s i m o n d a l e . u k


New pieces written in 2022 together with reworkings of some synth. compositions from 1986 onwards.

“Trance” music based on a simple chord sequence in the Aeolian mode. In other words the white keys starting on A. It is moderatley fast at crotchet = 132. I use drum kit designer and synth sounds incl. arpeggiated textures. There is an egregious rallentando and fade out at the end. Download MP3 ELEVENSES (3:00)
A short jazzy piece in 11/8 time, tempo moderato (crotchet = 108) Scored for a line up of piano, organ, vibes, bass, drums and sax. Dorian mode. Nice. Download MP3

This “orchestral” adagio features a theremin type sound and well as choirs and brass. I have used a violin tremolo and celesta to create a kind of “2001” astronomical feel. The ominous tuba and drum entries represent the virus, and also a nod to the 5th movement of Mahler’s 10th symphony. Download MP3

This first adventure into minimalism features repeated patterns over a 5/4 bar grid. There are 3 electric piano sound parts and a vocal and drone track. The Phrygian mode is basically all the white notes but starting on E. Tempo is moderato. (100-108) Download MP3

PANDORA (5:07)
Ennio Morricone haunts this piece. I love the sound of the ghostly whistle with the acoustic steel string guitar. An atmospheric pad adds to the wide open spaces. Pandora opens her box and lets out faster and madder music, rhythmic and frenetic. A drum kit, distorted bass and mellotron feature in these sections. The main key is Eb minor and the the tempo around 120. Download MP3

I wrote this piece in the eighties and this is the latest in a long line or re-arrangements. There is a quaver pulse throughout that is constant although there are parts with bars in 12/8, 3/2 and 6/4. Tempo around quaver = 192. In two main sections the second featuring a semiquaver ostinato and a change of texture and key. In this version all the “instruments” are synths rather than previous incarnations which have used sampled clarinets, horns and marimba to name but three.
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Arrangement of a piece written in the noughties on Sibelius. A vocal ostinato dominates the texture in three parts. Harps, marimba, bell and piano contrast. An electric guitar comes in with a faster sounding interjection. The tempo is constant throughout however, andante really, crotchet = 76. Download MP3

Another reworking of an eighties piece, but in the end I only used the “bread” of the triptych, the filling is rewritten. The opening and closing sections are slow (crotchet =48) and melancholy, and in contrast the 2/4 faster music (double speed) is repetitive and syncopated in a 3:2:3 semiquaver pattern. The instrumentation of this middle bit is influenced by the Nyman band. Download MP3

A palindromic piece with six parts of differing lengths played over a 4/8 bar drum pattern. These parts are two bars respectively of 4/8, 3/8, 5/8, 6/8, and 7/8 as well as a 4 bar 4/8 piano part which is heard first and last. At the mid point (bar 176) the parts are played in reverse until the end. Download MP3

The second palindromic piece written early in 2022. Hence the title. Here three parts play 12 repetitions of 12/8, 11/8, 10/8 etc. down to 1/8 until the mid point where they increase (but not play backwards) the sequence until the end. Speed is quaver = 264, although when it starts you hear the triplets of 12/8 and it sounds more like a pulse (dotted quaver = ) of 88. Download MP3

Another “trance” piece written in the Lydian mode. (D minor with a B natural in other words). I am using pad textures and echoes along with “eighties” bass and percussion sounds. It is slightly slower than the Aeolian trance at crotchet = 126. Download MP3

This 5/4 jazzy lament was written in the eighties. Like ‘Pleasure Principle’ I have done several versions of it. This one is simple with just Rhodes sounding Piano, Clarinet, Sax.,Vibes and Trumpet as well as “Upright” Bass and kit. Tempo is slow at crotchet = 66, a kind of larghetto. Download MP3

A slow Spanish Guitar cadenza sets the mood for the first section of this piece. C minor 3/4 time accompanied by mellotron, piano and choir. A mournful trumpet solo and then followed by a section in C major and common time. Sax and drums change the texture, also the guitar now becomes electric. After a key change to Eb and a couple of iterations of the sax solo, the mood darkens again into the 3/4, this time the key is A minor. We end up in A major 4/4 after the trumpet and a fuller texture. The last section slips back into A minor and ends with a closing guitar cadenza. This piece unintentionally reminds me of “Exit Music” by Radiohead and Pachelbel’s “Canon in D” at various points. The chord changes are not exactly the same though. I have however inserted a three note direct quote in the Mellotron line at around 5:32 and 5:57 Can you spot it? The piece is crotchet = 100 throughout. Download MP3

HELICON (12.09)
Apollo and the Muses lived on Mount Helicon (Parnassus) apparently. Creative inspiration in serialist textures. Each character has their own note. 10 and 12 tone rows are also retrograde, inverted, and inverted retrograde. Different note values scintillate or drone. The names of the characters are “sung” using two vocoder synths. This is a kind of trance piece without a driving beat. Download MP3

POÈME (9.50)
In May (2022) I bought a sample library form Spitfire Audio, the “BBC Symphony Orchestra (Core version)” in fact. Seduced by the life-like sounding instruments I set about writing this string led piece in the tradition of English late romantic music. Ostinati and lyrical passages alternate interspersed with some short fugal sections. I had fun, but it was hard to always get the balance right. A learning process. Download MP3

This piece dates from the eighties. Like Pleasure Principle it has had several different outings. I have given it the full orchestral treatment this time, harp, celeste, string harmonics, timpani rolls, the works. A dreamy seascape with horns and a Ondes Martinot (or Theremin?) whistle. It culminates in a repeated sequence of rising horn call and arpeggiati. Again the “Spitfire” library has come into its own. Download MP3

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© 2022 Simon Jaques Dale