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Original Solo and Multi-part Compositions by Kim Reith

© 2005 – 2007.  All rights reserved.  Please contact me at if you are interested in arrangements, music for films, or other music projects. See below for contact info.

 You’ll find jazz, classical, and orchestral film music in these tracks.  Most are a minute or two long and demonstrate a variety of compositional techniques.

They include two live recordings: Damascus, arranged for string quintet, and Ishi, for flute, clarinet, and cello.

The rest are midi realizations – approximations of what real musicians would sound like playing my compositions.

Music for Films

On the Yard (2007):  2:04

Orchestral strings, with sparse piano highlights.  A brooding, atmospheric composition.  I imagined a prisoner, perhaps wrongly accused of murder, walking the yard in San Quentin.  Dedicated to Malcolm Braly, who wrote the prison novel of the same name.  This was one of my favorite compositions to write.  You will hear the very deep bass notes typical of film music.

The Machine that Makes Defective Parts (2007):  1:28           

A short, menacing piece for orchestral strings, written in several different meters.  It includes instrumental effects, such as battuto and sul ponticello, which only strings are capable of.

Modern Classical

I wrote these pieces while studying  with Michael Mitacek at Pasadena City College, and Steve Rothstein and Norman Ludwin, at the UCLA Extension’s summer program in film scoring and composition. Thank you to my teachers and to the UCLA Extension for awarding me a scholarship to the program. 

Ishi (2007 – LIVE version): 2:52

Trio for flute, clarinet, and cello. Recorded live, 9/8/07.  Ishi was the last surviving member of the Yana Indian tribe, which lived on Mt. Lassen, California.  I imagine Ishi experienced loneliness in the midst of great beauty.  My gratitude goes out to the exceptional musicians who feelingly sight-read the piece after only a 20 minute rehearsal; to Steve Rothstein who set up the recording; and to recording engineer David Benitez.

Flute: Ethan Lin; Bb clarinet: Dena Orkin; cello: Jennifer Li. 

Damascus (2007, studio version): 4:13

1st and 2nd movements.  Middle-eastern sounding, polyrhythmic piece arranged for string quintet.  I wrote the original for string orchestra, pared the harmony down for the quintet, adding a second movement.  This difficult piece was sight-read in the studio by five professional musicians, after only one read-through.  We had a total of only 15 minutes studio time.  Cary Belling, 1st violin; conductor, Norman Ludwin.  Recorded 9/4/07 at Private Island Trax, LA.

Passage (2007):  1:04

A short 19-bar orchestral strings piece, which will eventually form the nucleus of a larger composition.  Passage is written in 6/8, and evokes the feeling of being on a ship at sea.  I wrote it in memory of my grandfather’s passage to the United States from Denmark.  Allan Funder Reith worked his way over on a steamship, passing through Ellis Island, like so many immigrants.  Grandfather later worked his way through medical school as the school janitor, ultimately becoming a doctor and a bacteriologist.

Tinker’s Wake (2007):  1:56

            6-part theme & variations.

For Bb trumpet, tenor sax, trombone, tuba, contrabass and claves.  I imagined a wake for a Tinker, Tinkers being an English ethnic group similar to the Rom.  They live in caravans and occupy the same sorts of occupational niches the Rom do.  The wake starts out somber, but as the guests knock a few back they get rowdy and begin to play music and dance.  Some Gypsies arrive who’ve married into the Tinker family, bringing with them musical influences from Spain and Eastern Europe.  A very fun piece to write – and I hope to listen to.

Porch Swing (2007):  1:14

            Duet for viola and contrabass. 

The piece has two distinct parts – a tender opening section, followed by a lively jig constructed as a chase, which allows the viola and bass to show off.  Porch Swing then closes with a recap of the opening theme.  A million thanks to Jamie Robertson, who created this wonderfully believable midi-realization for me using Garritan sounds!

Bamboo Curtain (2007):  0:58

Poly-rhythmic solo piano.  The ostinato in the bass uses an ancient Greek scale, while the top two voices elude the barline – and the listener’s expectations.

Sisyphus (2007):  1:03

            Quintet version.  Avant-garde, 20th Century piece.

            The instrumentation is flute, Bb clarinet, trombone, cello, and contrabass.

