From the category archives:

The new radio

An fun overview of the history of “Dies irae”––the Gregorian chant most associated with death.

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Released this week, a new CD of my complete songs featuring Juliana Gondek, soprano and William Lumpkin, piano: FOUR QUARTETS OF SONGS AND ARIAS.The YouTube clip above will give you a little preview. The album is available as an enhanced CD anywhere you buy CDs, and as a download anywhere you download music. You may […]

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Cluster music, old and new

September 5, 2013

Jean-Féry Rebel (18 April 1666 – 2 January 1747) “Le Cahos” An incredible piece of dissonance for the time by Jean-Féry Rebel (1666-1747). Here is the opening of his ballet Les élémens (1737), depicting chaos, performed by Christopher Hogwood and The Academy for Ancient Music. The crunchy chord at the beginning sounds like a vii […]

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My old LPs

August 29, 2013

I have an entire wall of old LPs. No, I’m not one of those that thinks the sound of LPs is superior: I grew up with the sound and am used to it, but the truth is just that I have a lot of LPs, or vinyl as we say nowadays, and inherited more from […]

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In a Facebook conversation, some of my nerd composer friends posted a picture of a mysterious [to me] stringed instrument. Another identified it as a zither, an instrument of which I had no knowledge and wonder how many do. As I searched for information about this odd instrument I stumbled onto another: the contra-guitar. Whoa! […]

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My father in law sent me this touching moment from the responsory at evening prayer during mass in Taizé.

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Sometimes I’m a bit slow. Two great musicians have been pushed in front of me lately and I don’t know why I never knew them before. Silly me. Peter Kazaras has encouraged me to investigate Bellini in terms of the way he handles dialog vs. arias. On the way I fell in love with a […]

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The AIDS quilt is now online. Be ready to spend some time with this stunning display. Here is a piece of music that John Hall and I composed that was used for a documentary about the AIDS quilt that was issued in 1994 and is now no longer in print. The music is from a […]

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Byrds: Goin Back

July 20, 2012

A rare video of the Byrds during the Notorious Byrd Brother period. Note: no David Crosby. McGuinn is there, minus granny glasses, and Gene Clark, faking his way through the song. Chris Hillman is looking confident and sings out. Who are the dudes to the left? Is Mike Clarke over there somewhere?

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I wrote some music that sits on a progression that evokes an old Spanish, flamenco chord progression that clearly places the music in Spain. Guitarists know this progression well*. But the progression, in, say, film music, could harken all things Latino/a. I evoke the progression in a conversation between Angela Peralta and the Captain, but […]

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