What interests you?

and orchestration

Composition

 

I asked for a copy of Sieblius when I was a freshman in college. In spite of some lessons as a young child, I really didn't know how to read music, let alone write it. I learned music through composition relying on my ear while becoming familiar with patterns on the page. Composition has become one of my most intense hobbies. I can lose hours or even days at a time, consumed in the process of bringing ideas and moods to life in music.

I have written both instrumental and vocal music - the latter being the type that I've actually been fortunate enough to have performed. When I can't get a live recording, I have used sample libraries (primarily Garritan) to produce recordings that are uploaded onto my YouTube channel.

CURRENT PROJECTS . . .

  • THE HOGWARTS SONG ANTHOLOGY

As a quarantine project in 2020, I tasked myself with setting to music all the songs that appear within the Harry Potter book series. The songs are available to hear in the playlist to the right (or below, if viewing on a phone) or can be found on the YouTube playlist.

 

​     Featuring

  • Weasley is Our King

  • The Egg's Clue

  • From Peeves, With Love - selections of Peeves' words of wisdom

  • The Sorting Hat's Song (Year 4 - Goblet of Fire)

  • The Sorting Hat's Song (Year 5 - Order of the Phoenix)

  • Vocalise No. 1: Phoenix Lament

  • Ginny's Valentine to Harry

  • The Sorting Hat's Song (Year 1 - Philosopher's Stone)

  • Hogwarts March (School Song)

     In Progress

  • Odo The Hero (The Ballad of Odo The Hero)

  • Vocalise No. 2: Phoenix Song (based on Goblet of Fire)

  • Vocalise No. 3: Mermish Requiem

  • REQUIEM MASS

In the past eleven years I have sung Requiem masses (or similarly titled / themed works) by Verdi (twice), Mozart, Britten, and Brahms. The first time I ever learned Verdi's Messa da Requiem, I was floored by the immensity of the drama that of course I set to work on writing my own mass. Nothing ever came into fruition until late July of 2020 when I was studying fugues and all of a sudden started writing something that eventually grew into the first movement of my new Requiem Mass

Once complete, it will consist of nine movements (including the nine sub-sections of the Sequentia) for Baritone Soloist, SSAATTBB Chorus, String Orchestra and Timpani.

My goal for this work is to eventually apply for a grant - once indoor music is allowed again - and see what resources can be put together to achieve at least one performance and recording of this work. As a whole, it is dedicated to my - still living! - maternal grandmother, though each movement has its own individual dedication to a personal loss or a person of significance.

 

​     Completed

  • Introit - Requiem

  • Kyrie

  • Sequentia

    • Dies irae

    • Tuba mirum

    • Liber scriptus

    • Quid sum miser

    • Rex tremendae

    • Recordare

    • Ingemisco

    • Confutatis

    • Lacrimosa

  • Offertorium

  • Sanctus

  • Agnus Dei

  • Lux Aeterna

  • In paradisum

​     In Progress

  • Libera me

PREMIERED WORKS . . .

  • MARCH 2014: "Reflection: Innocent Thoughts About Peace" (Paige Buchanan, Lyrics) - Weill Recital Hall, Carnegie Hall - Vocal Accord, Steven Ryan, piano

  • AUGUST 2019: Orchestration for Stephen Sondheim's SWEENEY TODD at the Oregon Cabaret Theatre

  • JULY 2017: "The Bells" (Edgar Allan Poe, lyrics): I. Silver & III. Brazen - Utah Festival Opera, Monday Tabernacle Concert - with Sara Chiesa, piano

  • APRIL 2016: "The Bells" (Edgar Allan Poe, lyrics): IV. "Iron" (iteration I) - Indiana University, 2nd Graduate Recital - with Travis Bloom, piano

 

Calligraphy

I've always taken pride in my penmanship, making a point of always taking notes from grade school to grad school by hand, in cursive. I want to say that I owe my interest and practice to my fascination with the Harry Potter book series because that's what I emulated early on. Here we are many, many years later and now I provide that little extra flair to wedding invitation, placement cards, Christmas cards, letters from Santa, etc., etc.

If you're interested in seeing some samples or requesting a quote for an upcoming event, please email me at james.c.smith.baritone@gmail.com and I'll be happy to discuss how I can help you to add that little extra dash of elegence.