Showing posts from July, 2012

What Changes in Technology Means to a Orchestra's Audience

The rapid change in technology is creating a new generation of music connesisseurs that think differently than the typical orchestra concert goer. Don Pepper made a great observation in his article " The Reason "Why Every Social Media Manager Should Be Under 25 " Struck Such A Nerve" which was a response to this article by Cathryn Sloane. Don's point is that technology is moving so fast it is possible to see innovations that didn't exist for the previous generation making it into the mainstream consciousness. This is having a major impact on how people perceive music consumption. The gramophone record replaced the audio cylinder in 1910 as the most popular form of obtaining audio recordings --just over 100 years ago. Now, 'record' shops that actually carry LP's (long playing records, for those of you too young to remember that term) are like pawn shops, dealing in antiquated artifacts. The digital age of music has ushered in a new era, and

Promethea - a short opera with words by Eddie Louise, music by Chip Michael

Done for the Mini Operas project by English National Opera Synopsis: Humanity lies sleeping as The Sweeper of Dreams enters making his daily rounds to clear away the night’s imaginings. The Sweeper is very thorough and leaves no tatters or smattering of dreams to pollute the waking lives of the humans. He is good at his job but does not enjoy it and has perhaps become a bit careless. One of the dreamers, Promethea, is still deeply involved in her dream of flying and freedom. The Sweeper’s actions rip the dream from her and she plunges towards consciousness screaming. Clinging to the memory of her dream, Promethea argues with the Sweeper. When he remains adamant, she steals back her dream, in the process damaging his broom. No longer will he be able to efficiently remove all of humanity’s dreams. The residue of both dreams and nightmares linger to haunt the waking hours. Promethea by Chip Michael Featuring the voices of: Theodore Sipes - The Sweeper Megan Ihnen - Prometh

Social Media Experts for Classical Music

With the explosion of social media and the desire for arts organizations to jump on the band wagon, hiring a social media consultant/expert seems to be the order of the day. How do you know if you're actually hiring an expert? I was reading a blog post the other day from a self-proclaimed orchestra expert. Granted the information this 'expert' writes about in terms of orchestra administration, budgeting, and contract negotiations seems to be spot on. {I'm not an expert in these topics so I have no way to certify if the advice is correct or not.} However, this person also claims to know social media and is quite outspoken at how poorly orchestras are using social media, particularly Twitter. I do understand Social Media, Twitter specifically, and find the advice this expert offers to be wrong in numerous ways. Don't just take my word on what's right and wrong. If you're an arts organization, do some research into the person you want to hire as a consultant.

TwtrSymphony: The Hawk Goes Hunting - video

You may have already seen this, but in case you hadn't or just wanted to watch it again!... If you want to download the music to put on your phone or mp3 players go here: Make sure to share the link with your friends If you'd like to know more about TwtrSymphony visit their website:

The People who helped make TwtrSymphony a reality

My sincere thanks to the following people. For coming up with the idea in the first place Alexis Del Palazzo Erica Sipes Kim Hickey Your several hour long tweet conversation on March 3rd, 2012 was the whole reason this project got started . Musicians performing on "The Hawk Goes Hunting" Alexis Del Palazzo - Flute/Piccolo Nikki Warrington - Flute Bobbi Blood - Flute Macy McClain - Flute Lish Lindsey - Flute/Alto Flute Jonathan Hunt - Oboe Ronnal Ford - Cor Anglais Michael Ormond - Clarinet Scott Harris - Clarinet Garrett McQueen - Bassoon Keri Degg - Soprano Saxophone Greg Wrenn - Tenor Saxophone Robert Perlick-Molinari - French Horn Tracy Bass - French Horn Aileen Douthwaite - French Horn Laurel Roseborrough - French Horn Jessica Mullen - Trumpet Ettore Rivarola - Trumpet Timothy Breckon - Trombone Jeff Freeman - Trombone Sean Greene - Tuba Blaine Cunningham - Tuba Shana Norton - Harp Erica Sipes - Piano Adam Shanley - Classical Guitar Rusty

