Skip to main content


Showing posts from May, 2018

Poppy in my garden

I grew a poppy in my garden. This is true - I grew exactly ONE poppy. I guess the other must have died - I expected this one to die as well, but it survived. However, it has a seed case, so I hope I can get more next time.

Bound music so far.

As I have mentioned before, I am busily having my acoustic music bound in black hardcover volumes. This entails a lot of Finale work on my part because it needs to have a good layout, along with page numbers, titles, descriptions, instrumentation, and so on. In the photo, you can see the black books there on the left. That's how many I have so far. 
1. Missa Sine Nomine. SATB, string quartet, organ, handbells. 2. Missa Sine Nomine. variations. I re-wrote several parts of the mass for other ensembles. 3. Missa Sine Nomine in English. 4. Music for Advent. SATB and instruments. I have pieces for first, send and fourth Advent Sundays. 5. Aviary Corridor. Soprano and small ensemble. Poem by Charles Alexander. This was performed in Seattle. 6. Fibonacci Poems. Tenor and piano. Poems by Coli Bell. I love these short poems which are snippets from life. 7. Music for Orchestra. Not a large volume! I actually have written a few pieces, however. 8. Music for Clarinet. Organizing volumes like…

Band Music

Writing band music for me is a blast; really, it is. My early band pieces, if I have to critique them, are that they are "ploddy"; i.e., eighth notes in repeating patterns of 4 or 5 or something, and loud fugal melodies over it.

This piece, however, is a lot lighter. It is a fairly recent work, based on a melody from the Sacred Harp. Of course, it won't get performed; conductors or wind bands like music which showers all the parts with melodies and constant switching harmonies. They don't like it when the band has to function as chordal body. But who knows? I had several experiences where the band director was interested in looking at my piece, and afterwords, all I got was silence and the music returned to me.

4 to 1

I have revised an early piece that I wrote for flute, gamba, and harpsichord. It can also be played for flute, cello, and piano (larger audience there). I hope to get a live recording one day!

More about choirs

Expanding on the topic of choirs within a community; Performing music by the composers (amateur or professional) is very important. Not enough choirs do this; they are too busy performing works by Bach or Herbert or Eric Whitacre.

Choirs used to perform this service; Bach, for example, was hired to write music for his choir every Sunday and for festivals. I'm sure that they also performed other composers (I guess I could look that up and find out). Today, of course, we are able to get music from anywhere in the world; this leads to lots and lots of music to choose from. I also have nothing against this. It is fun to perform a wide variety of styles, as well as singing pieces that are on my favourite's list.

This does not excuse the fact, though, that choirs almost totally ignore the composers living in the area where the coir resides; I have seen many concerts where I live, and it is rare to hear music by local composers. If they do sing one, it is by a famous composers, and i…