Composer Quest World Tour

Art by gpbrck

I have to share some potentially heartbreaking news with you: 2016 will be the final year of Composer Quest (see below for an explanation). But I want the podcast to go out with a bang, which is why I'm planning a Composer Quest WORLD TOUR in the fall. The plan is to travel for three months, visit fans, conduct interviews, and produce epic weekly episodes based on my travels.

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Transylvanian Ethnomusicology with Colleen Bertsch

Colleen Bertsch, photo by Paula White

Ethnomusicologist Colleen Bertsch is in Romania right now through a Fulbright grant to study Transylvanian violinists. I got to Skype with Colleen for this episode of Composer Quest, and we talk about her faithful recreation of Romanian folk music with her band Szászka, and the crazy time signatures (22/16!) she's played with her Balkan band Orkestar Bez Ime.

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Star Trek Fan Filmmaker Tommy Kraft on Scoring “Horizon”

Star Trek Horizon - Tommy Kraft

Tommy Kraft has been "living under a bridge" in order to finish his passion project, the feature-length Star Trek film Horizon. He's doing almost everything himself: directing, writing, editing, composing, visual effects, and even making the costumes. The film is Tommy's ode to the Enterprise TV series, which played an important role in his life by helping him sort through his struggle with depression. In this episode of Composer Quest, I talk with Tommy about his approach to scoring Horizon, and he shares words of wisdom on running a Kickstarter and producing a large creative project.

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Composer on Fire Podcaster Garrett Hope

Garrett Hope Composer on Fire - Composer Quest

Garrett Hope has drawn composing inspiration from spider mating calls, Joan of Arc's trial transcript, oil spills, and rape survivor stories. In this episode of Composer Quest, I ask Garrett about these composing projects, and I ask what he's learned from his podcast Composer on Fire. He shares some words of wisdom from his interviewees, and things he's learned through his own composing journey.

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Whiskey Songs and Space Musicals with Bubba Hollenhorst

Bubba Hollenhorst - Composer Quest

Bubba Hollenhorst is a songwriter friend who I often only chat with during loud concerts or on the dance floor. In this episode of Composer Quest, I get to know Bubba a little better. He shares stories from his albums Enter the Enchanted Whiskey Forest and Space Love, along with tips on writing a post-apocalyptic space-themed musical. I also ask him about the dozen or so hilarious jingles he's written for segments on his podcast The Weekly Awesome.

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Guild Wars 2 Composer Lena Chappelle on Melody Writing

Lena Chappelle Composer Quest

Video game composer Lena Chappelle worked her way into the game business by starting as a quality assurance tester. Now she's both designing and writing music for games like Guild Wars 2. In this Composer Quest interview, Lena shares some of her music and creativity tips, including her method of composing songs during her bus rides. She shares how to write a good melody, and how her experience as an author has influenced her musical storytelling. I also ask Lena about her perspective as a transgender woman in the video game industry.

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Music Production Lesson: Visual MIDI Improv

Charlie McCarron - VMI v1a

I was inspired by my interview with Cyriak Harris to create a piece of music purely by visually entering MIDI. Although Cyriak listens back and tweaks the notes as he goes, I decided to take it to another level and turn off my speakers until I was totally finished. I also tried to avoid anything I would normally do to make it musically "right," and just make visually-interesting patterns.

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Cyriak’s Surrealist Music and Animation

Cyriak - Composer Quest

Cyriak Harris has wowed the internet with his weird YouTube animations, which often feature dancing, mutating animals, like his 34-million-views video "cows & cows & cows." But he's rarely asked about his soundtracks, which are equally intricate and wild. In this episode of Composer Quest, I interview Cyriak about his composing methods and creativity tips.

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Composing Quest 17: The Tattoo

Composer Quest - Tattoo Composition Notes Staff

I'm excited to announce our next composing quest, courtesy of Tim Cheesebrow and his forearm. Tim has been looking for a way to commemorate his family tree through music, and he's decided to leave it to Composer Quest listeners to write a "Cheesebrow family" melody. Tim will then choose his favorite composition, and TATTOO IT ON HIS ARM.

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