From the category archives:

Curiouser & curiouser

Channeling a countermelody

October 1, 2014

Many of my faithful readers know that I channel dead composers from time to time. Well, not really, I pretend to and it makes for a good read. But something eery happened recently that was very likely channeling something or someone. And I have a witness. Conductor, Scott Dunn sat with me for several days […]


Yesterday Rosemary Brown officially passed her torch to composer Roger Bourland––meaning, as she is no longer on the planet, she petitioned the Earth Oversight Committee to have Bourland succeed her in periodic channeling of dead composers. In an interview, Bourland was quick to point out that he would not channel the composers’ music as Brown […]


Post image for Ghost of Stravinsky Arrested in Russia

The ghost of composer Igor Stravinsky was arrested in Boston, Russia today for “acting queer.” Allegedly a life-long bisexual, Stravinsky kissed the policeman firmly on the mouth, grabbed his cheeks and shouted “Ah, c’mon, you liked that didn’t you?” UCLA’s Professor Tamara Levitz denied that the event took place saying “There is no proof it […]


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! […]


I am a notorious space case when it comes to driving. It started when I was in my first car accident when I was 17. I was driving through the suburbs of Green Bay, singing my heart out when BAM, I was broadsided by a car and I spun onto a neighbor’s lawn: no injuries, […]

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Didn’t rip off Desplat

March 27, 2012

A composer who deserves all the fame he’s getting is Alexandre Desplat. One of his melodic habits is obsessive chromatic inflection. Then he turns around and does it harmonically, hovering between chords a half step apart. It’s as though he has reinvented the appoggiatura. So, no wonder that I should start getting nervous when my […]


The intelligence of dogs

March 19, 2012

This video of a golden retriever getting a B+ in solfege and pitch matching, along with many experiences with our dogs have caused me to completely re-evaluate my opinion about dog intelligence. This dog is doing what music teachers teach their students to do at the very beginning of their musical training. If you can’t […]


Interference, part deux

March 15, 2012

I was just writing an ascending bass line in slow half notes, where only the basses have that ascending line. I kept playing it over and over, looking at my orchestration trying to figure out where the damn F# was coming from. I played it five times. Was there some kind of magical acoustical phenomenon […]


I stumbled across a scan of the models for Grant Wood’s “American Gothic” online and have no idea where it came from, but I couldn’t resist posting and saving it here. The caption reads: On show with the late Grant Wood’s American Gothic, one of the most famed U.S. paintings of its generation, went the […]


In sniffing around for information regarding one of my 2nd G-grandfathers, William Hurst (1827-1897) I stumbled upon this ancient news article about one William Hurst who was “on the road to Kentucky” but in Tennessee. We have quite a few Berry’s in my father’s family tree: Thomas Berry is my 6th G-grandfather but his death […]