As November draws to a close, I’m resuming
work on the Tonia Tecce project, as well as continuing work on my Sabbats Suite. The
first two movements are completed and the third movement started. They are all posted (including a sample
of the third movement) on my What’s New page. I’ve also re-posted the first three
sections of my all electronic piece, Six Stones. I removed them earlier, thinking I was going
to make them part of the Sabbats Suite, but decided against that. So that makes three irons in
the proverbial fire for me, which is typical. I like to keep busy.
I finally heard back from my good friend Sue
Krzyzanowski who seems to be doing well. She has three grown children, all off on their own, also
doing well. Sue and I became friends when we both worked for a company called Chicago Specialty,
at that time located in Skokie, Illinois. Sue was in purchasing, I was the Quality Manager.
I left that company first and Sue followed later. When I returned to Deltrol Fluid Products,
I gave her a call when there was an opening in purchasing. We worked together there for a few years until
she left. I left later and, since then, we’ve lost touch with each other.
So it was good to hear
from her again. I’ve maintained only a few friendships from my working days and hers is one I value.
She is a terrific person. As you can tell from her name, Sue is of Polish descent. She
is avidly Polish. She is fluent in that language and has a strong connection with that
culture. Many times when visiting suppliers together, she would pick up on someone speaking Polish and
engage them in conversation. I just stood there wondering what they were talking about but glad she was
able to speak to them in their native tongue because it sometimes made it easier to exchange the information we needed to.
We’ve known each other for around twenty five years or so. I suggested we get together for
lunch sometime soon. It’ll be good to see her again.
After taking a hiatus, more or less, from doing
any technical reading, I decided to start again. There are a few additional textbooks I’ve ordered
and will start digging into them when they arrive. It’ll make a nice diversion from working on all
the projects on my plate. I heard from Byron this morning and found out he had an accident over the weekend.
When walking with his future son-in-law, Aaron, he fell and hit the sidewalk face first, knocking out several teeth.
Aaron took him to the hospital as he was seriously bleeding. They stitched him up and today he is
seeing his oral surgeon.
He was already in the process of having some dental work done and now there’ll be a lot more than
he bargained for. But he told me he’ll still be able to work, but wasn’t going to be around
today to take any questions from me. I know he was diligent in penning this chart, so there’s likely
not too many mistakes. I will get that score today and start on it this afternoon. He
said he’d call me tomorrow morning with an update on his status and to answer any questions I may have.
He also told me that our mutual friend, Bob Mitchell, is in the hospital with rectal bleeding due to a serious colitis
condition. He also has to start dialysis three days a week because his kidneys are failing.
Getting older is nice if you have your health, otherwise it’s a bitch!
In my zealousness to make some Italian tomato
sauce, I managed to redecorate my kitchen ceiling and at least two walls, in addition to the stove top and surrounding counter
space. Evidently, I neglected to fully cover the pot while things simmered and this caused a volcano-like
reaction. By the time I went back in the kitchen to check on progress, at least 25% of the sauce escaped
the pot and relocated to the places I just mentioned. Now, for an Italian from Chicago, I should have making
red sauce down to a science. Not so much. Besides the volcanic approach to sauce preparation,
it wound up tasting like the bottom of my shoe, the raunchy pair I was going to throw away. God, in his
infinite wisdom, has seen fit to put this stuff in jars for idiots like me to purchase.
What I’ve learned is to suppress those
occasional urges to get creative in the kitchen. It usually leads to culinary disaster and the disposal
of what could have been good food. I can fry meats and potatoes, I can boil pasta and rice, and I’m
very good at opening a can of something. But that miraculous skill of combining ingredients into a tasty
dish is something I don’t have nor ever will. As a cook, I make a pretty decent composer.
My admiration for those that can cook is endless, more now than before I tried it myself. To those
who may be saying “Prov, it’s really easy once you get the hang of it”, I say your optimism is
noble but ill-founded, so shut up. That’s why God created microwaves!
I bought a GPS unit for my wife and, thus far,
it’s been working great. I wish they would’ve had these when I was still playing and trying
to get to the gig. It would’ve made things easier and kept me out of some dubious neighborhoods.
But, for the occasional here-and-there my wife travels to, it works very well. We tried it out this
past weekend and, for the most part, is very accurate. However, there are times when I overrode the directions
it gave me and I confused the hell out of it until it replanned the route based on my maverick sense of direction. I have
no real sense of direction and get lost in my own house sometimes, and it’s just a two bedroom with no basement!
Seriously, I have a hard time figuring out what direction I’m going in sometime, especially when it’s overcast
and I can’t tell where the hell the sun is. A GPS helps, and this one also tells me what direction
I’m heading. Even I can’t get lost with this thing, at least not so far. But
you never know. I’m pretty screwed up.
Since starting this blog entry, FedEx delivered the next score
and, as I expected, it’s harmonically complex. Being a child of the 50s, whenever I hear When
You Wish Upon a Star, I hear Jiminy Cricket singing it, just like he did every time the Walt Disney show was on TV.
Byron’s arrangement for Tonia is much more complex and harmonically dense. The voicings are
very inventive and the flourishes are dramatic. But I still hear that cricket dude. I’m
trying to not let that get in the way while I’m transcribing, but as I add in Tonia’s part, I hear Jiminy.
I guess that’s not that bad, is it?
I said earlier that I thought this score should be pretty much error
free. I’m going to take that back. I’m on page 4 and have already found
5 mistakes, or at least they seem to be mistakes. To me, dissonance is normal. The serial,
atonal work I do is loaded with it. Byron’s scores, however, are not dissonant. They’re
lush and very chromatic, but not dissonant. So when I see a dissonance that seems out of character for
Byron, I assume it’s a potential mistake. So I flag it with yellow highlighter for an over-the-phone
discussion with Byron so we can clarify things.
I’ve completed the first three pages of the score but stopped
to finish this blog entry. Besides, I was zoning out and needed a change of view. There’s
only so much of Byron’s manuscripting skills I can take in one sitting. I need to occasionally push
the reset button in my brain in order to continue. Don’t get me wrong. I love
the guy. But I have less patience these days and a shorter fuse. Taking a break now
and then let’s me keep my cool and stay focused. Besides, it gives me a chance to see what my three
cats are up to, which usually involves all of them sleeping on the living room chairs. Cats!
They’ve got it good.
Peace, Love and Tolerance,
Thanksgiving has come and gone. Black
Friday has come and gone. Of course, there’s still Cyber Monday, so if you haven’t spent all
your bread, you’ll get another chance. It’s not like I need a designated day to spend my money.
I’ve already bought a few items that could’ve been considered Xmas gifts, but I already gave them to the
people I intended them for. When it comes to Christmas, I don’t always follow tradition.
Every day is an opportunity for doing something good for someone. We still put up a tree but no
outside lights, except for a single candle in the front window, but that stays on all year long. Season’s
greetings, regardless of what season it may be.
I not only reject the religious implications of Christmas, I reject
the commercialization of Christmas. When I viewed the TV coverage of the stores opening on Black Friday
and saw people trampling other people to get to the sale items ahead of everyone else, it underscored those feelings.
The gifts we exchange are often not something we know the person really would like. So we get candles,
wine, handkerchiefs, fruit baskets and other generic gift crap because we don’t know what the person really wants or
don’t care. Sometimes we don’t really know much about the person at all. So
we buy generic crap that somehow says I love you even though I don’t really know you. Merry Generic
My son calls those auspicious occasions “Hallmark” holidays. The kind the greeting
card people make money on, but they’re not much more sincere than that. Christmas, unfortunately,
falls into that category. The holidays are what you make of them. These special occasions,
for me, are all about family. Taking time out from life to sit together, break bread and enjoy each other’s
company. Turn the damn TV off, the hell with the game, just talk to each other and listen to each other.
Sometimes, in that relaxed moment, you get to see who these people really are. Sometimes you are
amazed, sometimes surprised. But you’ll always be grateful for having done it.
As it turned out, the
next score did not arrive on Friday, as Byron expected it to because, according to FedEx, you don’t count holidays or
weekends when adding up the number of days for delivery. A two-day delivery sent out on Wednesday will
arrive on Monday when there’s a holiday on Thursday. Actually, that’s not a problem for me
as my wife and I still have some things to do over the long weekend. The score will arrive on Monday, so
I’ll start work on it that afternoon. Byron will also be back to work on Monday, so we’ll call
each other to go over the score as we usually do prior to beginning work on it. I did get paid by Tonia.
I also emailed her to thank her. She did make this extra money possible, so I owe her at least that.
I did do during these last few days was complete the first two movements of my Sabbats Suite. The
first movement is Samhain, and the second is Yule. They’re both posted on my What’s
New page for you to listen to. The second movement Yule starts out in 11/16 time, with a
brief section of 4/4 then back to 11/16. It was inspired by what I envision as an Old English sound.
My wife says it reminds her of some of the flavor you get from Jethro Tull in his Song from the Wood album.
That wasn’t something I consciously did but I have to agree with her. Counting the 11/16 is
easier if you divide the bar up as one, two, three, one, two, three, one two three, one two.
usually think in rhythmic patterns when I begin a work, but this time I did. The musical colors, for me,
are reminiscent of Yuletide with the sound of bells playing a dominant role in the overall texture. It’s
only about 3 minutes 40 seconds long, just enough to draw you into it but not so long that you become tired of it.
Yule is celebrated on the Winter Solstice, the shortest day of the year, so it’s fitting that this movement be
short in duration.
The next movement is Imbolc which is also known as Candlemas.
