I get an indescribable simple joy from solving compositional problems. My family think I’m crazy when I play one of my pieces (or a section of a piece) over and over again, but for me there’s a wonderful pleasure in basking in the glow of a musical phrase or chord progression that elegantly gets the piece where I wanted it to go, especially if it contains something a bit surprising or different.
When I orchestrate other composers’ music, I have found this kind of satisfaction is especially high. When starting with a piano piece that I want to expand to the full orchestra, I face all kinds of problems and questions that I have to solve. Which instrument plays what line? What if the melody won’t fit elegantly in any instrument’s range? How can I replicate the unique percussive qualities of the piano? What do I do with rolled chords? PLUS you want to solve all of these problems in a beautiful way!
Here are my recent orchestration projects, where I took another composer’s piano music and set it for orchestra. In each case, I have also posted the original piano score so you can compare what I started with.