Composer Quest Olympics: The Results

composer-quest-olympics-no-date

50 composers participated in the Composer Quest Olympic Games, a series of six Olympics-themed composing challenges: National Anthems, Table Tennis, Weightlifting, Hurdles, Relay Race, and Composer's Choice. If you're in Minnesota, join us at the American Composers Forum on Monday to find out who won the gold, silver, and bronze medals, and stick around to hang out with some of the composers who participated.

Read more

Tour 1: Games in Chicago

tour-1

For the final season of the Composer Quest podcast, 110 Kickstarter backers decided it would be fun to send me on a two month trip around the world, interviewing composers and songwriters. I'm thrilled to announce that the first episode of my Composer Quest world tour is here!

Read more

Composer Quest Olympics

Composer Quest Olympics

Since I'll be on my Composer Quest World Tour this fall, I decided we had to do something worldly and big for the final composing quest. In the spirit of the 2016 Rio Olympics, I'll be hosting the official Composer Quest Olympic Games!

Read more

Sound Design and Score: An Indie Film Round Table

Twin Cities feature film - sound

How does a composer write music that doesn't draw attention to itself? How can a director convey scoring ideas if they're not a musician? Why is temp music important for an editor? When should sound design reflect the real world, and when should it be from a character's psychological perspective? Will the dialogue editor choose the lavalier or boom mic recording, or both?

These are just a few of the conversation-sparking questions we discuss in today's Composer Quest podcast episode (the season six finale!), featuring the team behind the upcoming film Twin Cities. You'll get to hear perspectives on film sound from a director/writer (David Ash), producer/editor (Jason P. Schumacher), sound designer (Mike Hallenbeck), and composer (me). We dissect the entire post-production sound process, from a spotting session with all four of us, to our experimental on-the-spot scoring session, which was very productive and slightly nerve-racking for me as the composer.

Read more

Hypnotherapy and Creativity with Vanessa Cornett-Murtada

St. Thomas professor Dr. Vanessa Cornett-Murtada specializes in teaching piano, creativity, and performance anxiety reduction techniques. In this episode of Composer Quest, Vanessa shares some tips on getting past mental blocks as a composer, and she explains how hypnotherapy can be helpful in reducing stress, increasing productivity, and sparking creativity. She also explains why Brahms is her favorite composer.

Read more

Comic and Sublime Songwriting with Erik Ostrom

Erik Ostrom - Photo by Chris Curl

Erik Ostrom was working at a Silicon Valley startup when he realized songwriting was his true passion. He has since moved back to Minnesota and found another passion: the improv comedy world. In this episode of Composer Quest, Erik and I talk about his recent performance with The Local Music Scene, a song-based improv comedy troupe. Erik also shares some great stories behind his songs and insights into writing interesting lyrical rhythms.

Read more

Episode 150: UBK on Music Production and Arranging

Composer Quest Episode 150

For this special 150th episode of Composer Quest, I got to talk with Gregory Scott, co-host of my favorite music production podcast, the UBK Happy Funtime Hour. Gregory answers my tough music production questions like: "what effect would you use if you could only choose ONE?" He also shares his process in creating the upcoming Sneaky Little Devil record with his wife Sarah.

Also in this episode, you'll get to hear the results of our MIDI Remix Quest, where composers swapped MIDI data and blindly added their own sounds.

Read more