It’s a celebration of fertility, inspiration and purification, symbolizing the awakening of life deep within
the earth, although that life is not yet visible. The Sun holds the power which becomes more and more visible
as each day lengthens. Tradition calls for lighting every lamp in the house for a few minutes in honor
of the Sun’s rebirth. My wife tells me I already do that. I guess I’m not
an energy conserver but a good Wiccan. What can I tell ya’.
Of course, I won’t start on Imbolc
until I finish When You Wish Upon a Star, which is the next score in Tonia’s project. But
I did listen to the track from her album, which this arrangement is based on, and it’s full of deep, rich harmonies
that move throughout the arrangement. It’s really some of Byron’s best work but looks like
it will be difficult to transcribe. I’d better make a pot of strong coffee before I start work on
it. I’ll need all my wits about me and a sharp focus on the details. But if it
were easy, everyone would be doing it, right? Not really.
I received an update to the Jbridge
program I purchased some time ago. This wraps 32-bit VST plug-ins in a 64-bit wrapper, enabling them to
access more memory. I sure hope that works as there’s no other solutions at this time.
Because I registered the program after I initially bought it, I get emails with any updates. Such
was the case here. I also got an update to Sony’s Sound Forge Pro 10 taking it from 10b
to 10c. It too was at no charge. It’s important to stay current with updates as
they usually include solutions to problems you may have been experiencing, as well as improvements you can really take advantage
In addition to Sibelius, the programs I use the most are Sound Forge Pro 10 and Sonar Producer
8.5. These are important to post-production processing, the first as a sound editor, the second as
a multi-track recorder. Sonar is a 64-bit program, Sound Forge is not. But
I don’t intend to put serious memory demands on either, so it doesn’t make that much difference. I
haven’t heard back from Avid about whether Pro Tools 9 is a 64-bit program and need to confirm that
before I consider buying it for $600. Right now, I have no viable solutions to breaking the memory barrier.
I know Cubase 5 is a 64-bit program and will import XML music files. But I have to
get Dolet 5 for Sibelius to enable exporting XML files. That’s a plug-in and runs about
$200. Cubase is another $500 and I have no guarantees that Cubase’s notation feature is intuitive
enough to productively use without a lot of face time with the program, learning the language. All roads
lead to a very expensive ending with no assurance it’ll give me what I want. So, it looks like I’ll
stick with Sibelius and hope Jbridge opens up more memory for samples.
For the projects I’ve been involved with,
that’s been working. Windows 7 sees Sibelius as an LAA and assigns it 4GB of memory, which
is why it works better than it did on XP 32-bit, where it got only 2GB. The rule with memory is if
a lot is good, more is better, During my hot rodding days, that was the rule for engine size and pretty
much everything else. A lot of memory, like a big engine, goes faster and handles the load.
These days, I’m hot rodding my computer instead of my old Chevy. If only I could get my computer
to make that awesome, deep-throated exhaust sound.
Peace, love, and tolerance,
Friday, November 12, renowned Polish composer, Henryk Gorecki, passed away in Katowice, Poland.
He was 76. Gorecki, along with Lutoslawski and Penderecki, was one of
Poland’s most revered contemporary composers. But he’s best known for his 1976 composition
Symphony No. 3 (subtitled “Symphony of Sorrowful Songs”). The recording by the London
Sinfonietta, conducted by David Zinman and featuring soprano Dawn Upshaw, sold over a million copies and
helped make it his most famous work. Part of the libretto for this piece includes
a simple prayer “Oh Mamma do not cry – Immaculate Queen of Heaven support me always”, which was
found scrawled by a young girl on the wall of a Gestapo prison in southern Poland.
first heard this piece, at least the second movement, when it was performed at the Auschwitz concentration camp as
part of a documentary. You can find the clip on YouTube. In that setting, the
performance was particularly powerful and prompted me to buy the CD of the full symphony. It is an emotional
and poignant work and you should make a point to hear it.
I particularly like what Gorecki said in a 1994 interview
because it resonated with me and reflected my own opinion. “I think about my audience, but am
not writing for them. If I were thinking of my audience and one likes this, one likes that, one likes another
thing, I would never know what to write. Let the listener choose that which interests him.
I have nothing against one person liking Mozart or Shostakovich or Leonard Bernstein but doesn’t like Gorecki.
That’s fine with me. I, too, like certain things.”
I’ve completed the first section of my Sabbats Suite titled Samhain. It’s
posted on my What’s New page, if you’d like to check it out. I will resume the Suite
after I complete the next score in the Tonia Tecce project, which according to Byron is due to arrive on Friday,
November 26. He also tells me my first check for the project will arrive on the same day. He
got his yesterday and, with New York being closer to Philadelphia than Illinois, in the normal routing of mail, it will be
delayed by a couple of days getting here.
That’ll help the cash flow situation
as I’ve been putting out my own money for supplies and shipping costs. Some of that is covered in
my fee, others expenses, like shipping costs, will be separate.
I purchased the study score for Stravinsky’s Movements,
written for piano and orchestra. This is my favorite work from Stravinsky’s serial period, which
also produced Requiem Canticles and the Flood, among others. I feel it’s his most
musically satisfying period since his early days that produced the Rite of Spring. His neoclassic
period, that came after the Ballet Russe times, produced some interesting pieces but, for me, it was never as good
as both his early and late periods.
The challenge for me, with this score, is to follow along with
the recorded performance I have. Believe me, that sounds a lot easier to do than it really is.
My attempt at doing that with Le Marteau sans Maitre by Boulez had me chasing my tail, frantically
turning pages, trying to find out where the hell I was. Study scores are small (approximately 5”
x 7”) and difficult to navigate. They also have full scores, but none were available for either of
those works. I get my scores from www.sheetmusicplus.com .
It is Thanksgiving day, as I write this, and we’ll be going to my daughter’s house for dinner.
My son will be there too. So it’ll truly be a family celebration. That’s
as it should be. We need a special occasion sometimes to actually stop long enough to visit with each other
and catch up on things and, of course, give thanks for the good things we’ve got. It’ll be
good to have everyone together. That’s always a treat for me and my wife. It’s
a moment of reflection for us when we look back and are delighted at how well everyone turned out. It’s
a parental thing.
Now that the mid-term elections are over, in our area, we’re not being deprived of political
buzz. Chicago’s Mayor Daley has decided not to run for another term, so the hopeful candidates are
coming out of the woodwork and basements to throw their hats in the proverbial ring. Being from a northwest
suburb, it makes no difference to me who the mayor of Chicago is or will be.
But, politics in that
city is always interesting. There’s more rhetoric being bandied about by those vying for position
than a person can handle sometimes. It always amazes me at the amount and depth of crap that spews from
the mouths of these people. It’s sort of a bizarre circus kind of thing. I’d
bet P.T. Barnum would’ve signed them up for the show. After awhile, they sound like Charlie Brown’s
teacher...Waa! Waa! Waa! Sometimes I turn the volume down and just watch them go through the motions.
At least it’s more entertaining.
With my wife home from work this whole week, I didn’t do a few things I had on my “to-do” list, but there’s
always time next week. I enjoyed her being home. We got to do a lot of things together
that we’d talked about but never got around to. We also did some things around the house, mostly
rearranging that same ten pounds of fertilizer in that same five pound bag. We truly exemplify the proverbial
definition of insanity when we embark on these missions but, damn, we never seem to learn from the past!
My studio is an example of that. Through some sort of abhorrent evolutionary process, stuff has migrated
into my studio so that it’s barely recognizable as an inhabitable space. Yet,
I work there every day, seemingly oblivious to the maelstrom around me, ignoring the stacks of papers, shelves full of all
manner of electronic and computer gear, even the extra litter box for the cats, although that sometimes gets my attention
in other ways. I often say I need to organize this room so that it’s more accessible and logically
laid out, so I can easily find all the things I need to get to while working on a project.
then I look at it all, and it becomes overwhelming. I make excuses why I can’t start on the reorganization
at that moment like I’m in the middle of a composition, my grandsons are coming over, it’s Wednesday, I may be
violating some religious dogma, anything to avoid it!
I usually convince myself not to do it,
at least at that moment. You see, what it will take is a complete emptying of
the room of all its contents. I need to temporarily relocate all that stuff in other rooms, which are also
filled to capacity. I need to re-wire all my gear for access in the new position I’m going to relocate
it; cords and cables only stretch so far. Then there’s the more perplexing task of deciding what
to keep and what to throw out, or at least move out to the garage for long-term storage. This suddenly
becomes a multiple day ordeal, which becomes another excuse for not doing it. I don’t want to hang
up the living room with all this crap and not be able to sit and watch TV, do I? Yeah, it’s complicated.
Maybe someday, if I have time.
I’m actually looking forward to starting work on the project again tomorrow. I enjoy doing this,
even though I sometimes bitch about it. I guess I’m no different than everyone else in that regard.
But I’ve got a great boss and he lets me take a lot of breaks and doesn’t give me a hard time about anything.
He lets me develop my own schedule and lets me critique my own work. He knows I’m a perfectionist
when it comes to the quality of my work and he knows I’ll do whatever it takes to get it right. Seriously,
there’s no substitute for working for yourself, and it’s never work when you’re doing what you love to do.
Peace, love and tolerance,
On January 20 of 2011, a new book will be released that will be the definitive guide for music notation. It
is titled Behind Bars and is written by Elaine Gould of Faber Music. I was made
aware of it through an email from Sibelius. Elaine is Faber Music’s new Chief New Music
Editor. The book is described as the most thorough and painstakingly-researched book on music notation
to be published in more than 20 years. Sibelius was used to prepare many of the 1500 music examples
included in the book. This book is especially useful to composers, orchestrators and copyists. I'm
looking forward to including it in my library and for having it be the arbiter for differences of opinion between Byron and
I as to how certain passages should be notated.
