About This New Music

Inspired by the methods and musical language of Johann Sebastian Bach, Louis Vierne, Cesar Franck, and the fatherly advice given by the latter to his composition scholars at the Paris Conservatoire to "not write much, but let it be very good," the 34 new and original compositions for Organ listed on these subpages are in a sense a celebration of counterpoint, the arterial life's blood of music.  They were written with quality rather than quantity in mind, that they might bring some additional joy into the human heart and perhaps play some role in contributing to the music ministry and the contemporary organ repertoire.  This music is grouped into 5 collections, and the scores include suggested registrations and hand division.  The stretch for the hands is kept to an octave or less.

Organists are always interested in new music of worth for worship services, ceremonies, instruction, rounding out recitals, professional growth, etc., but the current Covid pandemic has caused many places where musicians meet, work, and earn their livings to drastically curtail activities for extended periods.  In the new economic environment which has emerged any new scores need to be as cost-effective for organists as possible, and, accordingly, for the time being, these compositions are being offered FREE OF CHARGE to any interested organists in order to remove any financial impediment to obtaining copies.  This expression is not to be interpreted however as a devaluing of the compositional work of others or as a universal example that all composers should be following in shipping their own work.  It costs musicians a great deal of time, trouble, work, and expense to get where they are, and it's only right that they be compensated for it.

People may choose to debate the issue but it's nonetheless true that a creative artistic endeavor cannot become a beautiful, lasting work of art if constructed from a place from far outside the box.  Far outside the box there's no reality there, no rules to bend or break like an artist, no sane and solid battle-tested principles to carry forward, no patterns to follow known to satisfy the aesthetic senses, no means of production, nothing to work against.  Without requirements to satisfy comes less emotion-expressing capability, less running room to develop a musical thought, less artistic freedom.

Reduced freedom is not freedom.   

This music was constructed instead from a place along the edges of the box where requirements are still in place, but where something potentially clever, original, unexpected, or surprising can still take place and preserve one or more singing lines.  Music of this type when performed requires no explanation as to what the audience just heard.  Additionally, and more importantly, its tonal melody and moving contrapuntal lines weaving in and out with a complexity all their own deliberately reach out to celebrate and approach the one living and true God Who created a world of such awesome complexity, Whose heart is pleasured with singing, and Who provided to Man the great gift of music.  The result is something cogent, concise, contrapuntally savvy, listener-friendly, and definitely of our time ... something captivating enough to grow on people with repeated hearings ... something that can be employed by other musicians as a vehicle to help bring out the best in themselves as well.

Art forms destined to have a future literally LIVE on energy innovation -- in the case of music by keeping the best of what we know from composers of the past and doing something interesting and unpredictable with it that nobody has ever heard before.

THIS is what this new music IS...

CHECK IT OUT, YOU MIGHT FIND SOMETHING YOU LIKE

AND CAN USE.  

*

THIS is what this new music IS NOT:

it IS NOT something that tries to reinvent the wheel of common practice manner ...

it IS NOT something that leaves the listener waiting patiently through a jumbled torrent of notes and raucous cacophony of sound for something, anything, with a memorable singable line ...

it IS NOT something that speaks in an aberrant, eccentric, erratic, esoteric musical jargon which fails to communicate a language of warmth and meaning to an audience ...

it IS NOT discordant, unsettling, or outlandish enough to be expected to qualify for any contemporary composition contest organized by those steeped in modernist paradigm-ideology ...

it IS NOT something with shapeless, awkward, meaningless form that can be fastened upon and used for subversive political ends with the goal of discrediting meaningful Western art, societies, or culture ... 

History teaches that, when it comes to music, simple doesn't always equate to bad, and complex doesn't always equate to good.  Both can be appealing, imaginative, clever, and pleasantly listenable.  Both can be dull, unimaginative, lackluster, and painfully unlistenable.  Even so, music should be taught and practiced in its most varied forms even if it seems complicated, especially if it's complicated ... because in that effort lies freedom.

Those who explain over time that everything should be simplified, purged of its "flaws" and nuances, and all that creates complexity abolished, are the gravediggers of the human mind.  The poorer the language of expression, the less thought, but without the thought of beauty there can be no beauty ... which is why listeners can expect to find this new music engaging, possessing a certain charm, useful, and unlikely to have an expiration date ... something which can only add to and supplement the much larger harvest of gifts, blessings, privileges, and benefits already in the lives of listeners, merely awaiting their recognition of it. 

 *