Guitar, Live recordings, Live stream, Other original music and arrangements, Percussion, Piano, Pop & Rock, songs, Vocal

Can’t Dance – live stream

I set out to write a “bubble-gum pop song” fit for a teen diva, and came up with Can’t Dance. The lyrics capture the awkwardness of high school nerds who lose themselves in each other and to the music. My friend and fellow composer Stephanie Meyers provides the “diva” for this one, accompanied by several of our talented friends.

This is a live stream VCFA internet broadcast recording from 12 August 2015.

Guitar, Live recordings, Live stream, Other original music and arrangements, Pop & Rock, songs, Vocal

To My Children – live stream

I have two children who survived the unpleasantness of the divorce of their mother and I when they were young. This song is my apology to them, and reaffirmation of my love for them and my grandchildren.

This recording is a live stream VCFA broadcast to the internet from the Songwriter’s Festival concert on 12 August 2015. Reed Robbins accompanies on guitar.

Live recordings, Live stream, Piano, Strings

None of That – live stream

This is a live internet stream recording of a VCFA concert from 10 February 2016, showing the performance of my original rescore to the animated film None of That.

There is another version of this re-scored film here.

I scored it for piano trio (piano, violin, and cello). All of the “sound effects” are created by the instruments.

My goal was to capture the feel of the Warner Brothers cartoons of the 1950s-1970s, particularly the Road Runner series.

Note that the video is the property of Ringling School of Art and Design, and is used for purposes of illustrating my film scoring. No copyright infringement is intended. The music is Copyright © 2016 Steven K. Sanford.

Please do not republish this film clip elsewhere on the internet or use without permission.

Country & Western, Guitar, Live recordings, Live stream, Other original music and arrangements, Percussion, Piano, songs, Strings, Vocal

Don’t Give Up on Me – live stream

This is a live stream recording of the VCFA Songwriter’s Festival concert on 12 February 2016, with me singing my original country-and-western song Don’t Give Up on Me (accompanied by a few talented friends).

I wrote this for my wife, who had to put up with me travelling to remote work locations every week for a few years before I retired.

There’s another version of this song here.

Live recordings, Live stream, Other original music and arrangements, Piano, songs, Vocal

Finding You – live stream

Finding You is an original love song to my wife of over 20 years, and is fairly autobiographical.

This is a live performance from VCFA streamed to the internet on 10 February 2017. The pianist is Claudine Joelle Robbins.

Live recordings, Live stream, Percussion

Lost – The Constant – live stream

This live concert performance of my rescore of an episode of the TV series Lost. This concert was broadcast to the internet on 2 August 2016 from VCFA.

The story is that a airplane passenger stranded by a crash on a desert island in 2004 is being rescued, but after passing through a thunderstorm on the way to the rescue ship, he begins to experience vivid flashbacks of 1996 when he was a soldier in boot camp. He becomes disoriented and doesn’t know whether it is 1996 or 2004. He is counseled by a physicist to pick a “constant”, someone or something existing in both timeframes that he really cares about, to resolve his dilemma.

Another version of this video appears here.

This rescore is for percussion instruments only, featuring marimba, vibraphone, and glockenspiel.

Note that the video and dialog are the property of ABC Studios, and are used for purposes of illustrating my film scoring. No copyright infringement is intended. The music is Copyright © 2016 Steven K. Sanford.

Please do not republish this film clip elsewhere on the internet or use without permission.

Brass, Live recordings, Live stream

Opening of “Raiders of the Lost Ark” – live stream

This concert video was broadcast live on the internet on 3 August 2017 from VCFA, showing the first 12 minutes of Steven Spielberg’s 1981 film Raiders of the Lost Ark with an original (re-)score for brass quintet. The score is performed by The Brooklyn Brass ensemble.

Another version of this rescore appears here.

