A few years ago I made an ‘Introduction to String Arranging’ video, to share some working practices. It’s taken a while, but here is Part 2.
This gets a little more technical, but reflects how I approach arranging strings for a song. The song is Es Mejor Asi, by Solstice Duo, a track from their 1st album, produced by Luis Alonso in Costa Rica.
And here’s another Eastern European centre for orchestral sessions – Budapest. I’ve recorded in numerous others but this was the first time here and the job was for Icezone and Universal in Germany recording my orchestral arrangements of 2 songs, performed by Ute Freudenberg and Christian Lais.
One of the songs is already a massive hit in Germany, the other will be released later this year in both pop and orchestral versions.
Excellent facilities (Hungarian Radio), great players and production team (CLmusic), and glorious weather, which is kind of special when you’ve travelled from Manchester on a cold, wet July day.
Demos and pitches are an established part of the music business and for some reason this August has been a busy time for them. Quite a few have come my way this month – pop songs, an Ice show theatre project, a TV movie, a couple of video games, a sample library – a bit of everything.
So for my own sake and for any writer needing some live strings for a pitch, I thought I’d try to clarify how I aim to work.
My maxim has always been, if a project looks interesting, get involved first, sort out money later. If that means working on a pitch without any budget (or simply enough to cover some players) then I try to do it. I can often fit in some recording for a pitch (as long as its not an enormous amount of music) on the back of another session. I take the view that pitches precede jobs, so get involved, and I know how hard a composer will work on a pitch, so the least I can do to help out!
My contact details: pete[at]realstrings.com +44 (0)7958 708661 and on Skype as ‘realstrings’.
I started the week listening to Judas Priest and catching up with reviews of Nostradamus. (Their inclusion of orchestrations has provoked heated debate amongst their fans.) So by way of a heavy metal antidote here are a couple of tracks I’ve been meaning to post for weeks – from Duncan Waugh and Chris Taylor.
I’ve mentioned the arranging and recording team of Duncan and Chris on here before; they’ve completed much work for Cunard in recent years (theatre production recordings) and do an impressive job. The scores are all immaculately arranged, recreating an enormous variety of styles – anything that comes up for Cunard’s theatrical shows – but I particularly like the traditional light-entertainment arrangements, a genre that doesn’t get much of an airing these days. There are some sampled instruments in the recordings but they don’t skimp on live players! My task is simply to put some life into the string lines.
Here’s an excerpt from an arrangement of The Best Is Yet To Come.