Welcome to shimmer song

shimmer song is the creation of San Francisco-based musician, composer and producer Peter Cole (thats me). I create many different types of music for film, web and multimedia. For my shimmer song project, I focus mostly on instrumental, piano-based music that moves between classical, Jazz, ambient soundscapes and World music - using both acoustic and electronica overtones; George Winston and Debussy meet Pink Floyd and Peter Gabriel!

I love to collaborate with other musicians, artists, technologists, filmmakers, students. I engineer and produce music, video and multimedia in my own studio and I play multiple instruments (not all at once) in many styles. So please contact me if you want to work on a project together; use any of my compositions in your project(s); or if you want me to help compose a soundtrack for your next film ;-)



shimmer news


Shimmer Song on You License

I’m excited to have Shimmer Song music now available for licensing through YouLicense.com. An artist can upload music, tag it with descriptions so that people can find it (similar to Jango, Last.FM, etc.) What is cool is that the people who visit YouLicense.com are looking for music that they can use in their projects: film, TV, web, multimedia, etc. Artists can set up their own licensing agreement and interested parties can make offers through the website. What a great idea for a site!

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Shimmer Song on Jango Radio!

Shimmer Song is now getting played on Jango online radio. They have a very cool system for artists where we can create musical targets that put our songs in the same channels (stations) and playlists as famous artist with similar styles. For example, I can group Shimmer Song with Philip Glass, George Winston, Yanni, etc. This allows our music to get discovered by fans with similar tastes. As well, the Jango artist services allows me to see all the stats on how my music is performing. This information includes: which songs have played and even where my our “fans” located in the world. The stats also will show what other artists our fans are listening to (i.e. George Winston, Pink Floyd, etc). This information is super valuable for learning how to attract more fans and interest in my music. Please come check it out:

http://www.jango.com/music/Shimmer+Song

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Composition Tip: Slurs and Ties

This tip is for music notation beginners (or for composers who often confuse slurs and ties – like myself!) Recently, while reviewing one of my scores, my instructor at Berklee was commenting that many of my ties and slurs were not clear. Despite my years of composition experience and music theory study, as a self-taught musician, I must admit that I am very weak in certain notation areas – including this one.  As I am now working on larger orchestral pieces, I’ve really had to clean up many of my bad habits.

The reason slurs and ties can be confusing is because, they look pretty much identical on a score, but they serve very different purposes. The quick summary (thanks to Ben, my instructor):

Ties are used when you want to connect two notes of the same pitch. This turns these two notes into one (longer) note (spanning a greater length of time). Below is an example of a tie:

Tie

Slurs are used when you want to “blend” together notes of different pitches. This will create a legato performance. Below is an example of a slur:

Slur

Hopefully this very simple explanation/illustration was some help!

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Composition Tip: Doubling Woodwinds with Brass & Strings

I’m currently studying orchestration at Berklee and wanted to pass along a nice, simple tip when thinking about pairing instruments (woodwinds, brass and strings) together for doubling. In short, the general goal is to shoot for matching tone color rather than pitch range. I may have been inclined to double up two different instrument families based more on their pitch ranges. Below are some good example pairings:

  • oboe and muted trumpet
  • all woodwinds and French horn
  • woodwinds and pizzicato strings
  • woodwind trills and tremolo strings
  • flute and harp
  • clarinet and viola
  • English horn and upper range of cello
  • bassoon, tuba, cello, and bass
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Revisiting Exile on Main St

One of my favorite albums of all time is getting some attention as a new re-master and DVD are coming out. Sweet Virginia!

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The Earth’s Coolest Concept Album

Good to hear that one of my favorite albums of all time, Pink Floyd’s The Dark Side of the Moon, is finally getting some attention!  WIRED magazine has voted it the best concept album ever. Following this announcement, they asked their readers to suggest the albums they felt deserving of this award. There are many expected, as well as unexpected contenders.

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Music Theory Resource

If you are looking for a place to brush up on your music theory, or start learning from scratch, check out this website. Although the interface could use some polishing, it has got to be one of the most thorough resources for information on music theory (and music history too) I know about. Has become very valuable for my composition studies at Berklee College of Music. I’ve got it bookmarked myself!

http://www.dolmetsch.com/theoryintro.htm

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Berklee School of Music

I recently started something I’ve always wanted to do: the Film Composition program at Berklee School of Music. It’s an online program and I’m learning a lot of valuable stuff already. When you really study the details of a film score, you really notice the difference that music makes in a film; it’s amazing. Changing the music of a scene can completely change the entire feeling and emotion of the visuals.

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Happy Holidays! New East West Quantum Leap Coming

Happy Holidays. I’m spending a very relaxed few days up in Northern California: Fort Bragg, Mendicino and Guernville/Russian River. Love getting away to this part of California this time of year. In the meantime, I’m anxiously awaiting the arrival of the Complete Composers Collection from EWQL. I’ve been dreaming about adding these amazing sounds to my palette for a long time; can’t wait to get my hands on them. New strings, choirs, and rare instruments from around the world. Doesn’t mean I’m trading in my Native Instruments collection – no way. Love my Kontakt, Massive and Reaktor and the Electric Piano and Organ too!

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Shimmer Song Videos and Photos!

MTV get ready: I’ve released my first video for the song Flicker; it’s also up on YouTube of course. It was fun to get my hands dirty with After Effects again; it had been a while and I was rusty. I wanted to have more visuals in the video than just me playing the piano, so I weaved in some footage from my trip to Japan and Thailand last year; all those fish are from the water in Phuket. Also, I recently added a photo gallery to my photos page.

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