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a crack in your ear through which sound surreptitiously slips, or an illicit substance which gives your ears immense pleasure while enslaving them to a crippling addiction

Tuesday, May 30, 2006


found this on YouTube this evening...

Sunday, May 21, 2006

music from a former life

My thesis project in grad school was a 45-minute "sound opera" (this was circa 1993-95). The idea was to create a long-form piece of music that integrated all the sounds that might be used to tell a story, including written and improvised dialogue, singing, found tape, interviews, sound effects, ambiance, musical instruments (cello, clarinet, percussion), and whatever else would fit into the kitchen sink. The results were mixed.

In retrospect, I think the narrative aspects didn't really work (my sense of story was pretty underdeveloped at the time). I've since tried to salvage some of what I consider to be the more successful aspects of the piece, like some found tape of my grandfather (which was used in a Lost and Found Sound piece, in a much more personal story), and the music, which I've been cannibalizing ever since (most notably in the score for Shades of Gray).

In a fit of nostalgia, I went back and mixed a few excerpts of the music into individual soundfiles. These are a few of my favorite musical fragments from the piece...

  • the trouble with key of g (excerpt 1)
  • the trouble with key of g (excerpt 2)
  • the trouble with key of g (excerpt 3)

  • This is all to point out that, if you'll look to the right of this blog page, I've added a list of work samples for your listening pleasure. You'll find some of my radio pieces there at the top, followed by some music (including the aformentioned nostalgia), and then a place for videos.

    Tuesday, May 16, 2006

    I have new glasses

    They are radically different than the ones I had before. I still don't know if I like them.

    But I've noticed something curious...
    In the building where WNYC is located, there are lots of other city offices, and the guards at the entrance have always asked me where in the building I was going. "WNYC," I'd reply. But now, ever since I've been wearing the new glasses, the guards just look at me and say, "Radio?"

    I don't neccesarily see this as a positive development.

    Saturday, May 13, 2006

    in a parallel universe, I am a rock star

    I started writing songs in high school, around the time I got bored with playing video games and became interested in girls.

    When I was growing up, my dad played the organ at a lot of weddings, and so we had this huge stack of sheet music sitting next to our piano. Sheet music always fascinated me, because above the piano staff it had these grid things with dots on them, which my dad explained was a notation for guitar players. Back then, I played piano but I didn't play the guitar, so it looked really cool and mysterious to me. And by the time I was fourteen, I had figured out that if I played the chords on the piano that corresponded to the guitar tableture, it sort of sounded like I was playing the song. And that made me realize that songs could be analyzed in terms of a melody over a chord structure, and all I needed to do to write a song was come up with a chord structure I liked and start singing a melody over it that fit.

    Of course, it can get way more sophisticated than that, and there are lots of other ways to think about writing music. But it was enough to get me started, and I spent the rest of my high school years writing songs like that. I loved doing it so much that when I went to college, I majored in music composition, where they taught me just enough to screw me up for the rest of my life. I've been trying to recover ever since.

    Here are four of my recent recovery attempts:

    1 The Trip That You're On
    2 Coney Island
    3 Nothing You Can Do
    4 The Way She Broke My Heart


    On a completely different note... I discovered something interesting following my last blog post. If you are a blogger, and you're looking to get lots of new people looking at your blog, put the word "sex" in the title of your post. Apparently, lots and lots of people do these blog searches of new posts with the word "sex" in them. I suppose mine looked especially enticing to them, because it was followed by the word "addict"...