16 December 2010

The Phoenix


350/365

Andy


Austin
The phoenix, presumably originally of Greek origins, was the fire bird that has come to symbolize rebirth. It is hope. It's actually a beautiful image when one stops to really think of it, forgetting for a moment the bombardment of pop-culture references to it. A soul transcending the ashes. Today's transcendence comes courtesy of bassoonist and composer Damion Montano.

10 December 2010

2 Farewells - # 2


344/365

Austin
The second farewell is of the more poignant, almost biting variety. Here is a goodbye which actually hurts, but in that way soulful way. Not in some wretched way like a severe tragedy. It's the bittersweet which draws a bit too heavily from bitter. Again written as a multitrack solo cello etude, is also again performed beautifully by Andrew Schulman.


Andy

07 December 2010

Infamy


341/365

Andy


Austin
FDR spoke truly immortal words about this day. Despite a few recent declarations to the contrary, no real equivalent has ever occurred. It would seem very easy to tastelessly address this through music. Hopefully I have not done so. This piece is a chaconne of sorts, pitting a growing wall of angst against the pleading violin of the wondrous and legendary Bruce Dukov.

06 December 2010

2 Farewells - # 1


340/365

Austin
Farewells come in many forms, and with widely varying emotional intensities. For this series I'm contemplating two of the most common (in my life, at least). The first is the farewell tinged, but far from overwhelmed with sadness. However, there is just enough sadness that we can't help but cling on as long as we can (for example, by refusing to finally end the conversation and actually say 'good bye,' something I've been guilty of myself on many occasions). This solo cello etude is performed by the magnificent Andrew Schulman.


Andy

25 November 2010

Give Thanks




329/365

Andy
One thing that will never be cliché is being thankful. It's good for the soul. So thank you everyone. Thank you family. Pictured here is one of my amazing nieces.

Austin
The aim here is very simple; giving thanks in its true spirit is a profound and primal act. True recognition of our fortune. Today I am thankful for so much... my family, friends, but perhaps most of all for having been put on his path of discovery and eternal curiosity.

23 November 2010

Halo


327/365

Austin
Seemingly every religious doctrine, faith and mythology has halos or circles a prime symbol for the divine. Presumably a hand-me-down from prehistoric sun worshipping, nonetheless halos are a fascinating and timelessly simple image. In that spirit, today's musical halo is a recreation and elaboration of what happens when I draw halos at this nifty website (thank you to my dear friend Susan Hill for emailing me the link).

Andy
A

22 November 2010

The Hero's Journey - Rebirth


326/365

Austin
The final stage of the hero's journey. Return; rebirth. Death is transcended. For this last leg, viola wonderfully performed by Kaila Potts.

Andy
A

21 November 2010

The Hero's Journey - Abyss


325/365

Austin
At the culmination of the trials and suffering, there comes an abyss. The hero faces death. Destruction. A revelation. Here again, viola performed by Kaila Potts.

Andy
A

20 November 2010

The Hero's Journey - Threshold


324/365

Austin
Along his path, the hero reaches the threshold. It is here the transformation begins, paving the way for trials. Struggles. Once more, viola solo by Kaila Potts.

Andy
A

19 November 2010

The Hero's Journey - The Call


323/365

Austin
The hero's journey must begin with a call to adventure. A purpose, a summoning. That first step down the path. Viola solos performed by Kaila Potts.

Andy
A

17 November 2010

Faith




321/365

Austin
In the simplest, most distilled sense faith is a reliance in the unknown. It is a conviction in the unseen, the unprovable. It is, in its true form, unwavering; for many, mechanical.

Andy
Waiting on interviews is tough. Especially given my history here. And yet, I am confident, confident enough anyway.

16 November 2010

Tango




320/365

Andy
Just a little too tired to be inspired.

Austin
Arguably the best way to experience the divine is in other people. In their company, in their shared spirit. A tango, of all the dances, is the most electric expression of that. I have a long-running love (indeed obsession) for tangos. Here is a somewhat quirky tango, a revisiting of one I wrote for Michael Gunn's wonderful film "Workshop," earlier this year (executed in a way that would have made no sense for the film).

08 November 2010

Mantra


312/365

Andy
As a note, I'm not making fun of the mantra, just the absurdity of the sign.

Austin
Similarly, this music is simultaneously directly inspired by Andy's photo, as by the broad notion of a mantra. At once holy, deeply and personally spiritual, and yet also irreverent for ... well, bizarre.

06 November 2010

Bokononism




310/365

Andy
Live by the foma that make you brave and kind and healthy and happy.

Austin
Accordingly, here is a calypso in honor of my chosen foma.

