Home > Superfan Dan Wheeler’s Top 10 Composer Quest Memories

Superfan Dan Wheeler’s Top 10 Composer Quest Memories


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. For the full list, take a peek below. But if you want to be surprised, just listen to the episode:

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Right click to download Ep. 99, or open in iTunes.

For more of Dan Wheeler’s music, visit DanOnKeys.com.

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Dan Wheeler’s Top 10 List

  1. Jenny Katz (Ep. 34) – Jenny talks about making time for writing music each day, no matter how busy you are. If you commit to writing a song every day, like she did, you’ll probably get past your self-critical roadblocks.
  2. Laura Marie (Ep. 72) and Patrick Hertz (Ep. 45) – Both Laura and Patrick talk about how your “golden hit” isn’t going to come until after you’ve written a hundred or more songs.
  3. Dr. Brian Campbell (Ep. 12) – Brian’s approach to composition is to build your piece from one small strand of musical DNA, and grow the idea like a seed.
  4. Torley (Ep. 38) – Torley explains how his glitch music is like “perfectionism therapy.” Since everything eventually fades away, including us, why try to make things perfect? He uses the Tibetan sand mandala as an example of beautiful, transient art.
  5. Patrick Hertz (Ep. 45) – It’s tough to market your music when you make all kinds of it. Patrick, who works at Tinderbox Music, says you should instead brand all your different genres separately, with different names if you have to. He uses Ryan Adams as an example of a successful multi-genre artist.
  6. Dr. Vicky Williamson (Ep. 64) – Dr. Vicky reveals why some songs are more “sticky” than others. These earworm melodies often have longer notes with step-wise motion – the same qualities that make melodies very singable.
  7. Michael Chadwick (Ep. 61) – Michael created soundtracks to his home videos, and he found that even the mundane parts of his life, like doing dishes, can be fun to write music for.
  8. Dr. Mary Beth Huttlin (Ep. 24) and Warren Hildebrand (Ep. 25) – Mary Beth has a form of synesthesia where she experiences color when she hears music, and vice-versa. In an interesting twist of fate, the very next Composer Quest interview with Warren Hildebrand revealed that he experiences the same synesthesia.
  9. Dr. Diana Deutsch (Ep. 29) and Pat Pattison (Ep. 71) – Both Diana and Pat talk about the musicality of speech. Pat’s episode also features Charles Spearin’s amazing Happiness Project, in which he orchestrates interviews with his neighbors.
  10. Prism House (Ep. 30) – Matt O’Hare of Prism House has the ultimate tip on throat singing – just imitate Krusty the Clown.


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