Here’s a suite of music I composed and performed for my Spinning On Air podcasts “Pete Mauney’s Fireflies,” parts 1 & 2. After joining Pete as he photographed fireflies in two locations in the Hudson Valley on a mild summer night, I was pleased with the resulting field recordings. I liked the quiet conversation, the sonic sense of place, and comfortably slow pace. I considered not using any music, or using just a few sparse notes. Instead I decided to add a contrasting dimension to the podcast by going for a lush sound and tender, wistful mood — something that would help evoke what Pete and I saw and felt as we watched the fireflies.

For a project like this I put on my soundtrack composer’s hat (headphones, actually), and try to convey the desired mood. I went for the classic theme and variations approach, and tried to create music somewhat comparable to my memory of Fred Karlin’s music for “The Sterile Cuckoo,” or Ennio Morricone’s “Variations for John” from his score for “Duck You Sucker.” A gentle waltz for fireflies.

Instruments used: acoustic guitar, Pro-One analog synthesizer, Andes keyboard flute, clarinet, recorder, percussion, glockenspiel, modified 12-string guitar.

Copyright 2018 by David Garland. Published by Garland Control Songs ASCAP


Photo of fireflies: Pete Mauney

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