No Kelp, Sorry, but Toy Pianos

Having some free time this week (translation: none of the people I owe work to were hounding me), I started revamping my web site once again. The aim is to both streamline and expand it, in imitation of composer web sites I envy like Erling Wold’s, Alex Shapiro’s, and Eve Beglarian’s. I’m obviously not much concerned with graphic sophistication. The Hudson Valley doesn’t provide me with kelp to drape over myself, like Alex has out there on the Pacific Coast (though if I took a walk through the Hudson I’d probably emerge with some pretty picturesque, if carcinogenic, muck). But it bothered me that my mp3s were on one page, PDF scores on another, program notes accessible somewhere else, and I’m remodeling it on Erling’s everything-in-one-table format. My brother Darryl set up my web site in 1996, and for 12 years I’ve been getting by on what HTML tricks were available in the primitive 1990s. I know now I could probably do something cool like make the eyes in my photo blink, but I’m putting utility above aesthetics.

As for the expansion, I took off most of the recordings that you now have to go buy my new CD Private Dances to hear, but I’ve added lots of obscure recordings that no human has heard in years. Like my Homage to Cowell (1994), the piece that got cut for space from my Custer’s Ghost CD, and which uses a single looping, carefully-tuned drum sample to imitate Cowell’s Rhythmicon; Imaginary Isle (2003), the little piece I wrote for Trimpin’s installation of nine MIDI-operated toy pianos; and Snake Dance No. 1 (1991), which I had quit listening to because I like No. 2 better, but No. 1 has some advantages I’d forgotten about. Plus I’ve put up everything from the out-of-print Custer’s Ghost until I can bring it back out in some new format. Clicking on the pieces that are commercially recorded will take you straight to, so have your credit card ready.

I reiterate that I do all this not because I perceive a hue and cry begging for my minor works, but because I’m so physically disorganized that it’s reassuring for me to have everything on my web site, where I’ll know where to look for it and how to find it. I’ve even started keeping documents there to which there is no public access, because I’m weary of losing things in the Bermuda Triangle I call my office.

While I’m at it, anent our discussion of online PDF scores, I had forgotten that Eve Beglarian offers her scores online. And I’ve been meaning to note that Art Jarvinen’s Leisure Planet site has a very interesting collection of scores for modest prices. Music-score culture’s transition to the internet continues slowly but surely.


  1. says

    As usual, way after the fact, I’ve become aware of this post. I don’t know how you can keep up with reading your own posts, much less writing them. Anywho, it’s inspired me to go to your website and download a few things and tinkle through them badly at the piano. How exiting that is! I sure wish we could force all other composers now and in the past to agree to do this for everything they’ve ever written. I was looking at Maria Schneider’s web site this morning after being led there by NewMusicBox (and coincidentally after having been rewatching Last Tango in Paris in the wee hours featuring the other Maria Schneider) and noticed that her scores are available too for download: well, after you pay her fantastically inflated prices – and no previews either as far as I could tell.