"Why did I decide to use 6 horns in my ensemble scores?" I ask myself this question every time a friend with a 5-horn ensemble asks if I have something they can play. While I have several scores for 5 horns, the ensemble pieces that I consider to be among my best work are written for 6 horns.
There is a reason why I settled on 6 as being an optimal number for my writing. Simply put, when I write for an odd number of horns it seems to me that the middle line is boxed in by the lines on either side. I especially have this feeling when I do linear writing with contrary motion for 5 horns. Of course, I cross lines and use other techniques to give an interesting part to the middle horn player. Nevertheless, I have a hard time coming to grips with that middle line. When I began to explore what I can do with 6 horns everything came together. There was no longer a middle line! And, with 6 horns I can do the kind of writing that I like for larger ensembles.
I am sure that at some point I will feel inspired to do more writing for 5 horns or even for big band again. However, for now, I am experiencing an exciting flow of creative energy in writing for 6.
George Spicka finished transcribing my hand-written score for Baltimore Rowhouse into Sibelius. This piece is for jazz soloist, 5 horns, and rhythm section. Flexible instrumentation is used to enable the music to be played by many configurations of instruments. The Baltimore Rowhouse page on my website has a link to the ensemble score. Bands that are interested in playing this piece can write to me from the Contact page. A demo recording is in progress.
A Welcome To My Site page has been added to my website. It gives first-time visitors a quick overview of the site along with suggestions for exploring my music. A link to it is on the navigation menu.
James Barr, a guitarist friend in Asheville, NC, made a new recording of my tune Sunset On The Chesapeake. Many thanks Jim!
http://www.reverbnation.com/jamesbarr/song/21933141-sunset-on-chesapeake-2-mm-102-by The recording can also be heard at the Sunset On The Chesapeake page on my website.
Being a curious person, I decided in 2013 to see how some of my originals might do with diverse audiences at several internet radio sites. This was done as an experiment. Based upon a friend's suggestion, I started with Hardcoremix Radio.
I was amazed by how well my originals -- including Blues for Lester and New Tango No. 3 -- did with the listeners at Hardcoremix. I then branched out to have my music at BluesJazzRadio, Jango Radio, and several other sites.
Importantly, I do not consider the music that I have submited to be "commercial music". This music is quite different from what I typically hear played on these sites. Blues for Lester, for example, is an extremely unusual contemporary jazz piece. Yet, it reached the #1 spot on the Top Songs chart at Hardcoremix.
For me, this broke down a stereotype I had about internet radio -- that it is mainly for pop music. I discovered that original jazz (and other styles of original music) CAN be appreciated by large numbers of internet radio listeners.
Starting today, different originals will be featured on the Home page of my site. The music presented in the Today's Featured Music section will rotate through the list of my originals that have recordings.
I decided that the Bonus Track and Previous Featured Music pages are no longer needed. Bonus Track has been deleted. The Previous Featured Music page has been converted to More Originals. The new page has a list of links to a selection of my originals. A link to the More Originals page is on the navigation menu.