for voice, alto saxophone* and piano
Based on DC Comics superheroes, Songs for Justice explores the personal struggles of five popular champions. Textual material has been constructed for the novice, average and extreme comic book fan. The musical genres (Romantic, jazz, rock ‘n’ roll, etc.) and compositional techniques employed (twelve-tone, minimalism, spectral, etc.) vary by movement but the vocal portion is contained within a one octave range. This range offers the opportunity for most singers to perform the collection. The alto saxophone or melodic instrument* (flute, oboe, violin, clarinet, trumpet, bassoon or ‘cello) is at times integral to the texture or is the feature. The piano primarily sets the atmosphere of the movement but at times, like the beginning of the fifth movement, can be the feature.
“This Man They Claim Is Made of Steel” was purposefully composed in a somewhat simple but powerful manner, making use of strong, driving rhythmic patterns, recurrent melodic figures and repeating chord progressions. The textual material, containing conceits of the colors red and blue, questions that while this man is claimed to be made of steel, he still appears to have human emotions.
“Amazon’s Royal Daughter” employs influences from Amazonian rain forest tribal music, the number “three,” primal rhythms, heavenly sounding chords and Jimmy Page, the lead guitarist of the rock ‘n’ roll band Led Zeppelin. The textual material contains conceits, synonyms and alliterations while exploring a challenging decision that had to be made in order to assist others.
“Emerald Light” may seem to be reflective and static, but employs a selection of musical influences including honky-tonk, spectral composition, early Romantic works, Sprechstimme, word painting and post-bop jazz. The lyrics explore themes of the colors green and yellow and life and rebirth while also debating inner torments of misguidance and affection.
“King of Atlantis” musically presents steady currents of minimalistic “waves” found in the left hand of the piano juxtaposed by a twelve tone melody found in the voice and melodic instrument. These minimalistic whitecaps change direction roughly half-way through. The text explores several personal challenges including abandonment and love.
“Knight of Night” opens with four distinct chords followed by a beautifully reflective piano solo offering hints of melodic material from the four prior movements. Simple chord progressions as accompaniment in the piano and the withdrawal of the melodic instrument allow the melody in the voice to appear prominent. The text reveals early struggles that forge character and traces of an ally and enemy. Similar to the opening piano solo, the closing funk melodic instrument solo offers suggestions of melodic material from the four prior movements and completes the five movement work with a significant amount of rhythmic energy…as if concluding with a chase.
a fakebook to the album
As a full-time music educator, it can be challenging to find extra time for creative projects. I have been planning to compose and record a collection of jazz works for over ten years. The compositions you find in this book are personal. They are composed for family, friends and even pets. Or, they are composed to simply appease my own reflective musical thoughts. Before each composition in this book, I have offered commentary in regards to why the work was written, for whom or who it was composed, noteworthy musical features of the work and/or other ideas behind the song. While many published collections of composer’s works tend to be only available for “C” instruments, I have made sure each composition is presented for C, B-flat and E-flat instruments. Titles in this book include: Song for My Mother, Alpha Cat, 7-11 Blues, The Season Is Changing, Without Words, Non-Standard, Happy Jazzy Birthday, Dear John, A Bugle Fall and Red Love, Blue Love. Thank you for your interest and I hope you enjoy the music.
Music Education Texts
· Dramatically improve music intonation
The Tuning C.D. dramatically improves singers and woodwind, brass and orchestral string players pitch, though many have noted The Tuning C.D. also promotes a more centered and mature tone quality. Awarded two United States patents, each track of The Tuning C.D. sounds a sustained drone of octaves and fifths. The octaves are in equal temperament while the fifths are pure. This type of drone sets-up an intriguing environment. When a musician performs a note with The Tuning C.D., he or she will immediately recognize if the note they are performing is in or out of tune. This is due to slight intensification, or beats. In order to get rid of beats, one must carefully raise or lower the performed note. It is this repeated process of shaping the note sharp or flat to get rid of beats with The Tuning C.D. that trains the ear and reinforces good intonation habits.
· Develop better music reading skills
The Sight-Reading Workbook allows an instrumentalist to quickly develop better sight-reading skills through an array of quirky and brief, yet challenging, hand-crafted musical exercises. Composed through the use of a variety of common and unusual harmonic progressions, twelve-tone technique, artificial scales and more, these exercises include random modifications in time and key signatures, rhythms, notes, articulations, dynamics and more. Music professionals will benefit by practicing samples from the workbook before a big reading gig. Perfect for homogeneous instrumental settings, teachers will love sharing these exercises with students. Students and professionals alike will enjoy reviewing these exercises before a big audition. Works great for All-State band and orchestra audition preparation!
· Develop tremendous jazz technique
Awarded a United States patent, Transitions guides the instrumental musician through powerful exercises to build a more fluid technique in the jazz idiom. This is done through careful, yet expansive, exploration of the major scale over a variety of harmonic progressions. Within a few short weeks of use one will note greater facility and more flowing improvisations. Over 200 pages of fantastic instruction!
· Master the art of circular breathing
Circular Breathe Now quickly takes the wind-performing instrumentalist through a step-by-step process leading to the mastery of circular breathing. The concepts are clear and easy to understand. Popular with didgeridoo performers, additional instruction to most Western wind instruments (clarinet, flute, trumpet, saxophone, tuba, etc...) is provided.
· Build wealth using your musical talent
Did you ever wonder how some people create wealth and yet others do not? Everybody works hard, but the key is that some work differently. Many may consider this to be the proverbial "path less taken." MU$IC MONEY 101 discusses several strategies that musicians may follow in order to better help take advantage of professional knowledge. It is this path that can create healthy assets and essentially allows the musician to earn money in his or her sleep.