• Articles

    What is Classical Music?

    Enjoying live [classical] music concerts could be one of the most exciting relationships you’ll ever develop.   But here’s one thing any valuable and interesting article or document shouldn’t start with: a definition. The term “Classical Music” is difficult to embrace for three reasons: – It conjures up images of rich elitism, boringness and dead white men. – It actually refers to a specific period in musical history (1750-1830) – Much of society is prejudiced against anything associated with it. The enigmatic Founder and Artistic Director of The Discovery Orchestra, George Marriner Maull, visited two inner-city schools one week and worked with young children on “listening.” The heart-warming outcome is…

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    Composing B: And so it begins…

    Following last week’s post about how to start a composition, well… how I am starting this composition… a few decisions have been made. Whilst looking around for a compositional structure I came across several main elements: Variation Twelve-tone Sonata form Rondo Tone poem and my favorite: Minimalism Each have their own special qualities and after a little thought, I thought it would be nice to try Sonata form. I don’t remember the last time I wrote something in Sonata form (and stuck to it) so here’s an opportunity. At the moment, Sonata form will form the dominating format, although during the creative process unexpected twists and turns can often lead compositions into…

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    Churches and Arts

    How many artists does it take to change a light bulb? How many churches can you fit into one square mile? It didn’t take long to get overwhelmed by both the sheer number of churches in Tampa Bay as well as the incredible arts scene. There are artists everywhere, from muralists to house sculptures, street musicians to ballet, four opera companies to symphony orchestras, three regional performing arts centers and seven local ones. You’ll have no problem finding a church in Tampa Bay As for churches, there is barely a single block without one. Every denomination is represented and quite a few independent ones, too. And it’s not as though…

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    Fish for music, not chips

    I’m not obsessed with fish. Really! Of course it’s a favorite dish of mine – I grew up in “Fish & Chip” land (and to be perfectly honest, still have not yet found anything that comes close to it in the USA). On overnight camping trips to Hastings we’d walk the promenade, play on the beach and watch the boats land on the pebbles before unloading their stock, indulge in crazy golf or the indoor amusement center (I once won £130 in pennies!) and then head to the local chippie. You really can’t get fresher fish than that! And, at that time, it was all cod with the occasional haddock or…

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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…