Welcome to my blog

I have created this site in order to provide performers, listeners and composers with a description of a composer's experiences with the creative process. The posts will provide discussions of the inspirations, challenges, and successes of a composer from the inception of the piece to the culmination in performance. I will provide a link to where you can see and hear the works in progress. Comments and questions are always welcomed. They will not posted unless you grant me permission.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Alabama Songbook Suite Movement I

This is the first movement of a multi-movement composition for tuba and piano that I am writing for Jeremy Crawford. It is based on selections from The Alabama Songbook compiled by Byron Arnold. This movement is Jack the Sailor.

I was attracted to this song because of its rhythmic variety and the way it has measures with two beats and measures with three beats. After stating the song as is, I begin to create variations of it as follows:
  • 11-20 - ornamented version of the melody in the tuba
  • 21-34 - 5/8 (2+3) variation - inspired by the measures of 2 and measures of 3, this diminution of the rhythm creates an interesting metrical variation
  • 35 - 46 - Still in 5/8, tonality change, tuba melody from the previous variation is stated in cannon in the piano
  • 47-61 - A free variation using motifs from the tune, back to 2/4 and 3/4 meter
  • 62-74 - Sudden shift of tonality, meter is now 7/8 (2+2+3), canon between tuba and right hand of the piano
  • 75-end - Sudden shift of tonality. A free variation using motifs from the tune, back to 2/4 and 3/4 meter, coda added
Below is a video of the score that uses sampled sounds. You comments are always appreciated.

Dr. B

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Recent Activity

Hi everyone,
I have not posted about my more recent compositions because they have been written as individual commissions and to honor premiere aspect, I decided not to unveil the compositions here. I will tell you that I composed compositions for Saxophone Quartet and Piano, Saxophone Quartet and Organ, and Saxophone Quartet with Middle School Band. These compositions will be made available to the public after they are premiered in the Fall.

At the request of the commissioner, I plan to make several versions of the Saxophone Quartet with Middle School Band composition. This piece is called "The Tortoise and the Hare" and the story fits the idea of the band having easy parts and the soloists more technically demanding parts. A narrator reads sections of the story and the band and soloists illustrate those sections. I will create a version that has a clarinet quartet (3 Bb clarinets and bass clarinet), woodwind quintet, and brass quintet playing the solo parts in order to give the piece wider appeal.

I am also honored to have had my composition "Portrait of Don Quixote" selected as the winning composition in the Hillcrest Wind Ensemble's 2016 Composition Contest. The piece will be premiered on October 8 in San Diego and if you are in the area, I hope you will come to the concert and say "hello." Here is a link to information about the concert http://hillcrestwindensemble.com/index.html

If you are in New York City on September 11, you can hear my composition "Rescue" performed by the West Point Band as part of Vox Novus Fifteen Minutes of Fame. My composition was one of 15 one-minute compositions specifically written for this concert out of 100 entries. Here is a link to more information about this concert http://www.voxnovus.com/15_Minutes_of_Fame//featuring/West_Point_Band/

I have also recently completed a number of arrangements of show music for various small ensembles. Here is a list with links:

    •    I Cain't Say No from Oklahoma for Brass Trio
    •    I Cain't Say No from Oklahoma for Woodwind Trio
    •    Can't Help Lovin' Dat Man from Showboat for Brass Trio
    •    Can't Help Lovin' Dat Man from Showboat for Woodwind Trio
    •    Quiet Nights of Quiet Stars (Corcovado) for Brass Quintet

Thanks for reading my posts.

Dr. B