The Grey

Stephen Melillo, with Curt DeMott & Zsuzsanna Emödi

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"The Grey" is a collection of intimate works for piano and/or small orchestra. Like "Musical Haikus" they provide a source for introspection, faith, and looking forward.

Liner notes will download with your investment, but you can also get your free Libretto (PDF) by choosing "Digital Libretti" under "RESOURCES & STORMAficionados."

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Dark Reflection Film Score

© Stephen Melillo, IGNA 14 September 1981, 2-3M

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From the Score Notes, Downloadable with Photos in PDF:

In May of 1980, my first work for band was premiered at M.I.T., with Dr. John Corley conducting a 70-minute, 9-movement suite for augmented Wind & Jazz Ensemble. It was called “Only for Now”. It was named for the young adult novel I had written in 1978. Only months later, during a hectic summer of moving and looking for my first job as a Music Educator, Jonathan Heap called.

A mere 40 years ago, as of this resurrected Score composed for Dark Reflection, Jonathan asked me to write Music for his student-made film. It would fulfill a four-year promise. We had made a Super 8, striped, almost impossibly and fastidiously sound-tracked film while at Greenwich High School. Having won all sorts of contests and recognitions, it landed Jonathan into the Ithaca Film School.

I had never composed for the Orchestra before. I had never scored a film before. How do you do it? How do you take motion pictures, respond to a Director’s descriptions, measure the flow of Time, compose Music, then conduct it with Live Musicians, and have it sync to the picture?

In 1990, while implementing the Film-Scoring Program at SUNY, Purchase, I penned the real-time case study, “Music to Picture”. The curriculum was written while composing for, and eventually recording the score to Jonathan Heap’s, “1201PM”. The course begins with a simple, but involved question. “If you didn’t read a book, or as it is today, watch a video, how would you score a film?

The Dark Reflection score was written before MIDI, before computers. The score and parts were prepared by hand. The recording made by Marice Stith, then the Band Director at Cornell University, was on 1/4-inch tape and microphoned as simply as possible. We were at the mercy of:

  1. Sight-reading, college-aged Musicians.
  2. Only 1 or 2 takes per cue due to Time constraints.
  3. The existing frequencies of the rehearsal hall and pre-existing seating set-up.
  4. The use of only 2 microphones.

Given all of that, I am AMAZED at what Jonathan and I achieved. The Music was synced to the film within an accuracy of 3 frames. In other words, an 1/8th of a second. There were no streamers, no punches, only a metronome. The score called for rubati sections, accelerandi and fermati. In addition to a metronome, played on the fly against the video, (within 3 frames accuracy) I conducted the Orchestra to the images played on a small video monitor. (I still have the monitor in the garage!)

The Orchestra was recorded during a scheduled rehearsal with the gracious and dedicated assistance of Dr. Pamela Gerhardt. I’m sure I thanked Dr. Gerhardt and Marice Stith profusely at the time, but I’d like to do so formally again. As SYNC would have it, Marice nominated me to ASCAP as a result of the recording. The date? 11 September 1982, the date on which my Son would be born in 2001.

Apparently, because of Time, two cues were never recorded. Frankly, I forget how we handled that. I may have simply played the cues on Piano.

The score is unabashedly Dramatic, like the film. Elements of the score would later find their way into the library of Music that followed, called... “Stormworks.”

Enjoy & Godspeed! S

Here is a quick recap of dates surrounding this score:

1978 - Only for Now, the young adult Novel was written.

1979 - Only for Now, the 9-movement suite was premiered at M.I.T., John Corley, Conducting.

1980 - Jonathan asked me to score Dark Reflection during my first year as a Teacher at Chester High School, NY. Here, I wrote a now widely-spread, but author-removed letter to my kids, “Why I Teach Music”.

1981 - Finishing touches were made to the film and to the film score. I gave it a completion date of 14 September 1981. We recorded Dark Reflection at the Ithaca School of Music.

