This is the original sketch, a melody scribbled in my notebook on a long car ride, complete with food stains and all. For a long time it was just the bare melody and structure, with parentheses indicating alternate melodic options. Then I added some instrumental flourishes above the staff in tiny notation that served as the jumping-off point for the horn parts. They are mostly rhythmic, but some include the beginnings of melodic contour. The title was originally the other way around, and in parentheses are the names of two characters from an F. Scott Fitzgerald novel that inspired me. Weeks later, I added the beginnings of the lyrics underneath.

Here is a preliminary sketch of the bass part. It is a pretty straightforward walking bass line, outlining the harmonies with a few passing tones.


Next came the first iteration of the score in Sibelius. I chose the ensemble based on a reduction of a big band setup: three saxophones, a trumpet, trombone, and rhythm section.

As we began rehearsals, I adapted the score to the instruments we had: two trombones, a clarinet instead of an alto, and an alto singer. I transposed the piece up a minor third for the singer, and changed the harmonies in the intro. I fleshed out the dynamics and continued to tweak the harmonies, arriving at the final version.



To create the first realization of the piece, I downloaded REAPER, a DAW created by Cockos, Inc. I had been meaning to learn to use it for a long time, and it was free. I imported the MIDIs from Sibelius and downloaded virtual instruments from EastWest. I used intruments from the Goliath and Pianos Gold libraries. Through tweaking the MIDI files and virtual instrument parameters, I created a sampled rendition of the score.

This inspired a Battle of Bands idea for the final performance. We would create a 220C band and perform alongside the sampled instruments. Luckily, we had most of the instruments we needed in class, and pulled a few strings to get the rest. I added markers in the score for when the band would play and when the computer would play. We had a final rehearsal in the CCRMA studio.


Finally, we routed the computer playback through the Cakewalk USB interface, creating eight separate channels, one instrument per speaker. Our final performance had our musicians stationed by their corresponding speaker, around the audience, and recorded the performance. Be warned: the video camera was right next to a speaker, so the balance is off.