I hope y'all's summer is off to a great start, and that there is some time for some R&R.
I want to express my regret for the long interval of time since I've posted. It was due in large part to how unprecedentedly challenging this academic year has been - the hardest in my entire academic career. However, challenges aside, I have much to share that was deeply meaningful and rewarding.
MUSIX, the student ensemble I direct and produce is totally rawking! In the Fall, you may remember that we celebrated the release of our third album, Zombie in My Basement! - our first full length LP - at the Butler Bandshell, in Lithia park, on a beautiful fall evening. This album, as well as our previous EPs, is featured on our official artist pages on all the major outlets: Bandcamp, Spotify, Youtube, Apple Music, Pandora; and you can follow us on Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, and Facebook. Later in the year we rocked out those tunes (and new ones!) at the Rock Show Gala Event, headlining at the 10th Annual Oregon Fringe Festival (OFF). I am also pleased to share the news that our next record will be out next fall, and we will have our release event at the Deboer Sculpture Building on the SOU campus on October 19 - more on that soon.
Also at the OFF 2023, I began a new creative performance venture: DK&Co., a collective of friends, students, and faculty. Please enjoy our debut performance here, which features a new version of an older piece, Attitudes...Self-reflection Concertante, and a head arrangement of "Gopher It," from a currently sleepy opera project, California Tableaux.
Earlier in the new year, I was honored to be a part of 20+ scholars that contributed chapters published in a new volume edited by my dear friend, colleague, and long-time collaborator, Dr. Colin McAllister (and Dr. Lorenzo DiTommaso). You can read my article, "Music for the End Times...Wait, When?" in Music in the Apocalyptic Mode available through the 'Word & Music Studies' series by Brill.
I also had several chances to speak. At the beginning of the year, I delivered a presentation entitled "Kick Start Your High school of Rock" at the Oregon Music Educators Conference. In May, I delivered a presentation on my Modular Music Project at the 5th Annual Creativity Conference at SOU. Finally, I closed out the year with a 2.5 year retrospective on the Music Industry & Production (MIP) program at SOU to participants at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute. Regarding the last, MIP is also rockin! Next year's enrollments are way up, and I am excited to roll our our new courses in Game Audio, Music & Audio for Film & Video, and Live Sound Engineering.
Looking ahead, I hope to make serious headway this summer on NEUROTICA, (for high voice, i.e. Bernadette). It is a new multi-media theatrical song cycle that explores the relationship between our mobile devices, ourselves, and the way in which information passes through them to influence our very being. I have finished a handful of songs and several short sections of digital and electronic ‘glitch-rock’ that I have termed ‘refrains’, which serve as the pauses between the songs. “Wonderland Habanera” is the latest to be completed (you can hear a mockup of it here through 'plugins' and 'midi' instruments). I am writing the libretto, which is an adaptation of the poignant and provocative poetry of Brad Buchanan, with whom I collaborated on a 'club version' of California Tableaux in its nascence. You may remember that Bernadette (soprano, and my wife) released a video of the first song "Rapt" a while back. We will be recording a couple more songs intended for video this summer. NEUROTICA will be the last part of a series of works that make up the Modular Music Project.
Later this summer, I'll train in preparation for teaching next year. After the training, I will be re-certified by AVID in Pro Tools as the designated Avid Certified Instructor at SOU to teach our courses that employ Pro Tools, an industry standard Digital Audio Workstation (digital recording/editing software). As per the usual with this software, I will also be mixing and mastering the new MUSIX record, along with a few students who have progressed through the ranks of the MIP degree program at SOU. Finally, I am very excited to work with our Production Manager, Cathi Romero-Molay, and JT Taylorson (rising senior) to optimize our (Dante) audio system and livestream station in the Recital Hall & Control Room.
I won't be performing all that much, but I am preparing so perform with my duo partner, Colin, in Portland at the Lake Oswego Public Library for their First Tuesday Music series on August 1 at 7pm (PST). So, if you are in the area, please check us out. Seating is on a first come, first served basis. However, a livestream will also be available at https://www.youtube.com/@LakeOLib/streams. This will be the first time that I have performed a full concert on the classical guitar since Focal Dystonia changed my right hand (and neurological system) forever. With time away from the classical (finger) style of playing (save a few accompanimental scenarios, mainly with Bernadette), combined with head space and calm, I have found ways to work around the spasms. How? I basically avoid using my 'a' (ring) finger on my strumming/finger-style hand. This definitely impacts which repertoire I can play, and necessitates that I re-finger everything. But hell, I can play some! And I am really looking forward to our concert, which sets up Winter'24 - more on that later.
So, there'ya'have it. I think we're all caught up. I look forward to sharing more often with you in the coming months. I wish you all a great summering! I know I will (be seeking some R&R between things creative and preparatory)! Oh! Please be sure to check out the newly updated website!