Sorry about the lack of updates in the summer, but honestly not too much to report on then, however now that is not the case. I am now settled in Fuzhou, China ( a city of about 7 million or so inhabitants) working an incredibly fun and satisfying job as an English teacher. China is crazy and amazing and every day seems like a new adventure. It is simultaneously exotic and familiar at once. I could ramble on a million different things about how I love China, but I'd go on forever. The only drawback so far is that Fuzhou is not the place for live music, apparently that's more big in more Western cities like Hong Kong, Shanghai, Beijing... so for the time live music isn't an option, unless I figure out a way to find a scene, or perhaps start one. Apparently people are telling me that a laowai (the affectionate Chinese word for "foreigner") band here would make a killing. Something to think about. Anywho, I think instead of doing something tedious like doing a blog for China, or just posting my China related stuff on here, I might just do a monthly or so podcast, as I find that would be more interesting than reading another Wordpress page or something. And that also gives me the opportunity to use Logic and recording stuff more.
The job is great and satisfying, but most important to myself, it provides a lot of time to focus on my true goals: music composition. I have plenty of time to compose or to slowly build up my understanding of programs like Logic Pro X or Finale 2014. I've been working on numerous projects, and compositionally I have two new ideas in the works. I'm pretty decently along with a TTBB vocal arrangement, and now I'm starting up the workings for a string quartet. And now that I have Logic and all the proper materials for audio production, I'm starting to practice musical scoring production on there too. I forgot that No Country for Old Men did not have a soundtrack, and so I'm excited to make practice demo tracks over such a great film. I'll also probably make a Youtube page for music as to have another way of people checking out outside of here or soundcloud.
THE CONTROL GROUP (THE FILM WHOSE MUSIC I SCORED) WILL MAKE ITS FILM DEBUT AT THE TWIN CITIES FILM FESTIVAL (LOCATED AT THE SHOWPLACE ICON THEATER IN ST. LOUIS PARK, MINNEAPOLIS, MN) ON OCTOBER 22ND, 2014 AT 830 PM !!!
Those of you in the area can buy tickets here to see the film: http://twincitiesfilmfest.org/tickets
and check out the trailer here: http://twincitiesfilmfest.org/the-control-group?name_page=films_menu
Which means... sooner or later I will have news of a soundtrack to give to you all!!
til then/bis dann/ 再见
Sorry everyone. Haven't updated in a bit. First off, I'd like to thank all who came to my recital, and those who played on it as well! It was so so so so so amazing to hear my works performed for the public like that. And now I have the pieces from my recital on the website under the audio page as well! In other news, my piano piece, "Prelude in G Minor" has been selected to play at the Honors Recital here at UM-Morris on Friday May 9th, 2014! Also biggest news-- I'll be living in China and teaching English and composing starting in September of this year.
Life is crazy cool, man
Hello friends, hope you are all well. Big news on my front. The score of THE CONTROL GROUP is now finished---- AND PRODUCED, and is now being sent to be mixed and implemented within the film! AKA, my work therein is done! Really exciting stuff!! I'd once again like to thank Michael Teoli for all the help he has given me, from producing the tracks, to additional arrangement tips, organizational advice you name it, it's been a real pleasure working with him. You all should check out his website www.michaelteoli.com, like his facebook page https://www.facebook.com/michaelteolimusic and twitter as well @michaelteoli . AND if you haven't yet already, LIKE THE CONTROL GROUP on facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Control-Group-Movie/248815938570001
You should really check it out because for the next 30 days while post-production wraps up and we begin to prep for the unveiling of the film, you can see some really cool behind the scenes shots of the film!
On the concert side of the coin, the brass ensemble and the woodwind quintet pieces are now finished, parts made, and now I'm just doing score preparation for conducting purposes. I'm already starting rehearsals this Tuesday! Crazy! This is the best part coming up though,: seeing all that hard work come to life!
Also I've begun work on a Lieder/art song. The music is there, now I just need to input it into finale. The hardest part was the designation of the lyrics. I was really really wanting to write something really personal, and of course in German, but I ultimately decided that a text setting would be preferred. This is because I don't want the song to be too blunt in it's message,.. Being too direct can feel forced, and unartistic.. But I decided to take the text from an excerpt of a longer poem from my favorite poet... and possibly favorite writer/thinker Rainer Maria Rilke. This section is the most famous last stanza of that poem, and has been focused on so many times it is often referenced as an individual poem in its own right:
Lösch mir die Augen aus: ich kann dich sehn,
If you dont know German and really want to know what the text means just go online, this is a really famous one. Tons of translations. I think this one speaks to the music I've made for the song well, and communicates where I am personally right now. Exciting things happening. I'll probably make a professional facebook page in the coming days as well, so stay tuned for that. I'll probably update this a bit more frequently now that the movie is starting to really near completion.
Live the questions now,
I learned this that a fellow friend, musician, and aspiring composer, Jason Cains, passed away this morning after battling a rare type of cancer (I believe if I remember correctly). It saddens my heart as he was one of those rare people who was genuinely nice to everyone, never heard him say anything bad about anybody, always in good spirits. It saddens me further, that we won't be able to hear the music that such a soul can make. I didn't know him that long, but long enough to know that he was a great person to everyone he met. RIP.
Life is for the living.
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.
.Will post here about with updates about current works, music in general, likely many linguistic things, general thoughts, etc.