Archive for the 'Composition' Category

The Defeat of the Dog: Salisbury Plain

Wednesday, March 21st, 2007

Every 1000 years, all the abandoned, forsaken, and neglected dogs in the world meet at Salisbury Plain and lift their inarticulate, damaged voices in song to praise their God. This isn’t the song they sing, but what I imagine it might sound like.

Click here to listen to “Salisbury Plain”


Friday, January 5th, 2007

“Ghost” is a collection of 6 pieces I wrote last year.

“Jest ‘Fore Christmas”

Sunday, December 17th, 2006

Heavy metal Christmas song. The lyrics are by Eugene Field (1850–1895) and I wrote the music (and recorded the song). Merry Christmas and to all a good year!

Click here to listen.


Verse 1:
Father calls me William, sister calls me Will,

Mother calls me Willie, but the fellers call me Bill!

Mighty glad I ain't a girl---ruther be a boy,

Without them sashes, curls, an' things that's worn by Fauntleroy!

Verse 2:
Love to chawnk green apples an' go swimmin' in the lake---
Hate to take the castor-ile they give for bellyache!
'Most all the time, the whole year round, there ain't no flies on me,
But jest 'fore Christmas I'm as good as I kin be!

But jest before Christmas,

But jest before Christmas,

But jest before Christmas,

I'm as good as I kin be!

Verse 3:
For Christmas, with its lots an' lots of candies, cakes, an' toys,
Was made, they say, for proper kids an' not for naughty boys;
So wash yer face an' bresh yer hair, an' mind yer p's and q's,
An' don't bust out yer pantaloons, and don't wear out yer shoes;

Verse 4:
Say "Yessum" to the ladies, and "Yessur" to the men,
An' when they's company, don't pass yer plate for pie again;
But, thinkin' of the things yer'd like to see upon that tree,
Jest 'fore Christmas be as good as yer kin be!


The Lost Son

Sunday, September 10th, 2006

This piece was inspired by Theodore Roethke’s poem “The Lost Son”.

Zeitgeist performed “The Lost Son” on February 21, 2006 in St. Paul, Minnesota, at the American Composers Forum Tuesday Salon.  Zeitgeist is Pat O’Keefe on bass clarinet, Shannon Wettstein, on piano, and Heather Barringer, on snare drum, with special guest Jane Garvin, on flute.

‘Tis Time

Saturday, September 9th, 2006

This is my attempt to do something spooky like Steve Reich’s “It’s Gonna Rain”, which is a favorite work of mine. I was also influenced by the possessed girl Regan’s backwards-talking in the book and movie “The Exorcist”. The text is by William Shakespeare and is from “Macbeth”, I think; not that you would be able to recognize that since most of it is backwards or otherwise obscured. Somehow, I think my vocals kind of ended up sounding like John Lydon.

Listen to “‘Tis Time”

“Kirk O’Bain”

Monday, September 4th, 2006

I recorded this using a Speak & Spell I bent:

“Kirk O’Bain”

I think it might be the first (and maybe the last, also) bent Speak & Spell duet that mentions (or spells out, I mean) both Kurt Cobain and Kurt Gödel ever written (for what it’s worth). It’s almost a throwaway (or maybe it should be a throwaway), but it’s kind of funny and interesting (for a finite number of listens, anyway).

(If you’re interested in learning more about circuit-bending and bent instruments, there’s a recent Wired magazine article on bent-circuit instruments that you can find easily enough with a Google search.)

Heavy metal trombone music

Wednesday, August 17th, 2005

I’ve written what I think is the first ever heavy-metal piece for trombone. It’s called “Gravedigging”, and I’ll post the score here before long.