Saturday, December 31, 2011

An End-of-the-Year Composition For Your Enjoyment

It's been a great year, full of excitement and fun, and challenges and new opportunities.

There have been those times when all I wanted was to escape from the world, to crawl into bed and hide.

There have also been those moments that I wish I could relive, that will always be in my memory.

This year has changed me, that's for sure.

I think, in a way, this song is a recap of 2011 for me.



Pictures by composer4christ


 

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Christmas Cookies

And that's when I realized that this bell cookie actually looked like Darth Vader.


Darth Cookie


I decorated it accordingly.




On a side note, look at all the pretty cookies!






Wednesday, December 21, 2011

It's Been Announced!

This morning, Eric Whitacre announced the song for Virtual Choir 3!



This is the song:





 And this is what the man himself has to say:



I am so excited!!!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Must Resist Urge To Use Chopstick As Weapon...

Seriously. It's taken all of my will power to refrain from practicing my jedi skills with these:


Lightsaber-Chopsticks!


And they do, in fact, work. I used them to eat my stir fry last night.


Thank you Mother Mags!!!

For Your Holiday Enjoyment

It isn't Christmas without this gem.


Monday, December 19, 2011

Merry Christmas!

I know it's a little early for this, but here it is anyway: My annual Christmas composition!

Annual as in I've been composing little gifts for The Director for the past 3 Christmases.

But this one's for all of you!

This year's Christmas composition is an arrangement I came up with a few weeks ago of The First Noel. I hope you enjoy!



The First Noel by composer4christ





Ornament Portrait




Merry Christmas 1




Merry Christmas 2




Merry Christmas 3




Merry Christmas!


-E.F.C. 

Monday, November 7, 2011

Things E.F.C. Wants For Her Birthday But Knows She Most Likely Will Not Get


Carbon Frozen Han ice cube trays. Can we say epic!?


Lightsaber chopsticks. And they must be blue, thank-you-very-much.



 It's a Maximus stuffed animal! Last time I was in a Disney store I saw one of these. Let's just say I was reluctant to leave it behind.





First of all it's Tangled, second of all it's purple! What more could you possibly want!?





And look at this totally nerdy clock!? It was too cool not to post.




And for dessert, something along the lines of this will be just fine, thank you:



Or this:


It couldn't be safe to consume that much sugar, I'm thinking...

Oh well!


Or maybe this:



Or this. But I've mentioned this before:




Again, so... much... sugar...


Anywhoo...

That's all for now, folks! Hope I was able to make you smile a little bit!


(Insert Ridiculous Title Here)

I've officially been blogging for a year (as of October 31)! I can hardly believe it!

So my Picasa album became full, so I've been searching for a different way to post photos. I think I've finally done it. So hopefully I can share some more with you all.

One of my friends at school started a writing club and I recently created a blog for us. When we get it going, we'll be posting our work on there so we can share it with you all! You can find the blog here, although there isn't anything there yet.

I realized something: Back when blogging was new to me, my posts seemed to be way more amusing. So I'm working on a little something for you all in honor of my birthday, which is next week. And it's called...

Things E.F.C. wants for her birthday but knows she most likely will not get.

And who knows? It might even be as funny as that hairbrush post. You know, that one.

I've also been composing some things again and will hopefully be posting some music soon.

The school play I'm currently participating in, Twelfe Night by William Shakespeare (I'm playing the character Fabian in case you're wondering), opens in less than a month! I'm so excited! We're doing it in a different style called original practice. It's supposed to be more like the actors in Shakespeare's time did it, where they got their lines right before the play and performed it without any rehearsal. Except we're rehearsing. As far as we know, we're the first school in the country to try this new approach.

Oh, and I won't have wrinkles in this play. I'm happy about that. In the last 2 major plays I've been in, I've had wrinkles and I'm tired of them.

Random pointless trivia: The bell at my school was half a step flat this morning, but it was back on pitch (a flat) by lunchtime.


I'll leave you with this song. I heard it a couple weeks ago and fell in love with it. This is the best recording I could find.


Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Courageous

I know, I've been awfully quiet lately. But I just had to wipe the dust off of the old blog for this.







