Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Princeton Bound!

Despite what this title may lead you to believe, I am not attending Princeton. I am, however, travelling to Princeton to rehearse Carmina Burana with the NJ Opera. Our performance is tomorrow at 8. More to come- my train is about to arrive.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Burn Notice!

Okay, I know this is a music blog, but I like watching some good TV. I'm not into these reality shows, which is probably why I like animation so much (South Park, Futurama, Cowboy Bebop, Harvey Birdman, Family Guy, Simpsons, etc...). Anyway, on Thursday, USA Network ran a twelve-hour Burn Notice marathon, and wow! This show, centering around freelance spy Michael Westen, is fantastic. It just oozes cool. Watch it.

First Wedding Gig

So yesterday, I played my first wedding gig- accompanying a singer. This one was very non-traditional- we performed pop songs- Michael Buble's "Everything", Sade's "By Your Side", and Jason Mraz's "I'm Yours". But hey, weddings are fantastic gigs and they pay well. Plus, it was a lot of fun- very different than the usual dive bars I play in. For one, I wore a dress- the same sexy number from my composition recital. That alone made the whole experience a little different. Plus, a church has the best freakin' acoustics ever.

Friday, June 11, 2010

First Coffeehouse Performance

So yesterday, I performed solo for the first time at the open mike Tierney's holds every Thursday. And now, I can check out this site for more open mikes. I performed a cover of "The Continuing Story of Bungalow Bill", debuted "Thursday Night Open Mike" (they got a kick out of that), and since I had a little extra time, strummed out a version of "Sunday, Sunday Sunrise".

The experience was great! This will really help me become more at ease with performing solo- it'll also help me out with stage presence, etc. The only way to build stage presence is to perform, perform, perform, and perform some more. For example- there's an instrumental segment of the Thursday song... I didn't think till it was almost over to ask people to clap throughout it, so I'm not just looking like I forgot the words or something. And that's good to know for next week, when I hopefully perform the song at the High Tech High School Alumni Cabaret. Again, stage presence only comes from playing more shows. I hope to make open mikes a regular part of my musical regiment- to prepare a short set every week and have it ready to go.

Anyway, tentative set for next time

1. Pyscho Killer
2. Tempted
3. TV on Tuesday
4. Sweetest Sound

Friday, June 4, 2010

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Secret E.P Hiatus

Since I am putting a ton of work into my Weekly Song Cycle, I am going to put a hiatus on the Secret E.P. Since there is a lot of writing for bigger ensembles on that record, it would make a lot more sense to record it with more resources, i.e: a studio, money, and more musicians. So for now, it's all Weekly Song Cycle.

But, the Weekly Song Cycle will also include a few other songs as a "B Side"... so now I can call the whole thing "The Weekly Song Cycle and Other Stories".

Basically, the first eight tracks will include the song cycle, and there will be a few other tracks included. Travel Song, originally featured on the Secret E.P, will appear here instead, along with an acoustic version of Sweetest Sounds. Another song, a new song, will also be featured. More to come on this new(ish) project. For now, some lyrical selections from the Weekly Song Cycle.

I see no reason to go out
It's raining
I'm tired
and I'm broke

I'll watch some reruns of Cheers and Scrubs
and old school South Park
with all the dirty words bleeped out.

-TV On Tuesday

-----

He sings a song about the city
then another one about his little bird
Then he dedicates one to the ladies
and plays me a song that I've never heard, never heard...

-Thursday Night Open Mike

Friday, May 28, 2010

Weekly Song Cycle Update

Wow, well, the Weekly Song Cycle is shaping up very nicely. At this point, I already have five demos recorded (Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Sunday #2). About thirteen minutes of music right now.




Gotta get rolling on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday.

Now that I got that demo done, I can get on to making... business cards. Because, everybody's always telling me I should print them, to which I always say: "I should". Just one thing... I never seem to have time to do that.

Serious Day Off

Some things got canceled, so now I have an ENTIRE DAY OFF. What the hell am I supposed to do if I don't have work or some sort of rehearsal?

I know! I'll record.

And check out grad schools, after having been told on Wednesday that a lot of big auditions are in December. I'm not a hundred percent sure if I'll be at the point I want to be at by then. Though I'm working on my E.P diligently, I haven't worked on a new classical piece in a while. I've got some sketches... I'm sure something will come to me soon. I had a busy semester at school, and got a lot done. Speaking of which, I should hopefully have a recording of my piano trio up at the myspace page soon. For now, check out some of the great pieces that are up there already.

