hasn't a leg to stand on."
with something European in the title
music, or something like it,
produced in Apple's
"Please don't blame us. Really.
We didn't even
want to sell him the software.
We tried to pay him to go away.
We simply can't control what people do
with our products."
—Steve Jobs, Apple CEO
produced in MODERN 20th-Century HI-FI TWO-CHANNEL STEREO!
headphones make listening more fun,
but any good stereo separation will do
If you don't have the CD, or your player
has the good taste to refuse playing it,
you can click
on each song's link here to listen to or download the mp3.
(Looking for concert photos instead?
1. The Call by
Ralph Vaughan Williams (from "Five
Melodymaster Big Ray V might have liked what I've done with the first
verse. Verses 2-4, mmmmaybe less so.
2, 11, 17. Trois Gymnopédies by Erik Satie
No. 1, No.
2, No. 3)
little pieces. Love 'em.
3. Mission: Impossible by Lalo Schifrin
beat (after the theme), which I play live on my djembe, is a Haitian
groove I learned when Jan and I took Sean Dibble’s drumming classes
at the UU in spring 2006. I wanted to use this particular beat somewhere.
Remembering a 6/4 dance mix I'd heard of “Mission: Impossible” a
few years ago, I decided to use the beat for that sort of feel here
(please, Lalo, no lawsuits). The resulting arrangement gave me the
opportunity to throw in a few more licks and effects as well (I especially
like that X-Files-style pitchbend).
4. Winter Night by
Shelley Jackson Denham
My instrumental arrangement based on the hymnal version at Jan’s
Ms. Denham’s lyrics:
Winter night, clear and bright:
a weary world is sleeping.
And then a cry fills earth and sky:
a newborn child is weeping.
lullabye, blessed little baby.
Drops of pain flow like
tell why your tears are falling:
for humankind, so frail, unkind,
or for your own life’s
lullabye, blessed little baby.
Holy Child, Every
your life will have its season.
And each new day your heart may pray
for grace, for peace,
blessed little baby.
5. Bowm Bowm
A highly intellectual and musically austere piece, simultaneously
rigorous in its adherence to Schoenberg's twelve-tone method yet still
influenced by Cage and other champions of the aleatoric revolution.
Listen carefully for the subtle interweaving of proper voice-leading of
renaissance polyphony with postmodern dissonance
expressed in subtle shifts of harmonic color and delicate phrasing. From
the cerebral to the visceral, the fervently passionate to the intricately
calculated, this piece concisely embodies the sturm und drang of
all human experience, echoing back well beyond its modal roots clearly
deep in the middle ages, to our most primitive state of emerging human
consciousness on the African Savannah, when we looked into a pool of
rainwater and saw in our reflection something deeper, something no other
mammal could begin to apprehend.
Oh, wait. Oops, that's
a totally different piece that I'll include in the next collection.
THIS little ditty, on the
other hand, was the
first actual piece I created in fall 2005, then with GarageBand, just
learning the basic techniques.
6. 04 13 29
Mostly a loop arrangement, with live
keyboard input for a glass harmonica synth countermelody. The
title is the date that Asteroid 2004 MN4 will come closest to
As a synthesizer fanatic since middle
school, I was heavily imprinted with 1970ish sample-and-hold
(the constantly-changing rush of short notes). Find a melody somewhere
and sing along!
8. Heavy Surf Ballet Music
I took a loop of Dick
Dale-style guitar, slowed it to about half the original speed, and
I liked the effect. Everything else (mostly loops) grew around that.
9. I Will (Wedding Mix) by
Lennon & McCartney
2006: As I’d been learning how to use Apple’s
GarageBand, and then ProTools in a Digital Recording class at
MDC, I’d hoped to do something musical for the wedding. Jan said
she wanted this in the ceremony; I decided I'd surprise her by singing
it to her in the ceremony, with my own instrumental and vocal backing.
Originally I found and bought sheet music
for a six-part a capella arrangement. Several hours of early
efforts in November/December 2006 made it clear that after too many years
out of practice I just didn’t have the pipes for that. But then
I grabbed a MIDI file of the song, built it up with a fairly routine
instrumental combo, and figured I could sing the lead live, adding just
maybe two or three voices as backup.
But then, maybe a couple of weeks or so
before the wedding, I listened to it with just the lead vocal and the
string bass. Realizing that it could work as a cool swingy thing,
I streamlined the arrangement. This mix has the lead vocal pre-recorded;
for the ceremony I prepared a karaoke mix and sang the lead live. (Click here
for photos, toward the middle of the page.)
10. International and 12. Orlando Chill
pieces of mostly loops, effects, simple (VERY simple) solos.
13. Cloths of Heaven
This evolved as a project for my MDC
recording class. Yes, that's Jan reciting the Yeats poem that Michael
would read in our wedding; I arranged a few loops to float in and out
and around. Me gusta mucho, but I figured it was too darkish to play
during the ceremony.
14. r e d s h i f t
Space music, ambient, floaty-woaty fru-fru, call it whatever you
want. I just LIKE it. This was inspired by an astronomy exhibit I saw
at New York's Museum of Natural History.
The audio is significantly
enhanced by the spacing of the letters in the title, ja?
15. Squeaky Clean
A little riff that grew, accompanied
by my fondness for assorted effects.
16. Troy Cadence
Playing around with a drum sequencer,
I realized I could reconstruct a high school marching band cadence I
heard during junior or senior year at a football game. Troy’s band
had this great entry cadence, much more jazzy than the more conventional
and quasi-military style ours and most bands used. (I don't know the
band director's name to give due credit.)
The first eight bars reflect the actual
cadence as best I recall it. Then I expand it over a few more cycles.
18. Well Into Sunday Afternoon
I hear some of you: "OK, exactly how is this
a composition?" Yeah, it takes
a little explaining. I wanted some more earthy vocal ooohs and aaahs,
beyond the stock samples and synthesized voices. I bought a CD
of samples from a black church for just those elements. I found that
it included also a bunch of preacher quotes, shouts, people testifying,
etc. — all
in digital samples I could arrange and modify.
Separately, playing around with another
collection of effects samples, I found a few that
naturally created a funky percussion thing.
As I layered a few combinations, it occurred to me: how
would it sound to have the preacher jump in on this? Inserting
a few of his remarks almost at random, I found it felt very much like
the energy in
some black churches I’ve
visited; the electronic beats give it a high-tech counterpoint.
I worked probably 12-15 hours sequencing the samples just so and tweaking
stereo separations, reverbs, stutter beats, bringing in several variations
of the electro-percussive samples, blah blah blah. Tedious in a way,
but still lots of fun.
Finding some of the females sampling "yeah,"
I used those harmonically to quote a correspondingly famous chord progression.
C'mon, boomers, find it in the mix and name
After a few more rounds of sampled and
structured testimonials, the "service" wraps
up with a danceable doxology and a Count Basie riff, but no — the
preacher starts back up again. The piece fades out as the service
continues, well into Sunday afternoon.
19. Jax Groove (Bogota Mix)
opening chords I found in a tutorial. I came up with the bass and lead
riffs, and it grew from there. Get on down with your bad self. Now
is ze time on Shprockets ven ve dänce.
Danke for listening. Be sure to tip your server.