This afternoon my dad and I saw the movie Courageous.

Oh. My. Goodness.

It was epic! The music was good, the acting well done, and the message even better.

I won't go into detail in fear that I might spoil something, but just know that it was the best movie I've seen in a long, long time.

... Not that I really watch that many movies. Just saying.

It was an intense, down-to-earth movie. There was lots of action for sure, and a good amount of crying as well.Now I'm not a real fan of crying in movies, but it didn't seem too bad most of the time. In fact, I even almost cried a few times.

Oh, and there were some remarkable stunts.

And did I mention the music was fantastic? Mark Willard does it again!

If you haven't seen it, you need to. Now! And take your dad with you. You'll need a good hug after this movie, believe me.

That's all. I'm not very good at movie reviews, not that this post qualifies in the first place.




Friday, September 30, 2011

E.F.C. is Still Alive!!!

It's been a while but I can assure you, I am still alive. That's right folks! E.F.C. is still functioning (somewhat). I'm with a couple of friends and we needed something to do before tonight's football game so...


 We visited the Apple Store.

We're such nerds...

Enjoy this form of entertainment in the mean time!

 


Wednesday, September 7, 2011

One School Day Done, Many Left To Go

Today was my first day of 10th grade. I've got to say, I was actually pretty happy to be back. I love the way our school has A days and B days instead of 7 periods every day. This way we only have 4 classes a day and we get an extra elective class. Also, we have twice as long to do all of our homework.

My schedule is like this.

On A days:

1. Concert Choir
2. Advanced Theater
***Lunch***
3. Advanced US History
4. Algebra 2


On B days:

1. Spanish
2. Advanced Chemistry
***Lunch***
3. Intro to Business
4. Advanced English


As you may have noticed, all of my core classes are advanced as well as 2 of my electives (theater and choir). What have I gotten myself into!? I think I can handle it though.

I'm so lucky. I got to begin the school year with my 2 favorite classes! I think this year is going to rock.

The only not-so-fun thing about the start to my school year was the bus. You see, last year we had a really great bus driver. Her name was Karen and she was super cool. Our bus was large enough to fit all of us and she modified the route so it wasn't all loopy and we got home sooner. Everyone was happy.

But not this year.

This year we have a new bus driver and let me tell you. This guy is a stickler. He got upset at us because last year my bus stop was on one corner, but this year apparently it's across the street at the other corner. We were all waiting where we had last year and the guy totally stopped at the other corner and then chewed us out for standing at the wrong corner! And the bus we have this year is smaller too. On the way home most of us were 3 to a seat. And did I mention it was unreasonably hot out? I know, you who live south of here will probably laugh at me (Jamie...) but it was a shocking 90 degrees at least! And we were all squashed together on a too small bus with an irate bus driver!

I certainly hope they do something about our bus. If not, one of my neighbors says there's another bus that passes our neighborhood and is (hopefully) less crowded.

In choir this morning we played with overtones (post on those coming). Overtones are basically notes that you hear but aren't really there. I'll explain it better in another post. The concert choir is a large group. I've always been in smaller, treble choirs. I've never really sung songs with tenor, baritone, etc. parts. My director originally had a list of 75 students in this particular choir, but now there are 101 of us. To be honest, it's sort of intimidating. I'm not so much of a large group person. And I'm one of only 5 sophomores. But I think I'll get used to it and I'll really enjoy it. Actually I already do enjoy it.

In theater class we got going by playing improv games such as "Freeze Tag" and "Add and Subtract". In these games, you have a few people acting out an unscripted scene (that's why they're called improv games- we improvise) and people in the audience can call "Freeze" and go up and change the scene. I think these games are a lot of fun.

I am fortunate to have a very laid back math teacher. Her thing is that if it helps us learn and it doesn't distract the other students, then it's okay for us to do.

And tomorrow I get to have another sort of first day with the other half of my classes.

I'm excited to see what God has in store for me this year!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Soundtrack Saturday

My apologies... I thought I had it set to post this morning, but apparently it didn't.

This week's soundtrack is "The Pirates" from Finding Neverland. This track was composed in such a way that I can easily create a story of what might be happening. I can practically hear the pirates. What about you?



