Monthly Archives: July 2005


(Palmer, Rebuschatis, & Computer)

My friend Max, an excellent guitarrist, came over tonight and we had a four hour jam session. And we recorded it. This is the second one we’ve ever done together, and the first one we’ve recorded.

Each of the following is just improvisation on a simple repetitive drum & bass motif. I have to say that #3 is by far my favorite. I liked Max’s guitar the best in #2; unfortunately my keyboard wasn’t that innovative or interesting in that one. I’ll also warn you: the first one is the only one that is a reasonable length, about 12 minutes. Max says he’ll edit these down into listenable chunks. But here are the full things for the masochistic.

I think I liked #3 the best because it was the most structured. We have some trouble communicating who’s in the spotlight when, so sometimes we both solo at once, and other times it’s completely devoid of anything interesting. For #3, we set up a simple 12 bar blues pattern, and agreed to trade off soloing. That way each of us had somewhere to go with our solos–they had to be done by a certain time–then we could quiet down and let the other musician play, while thinking about what’s next. We also seemed to complement each other nicely by the end of that one.

Also, I apologize for the recording quality. My room isn’t what you would call an ideal recording studio.


I was about to watch some internet TV, and saw on the listing:

    Seinfeld - 608 - The Mom and Pop Store
    Futurama - 213 - A Bicyclops Built For Two
    Whose Line Is It Anyway - 305

And for some reason, I kept getting the image of a popsicle in my head. I started craving it, and I had no idea why. Then I realized what was happening: I was taking “A Bicyclops Built For Two” and filling in “Bicycle”, then combining that with “Pop” above it.

The brain is so weird. Now I wonder how many of my cravings are due to subliminal advertising.

New Keyboard

Woohoo! I just bought a Roland KR-5 for $2900 off of Ebay, and it came on Saturday. It is a very nice digital piano; I had my eye set on it for two reasons: the touch is heavier than on any other digital piano (most of the weighted ones were even too light), and the piano patch is superb. I figure that if I need better patches for the other instruments, I can use my computer with my Concerto 2.0 soundfont or Reason for synthy stuff.

One of the effects that my faithful blog readers will notice is that the //music/improv directory will fill up quickly. I did two improvisations today which are there now. I probably won’t update when I do new improvs (unless I think they’re really good), so you can just check.

I replaced my “complete music listing” link in my music page with a “music repository” link that just links to the viewcvs for misc. Unfortunately, this means that the newest stuff will no longer be conveniently listed at the top. I’m trying to figure out how to get it to use the repository dynamically but still have my custom scripts organize it.

Piano concerto no. 0

I’ve been updating my progress on my piano concerto recently. One of my main points in doing this is just to allow other composers (or even non-composers) to see my process of writing a large, complex piece. But there’s one thing I’ve been keeping hidden that I just remembered to share now. This is my second try at a piano concerto. The timestamp on the file says 2002-12-30, so that’s the closest estimate I have for when I was working on this (hmm, now I wish I would have kept track of dates more closely). I can’t find my first try yet, but I’ll post when I do.

I notice a few things about my composing style and skill at that point as compared to now: I seem to have become a little more conservative pianisticly. I really like some of the piano writing in this second try. But I also seem to have increased my thematic attention span by quite a bit (and it’s still not as long as I’d like it to be). This second try seems to have three times as much stuff as the first movement of my most recent concerto, but it’s only half as long. I consider this to be a good thing; bombarding the listener with too many new themes is just irritating. And my orchestral writing has really come together since that time. I’m not really sure what did it. I probably only wrote ten total minutes of orchestral music between the two concertos. I think there are two factors: 1. ten minutes is a lot when you consider orchestral music; 2. I started listening to a wider variety of classical and noticing the orchestration more critically. Something tells me that it’s more the latter than the former.

Composey things

Well, I’ve returned from Toronto, and I kicked off the second half of my summer with (just a little) composing. I’m still stuck on the third movement of my concerto, unfortunately, but I did rewrite the third section of the first movement (introduction of the main soft theme), which is something I’ve been wanting to do. I welcome feedback on the new section (3:02-4:19). I also wrote a short freewrite, called “A Symmetrical Prelude”. For every note above middle D, there is one the same interval below it.