Community Composer Challenge – SPITFIRE’S GREAT MUNICIPAL BAND! – May ‘22



  • sorry if it makes no sense, Spitfire Audio counts quotes as text and your not allowed much text of your own if you quote a big comment 😅

  • Wow this is amazing I loved the emotional response it had! I felt like I was on some kind of Viking ship sailing in horrendous conditions and lightening struck the ship and it eventually sank with a sad ending.

  • Thanks so much @taron - I've always thought that truly unfiltered people are so rare that, when you come across one on your travels, you should hang on to them until your knuckles turn white and your claws bleed- so don't worry at all- this forum would be a markedly less bright place without the light you shine on things😁

    I think, for now, (with so much to learn about production generally) my main aim is to get the musical message across coherently (I still have enough stars in my eyes to hope a real band will play my stuff one day so am not overly fussed on getting the production bang on). I can hear the notes well enough with my "inner ear" to tell if they work, I am less good at knowing what to do with the notes once I have programmed them in to make them sound better. Maybe one day I might persuade you to do some magic with some midi from me😉

    I think I was shooting more for an unbearably sad life (broken up by happy drinking nights) with this affair

    Would love to hear your new piece - hope that tinnitus is a passing thing - I had a bit of the covids in April and my May ears have been not quite "on" - wonder if that may be in play...

  • Oh, gee, sure, whenever you wish to, we can have some fun together, @Retroblueman ! Just send me a PM and we'll connect properly!

    And, nah, no mysterious diseases here, haha. I've been accomplishing quite a few tasks that had been lingering for a long time and we're about to release a fantastic update to our software. That's why I may be going into a kind of healing phase, when all the piled up tension releases and symptoms of various kind show for a while until I've managed to decompress, so to say. Often it takes just as long as it was piling up. Thus I may be looking at a few more weeks before really returning back to "normal". 😋

  • beautiful words of wisdom, I do believe in time people will speak about your music, majority of the people who I've heard on this forum have great potential, we all have problems with our creations which we cannot see until somebody else flags it up and its this which makes us better at creating music, by helping each other we help ourselves to progress.

    don't worry so much about the stars or being famous, It'll all come in good time, even if it doesn't the journey you play is very important and I'll always keep an ear free for your music!

    Ps I had Covid and it effected my taste of mostly everything... apart from Guinness, Covid wasn't strong enough to take that from me, puff virus, I do suffer from long Covid still, I'm always tired, its getting better everyday, I had it on the 10th of april and it lasted to 20th of april, I had red hot showers to purge it from my body, I also ate a vindaloo, it didn't hang around long after that haha!

  • Hello, Is there a thread for the June offerings? I can't find one - just a mention of the Quintet Theme?

  • Hi Keith - something went a bit amiss when I tried to post - maybe the title was a bit too similar to this one... I think life may be easier if we just keep this thread going and post the quintets on here . Also meant to ask, you and generally, do you think 1 month is a bit tight for each topic? would two months be a bit more "freeing"?

  • Hello Rob, That's a good question.I think a two monthly interval might be better for a lot of people. i do have an offering for June but especially over the summer many of us may have other pressing things . So I would support a two monthly theme. As it is I will post my June Quintet shortly. Best wishes and thanks again for this initiative.


  • Here is my contribution to June!! "Footsteps for Jazz Quintet". the Spitfire element is Olafur Arnaud's Stratus Piano. The Bass, Clarinet, Sax and Trombone are all Straight Ahead Samples - really excellent libraries I think. I hope its of interest - It might be a bit too long but probably sounds best after 3/4 bottle of good Red wine late at night. Best wishes Keith

  • Lovely stuff Keith - tasteful restraint in the note choices, great phrasing and I really felt like the instruments were talking to each other - think this is your best work (so far)- thanks for sharing!!

  • Jeeez, that's so impressively clear. I've never heard of Straight Ahead Samples. Neat!

    I'm debating whether this is perfect for waking up or I should rather wait until later today when the coffee can be swapped for the good Red you've suggested! 😄

    Sounds incredible, though, really. It's beautifully lively! Thanks for sharing it here! 👍️

    I've started to work on my quintet a few days ago and will try to get it done before the month runs out.

  • @Retroblueman & @Taron. Thanks so much for your considered comments. I really value your opinions. Enjoy the Coffee and the Red!!

  • Alright my dear folks. After at least 7 days of intense labor 😂's my take on a quintet:

    All done with BBCSO Core:

    Flute, Oboe, Horn, Bassoon and Harp

    By far the longest "classical" attempt of mine for some time now. @Retroblueman had some wonderful advice along the way that inspired me greatly. Also @Jason_Webster32 gave me some excellent reactions that made me focus a lot more on melody in this one.