Saturday, August 27, 2011

Soundtrack Saturday

This week I present to you The Buffalo Hunt from Dances With Wolves by John Barry. This track is especially fun. I love it when horns are given the melody, so this made me very happy. It's neat also because it gives a different take on the theme.



Tuesday, August 23, 2011

You Know You're a Composer When...

  • You have had to ask a family member to kindly stop whistling so you can compose
  • The first thing you ask when someone mentions a new movie is “Who wrote the score?”
  • You have more than one keyboard in the house
  • You collect exotic instruments
  • You can play many instruments just a bit
  • Your iPod is filled with soundtracks
  • You can watch a movie you don’t know anything about and correctly name the composer just by listening to it
  • You save every scrap of paper in case it has music ideas written on it
  • You write music ideas on library receipts and gum wrappers
  • There is staff paper in your schoolbag
  • You have created a brilliant song only to discover that it sounds a lot like something John Williams would compose
  • You ask your choir director which instruments sound the best with piano, violin, tin whistle and marimba (in which case the answer is- nothing really)
  • You have a song stuck in your head but you don’t know if it already exists or if you composed it subconsciously
  • You talk your friends into playing your songs
  • You want an orchestra for your birthday



And this is where I challenge you, my lovely followers, to to create your own list. What's your thing? Please share! And if you do, why don't you link back to this post?

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Soundtrack Saturday

For today's soundtrack, I have selected the track "Carl Goes Up" from the movie Up by Michael Giacchino. This creative composition has the ability to paint a picture in one's mind whether they've seen the movie or not. For example, in the beginning of the piece, when the balloons are released in the movie, Giacchino used high strings and woodwind to make the listener feel like they are leaving the ground as well. The music helps the audience to feel like they are a part of the story.


Friday, August 19, 2011

Please Help Me Decide!

I ask that you hop on over to my photography blog to help me decide which photos to enter in a contest. Thanks!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Sometimes I Wish I Lived On a Private Island...

It's been an interesting day. I felt like composing something, but the world seemed to feel otherwise. First of all, my neighbor was blasting music from his open window (again), my dad wanted to play his guitar, and my headphones wouldn't drown out the noise. So I rode my bike down to the park and it was so peaceful and quiet that I was (finally) able to compose. So I jotted it down in my notebook and rode home.

And then I had to actually get it off the page. The second I sat down at my keyboard the man who lives across the street turned on his leaf blower. It was an E flat. My song was in D. Not a good combination.

Then my dad's phone rang.

Sigh...


But I finally got it into Garage Band! I recorded it once, then saved it multiple times. For one, I kept all the instruments as piano, for another I changed some of them to strings and such, and the last one I made techno. I shoved them all together. Enjoy, and please, please, please tell me what you think of it. I am anxious to hear read your thoughts.  After all- I can't get better unless I know what I need to improve on. And for the record, you guys have been really, really quiet. When I posted my last composition, I only got like 3 comments. That was super discouraging. Just saying.

Come on!!! I shouldn't have to beg for comments!


Anyway, here it is...
Adventure/Western- Orchestra, Piano, and Techno by composer4christ

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Soundtrack Saturday

This wee's selection is from Transformers by Steve Jablonsky. This track is one of my favorites because of the way it builds throughout the first half, then lets it all out. It has multiple instrument parts that aren't particularly intricate on their own, but blend together to give the song texture.



Saturday, August 6, 2011

Letter Tag

To participate in this tag, one must simply leave a comment asking for a letter of the alphabet. I shall then assign each commenter a letter. After receiving their letter, they shall list ten things that they love beginning with their letter and post it on their blog.

My letter, given to me by the fantastic Director, is J. My list is as follows.


  • Judges- my favorite book in the Bible. Not sure why. It's sort of gruesome.
  • Jumping on trampolines- Except they have to be clean and they must have a net.



  • Joan Aiken books- simply charming, in a strange sort of way






  •  Jokes- but not the groaners like my dad tells. I mean actual funny ones.
  • Jam- homemade raspberry jam. Not blueberry.
  • Jeremy Camp- great music, people!
  • Jolly Joe's- the song from Veggie Tales. You know, this one:


(Umm... Happy Soundtrack Saturday, people! I didn't forget... really...)


