Today I spent a very large amount of time recording a draft of my composition to present to the next timetabled Composition in Music Education class. Luckily my dad was home so he was able to learn my melody and play them on the uilleann pipes for me to record. My room quickly became a mess as I was jumping between all my instruments and tripping on all the wires. 

Below are some screenshots from my Logic project.

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In terms of what I did in the composition, I made the structure go ABAAAAB and I added variations in each section. I must also say that I snapped a different chord progression for section B, as the melody works great over it, and the drone breaks up the repetitive nature.

A: Introduction with tin whistle melody with guitar accompaniment
B: Second tin whistle melody accompanied by guitar
A: Snapping back to section A with the uilleann pipes, with a drone (doubled by sustained violin) instead of the chord progression. Also, a more aggressive bodhrán rhythm is introduced. The bass guitar also drones an E with some embellishments using the octave off the beat by a semiquaver in every 4th bar when it has a drone role.
A: Melody played by all instruments (except low Irish whistle) with slight variations (heterophonic texture).
A: Guitar and violin continue from the previous section and is joined by the low Irish whistle, although, the violin plays a pizzicato ostinato. The uilleann pipes’ drones continue as well to create a heterophonic texture.
A: Original chord progression without bodhrán.
B: Section B repeats without the bodhrán.

As for recording, you may notice that every guitar part has two tracks. I used a double tracking technique and panned them left and right to free the centre of the mix for the percussion and bass.

For the uilleann pipes, I gave my dad time to learn the melody aurally so that he could add his own ornaments. Once he quickly learned the melody, he added his own ornaments including popping, the signature ornament on the uilleann pipes. I have first-hand knowledge from a uilleann piper at my fingertips which will help me to engage my target aesthetic of a traditional Irish music influenced music. He has been playing them since he was 18 years old and he also has a great experience with tin whistles.

In order to make the draft possible, I stopped scoring alongside recording so I could get it done. From now on, my task would be to refine and to transcribe everything that was played. I will also need to re-record the low Irish whistle as my mouthpiece had a bit of saliva in it and it makes a slight gargle sound.

Here’s a Soundcloud link to the audio thus far. I decided on the title Leanbh Uaigneach, which translates to Lonely Child.

 

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