Filmharmonic Brass is somewhat of a rebirth of the New York Filmharmonic Brass Quintet. The NYFBQ was an off-shoot of the New York Filmharmonic Orchestra: a group which recorded music for a very large number of Films, TV shows and commercials in NYC, until the early part of the 21st century.
In 2015, I had the idea of resurrecting the brass group. It came about while reminiscing of an older arrangement of music from Star Wars that the NYFBQ had played in the 90's. These memories were sparked by a conversation about the much anticipated new release of Star Wars Episode VII, The Force Awakens. In that conversation, some of the younger brass players, who weren't in NY in the 90's, were eager to do a reading of the old arrangements. We got a group together and decided to add another trumpet and trombone player. The group sounded so good on that first reading that everyone got really excited and very enthusiastic about taking it somewhere. That “somewhere” is where we are now with the release of this recording!
The choice of recording an entire album of music by John Williams was a very easy one. For starters, we got together, as mentioned above, because of the music of Star Wars, but, even more importantly, as brass players, we are all huge fans of Mr. Williams and of his music. Many non-musician film-goers do not even realize that brass instruments sound like until they hear one of Williams' film scores. His music makes such amazing use of brass instruments that it was a no-brainer for us to decide to dedicate our debut CD entirely to his music. As a matter of fact, choosing what to record was the hardest part since there is so much material to pick from. We may have to record more of Williams' music in the future!
We chose many of the well known themes Mr. Williams composed because of such great writing for brass in a traditional sense, but we also wanted to show what brass instruments can do on the sweet side of music! What was our thought in choosing “Theme from Schindler's List” ...a theme that does not feature any brass instruments in its score.
The unusual choice of “Horseplay” from the film Stepmom was made by our Associate Producer KP Charpentier, who wanted to challenge us to play a piece written solely for strings. We'll let you be the judge as to how we rose to that challenge!
After choosing the music we would record, next came the challenge of getting it written for our group - that task fell primarily to Charles Porter. We also enlisted Jihwan Kim to help us in arranging “Born on the 4th of July.”
Our recording is, hopefully, the first of many the Filmharmonic Brass will do. We would like to dedicate it to the composer who put brass instruments so significantly in the ears and minds of so many listeners.
THANK YOU Mr. Williams! Dominic Derasse
- Dominic Derasse – trumpets, flugelhorn, Piccolo trumpet, Arranging
- Hugo Moreno – trumpets, flugelhorn, Arranging
- Christopher Scanlon – trumpets, flugelhorn, Arranging
- Karl Kramer – french horn, Arranging
- Daniel Linden – Trombone, Arranging
- Matthew McDonald – Trombone & Bass Trombone, Arranging
- Joe Terwilliger – Tuba, Arranging