Tuesday, April 20, 2010

new blog on site

Click Here It's on the right side. Still haven't figured out how to link to it.

Thursday, January 21, 2010


This Sunday I'm heading down to Osaka to hear the premiere of a piece I wrote a few years ago called "Thoughts on Landing." The Naniwa Guitar Ensemble for whom I wrote the piece will be performing it at the Chakra Cafe.

Mari and I are excited- I've been having a craving for really good okonomiyaki(Japanese savory pancakes) and Mari's been craving soup takoyaki(fried octopus in a pancake-like-batter submerged in a clear soup).

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The Swell Season

Mari and I rarely agree on what movies to rent. We usually settle for romantic comedies- preferably ones set in New York City. There are surprisingly(for me)quite a few good movies in this category. Recently we watched "Once" and I was blown away. I loved the music- especially the title track "Falling"- little did I know that the main actors actully wrote and performed the music.
This morning on my walk to work I was listening to NPR's All Songs Considered's "The 50 Most Important Recordings of the Decade" and I happened to hear "Falling." So as soon as I got to work I did a little research and discovered "The Swell Season" a band consisting of Glen Hansard on guitar and vocals and Marketa Irglova on piano and vocals. They are amazing!
I've been practicing like a crazy man for a concert on December 12th so I don't really have any composing time until after the concert. So I've been recharging- on the lookout for great earth shattering moving shaking music. Recently I've been listening to Josh Ritter's "Girl in a War" and Charles Ives' "Holiday Symphony"
Luka has also been charming me with his homemade international lyrical and melodic stylings based on the classics such as "Twinkle Twinkle" and the Ultraman theme song.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Puppet Show and Duet

It's warming up and I'm finally able to wake up early to get more quality writing done. I've recently been commissioned to write some music for a Puppet Show based here in Nagoya, it's a cute little show for kids based on the story of the "Three Billy Goats Gruff". We are also talking about a feature length show with a string quartet based on "The Little Mermaid" for adults- we'll see how that goes...

I'm also working on another guitar duet based on the past lives I've supposedly lived. Each movement is based on one life. So far, I've heard of about 4 past lives. They are each interesting in their own right.

The first movement of the piece is based on life as a venetian merchant with a taste for fine wine and spices. It's highly ornamented and in it I want to portray our man gliding down the canals of Venice triumphantly with his treasures secured safely in the boat.

The second movement of the piece is based on life as a buddhist nun living in the mountains of northern Japan in the late 1800's. She had lived a hard life and finally decided to become a nun as most women who had hard lives and no other place to go often did. Near the end of her life she began to dream about being reborn as a man in a place as far away as possible from Japan. In this movement I want to capture the image of her on high ragged cliffs looking off into the vast and desolate ocean.

The third movement is based on life as a native-conflict-resolution-specialist or peace-Man if you will. This movment is very rhythmic, in it I want to depict a sort of imagined ritualistic dance based loosely on Native American-esque rhythms.

The possible intermezzo movement is based on life as a WW2-era artist who loses all of his co-conspirators in art to the war. In this movement I thought I would write a sort of modernist/serialist experimental piece.

In the final movement I wanted to write as if a I were a rocker writing classical music. David Byrne wrote a quartet called "High Life for Nine Instruments." It's a lot of fun and very repetitive in a very rocker writing classical music way. Also the soundtrack for "There Will be Blood" was written by Jonny Greenwood of Radiohead it also has the same sort of rocker characteristics and also a rawness that's immediate and accesible. It's a subtle difference but I'd like to try it. I often think about Kurt Cobain's comment that all he was trying to do was imitate a Pixies song- maybe that's what we're all trying to do.

Friday, May 8, 2009

October Dream-Jason Taylor Quartet in Osaka

You should fast forward through the preliminaries to get to the good stuff;)

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

October Dream

The Osaka Guitar Quartet performing my piece "October Dream." I have a video of myself performing this piece when I had long hair- I'll post it if I can find it.

Rolfe's Barber Shop