Happy new year to you all. It's interesting to think that this will be my last semester of undergrad studies, as it's still kicking me that it's almost been four years since high school. I have a lot things to look forward to the next few months, a performance of my concert band piece, the movie I'm doing the score for The Control Group will be finished in February, and my recital for composition will be in April. I am working on finishing up the Wind Quintet piece this week or so, and as I've been writing it I've noticed that in the long term I will need to further experiment with formal structure. Right now I feel like a lot of my pieces have a kind of inherent ABA structure to them, the waltz is kind of A, B, A2 kind of a deal, but still. That isn't to say that my pieces aren't mature in their formal structure, I think they are, I just think that there are more approaches I need to meditate on. In any case I'm glad that I do what I do, to give speech to something that can't be said with words. Music has always taken a kind of role as a betrothed to those who do it for a living, but it's kind of a paradox that some of it's greatest rewards come out of when you yourself aren't at your best. It's up to the artist to do with that what they may. I'm interested to see where I go compositionally after I finish up my pieces for the recital, as life is sure to give you something that will never leave you ( good or ill ) as you were before.
ps In the wee small hours by Frank Sinatra is the best thing (and interestingly enough in the worst kind of way) ever. Beautiful. But I'm sure yall knew that already.
Just as an aside, there is this artist that I've been really digging lately and he almost knocks off Klimt as my favorite artist (if it weren't for my love of all things Vienna). Dudes name is Zdzisław Beksiński. Had to copy and paste that now the font changed. whatever. Anywho, this guy has some of the most really thought provoking surrealist stuff I've seen in a long time. Just some eye candy to start the new year.
Hope everyone's holidays are going well! I just wanted to upload this extended analysis I did on Penderecki's Threnody for the Victims of Hiroshima, a famous piece, as seen in films like The Shining and Children of Men. It's not groundbreaking stuff, but if you are interested in the piece I think you'll find it an interesting read.
I hope everyone is having a most blessed Christmas season.
wishing you all the very best,
Today I just finished my first official movie score, for the film "The Control Group". I will still be in contact with the Musical Producer Michael Teoli for the next few weeks to discuss production/arrangement issues, but besides that, I have finished and have a score of around an hour of music. I'm extremely proud as it took a lot of work, and really thankful for Peter Hurd, the director/producer of the film, for giving me the opportunity, along with Michael with helping me in a process that proved to be an interesting learning experience. Once all the audio is mixed, and mastered and finalized I'll try to get a few audio selections up to view on the site. Here is the poster for the film:
In addition to all the stuff with the film, I'm excited to have finished my brass ensemble piece Fanfare for the Fighting and will be going over edits for that during the school break, along with finishing composing the rest of my chamber winds piece. It is an exciting time for me beginning as a composer, and I feel truly blessed. Hope the holiday season is treating you all as well.
The UMM Chamber Jazz Ensemble will be playing five African inspired Jazz pieces from Prof. Jason "Hollywood" Squinobal, at the HFA Recital Hall in a Chamble Ensembles concert at 730 tomorrow night. Yours truly will be on the Bari Sax, and it shall be a ball! Check out one of Jason's tunes Adowa:Horizon from his album Horizons. The dude plays so hardcore. I'm excited to be a part of playing his pieces!
Here is the file of my senior seminar in German if you want to read it, and if you incidentally can read German. The seminar deals with how Nazi policies led to the German sound coming to America and influencing our music here.
It was a lot of hard work, but it is good to have it done and to put more focus on the movie.
In addition to composing I am a person who is really passionate about linguistics and foreign cultures and stuff like that. German culture and language specifically. If you are in Morris on Thursday the 21st come to my German Senior Seminar. I'll be talking (all auf Deutsch) about how Nazis and their policies led to a musical renaissance in America. It should be interesting to any of you who know German, or if you don't there will be explanations afterword. After the seminar I will post it on here for anyone who wants to give it a glance.
"The Flight of German Sound: How Nazi Policies led to the Ascendency of American Music in the Concert Hall, Movie Theater, and Stage."
Thursday Nov 21st 7-8pm Science Building Room 2190
vielen dank/bis bald
The Russian folk dance, Khorovod, and how it impacted Stravinsky's formal structure in Spring Rounds
I wrote a paper for an analysis class about the fourth movement of Stravinsky's Rite of Spring: Spring Rounds. While it is no secret that Rite of Spring is full of melodic material derived from Russian folk songs, it surprised me to learn about the extent how Russian folk dance influenced Stravinsky's crafting of formal structure. One of the things that really gets me about musical analysis is how that you aren't learning music theory alone: cultural, personal, artistic, and historical backgrounds all come into play. While intending to do a straightforward analysis of the movement, it ended with me learning about the intricacies and history of the Russian folk dance, the Khorovod.
The analysis is in the pdf below, and under that are links to the movement and a performance of a more lyrical styled Khorovod.
I'm excited to launch my site, and as a composer who is starting out this is an incredibly exciting step. I'll be using this blog aspect of my site mainly for 2 things: 1) posting news about projects and pieces and such, and 2) for every once in a while I feel like posting something else, be it related to music at all or not.
First off I thought I'd post some article's written about the movie I'm doing the score for, Peter Hurd's The Control Group. It's been a really great process so far working with Peter and our Sound/Music Producer guy Micheal Teoli, (who I've linked his site along with Peter's in my collaborators page... and as essentially BRAND new person entering composition, it's been amazing to even be connected to a guy like Micheal who has worked on HOWARD SHORE's team for the score of LORD OF THE RINGS....(!!!!)... (that's 2 connections to LOTR now in one movie (Brad Dourif-Grima Wormtoungue!)) and he has been up to other incredible projects and has just released a new cd... let me say it dubs hard. ) But anyway I'll post some links of press for the movie, as more press for the movie is more press for me, which is for a newcomer like myself always good!
Word on the street about The Control Group:
the imdb page: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2270372/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1
Secondly I hope you all get a chance to enjoy the first piece of mine I've had the opportunity to be recorded. The Prelude in g minor for piano is a piece I had written as a compositional challenge from my instructor Jason Squinobal to utilize more Romantic harmony and structure in one of my pieces, while still retaining some of my stylistic idiosyncrasies. It alternates between harmonically dense slower sections and more clear textures in the faster ones, tied together with chromatic transitions underlined by broken chord arpeggiations. I was amazed to hear it played by the wonderful Therese Sutula, who played it phenomenally. I hope you enjoy it. The next recording of pieces won't come for awhile, but not that I have at least one audio file on here, and now that I'm wrapping up my work on the film I felt it was time to put the site up.
Thanks for checking my site/blog out, and stay posted for more!
Cheers and bis dann,
.Will post here about with updates about current works, music in general, likely many linguistic things, general thoughts, etc.