Milestones

M I L E S T O N E S

Conception

Copyright 1992, song written by John Clancy

Song performed by John Clancy on Keyboards, Korg O1W Pro/X

Engineering by John Clancy at Shawnee Sound, 1991

Conception


We may celebrate our Birthdays, but the real beginning was before that, according to the Big Bang Theory. A 3 note melody, orchestrated to sound like an opening shot of the studio logo, in a motion picture. My version of the MGM Lion, basically.

Once Upon a Time

Copyright 1992, Score by John Clancy

Song performed via Encore Music Notation software, driving a Korg O1W Pro/X Orchestral Card.

Engineering by John Clancy at Shawnee Sound, 1991

Once Upon a Time


As the story of each life begins, with the familiar opening refrain, the building blocks are the same, but the combination of melody, harmonies encountered, and the rhythms - in this case a set of musical measures with rotating time signatures, all of which are desceptively complex for what sounds like a simple garden variety melody - is forever unique.

First Carousel

Copyright 1992, music written by John Clancy

Song performed via Encore Music Notation software, driving a Korg O1W Pro/X Orchestral Card.

Engineering by John Clancy at Shawnee Sound, 1991

First Carousel


Using a carousel as a metaphore for the kalaidescope of images and sensations that bombard us as young children. When we arrive, we are armed merely with our innocence, and our wonder.

This piece uses a structure borrowed from 12 bar blues (I, IV, V), but is in E Major, and dances within a 9/8 time signature. A "round" of counterpuntal melodies are introduced with each trip around the merry-go-round, and the sound effects add a sense of randomness to the repeating structures. Originally written as a "Space Waltz" for moog synthesizer, at the Napa studio in the mid 1980's, this rendition uses an Encore score to apply a more childlike set of timbres from the Korg O1W Pro/X.

Lost Love

Copyright 1992, song written by John Clancy

Song performed by John Clancy, Hamburg Steinway Model A Grand Piano

Engineering by John Clancy at Shawnee Sound, 1991 - Using a TASCAM 8516 16 track analog tape machine.

Lost Love


You win some, you lose some; but that first loss is a doozy, isn't it?

This piano solo presents the underlying instrumental song behind "Life's Dream", as recorded by Big Business, elsewhere on this site.

Graduation

Copyright 1992, song written by John Clancy

Song performed by John Clancy via Encore Software driving the Korg O1W Pro/X Orchestral Expansion Card.

Engineering by John Clancy at Shawnee Sound, 1991

Graduation


A String Quartet, composed using Encore Notation editing software,

Dedicated after composition to our friend Monty Bradford, who graduated from college a little bit later in life. I played this for the first time during a dinner party Kathleen hosted in his honor, and Kathleen's friend Lisa Matthews noted that it has elements also present in a classical fugue. Years later, Gradutation was also once performed live at a local church service, using a Saxophone Quartet led by a work buddy of mine, called Wes Mays. A small nod to Elgar's Pomp & Circumstance, this one flew out of the computer during a 3 or 4 hour writing session. There are some remaining moments of dissonence in the actual score, not really audible as such on this recording, other than providing a bit of an "edge" here and there. Subsequent attempts to translate this piece to more modern samples have not been as successful, sort of like the saxophones, so this 1991 rendering remains the gold standard for this work. So far.

The Job Interview [Work#1]

Copyright 1992, song written by John Clancy

Song performed by John Clancy via Encore notation editor, driving an Alesis D4 percussion module, Korg O1W Pro/X, and a Kurzweil K1000.

Engineering by John Clancy at Shawnee Sound, 1991

The Job Interview [Work #1]


That combination of special courage, both real and manufactured, required to project success to a prospective employer, is an experience most of us must pass through, eventually. We have 30 minutes or so to demonstrate the technical capability and personal skills that we will apply, for years of future employment. An awkward and amazing ordeal, and an accomplishment we will then proceed to undervalue.

The themes used for the 6/8 time "Work Trilogy" on Milestones were all written in the early-mid 1970's, while living in my mother's guest house. I believe I first presented them for consideration in a band as early as Solstice Mark II, probably in Aug/Sep 1974, at which time bassist Jeff McLane 1st dubbed them "The Monkey March". These themes were inspired by the 70's Prog Rock band Gentle Giant, in particular their music on "In a Glass House", although I have gone back to check more than once, to make sure they were not lifted directly.

The Promotion [Work#2]

Copyright 1992, song written by John Clancy

Song performed by John Clancy, and recorded directly to the onboard sequencer in the Korg O1W Pro/X.

