Hilltop Diary Premieres, Entry No. 1

September 1, 2019

Welcome to a new feature on this site. The former “Latest News” has become a bit more personal and, I hope, more interesting, in the form of “Hilltop Diary”.  I will attempt a short (500 word) musing about life as a composer here at Hilltop every week or two, and if you press the “Follow” button, you’ll be notified of new posts, or you can see them mentioned on Facebook. Each post will have a button at the end to hear one of my short compositions, if you would like to.

Why a “diary”? I have been trying to up my game a bit to get the word out about my music, and I think that requires a more personal touch. I have also now signed with “Artist Management by Arrangement with Jack Price,” whose logo (itself, a link to their site) can be found at the bottom of each page on this site. Their site will have its own special inner site about my work (to be posted in a few more days), complete with audio and video recordings, and that will function for the people they reach. In turn, this site will continue for the people who might be searching under my name or otherwise find their way here. So that my own site is not completely redundant to Jack Price’s, I want to make it a bit more personal with this “diary.” We now have close to 150,000 listeners on Spotify alone, in 61 countries, and perhaps some of them would like to know a bit more about what goes into composing the music they are enjoying.

Hill Top (two words) is the name of the former home of Beatrix Potter, creator of Peter Rabbit, in England’s beautiful Lake District (pictured above). My wife (Crystal Kurek) and I very much enjoyed our visit there. Our own home, in semi-rural Tennessee, outside of Nashville, happens to be at the top of a hill, too, so we named it “Hilltop” (one word) in semi-homage to Peter, since we have bunnies of our own, also deer, wild turkeys, groundhogs, and all manner of birds in the woods behind our house. We keep them fed in the winter with dried corn, birdseed, a pond, and a salt-lick. They comprise the  lovely view from my composing studio window and inspire me to remember beauty, truth, and goodness in my work.

I hope to see you back here next time!  I leave you with a short piece of mine (only about seven minutes long) that I hope you will enjoy, Concerto for Celesta and Orchestra: “Fairy Dreams”.  It does not represent a dream about fairies, but rather the dreams that tiny fairies themselves are having, as they snooze on some soft goose feather. This piece is the first concerto for the celesta in the history of the celesta and has been performed by several orchestras, worldwide. This exquisite recording is from a German CD issued by the Schiedmayer Company.

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