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.