When you think about Christmas break in college, you might imagine sleeping in, spending time with family and old friends, and just doing nothing. While it’s true that I did do all of the above a little bit, for me, going home is always a time for recording and composition.
In the last few months, much has happened that has made clear to me that I need to focus on being a composer. I can’t only do engineering. I’m certainly still recording, producing, and spending plenty of time in the studio (and plan to keep doing so because I still love it and need to record my compositions), but I’ve realized that, first and foremost, I’m a composer.
In the wake of an exhausting freshman year, unfortunately, until a few weeks ago, I had been struggling tremendously to compose anything at all. It wasn’t that I didn’t try—I tried harder than I knew I could. But the music wouldn’t come. I hated almost everything I did manage to write. On some level, I even began to hate composing itself because it took so much effort to even write things I didn’t like.
I’m excited to say that I have just been brought on as a composer by the production music library Musinc! From now on, anything I write and record, once accepted into the library, will be available for licensing for film, TV, and other media. The material from Airborne is already in the catalog. There will also be opportunities for filmmakers and music supervisors to commission me to write custom pieces.
“Music students: as the semester grinds on you may feel intensely burnt-out. You may even consider dropping out of music altogether. If that happens, go back and listen to your favorite recordings, make music with your friends, do anything you can to remind yourself why you loved music before you started studying it. An education in music can be a very good thing, but it can also squeeze the life out of any love you ever had for it. Don’t let it.”
Recently, I came across this quote by Eric Whitacre from his blog, via Facebook. The timing couldn’t have been better.
I just released some new music! I’ve recorded a solo piano song called “To the Sky” written by an artist named Dirk Maassen. It’s a lovely piece, and if you enjoy my own piano compositions, then you’ll love Dirk’s music, too. Check out more of his work here. This is my recording:
It’s official… I’ve begun working on my second piano album! I plan to record most of it over the course of this summer, and I expect to release it in early spring of 2015—perhaps sooner or later depending on how many other projects I’m doing. I’m hoping to make it longer than Airborne—hopefully around 40 or 45 minutes. As of right now, I’ve completed two compositions with another almost done, bringing me to around twenty minutes of music.
I was hoping to come home from college with enough material completed to record another album right away. And I wanted to be more active on my blog throughout the past year, release singles, produce other artists, and play more gigs, but life happened… Continue reading “Why My Next Album Can’t Live up to the Past”
I realize I haven’t written in awhile, but this last month has been an incredible month of first times…
1) The first time I performed one of my own compositions in a concert hall.
I performed my piano piece “Equinox” in the McAfee Concert Hall as part of the Student Composers Recital. As far as I know, I was the only freshman composer who participated. It was wonderful to hear the sound of my piece performed in such a wonderful venue. And it was such an thrill to be featured among so many other talented artists at this school! Continue reading “A Month of Firsts”
Have you ever noticed that the word “composition” has “position” in it? It may be a coincidence, but recently, I found out that position is more than a part of the word—it’s a part of the process that can make all the difference.
Over the last few months, I’ve been having a dry spell in my composing. Even though I probably composed my usual amount of music last semester, I was beginning to get to a point where composing was just another thing on my homework to-do list. There was no enjoyment—just dread. It all came to a head last week, when I realized how miserable I was when I composed, and I started to wonder if I had lost the abilities and passion I’d had for composition before my album release.
It was a Friday night, and I found myself, once again, sitting alone in my dorm room, alternating between staring at my much-too-blank score and at the dusty keys of my keyboard. Making progress on my midterm composition project seemed impossible. I’d never even written a string quartet before. How was I supposed to write my first one in three weeks? And it wasn’t like I could spend the entire day working on it for three weeks—I had fifteen other credit hours of course work to deal with on top of daily two-hour piano practicing.
It’s been a wild ride, but my debut solo piano album Airborne is done and out!
Eleven months ago, I was inspired after returning from two GRAMMY Camps and had a bold idea: I was going to release a thirty-five minute solo piano album by the end of the following summer.
At the time, I only had one piano piece (“Airborne”) that I felt was good enough to record. I had already committed to producing an EP for singer/songwriter Lily Garay that fall, too. And there were college music school auditions in February to practice and prepare for. Suffice it to say that the prospects of releasing a full-length album were not good. Continue reading “Airborne is Out!”