Sanity for New Music

It will come as no surprise that composers are not entirely sane. A little insanity goes right along with rebelliousness and bold innovation. And while some creative insanity should be cherished, there is at least one reason that we composers could use a little therapy (or at least a little perspective from a friend posing as a therapist online). Hey composers, slow down! A basic formula that every armchair psychiatrist prescribes involves helping a patient work through past experiences in order to grow and maintain mental health. Fundamentally, you achieve your fullest potential when you … Read more

A Wake-Up Call to Musicians

When I was in grad school, I made a vow that I would hold myself to a higher standard. Enough mediocrity! I looked around and saw musicians patting each other on the back for below-average work, and I knew that the only way to raise the standard of excellency was to speak up. Nobody was benefiting from this glad-handing and chicanery, and I wasn’t going to stand for it! Quite literally, I would keep my seat. I decided that the best way I could stand for the truth was to sit. At any concert or … Read more

Give Me Room! a new show on Women’s Suffrage

For my second work for the theatrical stage, I wanted to create a show that makes a statement on social justice through musical choices rather than just language. Librettist, Gaye Jeffers (who also wrote the book) was insistent that the point of the show would not be to tell the story of how the fight for women’s suffrage was won. “We all know how the story ends,” she kept reminding me. This freed us up to really dive into the characters, disturb the chronological narrative, and for me to use several musical styles that hint … Read more

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