This piece explores the higher range of the oboe, which is a difficult range to play in tune while maintaining a full and dark sound. When played well, the sound that emanates is a beautiful, alluring impression unique to the oboe.
There are an infinite number of ways to create a song. It can begin with a founding motif. You can impose a rhythmic device that structures the sounds around it. Starting with a lyric can generate a vocabulary of imagery for the music to follow. A simple riff can morph into an entire phrase.
Small Fish Radio Theatre brings together an old-time radio format and brand-new work. This the first play we have presented episodically. Creating soundscapes to keep the listener located in the world of this play has been most interesting.
One of the greatest things about country music (and soul music) is that part of the songwriting goal is to tell an emotionally relatable story about love or relationships. That’s one of the reasons I’m attracted to the genre as a singer and songwriter; I want to write about life in a direct and poetic way.
Pr0ne follows Jessica Harrison, an aspiring film actress, and her family as the country discovers her secret: that she is the unnamed, possibly exploited, young woman in an adult “casting couch” video at the heart of a highly-publicized legal battle.
“Death & Taxes” was originally written for Black Umbrella Brigade. Our singer wanted a danceable, instrumental song, so I brought in this idea for an angular funk jam. It was too hip for the room, though, and we never performed it.
When I wrote this piece, I was still making music with a band called Leaves. I always felt like the guys in Leaves played this song beautifully, but the band broke up before we had a chance to record it. Since then I recorded this song a few different times with a few different bands.
I had been thinking about writing a song that encourages silliness, which is a basic necessity of life. So often we take things way too seriously. This song is a reminder to myself that life is a gift.