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The Boatswain Dinsdale - Dad's March 2016

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I've been composing light marches for my dad's birthday every year and this is the 7th year running now. The march I wrote last year I was not happy with the rendering of some instruments and some of the transitions so it was given to him on time but I never posted it. This year I went back and reworked the piece and added a new modulated section and here it is longer and better than before.

As with other marches I've posted, and especially for this one, I think that I've heard the main theme of this march before and I've inadvertently copied it. If so, kudos to the previous composer for having the melody get stuck in my brain.

As for the name of this piece, it is from the name of our recently departed dog Dinsdale. My dad often referred to Dinsdale as 'the boatswain' as Dinsy would often accompany me to work on or sail on our boat. In fact, I used to sing the theme of this same march to Dinsdale as a kind of nonsense song "He's a Dinsdale kind of dog, he's a Dinsdale kind of dog..." etc. So when it came to making a march for dad last year, the subject matter was more or less at my feet! Sadly, not any longer.

Dick Langford's song about his last dog made me think of all of us who have had a pet as part of the family only to feel acutely the loss when they are gone. This piece is a celebration of our little furry guy who helped keep our boar shipshape.

The outro is quoted directly from the march "RAF March Past" by Henry Walford Davies. This was one of the marches on a Grenadier Guards record my dad often played at dinner and formed my appreciation for the genre.

FINALLY, I feel badly that I haven't been around to listen to music. My wife and I are supporting her parents and that takes us out of town a lot. My output from time in the studio is very limited. Also I find that listening to MacJams posts on my phone just doesn't work. Only part of the audio comes down before the piece either ends early or restarts which makes it hard to have a serious listen.

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He's a Dinsdale kind of dog
He's a Dinsdale kind of dog
(repeat and adapt to the melody and rhythm)
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Uploaded: Jun 28, 2016 - 08:42:42 AM
Last Updated: Jun 28, 2016 - 08:42:42 AM Last Played: Apr 13, 2019 - 07:51:33 PM
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Bowman said 1204 days ago (June 29th, 2016)
A jaunty march
You have such great affection for this genre and it come through in your music.
that fits the early summer season so well.
Love the noble theme by the horns about a minute in - echoes of Star Wars maybe but that’s cool with me. Great to hear a new piece from you Doug. Sorry to hear about Dinsdale.
Great counterpoint at the end too.
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Doug Somers said 1202 days ago (June 30th, 2016)
Jaunty - matches the subject matter then :)
Thanks for your condolences Charlie. This is the second dog we've had pass away and I have to admit it gets harder.

Your comments are always on the mark and very kind. Moreover, they are most appreciated.

I'm off to listen to some other works and I think I'll start with yours.

Be well!

Check out my latest song called Western Stranger
Reinholt56 said 1202 days ago (July 1st, 2016)
Hi Doug
It's great to hear one of your marches on this, my second Macjam's visit in a month.....Sorry to hear about your dog.
The music is stirring and an excellent listen for me, right up to the end...
Take care.
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Doug Somers said 1201 days ago (July 1st, 2016)
Cheers Paul - great to hear from you and thanks for the condolences about Dinsdale. It is fun to put these pieces together (even the ones with silly lyrics!). This year I consolidated all of the marches I've written onto one physical CD and packaged it up for Dad to have a tangible gift. I think he quite liked it.

Best of luck with the photography business and I hope to hear a new composition from you soon!

Check out my latest song called Western Stranger
jiguma said 1202 days ago (July 1st, 2016)
I think I've said before .....
...... that I appreciate how much work goes into something like this Doug, as I've done a few big march/orchestral pieces myself. Very time consuming and very difficult to pull off. I think you've done a great job here, and I'm sure your Dad enjoyed it.
I wouldn't feel too badly about not commenting here much - you are far from being a minority. It would be great if we were all able to get more involved again at MJ, but c'est la vie!
Cheers from Oz.
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Doug Somers said 1201 days ago (July 1st, 2016)
Time Consuming
I think I've made the analogy to this kind of production being a little like the detailed work that goes into stop motion animation like a Wallace and Grommit - although I prefer this kind of work.

Thanks Neil for your very kind words, and yes Dad did enjoy it.

I think the nice thing is that despite people being busy with other priorities, the community here is still similar to what I've known in the past - talented artists who share and support each other's work. It's gratifying to be able to 'come home' from time to time and still encounter friendly faces. There is a charm to this community that transcends even the technical challenges that the website still has not overcome. Thank you for making me feel welcome!

Cheers from the Great-not-so-White-at-the-moment-North!
Check out my latest song called Western Stranger
Philip18 said 1201 days ago (July 2nd, 2016)
The Boatswain
Stirring! I felt like getting up and marching around the room! There's joy in here. I see a summer's day, colourful uniforms, a big band marching past a waving and cheering crowd. I hope your father is pleased with it.
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Doug Somers said 1201 days ago (July 2nd, 2016)
Summer's Day
There is something (for some of us anyway) in march music that gets one moving at a good clip. Clearly that was the purpose for the military but I think there's something built into our minds that reacts the same whether we've been in the armed forces or not.

