(The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari soundtrack, front cover artwork)
In my previous newsletter, I referred to this past August as being a month of rest. The opposite could be said of September. However, what kept me most occupied had little to do with work, unfortunately, but with those rather onerous things which life occasionally entails.
Because I’m still feeling a bit worn out, this newsletter will be a bit briefer than normal. Nonetheless, I hope you enjoy it!
RECENTLY COMPLETED PROJECTS
Composed between spring – autumn, 2022, Computer Music is a collection of five compositions inspired by the works of some of the early pioneers of electronic music; composers such as Edgard Varèse, Luigi Russolo, Pierre Schaeffer, and Karlheinz Stockhausen.
FIVE STUDIES FOR ANALOG SYNTHESIZERS
Five Studies for Analog Synthesizers was composed and recorded in August. In some ways, these five short studies pick up where Three Analog Dances, Night Shift, & Other Works: Electronic Music (Volume VI) left off. Like the compositions featured on Computer Music, Five Studies was inspired by early electronic music (early-mid twentieth century).
ALBUM LEAF (FOR PIANO)
I composed Album Leaf on September 2nd. It’s a short, melancholy work; one which was borne out of a profound sense of loneliness.
When/if the score of Album Leaf is published, it will be as part of a collection of smaller piano works.
Cockroaches is a short electronic work I composed and recorded on September 3rd. This is an interesting, rather clue-lade work. Among its interesting features are some of the sampled concrete audio tracks. The scurrying sound heard in the opening seconds is actually a recording of a tarantula running through a glass box in a pet store. This work will definitely be included in the next electronic music album collection.
Persia is a pop instrumental I recorded in September. Naturally, at the time I had no idea as to the conflicts that would arise in Iran within a few short weeks. This explains in part why, despite its title, there is nothing particularly Persian-sounding about this piece. In reality, the piece was inspired by an Iranian woman with whom I was briefly involved over the summer.
“The harvest is past, the summer is ended…” (for Organ)
“The harvest is past, the summer is ended…” is another recent composition that might give listeners a sense of the kind of place wherein the composer presently finds himself. The last two months have been challenging and exhausting, to say the very least!
My program note about “Harvest”:
“This short organ composition was inspired in part by memories of reading in my youth a biblical passage that particularly moved me: ‘The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved’ (Jeremiah 8:20). Even at a young age, the melancholy in the writings of the prophet Jeremiah held a special appeal for me. In this piece, I try to musically depict how I remember feeling while reading the above passage all those years ago. When one is older and thinking back on one’s youth, one often feels that the sun in those days often seemed to shine brighter, and each new day was full of incredible promise; an often stark contrast to much of the experience of life in one’s adulthood, when it often feels that the harvest and summer of one’s life are past.”
The score is available from Sheetmusicplus.
Some of my upcoming projects include:
- The reissue of The Cat and the Canary soundtrack, as well as the official release of The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari soundtrack. Both are planned for release on Halloween.
- Completing Harmonium Sonata and releasing the Harmonium Music album
- Completing some smaller organ works I began late last year/early this year, but which I’ve put aside until recently.
Here’s a recording I made yesterday (Saturday, September 24th) of a draft of one of these pieces. The video’s background image is a clue as to the inspiration behind this piece.
- I’m considering putting together a new album of pop/rock instrumentals, similar to Heartbreakers. The album would feature For My Autumn Music, Persia, One Day At a Time, and possibly The Day We Met.
- Keyboard Improvisations (Volume X) should be available sometime soon. Additionally, I will almost certainly release a new album of organ improvisations sometime later this year, around Christmastime.
Thanks for checking out this newsletter!
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