Bacchus

Upon viewing ‘Bacchus’ I instantly connected to the story of a young woman caught in the conforming routines of everyday modern life, who then finds liberation, vitality and indulgence through the mythical, archetypal dream-character of Bacchus. The expressionist and surreal style of ‘Bacchus’ explicitly evokes the jazz-age art of the late 1920s and 1930s, reminiscent of [...]

Ecomusicollapsology

Ecomusicollapsology is my own original neologism to describe the synthesis of ecomusicology and collapsology, an area of research which engages the intersection of music, culture, and nature, in the context of the collapse of ecological systems and/or the collapse of complex societies. Ecomusicology, or ecocritical musicology, is the study of music, culture, and nature in [...]

Song of the Most Beautiful Bird of the Forest

Above: 2020 painting, “The Burden of Forever,” inspired by the themes and story of SMBBF. Photo courtesy of John Teply and the Elisabeth Jones Art Center for Ecology and Social Justice. Below are the prefatory pages to my Ph.D. dissertation, “Song of the Most Beautiful Bird of the Forest, an Eco-fairytale Opera in three Acts.”  CHAPTER I [...]

Westworld Scoring Competition

The following post briefly explains inspiration behind my cue composed for Spitfire Audio and HBO’s Westworld Scoring Competition. Special thanks to Spitfire Audio and the creative team of Westworld for sponsoring this amazing opportunity, this project was the most fun I’ve ever had working on a competition piece!  Composers were given the full four minute cue [...]

Why Green New Deal Must Include Arts and Music Programs

The Green New Deal resounds a political and systemic response to the twin crisis of climate change and inequality. With both the climate and economic crisis, governments have prioritized the interests of those who caused the problem, despite the consequences for working people.[1] To save the biosphere and the economy for working Americans, we must have [...]

Of Wolves and Rivers

Originally published on Landscape Music Composers Network September 6, 2016 I am honored to be a part of Landscape Music’s upcoming concert with Cadillac Moon Ensemble at the Parrish Art Museum in The Hamptons, NY on September 9, 2016, celebrating the centennial of the National Park Service and our common natural heritage. In creating a piece [...]

Sketches of Nature: Landscape Music in the Central Asian Steppe

  By Александр Лещёнок, CC BY-SA 4.0, Wikimedia. Originally published on Landscape Music Composers Network March 31, 2016. Last summer while I was hiking in Kings Canyon National Park, I had much on my mind. Walking the trail—admiring the craggy, breathtaking views of granite and pine, listening and following the rush of cold streams and the calls, [...]

A Conversation with Alexander Arbachakov

It was on a warm, early summer evening in Portland, Oregon where I sat down with Alexander Arbachakov. Gathered at a barbecue, surrounded by Northwest environmental leaders and five delegates of Russian conservation groups, we discussed shamans, natural sound, and the spirit world. Mr. Arbachakov is a member of the Shor tribe of Kemerovo Oblast, Southern Siberia. [...]

Journeys to Inner and Outer Worlds: Part 1

  I recently visited the Hart Mountain Wildlife Refuge, in southeastern Oregon. The desert is a magical place of vast extremes. It was a dry 90 degrees by day and a dewy, frosty 32 by night. Eastern Oregon is in the height of a dry cycle (affected as well by the ongoing drought throughout the [...]

Field Notes from the Forest

Imagination, Goddard wrote, “is neither the language of nature nor the language of man, but both at once, the medium of communion between the two—as if the birds, unable to understand the speech of man, and man, unable to understand the songs of birds, yet longing to communicate, were to agree on a tongue made [...]