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

2011 – Goodbye Indiana, Hello Texas

**Totally taking my buddy Ben’s idea as using playlists as a sort of journal, here goes 2011 and last of being in Indiana, in musical memory. (The songs aren’t necessarily from 2011) Also, I realize most of my nostalgia-stricken songs are driving songs–because that’s when I really do my best listening.

1. Gabriel Kahane – Where Are the Arms

–This song (and his same-album song “Wintersong”) is what got me ready driving to orchestra rehearsal every Tuesday. It’s not orchestral, but it’s full of emotion. It always prepares me well to make story-telling music.

2. Punch Brothers – The Blind Leaving the Blind

–This is Chris Thile’s 40-minute semi-through-composed piece for the Punch Brothers.  It’s got the most plays in my iTunes above everything.  In 4 movements, I’ve probably listened to it at least 6/7 days per week. There was a point when this album didn’t leave my car CD player 5 months. And my car CD player only holds one CD.  This is another car-driving song, driving to Chicago and Canada, and a skip class song, a palette cleansing song in between studying for music history tests, etc. To quote Anthony Hare, it’s “Everything.”

3. Ari Hest – Mercy

–So I have a lot of nostalgic-driving songs…but this is yet another. Ari Hest, one of my most favorite singer-songwriters, I have listened to since I randomly heard him in 2001.  This song immediately snaps me back to driving by myself in Bloomington, IN, and other wooded areas, usually driving to a morning race or run.

4. Trio in Eb for Trumpet, Violin, and Piano: Eric Ewazen, performed by Phil Smith

–This was my perfect after-work piece to listen to.  Late nights after closing up Motinis, and after weekends at drill.  Eric Ewazen can do no wrong in my eyes as a composer. And Phil Smith is self-explanatory.

5. Radiohead – Idioteque

–Arguably my favorite Radiohead song, though they’re all just so awesome, this reminds me of discussing music and seeing Radiohead with one of my best friends Tyler McCreary.  When I drove to his wedding, to be a part of it, I blasted this song in the car.  Lyrically it has nothing to do with going to a wedding, but it gets me pumped.

6. Rite of Spring – Stravinksy, performed by the San Fransisco Symphony

–This has always been a favorite piece of mine, but when I did what may be the last Hilly Hundred for a while as I move to Texas, I lay in the gym of a school (where participants sleep during the 2-day, 100-mile event) and watched SFS‘s video of this on my laptop.  It’s just a brilliant piece.  I hope one day I will have written something this powerful.

7. Bon Iver – Holocene

–Cheers to driving with Ben Clark, to and from gigs, and to him introducing me to Bon Iver.  I don’t take easily to new musicians, because I’m usually too busy listening and catching up with what I already have, listening on more theoretical levels (ie., Mahler, Stravinsky) but maybe not ALL of Bon Iver I can enjoy, but this song is fantastic.  I’m gonna miss playing music with Ben–another really talented musician and best friend. Side note: he has a ninja pony tail.

8. Kate Lamont – Deathbed

This is the prettiest female voice ever.  And she is an Indiana girl.  I stumbled upon her when she opened for Ari Hest.  This is the best morning driving song ever–beating the sun to work and racing the mist.

9. Violin Concerto in D minor, op. 47:  Jean Sibelius, performed by Gidon Kremer and the Berlin Philharmonic

–This is a coffee piece and a workout piece.  It’s a perfect pairing with breakfast.  Also, when I work out (weights, not running) I listen to classical music. I don’t think it’s weird, but others do. Haha, oh well.  This piece just brings out some energy in me and I will forever associate it with Saturdays (full cycle workout days) at Ball State.  My friend and super-talented violinist Irene Stroh, said she didn’t prefer Gidon Kremer’s playing on this recording.  So I went and listened to others play it–and yes Irene, there are others that are way better!  Nevertheless, this particular recording has the energy I need.

10. Ryan Brewer – This is Me

–This is my friend’s song.  He is a really talented songwriter and musician.  He’s got it together.  This song reminds me of political debates at 3am motivated by barrel-aged juices. Also he is the sweetest, most kind, lightly-articulated, shy friend that I have.  I typed that sentence, with the hope that he will read it.

11. Ben Clark – You Have Come Back to Find Me

Another friend’s song.  He always prefaces this song with, “I don’t think I’ll ever write a better love song.” It is a fantastic love song.  This will make me miss playing at the Upland Tasting Room. And it also reminds me of seeing Josh Agan, a truly talented friend, and very successful.

12. Nick Rapley – Blue

–A song by friend Nick Rapley–it’s sooooo freaking catchy. It should be available sometime early 2012, I’ve just heard a bunch of times pre-production.  His song just reminds of all the rad jam sessions we had together.  He’s a righteous drummer and is filled with a plethora of innovative and great musical ideas. I am definitely going to miss living with him and having random conversations about anything we want and having them last at least an hour.  And I’ll miss my little moose, his awesome girlfriend, Ella.  And he can record and mix a studio-album in his sleep.

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