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Showing posts from December, 2012

Music Secrets: Finding Vocal Rhythm

Discover Vocal Rhythm This is the second part of a new series called Music Secrets, an exciting new series of helpful informative articles for music students, composers, and music educators. Composing an opera is not the easiest endeavor. First you need a solid understanding of drama and advanced music composition, then you need to conquer the challenges of finding a story, developing the story into a full opera production, and finding the resources and personnel to bring your operatic dream to life. Read about Opera Basic s in Music Secrets: How to Write an Opera, Part 1  If you take the operatic process step-by-step, you will find that there are few creative endeavors that will challenge you and reward you like your own opera production. Today I will chat about the vocal writing process for Libertaria: The Virtual Opera , my first full opera production. I studied vocal composition under legendary classical composer Frederick Kaufman , who taught me many helpful co

Christmas Special: Free Kindle Download Short Story

Cocoon I hope that you are enjoying a Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah this year with your family and friends!  Christmas Kindle Specials  Free December 24-25 Reader Comments: "Stunning Talent" "This will take you where you don't want to go. It'll be fast but you won't forget it right away. Heavy hitting. Ugly. Emotional. And all I can think of at this moment is another winter's coming." Cocoon (2001) Short Story Compelling short story. Opening the door to a crack addict on a freezing winter's night leads to a dizzying series of events and the most chilling questions about charity, humanity, and the soul in Sabrina Peña Young's controversial short story inspired by the author's true life experiences. Excerpt: "What are you doing in this part of town, Elma?" "Jus'ta meet some friends." Why ask? Sure, friends. Nice friends with nice powders and needles and rocks. Real nice friends who will ki

Christmas Free Kindle Music Book: Sell Your Music: A Quick Guide for Indie & Classical Musicians

I hope that you are enjoying a Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah this year with your family and friends!  Christmas Kindle Specials  Free December 24-25 Free Kindle Download Sell Your Music: A Quick Guide for Indie & Classical Musicians Life changing music insider tips on mixing, music distribution, music grants, and more for the independent musician. Hip hop, rock, country, film music, or classical, this fun and easy-to-read music guide will save you hundreds of dollars and help you grow your fan base. Special tips on audio engineering and classical composers included.  This quick and easy-to-read guide will give you some fast tips from a music professional to help your career reach the next level.  Download for Free on December 24-25th Related articles 11 Free Christmas Music Albums: Pop Folk Soul Jazz [Sound Sunday] When Did Independent Musicians Settle For Waiting In Line And Following The Rules? Stephen Arnold Music Releases 'The Six Strings of

A Time of Reflection, a Time of Life

Tragedy befalls us at every turn. A look at the news this week and the tragic school shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary demonstrates that life is precious, fleeting, in a moment gone from your arms. But it seems that as a society we are befalling a string of personal tragedies, economic and personal, temporary and forever.  This morning I reflect on life, on death, on tragedy, on pain. I work on a Christmas gift for a child that was born premature and lived all but a few minutes in his young parents' arms. This week we receive news that a grandmother is in hospice. This morning one of my parents is in the hospital, a thousand miles away.  Life, does it need to be so tragic? We are spoonfed a million images daily that insist that we need to be happy, that things and beauty and money will bring us happiness. Could it be that the natural human condition is struggle? Could it be that happiness is only one facet of an ever complex reality, existence. Our society insists that everyo

World Order 1: Flossing and Nukes

NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 08: Actor James Franco and artist Kalup Linzy attend the Rob Pruitt's 2010 Art Awards at Webster Hall on December 8, 2010 in New York City. (Image credit: Getty Images via @daylife ) World Order #1 A few years ago I released an experimental electronica album title Origins, c inematic soundscapes, pulsating rhythms, and enigmatic vocals envelop the listener in entangling science fiction textures and robotic mayhem. World Order #1 was originally composed as part of a filmscore for Kalup Linzy 's 2004 Conversations Wit De Churen .  While the rest of the score was used for the movie, which premiered at the New York Independent Film Festival , World Order #1 was not used. The Dance Remix version was used for the film with Linzy's voice dubbed over the original track.  The New York Times' Holland Cotter writes , " ... If most of the characters, including Nucuazia's sharp-tongued mother, soft-touch grandmother, wastrel brothe

Funny! Forget the Mozart Effect: The Schoenberg Effect

In a lively Linked in Discussion on composers, composition, and inspiration , musician Fred Zinos shared the following hilariously funny insights into the Mozart Effect and other such Composer Effects. Read on, smile, and share! "New Findings on the Mozart Effect: A recent report now says that the Mozart Effect is another charming urban legend. The bad news for the hip urban professionals: playing Mozart for your designer baby will not improve his IQ or help him get into that exclusive pre-school. He'll just have to get admitted to Harvard some other way. Of course, we're all better off for listening to Mozart purely for the pleasure of it. However, one wonders whether, if playing Mozart sonatas for little Tiffany or Jason could boost their intelligence, what would happen if other composers were played during the kiddies' developmental time? LISZT EFFECT: Child speaks rapidly and extravagantly, but never really says anything important. BRUCKNER

Looking Glass: Into the Heart of the Composer

Looking Glass Looking Glass is based on a journal entry from August 30, 2003: English: Looking glass room Nederlands: Spiegelkamer (Photo credit: Wikipedia ) I look in the Mirror And who do I see? Hollowed Eyes Looking Back at me Sensuous Lips Wrinkled and Torn Sallow Skin and Soul Forlorn But when I breathe, she breathes, too. Those tears in her eyes I knew We hold hands in our looking glass The moments melting into the past And underneath the hardened shell Is a little girl I knew so well Someday she'll learn to laugh again And love, maybe she will find it in the end But today I am left with my mirrored mate Goodnight, Lovely Alice, for it's getting late The moon has risen above the dying trees Forgotten wishes float away with the breeze Each moment passes quicker than before And our Alice, She sleeps Forevermore. The text of Looking Glass reflects on my own struggles of living a double life in the darker days of my early college years many years ago, the refere

Music Secrets: How to Write an Opera, Part 1

Feel like writing an opera is only for big name composers with big budgets? Or are you willing to take the plunge and create a work in one of the most compelling and cutting edge musical opera? Almost two years ago I embarked on the largest musical production I have created to date -  Libertaria: The Virtual Opera. After writing the award-winning Creation Oratorio and dozens of multimedia works, I wanted to combine my love of the audio and the visual into a single large scale work.  Find a Great Dramatic Story You need a strong story to write a compelling opera. Fortunately you can easily borrow from thousands of public domain works and modernize them. Think of West Side Story (just a contemporary version of Shakespear's Romeo and Juliet) .   Many great operas use Shakespeare, the Brothers Grimm , and Biblical stories, all of which include interesting characters, strong themes, and action.   Libertaria borrows heavily from messianic stories, but is se