Tag Archives: piano

Back To New York

8 Sep

Back to New York

This started as an old viola quartet with piano that I wrote years ago as a recording project about a friend.  This adaptation includes text about a person I met a couple of times in different dreams in a strange period of my dreaming life.  I kept meeting people, having completely regular interactions, small talk, learning their names and where they were from.  The character I describe in the text is one of those people – one that reminds me of the friend the quartet was originally about.

I ran into the dream character a number of times:  commiserating on a bus on the way to a conference in New York, painting in a cave offshoot of a basement of an abandoned dormitory cafeteria, at a punk show in Detroit…. After a music conference she presented at in New York, she showed me the beautiful ruins of an old pool in the main student union.  I recognized the pool as the one that used to be the end of a gauntlet in a recurring dream I had as a child, and she revealed to me that she used to be the monster at the bottom of the then-murky pool.  Strange stuff.

Hold it! Nobody Said Anything About Three Books!

8 Sep

“Hold it, nobody said anything about three books!”

Playing salsa is one of my favorite things to do these days.  So, what is this strange title and how is this instrumental salsa-styled tune dream influenced?  well…

One night, I was the character in the Duke Nukem video game, and I was all pixilated and 2D sideways, like in the game.  As I went around, shooting up monsters, there was some excellent videogame music going on, and I liked it enough to remember it and write it down in the morning after I woke up.  It had a pretty cheezy bassline, but I liked the harmony behind it.  I wrote some stuff over it back then, but nothing really came of it, until now!

So, the title:  Duke Nukem 3D uses audio samples from the movie Army of Darkness for its main character’s voice acting:  phrases like “Gimme some sugar,” and “Groovy.” I’m using a bit of music from the dream version of what that game’s music is like, sort of like how the makers of the game took a tiny bit of what the movie is like for their game.  For fun, I looked for other things Bruce Campbell (the one that acts in Army of Darkness) says, and decided on this one.  If you want, you can call it “Hold it” for short.

Download The Score!

a to b equals c

25 Jul

I wrote this for my good friends Shawn Teichmer and Jamie Lewis.  They were very patient with me, and premiered it at the College where they teach, Spring Arbor University in Michigan, and at NASA in the Spring of 2010.

This piece explores three different relationships that can occur between musicians, those that are humans and those that are computers.

The first movement is acoustic, with the piano and saxophone developing some material.  All the while, the computer listens and remembers.

In the second movement, the computer drives.  It starts with a footswitch trigger, and goes.  The computer is making lots of sound, and continues to listen to the humans, and comments a little, but mostly doesn’t pay attention.

In the third movement, the computer and humans are supposed to play together, but the computer stops listening completely, like a crappy person in your chamber group.  It’s hard to play a 3/2 clave together when the rhythm section isn’t listening…

a->b=c mvt. 1 score

a->b=c mvt. 3 score