Also, there is a new book titled Mastering Sibelius 6 by Gabriel Cobas is now available. I’ve ordered
my copy from Amazon and is due to be delivered this week sometime. The book goes beyond the reference
manual to explain many of the features available in Sibelius in a manner more intuitive for the user.
My thinking, of course, is that there’s always more to learn, even though I’ve been working with Sibelius
for many years. I’m sure there are better ways to do what I’m already doing and features I
haven’t used yet that will be helpful to know about. An earlier version, covering Sibelius 5, was an excellent
source reference, so this edition should be really useful.
I’ve added more to the Sabbats Suite and have posted the latest sample on my What’s New page.
I did some experimenting with blending the orchestral with the electronic music as I described earlier I would do.
I decided that I’m not happy with this mix and will leave the Sabbats piece as orchestral
only. The Six Stones piece will remain as a separate work for electronics only, that I will complete
Assuming about five minutes worth of music for each of the eight Sabbats, I will wind up with a piece
that’s about 40 minutes in duration. That’s a bit longer than my recent works but that’s
okay. Although I’m mindful of how a longer duration piece effects listeners, I won’t let that
dissuade me from letting this piece unfold as it wants to. In spite of the piece being based on the serial
system, much of it sounds almost tonal in nature. I’m doing this intentionally. The
rhythmic structure is more conventional than many of my earlier serial works and that’s so it has a familiar feel to
it, in the sense that the patterns are similar to what people are more accustomed to hearing.
As far as my use
of dynamics, that’s still more akin to my signature sound and varies from very loud to very soft, sometimes within a
few bars of each other. But that’s not that radical, really. Most people are used
to that. But by getting creative in how I use the pitch class sets, I look for combinations that strongly
suggest what is characteristically not serial-oriented in its sound, sometimes suggesting a tonal-based expression.
I suppose it more closely resembles much of the free-form atonality typical of some of Bartok’s and Stravinsky’s
early work. Even though I use no key signatures and they did, it tends to have a similar feel.
In fact, my musical “habits” also include using flats only, with sharps being used only
when notating cluster chords on keyboard instruments. There’s no rule that says I should do this.
It’s just something I prefer. I believe it’s easier for a player to read than if I mixed
accidentals throughout a piece. When you’re writing using the tonal system, with key signatures,
you have to use the accidentals appropriate to the key you’re in, to be consistent with the diatonic patterns.
This justifies using double flats or double sharps, as well as notes like Cb or Fb.
I think most players find that a bit more complicated sometimes, even though the good ones usually take it in stride.
to Byron yesterday. He said Tonia replied to his email asking if she sent out our checks. Both
he and I are expecting some bread up front. As it turns out, she only got around to sending the checks
a day ago, so we won’t see them until sometime after the Thanksgiving holiday. While it’s not
anything to be alarmed about, we both could use the money. Byron is also undergoing some dental work that’s
impeding his progress with the orchestrations. Hopefully, I will get the next one this week yet, but most
likely it will be next week.
With the task being two-fold, transcribing the score and parts,
as well as producing a balanced and mixed playback CD, I like to have enough time to get that done to everyone’s satisfaction
before getting the next score. I need to stay abreast of Byron and he needs to stay on track according
to the project’s schedule. When I was working my “day job” as Quality Manager, we always
created a timeline for projects, defining each major and minor task. Using software like Microsoft’s
Project Manager, we entered the start date and the expected date of completion, and had that basically dictate the timeline
for each task.
Projects in the music world aren’t planned as thoroughly. Everyone knows what
their jobs are, and everyone also intuitively knows what tasks are critical and what their dependencies are, but no one works
from a documented project plan. And, while the producer is usually regarded as the project “manager”,
he or she usually shoots from the hip. And it’s not that music projects are any less complex as business
projects, it’s that the people involved aren’t disciplined to track a project in the same way a business project
is. Having been involved with both types of projects, I kind of prefer the shooting-from-the-hip approach.
Why? Because invariably, business projects change a lot, sometimes faster than the manager can update
the project file to see the what-ifs. As a result, there’s as much on-the-fly changes as there are
in a music project.
Business people are categorically not as easy to work with as music people. Musicians
and others in the music business are more sensitive to the artistic, creative aspects of producing music. Business
people are much more driven by not pissing their bosses off. Their motive for completion is to stay employed,
rather than performing their assigned tasks in the best, most efficient way. It’s rare that a manager
will empower his or her people to be creative. They’re also concerned with their bosses being satisfied
with their progress.
Fertilizer always rolls down hill and will always be at its greatest
mass just before it hits the person at the bottom of the hill. In short, the lowest person on the managerial
food chain will take the biggest hit whenever possible. Survival in the business world is tantamount to
the law of the jungle. In the music world, there may be some of that, but nowhere near as much as in the
business world. Those are yet more reasons why I’m thrilled to be retired and self-employed.
I tend to go easy on myself and will reject any attempts by others to lead me to the Lion’s Den.
Been there, done that. All done!
But this project has a generous time frame, with rehearsals
not due to start until March of 2011. Still, I don’t want to be the narrow part of the funnel and
am concerned with keeping pace with Byron’s efforts. I like enough time to do the last-minute tweaking
that’s always necessary, mostly because we’re all human and screw up. There are many times
when, at the rehearsal, everyone is making penciled-in changes to the score and parts as mistakes reveal themselves when playing
We’re minimizing that, to an extent, by my creating a virtual playback. We’ve
caught wrong notes that simply jumped out at you while listening. Some have been my error, some have been
Byron’s. But, through this process, he’ll be able to go to rehearsal with a cleaner score and
parts, hopefully minimizing time spent making penciled corrections and maximizing actual rehearsal time. Players
begin to lose confidence that the part is always correct and start anticipating more mistakes. This effects
the quality of the rehearsal time. When they’re comfortable with the accuracy of the parts, they
relax more and play better. That’s a very good thing. The only problem is, with
a refined virtual playback setting the audible standard in Byron’s mind, his expectations for the live playback will
be higher than it would otherwise. This will be something new for Byron, but a good thing.
Welcome to the world of computer-generated music!
Peace, love and tolerance,
p.s., Happy Thanksgiving!
I’ve begun work on the Sabbats Suite
and have posted a short sample on my What’s New page, along with a graphic showing the Pagan year marking the
eight Sabbats. The instrumentation includes: Flute, Clarinet, Bassoon, French Horn, Trombone, Tuba,
Violin, Cello, Xylophone, Vibraphone, Marimba, Celesta, Synthesizer (Warm Pad), Percussion Ensemble and Electronic
Sources. I will re-use what I put together originally as the Six Stones and mix that with
the instrumental score. The electronic material is added at -18dB to keep it somewhat subdued.
the Pagan wheel of the year to give you an idea of the dates each Sabbat occurs and in what order they appear.
As I said, there are eight and each celebrates a different time of year. They each have their own
ritual. Here is an example. "I call upon the spirits of the North, that they join my Circle and bring word of the dead, and
take my words to them! Welcome, spirits of Air! I
call upon the spirits of the East, that they join my Circle and bring the comfort of the Earth, the flesh of the Mother, to
which we all return. Welcome spirits of Earth!
I call upon the spirits of the South,
that they join my Circle, bringing purification, that my soul learns from the trials and joys of life. Welcome, spirits of
I call upon the spirits of the West, that they join my Circle and bring peace,
that I may take comfort in the Cycle. Welcome, spirits of Water!"
As you can see, each compass primary point has significance and is associated with a primary force
of nature. North is Air, East is Earth, South is Fire, and West is Water.
Wiccans believe in the power and wonder of nature, and are basically a peaceful group. I find some
of their beliefs resonate with many of my own beliefs. Since long abandoning any organized religion, I
find the Wiccan way closest to how I would live my own life. Respect nature and don’t violate the
earth. Respect yourself and each other. Actually, not bad rules to live by.
But I’m especially drawn to the mystic quality of the Wiccan ways. I
find it very inspirational, especially in composing this suite. Some of that mysticism was shown to me
by my daughter when she was involved with Wicca. It seemed to run deep with her. In
many ways, I’m sorry she’s no longer involved with it. Modern life has taken over her
day to day existence and she works at several jobs concurrently, which keeps her from her kids far too much. A
little Wicca can restore that balance I feel she really needs now. You can only burn the candle at both ends for just so long
before it takes its toll on you.
I was delighted to hear from
my daughter that our two grandkids were really talking it up about their trip to the circus. Evidently
they really enjoyed themselves and were quite taken with all the spectacle. All that enthusiasm is a delayed
reaction. When we questioned them, all we got was an anemic “yes” when we asked if they had
a good time. But that’s kids for you. I think they were just too tired out to
be enthusiastic that day. The next day was a different story.
been reading a book titled Jazz Anecdotes, which is a collection of stories about jazz musicians and some of the
hilarious stuff that happens to them. It’s exactly the kind of entertaining reading I needed while
working on this project. I plan on sending the book to Byron when I’m done as he’ll appreciate
these stories. He has quite a few himself that I’ve been urging him to write down. I
advised him to start a blog on his website as a place to tell those stories. He’s told me a few that
I can’t repeat without getting him in trouble with some very famous people.
have a Canon digital SLR and a few lenses. I’ve used them extensively when I was working my “day
job”, and did a fair amount of photography on my own. But I’ve reached a point where I’m
simply not doing much of that at all. I’ve been really focusing on my music and working as Byron’s
copyist. That leaves me very little time for much else. So, rather than just leave my
camera gear laying around, gathering dust, I’ve decided to give it to my daughter’s boyfriend, who has a photography
business of his own. I know he can make good use of the extra lenses and maybe the SLR body.