1982 - Donald Spoto, the official Biographer of Alfred Hitchcock, sponsored a special screening of Dark Reflection at the New School in NYC. In his greeting to the attendees, Donald introduced Jonathan and me as “the next most significant collaboration since Alfred Hitchcock and Bernard Herrmann”. (We both believed our careers were set! Ah, the foibles of youth.)

1984 - Jonathan and I created, “A Cold Night,” an experiment in Music and Film that will be premiering during this same SYNC year of 2020.

1988- As you can see in the photo above, I composed piece #404, “S-Matrix Symphony # Numberless”. It wasn’t until this work that I called myself a “Composer”.

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Gifts, Free Pieces

Stephen Melillo

In addition to many other free pieces appearing across the several Albums on this page, please enjoy these Gifts. Godspeed! Stephen Melillo

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Stormworks Chapter 55: Way of the Wanderer

Stephen Melillo, with Das Musikkorps der Bundeswehr & Christoph Scheibling

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98-minutes of interconnected Story & Music recorded by the fine Musicians of Das Musikkorps der Bundeswehr, conducted by Christoph Scheibling. Welcome to the Wonderfilled World of the next STORMWORKS Chapter, Chapter 55: Way of the Wanderer.

Download your free 48-page Libretto under "RESOURCES." Visit scores at under STORMWORKS Chapter 55: Way of the Wanderer.

I really want You to take part in the 'entire' Journey that makes up this latest Chapter in the Storm Works! As a Composer, it's difficult to understand just grabbing 1 or 2 tracks. For me, it would be the same as taking just a couple of words from a paragraph, or in this case, grabbing a few sentences from a Novel. Please share in the entire Story of this latest Chapter!

Enjoy and Godspeed! S

Liner notes will download with your investment, but you can also get your free Libretto (PDF) by choosing "Digital Libretti" under "RESOURCES & STORMAficionados."

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Excerpt from STORMWORKS 88' for Strings and Percussion

Stephen Melillo

A Demo for the 25th Anniversary piece, "STORMWORKS '88," which uses prerecorded tracks with ANY combination of Band, Choral, Orchestra, and Percussion forces. A Unique work for any ensemble with good training skills built-in.

Investigate STORMWORKS '88 under CHAPTER 55 in the Menu. Enjoy & Godspeed! S

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Together We Stand Alone, 101st Airborne (Original Soundtrack)

Stephen Melillo

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Film Music depicting the gallantry of Colonel Ed Shames and the 101st Airborne of WWII.

Thanksgiving Day 2017

TOGETHER WE STAND ALONE

In 2013, I was the Composer on a documentary made about Colonel Ed Shames and his many experiences with “Easy Company” 506th, P.I.R. 101st Airborne (Band of Brothers) from before the war, into D-Day, through Belgium and Holland, and into Paris after the liberation of the concentration camps.

Several great books have been written about the 101st and Colonel Shames by Ian Gardner. I wholeheartedly recommend them. They are perhaps the best books I have read on WWII history. They are vivid, masterfully told, historic accounts of the 101st, and beyond the Colonel himself, provided much of the inspiration for this brief Musical tribute.

Written in 2013, I had forgotten about the Music until 2 simultaneous events occurred in “SYNC!”

  1. I was working on another film project and had written a piece called “Together We Stand.” When doing a search on the desktop, “Together We Stand Alone” popped up!

  2. I had been invited, once again, to meet with Colonel Shames just 3 days from conducting that search!

Wow. It seemed like Fate was guiding the moment beyond mere “coincidence.”

To date, the documentary has not been distributed, though indeed it was completed and presented to Colonel Shames and his wife, Ida, for whom, “I Dreamed of Love” was written. I felt it was Time to share this Music and brought the Colonel some CDs! In one the photos, (http://stephenmelillo.com.hostbaby.com/files/digital_libretti/101-CD-Cover-Insert.pdf) you’ll see that on 16 NOV 2017, he signed the CD Cover with the very Gold Pen that Ida had sent to him during the War. That Pen, that story had inspired the piece.