Cycling (2007):  1:18

Duet for nylon-stringed guitar and baritone guitar.  A pretty, classical piece which utilizes counterpoint and root movement by fourths.  It modulates from a minor to d minor. 

Sisyphus (2007):  1:06

            4-part solo piano sketch of the quintet version above.

Ishi (2007 – midi version): 1:42

Sextet.  20th Century piece for flute, Bb clarinet, G alto flute, viola, cello, contrabass.  I adapted my trio version from this harmonically fuller sextet.

Damascus(2007, midi version):  1:45

1st movement only.  For string orchestra – I wrote this version first.  If you listen carefully and compare the orchestral version with the quintet arrangement, you can hear divisi parts in some of the strings in this one.  You will also hear how smooth and full orchestral strings sound.

Baroque and Renaissance Counterpoint

I did these pieces while studying counterpoint with Michael Mitacek at Pasadena City College. Warning: Counterpoint is addictive!

Episode w/ a Given Motive (2005): 0:48

Two-part, Baroque counterpoint, for piano.  Listen for the hemiola I threw in just for fun – three beats against four.

Fugal Exposition (2006):  0:49

Baroque piano piece, in three parts.

The exposition occurs at the very beginning of a fugue, taking the listener to a point of modulation.

Piano Sonata (2007): 2:45

            1st movement.  Listen for modulations to new keys…

Fish-shaped Invention (2005):  1:29

Two-part Baroque counterpoint, for piano.  Bach wrote many inventions, a musical form he’s famous for.

Renaissance Motet (2005):  1:20

For violin & cello.  This sort of Renaissance motet was religious music, and would usually be sung.  An alternate version with text exists, for soprano and alto voices. The words are:

Ave Maria gratia plena

Dominus tecum virgo serena.

Benidictus tu in mulieribus.


In the Woods (1998, 2006):  3:16

Jazz sextet.  Instrumentation: Bb trumpet, tenor sax, bass clarinet, piano, acoustic bass.  On this midi realization there are no drums, but in a real playing situation there would be.  The piano section you hear is meant for soloists to improvise over.  I wrote and arranged this piece in 1998 while studying composition with Rick Helzer, at SDSU, then re-arranged it in 2006.

Shy Anemone (2007):  0:54

            Solo piano.  A melancholy jazz piece in the style of Thelonious Monk.

W.S. (2007):  0:54

Jazz strings.   Two choruses of a jaunty jazz blues I wrote, then arranged for strings.  The head, plus one chorus to showcase the bass & ensemble hits.  Writing jazz for strings is a special art!  I wrote this piece originally for jazz guitar.

Nine to Five (2007)  0:51

For saxophone quartet.  In this midi version you’ll hear clarinet on top, alto sax, tenor sax, and bari.   A cheerful, straight-ahead jazz piece.

Sax Sunday (2007):  0:53

For saxophone quartet: soprano, alto, tenor, and baritone saxes.  Brash and straight-ahead!  The voices gradually drop out, till you hear a duet between the alto and tenor saxes.

Arrangements of Jazz Ballads

A taste of my arrangements on these well-known jazz standards.

Prelude to a Kiss, by Duke Ellington, arr. by Kimi Reith (2007):  0:32

Just the first 8 bars of the head, for two alto saxophones and two tenor saxes.

When I Fall in Love, by Heyman/Young, arr. by Kimi Reith (2007):  2:09

            For orchestral strings.

When I Fall in Love, by Heyman/Young, arr. by Kimi Reith (2007):  2:00

            For piano.  The sketch from which I built the strings version.

Body and Soul, by Johnny Green, arr. by Kimi Reith (2007):  0:28

            The first 8 bars of the head, for two alto saxophones and two tenor saxes.


I used a Roland JV-1010 for most of the midi tracks.  The realization for my bass & viola composition Porch Swing was put together for me by Jamie Robertson, using Garritan sounds.

Please contact me if you’re interested in arrangements, music for films, or other music projects.

 Copy & paste  the email address below, removing the spaces and replacing AT with @ and DOT with a dot. Sorry for the anti-spam inconvenience! 

p y g m y g o d AT k i m r e i t h DOT c o m

***Special thanks to Mark Lewis, who converted the midi files to audio for me***

 K i m R e i t h  home   compositions    Bail! (CD)    compositional notes on "Bail!"   order    reviews     bio    links    contact   résumé    edmund j wood