I wanted to let you know about a great orchestration resource for composers and orchestrators; a blog created by my friend and colleague Tim Davies. Tim is a successful Hollywood orchestrator who has orchestrated and conducted scores for a number of feature films, television shows, video games, & cinematic trailers.
In the introduction page on his “deBreved” blog site, he gets right into his plan for the blog:
“I am not going to start from the beginning; think of this blog as a summary and addendum to all the books already out there. I am going to clarify some concepts and even challenge others.”
He goes on to say:
“Orchestration is a broad art form. It can mean anything from taking a piano piece and writing it for a string quartet to expanding a sparse sketch (or in Hollywood, a MIDI file) into a triple wind orchestra, filling in voices and lines along the way. The orchestrator’s job is to make appropriate choices about colors and textures, decide who will play which parts, and then assign dynamics and articulations in order to realize the overall vision.”
“Many people approach this task drawing on examples they’ve learned from the common literature; if you have studied orchestration at university, you have probably done some of these tasks as assignments. Historical examples are a great foundation, but to create your own orchestrations I believe you need to be intimately familiar with the instruments themselves. This applies whether you are orchestrating your own composition or working for a composer on a film project, and it’s worth noting that I will often use the term ‘orchestrator’ interchangeably with ‘composer’ throughout this blog. Once you know how every instrument works and sounds, you should be able to then hear them in your head in any combination.”
A good orchestrator must understand not only the sound, but the capabilities of each of the instruments he or she is writing for, and to that end, Tim is planning a series of interviews with working Hollywood musicians to better help his readers understand individual instrument techniques and capabilities. He has already posted on a number of notation topics for the string section including:
You can visit Tim’s blog and subscribe / follow here.