Composition

2010
02.12

Here you’ll find excerpts (and some full compositions) of music I’ve written over the years.
The criterion for inclusion here is that these were all written (both lyrics and music), and arranged/orchestrated by me. I did all the instrumental performance as well, mostly through the magic of MIDI. Many selections were engineered and recorded by my long-time production partner David Ruffo. Selections are listed in roughly reverse chronological order.

 


The River & Ocean In View – From The Adventures of Lewis and Clark, a musical with book & lyrics by Gail & Robert DesChamps, Additional Lyrics & Music by McNeil Johnston. This is part one of the play’s Finale in which the Corps of Discovery find themselves on the Columbia River. At first serene, the river eventually takes them on a ride through rapids during which they realize with amusement that they no longer have any control over their course. The river then transitions to a 300-yard wide calm estuary in which slow, rhythmic waves are felt. It is only then that they realize they have reached their ultimate goal, proclaiming: Ocean In View! [Orchestral track – vocals marked by piano]


The Fizz – From The Dancin’ Fools, a musical with book by John Stix & Fritz Krieger, Lyrics & Music by McNeil Johnston. In this song, the two principals compare notes on small-town American life.


The Power of Love – Written for the animal rescue group BeingKind based in New York City, this one plays like a love song, but has a greater meaning when you realize it’s written with animals and their care in mind.


Homage – I’ve always loved the French Impressionists (say no more!).


Gladrag – A tribute to the likes of Scott Joplin and Zez Confrey, here’s a happy tune…


Excerpts from TEACH – From my musical about Edward Teach, AKA Blackbeard the Pirate.  Book, Lyrics & Music by McNeil Johnston.  These are orchestral tracks only (no vocals).  You’ll notice fairly early on, my French horn players get extra money 😉 First up is ‘In A Particular Kind Of Hell’ which segues to ‘The Marrying Kind’, then the end of ‘A Gentleman Goes To Sea’.


The Workmen – From The Adventures of Lewis & Clark, this scene accompanies the bumbling, but well-meaning workmen as they provision the Lewis & Clark expedition.  (Orchestral track with piano marking the vocal parts.)

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