Note that the video portion of the film is the property of Paramount Pictures, Lucasfilm, et al, and is used for purposes of illustrating my film scoring. No copyright infringement is intended. The dialog and sound effects were recreated by “Phil D” and “Jake” on Vimeo (https://vimeo.com/46951183). The music is Copyright © 2017 Steven K. Sanford.

Please do not republish this film clip elsewhere on the internet or use without permission.

Guitar, Live recordings, Live stream, Other original music and arrangements, songs, Vocal

Flying High – live stream

For one of my rescore projects, I wrote the music for an insurance company TV advertisement that featured the misadventures of a dim-witted small plane pilot. I wrote an original song for this spot (included in the compilation Adventures in Advertising).

I had the opportunity to perform this song live on 8 February 2017 with Reed Robbins on the guitar. This is a live-stream video of the event as it was broadcast on the internet from VCFA.

Brass, Demo, Film, TV, and other visual media scores, Orchestral, Percussion, Piano, Strings, Woodwinds

Demo Reel (rescores)

This is a thirteen-minute collection of scenes from films, TV shows, video games, and commercials that I have rescored. It shows the breadth and depth of my scoring to date, and serves as an index-reference to many of the short films included in the “Film Scores” section of my website.

In a hurry? Listen to a one-minute audio-only sampler of media scores here.

Note that the videos and dialogs excerpted are the property of the respective companies, and are used for purposes of illustrating my film scoring. No copyright infringement is intended. The music is Copyright © 2017 Steven K. Sanford.

Please do not republish this video elsewhere on the internet or use without permission.

(video revised 18 Feb 2018)

 

Animation, Comedy, Film, TV, and other visual media scores, Live recordings, Piano, Strings

None of That – Live (rescore)

This is a very clever animated film short from the Ringling College of Art and Design. I’ve rescored it for piano trio (piano, violin, and cello). All of the “sound effects” are created by the instruments.

My goal was to capture the feel of the Warner Brothers cartoons of the 1950s-1970s, particularly the Road Runner series.

This is a live performance recording, so there is some audience noise.

Note that the video is the property of Ringling School of Art and Design, and is used for purposes of illustrating my film scoring. No copyright infringement is intended. The music is Copyright © 2016 Steven K. Sanford.

Please do not republish this film clip elsewhere on the internet or use without permission.

Advertising, Demo, Film, TV, and other visual media scores, Orchestral

Adventures in Advertising (rescores)

This film is a collection of commercial rescores for products such as a hotel, an insurance company, a wealth-management firm, and a video game. There are multiple rescores of some of the advertising clips, representing different approaches to the same video. Scoring ranges from percussion and synthesizer to full orchestra.

Note that the video and dialog are the property of the respective companies, and are used for purposes of illustrating my film scoring. No copyright infringement is intended. The music is Copyright © 2017 Steven K. Sanford.

Please do not republish this film clip elsewhere on the internet or use without permission.

Drama, Film, TV, and other visual media scores, Live recordings, Percussion, Science Fiction

Lost: The Constant – Live (rescore)

The film clip is a condensed version of an episode of the TV series Lost from the fourth season, entitled “The Constant”. I’ve reduced the entire 45-minute show (without commercials) down to about 10 minutes with rough cuts that eliminated subplots, repetitive exposition, and some characters entirely.

The story involves Desmond, who has been stranded in 2004 on a remote island by a plane crash, travelling by helicopter to a rescue ship. Along the way, he begins to experience physical flash-backs to 1996 when he was a soldier in the UK. He becomes unable to distinguish between his current time period and the past, as well as imminent brain damage, so he seeks the assistance of a physics professor who tells him the only solution is to identify a “constant” in both time periods, something or someone that he cares about deeply. His estranged girlfriend is that constant, but he must call her from the rescue ship and hope she will answer before it is too late.

This rescore is for percussion instruments only, featuring marimba, vibraphone, and glockenspiel. It was recorded live with the Talujon Percussion Ensemble on 2 August 2016 at Vermont College of Fine Arts, in Montpelier, Vermont.

Note that the video and dialog are the property of ABC Studios, and are used for purposes of illustrating my film scoring. No copyright infringement is intended. The music is Copyright © 2016 Steven K. Sanford.

Please do not republish this film clip elsewhere on the internet or use without permission.

(updated 10 December 2017)

 

Action and Adventure, Brass, Drama, Film, TV, and other visual media scores, Live recordings

Opening Scenes from Raiders of the Lost Ark – Live (rescore)

The prologue for Steven Spielberg’s 1981 Raiders of the Lost Ark introduces Indiana Jones (Harrison Ford) as a tomb-raiding, whip-cracking adventurer, deep in the South American jungle searching for a lost golden idol. Jones manages to evade several life-threatening dangers, as well as duplicitous comrades, only to find himself confronted, in his ultimate escape, but his worst fear (snakes!).

For this rescore, I followed John William’s original soundtrack as a model for the “feel” of each scene, since I didn’t have the luxury of discussing the scoring with Steven Spielberg, but I still came up with an original, rather than derivative, score. This new soundtrack is written for a brass quintet (two trumpets, a french horn, a trombone, and a tuba).

There are two stand-out moments for me in the score. First, when the spiders prey on Jones and his assistant (Alfred Molina), the brass players key their instruments without blowing into them, creating clicking sounds to mimic the spiders. Second, I wrote my own “Indiana Jones theme”, which the brass play over the final escape to the seaplane. In John Williams’ score, this is the most memorable theme. I hope you find my “theme” just as exciting and memorable.

The score is performed by The Brooklyn Brass, recorded live in concert on 3 August 2017 at Vermont College of Fine Arts, Montpelier, VT.

Note that the video portion of the film is the property of Paramount Pictures, Lucasfilm, et al, and is used for purposes of illustrating my film scoring. No copyright infringement is intended. The dialog and sound effects were recreated by “Phil D” and “Jake” on Vimeo (https://vimeo.com/46951183). The music is Copyright © 2017 Steven K. Sanford.

Please do not republish this film clip elsewhere on the internet or use without permission.

(updated 11 December 2017)

Action and Adventure, Film, TV, and other visual media scores, Percussion, Science Fiction

Fight Scene from The Matrix (rescore)

This is a rescored excerpt from the Wachowski’s 1999 film The Matrix. In this scene, Neo (Keanu Reeves) has been programmed with a martial arts skills set, and demonstrates his newfound prowess for Morpheus (Laurence Fishburne). The fight is scored for percussion only, using oriental instruments consistent with the visual setting and subject.

I had to edit the audio track judiciously to capture the dialog, so there is some occasional bleed-through of Don Davis’s original soundtrack, which I matched and complemented with my own percussion.

Note that the video and dialog are the property of Warner Brothers et al., and are used for purposes of illustrating my film scoring. No copyright infringement is intended. The music is Copyright © 2017 Steven K. Sanford.

Please do not republish this film clip elsewhere on the internet or use without permission.

Advertising, Brass, Film, TV, and other visual media scores, Orchestral, Percussion, Strings, Woodwinds

CSPAN White House Tour Promo (rescore)

This is a promotional TV spot advertising a CSPAN White House Tour program. I wrote patriotic-sounding music and incorporated snare drum ruffles to match the historical importance of the tour, as well as aural splashes to highlight the final visuals.

Note that the video and sound clips are the property of CSPAN, and are used for purposes of illustrating my film scoring. No copyright infringement is intended. The music is Copyright © 2016 Steven K. Sanford.

Please do not republish this film clip elsewhere on the internet or use without permission.

Advertising, Animation, Brass, Film, TV, and other visual media scores, Orchestral, Percussion, Strings, Woodwinds

Poptech (rescore)

Poptech was a brain-storming conference held in Camden, Maine, that was opened each day with a short video clip. This is a rescore of that video clip.

Capturing the simplicity of rural Maine, I began with a recorder, then gradually built up the orchestration to the climax. This was, to me, supposed to be the visual and aural equivalent of a strong cup of coffee, to stimulate the day’s conversations.

