Category Archives: Notes in the News

On current and historic events, likely with a musical angle

ARTS-A-POPPIN’

There’s a new category here at Notes from a Composer: Arts-a-Poppin’. (This category, like all the others, can be accessed on the right side of every site page, just below the tweet stream.) After posting a double bill of selections … Continue reading

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ELEGANT PRIMITIVISM or ELEGIAC ENERGY – On the Conclusion of the Public Vote in the Carl Orff Competition

The public voting phase of the Carl Orff Competition concluded yesterday.  Now I guess the public ratings of the 115 entries are being weighted and tabulated to determine five finalists.  Five more finalists will be chosen by a select jury.  … Continue reading

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CARL ORFF COMPETITION – Let’s Hear it for the Underdogs

  Dear Danny, Your Orpheus,  Eurydike,  Hermes​ is a brilliant,  powerful piece,  spellbinding from its first note to the final silence,  tense,  tumultuous between,  each step possessed,  pauses as loud as the notes,  the whole astounding,  overwhelming.   Orpheus. Eurydike. … Continue reading

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HAPPY SONGS FOR DARK TIMES #1 – A Grand Hotel Extravaganza

Sometimes the right slice of music can be a sure fire happy picker upper. These are dark, soul depressing, body wearying times we live in.  More than once I have been hearing people talk about how they feel sick in … Continue reading

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MARCHING FOR OUR LIVES IN NYC

  March 24 – March For Our Lives –  Millions are on the streets in the USA.  Here are some impressions from New York City.  With appropriate and inappropriate songs that went through my head as Ed and I participated. … Continue reading

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ORPHEUS. EURYDIKE. HERMES

My Entry in the Carl Orff Competition I composed a chamber work, a song in the tradition of the “Lieder” of the salon, called “Orpheus. Eurydike. Hermes”. It describes the moment in Greek mythology when Orpheus, leading his wife Eurydice … Continue reading

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Five Minutes in Lockdown

A few months ago I was conducting a third grade choir class in a Tribeca school, when an alarm sounded. “Lockdown”, one of the two classroom teachers in the room with me and 25 third graders announced. Swiftly, and calmly, … Continue reading

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Notes on Myself

Sometimes I am asked, in applications for grants or music competitions for example, to write about myself.  It is a certain special torture to have to act as your own greatest champion in writing (or in person), but that is … Continue reading

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In the Name of Love on MLK Day

    Today our nation commemorates Martin Luther King Jr. Day. The message and significance of Martin Luther King Jr. and what he represents for the aspirations of our country and the world weigh more heavily, sadly, today, than they … Continue reading

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The Map Room of Madison, Wisconsin

  On the second floor of a hundred year old house near Vilas Park in Madison, Wisconsin, is a guest bedroom known as the Map Room.     Three of its four walls have been wall papered by huge maps … Continue reading

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LGBT is Thrown Around All the Time, But Where is the “B”?

Notes from the “BiView: Bisexual Representation in Media Panel” at NewFest2017 October 21st I attended the panel discussion on Bisexuality in the Media, the first of its kind at a NewFest/Outfest film festival.  Moderated by bisexual activist and journalist Eliel … Continue reading

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NAZI LEGACY ALIVE AND WELL IN AN AUSTRIAN CEMETERY

I came upon a plaque on the church wall in the cemetery at the edge of the Austrian ski resort town of Kitzbühel that profoundly disturbed me.  The chiseled marble commemorates a soldier who died in World War II.  There … Continue reading

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TOTAL ECLIPSE in PAINTED HILLS, OREGON

The Total Eclipse of August 21, 2017 As Seen from the Magnificent Painted Hills, Oregon With Eclipstastic Music! We left Redmond, Oregon, at 7:15am.  Madras, just north of Redmond, would be smack in the path of totality, but we decided … Continue reading

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SONGS to RING IN the NUCLEAR APOCALYPSE

Remember the good old days of daily nightmares of nuclear armageddon? They’re back!  Yippee!   So let’s replay some golden oldies of the atomic age! Stanley Kubrick’s Cold War satire “Dr. Strangelove or How I learned to Stop Worrying and … Continue reading

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Will Whoopi Goldberg Get Andy Serkis his Overdue Oscar?

“War for the Planet of the Apes” has opened to universal acclaim and a renewed call to give an Oscar to Andy Serkis, the actor who pioneered and perfected motion capture acting as lead ape Caesar in the Planet of the … Continue reading

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SPEAKEASY – Advice from a (Lesbian) Caterpillar

Two songs from “Speakeasy” explore two sides of a closeted 1920’s lesbian For many years I hoped to write a musical about the queer subculture of Roaring Twenties New York, but didn’t find my “in” until I came upon the … Continue reading

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