He shoots a Canon as well, so everything’s compatible. All I really
need for the occasional photo I take is one of those small digital point-and-shoot cameras with a big LCD screen to focus
from. I was watching the guy in front of me at the circus using one and it looked like it can zoom in or
out, and the image quality looked pretty good. Sounds like that’s what I need.
My wife would like a GPS for her car. I’m going to do some research into what brand and
model is the best value. That ought to keep her pointed in the right direction when she goes out to visit
friends or wherever else she’s headed. I’m considering a digital metronome to help me determine tempos
correctly from what I’m listening to, as well as my own work. One of the things I’m picking
up on, working on this project with Byron, is that the tempos he indicates on some of these scores is not what he really wants.
As he sings the song to me at the tempo he feels is right, I need something to quickly determine the beats-per-minute
so I can change the tempo on the score, and the playback. Sometimes he’s close, other times he’s
way off. I’m used to being more precise because the kind of music I write calls for that. And,
yes, his singing is very close in quality to my own. I have the uncanny ability to lure large animals out of the forest
when I sing, mostly because they want to mate with me! Yes, it's a gift.
also modified my parts-taping rig to improve how it holds the paper for the initial tape application. After
taping this last series of parts for Smile, I developed a better technique and have fewer screw-ups and do-overs.
I haven’t had the opportunity to use the rig I bought for booklet taping but I’ll get around to that soon.
It’s supposed to handle the heavier weight paper stick I use for parts printing, so I’ll try it with that. Byron has also asked me to transcribe the piano reductions he did for Tonia for these same songs.
She uses those more for rehearsals. He’s going to tag on an intro to a couple of songs then
make a photocopy and send it to me. That will get done when we’re finished with the chamber ensemble
scores for April’s performance in Philadelphia at the Kimmel Center. I mentioned to Byron that I
didn’t see any listing for this concert on the KC’s roster, but he’s been told they sometimes don’t
list independent shows like Tonia’s.
I had visions of everyone showing up for the gig
and finding it was never booked! Well, next week we celebrate Thanksgiving. For
us, we’ll be having the family get together at my daughter’s house. Somehow, she won a turkey in a raffle, so
that’ll be the main course. This holiday is also my youngest grandson Vinnie’s birthday. He
turns seven. So this will be a double whammy celebration. Donna will be making pumpkin
pie, the sweet potato side dish and, of course, a birthday cake for Vinnie. She’s special made birthday
cakes for the boys since they started celebrating birthdays. This one will be an elephant to celebrate
their great time at the circus. There’s a lot to be thankful for this year. The
last few years, no so much. But everyone’s healthy, doing okay, and happier. That’s
always a good thing. I’m doing what I love and even earning a few extra dollars in the process.
Not too bad for a Chicago Italian musician.
After a great deal of back and forth, tweaking
the playback for Smile, and making some last minute changes to the score, I finally finished it. I’ve
printed out two scores, two sets of parts and two CDs of the playback. I will be sending all of that, minus
one set of parts, today. Tonia informed Byron that the piano player asked for advance copies of his part.
This makes sense because, as I’ve said, they are a real bitch. Byron said that after we finish
the next song, which will be When You Wish Upon a Star, I will send the piano parts directly to the piano player.
my last conversation with Byron, I planted the seed about considering plain staved music paper and adding the bar lines by
hand. Byron more or less resisted this, claiming that it was a hassle for him. At least
I gave it a shot, hoping I could coax some compromise. I’ve dug out a magnifying glass and will use
that to scrutinize the denser, busier passages so I don’t miss any detail, especially when they get scrunched together
because of this bar line issue.
The playback aspect has been helpful, especially for Byron, because
he’s found a few places where he’s notated the wrong notes. Listening to the ensemble playback
allows you to hear everything blended together and wrong notes tend to stick out like the proverbial sore thumb.
Sometimes it’s a subtle thing and you have to search through the score to find the culprit, but eventually the
errors are found. This saves considerable time at the rehearsal and, ultimately, makes for a cleaner performance.
A live performance
is unforgiving. You’d better shake out all the problems ahead of time because you don’t have
the luxury of a second take. According to Byron, Tonia is very aware of this which has prompted her to
arrange for a week’s rehearsal time. This is an important concert for her. The
songs Byron and I are working on are only a part of it. She’ll be doing some operatic pieces as well.
The concert is essentially a dedication to her voice teacher from Templeton University, so it’s a big deal for
her. Actually, I feel good about being a part of it, in spite of the hassles.
I’ve been thinking
about resurrecting a concept I had earlier about a suite honoring the eight Wiccan Sabbats. A few years
ago, I wrote two separate pieces inspired by Wicca. One was about Samhain, the Pagan new year,
the other called The Wiccan Canticles, which was to be a prelude to this suite It’s been
about five years since I composed those pieces and I’m going to let them remain as is. Instead, I’m
going to compose a new piece for the Wiccan Sabbats, using a mix of electronic and atonal instrumental music.
of continuing to pursue the Six Stones concept I’ve been working on, I’m going to convert what I’ve
already completed into source material for the Sabbats suite. So I’m abandoning the Six
Stones concept and morphing it into this suite. There are eight Sabbats in the Pagan wheel of the year.
They are Samhain (the Pagan new year), Yule (celebrating
the Winter Solstice), Imbolc (also known as Candlemas), Ostara (celebrating
the Spring Equinox), Beltane (more commonly recognized as May Day), Litha (also
known as Midsummer), Lammas (the first harvest festival), and Mabon (celebrating
the Autumn Equinox).
My interest in Wicca stems from my daughter’s involvement in Paganism several years ago.
Although she’s long since abandoned it, it still strikes me as a terrific source of inspiration for this suite.
Many of the concepts of the Pagan beliefs have found their way into our social structure. For instance,
we’ve often heard of the Christmas season being referred to as Yuletide. That originated
from Paganism and is the subject of the second Sabbat of the year. Samhain is commonly recognized
by non-Pagans as Halloween, something everyone seems to celebrate.
For reasons only Hollywood can explain, Pagan
seems to conjure up this vision of unholy, wretched people who eat their young and commit barbaric acts. Not
true, guys! They are essentially a peace-loving group who celebrate nature’s ways. I,
too, had some bad notions about them until I did some of own research, in addition to what my daughter explained to me.
The celebrations of the eight Sabbats are usually accompanied by specific rituals. I’m not
going to tap into any of that for this suite. Instead, they will be my own musical expressions of the Sabbats
and their significance.
Got a musician’s joke for you. This trumpet player is flying out of town to
a gig. He gets to the baggage check in when the man asks him “Is this a musical instrument?”.
He said “Sometimes”. Yeah, mostly musicians get that. If you didn’t,
ask a musician. He’ll explain it.
Byron took a break from working on the next score long enough to
listen to my composition “Alba”. He paid me the highest compliment when he said maybe he should
study serial music with me as I seem to have really got an affinity for and mastery of twelve tone music based on this and
some other atonal works I’ve recently written. I thanked him for that and said it’s the result
of extensive studying and experimentation, which is very true. But, still, it was nice to get that kind
of recognition from a colleague. I guess this style of music has become my niche. It could be worse.
I could be better known for writing great Country and Western songs. That would be scary.
I was reading In the blink of an ear: Toward a Non-Cochlear Sonic Art by Seth Kim-Cohen. Well
I stopped. It seemed to make a point then digress so badly that I had trouble finding my way back.
This happened enough times that I decided to give up on it. Maybe when I’m in a different
state of mind, I’ll revisit it. Ordinarily, I enjoy writing like that but, for whatever reason, I
didn’t this time. The general topic of Sonic Art is something I’m very interested in as it’s
closely akin to what I do. But, I guess I was expecting more direct and succinct references to the subject.
I didn’t find that in this book and that frustrated me to the point of giving up on it.
I do have some other books
that are on the same basic subject that I’ll get into next but, for now, I’m doing some lighter reading.
With being involved in this project, I look for an escape when I finally sit down to some reading. I
don’t want to be as engaged as I have to be doing these transcriptions and playback renderings. I
need some no-brainer reading to reset my head and deflate some of the stress that tends to build up. Getting
into very technical or cerebral reading adds to the mental tension, rather than relieve it. Sometimes,
I spend time with my cats. If you have pets, you know how much that helps bring your stress levels down.
with our grandsons at the circus was a great experience for all. Compared to the last time I was at the
circus over 25 years ago, I was amazed at how high-tech it’s become. Moving digital displays specific
to each act that performed, a lot more singing and dancing to contemporary songs and greater theatrics made for a different
yet still enjoyable spectacle. The boys were mesmerized by most of the show. It was
at the Allstate Arena, which was barely big enough for the typical three rings of entertainment. I was
more impressed by the crew that broke down and setup the props and gear for each act. They worked their
butts off. Everyone had a good time, even if ice cream was $10 for a small cup.
Well, I’m going
to enjoy this short break before Byron sends the next score, which should be by the end of the week or early next week.
With this project, I’ve been running at two speeds, all the way on or all the way off. The
off makes the on go better, or at least that’s the way it seems. Maybe I’m
getting used to this.
