Better Days
by Bill Hennessy, Paul Battersby

The original track by Bill Hennessy was intended as a backing track for a vocalist who never did anything with it. I found the track, liked it and added an orchestra.

The original track only had the generic name of “Piano Ballad3”. Prompted by Bill to come up with a new name, I tried to think about what words might describe the feeling in the music. To me the song feels a little sad and wistful at times while also conveying a sense of hope. I came up with the name “Better Days”. The title could mean, longing for better days from the past and/or looking forward to better days in the future.

Bill Hennessy original composition, piano, bass guitar, drums
Paul Battersby orchestral arrangement, piccolo, flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, 1st violin, 2nd violin, viola, cello, string bass, trumpet, french horn, trombone, tuba, mixing

 

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license.

Cat Eyes
by Gustavo Lopez, Paul Battersby

Another nice piano instrumental by Gustavo Lopez. I wanted to add subtle orchestra to support the piano and I mostly did that, but I still ended up with a big full orchestra crescendo in the middle.

Gustavo Lopezoriginal composition, piano
Paul Battersbypiccolo, flute, oboe, clarinet, 1st violin, 2nd violin, viola, cello, string bass, trumpet, french horn, trombone, tuba, percussion, mixing


You might also like: Red Nose, Playing With Autumn Leaves

 

Creative Commons Attribution
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license.

When I Get Over You
by Neal Klassen, Paul Battersby

From Neal:

My dad sang in Barbershop Quartets so, through him, I learned to appreciate the work of Irving Berlin and other great songwriters of that era.

This is my attempt to write that kind of song: simple words, soaring melody, unabashedly sentimental… with lots of open vowels for the singer to play with.

As I was working on the orchestration for this song, I tried to imagine the singer on the stage, singing this as part of a popular Broadway show, with the musicians in the orchestra pit. I saw a few musicals as a kid, so working on this song takes me back in time. It would be a dream come true if I could compose musical accompaniment for something that would appear in a musical.

NOTE: this was originally published on Apr 5, 2015 but reworked to use the new Virtual Playing Orchestra sample library.

show / hide lyrics
When I Get Over You
Lyrics by: Neal Klassen

You’ll see me dance, you’ll hear me laugh
You’ll know that I’ve torn up your photograph
These are the things I’m going to do
When I get over you
When I get over you

I’ll stand up tall, I’ll smile again
I’ll tell myself to stop remembering when
The love we shared was all I knew
When I get over you
When I get over you

So many plans I’ve got to make
So many chances I’ve got to take
I don’t know if I’ll have the time to cry
So much more love I’ve got to give
So much more life I’ve got to live
I don’t know if I can but I will try

You’ll be surprised, I’ll be so strong
I’ll show the world that I can carry on
And then I’ll find somebody new
When I get over you
When I get over you
When I get over you

Neal Klassensongwriting, piano
Barb Klassen vocals
Paul Battersbyflute, oboe, clarinet, 1st violin, 2nd violin, viola, cello, trumpet, french horn, trombone, tuba, glockenspiel, mixing
Hear the original version on SoundClick


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Seven Ages
by Dave Semple, Paul Battersby

A folk song with orchestral accompaniment, about the seven ages  of life.

Dave’s idea for this song came from the “All The World’s A Stage” monologue in Shakespeare’s play “As You Like It

show / hide lyrics
Seven Ages
Lyrics by: Dave Semple

When you were seven, so colour blind,
So undefined. Your song: unsung.

From seventeen to twenty-four,
You play at love and tell your lies: the heart’s disguise.

At thirty-one a brand new son
A daughter’s cry a lullaby. The years rush by.

We walk the path. The path we call life.
All the world is our stage, and we all play our parts.
At the end of the game, the king, queen and pawns,
All share the same box.
At the end of the day we all drift into dreams.

Soon forty-five, you realize,
Your jaded eyes make you the fool. The world’s so cruel.

Then sixty-four, another door,
Awaiting you to soon pass through. Will life renew?

We walk the path. The path we call life.
All the world is our stage, and we all play our parts.
At the end of the game, the king, queen and pawns,
All share the same box.
At the end of the war, we all bleed the same shade.

Another turn at seventy-two
The friends that you knew have begun to head home.

At ninety years as memories fade,
The setting sun will soon set for you.

We walk the path. The path we call life.
We are born o’er the tomb, there’s a flash, then there’s night.
The candle burns brief, just an hour in the light.
Will you offer a verse will the song in your heart,
Cross over unsung?

Did you savour each rung?
All the world is our stage, and we all play our parts.
At the end of the game, the king, queen and pawns,
All share the same box.
At the end of the road…

We all fade away.

© Dave Semple – 16 February 2015

Dave Semplesongwriting, vocals, 6 string guitar, 12 string guitar, bodhran
Paul Battersbydrums, bass, flute, oboe, clarinet, 1st violin, 2nd violin, viola, cello, string bass, trumpet, french horn, trombone, tuba, mixing
Visit Dave Semple at Reverb Nation


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Orange And Bronze Colored Waltz
by Tom Gibson, Paul Battersby

I was initially drawn to this song by the name alone. I had to hear what an orange and bronze colored waltz was. I wasn’t disappointed. Very poetic and symbolic lyrics in this one.

