Saturday, November 28, 2015

Music topics

So, I'm still trying to get back on the band wagon with this blog. I have been brain storming topics for posts I intend on writing about in the future (hopefully at least monthly). Before I even start delving into the subject matter, I will say that all of these topics are based off of my perception and experience. The ever popular IMHO ("in my humble opinion") comes to mind.

Here is the list of topics:


  • How I start a piece of music/jazz chart/song
  • What I've learned about social media and social networking
  • How I write for big band saxophone section
  • Cross pollination and not restricting onesself to just music
  • Small ensemble reduction arranging
  • Constructive criticism and its necessity
  • Use of octaves/unisons
  • "The workspace" - what my studio has in it
  • Use of parallel 5th/4th outside of music theory
  • Writing on a deadline: "high art" and gut instinct
  • The independent bass line (in classical, jazz, and contemporary)
  • "If it sounds good, it is good."
  • Planing chords / block chords / drop voicing / parallel coupling / line writing
  • Music and technology: programs, apps, mixers, speakers, etc.)
  • Grading scales for scholastic music
  • Time management and related advice I've been been given over the years
  • Chordal instruments in composition and arranging
  • Score study vs. practical application vs. critical listening
  • Time signatures: why is use time changes to keep interest 
Surely more topics will be added to this list, so keep tuned in for the first of many discussions!

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

My last update was a year ago...

So. My last update was November last year. I have failed considerably in that respect, but it's time to get back to work. (That's not to say I haven't been working...but that's beside the point).

My son, Samuel, was born in May. He's such a good baby. Now my family is complete. Looking toward the future.

I finished my Bachelors of Arts in Music degree from Thomas Edison State College. After 11 long years I finally finished. Unfortunately, I missed my graduation application deadline, so I won't get to graduate until December. But alas, it is what it is. 

My final course was called a Liberal Arts Capstone, which is essentially a thesis or dissertation research paper. I coupled the paper with a creative project. For this project, I decided to investigate something I eventually want to do: compose music for film. Saving all the boring details, here is the paper  and project can be found here on YouTube. 

I have written several arrangements for Mike Filkins and the Cadillac Symphony Orchestra in the last year, and its projected I will be writing a couple things this year as well. I also wrote some arrangements (alongside my colleague Leon Williams) for Samantha Crawford to be accompanied by the aforementioned CSO.

Now that college is done, I will be more time to actually dedicate to composing.

I started working on several concert band compositions last year, and even more possibly from 2013, which I was never able to finish, mostly because of college, so my plan is to attack those compositions full force and add them to my repertoire fully. Expect those hopefully by the end of the year.

Additionally, all of the online branding/marketing I have neglected over the last year will be put on a regular schedule; most notably my blog and getting my compositions uploaded to my website and hooked into my entire social network grid. It's time to get things back on track.

Let the games begin. <shameless plug>If you like my stuff, share it, like my Facebook page, or listen to some of my current developmental stuff on SoundCloud.</shameless plug> Stay tuned!

Also, more playing and recording guitar/vocal stuff. That's something I haven't done in quite a while.