Back to the Future. From the Past.

Marty & Doc

Marty & Doc

Eighteen months have gone by, no blog posts. Wow, strong start, NOT.  No,
it wasn’t a multi-meter conducting accident, a bear attack while running in
the woods or a sharply worded social media update that broke my heart. I
simply needed to step away and disconnect, look inward and consider the
world around and all without sharing with anyone online. I am happy to proclaim
that I am back and feeling very inspired. Special thanks to a group of wonderful
students this fall who made me realize that it’s important to lead by example.

During this eighteen month hiatus, I spent time living in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
Enjoyed the opera, the mountains, the art galleries and spent quality time with
my little man. In August, I returned to Brevard, North Carolina, where I spent
three summers at the Brevard Music Center. I am proud to say, I am now the new
Director of Bands, Coordinator of Music Education at Brevard College.

Read More…

It’s not about the event (concert), it’s the creative engagement

Dortmund Concert Hall – The Countdown Orchestra (Case Video) from RUOK on Vimeo.

Björk’s Creativity Pushes Us All

After spending a couple of days aurally and visually exploring Björk’s latest creation Biophilia, I strongly encourage everyone to download and explore for yourself.

The application is free and within the app, the first song is $2.  The opening galaxy calls for explorers to visit each new constellation as it comes available.  The first offering, Crystalline is set in 17/8 time and is both hypnotic and melodically gymnastic, two characteristics that we’ve come to expect from Björk’s music.

In a new technological twist for the music industry, each piece is being released individually as an application that includes set of programs within.  This first song includes the following: the lyrics, a tunnel game where the music is featured, a visual representation of the piece and another is a score that scrolls in real time.  This is ground-breaking in terms of how music can be presented to audiences.  An interesing side note, when I showed the new app to my five year old, he wasn’t too interested. Then, after enjoying the game feature, he said “I like this music!” Yes, you can teach taste!

In one of my favorite books of the year, Listen To This,  Alex Ross describes Björk’s aesthetic. Explore here.

The Concert of the Future, Today

Watch this.  It’s not acoustic but it is signifcant in terms of culture, technology, creativity and more importantly music creation that connects with a much larger audience.

“The Social Network” Soundtrack, A (brief) Listening Guide


It’s won an Academy Award for Best Soundtrack. Sure, you’ve seen the movie, but the question is, did you listen to the music?  For those of you who haven’t bought the soundtrack, go do it, it’s well worth the $8.  I’ve spent my first few blissful post-semester days listening closely and I’m increasingly convinced that there is much more to this soundtrack that meets the ear.

What’s interesting about the soundtrack reviews is that they can easily be divided into two camps:  those written by musicians and those who write ABOUT music.  Unless you have some knowledge of Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross’ artistic tendencies, it’s easy to just call the score an unmemorable hodgepodge of electronica/heavy metal/industrial rock babble. This is simply NOT the case. Here andhere are thoughtful reviews that provide interesting insights.

This post isn’t going to be a review of the soundtrack, it’s more of a things-to-consider-while-listening.  As you listen, consider how the music adds to the drama on the screenplay.  It’s very subtle, this is the brillance of the score.  The movie audience is manipulated by the underpinning of musical styles that are presented.

Here we go.  I encourage you to either listen along or watch and focus on the music during the movie.  Read More…

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