The experiences and insights of the composers for Berkeley Symphony’s experimental orchestra series, Under Construction

Author Archive

“Theo” – a tone poem for orchestra

It is done.  The months of grueling scribbling, listening, bashing at the piano, screaming at my sketchpad, binge-drinking coffee, crashing, [repeat]…  It’s done.  And, I can say without any doubt in my mind, this is my proudest moment as a composer to date.  If you look back to my first post, I talked about wanting to re-invent myself as a composer.  I have. (more…)


What a rush!

Firstly, I completely expected it all to fly by in an instant.  But, I never really knew how short an instant was until I heard applause, was asked to take a bow, and thought to myself as (more…)

First Drafts Are In!

I began this draft of my excerpts relaxing by a crackling fire in Mendocino, quietly pondering the premise of my newest work for the Berkeley Symphony.  I finished this draft cooped up in my office at home in San Jose: strung out on coffee, frantically scribbling, transcribing, editing, relishing in the triumph of my good ideas, second guessing them until they seem like terrible ideas…  (more…)

Reinvention, Phase 1: Under Construction

“I believe that one defines oneself by reinvention.  To not be like your parents.  To not be like your friends.  To be yourself.  To cut yourself out of stone.” – Henry Rollins: Rock singer, Author, Actor, and poet.

Great artists are always trying to “reinvent” themselves: to redefine what they are known for, to rediscover the things about themselves they have forgotten, or awaken things inside themselves that they never knew existed.  I feel that it is time for a reinvention, and an opportunity like Under Construction is the perfect opportunity for a composer to shape who they are and what they do – the composer is just as under construction as the work they are crafting. (more…)

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