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.
My latest Composer Quest episode features superfan Dan Wheeler's Top 10 moments from the podcast. As episode 100 approaches, I thought I would also reflect on the podcast and post my own list of podcast moments that have most influenced my composing.
Santa visits the Composer Quest studios to kick off this special Christmas episode. You'll get to hear music from the past three quests. First, we travel out to rural Minnesota for KMS Elementary's heartwarming performance of our collaborative Christmas musical Elfluenza. Ms. Hamann's 1st-3rd graders also give us composers some advice. Next, I reveal which orchestral carol arrangements were chosen and performed by the Amadeus Chamber Symphony. Finally, we get to experience J. Wilson's epic journey to find a fortune cookie in Taiwan for the fortune cookie songwriting quest.
This weekend marked the end of the Fortune Cookie Songwriting Quest. Our compilation album is going to be a pretty interesting mix of vocal and instrumental tracks from all over the world. I'll tell you more about them in an upcoming post. In the meantime, I thought I'd share my fortune cookie-inspired bassoon and trombone duet, plus some composing tips for these bass clef instruments.
In my latest podcast episode, I talked with neuroscientist Wilma Koutstaal, who studies creativity. After our in-depth conversation about how to think creatively, we joked about how everyone wants things boiled down to a few easy tips. So here are seven ways to get your creative juices flowing.
Pianist Scott Bradlee has done some music history homework. In this video, he transforms "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star" through 11 decades of pop genres.
Nothing too serious in tonight's post, just that I had been playing the classic Nintendo game Excitebike this weekend and got the theme stuck in my head. I thought I'd try and write out Akito Nakatsuka's theme in sheet music form, in case somebody out there wants to learn how to play it on piano.
When I interned at Soundlounge sonic branding agency back in 2006, I studied James Bond themes and came to some conclusions about why these melodies and chord progressions invoke the mystery and suspense forever linked to the Bond brand.
In this video, ambient music wizard Brian Eno explains his creativity-provoking pack of cards, called Oblique Strategies.
I bet you think Jiminy Cricket's heart-melting melody is pure magic. I disagree. It's time for the cold, calculated, musical facts.