"LET YOUR WATCHWORD BE ORDER AND YOUR BEACON BEAUTY."
How do These words of architect Daniel Burnham apply to music?
I SEE A PARADOX in the interplay of beauty and order, when applied to sound, a fascinating mystery that arises when you take the idea to a 21st century extreme. Can each moment of music be fantastically beautiful and utterly unique...and yet also be beautiful because of its place, its function, its relationship to the sounds before and after?
I would tell you that I am a composer of metamodern music...but then I would have to try explain what in the world that means. Labels can only get you so far anyway.
Music connects people in a way that transcends borders, backgrounds, languages—even words themselves. As a composer, this soul-connection is WHY I make music.
I don't think you have to understand the style or the musical language for the music to do its thing. You just have to listen intently. Listen in a way my earbuds-in, neverending-streaming-playlist generation often forgets to—with your full attention. After one performance of my man-vs-piano opus Map of Trees, during which the audience watched and listened spellbound (horrorstruck?) as I played the piano in all sorts of verboten ways in an otherwise quiet library, a stranger told me:
Only my music can really speak for itself, because if you force me to the wall to describe it, you'll get something true but opaquely prolix, like the following:
I compose the music of 'and.' In my music I seek a balance between complexity and accessibility, between the unique beauty of individual moments and the interrelated intricacy of formal structures. My music is powered by the dynamo of dichotomies and paradoxes—monolith and labyrinth, cohesive and fragmentary, the ancient and the digital, the city and the jungle. I savor the effects of sound on both the physical and spiritual senses. In my music, melodic intimacy is contrasted with swirling masses of sound; improvisation coexists with rigorous systems. My music is traditional, wrapped in the avant-garde, oscillating inside a distinctly twenty-first century 'in-between,' 'and' or 'metaxy'. Vermeulen and van den Akker describe this metamodern 'and' state as "a pendulum swinging between...innumerable poles." As a composer I am aiming to "transcend, fracture, subvert, circumvent, interrogate and disrupt, hijack and appropriate modernity and postmodernity" (Moyo).
tl;dr—I may be educated but that hasn't bred the life out of my music.
And: My music is not just one thing, it is 'all the things.'
A composer whose beacon is beauty and whose watchword is order; who believes that the best music has not yet been written and that music should be poetry for things that words fail to express, crafting a balance between complexity and accessibility. Officially a Doctor (of Musical Arts) as of May 2017. Current full-time Music Lecturer at Texas A&M Kingsville–Texas. Successful Kickstarter project creator (KarelianSounscapes.org).