Kevin F. Montague | Tribute to a Wounded Spirit (Remix)

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James Horner Jerry Goldsmith Johnny Williams

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3 minute walk through of the Winchester Mystery House

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Classical: Chamber Music Classical: Film Music Moods: Instrumental
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Tribute to a Wounded Spirit (Remix)

by Kevin F. Montague

This is a classic minuet approach with 20th century structures at the beginning and the end of the composition. This would be great for a movie on the Winchester Mystery House and is available for licensing from Bluefire Music Enterprises.
Genre: Classical: Chamber Music
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  Song Share Time Download
clip
1. Tribute to a Wounded Spirit (Remix)
5:44 $2.00
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.

ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
You can hear a longer sample of this ensemble work, before the remix and see a short visual presentation of the Westchester Mystery House by going to TheAstroboy9 channel on YouTube. Here is the link:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZOSm2Ojt_Jk

I was five years old when I asked my mother for piano lessons and for a piano. I had to wait until I was about 10 years old before the piano came. We were poor in those days, so lessons came when money was available. Still, my mother preferred living in an apartment back in those days when my father would have preferred all of us live in a house which he could have afforded. But out of love and devotion to our mother, we lived in apartments most of the time. The problem with that arrangement is that having a piano in an upstairs apartment was asking for trouble with the downstairs neighbors. I was too often told not to play because the piano was too loud. Eventually I just stopped playing and my mother thought I had lost interest, but I had not. It was my destiny to make music as a prodigy. I was an abused child growing up too and would not cross my mother for fear of the beatings she would give me anytime I did cross her.

All of that changed when I finally won a California State scholarship to pursue the communication arts and sciences with a liberal arts education in all the sciences and a second degree in music. I learned fast at music. I understood it very well and was off writing my first real compositions within a few years of study at Loyola University. Their music department was very small, but their staff very dedicated to helping those who really wanted to learn.

One day, while reading a news article in the paper about the famed Winchester Mystery House, I got an album concept idea for pop music I wanted to entitle “The Mystery House”. I was thinking along the lines of the format Elton John used in his Yellow Brick Road album which started with “Funeral for a Friend” which was followed by “Love Lies Bleeding”. So I went to work on an opening piece with four voices entitled “Tribute to a Wounded Spirit” which was then followed by a upbeat Rock N Roll piece simply entitled “The Mystery House”. The Mystery House never got recorded in a live studio performance with full band in my library, but Tribute did get done recently thanks to digital technology.

Still, the whole album concept idea was some 35 years ago. I only had the newspaper clippings to help me understand Sarah Pardee’s mystery house. This was a place with stairwells that went up into ceilings. Doors that were not doors, but where just part of the wall. Closets on the second story, you would walk into that had no floor in them and dropped you to the first floor. Stairs steps that were so shallow it would take you hundreds of steps just to get to the first floor, unlike a normal stairway.

The story behind Sarah’s house is that she inherited the wealth of her husband who had invented the Winchester rifle, responsible for killing so many back in the days of the Old West, especially the Indians. She met a sayer who told her that she would live forever if she would invest into building a house for those lost souls who were caught between here and the ethereal realms. The condition for eternal life for Sarah was that the hammers and saws must never stop building while she was alive. So, out of love for the souls lost, she used her money to build this elaborate house which is now a California State landmark and the source of inspiration for me who wrote the ensemble piece I entitled “Tribute to a Wounded Spirit”. I coined the name after all of those who had been wounded or shot by the Winchester rifle and Sarah’s wounded heart over her husbands sins.

I recently procured a copy of the MuseScore 1.1 program. Yup, I’m at it again, creating REAL music without REAL musicians, like I did with the EnergyXT2.5 computer program when I wrote my "Bursting the Bubble I" album which you can buy on my artist page on CDbaby. However, this new work and recording has even a lot more put into it.

I had written down the piano score back in college, by hand, on music paper, so I had the pre-existing written work to help me typeset it in the MuseScore 1.1 program easy enough; having worked out the composition some 35 years ago. It took about 3 weeks to set it up in MuseScore 1.1. I then turned the piano settings to harpsichord and then set up the score for string quartet, Eb clarinet, oboe and flute. Why Eb clarinet? I guess I just love the mellow sound of the instrument and this piece begged for that mellowness, because the style is a very sweet minuet format I think Sarah Pardee would have loved to dance to, if she had heard the arrangement and if it had been possible to present it to her while she was alive. At least I'd like to think so.

The MuseScore 1.1 program is pretty intuitive, if you have a degree in music or have been studying music all your life like I have. I’m age 56 these days with a wealth of understanding to what goes into writing good music. Still, I don’t feel as accomplished, as I’d still would like to be: Maybe in another life time that will happen?

Once I had the score fully arranged and written, as well as the audio mix on my computer, so it sounded great on my home stereo system, I went ahead with the second part of the recording…the sound effects. The score opens up with a rainy stormy night. Sarah use to love to ride her buggy with her horses. We hear both Sarah and her buggy in the opening of the piece as she is coming home quickly to get out of the rain. As she gets close to her elaborate home, we hear the tower bells ring 12 times. The news article I read said the spirits would come to the home between the hours of 12 midnight and 3:00 pm. It is at this time, mysteriously, the rain stops and the crickets start to chirp. The animals in the area are disturbed by the feel of it all. We hear Sarah walking the brick walkway up to her home. As she closes the door, it gets quieter, but we hear her grandfather’s clock chime the 12 tones while one of her cats greets her upon entry into the house. She suddenly stops walking with some background thunder as if she has seen something that has spooked her. It is at this point, the ensemble arrangement I did begins that describes her house in musical terms.

The style of writing follows the rules of thinking that came out of the 17th Century, one of my favorite time periods. Toward the end of the piece, the rules are broken as the whole thing comes into the rules of 20th Century writing. It was that point in the transition of the arrangement where I would have liked to have scored it for full orchestra, along with the ensemble playing. At that point in the piece, we are outdoors again; for we have finished our tour of Sarah’s house. We are outdoors in the atrium again, wondering what we have seen while visiting her odd home. I even add in the sound of the saws and hammers the Sayer told Sarah Pardee must never stop. These are added in, close to the end of the ensemble arrangement.

This is a rich sounding work I’m proud I wrote and one I know you will enjoy. You will love purchasing this for Halloween too, if you need something spooky and creepy to play at your Halloween parties. So feel free to purchase a copy and play it at your Halloween party this year. You can tell people what its about, after having read my write up here. It should make you the talk of the party. Just tell others to purchase a copy and support me. That’s all I ask. This work sounds great to hear all year round, not just at Halloween, but given the nature of Sarah’s mansion, it seems right at home during the month of October when everyone loves to celebrate Hallow’s eve in the United States.

You can also visit my YouTube channel TheAstroboy9 channel and see a two and a half minute presentation of her home.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZOSm2Ojt_Jk

So, enjoy hearing the sample on CDbaby and do make sure to buy a copy for yourself of this excellent remix, so you may hear the full beautiful arrangement for your listening pleasure.

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