Tuesday, January 26, 2016

How to Write a 12-Tone Piece Using Eggs

One day, when I was cooking some eggs, I was feeling particularly creative...

Beautiful eggs! What else can I do for breakfast this morning? Cereal? Nah...

Serial? Perhaps...

My eyes fell upon the egg carton to my side, and I quickly zeroed in on its serial code. Eureka! How about a 12-tone, serialist piece using the digits off of the egg carton as inspiration? I mean, why not?

Here's what my process looked like:


Well, I got through all of the steps–including step five–and the result was "Carton." This is the first movement from my piano work "The Egg Suite."

Check out the rest of the suite here. All movements are not yet posted, but they will be soon!

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Luke's Guide to Christmas Music on the World Wide Web

Overwhelmed with the hustle and bustle of the holidays? Take a break from shopping, or from decking the halls, or from stuffing stockings/turkeys, and listen to some Christmas music instead.

What follows is a list (I checked it twice) of audio & video links which I recommend to anyone who's looking for some new Christmas music to enjoy.

You can't go wrong with classics like good ol' Vince Guaradi or jolly ol' Bing Crosby... but you've heard those before!...

...So here are some that you might not know about yet:

My Christmas Stuff

When I have time around the holidays, I love playing and recording Christmas tunes—usually not without adding some sort of quirky twist to a familiar song. E.g. "Christmastime is Here" in 7/8 or this arrangement of "People, Look East"

Sometimes I leave out the quirky twists, and just play the stinkin' song as it was intended(!), as in this video of "The Christmas Song."

>Featured video: "Go Tell It on the Mountain"
>My Christmas (audio) tracks on Bandcamp: 2013 | 2014 | 2015

Seriously Good Christmas Stuff

If you ask me what my favorite Christmas album is, I'd have to say "An Oscar Peterson Christmas" takes the cake. My other favorites include "A Charlie Brown Christmas" (of course), Sufjan Stevens' "Hark! Songs for Christmas," and Béla Fleck and the Flecktones' "Jingle all the Way" (the only Christmas album in my library that features Tuvan throat-singing).

Funny Christmas Stuff

Step aside from the serious side for a moment, and dive into the silly. If you want to laugh, you ought to check out what it sounds like when a 7th-grade trumpeter plays your favorite Christmas tunes using only notes from the blues scale. Or if that doesn't quite strike your fancy, Jacob Mann's tongue-in-cheek re-harmonization of "Deck the Halls" might make you chuckle. This Mr. Bean clip, though, might be my favorite Christmas-flavored comedy thing:

What did I leave out?

Comment below with your favorite Christmas-season song, album, or video (funny or otherwise!).

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