Now, this Music, from promo-spots to the “Theme of the 101st Airborne” is shared with you. I’ve also included “MIDWAY” soon to be recorded by Das Musikkorps der Bundeswehr. I hope you’ll invest in the Music and share the link with your friends, family and colleagues. Please enjoy this Music offered in tribute to those who have given so much.

Enjoy! Happy Thanksgiving & Godspeed! Stephen Melillo, Composer

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The Unwilling (Original Motion Picture Score)

Stephen Melillo

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Original Motion Picture Score from The UNWILLING Music by © STEPHEN MELILLO, IGNA 18 June 2016 Dedicated to the Loving Memory of Bruce E. Melillo 31 May 1935- 18 June 2016

Many SYNCS and back-stories connect to this first collaboration with Jonathan Heap & Phil Morton since the Academy Award-nominated, 1201PM, 25 years ago!

In the first scene, we see David the Character and David Lipper the Actor as he cleans a mirror and touches a photo of his little dog.  Somewhere in “David’s” innocent smile was the inspiration for 3 simple notes that became, “OCD, Uno Minuetto per Davide, for String Quintet & Piano.” Even the tempo of the work emanates from David literally “conducting” his life.

The complete track by that name is excerpted as Source Music and part of the Opening Sequence, interrupted by the abrupt harshness of a TV going to static. But the 3 notes of the Minuetto spiraled outward and became the entire 69:25 Score, finding final and full summation in “Epilogue from The UNWILLING.” The Musical OCD of the Score was inspired by the likable character of David, whose OCD becomes his strength.  Indeed he overcomes not only his own “boxed in” personal demon but perhaps everyone else’s greatest fear, that of stopping a monster. That and more… is the Musical Journey of the Score.

Godspeed!  Stephen Melillo Composer

Liner notes will download with your investment, but you can also get your free Libretto (PDF) by choosing "Digital Libretti" under "RESOURCES & STORMAficionados."

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Pluripotent (Film Score)

Stephen Melillo

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Music from the Short Film: PLURIPOTENT, Directed by Christopher Kulikowski

Music from the short film, PLURIPOTENT, directed by Christopher Kulikowski.

The film and its fine actors and direction inspired what might be called, a "modern" film noire Music. The subject matter is deeply emotional and portrays characters in great conflict. Sympathy and shock are in well-paced interplay.

Both Christopher and the Producers were touched by the Music, replete with dark drama and bittersweet beauty. I was very happy to contribute to this great ensemble effort and wish to thank all involved.

Enjoy & Godspeed! Steve

In 2016, Stephen’s 4th Symphony was nominated for the Pulitzer and Nemmers Prize in Music. Winner of three 2009 Telly & Ava Awards for his 2005 Visualized Concert: THAT WE MIGHT LIVE, Stephen’s concert-version was also nominated for the Pulitzer Prize in Music. His 15 feature film scores include the Oscar-nominated 12:01PM, and most recently, The UNWILLING. An ASCAP Concert Awards recipient each year since 1992, Stephen's more than 1140 works include 4 symphonies, several concerti and over 33-hours of Music for Ensembles of the 3rd Millennium™. With 28 CDs and 6 books on iTunes, and simply by word-of-mouth, Stephen’s pioneering, self-publishing entity known as STORMWORKS has gone from 0 to many thousands of worldwide renderings since 1992.

