Saturday 3 August 2019

New Song: A Century Sails By

I've finished a new cello song! :D This one started out as a travelling theme for a game concept with a little boat, but will end up on my album as the intermezzo where the story jumps from the 1850s to the 1950s. The title reminds of both uses. I hope you like it!

Musically the idea behind this song was to play with delay/echo: two of the instruments get a rhythmic echo. This is a fun little musical effect with a big impact, as it results in these instruments constantly playing chords with their own previous notes. It's easy to mess this up by choosing the wrong progression of chords and making it sound dissonant and ugly (or to do this on purpose, if dissonance is the goal). During most of the song I steer away from this and choose notes that sound nice with the notes that came before. However, at the end of the cello melody (at 1:10 in the video) I go from C# to C. This is very dissonant but at the same time brings us back to the chords at the start of the song. I really like the tension this creates. This effect is so strong that I needed to keep the music in the same chord for four bars before starting the chord progression again, just to make it settle back in and feel good.

As with all my songs, sheet music for cello can be found at, including a recording of the song without the cello, to play along to.

I've also made an arrangement of the song for an acoustic quartet with two violins and two cellos. Since acoustic instruments can't do a real echo without additional equipment, I've added in some extra notes where possible to mimic the echo. This captures the feel of the song surprisingly well, as I experienced when I played this version with a couple of friends a few years ago. Sheet music for this version is also on

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