Tuesday, 28 March 2017

Digital Download Available for Holy Spirit of Peace CD


After much research and effort I am pleased to announce that 'Holy Spirit of Peace' CD music album is available for Digital Download, either as an entire album or as individual tracks. 


You can follow THIS LINK to purchase or listen to the album previews now.
I will be adding the rest of my music albums in due course.


I first started the Holy Spirit music series in 2010 when I received regular positive feedback about my music scores for Mary's Dowry Productions.  I felt that the simple, moving and reflective style that featured in a lot of areas of my compositions was worth bringing to the forefront in a range of new albums meant to relax, inspire and help meditate or just be still.  I began with Holy Spirit of Peace and in it I used a couple of themes taken from 'The Shining Pearl of York' DVD film underscore. 

I have been adding to the series for several years now and am currently working on 'Holy Spirit of Serenity'.  The whole range is available to purchase on CD album or Digital Download from our websites and the links above.

Although not religious in theme, the overall titles are taken from Scripture and I felt that the whole mood was likened to Peace and I wanted the music to really touch the soul and lift the spirit in a positive way.  The Spirit of Peace does this.

Friday, 24 March 2017

Holy Spirit of Serenity Progress and Upcoming Film Scores

Filming Projects

It's been a couple of months since I wrote a blog post about my music so I will update on what I have been doing.  Firstly we've been having a bit of a break having acquired a lot of footage for some really interesting new films upcoming which I am looking forward to putting together; we had some awesome actors and some new faces which always pleases me immensely.  Some of our youngest members of the team are really coming into their own which is fantastic.  I am particularly looking forward to 'St. Thomas Garnet' as it will enable me to write another Elizabethan score which is my favourite (because of ERA II of course!).
St. Thomas Garnet Screenshot
Album Update

Amidst the filming and planning days, I have sporadically been pursuing 'Holy Spirit of Serenity' CD Music Album.  I have just two more tracks to write and then it is complete.  I am very much looking forward to releasing this as it has been in the planning/anticipation stage for a long while. 

I was thrilled with the new trailer we released for 'St. Julian of Norwich' film.  This film is so reflective we will be showing it at our Parish for Lent as it has very good meditations on the Passion of Our Lord.  Throughout the film there are several breaks, to help the viewer digest some of the deeper ponderings of St. Julian.  In these, I was able to write longer sequences of emotional instrumental interludes. here.
St. Julian of Norwich DVD
They build upon what has just been said but as the dialogue drops out the music takes over and speaks it's own story especially with the Cello and voices.  In the new trailer, several of these interludes have been used and give a good atmosphere showing what the film is like.  You can have a look/listen here.

I am also pursuing making all my music CDs and individual tracks available digitally but this is quite an arduous task at the moment although I am making progress.  I will update on that and point to the digital sites if/when available.

Sunday, 15 January 2017

Composing Saint Julian of Norwich Music Score

For a couple of weeks now I have been avoiding writing the music for 'St. Julian of Norwich: Revelations'.  I decided on Friday that I would at least set up the project so that I could start when I felt ready.  I knew it would be quite an undertaking as this production is different to many of our others; it is largely written by St. Julian herself.

Setting up the project, I was inspired by the amazing scenery of cobwebs that we filmed earlier this year.  This coupled with misty scenery and the footage of St. Julian at Bedham Missionary Church I felt a wave of interest.

Having recently purchased the new Medieval Vocal Codex I remembered that it came with some new soundscapes that were quite eerie so I loaded up one and it set the whole mood that I had looked for.  I had avoided beginning this score because I knew exactly what I wanted but did not know if I could achieve it without a great deal of effort.  As it was, I found what I was looking for right away. 

Vocal Codex Sound Samples

Poised, almost standing to leave and continue later, I found I had written a very mysterious opening theme with 'Deep Dream', 'Voices in the Wind', Strings and Cello.  It was both atmospheric, moving and slightly uneasy.  What I subconsciously wanted to get across was the seriousness of the content of this production - it is largely the Passion of Our Lord - but not as in 'horror' but as in moving.  I found that with no planning, but seemingly being guided, I was drawn and very moved by the emotion of St. Julian's words. 


Julian speaks of Our Lord's bitter Passion and I found myself gripped by the dialogue and spontaneously playing and improvising emotional strings, flowing very easily as I listened and felt moved.  Culminating in 'Love' I found the Love of Our Lord spilling out through the entire narration, despite the very serious nature of the footage, beautiful Spanish statues of Our Lord's Passion, it was Love  overall, so serious and extreme, that came across and I had not really grasped this until now - the lengths Our Lord would go and did go out of Love
I stopped writing to go out to work and then set about writing some more in the evening when I got back and before long I had completed the score!  I think the fastest scores I have written are St. Nicholas of Owen and St. Wilfrid: Apostle of Sussex but this one may have become a record! 

