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Showing posts from June, 2014

When the piano's dead.

I sat there playing, but it wasn't music coming from those keys. It was just noise. Damn Charles Ives. I started listening to this amazing album using Spotify of two people I never heard of before. Susan Graham and Pierre-Laurent Aimard singing a selections of songs from Ives, along with the amazing Concord Sonata.

I had it on in background while reading a new biography of him that was just released. And this music is like a magic trick. Sometimes the songs sound like the voice is in one key and the piano in another. And yet, my brain doesn't process the dissonance as dissonance. It sounds right. And yet, logically, I know that these are not "normal" note/chord relationships.

I suppose it takes a bit of an "educated ear" for this to happen. I don't see putting this on in a bar. It would probably sound like noise to a lot of people.

But what's also doing is making my brain crave it more, like craving sugar. And when I sit down to write my "song…

First Review of the London Cast Recording of "The Last Session."

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LINK TO REVIEW.

Rob Lester sums up his rave review on the website Talking Broadway, "...the recording crackles with energy and drama, capturing the performance of a committed cast-in a show with a lot to say (still)."

ORDER ALBUM FROM AMAZON.

Report of World Premiere of Mass.

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Here at the University of Steve in New York, we performed the Mass I've been composing for the past three years. Part writing exercise, in that it was an attempt to learn more about music and choral arranging/composition, and part gift to the community of Christ Church Bay Ridge, as well as a few statements of my own about faith, I guess I'd call this a graduation project, maybe.
The day was long in the beautiful building. I did not bring a camera. I know why. I needed to just be there, fully engaged. Not thinking about anything but the performance. I didn't want to be an observer of my life. I just wanted to live it.

However, Stephen Anthony Elkins brought a camera and took a few shots. This is with Andy Gale, who directed the evening. You may ask, why would we need a director? Aren't we just gonna stand there and sing? Well, no. Because I had some ideas about moving the choir into the "audience" or surrounding them, etc. but it was all vague.
Having Andy (…

My Mass begins rehearsal Tuesday night.

I never, growing up, would ever have guessed that I'd compose a Mass, but Mark Janas and I have been working non-stop for the past week, editing, revising and getting the 17 numbers into rehearsal shape. 
This is the first time I've just taken a breath.
Rehearsals start Tuesday, there's another on Thursday and then the concert is Saturday.
Because this is completely new, no one knows what to expect. That's the exciting part. I think it's going to be one of best nights anyone will ever have. Not that I'm prejudiced or anything. 
It has only energized me, doing this project, and it's thrilling to finally see it come to life. It's all thanks to Fr. Jeffrey Hamblin, who has financed this entire music program out of his own pocket from his work as a doctor working graveyard shifts at the ER. And also thanks to Mark Janas, who gave all of his time this week to me, to edit and revise all the arrangements. It was a massive undertaking.
And now, on Saturday, it…