05 November 2010

Sell your Soul


309/365

Austin
As a composer in the abstract sense, music to me is like a form of divine communication. George Crumb once said that "music surpasses even language in its power to mirror the innermost recesses of the human soul." It is the art to which all the arts aspire.

However, I am also a working composer. With that comes the periodic scenario wherein I must write music I otherwise abhor. I do everything I can to imbed it with deeply felt artistry .... but sometimes it's nonetheless just plain awful.

Andy
A

01 November 2010

Helios


305/365

Andy
A ritualistic offering to the Sun King, every morning.

Austin
I wish I could offer an intellectualized explanation for this music; instead, only that it communicated to me precisely what a morning dedication to the Sun King must sound like. Barbaric, yet not particularly evil or twisted.

31 October 2010

Risen From the Dead


304/365

Austin
Today, Dia De Los Muertos, the dead shall rise. So too shall Allogamy ... (with a nod to Camille Saint-Saens, and featuring the glorious cello warrior Tina Guo).

Andy
There isn't a whole lot of 2010 left. It's time to take these last 60 days by the horns.

30 October 2010

Halloween (observed)


303/365

Andy
One word: Vuvuzela.

Austin
The Finale (from the previous Zombie Apocalypse series) has spilled into this post. Tomorrow will bring us some vuvuzela action. The long-awaited (by me, at least) zombie scherzo rounds of the series but with a decidedly Halloween flair. Special thanks to Camille Saint-Saens, to whom we are indebted for this delightful danse.

29 October 2010

Zombie Apocalypse - Run Like Hell


302/365

Andy
Cardio is definitely important. With zombies, it's life or death.

Austin
The Postlude for string orchestra (as a sort of passacaglia). Running will only last so long. Can the infection be overcome? Are we lost forever?

28 October 2010

Zombie Apocalypse - Incognito


301/365

Andy
For the living, a good zombie disguise might come in handy. Maybe the infected are too dumb to know the difference?

Austin
The Intermezzo for string orchestra. Stealth and creepiness amid a bed of aleatoric pizzicati.

27 October 2010

Zombie Apocalypse - He Seems Nice Enough


300/365

Andy
Luckily, Mormon zombies seem to be pleasant folk.

Austin
A misnamed Gigue for string orchestra gives us the zombified Americana appropriate to the Mormon zombie.

26 October 2010

Zombie Apocalypse - The Resistance


299/365

Andy
It's kill or be eaten, and not just for the already heavily armed. Resist the scourge.

Austin
The March for string orchestra. Stand and fight ...

25 October 2010

Zombie Apocalypse - Medical Staff


298/365

Andy
Let's be honest, one of the first places the initial crop of zombies will be brought is the hospital. Medical staff will constitute the second wave of infected.

Austin
6 movements for string orchestra guide us through the Zombie Apocalypse, beginning with this ominous Prelude.

23 October 2010

Longitudinal Waves


296/365


Andy
Sweet, sweet sound waves.

Austin
The Vuvuzela.... not the most versatile of instruments, but compelling in its own way. A sort of pure sound wave.

20 October 2010

The World According to Einstein - 4


293/365

Austin
The final part in the tribute to Albert Einstein, featuring soprano Angie Solomon and violinist Yelena Yegoryan:

"He who joyfully marches to music in rank in file has already earned my contempt; he has been given a large brain by mistake, since for him the spinal cord would suffice."

And my personal favorite (and Einstein's most poignant) quote: "A perfection of means, and confusion of aims, seems to be our main problem."


Andy
“Any intelligent fool can make things bigger and more complex… It takes a touch of genius – and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction. ”

10 October 2010

The World According to Einstein - 3


283/365

Austin
Today two interleaved Einstein quotes, again performed by the wonderful violinist/soprano duet Yelena Yegoryan and Angie Solomon:

"He who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe is as good as dead; his eyes are closed."
"Anyone who can drive safely and kiss a pretty girl is simply not giving the kiss the attention it deserves."


Andy

08 October 2010

The World According to Einstein - 2


281/365

Austin
Returning to the mind of Albert Einstein, today with: "Any intelligent fool can make things bigger and more complex ... it takes a touch of genius, and a lot of courage, to move in the opposite direction." Once again featuring soprano Angie Solomon and violinist Yelena Yegoryan.

Andy

05 October 2010

A World Out of Sight



278/365

Austin
T

Andy

Yog-hurt has been enjoyed since antiquity. All thanks to the science of fermentation wherein microorganisms, such as bacteria or yeast, break down sugars typically into lactic acid or alcohol. In the case of yogurt, bacteria converts lactose from milk into lactic acid, which acts on the high protein content of milk to make yogurt.

