Author: admin

  • Multiphonics: Tips for Study

    Actually, this is a “notes-to-self” entry disguised as “Tips”. There are good sources for learning and practicing multiphonics such as Robert Dick’s “Tone Development through Extended Techniques” (although I know the term “extended techniques” has gone out of fashion, but the practice in the book is solid). I also have a detailed presentation where I […]

  • New Tutorial Series for Composers

    I have done quite a few tutorials, thanks to the Musikfabrik and our youth ensemble Studio Musifabrik. However, in the course of our Adventure project with composition students from the Hochschule here in Cologne, there are several topics that keep coming up. I have been asked to make short explanatory videos about these topics, and […]

  • Sixth-Tone Exercise Audio

    This is a very simple exercise for playing sixth-tones The audio file has undulations on three notes: (I picked these because they appear in a piece I am coaching.) Bb3 – Bb3 sixth-tone lower Db4 – Db4 sixth-tone lower C3 – C3 sixth-tone higher All you have to do is practice at first playing with […]

  • Postlude to a Premiere

    This is more of a public diary entry and notes-to-self than any sort of attempt to give tips or tools. Also, I attempt to sort out my thoughts of how things have changed in Darmstadt since the late 90s. It’s been a few days since I premiered Georges Aperghis’ fascinating and wonderful The Dong with […]

  • What is your Superpower?

    Having a kid and playing modern board games where it is teamwork against the forces of chance or evil (not everyone for him/herself like in my day), it is easy to fall into this kind of thinking. Because these days, everyone is special, right? No one is supposed to get left behind. Everybody has their […]

  • The Dong

    I have been meaning to keep an online account of my adventures with Georges Aperghis’ piccolo solo “The Dong with a Luminous Nose”, but it’s already three weeks before the performance and I haven’t written much. There are practical reasons for this – one is we ironed out the final version with cuts and tempo […]

  • Special Sounds: Describe rather than Prescribe

    I tend to get caught up in issues of notation, so it’s time for me to step back. Keep it simple. If you are a composer looking for a special kind of sound, but aren’t sure how to notate it, your solution may be as easy as adding a bit of text describing what you […]

  • In the Middle

    Thoughts provoked by working on the middle section of a large piece. Today I focused on pages 14 – 16 (of 21) of Aperghis’ the Dong. What goes on in a composer’s mind at this point? Was it a middle point when it was conceived? How will I survive to the end? How do I […]