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