From the category archives:

Channeling composers

Lessons for Rufus: the Oboe

November 3, 2006

Hector Berlioz (1803 – 1869), channeled by Roger Bourland My Dear Rufus, As I am not falling asleep this evening, I realized I need to tell you about the beauty of the oboe. Oboists can sustain the longest line of any of the wind or brass instruments. For that matter, they can sustain a line […]


A new composition by Prof Berlioz! My dear Rufus, Thank you for the postcard from Berlin. I’m happy to hear that you are happy and healthy and musically productive. I have something I would like you to become extremely sensitive to. I want you to start paying attention to counter-melodies. You already have a great […]

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My dear Rufus, I read with interest that you are including a string quartet in your recent recording sessions. I also have read that you will be producing your next album as well. I hope that soon you will stop relying on others to orchestrate your music as well. The best way to learn how […]


Dear Prof Bz As you know, I’m on tour in Europe. I’m working on a whole variety of things and incorporating the things you ask me to consider, I’m just having a hard time doing “assignments” you know, I was a terrible student and I guess I still am. Cut to the chase: let me […]


Prof. Berlioz made the mistake of eating a chocolate dessert at dinner time and, like clockwork, woke up at 3 am. It occurs to him that he should introduce his young student to the great violinist, Paganini. Rufus: It occurs to me that I can trust you to be advanced enough to throw some spice […]


Professor Berlioz checks his email to find a note from Rufus: Yo Prof! I’m in Denmark and haven’t been thinking solo violin lately, I mean it’s summer. Baroque music is for wintertime. I fooled around with one in the studio the other day. I thought you might be interested in what I came up with. […]


Prof. Berlioz: For the next few sessions I will be introducing you to writing for the solo stringed instruments, and I don’t mean the guitar, bass and banjo, I mean the violin, viola, cello, and double bass. The first three instruments are tuned in 5ths; the cello is an octave below the viola; the viola […]


Berlioz in 1867. [Doorbell rings. Prof Berlioz hollers down. Rufus waits patiently. Sound of keys against the door. Swearing in French, wrong keys. Silence. Sound of footsteps up from downstairs. More key sounds. Door opens. Rufus appears with a big smile and a flashdrive in his hand. Berlioz slaps him on the back and they […]