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I’m a composer, liturgical organist, and freelance keyboardist based in Northeast Ohio.
My basic approach to music composition is that I compose the type of music I would enjoy listening to and performing. While I naturally draw on my compositional training and technique, I compose by ear rather than according to formula or whatever is academically fashionable.
My passion for music began when I was about five years old. My grandparents owned a small electrostatic reed organ. I loved playing it, and not long after this initial experience in creating music I began formal musical training. (Incidentally and consequently, I have had a lifelong love of reed organs.)
I studied music composition as an undergraduate. My first-performed composition was a piece entitled Three Pieces for Piano; a piece which I dedicated to my teacher, Dr. Sebastian Birch. Three Pieces was a non-serial, atonal work; not dissimilar from Five Preludes for Piano, but much easier to play. After I graduated with my bachelor’s degree, I continued my music composition studies at Cleveland State University, where I graduated with my Master of Music in 2018.
After graduating with my M.M., I continued my graduate studies. Liturgical music had been my primary vocation years before I began graduate school. Desirous of further training in organ performance and liturgical music, I reenrolled at Cleveland State University as a graduate Organ Performance student. While pursuing my Organ Performance degree, I took an elective in harpsichord performance. Realizing that I loved the harpsichord as much as I loved the organ, I took a double major in Harpsichord Performance.
During this time I had the opportunity to play the Zuckermann IV unfretted clavichord housed in CSU’s School of Music. Along with the organ and harpsichord, the clavichord is my favorite keyboard instrument. My graduate harpsichord recital opened with my performing several works on the clavichord. It was great!
During my time in college and in graduate school I had the great honor to study with some fantastic composers and performers: Drs. Sebastian Birch, Daniel McCarthy, Gregory D’Alessio and Andrew Rindfleisch (Music Composition); Todd Wilson (Organ Performance); and Joela Jones Weiss (Harpsichord Performance). During my time at CSU I also learned a bit about harpsichord maintenance and tuning from Stephen Kabat, the School of Music’s Instrument Technician.
I’ve loved early/Silent Era films since I was a child. In the early-mid 1990’s, when there were still many independently owned video stores, I remember visiting stores all around Ne Ohio, trying to locate copies of Silent Era films.
My love of scoring Silent Films was really developed when I was in graduate school. During my second semester of graduate school I created an electronic music score for an excerpt of the Bal Masque sequence from the 1925 Universal Studios film, The Phantom of the Opera, starring Lon Chaney, Mary Philbin, Norman Kerry, and Arthur Edmund Carewe. This score was received very well by both students and professors, all of whom encouraged me to compose a similar score for my thesis composition. This I did, composing a full orchestral score for the first half-hour or so of F.W. Murnau’s 1926 masterpiece, Faust.
My compositional philosophy of these film scores is that the music serves to heighten the viewing experience rather than treating the film being a component of a larger composition otherwise not directly related to the film. In approaching film scoring from the latter perspective, the film serves to heighten the listening experience, rather than the viewing experience. The film, in this instance, acts as a servant of the music. My approach is to create music that serves the film.
As of my writing this, my film scores fall into one of two categories: full orchestral scores, and electronic music scores. By “electronic music scores” I mean that the music is created with synthesizers, concrete and computer-manipulated concrete sounds, etc. My first full orchestral film score was for the 1910 Edison Studios Frankenstein, directed by J. Searle Dawley, while my first electronic music score was for Georges Méliès’s 1902 masterwork, A Trip to the Moon.
While I’ve composed many works in numerous genres and for various instruments and combinations of instruments, at this point I feel that my primary contribution to concert music is my work in electronic music.
In addition to my composing liturgical, concert, and film music, I also love writing and recording music in popular styles such as rock, R&B, pop, etc.
In addition to my being a composer and liturgical organist, I also work as a freelance organist and pianist. As of the time of this writing, I’ve recorded ten albums of organ improvisations and five albums of keyboard (piano, electric piano, synthesizer, etc.) improvisations. These albums are available exclusively from Bandcamp.
If you enjoy my work, please consider a donation through Buy Me a Coffee or PayPal. Donations to Buy Me a Coffee are used in helping defray the costs associated with creating my film scores; particularly software and hardware updates and replacements.
Thanks again for visiting my website!