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A Composition Seed with Dr. Brian Campbell


I felt like I was right back in a composition lesson with Dr. Brian Campbell, my former CSB/SJU music professor, when I interviewed him for this episode of Composer Quest. As always, he imparted plenty of wisdom, this time about writing music from a single “seed” and developing that idea. We also talk about form, writing melodies, “robot composers,” and using the Japanese aesthetic of “ma” – silence. We also get to hear a couple of Brian’s songs based on Emily Dickenson poems.

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Right click to download Ep. 12, or open in iTunes.

A very special thanks to composer and theorist Dmitri Tymoczko for letting us use his samples of music based on constraining random notes. Dmitri has showed interest in being interviewed for a future episode, so I’m excited to do some homework in preparation for that interview! He recently published a revolutionary new theory book called A Geometry of Music, as well as a jazz album approached from a classical sense of form called Beat Therapy. His new album Crackpot Hymnal will be released soon.

In this episode, we reference a number of modern composers, all of which have very difficult names to pronounce and spell. So here are links to their work:

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