The Saskatchewan Suite-Ft. Qu’Appelle

The Saskatchewan Suite-Ft. Qu’Appelle

The Saskatchewan Suite , Landis Maitland-Whitelaw

Ft. Qu’Appelle (2001/2001) Time: 3’07”,was that last of the set to be written. It depicts the city and region known as Ft. Qu’Appelle in Saskatchewan Canada. Historically it has a mixture of cultures, Native, French, and European. I tried to depict a harmonious blend of the cultures even though historically it was not all that harmonious but today it is a jewel on the prairies.   

The recording part of this is the same as the other 2 pieces with the exception of the snare, I used LABS for this and I also included the use of Wood Blocks from the BBC Orchestra. 

You can hear a representation of the piece here on SoundCloud.

The Saskatchewan Suite-Ft. Qu’Appelle

The Saskatchewan Suite-Wind in the Field

The Saskatchewan Suite , Landis Maitland-Whitelaw
  1. Wind in the Field (1997/2005) was inspired by a drive through southern Saskatchewan and seeing the flax fields in bloom, waving in the wind. It looked like water. This version uses the standard orchestra. For percussion I use a triangle and the bell of a symbol . The B.B.C. Orchestra did not have the cymbal bell sound that I needed and so I went to Modo Drums to get this sound. Here I chose the bell of the ride symbol. The piece begins and ends with the sound of wind. I get this effect by assigning the flute, clarinets, viola, cello & bass and then oscillating the volume from very low to high and alternating the effect for every 2nd instrument. This piece runs 3’14” in length. 

You can hear a short clip of the piece here on SoundCloud.

The Saskatchewan Suite-Ft. Qu’Appelle

The Saskatchewan Suite

The Saskatchewan Suite , Landis Maitland-Whitelaw

The Saskatchewan Suite contains 3 short pieces written at different times for solo classical guitar. The pieces were later put together into the Saskatchewan Suite and later made into an orchestral piece (2005) and was subsequently premiered by the Regina Symphony to commemorate Saskatchewans anniversary, after a call for scores from across Canada. 

  1. North Country (1997/2005) was written to depict the northern part of Saskatchewan. It starts with a percussive section to depict the aboriginal north and then into melody to represent the blend of cultures ending in the percussive section. 

You can hear a representation of the piece here on SoundCloud.

The Saskatchewan Suite-Ft. Qu’Appelle

Birds at the Bath

Birds at the Bath , Landis Maitland-Whitelaw

The concept of the piece “Birds at the Bath” came to me in 2002. 

I was sitting on the back porch at our home and it has a bird bath in the back. I was watching the birds and a cat came by and the birds flew off until all was clear and then they returned. 

This piece is to recreate this scene in a musical orchestration. 

I wrote this piece in notation software and exported the midi files into my Digital Work Station (DAW), I use Logic Pro.  

For this project I am using the software:  Spitfire B.B.C. Orchestra Professional. 

The process I use is that I put the midi files into the DAW and then assign the appropriate instruments to the parts.  The interesting thing about this software is that it was recorded at London’s famous Maida Vale Studios by the B.B.C. symphony players so you get the ambiance of the studio and as an added bonus you have the positioning of the players.  You do not have to add any more reverb and all you have to do with the pan knobs is set them all to  full stereo and you get the correct positioning of the instruments. 

I go through each instrument one at a time and assign the appropriate articulations to each note. Once that is done I draw in the midi data for the modulation and expressions and fix any volume issues. 

Once that is done I send all of the woodwinds, brass, strings and percussion to their own side channels. I work each group separately and volume balance each instrument with their section. This allows me (once each group is volume balanced) to balance the orchestra through the side channels.  After all of the checks and balances are done I master the piece using the new Logic mastering insert. 

That is what went into the making of this piece which is only 1 of 7 pieces. 

Hear a Clip

The Saskatchewan Suite-Ft. Qu’Appelle

A Spanish Evening

(is the first piece in my upcoming album Orchestral Works. )

I first wrote this piece as an instrumental to play with my friend Michael Brauer… a cellist. It was for classical guitar and cello, written in 1991. This was the first sketch of A Spanish Evening and then was arranged for classical guitar and combo, I recorded it with the a group and it appears on my BLACK TIE album released in 1996.  

A Spanish Evening, Landis Maitland-Whitelaw

This album was recorded, produced and mastered in my studio.

The orchestral version which will appear on my upcoming album Orchestral Works,  was written in 1999 and recently updated. This piece features the power of the timpani combined with: 

solo flute and flute section 

solo oboe and oboe section

solo clarinet and clarinet section

solo bassoon and bassoon section 

solo french horn and french horn section 

trumpet section 

timpani, snare drum and cymbal in the percussion section 

solo violin and violin section 

viola section 

cello section 

bass section 

This piece clocks out at 8 min. 

The piece starts with the solo flute playing the 1st motif echoed by the brass. The opening is the instruments layering and increasing in volume playing a different very short motif to herald the entrance of the timpani. The piece then ebbs and flows like the waves on the beach, with little fits of flurry moving the piece along.  The motifs are then combined into the main theme and played by the full orchestra with the different sections trading off on the accompaniment and playing the main theme. The busyness of the evening is very evident here. The evening is then gently brought to a close.   