Peace, Love and Tolerance,
I’ve finished the third score of the project,
Smile, which had a very wicked piano part. It took three drafts of the transcription before I
got everything right. One of the problems is that Byron uses a preprinted music paper with predetermined
bar spacing. For this chart, he used paper with six bars per page. The trouble, of course,
is that all bar lengths are not created equal. The simple, easier bar content fits nicely in these established
But when it gets busy or dense, he crams everything into the bar, regardless of how illegible it becomes.
My gig becomes deciphering his scrunched-up writing, that usually has several ledger lines and accidentals.
Needless to say, that becomes difficult at best. I’d suggest using plain music paper and add
the bar lines after each legibly written bar, but I’m not sure how that would go over. So I struggle
with putting up with the difficulty and the mistakes I make in the process.
But it does give me pause to consider if I really
want to do this for Byron for any future projects. There’s a fine line between doing this for fun
and profit, and fending off the aggravation of the struggle. In the business world, where I worked in management
for forty years, we would seek solutions to problems like these that almost always involved some level of compromise.
We stayed focused on solving the problem and left egos behind. It was the only way to successively
This has become my modus operandi for all problems I’ve encountered since I retired.
But, in this case, it’s my problem and I have to solve it alone, expecting no compromise in the process.
This is both challenging and frustrating. In the business world, I could detach from the substance
of the problem and that helped me deal with it. I took ownership of it but didn’t obsess about it.
That’s how I survived it all.
But, when it comes to music, I have a deep-seated passion that guides my every
action. I take what I do very seriously and have a lot less tolerance for problems I can’t do anything
about. I will typically find some work-around or avoid the problematic circumstances altogether.
But that’s because it’s me versus the problem. When the problem is with another person,
and that person won’t compromise, even a little, it becomes frustrating.
In a business environment, that person would
be urged by his superior to relinquish his ego enough to help solve the problem. If that doesn’t
work, the person may face termination. I’ve seen that happen many times. Roadblocks
to progress aren’t tolerated for too long. Changes are made and that person will be who gets changed,
one way or another. That’s part of the ruthless landscape that’s the business world.
But that’s not an option here.
I have two choices. One, I could continue struggling
with things as they are and gently keep nudging Byron to change. This has a probability of success akin
to me winning the lotto. Or I could inform Byron I don’t want to do this anymore after completing
the current project. The consequences of this are potentially losing him as a friend, which would greatly
sadden me. It’s a difficult choice to make. At this moment, I’m opting for
continuing being his copyist and calling upon my own internal resources to find solutions to the problem.
I considered some sort of magnifying device I could use to view his hand-written scores that would enable a closer look at
the densely packed bar contents in the hopes of deciphering the details more clearly. I could possibly
alleviate some of the hassles I now fight through by doing that. Of course, the onus is on me to acquire the magnifying device
out of my own pocket. If I dwelled on that, it could piss me off. I don’t want
to get pissed off. It’s a waste of energy and emotion, and not at all good for your health.
So I guess
I’m going to be the bigger man, so to speak, and take on the responsibility for finding solutions to the problem.
I value our friendship more than I dislike dealing with the hassles. I suppose that’s my nature.
I tend to prioritize what’s of value to me and people usually come first. That’s something
you really learn when you become a parent. Sacrifice and compromise become the norm when you have kids.
On a different
note, I received an email through the Sibelius Blog saying that Avid, Sibelius’ current parent company, has
released version 9 of Pro Tools, which they acquired from Digidesign. The exciting part
of that is this version is hardware independent. Earlier versions required dedicated Pro Tools hardware.
This means I could use it with what I’ve got, namely my Tascam audio interface. It only requires
But the most intriguing part for me is its tight integration with Sibelius. The score editor in
Pro Tools is based on the new Sibelius and you can export a score created in Pro Tools directly into Sibelius for final editing.
Then you can print score and parts for performance. At this point, I don’t know if Pro Tools
is a native 64-bit application. In order for it to be of any real use to me, it would have to be so I can use all 12GB of
ram for samples. My ultimate goal is two-fold. I want to be able to use more samples
within the full ram compliment, and I want better control over playback.
I went to Avid’s website and asked
the question of their technical resource people. Is Pro Tools 9 a 64-bit application? For
its price tag of $599, it has to do everything I want before I’ll consider dropping that kind of bread.
Hopefully, I’ll hear back from them soon, so I can plan for this purchase or look for an alternative solution.
As I mentioned in an earlier post, I considered a two-fold solution involving Dolet 5 for Sibelius, which
would allow me to save a Sibelius score as a music XML file, and Cubase 5, which is a 64-bit application, and will
import a music XML file.
This would enable me to set up a score in Sibelius, export it to
Cubase and use all 12GB of ram to assign samples to the score. The total cost for this solution is about
$700, $200 for Dolet, $500 for Cubase. That’s also very pricey and I’m still not absolutely
certain it’ll work the way I want it to. Thus is the slippery slope of software-based music creation.
There aren’t any assurances everything will work the way you assume it will. Something, somewhere
gets screwed up and you’re out all that bread without the solution you thought you had. Yes, it does
suck! Big time!
So, I’m looking for assurances from these various software vendors that they can deliver what
I’m expecting their product to do. Sometimes, this is an exercise in futility or tantamount to pissing
in the wind. I’m hoping to be delighted at some point with a positive response. I also hope that
I’ll win the lotto, in spite of the overwhelming odds against me. Such is human nature.
I’m an eternal optimist. Some would say I’m a damned fool. I think
both descriptions apply to some degree.
As I’m writing this, my two grandsons are at my house. Later
today, we’ll be going to the circus. Meanwhile, my youngest grandson, Vinnie, asked if he could play
my keyboard. His efforts remind me of an intoxicated atonal writer. He tries very hard
and does come up with some interesting passages, albeit a little wobbly. At least he’s interested
in music in some way. Maybe I helped instill that interest. I hope so.
What the world needs is another atonal writer in the family! Go Vinnie!
Peace, love and tolerance,
Byron has sent the next score in the project.
It is the song Smile, which is the title track to Tonia Tecce’s album. From what
Byron’s told me, it’s also up for an award and will be the prominent song in her April concert at the Kimmel
Center in Philadelphia. So the pressure is on to get this one perfect. It should
be arriving tomorrow, Thursday November 11th. I won’t be here to receive it as I’m
picking my daughter up at the airport, but I told Byron to send it no signature required, so they’ll just leave it and
I won’t miss it. Otherwise they won’t leave it and I can’t get it until late afternoon
at the FedEx depot; truly a PITA.
He’s also sending me a copy of the album, so I could get a feel for the overall performance, especially
tempos and dynamics. This could be helpful as these elements played a role in what editing I needed to
do on the two songs I’ve just finished. Byron’s scores, in terms of tempo and dynamics, are
not precise, at least in the same way mine are. I write exclusively with Sibelius, Byron writes
at the piano. With Sibelius as my vehicle and with my knowledge of how it works, I add dynamic
markings appropriate to how Sibelius will interpret them.
Byron interprets dynamics relative to how he hears
it in his mind as he writes it or, in this case, how he wrote them in the original orchestration. So having
the original recording to use as a reference will help me to hear how the dynamics were ultimately performed.
When I craft the playback, this will be helpful in getting the balance I know Byron and Tonia are looking for.
For the first two songs, I didn’t have the recording to refer to. It was more of a trial and
error approach that, admittedly, was difficult, like trying to hit a moving target. Hopefully the next
one, and the others that follow, will be easier.
I’ve been going through some of my recent scores and extracting
parts for publishing as PDF files, for posting on my website. When I get done with this project, I’ll
get around to doing that. Meanwhile, creating these parts PDFs are nice fill-in work in between scores
for the project. They don’t take a lot of time and don’t require the same creative energy I
have to put into creating these scores. It’s actually a nice break from transcribing.
That can be tedious even when everything is going well.
I just finished Alex Ross’ book Listen to This and
found it very interesting. As I said, I didn’t read it cover to cover, instead read select chapters
that interested me more than the others. The book is not a contiguous story, so skipping around didn’t
diminish the read. It’s more an eclectic group of stories about various artists and composers.
I focused more on what was current and skipped the others. I may go back later and read those, but
I chose not to this time around.
The book I’m reading now is by Seth Kim-Chen titled In The Blink of an Ear: Toward
a Non-cochlear Sonic Art published by Continuum Books, 2009. It takes a fresh look at the
history of postwar sonic practice, including the works of Pierre Schaeffer, John Cage and Luc Ferrari.
He also looks at examples of contemporary sonic practice that parallels Marcel Duchamp’s notion of a
non-retinal visual art. It also explores the interaction of sound with the social, linguistic, philosophical,
political and technological aspects. I’ve just begun reading it last night but, so far, it’s
a good read. But be ready to have your vocabulary enhanced. My dictionary is getting a workout.
been concentrating on the role of sound in music. When listening to music, we tend to recognize the sources
of the sounds we’re hearing, i.e., a piano, flute, Taiko drum, penny whistle, etc. This recognition
affects how we listen. Consider listening to sound abstractly, without any regard for its source.
Listening to sound for sound’s sake only. When you can do this, you find that you can accept
all kinds of sound in the context of music. Music is not only made by instruments designed for that purpose.
They are made from a wide variety of sources, some natural, some man-made.
What I’ve been interested in is how sounds
are perceived and how they can be put in a musical context so that they are seamlessly blended with other conventional music
sounds. It’s what Cage was trying to get us to see in his 4’ 33” piece where
no instrument was played and only the ambient sounds could be heard. He was urging our ears to recognize
that there are sounds everywhere and they play a role in our perception of what we consider music. Luigi
Russolo in his 1913 Futurist manifesto The Art of Noise suggested that there is a musical parallel to the increasing
proliferation of machinery. He even developed his own instruments to make the noises he envisioned.
