Distinctive Tonal Music Inspired by Magical Places



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Senior Pieces, Book 6

Article 06.05.2019, 00:59

The “senior pieces” all bear the names of those for whom they were written. Some are quite difficult and were not chosen by the students to be included on their senior recitals. Andante for Horn and Piano (Brennan Rose) (4:48) Remembrance for String Bass and Piano (Ivan Aidun) (2:37)  Silence (Soprano and Piano) (Ariacella DelGrande) (1:52)  Festival (Jared Civerolo) (2:05) Running (Ryan Harlow) (1:52) Mysterious River (Makenna Clov is) (3:25) Recordings of "Senior Pieces, ...


The Brave Green

Article 23.12.2018, 23:03

My walk in the foothills this morning was blessed with glowing, back-lit wildflower colors—yellow, gold, blue, purple, white, red, and even maroon, if you include the prickly pears. But in this challenging environment, my favorite color—in all seasons—is green. Brave green. On hard, dry dirt or from cracks in boulders, the force that wants to turn sunlight, earth and water into life is quietly persistent. Extravagant perhaps. Impractical perhaps. But determined. At this altitude in the foothills, ...


Walk To the Kiva

Article 30.08.2018, 17:53

On my walk to the kiva this morning, the damp-but-not-slippery ground felt firm, yet springy. Waiting brownly through the drought, the sudden-green grass reached into sideways-sunlight. A pine-tree dew-drop flashed its spectrum-coded messages. Half a mile through the trees, there was no traffic on the highway. In the stillness, except for an eagle's cry there were no sounds... but that of  the grass growing, the mist rising, and ancient songs and drums.


Beyond the Four Hills, Aesthetics Panel

Article 26.03.2018, 20:59

Beyond the Four Hills, Aesthetics Panel, by Michael Mauldin Foreword: Though musical gestures suggestive of shared physical phenomena populate all music, I won't discuss my use of them here. Rather, I share the narrative of how I became involved in trying to use my music to celebrate an environmental essence. I've lived and written music in New Mexico for 40 years. Most of the pieces were inspired by its rugged beauty, ancient cultures and “spiritual” landscapes. I was drawn by its space, its ...


Dawn at San Juan Mesa

Article 18.03.2018, 16:57

"This work was inspired by visits to an unexcavated Anasazi city on San Juan Mesa in the Jemez Mountains of New Mexico. Within view of Sandia Peak in the distance (where KHFM has its broadcasting tower), I brought my young son, Kendall, here once when my 'Petroglyph for Strings' was on the air. I mused at the irony. Before his birth, that piece had begun at that place. But now I heard the music--fleshed out--and the laughter of a child in a plaza that once rang with the laugh ter of many children. Often ...


All That Is

Article 04.03.2018, 17:04

ALL THAT IS Many times I've changed my interpretation of a piece of music after having performed it live for other humans a few times. Something inexplicably magical happens when there is the physical proximity and attention of others. It's almost as if the intention of the original piece literally--physically--comes back into existence when we perform and hear it. "The universe as a whole festers in a state of uncertainty and snaps into clear, actual being when observed by a conscious being — ...


Composing Music in the Twenty-First Century

Article 26.03.2017, 22:36

Composing Music in the Twenty-First Century    In any time or place (regardless of trends or movements), good music (as well as good visual art, dance, or storytelling) holds the attention of the observer by using a balance of “same and different.”   If what we write is too predictable, we lose the audience. If what we write is too unpredictable, we lose the audience.  Part of a composer's prime directive (but his playful joy too) is to constantly search for the right balance ...


THE FINE LINE: Thoughts and Music of a Contemporary American Composer at Forty.

Article 17.08.2016, 18:07

INTRODUCTION I’m not “special”--at least no more “special” than you are. If there’s anything unusual about me, it’s my undying belief that we’re all born “special.” The products of our lives may or may not be outstanding, but we never lose the opportunity (unless we give it up voluntarily or unkowingly from lack of use) to see and celebrate (share) the “specialness” of life itself--a fine balance between novelty and predictability, order and chaos. Why is it then that we often find the seeing and ...


Composition Workshop for High School Orchestra

Article 23.05.2016, 21:33

Composing & improvising can be fun, whether you're a music-theory expert or not. The trigger for most of us is enjoying (with the listener) musical gestures that remind us of things in our environment that we all share. The gestures can be explored even before learning about chord-function. You and another instrumentalist or two can experiment with them with surprising results. Gravity/Magnetism: +Pulling away, being pulled back (“board-pool”) +Progressively overcoming the pull ...


The Spiritual Significance of Music

Article 05.08.2014, 02:46

The "ecstatic memories" (Greek: ek statis--standing outside ourselves) of delight or fear, or both, that radiate through our lives are self-validating, like all peak experiences. As with religious services, art shows, plays or concerts that do not always move us, we are unable to produce such experiences at will. We cherish them largely for that reason. But we continue to set up what we think are the conditions they require. Moments of "ek statis" may seem like fleeting visions, but they are pieces ...