Bossa Nova Belly Dance is a collaboration with dancer Jennifer "Jensuya" Carpenter-Peak and filmmaker Robert Peak. Being fans of one another's work, we decided to create a video with Jennifer dancing to my music in West Virginia landscapes. She picked Twilight Sail, one of my bossa novas, for the project. While it is highly unusual for bossa nova and belly dance to be combined, Jennifer made it work.
Donut Music is an extended piece for solo guitar. It was commissioned by Keith Calmes and is on his CD All We Know is Now. The music was inspired by a line in a story written by my granddaughter Eillonwy (then 8 years old): “Sitting in a dark room, eating a chocolate donut”. The music represents a stream of memories, images, and thoughts as one’s life is contemplated over a donut.
The videos for my mid-size ensemble scores were created with David Arivett. He made studio demo recordings from my written scores. Then, I synced the timing for each score page in the video to the recording. For this piece, David took an older recording by a small group (Jason Shapiro, soprano saxophone; E. Shawn Qaissaunee, guitar; Brian Howell, bass; and Skip Rohrich, drums) and added the horn section parts in my score. This was tricky given how the quartet used a lead sheet for their recording and the score, written several years later, was a revision. Because of that, there are differences between the score and the recording. The video syncs them as closely as possible.
Smith Island Boat Song expresses the roots music side of my writing. It is a ballad that draws upon Scottish fiddle traditions and has subtle modern touches. The music was Inspired by Smith Island in the Chesapeake Bay. Recorded by Amy Leonard, violin; E. Shawn Qaissaunee, guitar; and Peter McCarthy, bass. In case anyone is wondering about the photo of the cake, Smith Island is famous for its layer cakes.
New Tango No. 4 is an unusual tango in how it is predominantly in 3/4 with measures of 4/4 (and other meters) inserted for shifting time. The music has deep levels of feeling and rich harmonic colors. Recorded by Amy Leonard, violin; Jeff Knoettner, keyboards; E. Shawn Qaissaunee, guitar; and Peter McCarthy, bass.
This video has six of my originals for mid-size jazz ensemble. The images in the video are only title screens and one photo for each piece. Please focus on the music as if you are in an audience listening to a performance of these pieces by a live band. If you are not able to watch the video's 23-minute length at one time, come back to it in segments.
More videos can be seen at my YouTube channel.