Many of the styles in which I compose or arrange didn't even exist when I was starting out. And the tech wasn't even a dream. In the end, we're all students.... and teachers. I'm all that stuff it says at the left under my name, but it's all based on being able to teach myself what I want to know, knowing who to ask when I can't figure it out myself, and being willing to be a beginner.... again. That's what keeps the music fresh.
Composing

Composing

When I compose, I always have to do something new to me, something I haven’t done in just that way before.  Composing is in many ways a lot like simply arranging your own musical ideas, but the twist for me is that I don’t think I’ve composed unless I’ve done...
Arranging

Arranging

I’ve done a ton of arranging for live shows involving large casts of singers and dancers, with live orchestras or big bands, and “play-along” tracks to supply whatever the live musicians aren’t available to do, provide effects, etc.  Whether the orchestra’s in the pit or the band’s on the stage,...
The venue

The venue

This is where it happens. The audience is waiting. The musicians are ready. The anticipation is incredible. Will this be the performance that goes that extra bit beyond the best rehearsal?  When the curtain goes up, it could be a solo pianist, a symphony orchestra, a big band, a large...
Making it work

Making it work

I make music with technology. The music dictates the technology, not vice versa… but the technology is critical to the life of most composers/arrangers/producers these days. I’ve heard that in the early days of computers, computer programmers were recruited from the ranks of composers, because they understand working in a...
Latest entries
Cape Fear Moods

Cape Fear Moods

The Cape Fear New Music Festival invited me to compose a piece for their ensemble for the festival that took place on April 18, 2015. In response, I composed Cape Fear Moods which has two movements, Romance and Parade.   The ensemble is unusual.  It’s instrumentation is piano, flute, alto sax, trumpet, tuba and percussion (pitched or unpitched)....
Music for Faustus, a new adaptation

Music for Faustus, a new adaptation

  Rachel Tracie, Chair of the Theater Department in College of Music and Arts, Azusa Pacific University, has written a play updating the Christopher Marlowe classic, named Faustus: A New Adaptation. Prof. Tracie’s concept for this play involved original music to be composed specially for the play, and we eventually settled on a pianist situated in...
OUR FATHER, LORD and SHEPHERD, for mixed chorus, piano and violin

OUR FATHER, LORD and SHEPHERD, for mixed chorus, piano and violin

I composed Our Father, Lord and Shepherd in memory of Jennifer Monique Tinker, 1994-2009.  Jennifer was a home-bound student due to a very rare genetic disease, the complications of which prevented her from attending an institutional school.  My wife was Jennifer’s teacher in her last year of life.  Jennifer was a lovely child, full of...
MAY CHRIST BE AT HOME IN YOUR HEARTS, for mixed chorus

MAY CHRIST BE AT HOME IN YOUR HEARTS, for mixed chorus

May Christ Be At Home In Your Hearts is a composition for mixed chorus.  It’s available from Lorenz/Roger Dean Publishing.  You can see part of it there, and also listen to a performance of it. Here is the amount of it that the publisher allows you to see, for purposes of review. It’s based on...
OUT OF THE FOG, for orchestra

OUT OF THE FOG, for orchestra

Out of the Fog was partly composed while I was in the hospital, and in a pharmaceutically induced state of fog, using a laptop and a small keyboard with ¾ size keys.  The pseudo-minimalist gestures in the opening began that way (one wonders if that has been the genesis of more than one minimalist-influenced composition),...
DECADANCE, three dance movements for chamber orchestra

DECADANCE, three dance movements for chamber orchestra

I gave Decadance its title in an innumerate state of mind, in which I simply miscounted the number of parts it has; I only remembered to count the five wind parts and the five string parts, and forgot the percussion and piano.  I counted ten, and it is a set of dances, hence the title, along with...
MEDIA MALPRACTICE, the movie

MEDIA MALPRACTICE, the movie

As the 2012 election season rolIs around again, it seemed a good time to mention that I scored the film Media Malpractice, about the 2008 election, produced by John Ziegler.  Here’s the IMDB link and the trailer (which, unfortunately, isn’t too representative of the musical cues in the film).  You can watch the whole thing on...
ENDURANCE, symphonic poem for orchestra in five movements

ENDURANCE, symphonic poem for orchestra in five movements

I hope to be putting up some audio clips of this soon. With his crew of 27 men, Sir Ernest Shackleton set sail from England in August 1914 in the Endurance, with the intent of being the first to completely cross Antarctica on foot, having just missed being first to reach the South Pole.  Already...
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