Overstepping the Bounds

Let me start by saying that I am a member of ASCAP, but this is seriously ludicrous. The one that really feels strange is that the music publishers want to collect royalties for the 30-second “preview.” They are claiming that the preview should be considered a performance. Perhaps I should be paying royalties for singing songs in my head?

My Seven Songs

Think of seven songs that had a profound effect on you and how they changed your life or the way you looked at it. Each song has a story, so be sure to tell it. Perhaps the song helps you identify a particular time, place, or person. For my seven songs, I decided to put them in chronological order according…

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Microsoft Songsmith – Please Make the Bad Noise Stop

Let me start by saying this: This music thankfully did not come from inside my brain. This is what happens when you put Sting through Microsoft Songsmith. [youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ypycpKQxXR0] Any questions? Yes, everyone might have a song in their heart, but let’s avoid using Songsmith to extract it. Some things are better left unsung.

Old Friends, Good Music

Sometimes the Internet brings you something that you didn’t realize that you needed. This time the magic came courtesy of Facebook. An old friend from Eastman, Alex Freeman, sent me a little message to see how I was doing. And then I was looking through all of my bloggeries (or blog posts/stories, it’s a new meme) and realized that I…

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Happy Birthday Richard Wagner

Happy Birthday to German composer, Richard Wagner, born in 1813. Known for his vignette operas such as Tristan und Isolde, Parsifal, and Der Ring des Nibelungen (a.k.a. The Ring Cycle). One of my favorite memories at Eastman School of Music was when my composition teacher, Christopher Rouse, asked me to listen to the entire Ring Cycle (16 hours) over the…

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Happy Birthday Salvador Dalí

I’ve been a huge fan of Salvador Dalí for years and his work has influenced my compositions, specifically two of the movements of Five Images. The Disintegration of the Persistence of Memory (5:19, 7.3 MB) — In an earlier piece, Winter Octet, I had based the opening movement on the famous Salvador Dali work, The Persistence of Memory, known for…

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Breaking News: Tchaikovsky Turns 168

In the news today, buried under just about every other headline you can image, Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, composer of such hits as Swan Lake and The Nutcracker, celebrated his 168th birthday today. The composer could not be reached for comment.

Sheet Music Roller Coaster

This commercial from the Zurich Chamber Orchestra is just plain cool. My composer brain loves this more than my marketing brain!

Piano Actually Found

At a recent medical checkup, the doctor noticed sound waves coming out of my ears. He deemed this “rather odd” and ordered additional tests. Three specialists later and it has been confirmed that there is an actual piano inside my brain. It is a Steinway micro-grand, which is about the size of a book of matches. The micro-grand was a…

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Back in the Saddle Again

The hardest thing for me is not composing. And since it is perhaps the most personal thing that I do, I tend to put it last in line in terms of priorities. The good news is that my brain never stops writing music. I mentioned it before to friends and family, but something is brewing. And I plan to have…

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