Sunday, July 31, 2016

A Thing A Week - 2016 - Week 30 | Piano Improv

I just spent the weekend with friends at a lakeside cabin in Wisconsin. It sure feels great to spend some time out in nature and swimming in a lake. Needless to say, there wasn't a ton of time to be working on new music. So, here is a little piano improv for this week's thing.

I really enjoy making these even though (and maybe because) they require such little commitment. It's such a good way to get a quick idea out of the ol' noggin without spending a ton of time expecting it to turn into a masterpiece. I think after this year is over I'll go back and revisit a lot of these piano improvisations and develop the ideas into longer pieces and arrange them for larger ensembles. If nothing else, maybe I'll just polish them a bit and publish an album of piano music. Good idea, yes/no?

Either way, hope you enjoyed it :)

See ya next week!


Sunday, July 24, 2016

A Thing A Week - 2016 - Week 29 | Piano Improv

I'm so glad I recorded this random little piano improv right after posting last week's thing because I have had a crazy busy week. I've been working on a couple cover songs for future posts, cleaning up a bunch of scores and work samples for a grant application, and archiving some old client work because my Pro Tools sessions drive is nearly at capacity. Man alive!

Okay, I'm having a hard time even recalling what I was thinking about when I recorded this little piano improv. Listening back now it seems to go a lot of places. I think that tends to happen with slightly longer improv pieces. I did manage to squeak in a little compound ternary return to A right at the very end though. Not that I'm saying that is required to make something complete. It's just sometimes nice to play for 5+ minutes and have it loop back around in some way, shape, or form. And now my blog post is quickly becoming a random stream of consciousness just like the piece of music...somebody stop me.

Here goes:

As always, thanks for watching/listening.

See ya next week!

Sunday, July 17, 2016

A Thing A Week - 2016 - Week 28 | Summer Garden - MIDI Splatter Stamp Improv for Piano

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 decided to draw some literal inspiration from the splatter/stamp style artwork and do something similar with the music by improvising a few lines into the computer using MIDI, and then copying and pasting and transforming that material into a full piece of music. I call it "MIDI Splatter Stamp Improv!"

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 10, 2016

A Thing A Week - 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.

Until then,


Sunday, July 3, 2016

A Thing A Week - 2016 - Week 26 | Downhome 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.