Concert Band

Emo Dad Season 2, and other updates!

Everyday is a new discovery. It's not always what I envision. But the important thing for me is daily progress. There must be steps forward toward the goal, regardless of how many or how large. That is how a day ends fulfilled.

The biggest story is the release of Emo Dad Season 2! Beginning in July, Fine Brothers Entertainment, Inc. released the episodes periodically on YouTube, while Fullscreen Entertainment, released all episodes at once on their platform fullscreen.

I put an inquiry into the corporate overlords about creating a behind the scenes video, but permission hasn't materialized. The budget allowed the score to expand beyond a live oboe, violin and cello, to include alto flute, English horn, viola, electric guitar and ukulele. The rest of the orchestra was sampled.

The challenge was that each cue, regardless of how short, was a pretty good sized orchestra, and at an average of 10 per episode, had two or three versions, mostly due to picture changes. It was like painting very small detailed little paintings, painstakingly and lovingly rendered, every brush stroke, deliberate and curated. The project folder contained nearly 90 Gigabytes of files.

I am very pleased with the result and have wanted to release a soundtrack. Hopefully before the end of the year...

I recently updated my credits page. It was more complicated than expected, since Squarespace has designs on what it presumes people want to put online, but composition isn't a common enough industry to have credit-friendly templates. If I added all the time I spent staring at the Spinning Beachball of Death, I could easily log a week. And I do second guess if I should post everything I have ever written? I tend to favor completeness, but I do like options.

But before updates or rhetorical ruminating on any aspects of putting work out into the world technical or philosophical, must come the work itself. Music must be written first before it is promoted, or at least be in the latter stages of completion. I have two pieces for concert band that I'm working on, and an arrangement of a third. Also a piece for orchestra, and a chamber piece. And theoretically and most exciting: I have a looming commission, though the date is currently written in smoke.

My work on a short film, entitled Bloom, is nearly complete. I pulled double-duty on this one as sound editor and re-recording mixer and composer. Thank goodness for my connections in the sound industry, and for Izotope RX. For the score, I chose piano, light strings, and a wind quintet, harps, synths, dulcimer and the Soundiron libraries Circle Bells and Cathedral of Junk. It is a palette suited for the dark humor and sincere emotion of the work. I really pushed myself here to create something different from what I normally do. There are elements of me, but I tried to stretch a little farther--I always do, but this felt different in a way I struggle to articulate.

I felt emboldened by a project that I worked on over the course of the summer. It is a project that has yet to be completed, but it is a dark procedural-style drama. Big orchestral palette with lots of synths. I loved it! It was a lot of work, and continues to be so, but for now is on hold. While I felt as though I was made to do this film, it was hard. The hardest thing I have ever done. A constant kaleidoscope of shifting timbres, and with only sample libraries to work with, turned out to be more of a challenge than I anticipated. The subject matter was challenging, too. It was hard to not be an audience to my own experience with the film. That's all I will discuss for now. I look forward to sharing it with you.

Next up is the hardest thing yet (always push the bar a little higher): an idea I have mulled around for years that will become that aforementioned chamber piece. I know work will begin in just a few days, but I wonder if it is ready. Has it percolated enough? Enough to be cohesive or viable? We shall see. Ambitiously (overly so) I may try to squeeze in a Halloween something or other if the spooky stars align.

Over The Edge

Over The Edge is an exciting and loud piece for concert band. A Phrygian mode with a major 3rd gives the piece a Spanish or Latin quality, and the hemiola rhythm suggests a dance, building intensity to the very end. It features a trumpet soloist that first plays lyrically, escalating in power to a blistering pitch over the accompanying ensemble pounding out the rhythm. When the idea for this piece was first conceived, it was planned for a marching band, but as it developed, it required more flexibility and color.

I started composing this piece many years ago, and in my spare time, kept adding to it and tweaking it, occasionally going long stretches without even opening the file. Its development was very gradual, and one day it was done and ready to start finding an audience.

I was very happy that it premiered with Montana State University's Wind Symphony under the direction of Nathan Stark. Listen to the premiere performance here:

The Score and Parts are available from the store.

If you are interested in my original mockup, you can listen to that below. I used Vienna Symphonic Library, Cinebrass and Cinewinds, and Project SAM True Strike Percussion sample libraries to realize all the sounds. It was edited and mixed in Digital Performer, which is my DAW of choice.