    The "end" of it really isn't an end at all, but just a sort of band-aid to round things off, while I'd love to continue this very journey for a lot longer, too. But hey: I broke the 2 minute mark! Hurray! 😁

    Core is a tremendous gift, but again I'm lusting for close mics so I could drape those beautiful instruments a bit more adequately around a stage for a quintet. And the other funny thing I've noticed wanting for the first time were a few wacky instrumental effects beyond thrills and tonguing (weird thing to write). But more than anything I would love to be able to bend notes to my liking. Though legato offers quite a heck of a lot of flexibility, it still all does feel a bit like playing with Lego bricks (albeit truly gorgeous ones). But I'm not complaining (who am I to do so anyway). Rather dreaming of even more freedom.

    Lots to learn ahead and full of excitement to do so! 😃

  • Some of my favourite instruments making some delightful music. Its great as it is but I'll be interested to see where you take it! Brilliant.

  • Thanks, Keith! 😃 I'm surprised again to find any reaction.

    I'll continue to explore these styles and may resume this one, too, because It's been plenty of fun. I might change the intro, too. Anyway, thanks again! 🤗

  • Aha!

    I am back!

    Thanks @Retroblueman for the extension, I was really busy in June...

    The name is a not very... in the season... but it represents how life would slowly wake up as spring comes.

    I tried a percussion quintet! I tried sticking to five instruments, but there is some divisi and doubling at a few parts.

    The percussion quintet is made with BBCSO Discover and ProjectSAM percussion instruments.

    I kind of lost my rhythm for writing in June, so hopefully I will get back into habit and posting in August. So hopefully you enjoy!

  • @Londoneye330 I seriously mean this - that was spectacular - really well done!! (I would put a clapping hands emoji here but the only one I could find looked like an old potato😀) - I love how this quintet challenge seems to have brought out everyone's A game. I do find myself wondering whether there is a lesson in here somewhere for composition and orchestration generally (perhaps five voices with some doubling for oomph and stabs/hits for emphasis here and there is all you need??).

    Out of interest - was the 1812 reference intentional? - it matters neither here nor there whether it was though - your piece would rock and be no less original either way!

    Right, guess am going to have to think of another theme for August and September now - I was wondering about "transformation". You have to take a theme and do something different with it - so that could be an old school "theme and variations" on a popular (or original) theme or it could be something more avant garde - e.g. Old Macdonald Had a Farm but in the style of Nine Inch Nails (or a mixture of both)- what do you think?

  • Thank you so much for your comment! I certainly agree that the quintet is a really nice exercise! I guess sometimes it takes limitations to bring out the resourcefulness of a composer. I think the biggest takeaway here is that a good composition has to start with a great base. The base is that no matter what instrument it is being played on, the choice of notes and rhythm comes first. The instrumentation and the textures we want something to sound can come after.

    Funny story, I wrote the first 27 seconds on the first day. I came back the second day and I had the exact thought as you did: that sounds so much like 1812! I thought it was funny so I just kept it there. But no! It was not intentional 😂

    For next month's idea, I certainly think "transformation" is an amazing topic! It has such a broad range that it could be interpreted in so many different way, I certainly will support that!

  • @Londoneye330 - Wonderful. Full of Joy and Fun.

    @Retroblueman - "Transformation" is a great idea. Loads of scope for interesting stuff. Thanks

  • Sweet - thanks @KeithCocker123 and @Londoneye330 - well then, it is, as they say, "on like kong"!😀

    I actually got to thinking properly about this after I posted the above, and "theme and variations" has proper classical kudos, doing a quick shortlist off the top of my head, you have

    Bach - Goldberg Variations

    Mozart - Piano Sonata K331, 1st movement

    Beethoven (countless) but there's the last movement of the Eroica symphony, the final movement of Piano Sonatas numbers 29 & 32 and of course the Diabelli variations

    Elgar - "Enigma" variations

    Prokofiev - Piano concerto no 3, movement 2

    Rachmaninov - Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini

    I think all of the above probably, and rightly, feature somewhere on quite a few people's top ten pieces of music ever lists (Beethoven Sonata 32 is quite far up on my list)- this should be fun!!😀

  • oops, sorry, I meant Beethoven sonata no 30 (op 109) and not 29. No. 29 is also great, but it has a (very) mad fugue at the end rather than theme and variations, although I suppose a fugue could qualify under "transformation" too. I still prefer no 32 though!

  • This is amazing mate, I really did enjoy this.

    Sorry that I've been inactive for a while I've been overwhelmed with work/family life, I still want to participate in these challenges you set Rob, don't think I've abandoned you guys!

    Great news, I've been messaged by somebody from The Cue Tube on YouTube (sorry about the tongue twister haha!) and he/she said that they didn't know people were setting challenges and using material from The Cue Tube website, they seemed really happy about it.

    I thanked the person for providing us composers material to practice on, they will be adding more content in time, they will possibly be working on a new movie, they mentioned it on YouTube.

    At least we know that in time we'll have more content to work on which is exciting.

  • Thanks!

    Yeah I saw their kickstarter campaign a while ago, they even had a premiere or something? Certainly excited to see.

  • I waited at the premiere but left my phone and missed it haha! I've contributed to what they are doing, more material for us all to practice on, I love what they are doing and I'm happy to be apart of what they are making ❤️