Blog Archives

What I did last summer…Part 1

Three music for media projects during my final, thesis semester.

-Animated short film (for a film scoring contest): Virtus Vitae

Clip (not used in the final version) from the opening of a documentary about breast cancer called “Baring It All”

-Commercial/promo spot from C-SPAN: White House Week

Busy, busy, busy, but not much getting done…

Wow, it has been a while.  Sorry.  I’ve been getting busy again…new students, two student recitals coming up, more homework, past homework catching up with me, habitually taking on more than I can handle, etc…

But I finally have it posted on YouTube! (The contest’s short film that I wrote music for.)

Hope you enjoy.

Also, I’ve been seriously considering (finally) getting my own domain name.  Unfortunately, I just ordered 500 more business cards with WordPress in the domain name.  I guess that will have to wait a bit.

Oh, Jazz…

Well, I did end up writing two pieces for the jazz ensemble at my Vermont residency in February, but there was not enough time allotted for me to get to hear them both.  One was an arrangement of the percussion piece that I mentioned in the previous post, and the other was a tango, which was the one I chose to hear, have performed, and have recorded.  I am still trying to put the sound files together for the mix that I want for this tango, and also for the percussion piece.  So, hopefully, I will have them available for listening this week sometime.

Between homework for my new (and final!) semester and the craziness that comes with spring for my music students, I’m kind of overwhelmed right now; hence the short blog.  But I’m going to try again, God willing, to stay more steady with my blog (and updating my online presence as a whole), even if that means this is all you get each time.  Thanks for still supporting me in my musical and life goals!

The Half of a Masters Degree

One week later than promised, but here it is…

My second semester project is complete, and my first year of graduate school is almost over.  Quite a feeling, mixed feelings actually, but mostly consisting of happiness and contentment at the moment.

My project turned out a little shorter than I expected, and much shorter than I wanted, but I met the 10 minute minimum requirement of music for the semester.  I am excited about that; it is the most music that I have ever produced in half a year!  I am exceedingly proud of myself, but I also look at (and listen to) my fellow students’ work and immediately see how much I still have to learn.

It is hard for me to describe what I wrote this semester; I feel the need to explain the dances because each dance movement that I wrote is connected so much in my mind to it’s specific dance.  But I’m going to try not to take up space with that, unless I really need to.  If you want to know about each dance, please look them up; there’s plenty of information online and off.  My music (the instrumentation that I chose), I very quickly found out, is unconventional for most Ballroom Dances.  The usual music is more percussive and like pop music than my chosen medium of string quartet and piano (piano quintet).  Therefore, my dance movements sound much different than typical Ballroom dance music.  But I still attempted to capture the musical styles and techniques used in the typical music for each dance.  Each of the five dance movements that I wrote will be recorded during my residency in August, and I will post them as soon as I can afterwards.  Until then, I will try my best to describe the music.

Some (especially dancers) have asked why I chose the five dances that I did, since two of them are classified as “smooth” dances and the others are classified as “rhythm” dances (just as different in look, character, and music as their categories imply).  I have two reasons.  For four of the five dances, I had specific musical ideas in mind.  In my dancing experience, I did not have any musical problem with “smooth” and “rhythm” dances being next to each other in a dance line up.  And I wanted it to be a sort of line up, but more actually a “suite,” like it could be a little dance party in and of itself, like dance suites used to be, especially in the Baroque Period.  So, I chose the dances and ordered them in the best way I thought possible, musically, rhythmically, and so as to not purposely fatigue the dancers.  Consequently, the mix seems a little random, but I have thought it out and am happy with it.  The order is Foxtrot, Samba, Rumba, Tango, and Waltz.  Stay tuned for their descriptions.

Under Construction

“Hello, World!”  I’m in the process of constructing this blog, which will mainly serve as my website with an added feature blog about my musical exploits, adventures, and thoughts.  I plan to blog my thoughts about teaching music, performing music, and composing music.  I would love to read your responses and thoughts on the same as well, so feel free to comment.

Along with this webpage, my life at the moment is also “under construction.”  I am recruiting more music students for additional income, sharpening my performance skills with a band, and have started a Masters program in music composition with lots and lots of homework.

So, my thought for the day?  Homework.