NeologisticsMusic → Selah Background

Selah (May 25, 2001)

Selah tells the story of the musical thread of my life, with emphasis on my early years and school. Many of the images included may be clicked on to read material that is supplementary to the main text.

A Thumbnail Background

I've had the pleasure of being around great music since the day I was born. For twenty years I made the bulk of my living in the music business, mostly by preparing music for publication.

My father was an outstanding professional classical musician — a violist, violinist, conductor, teacher, and composer, and his influence on me was strong.

I studied music composition at University of Illinois for six years, mostly with Salvatore Martirano. I wrote the kind of music that people unfamiliar with new music instantly hate, unless they learn to understand the language. Clever folks say funny things like, "It sounds like" (choose one):

A few of my primary influences were Karlheinz Stockhausen, Luciano Berio, Elliott Carter, John Cage, Igor Stravinsky, and Olivier Messiaen.

I play several instruments, these days mostly piano, always my favorite. My major instrument in school was bass trombone. Along the way I learned to play electric bass, guitar, euphonium, recorder, conducted, and have done a few other things musical.

Because I no longer make my living at music, and thus have nothing to prove to others, I have greater freedom to enjoy it. I gave up professional composition and performance in 1971 when I found that spiritual pursuits demanded a greater priority in my life, and have not written anything of substance since 1986. Meanwhile I continue to be a devoted listener.

Read Selah, the full story