Though I had an interest in composition from an early age (bio), my total lack of traditional musical education during my youth ironically allowed me to approach classical music at the age of 17 with the wide-open mind of a child. My entire performing experience at the time consisted of vocal fry effects (though I didn’t what they were called at the time) that I made imitating the guitar stylings of classic rock bands like Aerosmith and Boston in the privacy of my bedroom. With this hilariously and wonderfully uninformed perspective, I descended upon the classical world in my senior year of high school with crazy dreams of creating arena rock symphonies in gigantic open-air amphitheatres with amplifiers under every seat. Wild fantasies notwithstanding, from the very beginning I set out to write music that was 1.) “interesting,” 2.) original, and 3.) accessible (in that order). Nearly ten years, dozens of pieces, and several stylistic adjustments later, I still look to these three basic principles during my creative process.
The experience of coming into music so late has gotten me into the habit of questioning assumptions, always searching for the “big picture.” I brought a clean slate to notated music, with no knowledge of the tremendous intellectual and artistic baggage associated with the Western Classical tradition’s lengthy history. I related to Beethoven piano sonatas (the MIDI version, natch) and Ligeti cello concerti as Music, in much the same way that I related to those Aerosmith and Pink Floyd tapes in my boombox. It was hard for me to understand, at first, why combinations of the two tradition-streams (classical and popular; or, notated and non-notated) had so rarely even been attempted, much less with any success. A big part of the reason for Capital M’s existence derives from this perceived gap. Since no one else has yet bridged it to my satisfaction, I figured, why not give it a shot myself?
Please see the menu at right to read various writings by myself and others on this topic.