Meurig Llŷr Jenkins Music Portfolio

Composer, Musician, Conductor

It’s a little Pastiche

So I got asked to write a one minute piece of music for the Bangor University Students’ Union, that was in the style of Ground Force.

Luckily, being a Brass Bander and all that, I was quite accustomed to the music of Ground Force.  However, this was the first time that I’ve been confronted with the idea of writing a piece of music “like that famous one”.  And I had to do it in about 2 days flat.

I think I managed OK in the end.  I played the piece over and over (not the trio bit, as I don’t think many people realize there’s a mid section with a horn solo in there!) to try and figure out what I could do.  Simply put, I went for the following things:

1)  Imitate the chord structure, roughly (It enters a minor key briefly in every 8 bar phrase)
2)  Imitate the melody line’s “feel” – that being bright and spunky, some off-beat parts for some variance, the range in which the melody moves etc.3)  Simple percussion line for the groundwork

But I also added bits in of my own.  I like having other instruments take over bits in their own style (Trombone comes in and does gliss things over parts, I really like that), and I decided to give it a fanfare opening and close, which luckily turned out well in the video.

I have also learned a bit from it.  My orchestration could have used tweaking, there is actually a horn solo in there which I wrote a bit too high and is lost in the amount of instruments playing, as well as I could have made the bass trombone a bit more interesting!  However, I think I could’ve fixed that had there been more time to practice, hear it played by real players before actually making a recording – but such is life!

The best thing is, I know I can do Pastiche music relatively competently, even in a short amount of time!  Hurray for learning!

Here is the video!