Upcoming Performance – On the Sensations of Tone

My new piece On the Sensations of Tone will be premiering in Athens, GA at the Alumni Electronic Concert on November 10th. The performance will be at 8:00pm in the Dancz Center for New Music.

Many thanks to Dr. Leonard V. Ball for inviting me to be a part of this concert, as well as for being a great teacher and friend.

Unfortunately I will not be able to attend this premiere as I will be in Seattle, November 11th-14th, for the AMS (American Musicological Society) and SMT’s (Society for Music Theory) conference. (I am not attending the conference but will be accompanying my girlfriend there. If you happen to be in Seattle during those dates and would like to meet, please contact me and perhaps we can arrange to meet up.) If you are able to attend the concert in Athens, please do let me know what you think!

I will be releasing audio recordings of On the Sensations of Tone on November 11th. The site will be updated at that time to include this new work and make it available for download.

Reflections on a Night of Composing…

Sunday night, I stayed up until 5:30AM to work on finishing a piece I have been working on the past four or so months for an alumni concert I was invited to be a part of by my old professor, Dr. Leonard V. Ball. I had been putting in a lot of hours over the past months to work on this piece, a lot of time contemplating, listening to it over and over, trying to understand the character of the piece, seeing what I wanted in it and where it wanted to go. (A couple times there were three week stretches between when I was able to move forward with the piece, and all that time was spent just listening and wondering what was to come next…) The past week the work on the piece really started to pick up as I began to have a better idea of it as a whole. This past weekend I set aside all of my free time for the piece, with Sunday night all of it really coming together.

The long night, accompanied with coffee and tea, reminded me of my times when composing in college, staying up in to the early hours of the morning, listening, contemplating, exhausted, focused. That type of exhaustion, when you don’t have the energy to entertain stray thoughts, I find can lead to certain level of focus. Working at that time of night that the rest of the world seems to be asleep always has a wonderful sense of peacefulness to it, a sense of there being all the time in the world to work and to allow things to happen rather than to force it due to time constraints. The experience of that time was wonderful, and the morning, though exhausted, I was exhilarated.

It’s been a long time since the last piece I wrote and this one… At times it’s been frustrating not to be working on music as much as I’d like, and then even when working on one to lose focus or interest. I think a lot of that has to do with exploring musical ideas that ultimately really weren’t me, but also just learning to balance out all of the responsibilities of the day. I’ve found the past months working on this composition though to be very different than the other years between, much more focused, and sense of connection again with the music I’m working on.

This new piece marks the beginning of a new period of actively composing in my life. The years that have passed between the last finished piece and this one were filled with many musical explorations as well as many life experiences. The time spent establishing a career as a programmer, experiencing the world’s events, and simply living life has been rich and rewarding. The exploration of musical ideas has provided many lessons from which I feel I am only now beginning to understand within the context of my own music.

It’s been an amazing journey to arrive at this piece, and I am looking forward to the music to come.

The new piece, entitled “On the Sensations of Tone”, will be released shortly. Please check back later for an announcement of it’s release.

On the Sensations of Tone

Completed: 2004.10.18
Duration: 6:00
Ensemble: Electronic (blue, Csound)

Project Files: click here
OGG: click here
MP3: click here

Notes: On the Sensations of Tone marks the beginning of a new period of actively composing in my life. The years that have passed between the last finished piece and this one were filled with many musical explorations as well as many life experiences. The time spent establishing a career as a programmer, experiencing the world’s events, and simply living life has been rich and rewarding. The exploration of musical ideas has provided many lessons from which I feel I am only now beginning to understand within the context of my own music. It’s been an amazing journey to arrive at this piece, and I am looking forward to the music to come.

Upcoming Peformance: Four Quarters

I received an email today from Jason Thomas that a piece of mine, Four Quarters, is being performaed on Mark So‘s “Quiet Music at Night” concert over at CalArts. Not everything seems to be set in stone, but the details that are worked out are that the concert will be November 9th, 10pm-3am, at the CalArts Main Gallery. As I get more details I will certainly post it here.

I’m very excited to hear that another performance of this piece is being done as I’m quite fond of this piece. A big thanks to Jason Thomas for letting me know and Mark So for organizing the concert!

Subscription Music on Real Rhapsody

A while ago when subscription music services first started I had tried out Napster, but for some reason or another I decided to stop using it. Perhaps it was that I found that downloading albums took up too much space, and perhaps I wasn’t using it so much at the time.

Today, however, after discussing Hillary Hahn’s CD’s with Will, I decided I wanted to try out one of these services again. At first I thought I’d try Napster again, as I remembered the service to being alright, but decided instead to try out Real Rhapsody. So far, I’m enjoying quite a bit. I like that it’s focused on streaming on-demand music and not downloaded files. I find that having access to any music on a whim to be a very liberating experience. I like very much that the playlists I create are saved on a server as that allows me to move from computer to computer and have access to the playlists.

So far, the music selection has been very good. It’s nice that they have Naxos’s collection as it contains a great deal of Lutoslawski and other 20th century composers I’m very much interested in. I was able to find Bruckner’s and Brahm’s symphonies, and am looking very forward to delving very deeply into all of the symphonic music that I can.

I think this type of service very well addresses my needs in that I’m not very much interested in managing music files or allocating space for them. I don’t want to own this music as much as I’d like to have access to it. It feels to me very much like a public library, in that I am able to have access but not own these items, and that suits me very well.

The only down side to all of this is that it only runs on Windows, as my preferred OS to use at home is Linux. At work it’s absolutely fine as that is what I use there, and at home it’s not a problem for me to log into Windows as I the tools I use for my musical work and other work are available on any platform I use. So, all in all, I’m pretty satisfied.

Real Rhapsody has a 14-day free trial and so I am taking advantage of that now. As these are all my first impressions, perhaps I’ll stop using this as I did Napster, I don’t know. I guess I’ll see how I feel in a couple weeks when the trial is over. ^_^