4 Ideas That Changed How I Compose

October 8th, 2014 • Composer Quest, Composing Tips


My latest Composer Quest episode features superfan Dan Wheeler's Top 10 moments from the podcast. As episode 100 approaches, I thought I would also reflect on the podcast and post my own list of podcast moments that have most influenced my composing. Continue reading...

Superfan Dan Wheeler’s Top 10 Composer Quest Memories

October 8th, 2014 • Composer Quest


I've been putting out more Composer Quest episodes over the past year and a half than most people can keep up with. So I was taken aback when I heard that Dan Wheeler had listened to all 90+ episodes TWICE (and some three times)! In this 99th Composer Quest episode, Dan shares his top ten moments from the podcast and talks about how they influenced his composing style. Continue reading...

Melody and Modulation with Composer Coach Jon Brantingham

October 1st, 2014 • Composer Quest


After his time as a helicopter pilot in the army, Jon Brantingham returned to his love of music theory and composing. He’s been inspiring people with his practical approach to learning composition, which he’s been sharing in his blog and podcast, Art of Composing. In this episode of Composer Quest, Jon and I talk about what makes a good melody, how to modulate using “pivot chords,” and how to channel Beethoven without outright copying him. We also chat about what he’s been learning in his UCLA film scoring program. It’s a longer and more theory-heavy talk than usual, but it got my composer gears going, so I hope you enjoy it too! Continue reading...

Quest 11: Halloween Reeds

October 1st, 2014 • Composer Quest


I'm excited to announce our 11th Composer Quest Quest, brought to you by our woodwind friends, the Twin Cities Trio! You may remember them from such quests as Quest #1, in which my podcast listeners and I arranged some fun music for oboe, clarinet, and bassoon. Now, the trio is back to inspire you to write and/or arrange music for them on the theme of Halloween. You can either find an existing spooky song (Thriller, the Addams Family theme, etc.) or write one yourself. Send your oboe, clarinet, and bassoon music (PDFs and mp3 or MIDI) to twin.cities.trio@gmail.com on or before Friday, October 17th. Continue reading...

How to Make Your First Chiptune Song without Rage Quitting

September 24th, 2014 • Production Tips


Since I'm getting more into writing video game music, and since a lot of game developers are looking for an old school chiptune synth sound, I thought I should learn the authentic way to make them: by using a music tracker. Continue reading...

Fargo Composer Jeff Russo on TV Scoring

September 24th, 2014 • Composer Quest


When Jeff Russo's band Tonic hit it big in the 90s, he was just beginning to get interested in film and television scoring. Now his IMDb page is chock full of major TV credits, including composing for CBS's Hostages, 50 Cent's Power, USA's Necessary Roughness, Showtime's Weeds, etc. His most creatively Continue reading...

Red Leaf Rhapsody

September 22nd, 2014 • Music, Video


Just a quick post here with my new autumn-inspired composition, performed by the Lux String Quartet this weekend. Continue reading...