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There’s No Such Thing as Luck

Have you ever heard people say things like, “You’re really lucky you met that person – they really helped open doors for you!”  Or, “You got so lucky!  What are the chances that this perfect job would open up at the exact time when you were looking?  It’s the perfect fit!”

Here’s the thing: I don’t think luck exists.

Luck implies something random, something unexpected or unplanned, a fortunate occurrence that you had no control over.  In music (and in life), is that really the case?  Are we all waiting to catch a lucky break?  In my experience, things that look like “lucky breaks” are more than just being in the right place at the right time.  There’s more to it than that.

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Sketches of “Vermont State Fair”

I am in the midst of composing a new work for band (and probably an orchestral version, as well) called Vermont State Fair.  I wrote about the inspiration behind the piece back in April here.  This picture shows a few of my “sketches” (that’s a fancy way of saying “my notes and ideas”). Read more

Happy Birthday, Gustav Mahler!

Mahler will always be one of my favorite composers. Very few composers have created music with as much beauty, depth, and power as Mahler. I remember sitting in my college dorm room, listening over and over to the Adagietto movement from his 5th Symphony, which is still one of my favorite pieces of music of all time. Another favorite has to be the finale of his Symphony No. 2 – perhaps the most glorious music I know! I love Mahler’s lyricism, his power, and his directness. His music has always inspired me and I know it will always be a huge influence on me and my own compositions.
Here is the great Leonard Bernstein conducting the Adagietto from Symphony No. 5:

Here is Bernstein conducting the last few minutes of Symphony No. 2: