Entries by Paul Smith

Beethoven: Symphony No. 8, op. 93, in F – II. Allegretto Scherzando

  Turn up your speakers and sit back. Way back.  This delicate ditty has some surprising outbursts in store.  And this recording takes full advantage of digital music’s ability to encompass a very wide range of loudness.  Beethoven wanted only soft or loud in this piece, with nothing in-between. WARNING: This High Dynamic Range (HDR) […]

Movie music magic — Out with the old, in with the old?

We worked on a film now with an interesting challenge: An old opera recording from the 1930s is playing.  As the scene transitions, the music transforms from the old recording into a lush, new one.  How will we do it? First, we took a recording from the 1950s (“Un bel di vedremo” from Madame Butterfly, sung […]

Hänsel und Gretel – Orchestral music for Kölner Opernkiste

Artwork by Sybille Schenker. Used with permission. We’re producing the orchestral backing tracks for the Köln Opernkiste (Cologne Opera Box) production of Humperdink’s “Hansel and Gretel” this summer. The company will sing with these instrumental accompaniments as they bring their production to various schools in Germany next year. The Fauxharmonic Orchestra has also produced the […]

Fantasia Concertante, by Brian Fennelly

In 2009 The Fauxharmonic Orchestra held a worldwide contest to find the best new concerto. Brian Fennelly’s “Fantasia Concertante” for violin, cello and orchestra won the top prize. We’ve completed our recording of this evocative work, along with Duo Parnas, for whom the work was written. To make this hybrid recording we first prepared the […]

First Light – Music of Ground and Sky

 First Light, by Chris Sainsbury In Australian composer Chris Sainsbury’s “First Flight” you can hear a new approach to connecting orchestral music to the natural world: Sainsbury thinks in terms of “ground sounds” and “sky sounds” and explores the spaces these ideas evoke for him. The resulting music is colorful and expressive. As Chris explains […]

Pavane pour une infante défunte

PLAY Pavane for a dead princess, by Maurice Ravel Ravel intended this piece to be played extremely slowly – more slowly than almost any modern interpretation, according to his biographer Benjamin Ivry. The critic Emile Vuillermoz complained that Ravel’s playing of the work was “unutterably slow.” However, the composer was not impressed by interpretations that […]

Skiball, by Gordon Wallin

Gordon Wallin’s “Skiball” (edited by John Ryther) evokes a cheery ski run down a mountainside. Listen for the sharp turns kicking up snow (depicted by cymbals) and the swirling descent to the bottom with a final stop, perhaps at the doorstep of a warm chalet. Suitable for holiday concert programming, “Skiball” is available for performance […]

Kauffman Center Garage Music

Composer David Moulton has been commissioned to create music and sound design for Kansas City’s new Kauffmann Center for the Performing Arts opening in September. Moulton uses customized musical building blocks created by the Fauxharmonic Orchestra to create music that appears to move through space, either “bouncing” or “sweeping” from one loudspeaker to another. In […]

Fauxharmonic film score wins top IVCA award

The Fauxharmonic Orchestra’s original film score won the gold award for “best use of music” at the 2011 International Visual Communications Association (IVCA) Awards ceremony in London, England. Composed by Paul Henry Smith, the orchestral score brings a magical, cinematic grandeur to “The Spirit Within,” an effects-heavy corporate film produced for Laing O’Rourke by London-based […]

Ballet Waltz, for orchestra

Ronald Bacardi’s “Ballet Waltz” is reminiscent of Ravel’s La Valse with it’s lush color palette and whirling momentum. Composer Ronald Bacardi says: The Fauxharmonic produced amazing results. Far better than the one ‘analogue’ performance of the piece a couple of years ago. The musical sophistication of Paul Henry Smith and his staff allowed them to […]

Decade, for concert band

 Decade, by Tony Cheseaux Decade, for concert band, was written in 1996 for the “Angelo Bearpark Brass Ensemble” on the occasion of its 10th anniversary. The music is based on the theme of the number “10,” which you can hear, for example, in the two quintuplets in the low brass at the end. Score and […]

Piano!

It’s not “all orchestra, all the time” here at The Fauxharmonic. Lately we’ve been working on some very interesting and powerful new piano music. Dario Agazzi’s piece, “Ping Pong” is squarely in the absurdist tradition of the avant-garde. (For one thing, it has one of the longest rests this side of John Cage.) We recorded […]

Road to Tallinn

Stately and subtly shifting sonorities in “The Road to Tallinn” dominate Jonathan M. Block’s work of impressionistic sound-coloring.  If you like Schönberg’s “Summer Morning by a Lake,” listen to this focused gem for small orchestra: [audio:road_to_tallinn.mp3] Performed and recorded by Paul Henry Smith & The Fauxharmonic Orchestra, September, 2010

Chris Sainsbury

After we recorded the first two movements of Chris Sainsbury’s wonderfully evocative “Symphony of the Birds” he entered it into the New England Philharmonic’s call for scores – and won! The New England Philharmonic will perform the first movement on October 30, 2010, in Boston.  (Concert details) As Sainsbury says, “I’m sure the fantastic recording […]

Beethoven's Ninth – Scherzo

We tried a new approach here: instead of merely mapping one instrument to a plastic controller, we mapped the main themes to one controller. So you’re sometimes playing “violin” or “flute” or “oboe,” giving you a very different perspective.

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"Voorbij Twee Windstreken" – by Emiel Stöpler

“VTW was written in 1995, while I was studying at the conservatory in Ghent, Belgium. Unfortunately, there is no good English translation for the Dutch title, but it refers to the fact that I was living in my third country at that point (I am from the Netherlands, and had also lived in the US […]