I think what it was was that I pretty much ignored the click counter, bar lines and tempo and just wrote and wrote, taking time to linger on the soundscapes which in themselves create tremendous atmosphere.  There was no time consuming process of editing and quantising individual tunes.  Using layer upon layer of different sounds I was able to move in and out of different moods. 

This production was fantastic in the sense that, because of the weight of the content there are lots of breaks.  In these breaks I found myself very inspired to write moving and emotional themes, bringing the cello to the forefront and using the new Vocal Codex Celtia female voice calling out over the immense visual beauty.  The result was very ancient English, Tenor Viola da Gamba and Celtia phrases in ancient English, with rich cello and layers of atmosphere.


 My sister pointed out that the style and voices brought the atmosphere of Our Lord's culture in Israel combining Israel with England and making Jesus and the revelations of St. Julian of Norwich accessible to the whole world.  This was not intentional but adds another dimension to the film. 

I have always experimented with fusions of sounds and style but I was quite bold with this score.  I used a mix of subtle dissonance as a reminder of the seriousness of the entire theme and went from minor to major and back to minor and created some very interesting moods.  There are some very moving moments which give insight into Our Lord's personal love for each one of us and the profoundness of the Holy Trinity.  I cannot fault the soundscapes from the Vocal Codex, one I used had a lot of subtle wind which went perfectly with the dialogue and again was not intentional but just worked out so well.  I feel this whole piece and the whole film is about atmosphere, a very profound atmosphere indeed.

I spent the weekend tweaking the score and mixing it down and am very pleased with this production.  I think it might be the best score I have written but I was just so inspired by both the visuals and the content of this production.  Very atmospheric, very profound, moving, mysterious and contemplative.  'St Julian of Norwich: Revelations' will be available soon.

Monday, 2 January 2017

Calm Your Spirit With Music: Volume 4 - NEW MUSIC CD

The Christmas break has seen a lot of backing up for Mary's Dowry Productions, checking old hard drives and making everything organised.  I decided it was about time our 'Well Known Saints: Volume 1' DVD was renewed.
Well Known Saints: Volume 1 DVD
This was one of our very first DVDs and was not in widescreen.  Also the narration was recorded using older equipment.  It has needed revamping for a while now as the rest of the series was done much later. 

I took a break from 'Holy Spirit of Serenity' as well as 'Valleys' and over Christmas, here and there, the DVD was re-edited into widescreen and the narrations re-recorded.  I am currently tweaking the individual music scores, the main thing that has put me off approaching this task because they are so old that all the instruments point to the wrong places.  I am almost there with it and they are lovely little films, very useful and really summarize a saints' story in a straightforward way.  Although they are short, there is so much packed into them, they are uplifting, informative and all include prayers or quotes at the end of each one.  I hope to finish this task over the following week.

Having completed 'Saint Bernadette of Lourdes' music score before Christmas, I was taking a break and sorting out external hard drives.  I realised that my new music computer is getting quite full and that I should really move some old music scores off. 
Since I want to make many of the scores available on CD, I thought it pointless to move St. Joan of Arc and St. Bernadette of Lourdes folders off of the computer, only to have to put them back on in order to make the music soundtracks.  In need of space, I decided to get cracking right away on Saint Joan.
Calm Your Spirit With Music: Vol 4 CD
Hence, 'Calm Your Spirit With Music: Volume 4' is now complete - the full music soundtrack for our St. Joan of Arc DVD. 
The music is a bit different, very contemplative and mystical with visions and battle, betrayal and trust in God.  I really enjoyed editing it onto CD and listening to it all again.
The CD is available now worldwide from www.marysdowryproductions.org and www.marysdowryproductions.co.uk
To LISTEN to samples from this new album visit our You Tube Channel here!

Saturday, 17 December 2016

Completing the Music Score for Saint Bernadette of Lourdes and the Holy Rosary Production

