Sunday, July 17, 2016

ATAW - 2016 - Week 28 - Alison's Art

Hello again!

So here's the deal. I've decided/discovered that what I've said so far with A Guitar Quartet of Sorts is really all that I wanted to say with that ensemble for now. So, A Guitar Quartet of Sorts (No. 1) is officially completed. I really like where it starts, goes, and ends with the 3 movements, and when I inevitably write more music for that ensemble in the future (maybe still this year), I'm going to start fresh and call it A Guitar Quartet of Sorts No. 2. Sorry to anybody who was hoping to see/hear more of that right now, but I think it is the right decision for the art. Thank you for all your support getting me through that piece of music :)

On to this weeks thing! Week 28!!!

After last week's post, I got a great response from the artist/painter Alison Albrecht. She said that because of my A Thing a Week project she was also inspired to begin painting something every week as well. Her first painting is really amazing, so I decided to write some music in response to her post and inspired by her art.

I really enjoyed making this, and I'd love to being collaborating with others as well. Please let me know if you'd like to make something together with me in the future. Let's make it happen :)

See ya next week!


Sunday, July 3, 2016

ATAW - 2016 - Week 27 - A Guitar Quartet of Sorts: Movement III

Man, this guitar quartet just keeps getting better. I'm so happy with the way this movement turned out. I went for faster and more dense than the last two movements. Tossed in a little distortion on the electric guitar while I was at it. Ooo la la!

A little random side note, unlike the last two movements, this one took me more than one full day to record. I think you can see my beard growing from the first recorded classical guitar to the last recorded electric guitar...maybe it's just my imagination.

Anyway, hope you all enjoy this next installment in the "A Guitar Quartet of Sorts" series.

If you missed the last two movements, check out my YouTube Channel Playlist which has all three movements in sequence. As always, please like, share, and subscribe.

I feel the fourth and final movement coming on for next week's thing. Here goes nothin!

Until then,


ATAW - 2016 - Week 26 - Down Home Groove


I can't believe we are already half way through the year! This week I set out to work on Movement III of A Guitar Quartet of Sorts, but then realized I want to make the next movement the fast movement,  which turns out makes it harder, which turns out requires me to actually practice the parts...

So, I worked on that for a bit, and then started playing around with some of my new instruments. A couple weeks ago, my dad asked if I wanted his old 12 string guitar. I said yes (of course). Also, I've been holding on to my mom's childhood violin for some time now and finally decided to get it fixed up and playable. Got it back from the shop last week. First time I've ever played violin in my life, so go easy on me. I don't usually play much percussion either come to think of it. I've played shakers on a lot of audio recordings, but I believe this is my first video debut as a percussionist. Using my relatively new Casio Privia PX-560M keyboard as well. I'm really diggin this ensemble. Weeeeee!

Hope you enjoy this little Down Home Groove. A little Americana seems appropriate for the 4th of July Celebration. Have a wonderful and safe holiday weekend :)

Until next week,


P.S. I'm using a Stellar CM-6 tube mic to capture all the acoustic instruments. I highly recommend picking one of these up. Great for vocals too.

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!