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.
Ian Dicke has secrets, but not the scandalous kind. In this episode of Composer Quest, we talk about his tricks of the trade when it comes to structuring his compositions and developing musical ideas. Ian also shares his approach to teaching post-1940s art music, which usually only gets about a week of attention in undergraduate music programs.
What do Chopin and Jimi Hendrix have in common? What do "Graceland" and "Yesterday" have in common? How do mp3s work? What is the purpose of music? These are just a few of the random topics Paul Cantrell and I talk about in today's episode of Composer Quest. He has a ton of golden nuggets for composers, and you'll get to hear him live at the piano, explaining the composing styles of Chopin, Brahms, and Paul Cantrell himself.
After his time as a helicopter pilot in the army, Jon Brantingham returned to his love of music theory and composing. He’s been inspiring people with his practical approach to learning composition, which he’s been sharing in his blog and podcast, Art of Composing. In this episode of Composer Quest, Jon and I talk about what makes a good melody, how to modulate using “pivot chords,” and how to channel Beethoven without outright copying him. We also chat about what he’s been learning in his UCLA film scoring program. It’s a longer and more theory-heavy talk than usual, but it got my composer gears going, so I hope you enjoy it too!
For the 10th Composer Quest quest, I challenge you to write a piece of music for string quartet inspired by autumn. You have until September 1st to send me your composition (firstname.lastname@example.org), and the best string quartets will be performed at the Underground Music Cafe on September 21st at 6pm. In this quest announcement episode, I pull out my dusty violin and give a few tips on writing for strings.
Craig Carnahan has been a part of the American Composers Forum since it was small enough to fit in a living room. In this episode of Composer Quest, he shares advice on writing grants, getting performances of your music, and arranging copyrighted material. Craig explains how ACF's Innova recording label works, and why it's such a great opportunity for composers. We also get to hear a few of Craig's original pieces.
Composer Richard Russell is a philosopher at heart. In his mission to become a better composer, he went back to school to study the big questions surrounding aesthetics, music, and beauty. He has dug into both existential and practical composing topics in his podcast Creativity and Composition (one of my favorites). I'm pleased to bring you this Composer Quest podcast interview with Richard, in which we discuss everything from feminist musicology to Plato to getting performance royalties from ASCAP.
Guitarist, composer, and podcast producer Anthony Joseph Lanman has racked up over 350,000 followers on Soundcloud – a number most classical musicians can only dream of. In this episode of Composer Quest, Anthony talks with me about his career path, his music, and his answer to the question, “What would Beethoven be writing today?”
Join us for the third Composer Quest Quest! Write a classical aria for the Twin Cities Opera on Tap group to perform.
I wrote this original piano piece for the first New Age Salon performance hosted by The Schubert Club. This group of musicians, painters, poets, dancers, and composers was organized by Fidelis Odozi and inspired by the salons of centuries past. We tried to capture that same feeling of artists collaborating and sharing their ideas in a relaxed setting.