Note that the video is the property of Poptech, and is used for purposes of illustrating my film scoring. No copyright infringement is intended. The music is Copyright © 2015 Steven K. Sanford.

Please do not republish this film clip elsewhere on the internet or use without permission.

Drama, Film, TV, and other visual media scores

100 Centre Street (rescore)

I rescored the titles for Sidney Lumet’s 2001 TV Series 100 Centre Street. This was a courtroom drama based in metropolitan New York City, so for a background, I started with city-scape sound effects like police sirens and traffic, then added courtroom sounds, including “Order in the court!”.

Over this audible landscape, I added synthesizer plunges and throbbing rhythm in woodwinds, brass, and finally strings, with a trumpet motif rising above these sounds. I tried to capture the feel of the typical police/court drama of the era.

Note that the video is the property of A&E Productions, and is used for purposes of illustrating my film scoring. No copyright infringement is intended. The music is Copyright © 2016 Steven K. Sanford.

Please do not republish this film clip elsewhere on the internet or use without permission.

Drama, Film, TV, and other visual media scores, Piano, Romance, Strings

Vertigo Restaurant Scene (rescore)

This is a scene from Alfred Hitchcock’s film Vertigo (1958) that I’ve rescored for piano and strings. Jimmy Stewart’s character (at the bar) is getting his first glimpse of Kim Novak’s character (at the table) while she is dining with her husband. Jimmy’s character is a private investigator who has been hired by the husband to surreptitiously follow Kim’s character, because she has been behaving suicidally.

The location reminded me of a restaurant in Brooklyn, NY, where my wife and I dined several times, complete with a pianist playing in a corner, and plush surroundings. So I staged the score with a pianist improvising a jazz piece as background music, then introduced the strings for Kim’s character.

I was able to capture some of the background sound effects during quiet moments in the scene, which I’ve included behind my rescore.

Note that the video and sound effects are the property of Alfred J. Hitchcock Productions, and are used for purposes of illustrating my film scoring. No copyright infringement is intended. The music is Copyright © 2017 Steven K. Sanford.

Please do not republish this film clip elsewhere on the internet or use without permission.

Other original music and arrangements, Vocal

Sea Chant-y

This is a bit of whimsy: a 16th century counterpoint (chant) setting of three contemporary songs: “I’m Popeye the Sailor Man”, “Oh the Sailor’s Life is the Life for Me”, and “Many Brave Hearts are Asleep in the Deep”. It is also an experiment with a synthetic voice generator (“Alter/Ego” by Plogue Art et Technologie, Inc., Montreal, Canada) that will “sing” words and music.

“I’m Popeye the Sailor Man” was written by Sammy Lerner, and published in “The Popeye Song Folio” by Popular Melodies (New York CIty, New York) in 1936, and served as the theme song for all of Paramount’s “Popeye” cartoons from 1933 to 1957.

The “Sailor’s Hornpipe” (also known as “College Hornpipe” or “Jack’s the Lad”) is a traditional hornpipe (sailor’s dance) melody dating from at least the 18th century.

“Asleep in the Deep” (“Many Brave Hearts are Asleep in the Deep”) was written by Arthur J. Lamb and Henry W. Petrie in 1897.

Live recordings, Other original music and arrangements, Piano, Vocal

The Hawthorn Tree – Live

This was a commission from the Shenandoah University Cantus Singers to portray works by women. The poem is “The Hawthorn Tree” by Willa Cather. It is performed by the Cantus Singers under the direction of Dr. Karen Keating.

The Hawthorn Tree is a poem by Willa Cather (1783-1847), pulitzer-prize winning author and journalist. She is well known for her novels about the Great Plains (e.g., O Pioneers!), but she was born in Gore, Virginia, a few miles west of Winchester. She lived nearby for her first ten years, then moved with her family to Nebraska, where she is a cultural icon. Her birthplace is on Route 50 west of Winchester. There is an historical marker on the highway, although the house itself is gone.

