Guitar, Live recordings, Live stream, Other original music and arrangements, Percussion, Piano, Pop & Rock, Vocal

Can’t Dance – live stream

I set out to write a “bubble-gum pop song” fit for a teen diva, and came up with Can’t Dance. The lyrics capture the awkwardness of high school nerds who lose themselves in each other and to the music. My friend and fellow composer Stephanie Meyers provides the “diva” for this one, accompanied by several of our talented friends.

This is a live stream VCFA internet broadcast recording from 12 August 2015.

Guitar, Live recordings, Live stream, Other original music and arrangements, Pop & Rock, Vocal

To My Children – live stream

I have two children who survived the unpleasantness of the divorce of their mother and I when they were young. This song is my apology to them, and reaffirmation of my love for them and my grandchildren.

This recording is a live stream VCFA broadcast to the internet from the Songwriter’s Festival concert on 12 August 2015. Reed Robbins accompanies on guitar.

Country & Western, Guitar, Live recordings, Live stream, Other original music and arrangements, Percussion, Piano, Strings, Vocal

Don’t Give Up on Me – live stream

This is a live stream recording of the VCFA Songwriter’s Festival concert on 12 February 2016, with me singing my original country-and-western song Don’t Give Up on Me (accompanied by a few talented friends).

I wrote this for my wife, who had to put up with me travelling to remote work locations every week for a few years before I retired.

There’s another version of this song here.

Guitar, Live recordings, Live stream, Other original music and arrangements, Vocal

Flying High – live stream

For one of my rescore projects, I wrote the music for an insurance company TV advertisement that featured the misadventures of a dim-witted small plane pilot. I wrote an original song for this spot (included in the compilation Adventures in Advertising).

I had the opportunity to perform this song live on 8 February 2017 with Reed Robbins on the guitar. This is a live-stream video of the event as it was broadcast on the internet from VCFA.

Other original music and arrangements, Vocal

Sea Chant-y

This is a bit of whimsy: a 16th century counterpoint (chant) setting of three contemporary songs: “I’m Popeye the Sailor Man”, “Oh the Sailor’s Life is the Life for Me”, and “Many Brave Hearts are Asleep in the Deep”. It is also an experiment with a synthetic voice generator (“Alter/Ego” by Plogue Art et Technologie, Inc., Montreal, Canada) that will “sing” words and music.

“I’m Popeye the Sailor Man” was written by Sammy Lerner, and published in “The Popeye Song Folio” by Popular Melodies (New York CIty, New York) in 1936, and served as the theme song for all of Paramounts “Popeye” cartoons from 1933 to 1957.

The “Sailor’s Hornpipe” (also known as “College Hornpipe” or “Jack’s the Lad”) is a traditional hornpipe (sailor’s dance) melody dating from at least the 18th century.

“Asleep in the Deep” (“Many Brave Hearts are Asleep in the Deep”) was written by Arthur J. Lamb and Henry W. Petrie in 1897.

Live recordings, Other original music and arrangements, Piano, Vocal

The Hawthorn Tree – Live

This was a commission from the Shenandoah University Cantus Singers to portray works by women. The poem is “The Hawthorn Tree” by Willa Cather. It is performed by the Cantus Singers under the direction of Dr. Karen Keating.

The Hawthorn Tree is a poem by Willa Cather (1783-1847), pulitzer-prize winning author and journalist. She is well known for her novels about the Great Plains (e.g., O Pioneers!), but she was born in Gore, Virginia, a few miles west of Winchester. She lived nearby for her first ten years, then moved with her family to Nebraska, where she is a cultural icon. Her birthplace is on Route 50 west of Winchester. There is an historical marker on the highway, although the house itself is gone.

THE HAWTHORN TREE
by: Willa Cather

Across the shimmering meadows–
Ah, when he came to me!
In the spring-time,
In the night-time,
In the starlight,
Beneath the hawthorn tree.

Up from the misty marshland
Ah, when he climbed to me!
To my white bower,
To my sweet rest,
To my warm breast,
Beneath the hawthorn tree.

Ask of me what the birds sang,
High in the hawthorn tree;
What the breeze tells,
What the rose smells,
What the stars shine–
Not what he said to me!