Today I completed the music score for our new production 'Saint Bernadette of Lourdes and the Holy Rosary'.  This music score goes for me into the category of 'the toughs'.  It was a tough one, some are easy and others are particularly difficult; This was one of those.
When I began this music score the other day, I had been in the middle of 'Holy Spirit of Serenity' music CD, so I put it aside and changed direction.  The first 15 minutes went very well and had the correct atmosphere and I was able to use some good soundscapes such as 'Talking to the Wind' which added a subtle element of mystery. 
I had to stop writing yesterday and go to work and then try to pick up the thread of it today.  After much thought I decided that at this point in the production a change of direction was needed.  I searched for a while for some soundscapes but a lot of them that I have are quite sinister; great for writing for the English Martyrs films and adding tension, but not what I was looking for.
Screenshot from St Robert Southwell.  I really enjoyed writing this score.
Eventually I worked with 2 soundscapes: 'Divine Rest' and 'Peace'.  During lunch I thought about deleting a whole previous section but then instead I decided to do a whole key-shift and it worked before I dropped everything away except the 'Divine Rest' and 'Peace'.  This is something I don't usually do - to leave the score very empty but it created just the right mood for a whole section about Contemplation and prayer.
With the addition of warm strings and cello, back and forth with flute and piano I had reached the 20 minute mark.  I was inspired at this point to use Track 5 from 'Holy Spirit of Serenity' that I wrote last week.  I very rarely use pre-written tracks in my music scores but as this score was so meditative and fits so nicely with the Holy Spirit of Serenity theme, I tried it out.  It's amazing how everything is guided, it fitted so well and it seems appropriate to use it since I am immersed in this album at this current time.
It was as if I had pre-written this part of the score for Saint Bernadette in advance.
Encountering the Saints
I am very moved by this saint.  It seems for me that I really meet a saint when I write a music score for one of our Mary's Dowry Productions films.  It was again true in this case.  Today I feel I met Saint Bernadette of Lourdes and what an honour I feel it is to be named after this saint!
What I was struck most by was her simplicity in life and in prayer.  We brought the Holy Rosary to the forefront of this production.  I knew that the Rosary played a big part in this film, but seeing St. Bernadette pray, and hearing how she was asked as a child if she kept sweets in her apron, but it was her Rosary - she was always praying it.  This was reinforced by the Popes at Lourdes and in my own life, faithfulness to the Rosary has proven key.  Saint Bernadette shows how such a simple thing can achieve wonders.
I also loved how Our Lady smiled at Saint Bernadette when the Saint sprinkled Holy Water on the apparition.  I was pleased to use 'Mystica' female choirs adding a very mystical atmosphere to the apparitions.  I have not used these samples much and this was a great opportunity.  This mystical atmosphere became moving after the 25 minute mark and the Holy Spirit of Serenity Track 5 addition.  It was like choirs from Heaven.  I really felt that Heaven and Earth met and am pleased that the music portrays both this heavenly and moving element as well as the simple beauty of Saint Bernadette's life.
For more information visit: www.marysdowryproductions.org
This film will be released over the following week.

Thursday, 15 December 2016

Writing the Music Score for Saint Bernadette of Lourdes and the Holy Rosary Film

Today I finalized track 6 for Holy Spirit of Serenity music CD and set it aside in order to begin the music score for 'Saint Bernadette of Lourdes and The Holy Rosary'. 
As I was still in the mode of Holy Spirit of Serenity, having been immersed in it for a week, I was pleased that this film begins with a lot of beautiful nature and animals and is very pleasant.  I have this time begun this score quite orchestrally, something I've not focused on for a while - a lot of our recent productions have been quite mystical and contemplative.
The day has proved a success with 2 minutes written with strings, flutes, harps and celtic harp, cello, bassoon occasionally dropping away to just strings and 'Mystica' female choirs which I thought created a good subtle mood of Heaven visiting Earth at Lourdes.
I am now onto underscore as the narration begins.  Since I rely on improvisation and inspiration I look forward to finding out what happens next. 

Saturday, 10 December 2016

New Music CD Albums Underway....Ancient Fusion Lord of the Rings Style and Relaxing Contemplative

I am currently working on 2 separate music albums.  The next in my Ancient English Fusion Music Series following on from Journeys, Worlds, Dreams, Lands, Realms and Kingdoms will be Valleys.  I have so far been working on it for 2 years and have completed 4 tracks.
New for this album is 'Francesca Genco' - The Voice of Gaia.  There are some beautiful sounds out there that have real potential for music fusion.  It's interesting to use them in a religious context and I shall try to incorporate her amazing voice in an upcoming film soundtrack too.  Right now, I'm finding it inspiring to use whilst writing for 'Valleys'.

This week I put aside 'Valleys' in order to start the next in the 'Holy Spirit Music Series' - "Holy Spirit of Serenity".  It took me a while to get going as the last one I wrote was in 2014 - Holy Spirit of Tranquility and I have a new system now, the reverb was all different and I have had to order a new MIDI controller as my current one is sending out random commands and shooting up the volume when I don't want it to!
With that sorted I have felt amazingly calm the past few days whilst writing for this album and the first 4 tracks are complete.  It should become a bit easier tomorrow when my new MIDI controller arrives.
Holy Spirit Music CD Series
The Holy Spirit Music Series is proving very popular and useful and I'm really pleased about that.  I hope 'Holy Spirit of Serenity' proves a good addition to the series.  To find out more about the Holy Spirit Music Series visit this link!