What Have I Been Up to?

Things I’ve been working on and things on the horizon.

1)I’m currently working on a series of Ebooks.  The first in the series will cover Basic/Elementary Rolling Backup Techniques.  It should be finished and up for sell in PDF format by the end of October.  I’ve got some formatting issues to work out for Kindle/Ibooks/etc , once I get that done  I hope to have it up for sell in that format as well.  More to follow

2)I’ve been writing and composing A LOT.  In fact, that’s what I spend most of my time doing each day.

I’ve been studying classical scores, particular those from the Impressionistic period and onward.  My favorite composer has always been Ravel.  Besides Ravel, other scores I have in my notebook that I’m analyzing include Delius, Satie, Koechlin, Charles Griffes and Arnold Bax.  It’s been very educational looking at the structures and learning modulation techniques.  Given my background in bluegrass and jazz, I didn’t have much understanding of larger structures before my studies.

Things I’m composing:  I originally began composing pieces in different time signatures due to all the polyrhythm studies I got into a few months back,  I’ve got three pieces in 5/4 that I’ve written, another longer one that moves through four different time signatures.  In addition some more bluegrass and pop sounding things, material that is “simpler” to balance things out  Classically speaking, I have a piece that is bitonal that moves in and out of two different keys.  The last two months have brought forth two pieces inspired by the sounds of Ravel and Delius, I fully expect these to be long term projects, as they explore longer forms and harmonic movements I’m less familiar with.

I’m currently in my home studio here recording material for a Solo Banjo Album.  I will probably just release electronically on my website and via free tracks on youtube.

3)Attacking some musical weaknesses that I think will making me a better musician and composer.  Sight Singing and Ear Training.  These days I find myself doing things that are less about the banjo and more about general musicianship.

4)I’ve got a monthly solo gig I picked up, it’s allowed me to play a great deal of my originals and solo arrangements for banjo and guitar.  A solo gig is a real test of how well you know material as their is no one there to pick you up if you miss a note and it’s all out there for people to hear.  My personal goal with that is to simply expose people to the banjo and new ways of playing the banjo that might otherwise not have a chance to hear it.

5)Still have my High Lonesome Mass Gigs, traveling to Oklahoma and Virginia these next two months to perform that.  It’s always good to get out of state for a bit.  While I have no desires to go on the “road”, I do like to travel to play occasionally.

6)I quit one of my teaching jobs, this has allowed me more time to concentrate on other things.  However, I am always looking for new dedicated students, in-person and online.

More later, hope all is well in Music Land 🙂


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