Thursday, September 23, 2010


The other day while walking thrugh the woods and ritualistically keeping an eye out for mushrooms--indeed I knew there wasn't anything to be found due to the dry summer--it struck me that the ritual itself is the purpose; its a self justifying activity.
This led me to re- think the idea of ritual in my music, both in the music itself and in the composing of it.
I suppose this thought was spurred on by an interview I did with the Dutch radio for an upcoming concert of Kingdom Come in Amsterdam ( Oc t. 1 if you are interested) in the concert house known as "Muziekgebouw aan t'IJ")
Click here to see the video
There's so much to say about ritual in music that it tires me just to think about it.
Some other time.

Saturday, September 11, 2010


Today is the 9th anniversary of the unthinkable abomination which has come to be known by its numbers--9/11.
Several years after that day my friend Jim Bengston suggested I compose a work that would somehow communicate something about that horrible day. At first I was reluctant, thinking how could I possibly say what hasn't been said, move people with my music to anything approaching consolation or lamentation?
I also knew that plenty of other composers had expressed their feelings about this event and who needed another? The wonderful John Adams piece, The Transmigration of Souls was underway and I had heard parts of it. But I remember, in the several days afterwards, what did we hear in the way of high toned consolatory music? The Brahms Requiem!! That old warhorse (a noble steed, never the less) just didn't do it for me. It and the Verdi Requiem and the Mozart of course always seem to be trotted out when calamity strikes.
So I wrote my own humble contribution and it turned out to be a pretty good piece. I also think the "meanings" behind the music are pretty clear.
I've not made a big deal about it being my "9-11 Piece", even shying away from that association at times. But now I think I'd like the world to know how much it really is about all the configurations of grief, regret, anger etc. that went through my brain in those several weeks of the aftermath.
So if you haven't heard September Canons, follow this link to my web site where its available for listening. It's played to exquisite perfection by violinist Todd Reynolds who also set up the electronics.
(click on "From the Vault" to access)

Thank you Jim for making this possible.