TwtrSymphony: Strike while the iron is hot?

as TwtrSymphony gets ready to release its first track, all eyes are wondering what to expect The thing about Twitter is it has a very short attention span. So, while it is possible for something to be trending red hot one day, it is just as possible for the topic to cool and be out of fashion the next. Yet, trying to gather a group of classical musicians together, get them music that is unique for the particular venture, and actually get that music out to the audience is anything but a fast project. Back in early March, the iron was right for TwtrSymphony, the fires continued to stoke all the way through April --and yet, here we are in July and still no music. Another cliche which stems from the blacksmith trade is "Don't put too many irons in the fire." It eludes to the fact that each piece of iron in the fire cools it ever so slightly. Too many irons and the fire cools to the point none of the pieces of iron are hot enough to be malleable. It's also easy to los

#MoreMusic - Why we need more new music by symphony orchestras to continue

Digital music sales surpassed physical media sales in 2011 for the first time, and music sales overall have been enjoying a steady climb for the greater part of a decade. Although physical music sales are declining, we're in an age where people want more music than ever before. How can the symphony orchestra capitalize on this trend? In January the Nielsen Company & Billboard’s 2011 Music Industry Report produced a report on music sales. Overall music sales were up 6.9%, digital tracks sales were up 8.5% and internet album sales were up 17.7%. Even with the decline in physical media sales, the music industry is growing. Classical music is also enjoying an increase in popularity. According to the mid-year report ( July 5th ) digital music sales are up another 14% with classical music up 7.2%. However, looking at the various genres, classical music is one of the few that enjoys a growth leveraging remakes rather than original compositions. iTunes is the #1 digital classic

We are not Daunted, just delayed. Situations beyond our control

In prosperity, our friends know us; in adversity, we know our friends. - John Churton Collins TwtrSymphony was due to release our debut track tomorrow. The studio working on the project was flooded making continued work on the project impossible at the present. Garry Boyle, our engineer, was able to recover all the data several days ago and thought he might be able to keep to schedule. But after re-assessing the damages to the studio, it is apparent nothing is going to happen for a least a couple of weeks. We will keep you posted as to options and updates as they become available. Thank you for your support and understanding. We are not daunted, just delayed.

Waiting for the final mixdown for TwtrSymphony: Feeling like an expectant father

I wouldn't call myself a control freak, but I think maybe everyone who knows me probably would Garry Boyle has been working on the first track of my Symphony No. 2 Birds of a Feather due out Friday, July 6th. While we've been in communication about a number of aspects for the recording, he's in Edinburgh (Scotland) and I'm in Southern California. He's also been extremely busy with paying gigs so communications have been kept to a minimum. I've been pacing the floor a lot. It's 6am on Wednesday the 4th of July, a holiday in the US, so I should be nicely tucked in my bed enjoying extra time with my wife --and yet, here I am typing on my blog, feeling utterly useless. There are plenty of things for me to be doing. I need to get images from the score for the videos coming out. I need to finish the score for Promethea a project for miniOperas There are several other composition projects that need attention I have a webpage to provide the initial design

TwtrSymphony: Lessons in Composition

Every new project has bumps in the road. The key is to learn from them. As a composer, I am always striving to improve my craft. When I was studying at the undergraduate level, I needed exposure to a broad spectrum of different styles to experience what was possible with sound. At the graduate level, I began honing my skills in the sounds I gravitated to into what resonated most with the sounds I wanted to create. Now, with TwtrSymphony, I'm crafting the pieces together, continually making adjustments as I discover what works (and what doesn't). If you've listened to any of my more recent compositions, you'll realize I love intense rhythms. Even in the slow pieces, there is an underlying pulse that is fairly fast. These rhythms also shift between groups of twos and threes. I find these small groupings are easy to grasp for both musicians and listeners without the need of counting every beat within them and yet by shifting between two and three, I can create a sense