Posted: March 9, 2014 in Composing Insights, Press

As I find myself in the last year of my master degree, I’m more concerned with personal research and composing than I am with regurgitating non-essential data. The research of which I speak pertains to the program associated with my second symphony. The work began in 2002; since then I’ve written much of the symphony prior to enrolling at UMKC, but this is one work that requires much patience. I’m writing an extensive research paper prior to engaging in any intense music composition pertaining to my second symphony.

I’m also sketching another work that originated back in 2002. It began as an orchestral work, but has since evolved into a work for concert band. I’ve learned much over the past two years. There was one hurdle that I had to get over. I was caught between writing what I prefer; while mixing it with what others prefer. Well, I’m not others! And, I should’ve been reminded from the experiences in my early record producing days whereby the opinions of others, when fused with my own creativity are a recipe for disaster. I’m not saying that I reject criticism; it’s not about criticism.  This is about other people telling you what you should or should not do; based on someone’s tradition or theory….which is foreign to you, and without any regard for your unique aesthetic. I don’t plan ever to write with that aesthetic again. As a result, I reject writing for reasons of appeasing someone’s taste. Unless I’m being commissioned to do so, I will bring my own experiences and lore to the fore. Is that alright?

So, both these works are quite lengthy and will take awhile to complete. I’d like to complete the wind band work before the year’s end. I’ve also got a stage play to score over the summer, which is hip-hop based; and I get to make some BEATS again!!!! I’m super, duper excited about that! Hell yeah!  What’s unique about the project is that I don’t have to do any notation……no mechanical pencil, no paper, no Sibelius. It’s strictly old school music production B-Boy Style. The play opens up in February 2015, in Kansas City, Missouri. It’s written by Cynthia Hardeman and entitled Truth Stands. It’s got a great story and it will definitely have a life.

I’ve completed the first of several works as part of my residency with the Chicago Modern Orchestra Project (Renee Baker). The premiere of Mis-Treatment of the Honorable will be April 23, 2014, at the South Shore Cultural Center. I’ve already begun working on the next piece the CMOP will premier in September.

Other works include collaborations with Jeff Nelsen (horn) and an original art-song for bass/baritone and piano.

It’s taken me exactly twenty years. That’s when I wrote my first notes on paper! The early months of 1994. Then in 2002, after hand-writing three, over-sized orchestral works, I began soliciting my work to be performed. Several acquaintances laughed at me, but my efforts weren’t wasted, and I’ve gained more breadth to my career. Those who were laughing saw the last grain of sand in the hour-glass of their career long ago. The journey has taught me much. Several extraordinary people have provided much encouragement and support through the years.

The saga continues………….



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