In some of
my recent work, like Alba, I combined conventional instruments with synthesized sounds to achieve what I was looking
for. I deliberately avoided an all traditional instrument ensemble in favor of a mixed bag of sound sources.
I didn’t think of this piece in terms of being able to be performed in concert with conventional instruments
by musicians, as I often have done. Mentally, I departed from that concept to create what was more like
sonic art than conventional music. I didn’t prepare the score for performance, instead it was the
vehicle for documenting the structure of the piece. It wasn’t as complete a departure as some graphic
scores I’ve seen, but neither was it truly conventional.
The Six Stones piece I’m working on is such a departure.
It’s not constructed by assigning instruments and putting notes on a staff to be played. It
uses electronic sources and is documented by “painting” the sounds on a canvas, which is more like a timeline
with time in the horizontal and pitch in the vertical. This totally different canvas forces you to think
in terms other than traditional notation. For a composer like me, schooled in the traditional ways of music
notation, it’s a radical departure.
But, at the same time, it’s challenging. I find I still
follow the same work process I do when writing notated scores. I enter some music onto the page, play it
back, then edit as required to get to the sound I’m looking for. This continues for the remainder
of the piece until it’s finished. I don’t attempt to keep things within a predetermined time
frame, nor do I attempt to restrict any other parameter of the piece. I let it tell me how it begins, where it goes and when
When you’ve liberated yourself from these notions of imposed control, you can be freer to allow
different sounds to be part of the work. You’re not limited to a particular ensemble of instruments.
You can add sound from any source that seems to fit what you’re trying to say. It all becomes
music. That epiphany is what’s liberated my music to be whatever it wants to be. But,
more importantly, it’s liberated me. I now hear music differently. I couldn’t
imagine, even as recently as a few years ago, that I could be capable of listening differently. But I am
and it’s opened things up for me that’s enhanced my total listening experience.
Today is my wife’s birthday.
Unbeknownst to her, I’ve arranged for a flower bouquet to be sent to the office she works at. I
normally don’t do that, mostly at her urging. She tends to be practical and doesn’t like to
spend money on such things. But I decided I’m going to do it anyway. And I’m
doing it in a very public way, at her office, in front of her co-workers. Sometimes you’ve got to
break tradition and just go for it. She’ll probably give me the “you shouldn’t have”
speech but deep down, she’ll enjoy it. We’ve been together a long time and shared many birthdays.
As I mentioned, I’m picking my daughter up at the airport tomorrow. She went
to New York on business. She’s been involved in the development and publishing of a new text book
for the cosmetology field and this trip was about all that. We’ve also been asked to have our grandsons,
Tyler and Vinnie, stay with us overnight Saturday to Sunday, when we’re taking them to the circus. It
should be a great time. I hope they enjoy the circus as much as we did back in the day. I
think they will.
Come Monday, it’s back to work on the project. It feels weird to be “working”
again. But I don’t miss having to wear a shirt and tie, or spend an eternity on the expressways trying
to get to and from work, or the political crap you have to endure from your bosses and coworkers. I guess
being back to work, doing something I love, isn’t weird at all. It’s kind of cool, actually.
I’ve completed the third in the series
of six stones, which are segments of electronic music, each about 4 or so minutes long. The third tends
to be more minimal in the main theme but gets more complex as I juxtapose the three variations of the theme onto each other.
I created three variations, first by restating the theme lengthened to twice the duration and half the pitch frequency,
second by doubling the speed but not altering the pitch and, third by simply reversing the original theme.
on the timeline in Sonar, I offset them so that the each start at different times, essentially juxtaposing portions of each
against each other. I used no mathematical scheme. Instead, I made random choices for choosing the start
points on each track. The only consideration was not to overlay a heavy section atop another heavy section.
I guess that means it wasn’t truly random, but it was informal. I didn’t use any defined
spacing. I more or less eyeballed where to put each overlay.
I took advantage of the lull in the action on
the Tonia Tecce project to do something completely different, as Monty Python was fond of saying. There’s
only so much popular song music I can handle at any given time. And while I love Byron’s charts,
I yearn for some avant garde or at least dissonant sounds. That need is probably why I can’t write
too much tonal music. I need a dissonance fix now and then, and of course some electronic sounds too.
What can I tell ya’, I’m a modern music junkie!
I’ve been reading more from Alex Ross’
book Listen to This and I’m beginning to enjoy it even more. I’m on the chapter where
he talks about Icelandic singer Bjork. I learned quite a bit about her and even developed a new found respect
for her. She was a fan of Stockhausen’s music, which gets her quite a few points in my eyes.
But more than that, her approach to music and her basic philosophy is not what I expected from a female rock singer.
In fact, I now don’t consider her just a rock singer. Her musicianship extends far beyond
that. I’m considering buying her latest CD titled Medulla.
I made some refinements
to my fan-fold parts taping widget to better facilitate positioning and the initial tape application, before the full length
tape is applied. I also decided that adding a tape strip to both the front and back makes for a more
rugged binding and doesn’t expose any of the tape’s sticky side. I don’t want the part
to stick to the music stand, even a little. Of course with double the thickness, folding the pages is a
little more difficult but still doable. I simply crease them one way then the other which allows the part
to sit flat on the stand. I guess I’m learning as I go. By the time my eyesight
is too bad to do this anymore, I’ll be damned good at it.
I’ve also begun a project of creating PDFs of the parts for
some of my compositions so I can post those with the scores on my Scores page. This way, if anyone
takes a notion to try playing one of my works, the parts will be there for the downloading. I will always
structure the parts PDF to be on 9 ½” x 12 ½” paper, and the score PDF to be on 11” x 17”
tabloid or B-Size paper. But you can print them on whatever size paper you’d like, depending on what
you have available and how good your eyesight is. For me, if I scale them down too much, I can’t
read them; part of this getting older crap we all go through.
On a completely different note, my wife and I decided we’re
going to take our two grandsons to the circus. It’s in town at the Allstate Arena, formerly
called the Rosemont Horizon. They’ve never been to a circus but know all about them, from
conversations we’ve had with them. The circus was one of the first spectacles around for kids to
enjoy and I think Tyler and Vinnie are going to enjoy it. Donna and I last went to the circus about 25
years ago, when a company I worked for decided that would be a great family day event. So seeing it again
will be good for the grandparents too.
Other than the six stones piece I mentioned, I haven’t been thinking about
what I want to work on after the Tonia project. I guess I’m in tunnel-vision mode. It’s
also got a lot to do with not knowing how complex and involved the remaining scores are going to be, in terms of notation
and playback. I have that on my mind and, admittedly, is causing some concern. That
adds to the stress level and that prevents the clear headedness I need to begin a new work of my own.
The six stones piece poses
no problem because it’s nothing like a notated score. It’s all done graphically on HighC.
In fact, if you go to my What’s New page, you’ll see the graphical representation of the main
theme for each of the stones. This is actually a grid with time being on the horizontal (a duration of
two minutes for each stone) and pitch on the vertical. The shapes on the grid represent where each sound
begins and ends. Most are concurrent, some are in series.
This is so vastly different that I have no conflicts
with conventionally notated music in my mind to cause any stress and strain. I can easily go from one to
the other with no problem. But juggling the Tonia project and one of my own conventional compositions seems
to be an issue for me. It probably has a lot to do with the Tonia project being for someone else and my
own being just for me. I think I’m babbling, so I’m going to quit before I dig myself into
I’ve created some extra Kontakt banks for the basic orchestral instruments, but for sections instead of
solo instruments. This will allow me to set up a full orchestra with all available articulations and not
have it be such a memory hog on my system. With Win 7 64-bit allocating about 4GB of ram to Sibelius,
I have to keep track of memory usage when building multis (what Kontakt calls a set of instruments that you save
as a group).
For instance, I have several instrument banks I use for the Tonia ensemble that
I’ve bundled together in a multi I named Tonia Tecce. This multi becomes part of
the playback setup that gets saved with each score I create for the project. When I call up Amazing
Grace, for instance, this playback setup loads up along with the score and it’s ready for playback.
It also sounds each note as I enter it. This helps sometimes when I inadvertently place a note in
the wrong place on the staff. I can sometimes hear when I’ve made an error, even before I see it
on the score.
All in all, I find Sibelius a very intuitive interface that guides me through note entry so
that I make a minimum of errors. It also has a feature they call magnetic layout, which automatically
avoids collisions of various markings that otherwise would be kind of crowded on the page. Before this
feature, I would have to go through the score and manually move markings that were too close to other things.
It usually added a lot more time to finishing a score. Now magnetic layout does most of that for
When I worked on the Adam Unsworth project for Byron, I had just upgraded from version 4.2 to 5.0 and had to
fight the learning curve of getting to know the new version, which was very different. Since then, the
latest version is 6.2 and is much improved. Sibelius was also acquired by Avid who makes
a high-end video editing package and also owns Pro Tools, which is a high-end audio processing package.
I’ve been working long enough with version 6.2 to be comfortable with it, so there’s no
learning curve this time around. That makes a big difference in my productivity. With
five more scores to go, this is a very good thing. My biggest problem is still interpreting Byron’s
hand writing correctly. I’m even getting better at that, which is kind of scary when you think about
it. So I try not to think about it.
Peace, love and tolerance,
I had a lengthy conversation today with Byron.