“The Hawthorn Tree” is reprinted from “April Twilights” by Willa Cather; published by The Gorham Press, Boston, in 1903.

This setting is modeled on the style of an English madrigal, calling for restraint in dynamics, gentle lyricism, and clear articulation of the text.

(recorded live 10 April 2015; posted 24 September 2017)

Live recordings, Other original music and arrangements, Strings

Twenty Eight – Aeolus String Quartet

This is a live recording by the Aeolus Quartet from 24 October 2013.

Twenty-Eight is my reaction to the twenty-eight shooting deaths, including many young children, in Newtown, CT, on 14 December 2012. It traces the five stages of grief: Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, and Acceptance.

This composition was awarded an Honorable Mention for the William Averitt Prize in Composition for the year 2013.

Country & Western, Live recordings, Other original music and arrangements, Pop & Rock

Pop Song Trilogy

I took three pop songs I wrote and arranged them as a suite for unspecified instruments, although the key is brass-friendly: “1. Drop Dead Blues”, “2. Don’t Give Up On Me”, “3. I Wanna Be a Rock Star”.

I provided a group of friends/musicians with chords, melody, tempo, and they took it (improvised) from there.

On this live recording are Eli Thomas (violin), Alex Hill (baritone sax), Andy Herring (euphonium), and TJ Maher (guitar). This is a live 2014 concert recording.

By the way, I also posted a recording of me singing #2. “Don’t Give Up on Me.”

Live recordings, Other original music and arrangements, Woodwinds

The Red Wheelbarrow – Live

This is a live 2014 concert recording of a transcription for woodwinds of “The Red Wheelbarrow”, originally an a cappella vocal piece for quartet, setting William Carlos Williams’ poem of the same name. The performers are James Waters (flute), Caelan Shirey (clarinet), Jose Romero (oboe), and Tim Woerner (bassoon).

Note: I also posted a MIDI realization of this same piece.

 

Other original music and arrangements, Piano

Ode to Joy Variations

This was a quick project to write a few piano variations on the “Ode to Joy” theme from Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony. It consists of 4 sections:

  1. “Ode to Joy” Theme
  2. Variation in the Style of Mozart
  3. Variation in the Style of Bach
  4. Variation in the Style of Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata

(revised 06 October 2017)

Other original music and arrangements, Woodwinds

The Red Wheelbarrow

This is a woodwind quartet transcription of a choral setting of William Carlos Williams’ poem The Red Wheelbarrow. I think it works better with a woodwind ensemble than with voices. Listen for “So much…”, the chickens, and the rain (text below).

So much depends
upon a red wheelbarrow
glazed with rainwater
beside the white chickens.

The poem is in public domain.

(remastered recording 28 September 2017)

Other original music and arrangements, Woodwinds

In The Garden Patch

This is a woodwind trio (oboe, clarinet, bassoon) depicting a whimsical walk through a vegetable garden, where every patch has a story, and every story is in a different musical mode:

  1. “Walking in the Ionian Garden”
  2. “Ominous Aeolian Mushrooms”
  3. “Gossiping Lydian Peas”
  4. “Mixolydian Radishes Tango”
  5. “Procession of the Phrygian Asparagus”
  6. “Locrian Garlic Waltz”
  7. “Maudlin Dorian Onions”
  8. “Walking in the Aeolian Garden (Reprise)”

IMAG0156b

(recording updated 19 September 2017)

Brass, Other original music and arrangements

A Perfect Holiday Gift

This is a brass quintet fanfare for the Christmas holiday season: Imagine you’re in a mall Christmas shopping. As you go from store to store you hear different Christmas songs played by each shop, finally ending up at the food court where a jazz band is playing.

(recording updated 6 September 2017)

 

Guitar, Live recordings, Other original music and arrangements, Woodwinds

Trio for Two Flutes and Guitar

I reworked original themes I wrote in the early 1970s into a romantic trio.

This is a live 2012 video featuring Robyn Olichwier (flute), Sarah Walters (alto flute), and Christopher Alexander (guitar), recorded in concert at Shenandoah University. The video is from a cellphone in the audience, but the audio track was professionally recorded.