Already finished my resume for Sweetest Sounds. Hopefully I get to teach there. I feel like I am doing a great job giving guitar lessons already- I see lots of progress being made in a short period.

So anyway, back to recording... gonna hit "On Mondays I Get The Band Together" right now. I'm tempted to head into the city though... but I do have to record.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Thursday Night Open Mike

The demo is done! But I'm keeping this to myself for a while... family gets an exclusive first look, but I don't want to leak too much of the album now, do I?

But it's a really cool, jazzy track. When it's done, there should be some field recordings of crowds going wild, fun stuff.

In the meantime, I also did a quick demo of Sunday, Sunday Sunrise, but that song's out in the open at this point.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

TV On Tuesday (DEMO)


Hey everyone... check out my demo of TV On Tuesday from my upcoming Weekly Song Cycle E.P. Made download-able since I can't get any embedded mp3 player to work.

Carmina Burana (again)

Wow, if all goes well, I might get the chance to perform Carmina Burana again. Maybe if I'm lucky, I'll get to do the Verdi again too... one day. But for now, huzzah for Carmina Burana!

Here's a little commemorative video, for MSU's performance of the work in 2008 with the NJSO.



And this one's just awesome.

clang clang clangclangclang

Recording for my Weekly Song Cycle E.P is underway. Got the guitar track for Sunday, Sunday Sunrise down, despite construction going on outside my window. Though, my friends gave me a great idea, via facebook, about what I should do next time these guys are out there (they seem to be packing up now). Anyway, now is as good a time as any to present the track listing for the tentatively titled E.P. Some of the titles are tentative, but I'm basically decided on them.

1. Sunday, Sunday Sunrise
2. On Mondays I Get The Band Together
3. TV On Tuesday
4. Ways To Spend A Wednesday
5. Thursday Night Open Mike
6. Friday Happy Hour
7. The Hangover (Saturday Coffee Date)
8. Sunday, Sunday Evening

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

So, I'm liking this time off from work....

Took a few days off to work, so I can just worry about rehearsing and the like. Oh, and it gives me time to get my gaming on. Currently slashing my way through No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle. It's such a fantastic game- even better than the first (with a few drawbacks, but more good things than bad in this sequel). Some boss battles, though, are really, really hard, though. Pick it up and slice up some thugs to ribbons.

Even though this is supposed to be a blog about music, I'm currently working on a script for a small film my friends and I want to make. It's mostly going to be hush-hush, so keep it a secret. I'll more than likely be doing the music for that, too.

As far as music goes- I did a lot of songwriting this weekend. Working more on my weekly song cycle. I only need to write Wednesday and Saturday. Anyway, I'd like to do some recording on that soon... hopefully I can start tomorrow. Got some new Double Vision songs coming, too, so stay tuned.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Shonen Knife is still totally awesome

Check out this brief review of a Shonen Knife show at King Tut's in Glasgow. I'm telling you, next time they're on tour, go check them out. Like the reviewer says: "They're not just some novelty act- they're a first-rate pop group in their own right."

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Graduation

Just because I feel it's appropriate:

Ye fearful saints, fresh courage take
The clouds ye so much dread
Are big with mercy and shall break
In blessings on your head
Amen.

Today, I am finally graduating MSU with a Bachelor's in Music Composition. Pretty exciting stuff! Then I'm going to eat Portuguese food. Even better.

Seriously, though, it's hard to believe that my time at MSU has come to an end. Excuse me for being cliche here, but I've learned a lot about performing, composing, theory, all of that stuff. But that still leaves me with a lot to figure out. I guess I'll figure all this stuff out, though, one composition, one performance, one recording at a time. One vinyl, one CD, one guitar chord, and one lesson at a time. I'll figure it all out in time. Till then, huzzah for graduation!

New Vinyls

The Clash- This is England (Single)
Japanese Piano Music (Masa Kitagawa Fukui)
Musique Francaise du 20 Siecle (Georges Migot)

Thursday, May 13, 2010

New Mandolin, Guitar Lesson, Guitar for Sale, $79 bikes!


I purchased an Italian bowlback mandolin from my guitar professor for $150 bucks. It looks like the one on the left here. And, wow, what a fantastic sound! It's so much more open than my F-hole, electric/acoustic mandolin. I can't wait to use it on some recordings. Speaking of which... plans are underway to get more material recorded. But I'll save that for another post.