Dad quite liked this one and was especially tickled to have it on a CD with his other 6 marches.

Thanks for letting me know how you reacted to this one Philip! Be good!!
Check out my latest song called Western Stranger
grah3am said 1201 days ago (July 2nd, 2016)
Amusing and stirring
I too like the horn section a minute in, then it's back to marching with Dinsdale. Fun, and a beautiful tribute to all concerned.
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Doug Somers said 1201 days ago (July 2nd, 2016)
Cheers Graham
Thanks for the kind words about the tribute. The horn section in the repeat of the 2nd strain is something I hadn't tried before and was pleased with the results. I'm glad you and some others noted their positive effect as well.

Cheers Graham!

Check out my latest song called Western Stranger
Warren Smith said 1201 days ago (July 2nd, 2016)
Dads and dogs

A march for Dads and dogs - what's not to like? A fine, stirring testimonial to both.

When we make musical for the fun and the challenge of it .. everything else has a tendency to take priority. That can be frustrating. Yet it also can focus attention. This piece may have taken a long time to come together .. but it came together magnificently .. and now stands as a wonderful memorial to something valued in life. That's a great thing to have accomplished.
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Doug Somers said 1201 days ago (July 2nd, 2016)
Very well put
Your words about the frustration of sometimes low priority for music ring very true. You are right that I was going to fit this creativity in somehow someway for my dad's birthday. It did focus the mind, that's for sure.

So glad you like the testimonial and thanks for the kind words Warren!
Check out my latest song called Western Stranger
DWL said 1201 days ago (July 2nd, 2016)
You're not the only one
who's not been around!

Splendid work Doug and a fine tribute. Full of life and fun. I can see that dog now :-)

Lovely changes in texture and really well written.



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Doug Somers said 1201 days ago (July 2nd, 2016)
Full of life
Cheers Dick. I must say I thought of you often as I was working on this one and how you were getting on without Django. Wonderful to hear from you!

Thanks very much for the generous comments. Dinsy would be pleased as well.
Check out my latest song called Western Stranger
paul f. page said 1201 days ago (July 2nd, 2016)
Another great march!
I think I've been listening to these for...seven years! This is probably your best: the orchestration is super, and the organization of the composition is so thoughtful and well-paced/placed. I like the minor sections the best, esp. as they leak out into the major theme. I can well appreciate the hours you must have spent writing and mixing all of this, Doug. Just a superb achievement. Delightful in every single way I can think of. Bravo!
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Doug Somers said 1201 days ago (July 2nd, 2016)
7 years
Paul! So nice to hear from you here. Thanks so much for the comments about orchestration and organization. I have endeavoured to practice some of what I'm reading from the masters and experimenting where it seems appropriate. One nice aspect to sample packages is that when an author like Rimsky Korsakov talks about achieving various textures from doubling different instruments, I can try it out to hear for myself. I expect that when his book was written one had to attend a performance or buy a record that had his example passages.

This march also strays from the standard I IV V to also include a iii and as you point out a minor section - something borrowed from the English early 20th century composers. I also used 2 modulations here just to really break things up and so overall it is definitely more complex than my earliest marches.

Many thanks for your kind words and support Paul. Be well!!

Check out my latest song called Western Stranger
paddler said 1199 days ago (July 4th, 2016)
I can honestly say I didnt expect to enjoy this but I did! It was just so different than anything I've listened to in a long while - i sometimes busk the theme to dambusters but its a bit tricky as its also a football anthem can't remember witch team.I don't think any macjammer should feel guilty about not listening to other members music - life is too short.If you happen to hear somebodys song and enjoy it then comment I guess but I don't think there should be any pressure to listen to everybody,because were just human we aint robots.many artists anyway prefer to cut themselves off from outside influences so they can find their own voice.we may be amateurs or proffesionals but art is art and so we have to do what makes us happy.
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Doug Somers said 1156 days ago (August 15th, 2016)
Wise words
Thanks Richard! You make a good point - it's impossible to hear everything or even close, but I will say that I wish that the website worked on my iPhone so when I'm away from home I can listen to MacJams. Not the end of the world, but there you go.

Glad you enjoyed this one Richard, and particularly that it was a pleasant surprise. That's one of the reasons I like this community so much - I am often surprised at what I will enjoy.

Thanks for the kind words,
Check out my latest song called Western Stranger
abzwork said 1197 days ago (July 5th, 2016)
The Boatswain...
Love this Doug...most excellent indeed..
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Doug Somers said 1146 days ago (August 26th, 2016)
Cheers Erin
It's fun to change-up genres now and again. Appreciate your kind words man.
Check out my latest song called Western Stranger
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Name: Doug Somers
Location: Ottawa Ontario Canada
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I make music for pleasure, usually using a computer to create soundscapes around all kinds of music. I used to jam with a local celtic group, playing bodhran and 12 string guitar, but I find that my technical and live performance skills fall short o... [see more]

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