• Stephen P Brown explains why he is often the slowest car on the road
    Articles

    Why I’m the slowest car on the road

      Over the past few years I’ve noticed I’m usually the slowest car on the road. Today, find out why. And hear about one of the decisions/ choices I’ve made that causes it! And then, if you dare, listen to how your own driving decisions are directly affecting the society we live in today. Click to play the video below to reveal all. In case you’re wondering: yes, my wife gets totally embarrassed whilst everyone else is passing us! We all have a multitude of decisions to make everyday, and I’d love to know why you think it is OK (or not) to exceed the speed limits. Seriously, whilst I…

  • How to play guitar chords
    Articles

    How I compose 3 – Chords

    “A chord in music is any harmonic set of three or more notes that is heard as if sounding simultaneously.” (Wikipedia, accessed August 7, 2013) To me, chords form the shell of a piece of music – the walls and roof of a house, so to speak. For me, this is the most difficult part of composing and always has been. Possibly because I’m a percussionist and therefore spent a lot of time focusing on rhythmic patterns and combinations rather than harmonic. Harmony? “Harmony is the use of simultaneous pitches (tones, notes), or chords. The study of harmony involves chords and their construction and chord progressions and the principles of…

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    Composing A: Foundation

    Sometimes it starts with a title. Sometimes a melody. It could be based on a chord progression. But at the heart of any piece of music I write, there is structure. This is an exploration of the way I compose. You may think it intriguing, fascinating, incorrect, backwards, exemplary, but none of that matters to be honest. Authors write novels in different ways, and composers are no different. I can’t even say this is my ‘method’. What I can say, is that in this highly productive era of musical output in my life, this is how I’m composing right now. Let’s explore the organic growth of a new piece of…

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    Too adventurous for our own good?

    There was recently an unscientific poll taken amongst office workers in the USA. Whilst a myriad of issues, concerns, quirks and considerations could be used to undermine the results, I’m not really caring. Instead, I’m choosing to see that classical music not only made it onto the list, but is way, way up there in third place.   My favorite relaxation technique is… Walking or jogging – 47% Meditating or deep breathing – 19% Gardening – 12% Doing yoga – 6% Listening to classical music – 15% Total votes: 1147 Apart from the momentary joy, doesn’t this bear thinking about? We have lots of Garden Centers and garden sections of…

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    Up and up and up and…

    Fifth Dimension’s “Up, up and away in my beautiful balloon” comes to mind. Not that the song has any bearing on my composition, but the title simply reflects the experience of driving over Skyway Bridge – the gateway to Tampa Bay. It’s a scary ride. If you repeatedly get in line for the latest roller coasters at theme parks, you may just wonder what all the fuss is about, but for most mere mortals, Skyway Bridge [Wikipedia link] causes anxiety rarely experienced elsewhere. Up, and up, and up, and up you go – with supports between the driving lanes (not on the outsides) and only a concrete barrier between your 65 mph vehicle and a…