November 19, 2013

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Take a Classical Vacation

October 22, 2008

Effective composition, like every other art form-lets use a female writer (to avoid the he/she shit) as our example-relies most heavily on the composer’s keen awareness of her surroundings.

A person attempting to write a novel is not best served by studying writing methods and a composer is not best served by studying composition methods.  I put “best served” in bold for a reason and that is so I am hopefully not confused with throwing out knowledge pertaining to your art.  I.e., a naturally gifted writer will write a better novel if free to probe the texture of society than the writer who is in a state of continual learning, unable to observe the commonplace of life.

Imagine placing a pedestal on the busiest sidewalk in the world.  Now imagine that author standing atop the pedestal with her eyes wide open and information streamed to her through every possible source.  That is the job of an author.  That is the job of a composer.

So I have found that within the complex nature of art, sometimes it is best to free yourself of the outliers of your art world.  Stop listening to “your influences” for a period of time.  Listen to what you would consider to be your hypothetical influences of other arts you rarely visit, be that rock, jazz, country, whatever.  Once you gain a solid grasp of the reflections of your taste, you will come back to composition with keener awareness of your artistic process.

Overture and The UFO Liftoff

I interpret this as an auditory description of future astronomical methods…well done.  – Louis Platz

I listened to it the other day and was, frankly, shocked. I happened to listen to the first movement 1st and the overture second. I had nightmares that night.- John Anderson777

I actually got into it, especially the overture. I was up and dancing and soon figured maybe I could enhance it with some shrooms. Bad IDEA.Signed Anonymous

The overture…., probably the longest two minutes of my life…. I’m not saying its a bad thing!!

Dig the new direction in “Wanderlust …,” James. A real departure. Thought the “theremin” passage toward the end was a cool touch
. – James Ross


Listen to David Toub

August 17, 2008

Link: David Toub

Its Saturday night and I’m dying of heat. I was planning to compose a 20 minute-plus work dedicated to Mars Webbens this weekend and ended up composing IMO the most mainstream work yet to date: An Incidental Lucid Moment (although I kind of dig it).

Anyway, I want to give a nice and loud shout out to David Toub who this weekend gave me a lesson on serial composition. I want to make it clear, he is not a professor (as you undoubtedly know), he is a composer who has no problem passing on knowledge. I have written about David Toub before and here I am again. Yet, this won’t be the last time either. Every composer I write about is someone who deserves a serious listen. Toub is a “downtown” composer, a postminimalist specialist. The greatest thing about Toub is that once you start exploring his works, you realize there are literally hours more to delve into. Happy listening!

An Incidental Lucid Moment

August 15, 2008

Third work for “Bats in the Belfry,” a collection of miniatures, is finished up. Have a listen here.

I initially planned to work on the Mars Webben’s work, but one thing led to another and you know the rest….

I have decided to dedicate a mini-project (set for potential release between Bats in the Belfry) to my close childhood friend, Mars Webbens, who mysteriously disappeared on April 7, 2007. Not to worry, readers, he warned me in advance of this. He said “the date is set, but unknown to me, to travel once more. Master calls on me at the most unexpected moments.” Alas, the date must have came and gone and I often think about what wonders his eyes set upon.

The work shall be a continual, extended, meandering piece, expected to start and finish the weekend of August 15-16, 2008-of course.

Chopin on Performing

August 11, 2008

Another Sunday, worked this morning a bit and decided to spend the day relaxing. However, when I punched in to check out my blog, I noticed a new WordPress feature. In a streak of red-orange the words “Post Now” appeared in the dashboard. So what was I to do? I followed the orders, but figured a small little quote would be a way to settle this conflict.

Today, as was yesterday, pianist composers are expected to perform. Similarly, I suspect there is more money in performing. Yet one king in the history of the piano wasn’t too confident about performing. Preferring small parlors. intimate settings, Chopin did not at all match in performing personality the pianists who champion his works.

“I am not fitted to give concerts. The audience intimidates me, I feel…” – Chopin

My Favourite Film Music

August 9, 2008

Quick Note: I have decided to include the letter U into words (i.e., favoUrite) for a more Euro-vibe. It looks better.

I’m not in to pumping businesses. Naming them in a blog, its a sort of viral marketing. And since I’m not being paid to name drop, I’d prefer to simply leave the name of a corp. out. HOWEVER, in this case I’m going to name drop, but I think its important. On two levels, first I can quit telling all my friends who pass by here about this corp. (save me the time) and also to educate the public.

Pre-Utopia, we are stuck with pretty widespread crap in regard to entertainment, in this case television and film. Through personal experience and trial and error, I devised a sort of SOP for my entertainment. First, I canceled cable (huge rip-off). Of course, I kept the internet because I need it for my work. By the way, did you know that basic cable in my town costs 55 dollars a month? If I remember correctly, the basic plan included 20 stations. Secondly, I joined Netflix — DINGDINGDING— (the magic word).

Netflix has several plans, but for the way I was to employ them I chose the one-film-at-a-time delivery with unlimited download access (Watch Instantly). You hook up a wire from your laptop or PC to your TV (or just watch it on your laptop or PC) and after one software upgrade, viola! Here’s the thing, watch instantly doesn’t offer much in the way of new films. But those big budget Hollywood films generally suck right? And one new movie of your choice arrives a couple times a week. So to get to my initial point.

Netflix has a massive amount of old films in their watch instantly section. Enough to last a long time (sort of like that scenario from a Twilight Zone episode where the guy who loves to read breaks his glasses after he lined up a library worth of books, after a nuclear holocaust, last man on Earth sort of thing). They also have quite a collection of silent films.

My favourite film music is set to silent films. All of them! The Cabinet of Doctor Caligari and Nosferatu (from the opening scene in the house with the happy, flowery music, to the ride in the carriage) to name a few, but there are many more.

(PS: I have noticed a lot of traffic to my blog regarding a certain “youth pastor.” There is no blog about him here, its the RSS feed on my sidebar that had an article on him the same day I posted this. So visit Slog on my side bar to find whatever you’re looking for OR stick around and read about contemporary classical music, much less depressing don’t you think?).

Why not just compose? I’ll make this quick bloggers. The truth is that a large amount what the public perceives as a composer is romantic BS. As if they would labour hours on end, day after day, for all eternity for their art. But what is true is that when pre-technology composers existed, a lot of them would journey to places where they could live in a certain proximity of other artists. Those lucky ones would yabber on endlessly and in-between make music.

Now we are lucky that the internet age allows ALL composers to yabber on without even having to move to Paris or New York. Just one more step closer to utopia my friends.