I'm very happy to be composing on this piece again -- I started it in 2010, soon after getting back from an October weekend spent in the live-in adventure that is Otherworld. Sleeping in a cabin in just above freezing temperature, out in the sun (it warmed up!) all day long, traipsing around looking for treasure, looking for clues, solving puzzles, as the story came to life around us. I attended with my sister Lucy. It was immersive, totally engaging and captivating, and the challenges were amazing to face. Truly life-transforming. And I can't say more because maybe YOU would like to attend, so I don't want to spoil the experience in any way! Otherworld.org is the URL — check it out.
The piece languished for over 10 years because I envisioned a pretty large orchestra, with percussion instruments including a music box and a marimba, and a mixed choir too. When was I ever going to have a chance to hear the composition come to life played by real people? I just got discouraged.
But now the sample sound library that comes with Sibelius Ultimate has improved enough that I can imagine just creating an audio version that I can share with people. For one thing, I can tolerate the violin sound up high now. So, starting with the notation, I'll have my computer record the play-back. And if I find another sample library that sounds better and isn't too expensive maybe I'll spring for it. I am looking at NotePerformer.
The upside of this "going for computer audio" approach is that instead of thinking I have two flutes, two clarinets, etc., I can have a whole flute choir suddenly if I want! Sorta like how in a jazz band all the sax players double on flutes and/or clarinets, so there can be music written for bunches of flutes. Well I can do the same thing! Empowering. And I'm making great progress.
By the way, this was my sister Lucy's idea. Need to give her credit. Because she listened to the piece during a visit and was enjoying it so much and saying I needed to finish it, and she was just hearing the digitally sampled instrument sounds. Thank you Lu for the encouragement!
So here is the sound file for Otherworld on SoundCloud! You'll hear I’m trying to capture all the moods of the weekend, spend long enough with each idea, etc. But still it will probably feel more like a trailer, just expressing bits and pieces of the story, the drama, the heroic and inspiring action, the solace of quiet moments, the grace under pressure, the beauty of the setting.