My thoughts and out loud thoughts on composition, performance, and many things musical.

And we even sang the athem

I usually use this blog to update on compositional ideas, which I intend to do here in the coming sentences. But I have to use this to mark down some emotions too, this time.

But first the musical ideas:

1) I’m going to start recording very soon with a good friend who is a great musician and very technically savvy. I have some new songs I’m really proud of. Musically they’re what I want them to be, and lyrically, I’m at a stage of honesty I prefer to be at. I hope others find my lyrics to be intuitive and not without story.

2) I’m still arranging songs for brass quintet and really want to get playing them soon. I can only play in a particular orchestra for so much longer before my ears are cut by sections’ inabilities to match each other. Ayayay…intonation…

3) While I’ve declared this many times already, I declare it again: “A Man’s Will to a Woman” is almost done. With 4 movements now, and A NEW INTRO, which now musically I am done composing, all I have to do is get the lyrics down for movement 3. (The intro, is quick, but gives a quick counterpointed glimpse at ALL the thematic material from all 4 movements.) THEN the quintet is finally done.

4) I’m literally waiting on a phone call from Uncle Sam telling me where I’ll be going to play music. I’m excited to go, with other great musicians, but I think I’m more excited about the consistent PAY! $$$ Otherwise, there are many tempting musical things going on here I intend to stick with until a plane takes me away. (see no. 5)

5) A Circus in Winter, the musical, was quite a life changing event for me. Musically and technically there was nothing challenging for me (leaving immediate indefinite room for adding my emotional interpretations), and that’s not a bash on the music at all. The music, written by great friend Ben Clark, is just tremendous. Musically and lyrically, on their own AND against a plot line, the songs are intensely powerful. Every night I got the fortune of playing with ease, while holding back from weeping in some of the more heart-grabbing moments. All of those feelings were a result of great actors, musicians, and the composer himself, Ben Clark. This musical definitely has a promising future, and if I have any say, I want to be a part of it. Also, I usually don’t like musicals.


I have the best friends ever. In the past year I have met some of the greatest like-minded musicians, who, from my technically-preferring standpoint, are incredibly easy to make music with. All I can think about lately is how attached I’ve grown to these friendships. Rare, I see it as is, to find people who are fun with and without music, and can perform, create, tell a story, and decipher life so easily with organized sound. Just REALLY talented musicians. I can say with confidence and competence that I’m a very talented musician, but I will always be a student, even if I’m to be the teacher. Being around these people bring the best out of me. As a result, I write clearer, I think clearer, I’m so much more articulate, and it’s not facetious.

Two gigs in the past week, small, not the attendance I would want, consisted of some really emotional moments that are perfect for being left at the microphone. A friend and I played some fun covers, and some originals, and had a great time conveying images. We played a song that caters to vocal and guitar improv, and threw in random references. There’s no non-lip-trembling way to say, with hindsight and all of my masculinity bearing on my chest, that playing music with these friends brings me to tears. Angled at each other, feverishly beating away at our guitars, singing our hearts out, to a song that heeds no real substance and is just “pop”, speeds the blood through the veins and kick-starts the adrenaline. Five or so people sat in front of us, the local brews scattered on the tables around, we sang simple harmonies, and played simple chords, and did simple dances, with one simple microphone, and I realized how lucky I am to have the friends that I have. And we even sang the anthem.


One response

  1. Lauren W.

    You are amazing….and the anthem – as patriotic as it gets. Although I wasn’t sure if I was supposed to stand or not. I love listening to you play, Joe. You have such an awesome gift! Can’t wait to attend your next gig…just bring it north 😛

    October 22, 2011 at 1:49 pm

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