Composing and Songwriting

Selected Works

 

Composition Portfolio:

SYN-Phon (2017)

SYN-Phon is a multi-media piece created by Candas Sisman and re-scored by Max Hopkins (click here for the original version). I completed my version for an independent study at the University of Lethbridge under Professor Rolf Boon and Professor Andrew Stewart. The cohesion between audio and visuals was crucial in my remake of this meticulously crafted original. My score generally coincides with the concept of image length (side-to-side) pertains to duration of sound, while height (up/down) pertains to pitch. My impression of the images determined the sounds which I created and synthesized for their sonic representation. Special thanks to Candas Sisman for allowing me to create and share a score to the stunning visuals he created.

The Morning Dew (2017)

This piece was my submission to a contest held by the Alberta Registered Music Teachers’ Association in which entrants were asked to create a composition based on a Canadian folk song. I chose The Morning Dew which was collected in 1929 from Conception Bay, Newfoundland and reharmonised with varied harmonic texture and an altered vocal range. Performed by myself, accompanied by Colleen Klassen and recorded/mixed by Samuel Walker-Kierluk.

Eclectic Jekyll (2016)

Eclectic Jekyll was an entry to a sound art competition for a Halloween event held by CASA, a centre for art creation and appreciation including a music conservatory, performances spaces, and art studios (http://www.casalethbridge.ca/). The requirements involved creating a piece of sound art inspired by a classic creative commons horror film. I chose the following excerpt from Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. This project included the use of creative commons sound effects in layers (retrieved from freesound.org) in combination with a short composition consisting of two main themes in a harmonic minor scale. Synthesized instruments include: flute, strings, percussion, and other obscure modeled instruments via Omnisphere.

Spinners (2016)

Spinners is my take on a short film that was originally titled Soft Revolvers by its creators. This film revolves around the spinning of illuminated tops that are spun and re-spun, by a disk jockey for the entirety of the piece. I felt that the glitchy nature of the tops and DJ-like performance of the top spinner lent itself well to electronic pseudo-dance music. I utilized heavy looping and sampling with gritty and ethereal instrumentation to create a dance club-esque work to accompany this video. Spinners was completed for a Scoring for Film and Digital Media Independent Study at the University of Lethbridge.

Symmetry: Revisited (2015)

Symmetry is a palindromic film which utilizes the reversibility of a narrative to invert, and also slightly alter, it. I mimicked this effect in the music by revolving the forward and backward motion of music around the middle point – the mirror shot. I created textures featuring short and articulate melodies paired with long drones and reverberant stings (with long decay) to exploit the reversible nature of the piece. Symmetry was completed for a Scoring for Film and Digital Media class at the University of Lethbridge.

Pilcrow (2014)

Pilcrow is a contemporary classical composition written for Piano, Double Bass, and Piccolo. This composition utilizes a pitch class set which morphs in the C section and returns in the E section. This piece was submitted as the final project for my Composition I class at the University of Lethbridge.

 

Songwriting Portfolio:

Solstice (2017)

Solstice was written in May, and released in June, of 2017. Solstice epitomizes my impressions of summer: adventure, exploration, liberation, reinvention, rediscovery, reconnection and revitalisation. It bounds with images of outdoor adventure and the wonders of nature, which I have always held close to heart. Written, recorded and mixed by Max Hopkins, mastered by Jesse Northey. Listen and download for free here:

Subsistence (2016)

Subsistence was written in June of 2016 and released in October 2016. I also produced, engineered, recorded, and mixed this work. This song is a meditative chant based on the concept of ānāpānasati, meaning mindfulness of breathing. The text is borrowed from a book titled ‘You Are Here’ by Thich Nhat Hanh. This track involved double-track and ambient room recording as well processing necessary for looping. For more track information, visit https://maxandtheminimums.bandcamp.com/track/subsistence

Sleeping Beneath the Trees (2016)

Sleeping Beneath the Trees is the product of two years of recording songs that were written between 2012 and 2014. The overarching theme of the album pertains to the beauty and power of nature and how we interact both with, and within it. The lyrics delve into topics such as the abstract nature of time, our perceptions of humankind and the universe, the inseparability of positive and negative, and a tribute to personal role models and influences. This EP was recorded at the University of Lethbridge in Studio I with the help of a handful of Digital Audio Arts students, music students, and musicians from around Lethbridge as both musicians and technicians. To purchase this album, click here

Coming Up Roses (2014)

Coming Up Roses is a song inspired by the natural wonders of the province of Alberta. It was recorded during August of 2014 in Lethbridge by Sam Walker-Kierluk and Cory Fischer. Coming Up Roses was submitted to the 2014 ATB Financial and CKUA Radio Network All-Albertan Song Contest. Mixed by Sam Walker-Kierluk and mastered by Dave Horrocks of Infinite Wave Mastering.

Full Speed Ahead (2015)

Full Speed Ahead is a song inspired by the University of Lethbridge. Inspirations stem from the institution’s mission statement, historical documentation, strategic plan, promise to students, the physical spaces on campus, and my experience here. This was written and recorded during August of 2015 by myself.

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Upcoming Work:

Vestiges EP (2018)

A four song EP featuring rock band instrumentation (Electric guitar, bass, piano, acoustic guitar, drums, voices) and airing on a post-rock style of music and production. The demos are completed and I am beginning to work out logistics for recording. I aim to employ the members of a local Lethbridge group, Field Holler, to perform drums, guitar, bass, and keyboards on the release. Aiming to record in the Spring of 2018.

The Spire (2015-2017)

A piece for solo piano inspired by a walk in the English countryside. This piece is part of a multi-piece cycle of varying instrumentations commemorating rolling hills, canals, romantic architecture, and vast fields. Set to be released on completion of cycle.

Susurrant (2014-2017)

An EP of short pieces, for primarily guitar and voice, that delve into the use of uncommon form and chord progression to help convey the sporadic and mysterious nature of winter. The Engineer and myself are currently working on recording the last few elements of a few tracks before mixing begins. Set to be released Winter of 2018.