Last News Update – 2015

Posted: November 25, 2015 in Composing Insights, Press, Studio Buzz
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As 2015 draws to a close, I’m happy to mention that I’ve completed two symphonies this year, Symphony No. 2 (Khemet West), and Symphony No. 4 (Kasufhetep I). Symphony No. 4 is approximately 47 minutes, and I really love it. Composed in only two months, I’m reminded of how Dmitri Shostakovich composed his Symphony No. 8 in just two months, between August and September of 1943. There isn’t any need to spend much time with editing, as I’ve edited while importing my sketch into Sibelius.

The process for composing Symphony No. 4 was fairly simple; however, I sketched everything out for piano with orchestration notes; similar to if I were composing a film score to submit to an orchestrator. Once my sketch was complete, I created the appropriate template to accommodate the desired instrumentation. The next step was inputting the music into the notational software (Sibelius), distributing the notes to their assigned instruments. Many hours at a time, but I enjoyed it.

How I see it, regardless as to whether I’m commissioned to write a new work or not, if I have an idea to write something, I must start it and finish it. Dirty-Grandpa-600x925Ironically, several unfinished works have generally been collaborative efforts, that for some reason have subsided.

Together with Symphony No. I (Empire of Kasuf) and (Symphony No. 2), my fourth symphony completes my Kasuf trilogy. The combined running time is approximately 2hrs’30mins of music. It’s going to cost a lot of money to program.

In the world of motion pictures, I’ve landed a song in Dan Mazer’s upcoming film, Dirty Grandpa. Although I’ve enjoyed Bomb Squad produced music in other recent films (Straight Outta Compton, Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom, and American Gangster), this is the first major motion picture since Spike Lee’s 1998 release of He Got Game that will feature a song written and produced by Kerwin Young. The film co-stars Robert De Niro and Zac Efron, and the scheduled release date is January 22, 2016. Check out the trailer below!

51ZdWPgD4KL__SX326_BO1,204,203,200_In 2015, I’ve also made some literary contributions as well! I am a contributing editor to Tim Grierson’s recent book, Inside the Terrordome; discussing the inner workings of what it was like producing and working with the 2013 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inducted rap group, Public Enemy. Having been around them from late 1987-2008, I had much to contribute. The book was released in May 2015. It’s a great book; so go and get your copy!

While on the subject of books, I’m currently reading T.M. Krishna’s, A Southern Music, discussing the depths of Carnatic Music. An incredible, modern classic!

Before signing off, I thought I’d provide a list of the orchestral composers who inspire me. These are not in any order of preference, neither are they alphabetized.

  1. Lalo Schifrin
  2. Jerry Goldsmith
  3. Dmitri Shostakovich
  4. Akira Ifukube
  5. Bela Bartok
  6. Miklos Rozsa
  7. Ottorino Respighi
  8. John Williams
  9. William Grant Still
  10. Maurice Jarre
  11. Maurice Ravel
  12. Sergei Prokofiev
  13. Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov
  14. Alberto Ginastera
  15. Eleanor Alberga
  16. Sofia Gubaidulina
  17. Esa Pekka Salonen
  18. Tan Dun
  19. Brian Tyler & Robert Elhai (in collaboration and individual)
  20. Alexandre Desplat
  21. Liu Yuan
  22. Zhou Long
  23. Takashi Yoshimatsu
  24. Ye Xiaogang
  25. Sergei Rachmaninov

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