Scores Now Available for Purchase Online

My self-publishing empire Swirly Music has just launched an online store where certain pieces will be available for purchase.  At the moment only my clarinet/piano piece American Standard and a short choral work are available.  I will be adding my other choral pieces...

Sibelius Trick: Use Your iPhone as a Number Pad for Your Laptop

I’m sure I’m not alone among Sibelius users in relying very heavily on the number pad for quick music notation.  It is of course much quicker than pointing and clicking on that little tool box.  So, at such times when I’m using my MacBook away from...

Video: American Standard at Old First

Filmmaker Mark Altenberg did a lovely video interpretation of my clarinet/piano piece American Standard that was displayed live during a recent performance at Old First Concerts in San Francisco. Using footage taken of clarinetist Karla Avila and pianist Regina...

City Walks at SFO "You Are Hear" Festival

Some composer friends and I have been kicking around the idea of getting our music played in unconventional venues. The idea is that if music is only played in concert halls, then the audience is limited to people who take time out of their busy schedules to seek it...

Project Encore: Choral Works Awaiting Second Performances

Last year the New York chorus Schola Cantorum on Hudson initiated their Project Encore initiative, an effort to promote second performances of choral works that have received premiere performances and nothing since.  It is a great and much needed idea: a juried...
Joseph Castaldo’s "Ancient Liturgy" Revisited in Philadelphia

Joseph Castaldo’s "Ancient Liturgy" Revisited in Philadelphia

This month the Choral Arts Society of Philadelphia, my choral alma mater, will present a concert that epitomizes the kind of music making that went on in Philadelphia when I was a student there in the 1980’s. The occasion is the 20th anniversary of the premiere...
What Is Musicianship?

What Is Musicianship?

Anyone who has studied music at a conservatory or college level has taken an ear training class typically called “Musicianship.”  This is where we train our ears to recognize intervals and chord qualities, learn how to perform melodies and rhythms...
Berlin, 1989.

Berlin, 1989.

Long story as to how and why, but within a few days of the Berlin Wall opening on November 9th, 1989, I was on an overnight train from Budapest to Berlin to check out the scene.  Then I was removed from the train in the middle of the night at the Hungarian/(then)...

John Adams Now Blogs

John Adams’ newly remodeled web site now includes a blog.  Am I the last person to realize this? Posting has been consistent for the past week or so.  The name “Hell Mouth” promises a lot.  I hope he’ll have time to stick with it....
More Fascinating Folk Music: Sutartinės of Lithuania

More Fascinating Folk Music: Sutartinės of Lithuania

Well, now I have Lithuania to add to the list of countries whose folk music to be obsessed with. In a discussion with my teaching colleague Arkadi Serper about what folk music traditions might have influenced Stravinsky’s ear in his youth, I brought up the...