Need a gift for a gifted musician?
Hello everyone. This is my tribute to the musical Les Miserables, which I've been a fan of since age 6. I've since known and loved many other musicals but Les Mis holds a special place. I have an especially soft spot for the show's original orchestration, so thought I'd try recreating it!
Here is my humble attempt at recreating even a semblance of that iconic John Cameron orchestration and not-so-humble attempt at asserting how much better his orchestration is to the copy and paste cliche mess that claims to be the show's "updated" orchestration these days.. Sadly, that original orchestration has since gone through significant downgrades and MTI is no longer licensing the original orchestration. They offer now the 25th ann. reduction, which makes pretentious claims of being more classical with a chamber sound but it's first and foremost a money generating ploy to reduce costs, at the expense of character, cohesion, and integrity--the new concoction features work by 3 additional orchestrators. To say it is a train wreck is an understatement. I keep faith one day this will all just go away and the show's signature sound and gritty musical language restored...someday.
John Cameron's original work is the voice of Les Miserables to me and it can't be bettered, much less replaced.
I got the idea one summer to make my own backing tracks as a response to the cheap quality "Karaoke" tracks that were being mass produced at one time. I vowed to only use a real orchestra in my tracks but not being a millionaire and not having a full orchestra at his disposal, what was a fan to do? An emerging technology at the time (circa 2002) was the answer. It was called "Orchestral Instrument Sampling."
Many hours of trial and error and fumbling around with thousands of individual snippets of orchestral instruments playing a single note, I've reached a level of maturity in my work that I feel confident sharing it. I use NOTHING but REAL orchestral instrument samples in my tracks, all meticulously sequenced. It is arduous but rewarding work.
Most of all, I've had a blast working with a score that has inspired me so much, and gotta love John Cameron's quirky mix of acoustic orchestral and synthetic "pop" sounds and styles that give this musical a uniqueness like no other, a hybrid musical style that at once sounds as classical as it does mainstream and is incredibly expressive.
Please forgive the so-so mixing as these are ALL work-in-progress preview tracks. A lot of them have crazy tempos in places and all could benefit from some equalization and better mixing / individual instrument positioning within the stereo image.
At any rate, I'm not a composer and none of the work I present are my own original compositions. I merely recreate what I hear. I do NOT claim to represent or to have mastered anyone else's work/creation. I only represent my interpretation of their work and it comes from a place of deep respect and admiration, as well as strong focus on integrity.
These tracks are not for commercial use. They are for private individual home listening.
All Les Miserables tracks feature orchestrations by John Cameron, to music by Claude Michel-Schonberg; Evita tracks feature orchestrations by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Hershey Kay--all as interpreted by me.
As for me? Hey, this isn't about me, it's about the music!!! XD