As I was saying...

  • James Newton Howard- need I say any more?
  • Jello popsicles- they're soft and they don't drip! What more could you want?
  • Jugglers- they're fun to watch. Especially the crazy ones who can do like 40 at a time.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

I'm Alive!

Hey there! This is going to be super short, but I just wanted to reassure you that I am, in fact, still alive and well. We've seen a lot of neat things on this trip so far including enormous trees, diving pelicans, and incredible sunsets. Anyway, see you all in a few days!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Soundtrack Review: Tangled

Hey there! It's been a while since my last soundtrack review, hasn't it? I can't believe I haven't done a review on this one yet.





Alan Menken, an American composer, has written the score for numerous Disney movies, including The Little Mermaid, Aladdin, Beauty and the Beast, and more recently, Enchanted.

Before I saw the movie, I wasn't quite sure what to expect as far as the score goes. Needless to say, I was very impressed. Menken was able to retain a more traditional feel that really enhanced the movie, while the songs with words were definitely more modern sounding. Mostly, as it usually is, it was the instruments he chose. The very traditional sound was created by using a blend of solo wind (don't know what exactly) and (I'm guessing) violin along with what sounded like a bodhran, or a traditional Irish drum, and a tambourine. This can especially be heard in the track Kingdom Dance, which is by far my favorite track from the movie.





Menken also did a great job capturing moods. The track below is a great example. I heard this track before even seeing the movie and I could tell that the scene took place at night because of the guitar, and I could hear light, and something grand and life-changing taking place. I was happily surprised when I saw the movie that I had been pretty spot on.





Finally, here's what the composer himself has to say about his music:



Notice the wall in the room there- Isn't it epic!?


Alright, I think I'm done raving about Tangled for a while. Enjoy the break while it lasts.

And in case you haven't heard it yet, I posted another composition in the previous post and I would love love love some feedback.

Also, I'm leaving for a trip tomorrow and probably will have little or no internet access. So just consider this your Soundtrack Saturday.

And finally, please pray that we don't have any more car trouble. We've had a lot of that lately and we certainly don't need anything going wrong while we're on our trip. Thanks!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Live Recording of the Lost Journals

I finally did it! I got a MIDI keyboard about 2 weeks or so ago which means that I can now record my compositions into Garage Band! I'm extremely happy about this because I can get the dynamics and the tempo changes and special things like that just the way I want them. And the piano doesn't sound all clinky like it does on Sibelius. It sounds... real!

So yesterday I made a decent sounding recording of this song and am here to share it with you all.

This is a monumental day, folks!

Live Recording of Lost Journals by composer4christ

Monday, July 25, 2011

I've Had an Exciting Few Days

After escaping the rainy weather earlier this week, we returned home and had some pretty nice weather!

On Thursday, my dad and I went boating out on the river near our house. I used my kayak and my dad tried out his new solo canoe. We saw a blue heron. It kept flying ahead and landing, flying and landing, and we followed it about half a mile up the river.

On Friday, I went on a wonderful bike ride with a friend. There was a book sale at the public library that we stopped at. Then we crossed the street and visited the farmers market and an annual art event called Art Splash. Art Splash is where local artists get to show off their work and hopefully sell something. Later, around 8:30 or so I rode my bike alone down to the park. The light was perfect and I took some great pictures.





On Saturday, we experienced what I believe was the first day this summer, maybe even this year, where there was literally not a single cloud in the sky. I rode my bike to the park and was there by about 9:30. There was nobody there yet so it was wonderfully quiet. I sat by the river and read for about an hour, two ducks keeping me company.





When I got back it had warmed up quite a bit so 2 of my neighbors and I decided to get in my inflatable pool.





Yeah. That was interesting.


Then another friend called and invited my parents and me over for dinner. It was quite tasty. My parents and her parents have so many similarities, they're practically twins!


On Sunday morning, I got up at 6, just in time for the sunrise. It was spectacular!




Once we were all awake, we went into town. It was just the right temperature.





To finish off the day, I rode my bike to the park again and captured the sunset. Those pictures are still on my camera, but it looked just like the sunrise, with the rays, and the clouds, and the color...


