Way Back When

I began compiling the songs for this mixtape at the beginning of 2020, letting the playlist shift and grow over three tumultuous years. This is my “ultimate” mixtape; one that covers the formative decade of my childhood that began a half century ago (concentrating on the early 80s), and focuses on Black legends in the genres of R&B, jazz-funk, disco and boogie during the final period of analog recording.

2012+10 Fourths + Fifths

“Fourths + Fifths” is the first of three movements from Kenza (2012), and the fourth movement in the cycle of nine in Children’s Suite (2007-2014). It was composed the year my second child Kenza was born. Like all the other movements in the suite, it’s written entirely on the white keys of the piano, in pandiatonic C… Continue reading 2012+10 Fourths + Fifths

1997+25 urfunk etude

urfunk etude (1997) is for solo piano with or without electronics. In terms of the sequences of minimalist canonic material and the parallel alignments of pitch, rhythmic structure and register, it is a precursor to my string quartet Madra (1999) and other works. It also builds upon a particular piano technique that worked around my limitations as… Continue reading 1997+25 urfunk etude

1989+33 Void

“Void” (1989) is an art pop song from my student days. One of my weirder, nerdier numbers, in it I still sought to be groove-based. It was recorded quickly along with other songs in a late night session, and included on my DIY album Sleepdancing. “Void” posed an existential question that required a complex musical answer.… Continue reading 1989+33 Void

1992+30 Prepared Piano Piece No. 2

Prepared Piano Piece No. 2 (1992) is an unscored, improvised work combining live performance and experimental tape technique. It was created and recorded the day after Vermilion. Both pieces are part of a set of short works for prepared piano(s) which, as it would turn out, were created three weeks before the death of John… Continue reading 1992+30 Prepared Piano Piece No. 2

1992+30 Vermilion

Vermilion (1992) was originally a song for two voices, two prepared pianos and household-object percussion, part of a set titled “Four Home Dubs” from my early 4-track cassette efforts. This instrumental presents the two prepared pianos on their own, digitized from the original master cassette 20 years later. The recording was made during a stay… Continue reading 1992+30 Vermilion