Photos

November 19, 2013

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The Troll pdf for solo piano example mp3

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Scores

October 10, 2013

Contact president.james@gmail.com regarding public performances

A Seattle Travelogue for Solo Piano

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  1. Nightfall on Post Alley pdf      example mp3      pic1
  2. Glass Elevator pdf      example mp3      pic1 pic2
  3. The Gum Wall pdf      example mp3      pic1 pic2
  4. Outside the Theater pdf       example mp3      pic1 pic2
  5. Along the Trail pdf      example mp3      pic1 pic2
  6. 4th and Bell pdf     example mp3      pic1
  7. The Troll pdf     example mp3      pic1 pic 2
  8. Morning at Ballard Locks pdf     example mp3      pic1 pic2
  9. Underground Passageway pdf     example mp3      pic1
  10. Waterfront Drive pdf     example mp3      pic1 pic2

Ladies and Gentlemen,

If you have been following this space, you have had the privilege of witnessing first hand, a composer composing in the most traditional (notated untradititional) sense, to then flip everything over on its head. As for the former, I used to blog regularly about my compositions as they were notated, clean, and eventually “shaped” to a realization to my expectations. An early example of the approach I used is not too dissimilar to Conlon Nancarrow’s piano studies.

I have visited both sides of the gigantic scale of new “classical” (“amaranth”) music and here I am reporting back.

Not since the days of MIDI – or as an even better example – the first synthesizer – have things evolved this fast and changed so dratically. To put it bluntly, digital audio workstations are the Holy Grail of new classical music. But in this case (as opposed to MIDI/synthesizer), its insanely here and now – relevant to mainstream art and (for lack of a better term) the avant-garde, without apology.

I will happily continue to notate music. However, the symphony, I can solidly attest to, is not located at your nearest concert hall anymore. Your symphony is located inside someone’s computer which can regenerate any experience, record live (improvisations of all varieties), and invent (the key). Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, I believe would be the first to agree if they by some miraculous chance were somehow shuttled to our present time.

In this sense, the tradition of “old” classical music needs to be carried on now more than ever. The legacy of counterpoint, voice leading, etc., definitely has value moving forward into the new universe of music. The fact that one can get away with composing new music without learning the foundation of classical music is a point worthy of stopping at and digesting. I will go into this further to some extend by way of Part 2. I hope you revisit this topic as I will point out my opinion regarding potential shortcomings of the new composer which I guarantee will surprise you.

Recently, through participation in the event ImprovFriday and experimenting with what I’d term is a mixture of plunderphonics, sound art, glitch, soundscapes, field recording, electroacoustic, music concrete, acousmatic, ambiance and noise (!), I’ve piled up quite a bit of works which are now organized fairly neatly into albums at my Bandcamp site.

At the moment all the albums are works in progress.  Minstrel Nomadic is set for release the summer of 2010, but is almost finished and I decided to set a price of $10.00.  The other two albums, “Jane Martin” and “File Under” are free.

On another note, the site “bandcamp” seems to be a work in progress as well.  For instance, just a month or two ago they came up with the idea that they could add tags to our music.  They still have smart ass comments for people downloading, error messages, etc., which are sort of hip, but can be annoying (especially the error messages).  However, they are one of the few sites sprouting up to offer lossless file storage.

I guess what I’m getting at is the fact that so many musicians are in a sort of limbo with the unfinished concepts for storage, tagging, etc., in a world of increasing bandwidth (soon we will be surfing on crazy Google speed with the capability of downloading a HD movie in 5 minutes) and faster computers (mp3s are a dying breed).   If that picture isn’t big enough, I think we could reach the same conclusion regarding technology in everyday life, from transportation to communications to energy (whats this Bloombox anyway??).

In closing, I think our time more the quadruples the developmental speed of any other time in history and so long as humans are tied to organic bodies (am I digressing?), we are going to suffer from the headache of constant change and progress.  We should not forget that progress drops off more than its fair share of waste, things we have learned and adapted to and subsequently had to forget (if forgetting is really possible).

In the Context of Change

November 12, 2008

asdfdsdfPreface:  Readers, you might have been wondering if I’m some kind of nutcase whenever I bring up UFOs and ET.  Let me make this clear.  I have never seen a UFO or ET and I have never had a supernatural experience.  I do look for UFOs on Youtube frequently, but have to say I am not sure I have ever seen one there… and there have been some interesting videos.  I think it is true to say that if ETs are visiting Earth and have the technology to do so, then they would have the capability to know exactly who on Earth is carrying what kind of device, such as a camera or video recorder, and if they are in range of the device.  So in essence, there is no way to take a picture or video of a UFO unless ET wanted someone to.

So to get to the point.  The quote below is a reply of mine over at NNM regarding the current vibe of the US concerning the atmosphere of change with Democratic rule being led by Obama:

I am personally leaning toward “first contact” trumping all change in the near future. This in part due to the pending social advances leading to various other advances in the world due to the world leader, the US, electing Obama.  I base this on simple logic because there is too much likelihood of there being massive amounts of intelligent extraterrestrial civilizations with the capability of visiting Earth.

The question then arises, what happens to the religious people of the world when they realize their beliefs were simply beliefs and nothing more?

Or what happens to people like myself if it turns out that a civilization with higher technology has discovered that a Christian-type God is ruling the universe?

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!!
Candy

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

CANT WAIT FOR THE SECOND MOVEMENT!!!!Nikki

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.