What The 4th Of July Always Sounds Like (To Me)


Earlier this week, I mentioned John Philip Sousa’s unmatched compositional contributions to the sounds of the Fourth of July. So I suppose now’s the ideal time for me to admit that despite the almost-relentless performance of his “Stars and Stripes Forever,” the sound that I will always associate with today’s holiday is not “SaSF.” Or any [Read More...]

Gearing Up For The 4th With America’s March King


There are few names as inextricably linked with the Fourth of July as that of John Philip Sousa. Even those for whom the name means nothing will almost certainly recognize his “Stars and Stripes Forever” after only a few bars. That piece will be playing on a loop from now ’til Sunday morning. (It’s the National March, you’ll [Read More...]

Music For When It’s All Just A Bit Too Much


For me, “escape” usually means movies. But sometimes, I just need a quick fix. And then, it’s music that does the trick. If you’re in the “Today’s Just Too Much” camp with me, here’s a little something to help. Crank up the volume. Put on some good headphones (if you’ve got ‘em). And maybe even close your eyes. It’s wonderfully transportive music. [Read more...]

My Most Powerful Memory of Mr. James Horner


And then, as the words faded from the screen, I heard this — eulogistic, yes, but a eulogy filled with peace, with pride, and with hope. Mr. Horner had penned something as essential to my ability to digest and respond to the film as were the images themselves. It was perfect. [Read more...]

“Jurassic’s” Michael Giacchino Comes Musically Home


View image | gettyimages.com I stumbled across this great NPR piece last night. It details the fantastic, coincident-laden journey that led film composer Michael Giacchino from a computer game meeting with his idol Steven Spielberg to swinging the baton for this summer’s Jurassic World. But it always comes back to dinosaurs. So when he was asked to score Jurassic [Read More...]

When Don Quixote Meets Crazy Italian Violinists, We All Win


For some reason, I really wanted to listen to Georg Philipp Telemann’s Don Quixote Suite (Burlesque de Don Quixotte) today. Not quite sure why, to be honest. I don’t see any windmills (or giants) on the horizon. But when I went to YouTube in search of a recording, I found it was a bit more [Read More...]

Ennio Morricone Wrote a Mass for Pope Francis


View image | gettyimages.com On a day when I’ve spent almost all morning with the works of Ennio Morricone ringing in my ears, I find some of my greatest interests (movies, music, and my Catholicity) colliding in unexpected and gratifying ways. Because just this afternoon, I’ve discovered (thanks to Frank at YIMCatholic) that Morricone — easily [Read More...]

Weathering Some Typical Wyoming Weather, Thanks to The Master Singers


“If you don’t like the weather we’re having right now,” we Wyomingites say, “wait five minutes. It’ll change.” As someone who’s a) hoping to play baseball tonight, and b) watching scattered raindrops fall outside my office windows at this very moment, I’m hoping this ol’ saw is as accurate today as ever. I’m also listening to [Read More...]

“Share this freely with others to promote the love of Bach.”


I love this entire idea, brought to my attention by the folks at OpenCulture and (more directly) by the website of classical pianist Kimiko Ishizaka: This is the Open Well-Tempered Clavier – RECORDING AND SCORE – set free by fans like you! The download includes a 4-page booklet with cover art, and liner notes from Kimiko [Read More...]

Morten Lauridsen’s “Sure On This Shining Night” Needs No Season


View image | gettyimages.com I stumbled across this piece a few months ago as I was researching my post on Morten Lauridsen and his love for Mary. I think it’s part of his “Mid-Winter” song cycle (or at least it’s usually featured on a CD with his Mid-Winter song cycle), so it might not be exactly [Read More...]