Friday, April 15, 2011


I have officially written a Celtic piece. I am very excited to show it to you!
My process of writing this piece: I first came up with a 16-bar melody, which you hear at the beginning of the piece twice. I wanted it to sound like a typical (yet catchy) jig. The flute at the beginning is me playing my flute (which has a wooden head joint). Instead of using a typical Celtic ensemble (like harp, flute, dulcimer, etc.) I wanted to do the ensemble plus an orchestra. So, if you know the music for The Water Horse by James Newton Howard (who by the way, is my favorite film composer), then you'll know what I was aiming for. Here it is:

Celtic by Jon M.

So... let me know what you think! I'd really appreciate it. This is my first time composing a Celtic piece, so this is all new to me. I'll take all comments, critiques, and advice.

I will post my Action/Adventure piece very soon.

Thanks for listening,

Jonathan Maiocco

P.S. Any name ideas for this song? I couldn't think of any!


  1. I like it! I don't know how Celt-ish it really is, but it is cool! I like James Horner too! What do you think about Hans Zimmer?

  2. I recently found your blog and I have been so inspired by your work.

    It sounds very much like The Waterhorse! James Newton Howard is my favorite film composer too. I've composed a few Celtic pieces myself, but they're all in major keys and in 4/4 time. Maybe I'll try a minor jig... I think it sounds great! I liked your instrument choice and the way you used the orchestra to back up the melody. It gave it much more mood than it would have otherwise.

  3. That was beautiful, Jon, absolutely beautiful! I don't know much about Celtic music either...but from what I've heard...that's epic :). And bringing in the orchestra was brilliant...great job, as always!

  4. Sounds amazing. My friend who commented about, Everyone's Favorite Composer, does Celtic-y sounding stuff all the time-- this sounds so great, and YES, it makes me think of The Water Horse.
    And like what everybody else said, bringing in the orchestra was a brilliant choice.

  5. Hey Jon! Love the piece.

    Crit: I feel like it's really more of an open water pirate-ish theme almost. I think that the mix of an orchestra and tradition instruments is a great choice, but especially at the 2:20 mark I feel like while the rhythm is about right it loses quite a bit of the celtic feel.

    All in all, liked it lots!

  6. Oh, and for a name? Windswept hills might be nice :)

  7. Name Idea: The Forest Dance. (it reminds me of a forest... and an Irish dance). Incredible work Jon! You rock!!

  8. Windswept hills? Yes, definitely what I felt. I could see a green hillside covered in fog. I could totally feel it!

  9. Wow. Just... wow. I love it. Great choice to fill it out with the orchestra.

    Oh, and James Newton Howard ROCKS. Most of the music on my iPod is composed by him.

  10. Oh, and as for names... I think it sounds like an ancient celtic myth coming to life again. Maybe something like:
    Unbroken Knot
    Storyteller's Quest

  11. Jon, is there some way to download the clip? It's good stuff to write to!

  12. I'm blown away... as usual. :P

    So... has Peter Jackson talked to you about composing a soundtrack for The Hobbit movies yet? :D

  13. Jon! As a celtic musician myself, I easily say that this is nothing short of brilliant!

    Also, it's weird that you mention the Water Horse, because I JUST watched that movie for the first time like... a week ago. lol

    - Leighton

  14. Jon,
    It's AMAZING! I love that you played the flute at the beginning too. It sounded wonderful. How many instruments do you play?

  15. LOVED it dude! As far as names...I got a piratey feel toward the end, started thinking of the ocean and stuff. So what about something like "On the Open Sea" or... "The Ocean's Song" or I dunno..... "Atop the Waves" or something like that haha

  16. Wow! I love Celtic music and that was really beautiful! Well done! I also would love to be able to listen to that while writing.

    Haha, that's funny that everyone thought of sailing - I pictured a small sailing ship cruising around the Scotland isles. I was in Scotland in September and visited the Isles of Mull and Skye, and your piece reminded me of them.

    Others mentioned something about hills covered in fog - that reminds me of the Black Cuillin Hills on the Isle of Sky. I can definitely picture it!

    Names that popped into my head are: Wayfarer's Homecoming, Sailor's Homecoming, Wayfarer's Song, West Highland Way (a 96 mile trek across the Highlands!)

  17. Absolutely Blown away.
    Perhaps one of my favorites?

  18. WOW! that is AMAZING.

    Name ideas:
    The Secret Dreams of the Sea; The Hidden World; The Final Quest... anyhow! this is an amazing piece!

  19. I absolutely LOVE Celtic music, and I LOVE this piece! New favorite. I wish I could listen to this while I was writing. It works so well. :D

    And that first melody line... Man, if you ever want to put lyrics to this piece and want some help, please let me know!!! ^_^ I couldn't give you true Gaelic lyrics, granted (you'd have to go to Adele for that) But the poetry! Ah, the poetry! It's so beautiful, I can almost hear the words being sung! Sweet, high, lilting... trilling back and forth between the low notes and the high notes... And the Harmony! An alto and a 1rst soprano... or maybe a mezzo and a 1rst. Beautiful!

    This is a truly powerful piece. It's interesting that many people are thinking water, hills, and sea... I know that's what it put me in mind of. If I were to try and name the piece, It would be called something like "Mist on the Moors" or maybe "Mist Over the Moors"... same basic principle, slightly different wording. Or perhaps "Mist on the Lee"?

    Anyway, wonderful! Simply wonderful!!!

  20. I agree, this isn't sooo celtic....though it does have something of a celtic flair. I do like it. :) I like the "mist" title idea. It is a rather piratey-sounding piece.

  21. WOW!!! That song is AMAZING!!! You need to do more like it and publish an album so I can have it!!! LOVE it!