From the category archives:

Cool people

One of my four Great-Grandfathers was Ernest Bobbitt Bourland (1875-1949). E.B. was a minister from various cities around Lexington, Kentucky. He and his wife had one child: my father’s father. My parents recently gave me this book and I decided to scan it and make it available. The music is from my FOUR PAINTERS: Thomas […]


Two cool shuffles

June 30, 2010

Alright, I’ll confess: I’ve been watching Dexter — sick and twisted and perverted (although I often like that in a person) — and have heard the theme many, many times. My favorite part is the descending chromatic lines at the end. It’s almost like shuffling on down to hell. Music is by Daniel Licht. And […]


Appreciating Gene Clark

June 28, 2010

Like Stravinsky, every few years or so, I re-fall in love with (original member of The Byrds) Gene Clark’s music. I’m sure part of it was growing up in the 1960s and the memories associated with those years. But Gene’s gritty and intense songs and performances are emblazoned in my mind forever. Indulge me a […]


There was something missing in my life: I realized it was TOUCH. No, not being touched, the electro-acoustic piece by Morton Subotnick from the 1970s. I remember first moving to Boston in 1976 to attend the New England Conservatory of Music. First I lived in Malden, but that was SO boring, I eventually found a […]


This summer, composing four songs for Vladimir will be my joy and honor.


I have time

April 25, 2010

This week, friend, colleague, and expert in the Alexander Technique, Jean-Louis Rodrigue, visited our class to give an overview of that discipline. In the course of his overview he talked about musicians needing to come to grips with the fact that their art unfolds over time, and that we must give ourselves permission to enjoy […]

{ 1 comment }

Meeting Horner

March 15, 2010

When I first came to UCLA, many of my colleagues referred to this chap as “Jamie”–a nickname he now supposedly loathes. He did his Masters work at UCLA, was a TA, a classmate of Mark Carlson, and was on the way towards getting a PhD, but the Roger Corman films started coming fast and furious. […]


Meeting Rzewski

March 10, 2010

I remember when Frederic Rzewski came to visit us at Harvard in the composition seminar. I remember when Musica Electronica Viva came and performed at UW Madison. “The People United…” is emblazoned into my brain. I have the LP and he played it for us in the seminar. He reminded me that one shouldn’t ask […]


Fun weekend

February 2, 2010

It was the quarterly visit from Matias and Jenny, with baby Katie (18 months) this weekend. As I’ve said before, having visitors in your home makes it feel like a vacation. The energy was dominated by Katie, who is now running and learning words at an amazing rate. Daniel, her godfather, was called “Tito Dan” […]


Goodnight, Sweet Kate

January 20, 2010

I was greatly saddened to see the passing of Kate McGarrigle, mother of Rufus and Martha Wainwright and sister of Anna and Jane. I thought her cancer was in remission but evidently it returned. She touched many lives and helped shape the aesthetic of one of the great songwriters on the planet, Rufus Wainwright. Like […]