Engineering by John Clancy at Shawnee Sound, 1991

The Promotion [Work#2]


Being recognized for one's achievements can be very nice, but we do not want to get too carried away with our own magnificence. Alas, this is one of those life lessons that can only be learned, by the doing of it.

This was the only time I used the Korg sequencer to record what I played manually on the keys, into the on board multi-track midi recorder. A life lesson, in and of itself.

Success

Copyright 1992, song written by John Clancy

Song performed by John Clancy on acoustic Drums, Hammond C3 Organ, Hamburg Steinway Model A Grand Piano, Korg O1W Pro/X for the strings, and a Kurzweil K1000 for the bass patches.

Engineering by John Clancy at Shawnee Sound, 1991 - Using a TASCAM 8516 16 track analog tape machine.

Success


Tips for Success - be careful what you wish for, and be mindful of expectations. Another experiment with blues in a major key, this time in 6/8. No sequencer on this one, but the underlying click track, and inspiration for the music and the complete arrangement, came from a vinyl recording called "Drum Drops". These were complete stereo recordings of professional drummers playing just the drum parts to pre-arranged songs, a precursor to the sampling industry that was to come. Composed originally in the early - mid 80's at Napa house in Northridge CA, this Milestones version included all new performances, but retained the arrangement from that original demo.

Marriage

Copyright 1992, song written by John Clancy

Song performed by John Clancy on Keyboards, the massive church orgam patch from the Korg O1W Pro/X

Engineering by John Clancy at Shawnee Sound, 1991

Marriage


Let no man put asunder. This piece was originally composed & performed at the marriage of Bob Story and Marguerite Smith, our friends in Lewisville, TX. This was played during the bridal walk up the aisle, which was actuaally the bridal descent from the staircase into the front yard, at Marguerite's lakeside cottage. I was also supposed to play the normal wedding march once the ceremony was over, but that one I forgot how to play, so I remained silent - not the consumate performer, ergo, last wedding gig I ever played.

The Insomniac

Copyright 1992, song written by Philo Cramer and John Clancy

Song performed by John Clancy on Alesis D4, Kurzweil K1000 Keyboards, Encore or Music Time notation editor driving a sequence, with performance edited in real time.

Engineering by John Clancy at Shawnee Sound, 1991

The Insomniac


Financial success, a new job, new house, new marriage, and no sleep? Something is happening Mr Jones, and you don't know what it is.

Philo wrote the main theme for this when we were in High School, we would use it to audition drummers, to make sure they could play in odd time signatures. This was somewhat pretentious on my part, since I had only learned how to play my instrument at that time, the bass guitar, a few weeks earlier. I added the complimentary themes - about 50% of the music on this version - so anointed myself as 1/2 author for the work. The Alesis D4 unit is behaving schizophrenic during this performance because I keep changing the patch selections, and the sequencer keeps trying to change them back.

The Layoff [Work#3]

Copyright 1992, song written by John Clancy

Song performed by John Clancy on Keyboards, Kurzweil K1000, Alesis D4, using a very early PC based sequencer (Voyetra?) to record a manually produced performance.

Engineering by John Clancy at Shawnee Sound, 1991

The Layoff [Work#3]


Well, you knew this was coming. Best laid plans, and all that...in my case, a move to Texas was followed by the loss of the only career I ever knew, and one that I got really good at, over a dozen years or more. It is when we gaze into the abyss, as they say, this a man learns about his character.

This may have actually been the first attempt to record the Monkey March themes, or anything else, using a computer based sequencer...and this also would have pre-dated slightly the initial constructon of Shawnee Sound in Flower Mound. I can remember performing and recording this upstairs, in the room above what would become the studio, in the home on Shawnee Trail.

Lament

Copyright 1992, music written by Rich Hunter.

Transcribed into Encore by John Clancy, from a manually submitted transcription from Rich Hunter, and executed via the Korg O1W Pro/X.

Engineering by John Clancy at Shawnee Sound, 1991

Lament


Welcome, to the Abyss. This somber piece was composed by Rich Hunter as a college assignment. After getting his grade, he sent a paper copy of the transcription to me in Texas, because he wanted to hear what it would sound like. The composer approved the performance, and I thought the reflective mood made for a perfect Milestone to conclude the first half of this life well lived. We have so many expectations of what our lives should be, but as Mr Lennon so aptly stated, life is what happens to you, while you are making other plans. Perhas it is in the adjustment to this reality, that our real life story actually begins.