He received the CD of Amazing Grace I made of just the accompaniment portion of the score. We
agreed the playback was adequate for our purposes, which is to give Tonia a general sense of what the smaller ensemble sounds
like. We felt the minor issues that remain were insignificant enough not to warrant a do-over.
I was delighted about that because if I was faced with the prospect of re-doing the playback again, I’d have
run away from home and hid somwhere.
Yes, I’m much too old for such behavior but, c’mon! I can only revisit
this tune so many times and then I snap. I was at that snap point and I think Byron sensed that.
So, in order to keep his copyist, he decided that retreat was the better part of valor. I assured him that, going forward,
we would do things differently but wanted to call it a day on these first two tunes. He’s continuing
work on the next tune, which is titled Smile. It’s the title track from the album of the
same name he did with Tonia some time ago.
Byron did say the East-West samples I used sounded fantastic. I
agree. These are sampled from live players and the quality is among the best I’ve heard, as far as
orchestral samples are concerned. But these samples don’t always respond to Sibelius commands
as I’d like them to. Other samples, like the Sibelius Essentials that come with the program,
and the Garritan samples (GPO, JABB, etc.) work well with Sibelius and respond to all the playable markings
the program has available. But the quality isn’t as good.
The EWQLSO samples don’t always work
as well, for whatever reasons. I’m not sure why. I use the Kontakt version
for the most part. However the Play version seems to work better. It’s
a matter of preference, I suppose. The Play samples have their own set of issues that sometimes
are difficult to get around. Kontakt allows me to set up banks, which work like a single instrument
but contains several instruments, each assigned to a program number.
I create banks to hold
all the articulation samples available for a single instrument. By adding a program change command where
you want to change articulation in Sibelius, you highlight the note where the change will start, hold CTRL while
typing T to add text, then type ~p1 (for program 1 or whatever program number applies), then press ESC twice.
The command is then hidden. The other way to do it is to use a keyswitched sample and add the command
you want (i.e., tremolo, pizz., etc.). Sibelius interprets these as a keyswitch and automatically
makes the change. But I find with the Kontakt EWQLSO samples, the articulation sample itself sounds
more realistic and preferred over the keyswitched version. Besides, some articulations don’t have
a keyswitch, like flutter tongue, so I use the specific sample that I’ve added to the bank.
Getting samples to playback
exactly as you want them to is a slippery slope sometimes. There’s always some tradeoffs and compromises
you end up making. As I said before, the original intent was to have a rough idea of what the piece sounded
like, with the expectations that the live players would create the final performance. Now, it’s become
important to create a quality virtual performance that sounds as good as a live one. Since I haven’t
worked with Finale, I don’t know if it does it any better than Sibelius. I have
a copy of Finale 2011 but haven’t got around to experiment with it very much. Doing that
in the middle of a project is out of the question.
There are other sample libraries I haven’t heard yet that may
be as good. While they aren’t as pricey as the EWQLSO library, they’re still relatively expensive
and a purchase will have to be carefully planned for a guy on a fixed retirement income. Maybe if I make
enough extra bread on this project, I may consider spending some of it on new samples. But most of it is
earmarked for more essential things. You’ve got to determine the nice-to-have from the need-to-have
and make decisions accordingly. But more samples are in my future at some time or another.
about the project, Byron and I got sidetracked as we sometimes do and started to talk about a number of things, all music
related. We agreed that Boulez, at least in his younger days, was a supreme asshole but seems to have mellowed
now that he’s in his 80s. We also agreed that Stravinsky’s work, from just about any period,
is decidedly his own and has influenced so many people, and continues to do so with the younger generation. We
agreed that his later serial work is especially exciting and makes such creative use of space and silence.
tone pieces are a terrific example of less-is-more. He says so much more with less, as compared to the
other serial composers we’ve heard. His Movements for Piano and Orchestra is one of my favorite
serial pieces of all the serial work I’ve heard by anyone. I find it interesting that in the final
analysis, Stravinsky wrote more exciting and better structured serial compositions than Boulez ever did, at least in my estimation.
But I tend to be biased because I grew up listening to Stravinsky. Le Sacre du Printemps
is still one of the most exciting pieces of music I’ve ever heard and still is. It was the first
serious work I experienced and it was actually what inspired me to take my writing to the next level.
I made a trip to an office
supply store and got a few unrelated pieces of drafting equipment that I jury-rigged into a fixture for aligning music sheets
for taping. After getting somewhat creative, I took parts from all the items I bought and combined them
into what seems to work at holding two pages side by side so I can tape the seam. I start out by applying
a strip of cellophane tape from one of those gadgets that dispense short lengths, one at a time. That anchors
the two pages after I position them on my widget. Then I apply a strip of binding tape along the seam,
trim the edges and burnish the tape with a small roller.
I use this for fan-fold style binding. The VPC
machine I just bought works with booklet type binding. So I’ve now got both types of binding covered.
I also do spiral binding for 11” x 17” scores and can even do comb-binding for larger booklet scores or
parts that are 8 ½” x 11”. Normally I print parts on a 9 ½” x 12 ½”
70# manila-colored paper stock. This is fairly sturdy and heavy and doesn’t tend to blow off the
music stand when the bassoon players farts or the tuba player sneezes. And the tape binding methods I use
allow for easy page turns and lets the music lay flat on the stand. Thus far, the players that have read
my parts have had no complaints.
One of the other things we talked about is piano parts. Byron, being a gifted
pianist, tends to write piano parts that are a bitch and a half to play. He tends to forget that other
players may not be as good as he is. Even the ones that are, like Bill Mays who played on the Adam Unsworth
project, still found the part difficult. He warned me, sort of, that the piano part on Smile was
going to be one of those kind of parts.
This means I have to get very creative in getting
Sibelius to notate the part as he’s written it. That often means using up to three voices
along the bass and treble clefed staves. That can get pretty busy looking which, I’m sure, contributes
to the difficulty. But part of what makes Byron’s charts so great is his beautiful piano parts that,
in this case of reducing the ensemble size, fills in for the missing instruments. It’s a good thing
that Tonia is arranging for a week’s worth of rehearsals. Normally it doesn’t require that
much rehearsal time but it may be to Byron’s advantage in this case.
Reflecting on how much difficulty we’ve
had with the first two charts, I look at the next five with some reservation. Hopefully, the lessons learned
from the first two will make the rest go better. I have always been a problem solver in the respect that
problems experienced usually prompt some change of approach. I’ve identified a few things I could
have done differently and will do that for the other scores. The same goes for the playbacks.
Learning from my mistakes is something I learned how to do during my years in management. There,
you sometimes don’t get second chances.
Peace, love and tolerance,
Work continues on the Tonia Tecce project.
For those in the Philadelphia area, her concert will be sometime in April 2011 at the Kimmel Center, if you’d
like to go. Byron will be conducting. When I get more information as to dates and in
what venue at the center, I’ll pass that on to all of you. The songs will be from two of her previously
released albums. Byron is sending me copies of both albums, so I will also pass that information on to
you. These can be found on a lot of online sites, even as MP3 downloads.
After much ado getting the first two scores correct
and the playback to Byron’s satisfaction, they are finally completed and will be shipped to Byron today.
He continues to work on the third score and admitted it’s giving him a lot of trouble. Reducing
an ensemble from 22 players to 7 takes a lot of creativity to maintain a rich and full texture with fewer voices.
When we spoke yesterday, Byron said he’s added a lot of contrapuntal passages to give a sense of fullness and
motion but was concerned it would be too busy.
After he played a little for me, I suggested that the counterpoint was
a good addition and didn’t clutter things up too much at all. It gives a great base for Tonia to
soar over. He appreciated the feedback and decided to keep it in the arrangement. I
won’t see that hand-written score until next week, so that leaves me with a four day break in the action.
I can live with that as I have other things to catch up on that I’ve let slide while I was working on the first
two scores. Mostly domestic things and non music-related.
I’ve been reading Alex Ross’ new
book Listen to This. It’s not as good as his first book The Rest is Noise but,
so far, it’s had its moments. I’ve found myself getting into certain chapters and glossing
over others that just didn’t interest me that much. Lately, that’s how I’ve been reading,
almost selectively. My view is that my time is valuable, at least to me, and I’m not going to spend
it involved with something that’s not worth it to me.
I’m finding that as I get older, time is a much more precious
commodity, probably because I’m closer to the end than the beginning. I tend to want to spend that
time doing things that bring me satisfaction and pleasure. I’ve spent many years doing things I had
to do, so now I’m doing more of the things I want to do. That includes reading. While
I like to read, I focus on specific things, mostly to do with music in one way or another.
My wife can pick up a mystery novel and get into
it. I can’t. I’m probably missing out on some good reading, but I just can’t
get into that kind of book. Besides the technical treatises I’ve gone through, I like reading about
the back stories behind modern music’s history. Sometimes that’s a biography, sometimes it’s
a history of a particular era like the early twentieth century. There’s a lot of good insight in
these accounts that reveal a lot about what motivated certain composers and what the prevailing socio-political
climate was all about at the time.
Relating a composer’s work to the era he or she was living in helps to put things in a better
perspective. It sometimes explains certain things that otherwise would be ambiguous if you had no idea
of the historical context. It also humanizes the composer by showing their personal side and how they’ve
interacted with their world. We are, after all, a product of the times we live in.
Living in the present
day, it’s sometimes difficult to understand why people did certain things the way they did because we can’t relate
to those earlier times. Things were different, and to know what made them different, to me, increases my
appreciation for those composers and their work. But I also like to stay on top of the latest developments
in music, so I read a lot about new trends, new artists, and the current thinking.
music, in my mind, is a very individual thing, I try and put what I read, about what’s happening now, in context.