Around 4 this morning, I was awake and I thought I saw a flash of lightning, but I always think that so I tried to go back to sleep. Then I saw another. It was definitely lightning.

Back-story: About a week ago I prayed for a good thunder and lightning storm since it's been a pretty long time singe I've seen one. He obviously answered my prayer.

So I kept watching and eventually I heard thunder, waaaay off in the distance. And after a few soft flashes and rumbles, I noticed it growing louder, brighter, and closer together, but still a good way off.

And I prayed silently, Alright Lord, I asked for a good storm. Can you give me just one good flash before I go back to sleep?

Not 2 seconds after that I see the brightest flash I have ever seen, followed closely by the loudest thunder I have ever heard, followed by the most startled parents I have ever heard. It even shook me up a bit. Okay, a lot.

Okay Lord, thanks, but I think that's enough... Can I just go back to sleep now?

And the storm passed over without any more super bright flashes or super loud rolls of thunder, and I fell asleep to the sound of distant thunder and falling rain.



Saturday, July 23, 2011

Soundtrack Saturday

This weeks selection, from The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by Harry Gregson-Williams is probably my favorite score out of them all. In fact, I once had a dream where this was playing. I love it because it has a very mystical, soothing, yet adventurous and curious feel to it. Also, I love the use of vocals, dynamics, the sudden mood change around the 4 minute mark, and the use of the movie's various themes, not to mention the exquisite use of strings around 4:50ish. Talk about remarkable in every way!



Monday, July 18, 2011

What If Your Blessings Come Through Raindrops?

(This post was originally titled "So Much For Escaping the Weather" but was changed after I had a sudden realization. Just thought you might like to know.)

So after writing yesterday's post about our miserable weather, my parents and I decided that we just couldn't take it anymore so we packed up and headed to my grandparents' home. You see, they live in a part of the state that is notably drier than where I live. It seemed like a brilliant plan at the time.

Now don't get me wrong. I'm happy to be out of the house, it's just that it doesn't seem to matter where I go because it's still raining. But at least when I look longingly out of the rain-spattered window, I see a change of scenery. That's nice.

We did actually get out a bit earlier today despite the light drizzle. We visited a couple of nearby waterfalls and walked around. We had a good time, even with the rain.





(I'm testing out some watermarks. What are your thoughts?)


I realized something though: It's weather like this that makes my home such a lovely place to live. Without all of the rain we get, there wouldn't be so much beautiful green.

I also recall seeing a fire danger meter on our way. The fire danger was "low" because of the rain.

You've got to love the rain. It drives us crazy sometimes, but after a good downpour, everything is so fresh and clean. It smells wonderful, it feels light and refreshing, and I think to myself, that wasn't so bad.

It got me thinking: The Lord sends us rain whether we like it or not. We'll complain, we'll beg Him to make it stop, we'll try to escape it, but He knows that we are like plants; without water, we can't grow. He sends those downpours our way in order to help us grow and make us stronger.

Isn't that thought reassuring? It was for me.

And, of course, being the music nerd that I am, two songs popped into my head:









So as much as I would love to see some sunshine, I know that I am truly blessed to live in a place where it is frequently raining. It's summer, and a bit of rain can't change that. I'm going to make the most of it.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

This is Not Summer.

I woke up to the sound of steady rain- for the fourth morning in a row. The morning is cool, wet, cloudy, not at all like the summer mornings one would expect this time of year. It's the middle of July, but here, it looks more like April.

Lately, I've been lamenting over the fact that I would really really love to go swimming but the weather doesn't want me to apparently.

But one good thing ("good" thing) about the lack of nice weather is that there's tons of time to read! Yesterday I finally got my hands on a copy of Heaven is for Real by Todd Burpo and read it all in one sitting. Now that was one riveting story!

Also, our public library has these things called "book bundles". They're groups of 3 books, all with different themes like "pirates", "horses", etc. and you read the three books in the bundle, fill out a little tag that goes with it and turn in the tag for prize drawings. Well, the other day I actually won a drawing. And I never win drawings.

My prize? 2 coupons for frozen yogurt. That made me very happy. Now if only the weather would warm up a bit so I could use them...

