Christmas is coming…

And so is the Doctor Who Christmas Special and the second half of the current series of Doctor Who. Walt Ribeiro has produced interesting arrangements of a diverse range of popular music, including some from Doctor Who, for orchestras. You can listen to it via website and YouTube user For Orchestra. It sounds like he could use some of Blake Robinson’s sample libraries, so why not buy a few and put them on over Christmas to break up or even complement the carols a bit? Below you’ll find Walt’s arrangements of I Am The Doctor and a few other pieces of music.

I Am The Doctor – Composer: Murray Gold, Arrangement: Walt Ribeiro

We Wish You A Merry Christmas – Traditional, Arrangement: Walt Ribeiro

Party Rock AnthemLMFAO, Arrangement: Walt Ribeiro1

  1. There’s another good arrangement of this for marching band here. []

The Infinite Jukebox…

Know the music you like too well? Able to anticipate its every twist and turn? The Infinite Jukebox can help you – it lets you upload your own music before analysing it, looking for similar points in the music. When you get it to play, your music will seamlessly switch between those points, extending the music you uploaded into a fresh and infinitely long piece of music. Also provided by the clever and free service is a handy visualisation of the music and points between which The Infinite Jukebox thinks it can switch. I’ve found that while the switches are not completely seamless with some types of music, it works quite well – check it out1!

  1. The links are to Infinite Jukebox versions of The Final Countdown, Moonlight Sonata and Palm Tree Escape – I don’t know how long they’ll stay available for. The twists it does on the themes in Palm Tree Escape are particularly cool! []

Geoff Zanelli…

A few months ago I came across the website of Geoff Zanelli. Those familiar with Hans Zimmer might recognise him as a frequent collaborator, often only credited under the heading “Additional Music”. However, the brief descriptions of the nature of his work on various projects on his website and the example music provided has highlighted the fact that my favourite music from Pirates of the Caribbean (probably my favourite soundtracks) includes a significant number of Geoff’s arrangements of themes by Hans1.

The best example is perhaps He’s A Pirate from The Curse of the Black Pearl (reused in every subsequent Pirates film), a collaboration between Hans and Geoff. Broadside, from the same film, is a piece for which Geoff is also particularly well known. Bone Cages from Dead Man’s Chest is fun action music featuring Jack’s Theme while Lift Off and Shipwreck Cove are particularly nice arrangements of the the themes introduced in At World’s End. Palm Tree Escape and Jack’s Escape from On Stranger Tides are among my favourite pieces of music to be written for Pirates yet – the former a great blend of orchestral action with Rodrigo y Gabriela and the latter beginning with a brilliant arrangement of Jack’s Theme leading into the “Pirates” chords/harmonic progression, also featured prominently in pieces such as He’s A Pirate.

It is with the final two pieces of music mentioned above that I leave you (for as long as they remain on YouTube – Geoff’s website should have them for much longer) and the advice to check out for more examples of his work (including, in some cases, alternative recordings of music you might already know) both in collaboration with Hans and, increasingly, on his own. What do you think of it?

Palm Tree Escape – Geoff Zanelli/Hans Zimmer – Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides

Jack’s Escape – Geoff Zanelli/Hans Zimmer – Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides

  1. There is some other music I like from Pirates of the Caribbean for which Geoff does not claim responsibility – Up Is Down, Drink Up Me Hearties and Hoist the Colours Suite from At World’s End and Jack Sparrow from Dead Man’s Chest, for example. []

Website of the month, December 2012…

The website of the month for December 2012 is Actors at Work Productions. Founded by Cambridge-based filmmaker Kate Madison in 2003, Actors at Work has been responsible for a number of films of varying length, most notably Born of Hope (which has been featured this blog before). The quality of the films that it produces is often surprisingly good, despite the low budgets involved (e.g. Born of Hope cost approximately £25,000) and Kate Madison herself keeps fans up-to-date with goings on via channels such as the ActorsatWork on YouTube.
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