Essay: Immediate Vs. Gradual Revelation—What Makes Us Want To Listen Again?

Why do we understand some music instantly, but other music takes repeated listening to grok? Regardless, I think musical context is critical if we want audiences to keep listening…

I now get why Brahms and Tchaikovsky didn’t mix…

A short essay on my mental struggle going from conducting the Brahms first symphony to the Tchaikovsky fifth symphony. 

Mahler's Piccolo High

Mahler's piccolo notes that pierce the musical fabric to full consciousness!

Valentine's Day—Alma's Theme from Mahler's 6th

Just the voluptuous Alma Theme from Mahler's 6th Symphony

Two Sunbeams in Mahler's 4th Symphony

Every page of the score to Mahler's 4th is chock full of orchestration master brushstrokes. Most people focus on the sublime slow movement and moments in the orchestral song that is the finale. But two of my favorite places are in the scherzo—and they pierce right through the devil and his fiddle!

Fast and Percussive

Violinists Alisa Luera and Clara Ross make two violins sound like an orchestra in my first violin duo—"fast and percussive"

Paleface Meets Bombogenesis!

Last week New York threw everything at my new trio that it could. Weather reports screamed "Bombogenesis!"—possible cyclone winds. Pics and short video...

Paleface—Exploring the Hero Myth in American Identity

Introduction to my piano trio Paleface inspired by the art of Jerry Kearns. Premieres Friday January 5, 2018 at the DiMenna Center for Classical Music in New York City, performed by the Neave Trio.

Great Mahler Moment—4th Symphony End of Movement 3

One of many moments that trap us like flies to amber to the music of Gustav Mahler—the coda of the slow movement from his fourth symphony.

What's Beneath Subterranean Dance

 Let me know what you think of this short 3 minute video excursion into my chamber sextet Subterranean Dance. Does it make you curious to hear the entire work?

Avaloch Farm Music Institute—A Unique Laboratory for Performers and Composers

It was a week of blazing intensity working with Sierra Ensemble, an ensemble of terrific San Francisco Bay Area musicians. We were in residence at the beautiful Avaloch Farm Music Institute in New Hampshire, preparing the ensemble's world premiere of my horn trio that they  commissioned from me.  

When Bach Dissolves Tonality

 Do you have a favorite moment or piece that features Bach dissonance? Reply to this blog and let me know!