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Be a Human. Feb 17, 2024

About 8 years ago I was working on learning Mozart's Adagio and Allegro in F Minor for "organ."

Except, it wasn't REALLY for organ. Mozart wrote it for mechanical clock organ - a popular device in his day.

Because of this, the piece is notoriously difficult to play for a non-mechanical...

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Improvisation isn't Composition Feb 10, 2024
 
Imagine you've got this idea for a novel - wait no one reads anymore? Damn. That does not bode well for this newsletter...
Imagine you've got this idea for a Tik Tok.... ok, I really need something a bit more substantial to work with here.... let's say a movie?
Imagine you've got this idea...
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Modular Synths Suck at Music Feb 03, 2024
 
I haven't used my eurorack stuff very much in the past year. It's just been sitting there taunting me. So I decided to renovate it. I hoped this would revive my interest in it and, you know, help me make new music.
I made a post about this on my YouTube community. And, people had strong...
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Originality Doesn't Exist Jan 27, 2024

"There is no new thing under the sun." - Ecclesiastes 1:9

 

Recently, I learned that a much larger YouTube musician had made a video. It had a title and thumbnail quite like one of my own from last year.

My first reaction was to get defensive and upset about what seemed like blatant...
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Limitations are Necessary Jan 20, 2024
"Less is more..."
My composition teacher used to say this phrase frequently, and admittedly, I had no idea what he really meant by it.
Of course I wanted to do MORE!
I wanted more notes, more virtuosic passages, and more chances to show off my music skills.
The result? My music was all over the...
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Trust the "Process" Jan 13, 2024

Trust the "Process"  

 

I had a different newsletter planned for today. But, some things happened this week that made me change course.

You all know me as a musician, but there's another side of me that I keep very private.

I must admit, I'm also.....a raging sports fan. More...

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Your "big break" may never happen. Jan 06, 2024

As many of you know, about a decade ago I graduated with a master's degree in piano performance, and thought to myself...now what?

I had been studying composition for several years as well, and I knew I wanted to write my own music. I also loved film music and video games, and found that whole...

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Am I an Artist or an Artisan? Dec 23, 2023

I've talked a lot lately about the process of finding your own artistic voice.

But as some of you have rightly pointed out, that might not be the goal for everyone.

There's an entire industry around making music to fit someone else's vision. This can include music for film, music for ads, or...

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DON'T Sell Your MUSIC Dec 16, 2023

Sell your knowledge instead....

Someone asked me recently how they could make money from their sounds.

A valid question.

My advice? Don't.

It seems that most artists today are still concerned about increasing their streaming numbers, or selling more merch/sample packs, or figuring out some way...

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MUSIC is more important than MARKETING Dec 09, 2023

There's a lot of focus on music marketing today.

Too many gurus, not enough teachers.

Here's the thing though, marketing isn't "bad" - it's really just understanding human psychology and using it to promote something. Thanks to the abuse of marketing in our world, our minds associate it with...

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No One's Listening? GOOD Dec 02, 2023

We all want our art to be seen and heard, but it's often the experiments we do in the dark that mold us.

There's an expectation today that in order for our music (or any artform for that matter) to be "successful." it has to be seen and hear RIGHT NOW.

If it doesn't happen, we're told to move...

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How to Produce Someone Else's Music Nov 25, 2023

"It doesn't go through your filter, it goes through your conduit."

Last year, my friend and very talented pianist/composer/artist Marie Awadis reached out to me about a really intriguing new project.

It was her first experiment with vocal-focused ambient, but she felt that something was missing...

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