Since I purchased this mandolin, I'm looking to sell my Carlo Robelli archtop. I consigned with Sweetest Sounds right here in town... they're selling it for $199 with the case. Pretty sweet deal if you ask me. It's a gorgeous guitar, in great shape with fantastic action, so check it out.

Today is my first guitar lesson in a while. I'll actually be heading out in a few to get over there. And maybe, I might be able to get work giving more lessons. So if anyone wants guitar, piano, alto sax, or composition lessons, please let me know!

One more thing- Walmart is selling bikes for $79. No joke. I was going to get a membership at 3rd Ward in Brooklyn just for the bike, but now I guess I don't have to. Unless, of course, I still want free coffee. As if I don't get enough of that already.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Monday, April 26, 2010

The End of Saint Nicolas...

In Benjamin Britten's cantata entitled Saint Nicolas, there are two hymns sung by the choir and the congregation (the audience). The second of the two occurs at the very end of the piece, after Saint Nicolas has died. While the entirety of Saint Nicolas is beautiful, I know I will always hold these last few lines very dear.

Ye fearful saints, fresh courage take
The clouds ye so much dread
Are big with mercy and shall break
In blessings on your head
Amen.

The version by the Adelburgh Festival Choir is the one I have- it's an excellent recording.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

In this darkness with my frozen hands...

Partch Ensemble performance = Success! All the pieces sounded fantastic- the program featured music by both Partch himself and by various other composers (students as well!). I know that if I go somewhere else for grad school, I won't be able to play on Partch instruments again.

I'd love to cover some Partch stuff here at some point. Check out this documentary in the meantime.

Upcoming graduation...

In honor of my upcoming graduation from college, I'm going to revamp this blog to include new things... such as my adventures in the "real world", whatever that may be. Plus, I really want to get into painting and lomography. Plus, I will probably have more time to write in this darn thing.

Stay tuned for the BIG COLLEGE RECAP... last performances, fond memories, maybe some not-so-fond ones (what, really, a 65 on my fugue assignment??). Of course, I have to get into the Verdi and Comp Recital thing. Indeed.

For now, today is my last Harry Partch performance... my group will be performing "Soldiers", one of Partch's Eleven Intrusions. Of course, I will be playing adapted guitar, given the choice between an instrument I am bound to break and a totally awesome slide guitar.

This week at MSU- Orchestra, Wind Symphony, Symphonic Band, Campus Band, and MSU Chorale and Singers. We will be performing Saint Nicolas by Benjamin Britten in Chorale, which will be my last of about seven major chorale performances (and a handful of small ones). So many last shows this month. Jazz guitar night last Thursday, Partch today, Chorale on Saturday, jazz big band next week. I'm gonna miss them when I'm living in a box under the Brooklyn Bridge.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

My Recital

So, everything has come together pretty nicely. In just a little over twelve hours, it'll be time for my senior recital.

Just gotta get some sleep now.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Rumors of my death have been greatly exaggerated...

Okay, so it's exactly ONE WEEK until my recital next week at the Cali School of Music. Hoo-ray! Though I've hit approximately 584 snags, me and my crew of awesome musicians have been chugging along. This show is gonna ROCK, I can feel it.

So, for those who are interested, the program will consist of a solo guitar piece, a short piece for marimba and vibes, two jazz tunes, a piano trio, a solo piano piece, an intermission, a choir piece, a string quartet, and four songs. Bitchin'.

Stay tuned for more.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

It's Been A While

Let me fill you in on my life on a very impersonal way.

1) I'm a better bass player than I thought.
2) Verdi Requiem was a huge success.
3) My composition recital is about a month away at this point.

So, I think I'll regale/bore all of you/none of you with word on my recital preparations. Things should get more interesting once I have videos up. At this point, you probably don't even know that I compose music.

So check out my myspace page for now- myspace.com/acmenescompositions

Let me fill you in on things I intend to do in the coming weeks/months, in no particular order.

1) Arrange my Piano Trio #1 for the MSU Classical Guitar Ensemble
2) Have a successful recital.
3) Get my hair done.
4) Post more videos/audio clips of my music//launch some sort of website.
5) Graduate
6) Go to grad school

Friday, January 29, 2010

Just about to sing the Verdi Requiem...

I wanted to update before, but I was fighting to get my hair looking good.

Wow. The choir has been working on the Verdi Requiem since September. Now we are being called to go on. This is going to be amazing.