04 October 2010

The World According to Einstein - 1


277/365

Austin
There are few people who have contributed to mankind on the level of Albert Einstein. Plain and simple. It is useless to try and enumerate his accomplishments, both here or through music. Instead I have chosen to set a few of my favorite Einstein quotes:

"Everything should be as simple as it is, but not simpler;"
"Education is what remains after one has forgotten what one has learned in school;"
"A man should look for what is, and not for what he thinks should be."

Violin performed by Yelena Yegoryan, and vocals performed by soprano Angie Solomon.

Andy
“The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing.”

03 October 2010

Area 51



276/365

Andy
We’re hiding aliens in Nevada and we filmed the moon landing in a Hollywood studio. Obviously.

Austin
I

02 October 2010

Copernican Revolution



275/365

Austin
The etymology for "revolution" is bound up in the history of Copernicus, a figure who unites both meanings for the word (a political / social upheaval, and also the literal 'to revolve'). In my estimation, Copernicus' "De Revolutionibus orbium coelestium" is one of the most liberating documents ever loosed upon mankind; a sense of reality is far more warming to the soul than a false sense of centricity.

Andy
And what a nice star to revolve around.

01 October 2010

H





274/365

Austin
H, Hydrogen. The simplest of all atoms and one of the most fundamental building blocks of the universe. One of the most amazing feats of a scientist is his ability to see and hear through all the noise, all the racket, and gain that little morsel of fact. That one small bit of truth, on which everything must be based.



Andy
We are all made of water and water is made so incredible in large part due to hydrogen. Hydrogen's small size allows for a special type of bond, the aptly named hydrogen bond. Due to the bond angle in water and the high electronegativity of oxygen, water is polar. These two facts allow an amazing intermolecular attraction to exist in water in which the hydrogens from one molecule loosely bind (as in something like 10% of a covalent bond) to the oxygen of other water molecules. Each individual hydrogen bond may be relatively weak, but when compounded they create a substantial bond energy barrier. This unique bonding in water also contributes to the crystal shape solid water takes. We know that solid water is less dense than liquid. Think for a minute what would happen if ice was instead more dense than liquid water. Ice would sink. Icebergs would sink to the bottom of the ocean. The ocean would freeze over. The global climate would cool considerably and we would have a permanent ice age. So thank you hydrogen, thank you.

29 September 2010

Rooftop Ambushes


272/365

Austin
As children, Andy had a pretty faithful habit of walking to school together each morning. On more than one occasion I would be waiting for his arrival at my house from a rooftop vantage armed with some variation on a dart gun / squirt gun / paintball gun, etc.... (shenanigans today courtesy of Andrew Leonard on clarinet)

Andy

09 September 2010

The Creator, part 1



252/365

Austin
Today is my birthday, so for it I salute my musical father: Derry O'Leary. Derry was my childhood piano teacher, and single-handedly responsible for my love of music which eventually led to my career. He wrote a piece called "Thunderwood," a fun Spanish fantasia, which was sort of my compositional 'gateway drug.' It was the first time I played a piece composed by someone I knew. It literally changed my life. Today's post is a series of variations on his wonderful tune, drawing partially from a recording of me playing it in concert in November, 2006 in Florida.


Andy
I present to you: Austin.

01 September 2010

Never Forget a Face


244/365

Andy
I'm terrible with names, but I never forget a face.

Austin
When I was 11 years old I recorded an album of piano music, which included the brilliantly titled "Piano Piece 1," my first real stab at composition. Inspired by Andy's self-portrait, here too is mine, using that original recording.

09 August 2010

Austin: Air Guitar


221/365

Andy
h

Austin
Perhaps it's the obvious approach, but it seemed the best way to musically capture the 'Air Guitar' is through an exploration of all the OTHER sounds a guitar makes. This piece is essentially a solo percussion work, using recordings made by hitting, scratching and otherwise abusing a guitar. Call the ending cliche, but the catharsis it renders seemed mandatory.

07 August 2010

Austin: On a Bike, part 2


219/365

Andy
Up the hill.


Austin
Part 2 of the fictional bike ride, this time trudging up a steep hill ... near loss of control ... finally the view breaks before you (the question remains unanswered whether the romantic interest of part 1 has taken the lead, or is in pursuit, or perhaps didn't make it this far up the hill altogether)

05 August 2010

Austin: On a Bike, part 1

 

217/365

Andy
On a bike ride.

Austin
As has happened numerous times throughout Allogamy, for this piece a sort of fictional narrative formed in my mind. For this particular one Andy had charged me with creating a bike ride. I suppose it could have been the musical equivalent, instead of a literal musical description. Nonetheless, a charming and romantic bike ride. Flirtatious, and periodically wobbly.

