In the final episode of Composer Quest, Mitchell Johnson challenged me to put out an album of my solo songs that I've been collecting over the years.
I was inspired by my interview with Cyriak Harris to create a piece of music purely by visually entering MIDI. Although Cyriak listens back and tweaks the notes as he goes, I decided to take it to another level and turn off my speakers until I was totally finished. I also tried to avoid anything I would normally do to make it musically "right," and just make visually-interesting patterns.
Last night I got to hear a wonderful performance of a new quintet composition of mine. I wrote it in hopes that I'll be picked for a trip to Cuba through the American Composers Forum. The ensemble Third Sound is going to perform pieces from a few lucky composers, who will also travel to Cuba.
Challenging yourself to rearrange a piece of music is a good way to practice your composing skills without having to start from scratch. This week, I made it my goal to transform a cheesy soap opera theme into something that I'd actually want to listen to. In the end, it turned into an old-school video game track.
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.
I'm excited to announce the release of my first major video game soundtrack, for the game Star Reaction. I was asked to join the indie game company Untied Games with Will Tice (lead programmer) and Ethan Calabria (lead artist), and it's been great fun working on the music for this puzzle game.
Just a quick post here with my new autumn-inspired composition, performed by the Lux String Quartet this weekend.