From the category archives:


Making cuts

March 13, 2012

To once again quote Arnold Schoenberg: [he points to the eraser of a pencil] “THIS is the most important part of the pencil.” One of the things I learned from scoring motion pictures is that very little is sacred if it gets in the way of the flow or the story. People who work in […]


Sitting on your own egg

March 10, 2012

I watched a terrific film this week called “Quantum Activist“: Dr. Amit Goswami, Ph.D, a pioneer of this revolutionary new perspective within science shares with us his vision of the unlimited potential of consciousness as the ground of all being, and how this revelation can actually help us to live better. The Quantum Activist tells […]


Distracted by my own song

February 13, 2012

While in Mazatlan, Mitchell and I composed a great song, “The Dove in the Tree” which we both think has huge potential. The problem with the song, and I guess, the strong part, is that it is so damn catchy. In Mexico, I composed the piano-vocal score. When I got home, I just couldn’t orchestrate […]


Todd Buffa (1952-2012)

January 29, 2012

Todd Buffa and I grew up together in high school as young musicians in Green Bay from 1968-1971. Daily we would get together at his house and play music we knew and loved: the Beatles, the Doors, and Cream’s latest music, as well as Frank Zappa. We played in a few bands together in 1970-71. […]

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Pilgrimage to Mazatlán

January 22, 2012

THE STORY: Internationally renown opera star, Angela Peralta (1845-1883) travels to Mazatlán with her company, where they struggle to make music in the face of a plague. As the death toll mounts, Angela and those closest to her come to terms with their complex feelings for one another. Last week, I went to Mazatlán with […]

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Mitchell Morris and I were researching the history of the famous Spanish-Mexican song by a Cuban-influenced, Spanish-born composer Sebastián Iradier Salaverri (Salaberri) (20 January 1809 – 6 December 1865), “La Paloma”. In our opera, the song looms over us as it was a song Angela Peralta sang her entire career. Here is one of the […]


1971 all over

December 13, 2011

Alan and Neika stopped over for dinner and a visit yesterday. Alan Tower is one of my long-time friends who I have known since 1971. I may have been instrumental in lighting his enthusiasm for playing the guitar, or some teaching here and there, but that was a long time ago. He has now blossomed […]

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Contrasting meters in dialog

October 28, 2011

I have been working on a scene where two gentlemen are having a conversation. In my first draft I had the first chap in 3/4 time, and the second in 4/4 time, thinking this would be an interesting way to contrast the two personalities. It didn’t work; not sayin’ it can’t be done, it just […]


The music that speaks to me changes throughout the year as the seasons change. For that reason, I/we listen to different kinds of music at different times of the year. This is a week before Halloween, days getting shorter and cooler, and I’ve been listening to different music. If I had to list (in alphabetical […]


Composing in the rain

October 24, 2011

No, it’s not like it sounds. I have a habit of listening to rain, and many times rain with thunder, while I’m composing. Rain is one of nature’s white noise generators, and in that white noise composers and other musically sensitive individuals can hear whatever they want. It also blocks out the random sounds of […]