I evaluate it in terms of my own composing and overall relationship with music. I take from it what
I feel will help me as a composer. The history and back stories are good reading but, if they’re
not relevant to me and my situation, I consider them entertainment only. I still enjoy reading them more
than I would a fictional novel. But I did love comic books when I was a kid, for whatever that’s
Unless I’m a captured audience, as I was during the recent power outage, most of my reading is done in the
evening. My days are filled with working in my studio. I’m finding it difficult
to read during the day during breaks from the studio. This is probably more to do with not being able to
quickly shift focus. I think this is another casualty of getting older. I was always
able to do that before but have since lost that capacity. So I read when I’m not doing anything else.
This helps me to better concentrate on what I’m reading. Of course, I usually don’t
get in as much reading as I’d like because toward evening, I’m beginning to fade out. There’s
Maintaining a balance in my life is an ongoing effort, as I’m sure it is for most people.
I have to be aware of what I’m doing and make a deliberate effort to stay on track. Having
some semblance of a routine is, for me, a good thing. It’s a rough-cut plan of sorts that brings
order to what otherwise could become chaos. And being my own boss, so to speak, the discipline to stay
focused is all the more important.
During my work life, the clock was the all important regulator.
I went to meetings at specific times, I ate lunch at a predetermined time and for a predetermined duration, I had my
department take their morning and afternoon breaks at certain times, we all went home at a certain time although I always
found myself working beyond that time.
The clock ruled my work world. Now, I could care less about
the clock, nor what day of the week it is. That only becomes important when I have to relate to other people
or things, like what time my wife gets home from work, or what time I have to drive my daughter to the airport.
The weekend is far more an important time to my wife because she doesn’t have to work Saturday or Sunday.
To me, they’re just another two days. My daily routine changes only to accommodate my wife
and the things we do together. Otherwise, I would do what I normally do.
Getting used to this new freedom and the need
to be more self-disciplined is something that took at least a couple of years. People tend to be programmed
for their daily grind and it’s not that easy to delete that programming from your brain. You have
to put forth a concerted effort to make that happen. But it can be done. For those of
you looking at retirement soon, don’t sweat it. You’re going to be just fine. It
may take awhile, but it’ll happen. And not having that source of stress is wonderful!
One of the
things I may do during my four day hiatus from the project is to start putting together the third stone in my series of six.
It’s been an interesting challenge shaping sounds using HighC. The approach to constructing
each piece is so different that notating music on a score that I have to rethink how I compose. For me,
there’s a strong tendency to make these segments too busy with sound. The first two were more like
that, but the next one needs to reflect the less-is-more approach.
I still haven’t decided how I’m going
to tie these six segments together. I’m considering making the six separate statements then creating
a section where all six are randomly juxtaposed onto each other, sort of like a finale to the piece. I’ll
have to try that out before I commit to it. But by the time I start to solidify the whole concept, I’ll
get another score from Byron and need to get back to the project. At least things won’t get dull
but, then again, they never do here in Prov’s Studio.
Peace, love and tolerance,
Today is election day. Like
a lot of you, I haven’t seen where there’s a clear choice in most races. The deluge of negative
ads has been overwhelming and counter-productive. I learned nothing about what each candidate was going
to do and how they were going to do it. They only bashed the other guy ad nauseum. And
the ads weren’t just from the two parties. There were outside groups, none of which I knew anything
about, making a pitch for specific candidates for reasons that were not clear.
Usually when someone asks for something,
there’s a selfish motive. Not too many people are that noble and altruistic. There’s
always some catch somewhere. Not knowing who’s behind these ads and what their interest is, I tend
to be a little suspicious of their motives. But the party-sponsored ads aren’t much better.
While they all seem to be about you voting for their candidate, they don’t give you too many reasons for doing
But the ads are just one level of annoyance. I’ve been getting robo-calls from
candidates urging me to vote for them. Some of these calls have been coming in mid to late evening, when
my wife and I are trying to relax and have some conversation. That can really piss you off.
I let them go into my answering machine then erase them later. You’d think they’d have
figured out that’s what many people will do and, therefore, the message goes unheeded. It seems they’re
oblivious to what people really need to know to make an informed choice.
I’ve heard a lot of people say they’re
undecided because they simply have no idea who’ll do a better job. There’s been a lot of negativity
and very little substance. It’s hard to make an intelligent choice if that’s all you’ve
got to work with. Admittedly, I’ll be glad when the election is over because I’ve had enough
of the negative ads. They leave such a bad taste that they’re almost toxic. I
guess I still look back on how these candidates took care of their fellow man. Did they truly put people’s
welfare ahead of anything else? Did they provide the resources people in real need can really use?
minimum wage is something many people need in order to provide for themselves and their families. Did the
candidate support that or vote to cut it? When so many people lost their jobs, did the candidate make sure
unemployment compensation was available to them, or did they think that people would just take advantage of it and vote not
to extend it, even in spite of the unemployment statistics? It’s those kinds of things I look at.
Did they try and take care of those in need or did they defer to another agenda?
The choices I made today reflect those
feelings. I didn’t follow party lines, nor did any ad I saw influence me one way or the other.
You may disagree with me and my thinking. That’s okay with me. That’s
your right. But seeing people hungry and hurting always gets to me and I want to see something done to
help. I try and do what I can, but I can’t give enough to make a significant difference.
I want to see programs in place that give aid to people in need.
We can’t turn a
blind eye to these things just because they don’t affect us. They easily can. Many
people are a paycheck away from losing their homes. If they lose their jobs, it affects more than just
their home. I’ve been in that position once or twice in my lifetime and I was grateful for the help
that was there for me. I couldn’t take that away from anyone who really needs it. I
look to see if a candidate feels the same way. If they do, they’re the one I want in office.
all get to see how things turn out and if there will be a positive change. In spite of the emphasis you
hear so much of, it’s not about who gets the controlling majority, democrats or republicans. It certainly
becomes clear why so many people believe our political system is broken. I know that, in spite of its flaws,
it’s one of the best systems around. But that’s not a good enough reason not to fix it.
Do you agree?
Well, I’ve finished the first two scores for the project I’m doing for Byron.
After much ado about getting the playback to Byron’s satisfaction, I’m ready for the next score.
However, Byron’s still working on that. In the meantime, I’ve acquired a music binding
system from VPC which allows me to neatly and accurately tape parts together. Doing this freehand is a
nightmare. Firstly, I’m not that steady or able to accurately place a strip of tape between two sheets
of music without getting something screwed up. The prospect of taping hundreds of sheets was enough to
give me nightmares.
So I found this system online, contacted them to verify it’ll do what I needed it to do, and ordered
it. It should arrive in a couple of days. Since I have to provide two sets of parts
for each score, it’ll be a life saver. There’s no substitute for using the right tool for the
job. Hard work and perseverance will get you so far, the right tool will get you the rest of the way. I’m
also reconsidering how to generate an editable playback I can manipulate to Byron’s satisfaction. I’ve
been exporting separate audio files for each instrument and mixing them in my DAW software. The problem
is Byron can only refer to where on the score he wants to modify the playback.
My DAW software only works with waveforms.
It would be an exceedingly tedious task to add markers on the waveform showing where each bar is. Besides,
I could never get that accurate. Instead I’ve decided to generate two scores, one for conducting
purposes and one for playback purposes. I can manipulate the playback score with MIDI messages affecting
volume, dynamics, expression, etc. that will give me much more control than just varying volume on a waveform track.
And it’s actually less physical work. Since I don’t get any more money for working hard,
it’s better to figure out how to work smarter instead, something I learned during my forty years in management.
I told Byron
about my intentions to take this approach and he’s in agreement. I sent him the CD of the “Amazing
Grace” playback with the caveat that it’s the best I was able to do under the circumstances. He’ll
get it sometime tomorrow, listen to it and decide if it’s good enough. I hope that it is.
But, if not, I’ll have to create a playback score and start over, something I’m not too fond of doing but
will. Adding the ability to provide a playback audio CD has proved to be more of an effort than I first
thought it would be. But it’s more the difference between what Byron will get from the live performance
and what Sibelius literally interprets from the score markings.
That being the case, the playback score
approach makes the most sense. There will be four more songs for Tonia to sing, and an overture Byron is
composing for the performance. Byron’s biggest challenge has been to distill a 22-piece orchestra
sound down to a 7-piece chamber ensemble. It takes some creative manipulating of the original orchestration.
He let me hear over the phone what he was considering for the next song he’s working on.
added some contrapuntal lines to increase the overall fullness but thought it might be too busy. I told
him I didn’t think it was too busy at all, and having some movement in the harmonic bed she’ll be singing over
gives it a lush fullness that gives the sense of a bigger ensemble. She’ll still soar over the ensemble
and be the dominant voice, thereby maintaining her prominent role as soloist. She has a soprano voice that’s
quite strong and can definitely carry it off with no problem. I admire Byron for being able to work with
singers, especially women singers.
I’m not being sexist when I say there’s a different
sense of things a female vocalist brings to a performance, that a male singer does not. I guess you can
liken it to a Diva thing but not in all aspects of the term. Tonia knows what she wants and has no difficulty
in expressing that. Byron has to help balance that with what is realistic from a musical sense.
He’s very good at doing that and I know will work with Tonia to get the best possible performance.
Better him than me. My experience with singers hasn’t been the best, but that’s a whole
Peace, love and tolerance,