Book of Unstandards
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Book Info
Alphabetical Index
Recorded Compositions

Scores with Audio
Bye Bye Inner Dialogue
Keep on Movin'
The Sun Shines Bright    Always
Swan Song
Folk Song
Say That
Where There is Light
September Song
Who Got the Ki?


I see this project as my life's work, and thus this book is part of a continuum, not a goal with an end. Some of the scores are very straight-forward, while others have more broad notation and instructions. When I compose a piece of music, I begin by thinking intuitively, sketching the music spatially and without a particular key in mind. This gives me freedom to stay closer to my muse, allowing me to hear internally natural rhythms and tonal structures which don't necessarily adhere to the limitations of the western notational systems. Consequently there are many pieces which do not fit into a traditional mold.

People often ask me how I write a piece of music. Many of my pieces are conceived in idle time, especially when I am moving. The movement gives me a strong rhythmic undercurrent which allows me to intuit a broader sense of flow. I focus on the feeling of the music, and allow my intuitive powers to guide my decisions. On other occasions I also like to give myself particular restrictions. One restriction is to give myself a short amount of time, such as twenty minutes before the bus comes, to write a melody. "A Deeper Love" (original version) was written this way. Another restriction is to create a melody with odd phrasings and pitch combinations which must arrive at a certain place on a certain beat and/or certain pitch, such as "For a Few". Much of the music I write comes to me in a flash as a complete composition, such as "Love is the Answer" or "Peach Moon". There are other pieces, such as "Nordique", which I thought about for years and in which I continue to discover different notations that will give the truest performance.

Some of the pieces use very simple and straightforward chord changes, while others have more complex chord symbols and others have instructions such as "open harmonies", giving license to create a palette which does not necessarily adhere to traditional rules of harmonic function. Many of the pieces do not have particular chord symbols or arrangements because I like to give the performer latitude, so that they can personalize the music. In my own performance of my works, I usually do not play just what is on the page. Interpretations vary from performance to performance and from year to year. I do not want my music to become "museum" music, that is fixed, but rather, alive and breathing music which evolves with the breath that is given by the performers who choose to play it.

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