THE HAWTHORN TREE
by: Willa Cather

Across the shimmering meadows–
Ah, when he came to me!
In the spring-time,
In the night-time,
In the starlight,
Beneath the hawthorn tree.

Up from the misty marshland
Ah, when he climbed to me!
To my white bower,
To my sweet rest,
To my warm breast,
Beneath the hawthorn tree.

Ask of me what the birds sang,
High in the hawthorn tree;
What the breeze tells,
What the rose smells,
What the stars shine–
Not what he said to me!

“The Hawthorn Tree” is reprinted from “April Twilights” by Willa Cather; published by The Gorham Press, Boston, in 1903.

This setting is modeled on the style of an English madrigal, calling for restraint in dynamics, gentle lyricism, and clear articulation of the text.

(recorded live 10 April 2015; posted 24 September 2017)

Comedy, Film, TV, and other visual media scores, Orchestral

A Day’s Messing (rescore)

I found a terrific short film on Vimeo by Jeff Seal, and completely rewrote the soundtrack. This comic film follows a busy day in the life of a bicycle messenger in New York City, in the boy-meets-girl, boy-loses-girl, boy-finds-girl genre, but with a side helping of voodoo and a tribute to the classic Buster Keaton comedies. You’ve got to see it to understand.

Note that the video is the property of Bike Pathe and Jeff Seal, and is used for purposes of illustrating my film scoring. No copyright infringement is intended. The music is Copyright © 2016 Steven K. Sanford.

Please do not republish this film clip elsewhere on the internet or use without permission.

Jeff’s original film, with a film score by Mitchell Yoshida, is here.

Action and Adventure, Animation, Drama, Film, TV, and other visual media scores, Orchestral, Science Fiction

The Oceanmaker (rescore)

Mighty Coconut has created an amazing, epic animated short entitled The Oceanmaker. I’ve taken their film, stripped out all of the sound, and composed my own film score and supplied new sound effects.

Note that the video is the property of Mighty Coconut, and is used for purposes of illustrating my film scoring. No copyright infringement is intended. The music is Copyright © 2016 Steven K. Sanford.

Please do not republish this film clip elsewhere on the internet or use without permission.

(If you want to compare the film’s original soundtrack, scored by Chris Reyman, check it out here.)

Live recordings, Other original music and arrangements, Strings

Twenty Eight – Aeolus String Quartet

This is a live recording by the Aeolus Quartet from 24 October 2013.

Twenty-Eight is my reaction to the twenty-eight shooting deaths, including many young children, in Newtown, CT, on 14 December 2012. It traces the five stages of grief: Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, and Acceptance.

This composition was awarded an Honorable Mention for the William Averitt Prize in Composition for the year 2013.

Country & Western, Live recordings, Other original music and arrangements, Pop & Rock

Pop Song Trilogy

I took three pop songs I wrote and arranged them as a suite for unspecified instruments, although the key is brass-friendly: “1. Drop Dead Blues”, “2. Don’t Give Up On Me”, “3. I Wanna Be a Rock Star”.

I provided a group of friends/musicians with chords, melody, tempo, and they took it (improvised) from there.

On this live recording are Eli Thomas (violin), Alex Hill (baritone sax), Andy Herring (euphonium), and TJ Maher (guitar). This is a live 2014 concert recording.

By the way, I also posted a live-stream recording of me singing #2. Don’t Give Up on Me.

Live recordings, Other original music and arrangements, Woodwinds

The Red Wheelbarrow – Live

This is a live 2014 concert recording of a transcription for woodwinds of “The Red Wheelbarrow”, originally an a cappella vocal piece for quartet, setting William Carlos Williams’ poem of the same name. The performers are James Waters (flute), Caelan Shirey (clarinet), Jose Romero (oboe), and Tim Woerner (bassoon).

Note: I also posted a MIDI realization of this same piece.

