Listen and Download
Please enjoy these excerpts from some of the music I have released. Since a lot of what I am writing doesn't really fit the typical 2-minute pop tune format, it is hard to get a feel for the composition from the short 30-second or 60-second previews allowed by CDBaby and iTunes, So I have included some longer SoundCloud previews.
To hear the complete tracks any time you want, you can download them from iTunes or CDBaby by clicking on the appropriate buttons below.
Thanks for listening!
PURCHASE AND DOWNLOAD
ABOUT "ON A RISING WIND"
This piece starts out dark, with a sombre cello solo. The dark mood doesn't last long, as we start to hear a rhythmic cycle of strings - perhaps the beating of wings? Soon enough, we start to soar on a flowing horn section which momentarily diverts our focus from the beating of our wings and draws our attention to the panoramic view unfolding before us. A feeling of peace arises. We become a bit introspective. But we are still flying, and we soon realize the power and grace of our flight. No matter what has happened to us up to this point, everything will be alright.
ON A RISING WIND
About "Winter Solstice Procession"
This track is a stately orchestral track celebrating the "return of the Sun" - the days starting to get longer at the Winter Solstice - and looking forward to Spring. It features big string and horn sections, and especially the trumpet.
I imagine this music being played as celebrants gather to mark the passage of Winter and acknowledge the bounty of the Earth as the seasons turn towards Spring.
Winter Solstice Procession
About "Boulder Field"
"Boulder Field" is a bit jazzy, with a finger-picked guitar intro - joined by the oboe [one of my favorite orchestral instruments]. It hops around from a confidant sort of stride, into some more spacey, ethereal sections, and then has a very jazzy break with organ and bass guitar.
"Berglandschaft" means "mountain scenery" in German. This one starts out with a chorale - first male voices, then female - followed by themes carried by bassoon, oboe, other horns, and strings. It's a gentle piece - almost conversational. I always feel like the mountains talk to me in some way when I walk among them - I hope this music speaks to you.
About "Sky Poem"
"Sky Poem" is a paen to the magnificent skies above the Front Range of Colorado's Rocky Mountains. It features big horns and strings, big percussion, and a majestic, sweeping musical theme.
Video and "Sky Poem" Sound Track
The piece starts in a contemplative mood and ends up that way, too. Various things happen in the middle - listen to the audio previews below to hear some of them!
I didn't start out writing this about a river, but as it took shape, it reminded me of how a river flows and grows. Starting out as a seep or trickle somewhere in the hills, gathering speed and strength as it moves downhill, sometimes meandering lazily through broad flat plains, and eventually being dissipated into a larger body of water.
The Susquehanna River is the largest North American river that flows into the Atlantic Ocean. It starts in the rural reaches of New York and Pennsylvania, runs down through the Allegheny Plateau, and empties into the head of the Chesapeake Bay. It drains an area the size of Ireland - over 27,000 square miles.
The west branch of the Susquehanna Rover flows northeastward from western Pennsylvania, and joins the north branch flowing south out of New York before flowing into the Chesapeake Bay.
The Susquehanna is one of the world's oldest rivers, and predates the mountains through which it currently flows.
About "Amagisan Doro"
"Amagisan" is the name of the highest peak on Japan's Izu Penninsula, which lies between the Pacific Ocean and Suruga Bay just south of Mt. Fuji. "San", written 山 and also pronounced "yama", means "mountain". And the name Amagi is written with two characters, 天城, which mean "sky" or "heaven" and "castle".
"Amagisan Doro" means "Amagi Mountain Road" and was written to commemorate the many happy hours I spent hiking in the mountains in the Amagi region during my residence in Japan. It is peaceful and a bit wistful, and features sounds evocative of the shakuhachi, Japan's traditional wooden pipe, and the koto, a wooden harp-like instrument whose strings are plucked.
Amagisan Doro Audio Previews
Video and "Amagisan Doro" Sound Track
About "Rain on the Tarn"
A tarn is a small body of water that lies within a bowl scooped by glacial activity in the high mountains and filled with melted snow and rainwater.
"Rain on the Tarn" is about sitting in front of a pool of placid water and watching raindrops fall onto the surface from storm clouds that swirl around the peaks high above, inspired by walks in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado.
It's a peaceful tune that features a sort of celtic harp and pan flute with cello and other strings.
Rain on the Tarn
About "Traoghadh Doineann"
Don't worry, I can't pronounce it either! Let's call it "Subsiding Storm".
The tune begins with a somewhat menacing, driving violin line that finds its way into other instruments as the song progresses. It weaves and dances its way into some big horns with a jumpy piano accompaniment until it subsides into a flowing, majestic theme, just as a stormy and wind-whipped sea eases into big swells, and finally, calm.
Traoghadh Doineann Audio Previews
ABOUT "FLYING CLOUD"
This is a rollicking bluegrass tune featuring resophonic guitar [often referred to as "dobro" after one of the earliest brands of the type], plus mandolin, pipes, bass, and piano.
It's a brisk waltz whose rhythm reminds me of the motion of a sailing vessel.
It is named after the clipper ship that held the speed record for sailing between New York and San Francisco - 89 days 8 hours - a record that stood from 1854 to 1989!