Today’s post is a little bit exciting! I’m trying out something new: recording audio and video for the music that I write, and so today’s blog features a video of an arrangement I made recently.
Now, I’ve made a few videos in my time, notably last year for my Christmas Carol Advent Calendar, but most of those were recorded in one take on my phone (with the exception of the two carols I recorded with The Emerald Ruby, we used her setup for those and she edited them). I’ve used recording software and equipment in the past, but that was at uni, so not only was the equipment and software provided for me, it was top-level professional gear, and I can’t afford that! This was my first foray into more high-quality video production, and I’m using the gear I have, which is:
- An S8 Galaxy phone as the camera
- A $20 eBay condensor microphone that doesn’t have a brand
- A Cello Pickup, whose brand I forget
- An MAudio Audiobox and accompanying Studio One software
So nothing particularly fancy, but it’s what I’ve got.
The recording I made is of Elton John’s Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, which is an absolutely iconic tune but a hell of a thing to play! The giant jumps in the melody, which are relatively easy when you sing it, is just a giant slide, and a fast one at that. The first jump you hear is an octave and a semitone… so just further then your ear expects, and jumping straight up the A string. After you’ve done that first jump, it just jumps around a little more, and then settles back into pretty easy territory. The accompanying parts are actually pretty simply too, so this arrangement is best played by a group with a more advanced first player.
I say first player because I’ve made this arrangement for Violin, Viola and Cello quartets – I’m trying to diversify a little! The Violin arrangement is a little easier, because they have an additional string and therefore don’t have to do that nasty jump up the A string, but it’s still pretty wicked. If ever there was an interval difficult to pitch on a string instrument it’s a minor ninth! As I’m a cellist, I’ve recorded the cello quartet version, but all three are basically the same (and coincidentally, compatible with each other if anyone were to want to combine them). Have a look! It’s just below, and the links to the sheet music are just below the video.