He Viewed the Darkness Askance
by Clive Buckland-Bork (2010)

A short piece commissioned by Adrian Marriott of Opus+ as the first full-scale composition created for live performance utilising the Opus+ music software as a compositional tool.

He Viewed the Darkness Askance was originally scored for a large chamber group but now has been re-orchestrated for the full NAO orchestra of about 40 players - though still somewhat unconventionally. Each string section (1st violins, 2nd violins, violas, etc.) have two distinct parts each, excpet for the double basses.

Opus+ - what's that?
If you are interested in how the composition came about, and what part the Opus+ software played, then please come and talk to me during break sometime.

There is more general info on the Opus+ website: www.opusplus.org
- plus many examples of other music outputted by the software (see their 'downloads' section).

He Viewed the Darkness Askance is significantly different than most others you'll find there, in that Opus+ was very much used as a compositional tool rather than a 'music generator'.

The Opus+ concept is still under development, and in my opinion the potential for use in the educational environment is significant – though so are the possibilities for generating musical fragments for use in DAWs (Digital Audio Workstations) in the creation of a wide range of musical styles, particularly ambient, dance, electronica, etc., and use in mashups (live mixing of pre-created samples and loops).

Notes on the Execution (hopefully not mine!)
Bowing, etc. – Not being a string player I am open to you interpreting your own parts, with Adrian as ultimate authority for the sake of unity of style.

Slurs and phrasing – this is something else that is not easy to achieve in computer-based creation and notation. There is none in the recording below, and not much in the score, so please feel free to make suggestions.

Hairpins – these little buggers keep moving around every time I open each individual part to print it, therefore they may not be quite where they should be with regards starting a finishing - your inate musicality should solve this problem - ta!

Key sigs – Yep, there ain't one because for the majority of the piece it was hard to define a key. From bar 76 it gets somewhat more tonal however, so if you'd rather typex out all the accidentals (4 b's?) and add a key sig then please do...

Time sigs – again, as with my previous piece, This Little Church, they are constantly changing. I'm not quite sure why this keeps happening (!); it's just part of my style I guess. But rest assured that 1 crotchet = 1 crotchet throughout. Good luck!

Accents – I get the feeling these are rather open to personal interpretation. For me the the sfz is the most vicious, with the > as a definite sharp attack but a notch down in intensity. The ^ indicates a clear, strong, slightly accented emphasis, with rf and marcato as slightly subtler versions of that – rf for one-off notes, and marcato for passages. Hopefully this interpretation isn't too far off what is considered the norm.

Multiple bars rest – apologies again for not grouping the bars rest together with handy numbers to aid counting – I can't find a way of doing this in Apple Logic (and nor can I seem to find the £400 to buy Sibelius!). Sorry!

The audio file accessible from this page is a low-quality mp3 file of my working version of He Viewed the Darkness Askance, as put together in Apple Logic - which is great for many things, but is quite fiddly to create great sounding articulations and dynamics.

Please bear in mind this is just my working version and is largely devoid of dynamics! – as I haven't spent days creating and mixing a polished version – but it should be good enough to give you a better idea of the piece. I hope you like it – and thanks for listening!

NOTE: downloading and installing anything onto your machine is done at your own risk – we cannot take responsibility for any xxxx-ups that might occur as a consequence.

Listen online
If you're lucky, below there should appear a small console player with the usual buttons - simply click play!
However, some combinations of computers, operating systems and browsers may not play ball, in which case please check out the other options below (or install QuickTime?).

NOTE: Listening online doesn't download the audio files to your machine so you will need to re-visit this page each time you wish to listen. However... if there is a downward pointing arrow at the right hand end of the console player then clicking this should cause a drop-down menu to appear, from which you can choose to download the file.

Download file
This is probably the best thing to do as you can then listen again whenever you like as each file will download onto your machine for you to save wherever you specify. This will take time of course, depending on your connection speed, etc.
On PCs particularly, some anti-virus software might kick up a fuss about downloading the mp3 files as it may see all mp3 files as a potential risk. As far as we know there is no risk of infection using the file that is on this page, but downloading anything onto your machine is done at your own risk and we cannot take responsibility for any xxxx-ups that might occur as a consequence. Specially if you have to turn your AV off in order to download. Our advice: don't do it! - just listen online (if you can).

To download: Try double-clicking first but if that doesn't seem to work then try RIGHT CLICKing on the download icon and then choose the appropriate action from the menu that appears.

He Viewed the Darkness Askance
by Clive Buckland-Bork (2010)
listen online download mp3 file
The original Opus+ output (source material) can be found - here

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