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A rainbow drifting in rain clouds

Drifting – the Piece and the Process

I’m happy to present “Drifting”. This orchestral piece has taken longer than usual to share with you. I hope that you appreciate it at least half as much as I’ve enjoyed the process of creating it.

From Here to There

A snow covered branch of an evergreen tree with drifting snow behind it.

The process started normally enough. Initially, I created a few piano improvisations. Those became the skeleton of the full body of this piece. But to get there…

Next, I answered these questions quickly: Which instruments would play which part? Should they be solos or sections? Should the main theme be identical each time or morph through the piece?

Drifting In The Right Direction

The snow covered branch of an evergreen tree with drifting snow underneath it.

The main structure of the composition came together over a few days. However, my instrument choices changed several times during the arranging and mixing of the piece. And then, I asked my spouse to listen.

She is kind and honest. Since I’ve asked for her input many times, I know that she will suggest that I pare down the instrumentation. You see, I have a tendency to make almost every type of music too grandiose. With this “big” orchestral piece, that temptation was huge.


True to this pattern, she recommended that I expose different textures in various bits of the piece. So, I pared back considerably, eventually removing more than a dozen tracks and reducing others. One result of this is the beautiful oboe solo about two thirds of the way through “Drifting”.

By the time this next thing happened, I had already been mixing this song for days. My composer friend, John M. Davis, posted that he had benefited from the book “Mixing Modern Orchestral Music”. It seemed too perfect that I saw this, so I took a look at the book, found that I could download it, and purchased a copy. Sure enough, it was very helpful in bringing together my own thoughts on this mixing process.

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