- Moonlight my ass!
- The HUMBLER
- Who’s the top-selling pianist in history?
- Fly Away :(
- The Mozarts of Hair Metal
- How To Compose Today
- What time is it?
- Twins separated at birth
- To hear the world in a single note and heaven in a triad
- RIP Elliott Carter, Maestro of Thorny Complexity
- Monster Mashup
- May the best man wi… Oh, damn!
- Music for driving into trees: Sweet Wine
- Music for driving into trees
- My Favorite Things
- Mammas Please Let Your Babies Grow Up to Play Cowbells
- Claret for Clara
- Last of the Bohemians
- Guy walks into a bar
- How to break a heart with one chord
- What are oboes good for?
December 09, 2012
Lifelong friend Shaun McNally drew my attention to this empassioned, illuminating essay by Robert Beaser on how composing has evolved over the last few decades.
November 19, 2012
Doesn’t it blow you away when someone sneaks into your brain and snatches your thoughts? That’s what Tommasini did in his NY Times column yesterday.
A single chord can knock you on your ass. (How to break a heart with one chord.) Even a single note. (That growling bent E string in Jimi’s "House Burning Down" solo.)
I’d love to know — what notes (or rests!) send you flying?
October 16, 2012
Gore Vidal wrote Best Man more than half a century ago, but the themes (political dirty tricks and smears, idealism vs cynicism) play out on today’s stage with eye-poppingly contemporary relevance.
At one point, crusty ex-President Hockstader mostly kiddingly quips, “Worst damn thing ever happened to this country, giving the women the vote.”
I thought: Wow! The setting of this play (1960) is closer in history to before women had the right to vote than it is to today!
Then I thought: Wow! Here we are today with candidates re-debating women’s right to chose, promulgating the notion that “legitimately raped” women are unlikely to get pregnant is science, and forcing these same rape victims to undergo invasive ultrasound probes purely for the pleasure of witnessing their humiliation and physical pain.
Then I thought: Hey! This site’s supposed to be about music. So… Come see the brilliantly directed (by Frank Licato), acted, and designed Best Man at the Summit Playhouse and hear the music I composed for it.
September 18, 2012
Corroborating what we already knew, Northwestern Professor Nina Kraus’s study found that kids who actively play the cowbell — (OK, synecdoche disclosure: She actually said “a musical instrument”) — have improved working memory, greater ability to disambiguate sound (like speech) and to make sound-to-meaning connection. More: