Black Hole Zion: February 2015

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Saxophone Music

I've always wanted to write something for the saxophone, but never followed through with it.  This stems mostly from the fact that I can't play the saxophone.  Also, I am not that great at notating or transposing it (I should have tried to retain more of that from orchestration class in college).  However, I was approached by saxophonist, Carl Wiggins, to compose a piece for him that would be played at one of his doctoral recitals.  I happily agreed because I knew what a great guy and talented musician Carl is.  I also thought this would be a good opportunity to brush up and improve on generating musical notation for a transposing instrument like the baritone saxophone.

The piece is called "Steven and Stefan Versus the Twin Peaks Massacre in Hell".  It is written for baritone saxophone, piano, drum set, and electronics.  If you are familiar with the television shows Family Matters and Twin Peaks, then you have an idea of the alternate reality I want the music to take place in.  Basically, Steve Urkel and his "cool" alter ego, Stefan, are able to co-exist simultaneously.  They have been dispatched to an even darker and more deranged version of Twin Peaks where they have to embrace the bizarre and do battle.  Hilarity and violence ensue, haha!  If anyone out there enjoys Twin Peaks and Family Matters as much as I do, I'd love to see you produce a mash up video that could accompany this music!

The piece will be premiered sometime in April.  After that, I plan on getting a proper recording and making the score available to other interested saxophonists.

I'll post a sample at some point soon.  For now, here is a screen shot of the first few bars of the score.  It's a straight port from Pro Tools, so there are no markings for dynamics and the saxophone has not been transposed.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Initial Post on the New Site

As you can see, this is the very first post I'm making to the new Black Hole Zion website.  There are a few new things happening, but I'll start with the existing stuff first:

I released the first Black Hole Zion EP titled, Reflection Nebula, back in April 2014.   This was a collection of odd right-brain music for sure, and was my way of introducing this project to the world.  In addition to all the performance and programming I did for the songs on this release, I had the help of my main collaborator, Ryan Postlethwait, to add some guitar to a few tracks.  Ryan is a talented guitarist and good friend.  I also had Pamela Murchison of the West Virginia and Akron Symphony Orchestras play flute and alto flute on "the poor the sick the dying the dead".  I love instrumental music, and I love the fact that this album sounds totally different than the next Black Hole Zion release.

I also went back and released something I completed with my friend, Jonathan, and my wife.  A couple of years back we did a little six song Misfits tribute to give away to friends for Halloween.  We ended up having more people ask how to get a copy.  We debated giving it away online, but I knew that even that might open us up to a lawsuit from one of the original band members.  Instead, I went ahead and licensed the tracks and made them available on Loudr and iTunes for a low price.  This way, we could share the music and not worry about getting sued.  It's a totally different take on the Misfits than what a purist might want, so fair warning. 

I'll post another update very soon to talk about all the new things happening.  For now, I just wanted to make the required introductions and test out the new site.

Thanks for reading (and hopefully listening)!