In honor of the 100th anniversary of Alexander Scriabin's death, Composer Quest and UniqueSound are teaming up to bring you a collaborative music production quest. We'll be creating an "audio quilt" based on Scriabin's Prelude in A minor, Op. 11 No. 2. Your goal is to record one measure from the score using whatever instruments or synthesizers you want. I'll unveil our stiched-together masterpiece on the Composer Quest podcast on April 27th.
Roger Dumas was a synthesizer whiz kid back in the 70s. He wrote manuals for early Moog synthesizers, and he helped out Prince, Janet Jackson, and even John Lennon. He's also the guy behind the catchy synths in the disco hit "Funkytown." Now Roger has a new passion: studying the brain's response to music. He's done some pretty amazing work, including re-creating a melody out of the pure data from brain sensors. In this season premiere episode of Composer Quest, I talk with Roger about his research, his album based entirely on brain data, and his glory days in the music business.
I've been nerding out lately by trying to design a board game (which I'll eventually reveal on this blog). As with all my hobbies, I turn to podcasts for inspiration, and I've really been enjoying the Game Design Round Table. They got me thinking about what makes a good board game, so I thought I'd turn a critical eye to my ten current favorites.
Last week, my friends Franco Holder and Charles Asch recorded this cello and piano duet I wrote for them. They're incredible performers, and they make this sound like the best composition I've written.
Last summer, my friend Pete and I went out to kick the soccer ball around, and I decided to try taping a GoPro camera to my ball. It made for a really fun video.
In our latest composing quest, we were challenged by the Minnesota Suzuki Flute Teachers Association to write flute choir pieces that could be played by beginner, intermediate, and advanced students at the same time. I thought that was a cool challenge, and I decided to start with the Japanese children's song "Kagome Kagome," which means "bird in a cage."
I just finished a song and animation for the latest SpinTunes songwriting challenge. Animating this brought me back to my childhood dream of becoming a cartoonist. It also reminded me of how much The Far Side has had an impact on me; the baboon I drew seemed especially Gary Larson-style.
Just a quick bit of news: Finale (music notation software) featured me on their blog!
I'm going to be speaking on a couple of upcoming panels about crowdfunding, so I thought I'd share some statistics about Patreon, and my Composer Quest patronage. Hopefully these stats will give you a little insight if you're thinking about launching your own Patreon project.
Last week, I asked my Composer Quest patrons to join me in an online jamming experiment. My friend Alex pointed out Plink, a cool site that lets you jam with random people on the internet. By adding a hashtag to the URL (#cqpatronjam), we were able to have our own "chat" room.