Draw Me the Sun, written for Alarm Will Sound, has been named a finalist in the 2020 Moscow Conservatory New Classics Competition! The gala concert and announcement of the winners is scheduled for November 15. More information on the competition and the concert here, and I’ll update this space with a link to any live streams or new, exciting news. More info about Draw Me the Sun can be found on the Symphonic/Large Ensemble page. Stay tuned!

P.S. Don’t miss the incredible music of my buddy Matt Browne, another finalist!

“Composing Diary” is an ongoing series detailing my misadventures in writing a piece for Alarm Will Sound. You can see previous entries here.

Photo by Jodi-Renee Giron.
Photo by Jodi-Renee Giron.

Finishing Day

The one on the left in the picture above is me. The much more handsome gentleman on the right is my friend Nacho.

Nacho is an eight-year-old living in Denver. He’s an unbelievably smart little guy, a gifted musician, and the unofficial mascot of the Denver jazz community. He loves the Avengers and has a soft spot for Phineas and Ferb. He also has terrible asthma that occasionally threatens his life, but unless you caught a glimpse of his red emergency inhaler you’d never know it. You’d only ever see an affectionate kid with a biting sense of humor, an inspiring sense of wonder, and a craving for ice cream.

It’s a while since I last updated my virtual diary with news about this piece for Alarm Will Sound, but the last three months summarize to this: wall after wall after wall. It’s not hard for me to understand the reasons why. This semester’s uneven schedule and random engagements made it tough to settle into a writing routine. Composing for such a phenomenal collection of musical superheroes as Alarm Will Sound carries a lot of pressure, and it affected my ability to love any idea that came out of the pencil; nothing was ever good enough. I chiseled away at the diamond block encasing this piece as best I could, using art, free association, and any other technique I could conjure. Little to nothing worked.

Then something happened: Nacho went back to the hospital. (more…)