Digital Libretti here: stormworld.com/DigitalLibretti/

More complete BIO on stephenmelillo.com

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Dwegons & Leprechauns (Original Motion Picture Score)

Stephen Melillo & Sofia Symphoniker

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Original Motion Picture Score to the animated feature, "Dwegons and Leprechauns," with Music performed by the Sofia Symphoniker, Composed, Orchestrated & Conducted by Stephen Melillo

Hi, I’m Tom Walsh. I co-wrote and later directed, Dwegons & Leprechauns to take film audiences on a magical adventure to worlds never seen before, filled with fun creatures that instead of scaring kids are lovable and caring of people. Colorful worlds make people feel good and in Dwegonland you can get lost in a universe of fantastical colors. It makes you happy and provides a nice break from our not-so-happy real world. However; Picture is only one part. To bring a magical world to Life, you need the right Music! Stephen Melillo wrote a wonder-filled score that transports you and makes you feel great inside. He took my vision of this world and gave it even greater dimension. You will feel energized and magical when you sit back and listen to this wonderful fun Music Score! Thanks so much, Steve!

Dwegons & Leprechauns was composed and orchestrated averaging 6.5 minutes per day. After scoring 106 minutes, it was discovered that the print was in the wrong frame rate. The entire score needed to be redone. Cues like Dvargon Hell & The Battle for Dwegonland, recorded as one piece and having 88 critical hit points needed new math and Music. I got to score Tom’s film twice, and... IT WAS FUN! When we got to Reel 6 the second time, Tom called and said, “I just want you to write me a concert! You have total freedom.”

These are incredible words coming from any Director-Producer, and in this case, a Fightin’-Irish Lad who invested so much of himself across the many years!

In addition to my kids, this Music is dedicated to Tom Walsh, whose vision, inspiration and fun direction led to a Musical portrayal of his own special, Good-hearted, kid-friendly, color-filled world. Writing the Music, with my kids often watching, I knew Tom had made something from and to the Hearts of all Children... of all ages. I hope you will enjoy this Musical version of the Dwegons & Leprechauns Adventure. Thanks for listening again and again. Godspeed! Stephen Melillo

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Forever Strong, A Tribute to the U.S.S. Indianapolis

Stephen Melillo, with Various Artists

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Investigate the Piece under CHAPTER 55 in the Menu above. Liner Notes are attcahed to your investment.

33:17 Musical/Visual tribute to the 880 Lost, and the 317 Survivors of the USS Indianapolis. This work depicts the dramatic story of the Indy from building to sinking, historically accurate to its ending, which suggests a "return" of the Indy to waiting, loving arms...

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Son of the Storm

Stephen Melillo & Son of the Storm Studio Cast 2016

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Son of the Storm is a 2-hour contemporary opera set in the style of a 1940s Radio Broadcast, the event transpiring in 2 different time periods, in Germany and starring characters created by Mary Shelley 200 years ago this summer of 2016.

Via links provided in the Bio and elsewhere, please visit stormworld for your accompanying Digital Libretti and artwork. We hope that you will enjoy this dramatic Journey set in the style of a 1940s Radio Broadcast on 2 CDs, but also intended for live staging. Godspeed! Stephen Melillo

SON of the STORM Cast & Crew includes:

The Creature, Matt Branic

Victor, Adelmo Guidarelli

Elizabeth, Megan Pachecano

Rabble Rouser, Michael Ashby

William at 11, Karlene Grinberg

Theologian, Joshua Kohl

Scientist/Burgermeister, Eric McKeever

Military Man, Daniel Klein

Blind Man, Steven Fredericks

Daughter, Kacey Cardin

Son, Matthew Murphy

Announcer, Raymond Jones

The TRITONUS Chorus, Germany, Conducted by Klaus Brecht

Co-Producers, Adelmo Guidarelli, Amber L. Spradlin, Ric Schnupp

Technical Advisor, Curt DeMott

Continuity, Andrew Pencola

Artist, Irene Krauß

Foley, Peter Solomon Gross

Recording, Ric Schnupp, Hunter Berk

Recorded at Soundtrack New York

Music, Lyrics & Texts by © STEPHEN MELILLO/STORMWORKS™  IGNA 1990-2016 All Rights Reserved. Produced by STORM®ecords

Your investment includes Loiner Notes, but you can also get your Liner Notes (PDF) by choosing "Digital Libretti" under "RESOURCES & STORMAficionados."

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