04 August 2010

Andy: B&W


216/365

Andy
Just waiting for the end of the world.

Austin
Quiet contemplation of the apocalypse, per Andy's photo.

03 August 2010

Austin: Digital

 

215/365

Andy
The digital counterpart to my analog, in all it's contrasted glory.


Austin
In direct contrast to "Analog," this piece is based entirely around the MIDI-based concept of digital sampling. This concept has become so commonplace that we modern composers have basically taken it utterly for granted. As with "Analog," the source material is 100% derived from me scratching a few notes out on an irish penny whistle. Unlike the previous piece, though, my exploitation of sampling allows for a creation beyond the scope of true analog electronic music (of course, in reality both are technically digital...)

01 August 2010

Austin: Analog

 

213/365

Andy
Eaaaasing back into this after a bit of a hiatus. Here we go again. Analog.


Austin
In the very earliest days of electronic music, "digital" music did not exist. This music was created using very labor-intensive techniques involving tape loops and effects which were borderline mechanical in nature. Many amazing pioneers like Varese, Ussachevsky, Leuning and Stockhausen, among many others. While the glories of digital technology has allowed 21st century composers to do things vastly beyond the wildest imaginings of these humble origins, there is something to that aesthetic we can't quite reproduce. Today's piece is at least an effort to, using only analog procedures on a source recording of me (poorly) playing an Irish penny whistle.

31 July 2010

The Soul - version 4




212/365

Austin
As a final visit to my little tune, we're reminded again the extent to which jazz lives and dies by its performers and interpreters. In stark contrast to the ultra-rich smoothness of the vibraphone, today we hear my melody on an unaccompanied, lonesome alto sax (performed by Alexis Marsh).


Andy
July has been an incredible month. A health amount of time in the mountains and lots of fun. I also crashed my bike at the beginning of the month and the resulting minor leg injury kept me from too much leg-involved exercise. That being said I haven't been swimming at all. I think it's time to get back to it. Good for the soul.

26 July 2010

Star Spangled Variations - part 1





207/365

Austin
The 'Star Spangled Banner,' our notoriously difficult national anthem, is ironically based on a British drinking tune and was only officially named our anthem in 1931 (though it had been in use by the US Navy since the late 19th century). Here begins a set of 50 variations on this tune...

Andy
Yes, I took a cat photo.

25 July 2010

The Soul - version 3




206/365

Austin
At the core of the essence of jazz lays the idea of rebirth. Improvisation truly is the soul. Each musician turns a simple tune into a creation all their own. Here we hear my tune completely reborn by the ever-talented composer and vibes player Sean Malone.


Andy
Rode the Urban Assault Ride today. Needless to say, it was awesome.

21 July 2010

The Day We Lost Jerry


202/365

Austin
On this day 6 years ago the world lost one of its all-time great composers. Jerry Goldsmith's career in Hollywood spanned over 50 years and in that time he created some of the most beautiful, terrifying, innovative, exhilarating, meditative and all around brilliant scores by anyone of any time. The fact that he's still gone still seems somehow dreamlike. A world without Jerry is almost unfathomable.


Andy

19 July 2010

3 Studies of American Folk Music - 3

Listen: 3 Studies of American Music - 3.MP3

1200/365

Austin
This post will be updated later pending the completed recording.

Andy

18 July 2010

The Beautiful - 4 - "50"

Listen: The Beautiful - 4.MP3

199/365

Austin
This will be posted shortly, pending a completed recording.

Andy

17 July 2010

3 Studies of American Folk Music - 2

Listen: 3 Studies of American Music - 2.MP3

198/365

Austin
This post will be updated later pending the completed recording.

Andy

16 July 2010

The Beautiful - 3 - "The American People"

Listen: The Beautiful - 3.MP3

197/365

Austin
This will be posted shortly, pending a completed recording.

Andy

15 July 2010

3 Studies of American Folk Music - 1

Listen: 3 Studies of American Music - 1.MP3

196/365

Austin
This post will be updated later pending the completed recording.

Andy

14 July 2010

The Godfathers: Aaron Copland


195/365

Austin
Aaron Copland was without question America's leading composer for the majority of the 20th century. His influence is among the greatest ever exerted, right alongside Stravinsky and Bartok. Essentially every American composer owes him something or other. Today I salute him and his "Americana" legacy, in the form of quasi-musique concret with bassoon quartet (tracked brilliantly by the composer and bassoonist Damian Montano).


Andy
This is how America was built. Or at least… one of the ways.