Here we are at part two of the Stranger Themes contest, where the contestant listens to themes from strangers, chooses themes to orchestrate, and creates compositions based on the themes. Needless to say, the themes were strange and endless. It doesn’t seem like there was any filtering out of screeching feedback or garbage trucks backing up.
Contests are fun to enter. They tend to push an artist into areas that would usually not be considered, and by entering a contest there is always the very slight possibility of winning a prize of some value. By very slight, I mean being able to predict ahead of time what a panel of judges might be looking for. Putting on a turban and gazing into a crystal ball to glean what other people are going to be thinking weeks from now is very similar.
If there’s one thing Beethoven is known for, it’s the use of subtle instrumentation between his enormous thematic sections. This is where the virtuosity of the players and soloists truly shines, as the music gently reinstates a theme or transitions into a new key or melodic mode. The technique of the players is left to the individual, and the results are interpretations that are original and unique.
The music production software company Native Instruments will celebrate their 20th anniversary in October of this year. Isn’t that exciting? Most people have no idea this company even exists, but it is well known among composers for their sampling software Kontakt, which has become the de facto standard for the recording and performance of professional orchestral virtual instruments.
Anne Modugno is a retired music teacher who developed and implemented an innovative Electronic Music program for high school students in 1968. A highly energetic and motivated educator, Anne explored the use of technology to realize the musical potential that exists in everyone. Composing electronic music was treated as a sound-oriented study, with sound itself as the significant element and focus.