ducts stage

Russell Anixter

No Budget Music
an introduction by Russell Anixter

It is difficult to get recordings of compositions for large ensembles like a big band or an orchestra -- the cost of musicians and studio time is prohibitive -- and, for that reason, I've learned to improvise. The music you're about to hear in Ducts Stage was recorded on the fly and with somewhat primitive means. The first piece was recorded when I was in school and on this occasion my music institution provided me with an ensemble. I've not always been that lucky, though, and have had to learn to let necessity be the mother of invention when it comes to putting together bands and getting tunes recorded.



The Performances

tech note: each piece of music is offered in RealAudio and MP3 formats. RealAudio plays right away, but is lower quality than MP3. You probably already have the RealPlayer to play RealAudio files, but if you don't, it's free and can be downloaded quickly and easily from the RealAudio website.

Overtures to Purple & Orange

This first piece, "Overtures to Purple and Orange," was written for the BMI Jazz Composer's Workshop several years ago. I wrote it as part of an assignment to write a 2 minute piece. The ensemble on the recording is the BMI Jazz Orchestra, and it was recorded with a Sony Pro Walkman. The band consists of 4 trumpets, 3 trombones, 1 bass trombone, 5 saxes (doubling flutes, clarinet and bass clarinet,) piano, bass and drums. I was only given 10 minutes to work with the band. The band was sight reading and this is the second take. The piece stretches out a small motive of a few notes. I have since developed Purple and Orange into an expanded (6 minute) version, and am looking for an excuse (money?) to go into the recording studio.


The film scoring class at the Manhattan School of Music required me to write a mock TV tune. I chose to compose a 60's cop show theme. See if you can guess where the main characters faces would be freeze framed and shown with their names. Here I had to produce my own music for the class. The band is one of the school big bands also recorded with a Sony Pro Walkman.


This last piece was also an assignment for the MSM film scoring class. It is for the Max Fleischer Gulliver cartoon. The music was composed for the part of the film where the Lilliputian finds Gulliver washed up on shore. The little guy is frightened and runs off to tell the king. The class had a contest to see how many quotes from other musical sources we could sneak into our own pieces. See if you can tell where the Lilliputian crosses a bridge (or two), runs off to tell the king, crosses through the castle gates and into the castle and trips into a lantern. We were given a sheet with the timings of the important actions to hit. Again I had to produce my own music for the class. This assignment was done using MIDI equipment, but the concept in my head was orchestral. I made a cassette tape and the professor pressed the play buttons on the Video and Audio cassette players at the same time. That was pretty silly, but it locked up close enough.


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