Permit me to introduce you to music which was arranged and performed by me.


   Background
For a number of years I've been arranging and performing classical music pieces. The method was to plug a MIDI keyboard into the computer (Mac more recently, Windows in the past) and use a piece of software to capture and then correct, amend and mix the piece into a finished music file.

Software I use or have used includes Sony Acid Pro, Fruity Loops (later known as FL Studio), Logic Pro and even our humble old (free) friend Garage Band. At the top level all are similar, offering individual tracks, each assigned to a software synthesiser and able to be panned in the left/right domain, volume-adjusted, and sent through a software effects module, which could include reverberation or the likes of Chorus, Flange, Distortion, and so on.

Some of the pieces you'll hear below may have contained as many as a dozen or more individual instrument tracks, each has been manipulated as described above. The final step, once happy with how it sounds, is to export to MP3, though initially export is to a lossless method such as AIFF.

How do I play 12 tracks at the same time? I don't! First of all a single key track is laid down, possibly the main melody, though not necessarily, then all accompaniment tracks follow, playing while monitoring the key track. At this stage each track will be a simple instrument, such as piano or horn.

Then comes the detailed part. Using various methods, such as the piano roll, the timing of all notes is adjusted, moving notes to play slightly earlier or later so that everything is in time. Next, each track is assigned to its final instrument. On these tracks very few of the pieces contain recognisable or traditional instruments - all are software-produced by so-called soft synths. For example, you'll hear a human-like voice, or something approaching a bassoon but isn't really.

Now an admission - I don't necessarily play all the parts in real time. Usually I'll slow the whole thing down so that I can play slowly, only increasing the tempo to its correct value later.


So without further ado .... Let's hear some of my pieces. In no particular order.


1 Anonymous Romance


This piece is anonymous. It is normally performed on guitar. The authorship and origin of this famous piece have always been subject to widespread speculations. However, this solo guitar piece has been attributed to a host of musicians - Narciso Yepes, Vicente Gómez, Miguel Llobet, Francisco Tárrega, David del Castillo, and Antonio Rubira, to name a few.
2 Che Faro Senza Euridice


Normally sung, notably by Pavarotti, this piece is from Gluck's Orfeo et Euridice
3 Beethoven's Emperor Concerto


Piano and full orchestra in its original form, this is a massive piece. I've used synthesised human voice in this version. Second movement.
4 Estudio Brilliante de Alard


This is a solo guitar piece by Jean Alard. This is an example of my originally having played quite slowly, speeding it up in post-production
5 How Beautiful Are the Feet


A piece from Handel's Messiah.
6 Invention in F Major


By the extraordinary J S Bach
7 Italian Concerto


Another by J S Bach. This is the third movement of the piece. I'm particularly fond of this one.
8 Ombra Mai Fu


Known as the Largo from Xerxes, this is by George F Handel, another with synthesised human oohs and aahs
9 Canon in D


One of the most well-known pieces of classical music, this is the Canon in D by Pachelbel. Pachelbel's music enjoyed enormous popularity during his lifetime; he had many pupils and his music became a model for the composers of south and central Germany.
10 Estudio


Another for solo guitar, this is Estudio by Francisco Tarrega. He was a Spanish composer and classical guitarist of the Romantic period. He is known for such pieces as Capricho Árabe and Recuerdos de la Alhambra. He is often called "the father of classical guitar" and is considered one of the greatest guitarists of all time.
11 Lagrima


Another for solo guitar, also by Francisco Tarrega
12 Concerto for Guitar and Orchestra


By a relatively unknown composer, Giuseppe Torelli. Torelli is most remembered for contributing to the development of the instrumental concerto, especially concerti grossi and the solo concerto, for strings and continuo, as well as being the most prolific Baroque composer for trumpets
13 Where'er Ye Walk


Originally this was sung. It's from the opera Semele by Handel
14 Concerto for 2 Mandolins


By one of my favourite composers, Vivaldi. This is the first movement of his Concerto for Two Mandolins.

In a very unusual move for me, I've added a drum track to this, turning it inot a rather more upbeat piece
15 Gavotte and Variations


This is a major piece, composed by Jean-Philippe Rameau, and in my opinion, the best piece he ever wrote. It was composed for solo harpsichord, but is sometimes heard being played on piano. It consists of a simple opening statement, followed by six variations. In my version, I've used a synthesiser sounding remotely like a harpsichord. However, in one of the variations I've introduced a second somewhat surprising instrument