January 10, 2023

I believe this is the first time I have had occasion to write “2023” on anything! As always, it feels funny. Sometimes for a few weeks of each new year I forget and write the number of the old year out of habit, but at least I hardly ever have to write a physical check anymore.

Here is my newest ballet demo recording. In this scene, “The Emerald Queen” is introduced, who is a painter and mentor to Raffaella as a young adult. The style is elegant and courtly, like the slow Baroque waltz form called the Courante. This is mostly a serene and relaxed piece. The signature theme of the Transcendent Prince appears at 3:45, and then it is woven in at 3:58 with part of this piece’s melody (above it) as a “quodlibet” (when two melodies can be played at once) just before the end – tricky to compose. (length: 4:30 minutes) 


The ballet itself still awaits a choreographer, so now I’m told the planned premiere date of June 2024 could be delayed, we’ll see. Regardless, I hope to go back to Europe in late fall 2023 or spring 2024 to record all the music as an independent album with the same orchestra and conductor who recorded my Symphony in 2022.

Having finished 2/3 of the ballet’s music (46 out of 70 minutes), I will take a short break now to edit the scores already composed and to record ten to twelve new episodes of my radio show. This show has been a kind of service project of mine, since I don’t get paid, but it allows me to feel like a kind of ambassador for classical music appreciation, and it’s fun.

In spite of some senior personnel changes at the theater, plans are still expected to get underway this spring for the production of my musical, Dear Miss Barrett, in May at the “Center for the Arts” in Murfreesboro on the southeast side of Nashville. I’ll be writing here with details, the first of which might be the announcement of dates for auditions, once I know them. Please feel free to send me an e-mail or a Facebook message if you are an experienced adult musical theater performer who would like to be put on a mailing list to receive information about the available roles and auditions. (There are no roles under the age of 20 in this show.)

Crystal is planning to audition for another, earlier, spring show in a few days and is practicing and working with her coach for that audition. Perhaps the public does not realize that many performers actually rehearse extensively and get coaching just to prepare for an audition, even though they may or may not win the part. That’s dedication.

Valentine Front 3It seems only yesterday we got our Christmas cards sent out, and it’s already time to create our 10th annual character Valentine cards, in which we dress up and pose as famous literary couples. Who will we be in 2023?  Ha-ha, you’ll have to wait and see. I will post the photos here after the cards have been sent out, in case you are not on our mailing list. (The physical cards only go to family and friends whom we know pretty well in person.) I always seem to get the worst of it when it comes to silly costumes, like the Beast from Beauty and the Beast or the Phantom from Phantom of the Opera, while Crystal gets to be the beautiful wife or girlfriend, but it’s a lot of fun. Here is a photo of last year’s card, posing as F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald.

Thanks to Stanley Tucci’s videos and a cookbook of his I bought, I purchased a bottle of Campari, an Italian liqueur. I already had the gin and had the sweet Vermouth from some recipe that needed it. So I made the classic cocktail called a Negroni. It tasted rather strange, and later I found out that Vermouth only stays good a few months, once it has been opened, and mine had been open about three years, ha-ha. So yesterday I tried  again with a fresh bottle and it was much better,  but I will still stick mostly with my regular gin martini (as in the photo above).

Yesterday I had a near-serious accident. The big, padded office chair in which I’ve spent so many hundred hours composing decided just to collapse with me in it! The back of it gave out. Fortunately I was able to grab the edge of a table as I was falling backwards and keep from bashing my head or breaking my neck. The old girl had finally had enough of me, I guess. I went right out and bought a new one on sale, which I’m very much enjoying at this moment. Some things are worth spending the money on, like a good bed in which you spend eight or so hours a day, and your work chair, in which I often spend even longer.

Stay well yourself, until next time!

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