Saturday, June 25, 2016

ATAW - 2016 - Week 25 - Up

Hey, guess what!? We're approaching the half way through the year mark! Week 25 is here!

I'm releasing this a day early because I had time to make something today, but tomorrow I'll be marching and playing trumpet in the freedom band for the PRIDE parade in Minneapolis. I'm super pumped for that. We're playing "We Like to Party" and "Thriller." If you live in the Twin Cities, you should come on out :)

I felt inspired this week to make something that sounds hopeful because I thing that is what we all need right now; don't you agree? Whatever it is that you're working on, or working towards, or hoping to achieve, just keep at it and good things will happen. Onward and Upward.

I hope you enjoy this little 'thing' for 2 pianos and strings

Until next week,


Sunday, June 19, 2016

ATAW - 2016 - Week 24 - Crunchy Chords - 5000 Page Views!

How exciting! Those Who Make Sound just broke 5000 page reads!

Thank you so much to everybody who finds the music I make and the things I say interesting enough to keep coming back for more :)

In celebration, here is a swanky little cocktail hour jazz trio piece called Crunchy Chords. Let's keep those cymbals splashy and take that bass line for a walk.

See ya next week!

Sunday, June 12, 2016

ATAW - 2016 - W23 - (more) Piano Improv

...Sitting at the piano working out this somber little melody. Trying to stay positive in the wake of all the terrible things happening in this country and the world. Sometimes words just cannot express my feelings. Music usually does more justice (for me at least). My heart goes out to you.


Sunday, June 5, 2016

ATAW - 2016 - Week 22 - Composer Quest MIDI Remix

Hello and welcome to this week's A Thing A Week!

This week's music is a collaboration of sorts coordinated by Charlie McCarron of Composer Quest. A quick reminder that he currently has a Kickstarter Campaign in progress for the final season of Composer Quest, so if you haven't yet, please go over and help out the cause because there is only 3 days left and $771 still to be pledged. Very cool project! Great rewards!

Now for the music!

The idea for this collaboration was actually brought into existence during my interview on Composer Quest. Episode 148.

A lot of music these days is created using MIDI (Music Instrument Digital Interface). Inside a DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) like Pro Tools, you can create what is the digital equivalent of an old time music box roller, or player piano roll, or even digital sheet music, and then tell the computer to use piano sounds, or harp sounds, or string sounds, or synthesizer sounds, or any combination of anything you can possibly imagine to then play those MIDI notes. Being a composer in today's world is a lot of fun :)

...So, it is very easy to create raw MIDI data and then later assign the tones (or instruments) used to play those raw notes. It is also very easy to share MIDI files over the internet. Bingo!

11 composers participated in this experiment. We all created a short piece of music using MIDI and assigned our own instrumental tones to the data but kept our version secret. We then threw into the proverbial internet bucket a file that contained our raw MIDI data (just the raw notes). We all then got some other composer's MIDI file from the bucket and without any extra info, remixed that MIDI file using our own interpretation and own ideas of what instruments should play the music.

The results are amazing! It is so cool to hear your own music arranged through another composer's perspective because it sounds like nothing you would have ever created just by yourself. It is equally as fun and interesting to be able to work with another composer's notes and simply focus on 'auditioning' sounds and instruments to play music notes that already exist.

For you to hear here, I have my original piano piece which was then remixed by Mike Manor, as well as an original work by Paul Sampson (I later found out was originally for wind quintet and electronic percussion), which I had the please to remix for synthesizers and middle-eastern instruments (turns out this is a really bizarre combo of sounds). The rest of the original music as well as the remixes are hosted here at Composer Quest episode 150. The tracks will also be up at the Composer Quest Band Camp profile for free download shortly. So check back later in the week :)

Until next week!


Sunday, May 29, 2016

ATAW - 2016 - Week 21 - Piano Improv

Hey Everybody!

As an artist, there are some weeks when you spend a lot of time working on your art. Other times there are weeks when you spend a lot of time working on your life, and gardening, and client work, and business, and socializing, and having some fun...this week was one of the latter for me.

So, here is a little piano improv for this week's Thing!
No less love goes into this music, just a little less time ;)

Hope you all have a wonderful week full of art-making and fun-having!

See you next week,


Sunday, May 22, 2016

ATAW - 2016 - Week 20 - Bitter Plants (Video Game Music)

Hello again!

Week 20 of 2016 has arrived and with it we have some VIDEO GAME MUSIC!!

A few weeks back at GlitchCon I had the pleasure of meeting a ton of  talented game developers and artists. I highly recommend attending next year if you a developer, or gamer, or interested in video games at all.

There, I met Darrel Cousey of Lakehome Games who is currently developing a really great puzzle game for iOS and Android called Bitter Plants. Turns out he was right at the stage in development where he needed music!

Creating the music for this game has been a very interesting and innovative process (and somewhat of a puzzle itself). For hardware memory sake, we wanted to be able to make around 3 minutes of music last a whole lot longer and not be too repetitive. Without getting too technical, I wrote the music so that it can be broken down into much smaller pieces based on the phrases (usually around 4 bars). These pieces can then be randomized to be played in any order. This way the music is always slightly different each time it is played. In other words, it can be looped over and over while not always being an exact copy of the last time it was played.

I ended up making music for 3 different ensembles as well (which are not interchangeable). So the pieces of one set can randomly play for several minutes, then the pieces of the next set can randomly play for several minutes, and so on.

Click the Bitter Plants link above or go to to check out the game and try it out on Google Play (currently in beta). iOS will be out soon!


Sunday, May 15, 2016

ATAW - 2016 - Week 19 - A Guitar Quartet of Sorts: Movement II

Earlier this week I had the pleasure of being interviewed by Charlie McCarron for his Composer Quest podcast. Be sure to stay tuned to his page. The interview should be post in a couple weeks. Also, he is currently running a Kickstarter campaign for the final season of Composer Quest, so be sure to check that out as well and become a backer today!

The main point of that little intro is so that I can now let you know that as part of his podcast he does something called "The Traveling Question" where the previously interviewed composer gets to ask a question to the next composer to be interviewed. The question I received was, "If you could spent some time anywhere outside composing music, where would you go?" Considering it is just now becoming the most beautiful time to be outside in Minnesota, I chose my own back yard. Everything is green and blossoming, and there are no mosquitoes yet!

This then turned into another challenge where Charlie has each composer he interviews write their own theme music! So, combining all these things together, I spent some time outside this weekend, got inspired, and decided it was time to write the 2nd movement of A Guitar Quartet of Sorts. Be sure to check out Week 3 if you haven't yet heard Movement I.

So, without further ado, here it is!

A Guitar Quartet of Sorts: Movement II / Music inspired by Outside / My theme music for Composer Quest

See you next week!