Scoring Music

Tonight, I scored a piano improvisation I created last Christmas. It was December 2014 in Abbotsford on the piano I grew up playing. It’s out of tune, and getting worse, but everytime I visit my parents something gets created.

The Leadsheet with chords and simplified melody

I departed from my regular format of scoring a complete piece in Sibelius and creating a video of the program playing it accompanied by a jpg of the score. This time, I just made a leadsheet overtop of live audio of me playing the tune. (Thanks Brigitte for bringing out the phone before I forgot the piece!) This time, I got lazy and didn’t enter anything for phrasing, accents, grace notes, and I think I just want to leave a simple template and let the music stand for itself for now. I’ve love to transcribe it fully, but it takes so much time.(If there’s someone out there who loves transcribing please contact me!)

Youtube link to listen to and read along with the sheet music.

The larger the variety of music I listen to, the more my musical vocabulary grows. I’ve noticed, unintentionally, I’ve been creating and working on a whole collection of improv based tunes that are zooming in on a very personal, distinct and cohesive voice and tone. It’s been nice to hear feedback about my creations, and I’ve noticed they definately are beginning to sound like “Andrew”. Some of the most consistent feedback has been that many sound like video game music. But it make sense, video games were and still are a bit, central to my life. But I’ve also had the chance to learn and perform many types of music, and I’ve noticed a pattern developing in my compositions.

Listen to some of the tunes here

Skating and Clumsy Feet come out of my ballet accompaniment and classical experience.

Sharon’s Song came out of my experimenting with a Lydian scale, and listening to the music of Satie.

Wilda’s Tune would not have happened if I didn’t attend the Remembrance Day Lunch at the Legion and heard Wilda McIntyre play the piano.

I’ve heard and seen this thing on Facebook, that, on average, peoples’ music tastes stop broadening at a certain age. It scares me a bit. I believe my strength has been my interest and curiousity in all music. But I do feel and sense a pattern, of my ears shutting out “new” music every now and then. “Danger!” or is it?

So much music created is forgotten, and I hope to transfer most of my written music to electronic formats. Whether live audio with leadsheet, or a Sibelius transcription, it’s out there and shared!

Coming up on 5 years………

I’ve been putting a lot of music up lately. It’s been a scramble to get it from paper to electronic. Mostly three years in the making, these compositions sum up emotions, random events, and my life since May 2010.

I moved back to Dawson Creek with no job, but an idea that I would dive into and explore all musical possibilities. Musically, at that time, I hadn’t done much teaching or composing, and I usually covered and played other peoples music. The Piano opened many doors. Churches, Library, Gigs, Corporate, Teaching, Accompanying, Concerts, Duos, Trios. I said yes to everything!

Teaching piano was my first means of income. I did not put as much energy into learning about the business, organization or politics side, but I put everything into teaching, learning about music, children and the creative process. Since replacing Gertraud as conductor/director of the Community Band, I have had to learn about the other sides to music!

These compositions are a reflection of everything experienced with my students and the musical world we explored together. They are images and sounds of my return Dawson Creek, the people I met, new friends, old friends, and the new community I was beginning to build for myself. In my attempts to reveal new worlds and unheard of music to my students, things that would challenge their ear, I began to challenge my own preconceptions of what music was. I learned their favourite songs as well, songs I never would have given 10 seconds.

Most of my compositions here are from the period between 2011 and 2013. Most are for piano only. I have barely touched the piano in a year, and in ways it is very sad. I feel different, and the instrument I express myself most clearly with has been absent. Part choice, part circumstance.

Many of my new compositions are meant to be for an ensemble of sorts. It’s a new, exciting challenge. As I start to learn about conducting and directing for the Community Band, it is fitting that I look beyond my own instrument and expression, and start listening, writing and experiencing music from other perspectives. My audience, my band members, dancers, my community.

My compositions were always about me, and expressions of my circumstance and emotions. I am enjoying changing my mindset, and writing for others. It’s a wonderful joint experience.

I ramble, and I leave you with a recording of the Tord Gustavsen Ensemble and my new composition “Brigitte’s Samba!“:

The first 12.5 mins of this concert musically and emotionally sum up the period of May 2010 to about June 2012….for me.

Brigitte’s Samba is a fun piece I wrote for piano, and now envision it for 2 horns and a rhythm section.



This website/blog was created for me to communicate my thoughts and feelings on the creative process as I continue to share the music that I am composing. I hope to create new connections and friendships along the way and use the blog to strengthen musical and creative friendships I’ve made.

You can also follow and purchase new music and compositions here. It’s an email away! (

Links to my musical world!

About me!