 

Ballet scores, Strings

Shimmerings

This is a ballet score I wrote for a short choreography project with the Dance Department at Shenandoah Conservatory. The theme is light on water, in three movements, in the minimalist style, as requested by the choreographers:

  1. “Sun on Water”
  2. “Bioluminescent Waves”
  3. “Moon on Water”

It is scored for orchestral string section (violins, violas, cellos, basses).

 

Other original music and arrangements, Piano

Ode to Joy Variations

This was a quick project to write a few piano variations on the “Ode to Joy” theme from Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony. It consists of 4 sections:

  1. “Ode to Joy” Theme
  2. Variation in the Style of Mozart
  3. Variation in the Style of Bach
  4. Variation in the Style of Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata

(revised 06 October 2017)

Comedy, Film, TV, and other visual media scores, Percussion

At the Movies

 

One of my first film-scoring projects was an experimental, minimalist score for the 1916 Charlie Chaplin film The Vagabond. I have extracted three scenes from the film, and scored them for percussion (glockenspiel, marimba, and vibraphone) as well as double bass, creating the suite At the Movies. Enjoy!

(updated 22 September 2017)

Other original music and arrangements, Woodwinds

The Red Wheelbarrow

This is a woodwind quartet transcription of a choral setting of William Carlos Williams’ poem The Red Wheelbarrow. I think it works better with a woodwind ensemble than with voices. Listen for “So much…”, the chickens, and the rain (text below).

So much depends
upon a red wheelbarrow
glazed with rainwater
beside the white chickens.

The poem is in public domain.

(remastered recording 28 September 2017)

Ballet scores, Live recordings, Strings

Renaissance – Live

This is a composition for three cellos, written for a ballet choreographed by Courtney Bechamin entitled Split. The theme is “rebirth,” although Courtney extended this to “osmosis.” The title, Renaissance, is the French word for “rebirth.”

The music follows the emotion of the ballet, and uses resolved dissonances to get the sense of splitting cells. Just for fun, each movement is in a different mode, but the whole piece is in a single key.

This performance was recorded live in concert on 21 April 2014, with cellists Alexander Scheetz, Robert Rohr, and Sydney Bennett, at Shenandoah Conservatory in Winchester, Virginia.

(remastered 11 Oct 2017)

Ballet scores

Innings

This is a baseball-themed score for a short ballet by Sarah Mawyer entitled “The Closer.” You’ll hear “Take Me Out To The Ballgame” as a round, as well a hot-dog vendors, fans with trumpets, and… well you get the idea.

There is no real beginning, middle, or end to this piece, only a continual stream of stadium cacophony.

(remastered 11 Oct 2017)

 

Other original music and arrangements, Woodwinds

In The Garden Patch

This is a woodwind trio (oboe, clarinet, bassoon) depicting a whimsical walk through a vegetable garden, where every patch has a story, and every story is in a different musical mode:

  1. “Walking in the Ionian Garden”
  2. “Ominous Aeolian Mushrooms”
  3. “Gossiping Lydian Peas”
  4. “Mixolydian Radishes Tango”
  5. “Procession of the Phrygian Asparagus”
  6. “Locrian Garlic Waltz”
  7. “Maudlin Dorian Onions”
  8. “Walking in the Aeolian Garden (Reprise)”

IMAG0156b

(recording updated 19 September 2017)

Brass, Other original music and arrangements

A Perfect Holiday Gift

This is a brass quintet fanfare for the Christmas holiday season: Imagine you’re in a mall Christmas shopping. As you go from store to store you hear different Christmas songs played by each shop, finally ending up at the food court where a jazz band is playing.

(recording updated 6 September 2017)

 

Guitar, Live recordings, Other original music and arrangements, Woodwinds

Trio for Two Flutes and Guitar

I reworked original themes I wrote in the early 1970s into a romantic trio.

This is a live 2012 video featuring Robyn Olichwier (flute), Sarah Walters (alto flute), and Christopher Alexander (guitar), recorded in concert at Shenandoah University. The video is from a cellphone in the audience, but the audio track was professionally recorded.