Listen to “Conviction”

July 19th, 2012

This piece began when two of my friends (Zach and Eva) and I were improvising on drums, guitar, and violin. It sounded too cool to not record, so I got some samples from them and used their samples to help create what you’re about to listen to.

Also, throughout the past two weeks I’ve been posting frequent updates and getting feedback on this work. I used the composite feedback from fans to guide the way I shaped and polished the piece. Even the title was thought up by my friend/fan, Jon. It has turned out to be a challenging and interesting experience for all of us and has yielded good music. So we’re going to do it again soon!

If you’d like to be a part of the creative process in the next piece, feel free to “like” Always in Transition on Facebook so that you can get the samples in your newsfeed and participate! See you there!


Listen to "Conviction"

July 19th, 2012

This piece began when two of my friends (Zach and Eva) and I were improvising on drums, guitar, and violin. It sounded too cool to not record, so I got some samples from them and used their samples to help create what you’re about to listen to.

Also, throughout the past two weeks I’ve been posting frequent updates and getting feedback on this work. I used the composite feedback from fans to guide the way I shaped and polished the piece. Even the title was thought up by my friend/fan, Jon. It has turned out to be a challenging and interesting experience for all of us and has yielded good music. So we’re going to do it again soon!

If you’d like to be a part of the creative process in the next piece, feel free to “like” Always in Transition on Facebook so that you can get the samples in your newsfeed and participate! See you there!


Discovery

November 8th, 2011

This video is only a sample of the work.

Download Score and Parts (PDF) (11.99)
 Foreign Currency? Click Here.

Download includes both versions of the piece; with euphonium or with tenor saxophone. The euphonium part will also work well on cello.

Sample score and parts

Instrumentation: Violin, Euphonium (or Cello or Tenor Saxophone), and Piano

Duration 7:00

Movement I, Ambition

Movement II, Disappointment

Movement III, Moving Forward

Performance notes: This is a piece written both for children and about children. Any fun ideas to incorporate into your performance accordingly is perfectly appropriate and encouraged. For example, the premier of this work incorporated a painting demonstration. While this work is written for an unusual combination of instruments, the euphonium part can be easily played on cello. There is nothing particularly challenging about this work that I can see, although because of the precision in intonation that is required for a great performance, I would recommend this for at least first or second year collegiate musicians. However, this should not discourage a solid high school group from attempting it.

Background information: My friend Tiffany (violin) organized and premiered this work in the fall of 2009 for a recital she designed specifically for children. Despite it’s purpose, adults should of course feel free to enjoy the work just as much as children in the same way that adults tend to enjoy movies that are meant for children.

Musical Interpretation: Children are very curious human beings and sometimes are so to the point that they get themselves into trouble. This piece depicts the process that a child goes through when they decide to pursue something that they are really not supposed to for reasons that they are unaware of. It starts with Ambition driving them towards finding out what they want to know despite formal sanctions from their authorities. Then the time comes when they discover what they were looking for, and either discipline or physical discomfort comes from their ambition resulting in Disappointment. This emotion seems to always resolve in them well before it should taking into account the sorrow they seem to display, which is why I made the second movement as short as I possibly could. As the child is Moving Forward they seem to forget all about the entire incident of their lesson. They go on just as they always did, but through observation we can clearly see that their experience has somehow changed their behavior.


Violin and Clarinet Duet – Proclamation

November 13th, 2010

I’ve learned to never force music into the box I originally intended it to be put into, but this violin and clarinet duet took that concept to a new level for me. My original plan was to write a sacred work for violin and saxophone for my friend and I to play during communion services. Typically, communion has two musical segments; one for each communion element. So, I wanted the work to be two movements with each being less than two minutes long. The first movement came together very naturally and very quickly, but then life happened and I never got around to writing the second movement. When I finally got a chance to work on it again, I realized that there was no good musical reason to add a second movement. I also realized that the only reason I was using the saxophone was because I sound my best on it. Clarinet blends with violin much more naturally (although I attribute this partly to traditional bias) and the very simple part I had written for it makes more sense with a simpler sound. I rewrote the piece for violin and clarinet thinking I would just have my wife play it instead (although I ended up recording it since we weren’t married yet and she was 650 miles away at the time). So I started with a two movement work for violin and saxophone to be used for communion and ended up with a one movement work for violin and clarinet to be used for who knows what.

Download score (pdf) – $2.99
Download whole recording (mp3) – $0.59
Download both (pdf/mp3) – $3.49
Foreign Currency? Click Here.

The recording process was another matter. I had most of the Purpose project squared away with only this piece left to record. I got off my night shift at 6:00am on Sunday morning and set to work on laying down the clarinet track so that Eva could come and add her part that afternoon. I armed the four microphones I was using and combined several takes to form a satisfactory performance. Before I remembered that I hadn’t saved my progress, the power went out and I was forced to try again and ended up with a significantly better sound (and I still made it to church on time). That afternoon I got all the takes I needed from Eva and finally went to bed (I’d been up since Saturday afternoon). On Monday I woke up only to discover that all of the files for the violin’s tracks had been scattered beyond repair. I was only able to salvage the files from one microphone resulting in a very thin sound. But just for kicks, I tried muting 3 of the four clarinet recordings so that they would both sound thin and be able to blend. To my surprise I liked the result very much. It certainly wasn’t the pristine audio quality I wanted for the Purpose project, but there was an irresistible authenticity in the sound that spoke with an innocence and a sincerity that I could not have possibly come up with intentionally. Instead of redoing the recording, I decided to sit on the idea of using what I had. When I tried listening to the CD in its entirety to see whether or not the transitions worked, I finally decided that this authentic and unrefined sound perfectly captured the reason I made the CD.

From the very first note, everything about this CD is polished and seemingly flawless in the aspects of performance, composition and engineering. Except for a few minor details, I could not have made this project any better even if more resources had been available to me. The first six tracks work together to communicate to the listener that life has value, meaning, and purpose and it is a wonderful gift from God that is worth your time to seek and understand. But what does all this look like? Where does it lead? It leads us to the feet of Jesus with nothing to offer but our love and authentic awe and worship. How would I depict this musically? I pick up an instrument I can’t play well enough to impress anyone with and play Amazing Grace with a sister in Christ Jesus. No virtuosic technique. No polished well-mastered recording. Not even a terribly original composition. Just two people showing authentic and sincere adoration for their creator through sound. A simple “I love you” to the creator of the universe. The very essence of the purpose of life.


Purpose release

July 29th, 2010

Purpose CD Baby, hard copies

Sample Purpose (click)

It’s been a long journey putting this new project together.  Now that I’ve had a chance to sit back and see how it has turned out I am confident that it was certainly worth the effort.  I’d like to take a moment now to help you understand what I’m hoping people will take away from it at the surface level:

This has been a challenging year for me (emotionally) because I’ve deeply questioned the value of my life pursuit in music, the value of my faith in God (which has become stronger than ever), and the value of my very existence.  This project is the result of that questioning. As you listen, search for the questions I’ve been asking in the music. Don’t look for the answers because they’re not there; The composer hasn’t found them.

A technical note: There are lengthy transitions between some of the tracks that are meant to bring the project cohesion.  Listen to them as part of the project.

I hope you enjoy it on the surface level.  I’m looking forward to helping you dig deeper into it soon.  Thank you so much for your continued support.

Purpose hides and so we seek it. But somewhere on the way we find beauty and realize that the purpose of life is the process of searching for it.

Special thanks to my freinds Cassie and Eva for their help with recording this CD.  Buy it so that they can get paid!

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