After several months of delays, I’m very happy to announce the release of The Cat and the Canary and The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari soundtracks. The albums are now available for purchase/download on Bandcamp, and will shortly be available on Amazon Music and Spotify.
Regarding The Cat and the Canary – this album is actually a reissue, as an earlier version of the album was available at one point.
For this reissue I re-EQ’d the audio a bit, and made some changes to the track list in order to optimize the listening experience.
I composed and recorded The Cat and the Canary between April – June, 2021. As with The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari score, I recorded the music into Cubase, using sampled orchestral instrument libraries.
The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari score was composed between ca. mid-July – early September, 2021. Originally, I had a completely different arrangement in mind, but that was not to be.
One will likely note that the kinds of samples I used between the two albums are rather different. I wanted the Caligari score to be a bit rather austere – at least, in comparison with Cat. For Caligari, I used a minimum of compression and reverb, as I wanted to try to get as realistic – and uncomplicated – a sound as possible.
At one point, the entire The Cat and the Canary film – with my orchestral scored synced to it – was available on my YouTube channel, as were all the films for which I had composed scores, for that matter. Originally, I had planned to post the Caligari video in the same manner. However, given the difficulty in determining the copyright of certain versions/copies/derivations of a film, I eventually stopped posting these films altogether.
I decided to reissue Cat, and finally release Caligari, because they are the largest works in my catalog to this point, and are the only works in my catalog that are scored for full orchestra – again, to this point. These scores thus hold a significant place in my body of work, and should be heard in some way.
The Caligari score was composed a bit differently than was Cat. It was not as through-composed, with the emphasis being on development and economy of means. This is quite the opposite from my approach to The Cat and the Canary.
I’m really glad to finally make available these recordings. I have many other projects on which I’m still trying to catch up, and I don’t foresee my returning to film scoring any time in the near future (I’ve actually composed quite a few film scores – Cat and Caligari just happen to be the largest of the scores), so, again, I’m glad to finally be able to present these soundtracks.
My efforts to catch up on the work that I had to set aside between late August – late October have required my giving almost all of my attention to four particular bigger projects during the past month: two recently released albums (Muse, and Mystery Music VI, both of which are discussed in the previous newsletter), and the two above-mentioned soundtracks. The other projects I’ve completed during this time include one short(er) organ work, one soft rock instrumental, and remixes of several previously recorded rock instrumentals.
The organ piece is entitled Walking through a winter park, as the sun sets.
This piece had an interesting and quite unique genesis. Here’s how I describe the piece in the program notes:
“This music was inspired by a real-life experience. On the day this piece was composed, I had a busier schedule than usual, and had to take my daily walk later in the day than I would normally. I arrived at the park about forty or so minutes before the sun set. When I arrived, the sun was shining a bit through the clouds, though snow was beginning to fall. It was very cold, so there were few people there. Quickly after I began my walk, the sun was hidden behind dark clouds. The park’s automatic lamp post lights came on, and I was struck by the image of the falling snow against the yellowish light of the lamppost, against a sky of black and dark grey clouds. Toward the latter half of my walk, people began to show up, walking their dogs, etc. However, at one point, a rather uncanny thing happened: it seemed that everyone around me had literally disappeared. I was awakened from my thoughts by the sudden profound silence, and the total absence of other people who just a few moments prior were walking past me. Night had fallen, and the previously mentioned lamp post light was almost all the illumination I had as I walked back to my car. It was a truly mystifying experience. This piece is thus a sort of musical depiction of that experience—or, rather, of the feelings experienced during it.”
The previously mentioned rock instrumental is entitled When You Were My Girl.
I’m particularly fond of this piece – it really means a lot to me. I hope you will check it out!
The remixed rock instrumentals include Abigail, Heartbreaker, and Dark Eyes.
I’ve discussed Abigail on previous occasions. It’s based on an early rock instrumental, September. Abigail was released on the Rock Music album (incidentally, Abigail and September respectively open and close Rock Music). However, whereas the version on that album is, appropriately, a true rock instrumental, this remix blends in some of the nostalgic/mysterious qualities of September.
Heartbreaker and Dark Eyes were both composed/recorded late last year, and were released on the Mata Hari album.
One thing that has been brought home to me again during the last few months is that one should be flexible with one’s plans, as life, so to speak, can happen – and often it does so in an unpleasant manner, as has been the case for me during the last four months.
I’m therefore a bit reluctant to say too much about future projects, either while I’m working on them, or when they’re still in the planning stage. Nonetheless, some of these projects are basically near completion. One such project is the Harmonium Sonata – and the Harmonium Music album. The sonata will be that to which I turn my attention next, as it’s another of the large-scale works I had to put aside in August.
I also have some ideas for a couple organ works; several smaller ones, and one larger-scale one. I’m hoping to complete all these before the end of the year, but we’ll see what happens.
It looks like the last newsletter of this year will be on or around Christmas Day. By that time, I hope to have a couple more really nice things to share with you.
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