Right now I have this song running through my head. It describes my predicament perfectly.








I wish I was in California...


What about you? You all have been strangely quiet... How's your summer going?

Saturday, July 16, 2011

What!? Another Giveaway!?

That's right! God's Daughter is holding another fantastic giveaway!

It ends on the 22nd, so enter now! Just head on over here!

Soundtrack Saturday

Here's another wonderful score from my favorite composer, James Newton Howard. This one is from the movie Dinosaur. This piece in particular caught my attention because it seems especially 'moody', if you would. As in even though I haven't yet seen the movie (I got it from the library to watch though) I was able to infer what might be happening based entirely on what I heard.



Thursday, July 14, 2011

If You Give A Neighbor A Computer...

If you give a neighbor a computer, then they might want to see what fun things you have on it.

Their search will end when they discover photobooth.

But they aren't done yet! Now that they've found photobooth, they'll want to take a picture:



Or two...


Or three...


Until they've tried out all the different styles.





And in case that wasn't enough, then they discover the video option...

video

And they make just as many videos.


And one of the videos happens to begin an inside joke.



'Cause when you give a neighbor a computer...


Well, you never know what you're in for.



Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Pictures and Major Happenings From the Choir Festival


I apologize ahead of time for the picture-heaviness of this post, but I figured you'd prefer to see pictures, rather than have me go into lengthy descriptions. 
 
 
 
 
Choir festival 2011:

I was very excited since my choir hadn't gone on a trip since 2007. We'd tried to go to some, but there were never enough people. However, with only 8 singers this year, we still went. Singing in such a small group was a great experience. It brought us closer together and gave us confidence.





I'm not really sure why we flew since it was less than an hour long flight, but I was excited to get some good shots from the plane.



And besides, you don't get pretzels and soda on a bus, do you?



This is where we stayed.



Lovely, isn't it?



This was one of my favorite songs that we sang. And not just because it was catchy. Take a closer look:



This had us laughing pretty hard!



On the second day, we got to walk into town. They allowed us to wander around before our flash mob. We pretty much had free reign as long as we were with a partner.



This is the view from the path leading into town.



I went with a few of my friends to try on accessories. That was amusing.



And then we got food. (My friend, featured in the above photo, was completely oblivious to the cameras as she gazed lovingly at her ice cream)



The clock tower that plays obnoxious music very loudly and for an unreasonably long time.



 We stopped at a very tiny amusement park and since I'm not one for crazy rides, I was the official photographer.





Then we rushed to the location of our flash mob (sorry, no pictures of the actual mob, and my video didn't turn out so great).


After the mob, we were escorted to...


A giant red wagon!




Yes, the handle is a slide.
We took group pictures on the wagon.



And then we made a pyramid.


On the way back to the place we were staying at we stopped to feed these little guys:



That there is a marmot. They like to eat cheerios.



But even more, they like to eat cheerios from our hands!


Other than feeding the marmots, I was also amused by 2 of my friends in particular.



Yeah. You get the point.



Giant rubber bands. They were meant to help us with vowels, phrasing, dynamics, etc. But they also made a great weapon!


My director set aside 10 minutes for me to talk to Dr. Brunner the composer, about, well, composing! I'm actually working on a separate post laying out what I learned. No photos though :(


On our last full day, we had a concert at a theater in town. 



Someone doesn't know how to spell. See the mistake?
 We were laughing pretty hard about that. It's choral, people! Choral!


After the concert, we had a catered dinner which turned into a full-blown dance party, thanks to these two again:



(Love this shot!)






Yeah cameraman! (He had a super cool camera contraption)






Sometimes I wonder...








But I haven't even shown you all the best part yet!!!

The best part: The wardrobes!








My roommate and I kept expecting to open it up and find Flynn Rider inside, knocked out cold by a frying pan while the girls in the room next to us were in search of Narnia.


We went to Starbucks on our last morning, then flew home. It was fantastically clear and sunny.














Phew! Sorry, that turned out a bit longer than I had anticipated. If you read looked at the whole thing, then you deserve a prize. Unfortunately, I don't have one for you. Except that you're finally done with it. Isn't that rewarding enough?