Thursday, December 30, 2010

Friday, December 24, 2010

Gesu Bambino

Listen to my arrangement of Gesu Bambino fresh off the presses:

Thursday, December 23, 2010

End of the Year Shootout!

Check out the Fine Bros latest video featuring Western Music and my interpretation of the Bed Intruder song:

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

New Video Coming Soon!

I just shot an update video last night, which includes a look at my strings setup, and a preview of some music for the Fine Bros. upcoming project. Stay tuned!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Wexford Carol featuring Robert King, tenor

Check out the latest collaboration with Robert King, tenor. He added a beautifully performed vocal to my Orchestral Fantasie on the Wexford Carol.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Check out the behind the scenes of creating the Kid's React audio:

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Friday, November 12, 2010

The Orchestra Unleashed Preview

Check out this great preview of the September concert from the Orchestra Unleashed! My piece is the first music you hear on the video!

YouTube - Intro

House of Blackbirds goes to the YouTubes! Check out my intro video:

Monday, November 8, 2010

Harry Potter and the Viral Video

There's a book idea for Rowling... I'm just finishing up the mixes for the latest project for the Fine Bros. Harry Potter will be the replacement to the Lost: What Will Happen Next series and will be done similarly with action figures. The tricky part is that the music is quite integral to this project, and everyone knows the themes.  It's always fun to parody John Williams, and I'm very happy with the result.  Behind the scenes video coming soon!

In the meantime check out the second Kids React to Viral Videos video (I'm very tired):

Friday, October 29, 2010

There Wolf

New music alert!  There Wolf is an intense and exciting piece for a large orchestra with a lot of percussion and spooky textures.  My tag line for this piece is: transforming into a wolf makes you really, really hungry.  Happy Halloween!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Kids React to Viral Videos

Kids do say the most darndest, adorablest things.  Check out the video that features music by yours truly! Featured on Tosh.0Best Week EverMashable, Today's Big Thing (10/18/2010), TIMEURLesqueHuffington Post and Tubefilter:

Friday, October 15, 2010

Empty Your Cup

Gotta write something... I'm having a bit of writers block at the moment on a piece I'm working on, and I think I've figured out at least part of what is holding me back.

I will illustrate this by mentioning having watched the film 2012. While the film isn't what I would consider a great film, I like explosions and impressive stunts as much as anyone who typically likes that stuff (the score was good!), but the point is there is a scene at a monastery in China where they reenact an old proverb, which I had forgotten. Forgive me for butchering this: the older monk pours tea in a cup and keeps pouring and the younger monk, says, but the cup is already full, and the tea overflows and runs all over the table. The older monk says (something like), "Your mind is full of opinions and pre-conceived notions. In order to achieve enlightenment, first you must empty your cup."

And I think that is part of my problem. I have all these ideas and opinions of what music is supposed to sound like when it comes out of my brain, and all that is really getting in the way of the music being able to flow out. I'm having a similar problem with proper breath support, when I play (I play the oboe if I hadn't mentioned that yet). I think I know how to do it properly, but again, the cup is so full that I get in my own way.  I need to get out of my way, so I can get something done around here! Now all I have to do is figure out HOW to do it. But first I need to sleep.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Lyrical Hell

Trying to compose something new: lyrics. How can it be the word, the rhyme, the trick, the double-cross can be so damned elusive? Where are you phrase, oh rhetoric? Oh thesaurus, a Gilead fresh out of balm. It's all for a series of songs.

I have this idea for redeveloping an old piece, actually a section from an old assignment from college. There is a pretty opening statement followed by a mysterious section that transforms into this beautiful moment, and returns to mysterious, and the rest of the piece is garbage. I just want to extract the mysterious section, but I am having a block about what would go around it.

I attended the SCL annual membership meeting and met a lot of very awesome composers. I get so intimidated at those functions, discovering how many years of education people have, study and mentoring. I'm glad I went, though I didn't talk to nearly as many people as I should have. I don't know why I tend to shut down in situations like that, but I do; one of my more annoying habits.

Saturday, September 25, 2010


I imagined I had contributed another blog post this week, but when I awoke, I realized it had not come to pass. My dreams have been very vivid lately, but the images fade quickly upon waking. Sometimes I find myself in a REM state easily, particularly in the morning between the snooze alarms. And I find that strange alternating wakefulness and dream state makes reality a little shaky, like the mirror being just unstable enough of a portal to cross into.

I know that I have had some ridiculously elaborate dreams, where even if I had the wherewithal to record them immediately upon waking, it is doubtful I would be able to record an accurate account before the details disappear completely. Sometimes I get that full narrative, and other times, a snippet, like I am changing channels or my mind begins to free-associate, improvise on a theme, as it were.

I encourage you to try to keep a record of your dreams. Especially if you are like me and spend the days, or the part of wakefulness you interpret as day, trying to decipher their pertinence. Perhaps I can eventually figure why spiders once figured so prominently and now it has been many months since I have had a spider dream.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Weekend Endorsement: Pop music in another language

I really like modern music (pop, rock, electronica, alternative and many others). I have even tried to write a few songs, but lyrics always trip me up. Perhaps someday I will be able to come up with that piece of verse that until now has seemed so elusive, that great hook like "bootylicious" only... not. While I have occasionally been subjected to foreign popular stylings, while in Paris I picked up a few random albums, based mostly on a brief listen in the store--if available--or how creative the album art looked, and I thus far have really enjoyed them. Even the weird ones.

Sometimes I can figure out what they are singing about and other times, can only grasp single words here and there, but mostly I am content to let the sound wash over me, and in so doing, have found the experience to be illuminating.

In English (my primary language), music speaks right at me, words, sentences. And often I get tangled up in the lyrics, which makes it easy to take a lot of the aspects of the music, like the song as a whole experience for granted, but in another language (French in this case), being unable to understand the words, I found my experience of the songs became elevated. And when I listened to some of the songs I know well, the experience stayed. It was almost as though I had learned something, but if I did I apparently lack the rhetoric to fully express whatever it was here.

So for this weekend my endorsement is listening to pop music in another language. Not casually catching a song here or there, but really listen to an album and try to connect. Do I even have to say, "the common language is in the music."? I only regret I didn't grab a few albums while I was in Japan a year ago.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

The Orchestra Unleashed

This last weekend September 11th and 12th, there was a great event, which featured several new works, all from living composers: the fall concert of The Orchestra Unleashed.

I was one of the lucky participants chosen to showcase my work, in this case, my piece Across An American Sky.  The orchestra sounded amazing and I am so happy with the result.  I look forward to being able to share the recording with you.

There were many excellent works and I had an opportunity to meet several of the other composers, who were all as nice as could be.  Although there wasn't enough time to hang out and talk shop, I look forward to keeping in touch with them, and hope to see them at the next concert.


Welcome to the newly updated site.  It has been a while since it has been overhauled, and it just seemed like it was time.  Due to some formatting issues and limitations within Blogger, I'm having to essentially begin this from scratch, but in the event that you missed out on any of the previous posts, you can access all announcements here.

The site is composed in frames, but I had to complicate the issue by changing the structure.  By having blogger embedded in the site, it disallows me from linking cleverly to my own internal content, but it does allow me to update this more easily, and remotely, which was a tradeoff I am willing to accept.

I hope that it also means I will be updating more frequently.