I love to compose. When I was younger, in high school and college, the emphasis was on how well you could play the written notes. No improvisation, no creativity, no innovative music making. Actually, I remember my first composition in college. I was so scared, that all I did was copy Charles Ives. I got a B- on the final composition.
Jump ahead twenty–odd years, I found myself in Vermont. I was taking classes on how to “teach” students to compose online. Little did I know that I was going to have to compose the entire week myself! I sat in front of the computer for first day; I had ONE note on the page. I saw how fast others were working and felt completely overwhelmed. I can’t do this. Then the breakthrough came, I started to improvise. I started to just let my fingers play and discover.
What happened that summer liberated me as a musician and a composer. I know that my compositions sound childlike, extremely basic, but they come from me. No stealing from Charles Ives, not coping themes from others. They are all about me and now I teach composition. I now let my students play and discover, letting their “voice” come out, letting them improvise.
During my sabbatical at Northwestern, I finally had the time to experiment and compose. This has been my gift to myself. I hope you enjoy these compositions. I created a website that has all the compositions on it for people to comment about. I can’t wait to show my students. However, I have one that I really like and here is just the audio, if you like it please go to my website and comment on it.
Click here for website.