GEEK SPEEK

I am creating the album using solely Spitfires’ BBC Symphony Orchestra Pro.
This Orchestra comes in 3 flavours: 

  1. Discovery which is free or donation
  2. BBC Symphony Orchestra (which is paid) 
  3. BBC Symphony Orchestra Pro( higher cost and more instruments and miking options and comes with the solo instruments) 

All of these Orchestras have amazing sound but be warned that the Pro version takes up just under of a terabyte of space so before you get this orchestra get a very fast SSD HD or buy their’s with the HD. 

The great thing about this product (besides the amazing sound) is that it was recorded by real people in a real space. This means that you do not have to pan the instruments or add any additional reverb (unless you want to). Spitfire Audio also offers templates for this product. 

Hear an excerpt here:

The next orchestral piece will be Birds at the Bath…. stay tuned. 

 

Landis

Contact me

Landis plays hand-built guitars by Darrell Pura, Saskatoon, Sask. Canada.
Classical model: Recitalist
Electric hollow body model: Landis Custom
Acoustic model: OM6

©Copyright Landis Maitland-Whitelaw. All rights reserved. Site design by Mighty Sparrow Design

& Tails

& Tails

(The Third in a Trilogy)

This is the third album in my trilogy of albums. Top Hat, Black Tie, & Tails. This is an instrumental album featuring the guitar with other instruments, such as: strings, handbells, organ and combo group. The idea was brought about when I decided to record my music. I needed three albums to cover the different stlyes of music I produce. Top Hat (1993/2006): solo classical guitar. Black Tie (1996/2021):2 electric guitar with  a combo, & Tails (2023): guitar with other instruments and different types of guitars: classical, acoustic & electric.

Landis Maitland-Whitelaw: & Tails album cover

This album was recorded, produced and mastered in my studio.

& Tails is an instrumental album featuring the guitar with other instruments. 

You will hear my guitar concerto for guitar and strings, guitar with handbells, organ, and drums, bass, sax etc. 

 

This album started in 1993 with the thought of doing a trilogy of albums to showcase my work and musical interests. 

Top Hat: is solo classical guitar.

Black Tie: is electric guitar instrumental with a soft rock band. 

& Tails: is guitar with other instruments. 

 

The  album starts out with my Concerto #1 for guitar & strings 

  1. Allegro: is based on the 1st piece I wrote, “Sunshine”, a very happy movement and the strings really make it come alive. You can listen to the original version on my Top Hat album.  
  2. Andante: Is based on my piece “Walkin’ Thro’ The Heather”. You can hear the original version on my Black Tie album. 
  3. Allegretto: This is a new piece that was started by just a few bars of a thought, at the time I thought that it would make a great fiddle tune. 
  4. Please Bell With Me: I was listening to the hand bells in our church and thought how nice it would be with the classical guitar. This is a combination that you do not find very often. The guitar and the hand bells share the melody and accompany each other when not playing the melody. A very cheery piece. 
  5. Eastern Magic: This was originally written for french horn, guitar and piano so that I could pay it with my brother and his wife. On this version I use the oboe instead of the french horn. 
  6. Caravan: This piece was originally commissioned by one of my mentors as a gift for his son who plays jazz guitar. I find it a challenging piece with a laid back feel. 
  7. Old & New: This is played with a combo of electric instruments, like synth,  bass, drums & guitar. Originally written as a classical guitar solo. 
  8. Workshop: This piece was originally written for four guitars. It served as a culmination piece at a guitar workshop where I taught. This version is for guitar & strings and gives it a nice bouncy feel. 
  9. Divertimento #1: A divertimento is a musical idea. This is played with classical guitar and strings. The musical idea or motif is explored thoughout the piece. 
  10. Celebration: This piece is guitar and organ. It was written for my daughters wedding and premiered at it. It is another combination that you do not find very often. 
  11. Musings on Covid: The Covid time was a very active time for my composing and I wrote this piece and released it as a single. This version includes a saxophone solo. I play the guitar and sax on this piece. 

You can listen to the references above by visiting my YouTube channel.

My YouTube channel is: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCtA5abGkg5593pd18oAEKNA

 

What people are saying….. THE BUZZ…. 

 

Just listened to the first three (Concerto #1) and love them all: they are so playful and fun. The first tune is lovely: sprightly and uplifting, the second reminds me of a Chinese man and boy walking across a green field, the third reminds me of old-fashioned kids games. Where do you find all the beautiful instruments and time to produce this? Good work!

 

Sandy

 

I (finally) got around to listening to this wonderful album.  I have to say that I enjoyed ALL of them; there wasn’t one “stinker” in the bunch…  However, I do have some favourites, like: #1(Chamber Concerto #1 Allegro) ; I loved the upbeat tempo and #3 (Chamber Concerto #1 Allegretto); this lovely soft concerto, beautiful and #8 (Workshop); gave me goosebumps, as I absolutely loved the Japanese influence of it.  ALL were super well done – you did an amazing job.

 

Linda

 

Landis

Contact me

Landis plays hand-built guitars by Darrell Pura, Saskatoon, Sask. Canada.
Classical model: Recitalist
Electric hollow body model: Landis Custom
Acoustic model: OM6

©Copyright Landis Maitland-Whitelaw. All rights reserved. Site design by Mighty Sparrow Design