The Apollo Project

For years, I have been tantalized by a piece mentioned in Forsyth’s Orchestration.  In several of the chapters, he mentions a piece called Apollo and the Seaman by Joseph Holbrooke.  It’s known as an early use of symphonic saxophones and sarrusophones, and as such holds a significant place in the history of orchestration.  Not only that, it is quite possible that it was the first composition designed to be played in a multimedia setting.  To perform the piece, the orchestra and choir were to be placed in the dark, what a projector shown images of the of the text of the poem or images based on the text on a screen in front of the orchestra.  If this sounds like the setting for a silent movie, you’re right.  Except this piece dates from 1908, right at the dawn of feature length movies.

Essentially, Apollo and the Seaman was the first ever soundtrack.

The work received only a handful of performances due to its size and the cantankerous nature of the composer.  The last time any part of it was played, according to my research, was in 1914 – over 100 years ago.

I am currently working on a modern day edition of the second movement for wind ensemble so that some part of this lost work may live again.  I’ll continue to provide updates as the project progresses, but as of right now, on hearing the first few notes of the work, it really has been unjustly neglected for the past century.

Apollo 1

Book Update

As of right now, I am only 6 chapters away from completing A Course on Band Orchestration.  The initial draft should be complete within the next few weeks.  All that’s lacking now are chapters where I need to do full band transcriptions, which will take some time to complete.

If you haven’t done so already, please support the project at https://www.gofundme.com/bandestration

Not only will this help me out, it will reserve your copy of the book before I publish it.

What You’re Missing out on

Here’s a complete list of the chapters completed but not published on the website.  These thirty chapters will all be available only in the book.

  • Orchestrating within the Woodwinds – Part 1 – Two-Way Combinations
  • Orchestrating within the Woodwinds – Part 2 – Three-Way and Four-Way Combinations
  • Orchestrating within the Woodwinds – Part 3- The Woodwind Ensemble
  • Orchestrating within the Brass – Part 1 – Two-Way Combinations
  • Orchestrating within the Brass – Part 2 – Three- and Four-Way Combinations
  • Orchestrating within the Brass – Part 3 – The Brass Ensemble
  • Orchestrating between the Woodwinds and Brass
  • Orchestrating with Auxiliary Instruments
  • Instrument Substitution
  • Creating Textures – Introduction
  • Transcriptions – Introduction
  • Transcriptions from Organ – Part 1 – Understanding the Organ
  • Transcriptions from Organ – Part 2 – From Organ to Band
  • Transcriptions from Choir
  • Orchestrating for Solo Instruments and Band
  • Orchestrating for Band With Chorus
  • The Concert Band
  • The Wind Ensemble
  • Concert Band versus Wind Ensemble
  • American versus European Bands
  • Brass Bands
  • The American Wind Symphony
  • The French Band
  • The Russian Band
  • The Italian Band
  • The Germanic Band
  • The Dutch Band
  • The Catalonian Band
  • Other Band Formats
  • Orchestrating for Educational Bands Part 1 – The Beginner Band
  • Orchestrating for Educational Bands Part 2 – The Middle School Band
  • Orchestrating for Educational Bands Part 3 – The High School Band
  • Orchestrating for Educational Bands Part 4 – The College Band

Episode 3 – All About that Bass… Saxophone

After a couple of weeks off, Matt and I discuss the Bass Saxophone.

Show Notes

From Bandestration

Eppelsheim Bass Saxophone

Selmer Bass Saxophone

Keilwerth Bass Saxophone

Wessex Bass Saxophone