I wrote the song Das Meer as part of the accompanying music to a text by Oscar Wild called “The Young King”. The Song “Das Meer” (The Sea) describes the sea in all its different facets. I finally found the time to record it and create this video.
Composing music in the style of Debussy and other composers of the impressionistic period is an exception for me. I am much more at home in more jazz influenced styles and genre. This said, most contemporary jazz pianists are or at least have been influenced by the classical repertory of the past 300 years for good reason. “Das Meer” is written out note by note, from start to finish. In that it is different from how I usually compose and arrange music. Often I give the performer(s) the possibility to improvise between written out parts.
Maybe one day I will add an improvisational section to it. Or use the different sections as a source for improvising variations instead of playing them as written. Music is a living and breathing art after all.
View or download my original sheet music for Das Meer below for free.
Should you ever decide to perform the piece I would love for you to forward me a link to the audio or video of the recording. And I encourage you to interpret the music in your own way. Can’t wait to hear what you do with it.
About creating the video
Creating the video was also a lot of fun. I love working with graphics. Many concepts of the visual arts are similar to composing music. Maybe I should not deal with it given the amount of time it takes just learning all the software. But hey, I have fun with it, and save a ton of money. I also believe that somehow it will improve the way I create music. The brain works in mysterious ways, doesn’t it!
The Peace To The Middle East song is dedicated to all the victims of those horrible Middle East wars.
I wrote this song in 2002 and recorded it finally as part of my Album Pamela Fernandez & Thomas Gunther’ Spicy Jazz Adventure. I performed/recorded all the instruments myself with the exception of the drum set (performed and recorded by Tom Hipskind).
In this video I demonstrate how to export Finale parts as audio files. Once you exported them as audio files you can import them into your favorite DWS program for further manipulation.
Why would one want to export the parts from a Finale score as audio files?
Finale is known primarily for its rich music notation features. Unfortunately, many users are unaware that Finale has also a very sophisticated and unique audio engine called Human Playback. What it does is very different from a midi sequencer. The idea is that the human playback engine interprets the music in a musical way similarly to how a musician does it. This is discussed in more detail in the post Why You Want to Use Finale for Playback.
The point I am trying to make is that Finale’s audio playback of e.g. a string score can actually sound very musical, in fact, much more musical than a sequencer program does. This is because it interprets many things like dynamics, articulations, bowing instructions, tremolos, trills, fermatas, phrasing, text expressions, in a humanized fashion.
Many Finale users are unaware that Finale has a very sophisticated and unique audio engine called Human Playback. It functions very differently from an ordinary midi sequencer interpreting music in a musical way similarly to how a musician does it. Although this may sound slightly overstated, there is a lot more to it. Allow me to explain.
What the Human Playback Engine does
Finale’s Human Playback interprets almost every music notation symbol and text expression you write into a part such as dynamics, articulations, bowing instructions, phrase markings, tremolos, trills, glissandos, phrasing, technical text, genre and style, tempo marks, breath marks and fermatas. It even offers a dialog box where you can personalize how Finale interprets those musical elements.
I started to use Finale more frequently for generating beautiful sounding playbacks. Most of my clients like to hear my scores after they are finished. Of course I could just export the entire score as a stereo audio file. But I like to go the extra mile and export either instrument groups or every single part of the score as a separate audio file. Why? Because I want to improve the sound by importing the files into Logic or Pro Tools where I have all those beautiful plug-ins and automation options to make each part sound even better.
Sure, doing it that way will take a little extra time, or even a lot more time depending on the instrumentation, but as a perfectionist I like to go the extra mile. Unless of course, I can afford to hire a real orchestra to record it.
Midi versus Audio
Why would I not just export the score as a midi file and import that into Logic or Pro Tools? Simply because most of the Human Playback’s unique information is specific to the Garritan sound library used by Finale. Sound libraries that are used in Logic or Pro Tools are not able to process this information properly.
Once you have created your score take advantage of Finale’s Human Playback feature. You can select from many different genre. You can even tell Finale to which degree you want the eighth notes to be swung. I find it a fantastic way of transferring all the information I put into a score to an audio file without having to write any time consuming automation data. Try it! I know you are gonna love it!