiful fever dream”

The opera will play in Long Beach one year from now.