From Tom:

It’s a vision piece lyrically, because that’s how we experience a sunset.

show / hide lyrics
Orange And Bronze Colored Waltz
Lyrics by Tom Gibson

The most beautiful girl in the village
Was taking the sun for a walk
The day turned into evening
In an orange and bronze colored waltz
They strolled thru the sand weathered mountains
Silhouette cactus and palms
But the blues watch deserved its relieving
By the orange and bronze colored waltz

(chorus)
Hi dee dee Hi
and it rises
Hi dee dee hi
and it falls
The earth and the moon turned in circles
‘Round an orange and bronze colored waltz

With vision as true as gun barrels
Sighting down worn desert walls
Bloody but still faintly breathing
The orange and bronze colored waltz
The ring the sun gave her turned moonlight
She feared his promise was false
But the love in her heart kept beating
An orange and bronze colored pulse

(chorus)

She went home and dreamt of her lover
As the Sun and Mimosa, Chagall
She held his embrace for the healing
Of his orange and bronze colored fall
The earth is the girl in the village
She’s dressed for the sun in chiffons
The moon’s only there for the dreaming
As they waltz thru the orange and bronze

(chorus)
(chorus)

Tom Gibsonsong writing, guitar, vocals
Paul Battersbydrums, bass guitar, 1st violin, 2nd violin, viola, cello, string bass, flute, piccolo, mixing, video
YouTube video
Audio onlyHear the original version on soundcloud.com

Red Nose
by Gustavo Lopez, Paul Battersby

Gustavo wrote this piano part while he had the flu so he called it “Red Nose” because as he said

I have flu… and big red nose…

I heard this piano part, and really liked it. I worked on this slowly, a little bit at a time until I arrived at a full orchestral accompaniment.

Gustavo Lopezpiano composition
Paul Battersbypiccolo, flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, 1st violin, 2nd violin, viola, cello, string bass, trumpet, french horn, trombone, tuba, glockenspiel, xylophone, timpani, drums, mixing
YouTube video
Audio only


You might also like: Playing With Autumn Leaves, The Lighthouse

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial license.

Playing With Autumn Leaves
by Gustavo Lopez, Paul Battersby

This is a beautiful piano piece by a composer in Belgium who was looking for someone to add some orchestral accompaniment. To quote Gustavo:

Do not have kids, but if I did wish I could play with them in the autumn leaves.

Note: this initially starts out very quiet but it gets louder.

Gustavo Lopezpiano
Paul Battersbyflute, oboe, clarinet, 1st violins, 2nd violins, viola, cello, string bass, trumpet, french horn, trombone, tuba, harp, percussion, glockenspiel, mixing
YouTube video
Audio only


You might also like: Red Nose, The Lighthouse

Leaving Footprints
by Dave Semple, Paul Battersby

Be sure to check out the big finish to this song. Somewhat like you might hear from a Bon Jovi power ballad.

From Dave:

“You left a footprint” is a phrase I use with my kids when they do something nice for people, me included. It comes from a story I heard in Sunday school when I was a kid about how, when we are nice to people, we leave a footprint in the sand of their memory; hence, the title. The song is about how even when days are shitty, my kids remind me to have fun and not take it all so seriously… Leaving Footprints.

Dave Semplesong writing, lead vocals, harmony, clean guitar, distortion guitar,piano
Paul Battersbydrums, 1st violins, 2nd violins, viola, flute, clarinet, bass guitar, church organ, conga drums
Bruce Valerianiprofessional mixing and production donated by Bruce at Blue Bear Sound
Visit Dave Semple at Reverb Nation


You might also like: Seven Ages, The Lighthouse

The Lighthouse
by Dave Semple, Paul Battersby

This song was originally written back in 2011 (hence the date associated with this post), but I wanted to update it (Feb 14, 2015) to reflect 4 more years of orchestration and mixing knowledge since I originally worked on this.

“The Lighthouse” is about always being there for friends that need you, but suddenly they are not there when you need them.

show / hide lyrics
The Lighthouse
Lyrics by Dave Semple

Oooo when the rain falls down.
Oooo when it all comes around.
There’s a west wind blowing over the sea.
Oooo, it’s reaching out to me.

My light sends out a warning to the ships at sea.
And when the morning comes they will all abandon me.
I try to show my tears, but they’re swallowed by the spray.
They’re like a woman who will love you through the night,
And leave you by the day.

West wind blowing; Heed my warning: danger under the waves.
Lightning slashing, thunder crashing, forcing you toward the shore.
I will guide you. Right beside you, until you are safely home.
Safely home.

Oooo, when the rain falls down.
Oooo, when it all comes around.
There’s a silence, blowing over the sea,
Oooo, don’t let it get to me.

I stand here all alone watching ships go by:
A solitary beacon, burning in the night;
And deep within my walls there’s a man who lives inside.
He keeps me burning, burning through the night.
Tide after tide.

When you need me, then you see me, until you are safely home.
One night my light will disown you, driving you onto the shore.
Lost like sailors in bad water; you won’t see me anymore,
I don’t need you anymore… Anymore.

Oooo, when the rain dies down.
Oooo, when the sun comes around.
There’s a silence rolling over the sea.
They’ve once again abandoned me.

Dave Semplesong writing, vocals, piano, tin whistle, flute, sound fx
Paul Battersbyflute, oboe, clarinet, 1st violin, 2nd violin, viola, cello, string bass, trumpet, french horn, trombone, tuba, timpani, snare drum, bass drum, crash cymbals, mixing
Visit Dave Semple at Reverb Nation


You might also like: Red Nose, Playing With Autumn Leaves