Here is a original piece I came up with after looking at some illustrations by Edward Gorey. Even if you don’t know his name, you’ll probably recognize his style:
It’s a bit dark.
Maybe it was the cold damp weather, but I wound up composing a slightly Gothic and unsettling piece that (to MY ears anyway) complements the artwork adequately. I called this one “A Peculiar Familiar” because I get paid by the syllable.
People who really dig witchcraft will also tell you that a “familiar” is an animal, such as a black cat, who embodies a supernatural spirit and helps a witch to do witchy stuff.
A few weeks ago, I wrote a post about my trip to the guitar store with Isla (I won’t say the name, because it’s not like I’ll get a discount on Mandolin Tuning Fluid.) I should probably give a bit of backstory.
Isla has enjoyed music her entire life. As she gets older, I’ll be interested to hear how music affects her, since she can only experience it with the help of her cochlear implants.
We might learn that certain instruments sound less pleasant to her ears than others. That being said, she asked for and received a guitar last Christmas. The guitar has seen better days, but she loves to strum and I’ve been teaching her how to hold it properly. She knows the names of the parts of the guitar and she seems to understand that it should rarely be stepped upon. Considering that Patty and I had no idea if Isla would ever be able to hear, well, anything, it’s astounding that she shows such a natural love of music.
Cate also seems to have an innate love of music as she sits at the piano and deliberately plays individual keys (as opposed to simply pounding on them, like daddy) But Cate’s pride and joy is the ukulele she received for Christmas. She loves it, and she even lets me play it every once in awhile.
I should point out that Patty and I make music and musical instruments available to our girls, but we don’t make them do anything they don’t want to do. Eventually, if they’re interested, they can take lessons from a real teacher. We just want the girls to be familiar with how music is made and to simply love the experience. As the following slightly blurry photos demonstrate: so far, so good.
Here is a light-hearted track I composed for a short film. I was going for a cartoonish/clumsy vibe, so you can hear that the timing is (deliberately) a little off.
I love doing these kinds of goofy tracks, as well as the more scary/horror stuff. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy doing straightforward, traditional soundtracks, but it’s nice to let my musical imagination have a bit of fun.
By the way, an ever-growing amount of my music is available for licensing at Pond5.com. They’ve been a great company to work with and they have a huge selection of stock music, photos, and footage for use in your projects.
Fun day out with Isla yesterday! We went to the Community Center and she was playing with a little boy. When I told him she was deaf, he immediately starting signing to her! I was shocked! (You can probably tell by all the exclamation points.)
Turns out, his grandma, grandpa, and cousin (who were there too) are deaf, so I got a chance to have a nice conversation in ASL. The boy’s aunt was also there, and she told me she is an ASL interpreter. They initially thought he was simply teaching a little girl ASL until they saw me sign “share,””wait your turn,” and “Barry Goldwater.” (That last one is a REALLY long story.)
After that, Isla and I headed over to Guitar Center where we checked out the acoustic guitars. She was very respectful, and asked my permission before touching any of them. She also had her eye on a nice purple Luna “Passionflower” parlour guitar.
We have been incredibly fortunate to have a very mild Autumn here in Minnesota this year. Normally, it lasts most of a Tuesday afternoon and part of a Wednesday, but this year, it’s been warm, sunny, and really all kinds of awesome.
I took Indie & Bear out for a nice long walk over the weekend and decided to capture some of the local beauty in this short film. I’m glad I did because before you know it, we’ll be digging out from under several metric feet of down-home Minnesota snow. That’s OK; I’ll probably film some of that too.
The film is 3m28s long and features the song “Farther Away” from my solo piano album, “All You Know,” which is available on iTunes, as well as from my online store
OK, I did go a long time without writing. What’s up with that? Like most people, my family and I are very busy in the Summer, and we spend more time living and less time writing. Isla turned 3 in June, and we’ve been chasing her ever since.
Despite my prolonged absence, I actually enjoy writing a blog. Since I have the memory of a 150 year-old barn-watcher, this blog provides something at least resembling a journal. My hope is that Isla and any other hypothetical descendants might find it interesting. It could happen. More likely, Isla will find all of this incredibly mortifying and I’ll be forced to delete the whole thing.
I am amazed at the wonderful young girl Isla is becoming. She was born with such a distinctive personality, and it has been incredible to see that personality develop from week to week. With the help of her cochlear implants, the incredible teaching staff at Northern Voices School, and countless others, Isla is talking up a storm.
Isla is also becoming more proficient with her first language, American Sign Language (ASL,) and most of her speaking is accompanied by ever-improving signs. Patty and I also continue to work on signing with the help of an amazing teacher.
Despite the challenges Isla faces, she is above all, a happy, excited little girl. And that’s the most important thing.
Today is my friend, Chars Bonin’s Birthday. I forget how old he is, but I am certain that he is much, much younger than me.
I’ve mentioned this before, but Chars wrote, directed and performed in a great film called, “Finding Home.” I am proud to have composed and performed the film’s soundtrack. (I also recorded the music for the film’s trailer, which was actually a blast to do!)
A lot of people have asked how they can purchase a copy of the film, and I am happy to say it is now available on DVD at OrangeAppleProductions.com.
I loved working on this film, It’s all locally filmed and produced, and I am amazed at the performances and hard work of everyone involved. Seriously, you should check out the credits; there are, like, a TON of talented people who made this happen. So, support Independent Film and pick up a copy today.