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Showing posts from January, 2013

Smetana Moldau Memories

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Driving along in Oklahoma yesterday, my mind rife with stress about getting a new apartment in Buffalo, New York, and the disaster of boxes and half-packed scores that is my current home, I was pleasantly interrupted by the lilting strains of Smetana's Moldau on NPR's Performance Today.
In an instant I was awash in musical melodies, thunderous brass, and sonic bliss (all while driving my excited preschooler to gymnastics class). I remembered the first time I had heard the classical piece, playing in a local children's orchestra, and the many hours I spent with an old vinyl recording practicing my oh-so-important triangle part for the upcoming concert with the now Florida Youth Orchestra


Die Moldau / Vltava (Photo credit: leralle)I explained the instrumentation to my daughter as I conducted and drove (perhaps not as dangerous as texting and driving?). And she quickly let me know when the tempo slowed down and sped up. Of course, she has already told me that she would like t…

Bye Bye Oklahoma! To Buffalo and Beyond!

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After almost two years of Oklahoma living, which involved tornadoes, lots of dust, and the best hot sauce I have ever tasted in my life, it's time to relocate to Buffalo, New York. While in Oklahoma I enjoyed the Oklahoma Composer Association and presenting the Athena 60x60 at Cameron University. I played congas with the Cameron Baptist Orchestra and timpani with the Oklahoma Baptist Symphony. I talked about crowdsourcing at the Future of Music Symposium and met with writers at a writers club in Duncan. And now it is time to pack the bags and go north to a world of cold winters, blizzards, and more opportunity! 

2013 already starts so much better than 2012 ended, with a nation dealing with tragedy as my family dealt with its own illnesses and personal tragedies. Life can be so bittersweet, and when a tragedy strikes, you just hold your loved ones so much closer and appreciate each moment like its your last with them, because it may very well be. 

In 2013 there are already a few exci…

Kindle Free Kindle Book P oem and Free Music Giveaway Today

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As a special thank you to all the wonderful fans of my music and video art, this year I have start doing special giveaways. This month the free giveaway is a free Kindle poem with a special free Music Gift. 

Alpha to Everlasting was a sacred poem I wrote many years ago that outlines the story of Christ in a modern psalm format. Included with this free Kindle giveaway today are links to free music scores and an exclusive download of five music tracks for Alpha to Everlasting readers. Alpha to Everlasting provided inspiration for my later work the Creation Oratorio, an award-winning sacred work for women's chorus, tape, and percussion ensemble premiered by the Millikin University Women's Choir and Millikin University Percussion Ensemble.

Alpha to Everlasting is already #30 in Amazon's Free Books list in Poetry today! I hope that you enjoy this first free gift. If you have ideas for upcoming giveaways, drop me a note in the comments below!

Everlastings (Photo credit: Yagan Kiely

Music Secrets: Writing a Click Track

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In the Digital Age, a composer is just as likely to write a work for the local university as he or she is commissioned by an ensemble in Australia. From using notation software programs like Sibelius and Finale to using crowdsourcing and virtual Skype rehearsals, the classical composer today has dozens of tricks up their sleeves.
The shrinking of our world has forced many composers to develop tech skills that were not necessary 20 years ago. 
Many composers are familiar with the concept of a click track. Most commonly associated with live acoustic recording of soundtracks or recording studio sessions, the classical composer today may have to use a click track to help musicians thousands of miles away to stay in sync for a project. Complex multimedia projects involving live musicians, film scores, and cross-internet recordings. 

For my current project, Libertaria: The Virtual Opera, I have a cast of a dozen singers that are spread throughout the United States. They have never met for …