Blog 2014 – Taiwan : Japan : The Beginning…

Magical is the best way I can describe how my recent tour to Taiwan and Japan felt.  Here I am once again on a plane returning home.  A little worn out but feeling revitalized.  I’m already happy in life but I feel I can tackle more and that the future is even brighter.  I went all out on this tour.  I lived every moment like it was my last breath.  No regrets!  I’m getting choked up thinking about the new friends I’ve made, the random encounters in the streets of Osaka, Taipei, Tokyo, Lure, etc that I’ll remember forever, and the amazing crowds who I had the privilege of entertaining.  (Side note:  I’m also wondering why I always get choked up when I’m in the air?  I’m watching “Finding Vivian Maier” and it is warming my heart.  A must watch.  I feel even more inspired).  On that note, I have never had more fun playing live than I did this time.  Maybe I’m out of my shell.  Maybe I don’t care to please anymore.  Or maybe I just look at it less seriously and more of way to entertain to bring people together.  There is a problem though.  I’ve become addicted.  I want more.  I thought I had hung up my cleats after my 2012 China tour and then this offer to play in Taiwan and japan came out of left field. 
And now I want more.  And now I will find more.  Why can’t I be the rock n roll composer?  I can rock out at festivals a few times a year as a break from orchestral composing, can’t I?  Dream big right?!!!  You never know where it will get ya!  My trip felt like a dream.  There is no doubt I get to see unique parts of new countries and cultures as a touring musician more so than a tourist/visitor.  Anyone can travel but not everyone gets to get sucked into whirlwind of an adventure like you do when you tour.  And this one all began in Taichung, Taiwan. 
Before this tour the biggest crowd I had played to was about 400-500 on a handful of occasions.  But even those shows weren’t as fun as shows I’ve played to 200 sweaty kids jammed in club and dancing their tails off.  Quality over quantity right?  Mmmmm  maybe.   But what if you can get both!?  I just did the jump from playing for 500 to 30,000 and then 50,000 the very next night!  Man what a rush.  I don’t care how great an intimate crowd can be. It pales in comparison to the roar of 50,000 strong!  I stood at the edge of the stage, pumped my fist in the air, took a deep breath and soaked in the energy of that roar.  I still have goose bumps.  I still remember the crowds surfers going up and thinking to myself WOW!  I use to crowd surf at festivals and now people are crowd surfing to my music!!!  And then at the end, the crowd rushed the stage and we truly danced the night away during our encore.  I thought the stage was going to cave in!   I love you Taichung!!!  My heart will always remember you as the first.  But…you will not be the last…
It has all come together. Screw the serious indie bull shit i tried so hard to shove down peoples throats when i was younger. I found my audience. I can compose for orchestra when I want to get serious but when I’m on a stage I’m not a musician. I’m an entertainer. I don’t know why it took me so long to figure that out! Something just comes over me. Anyone can play songs. But I now enjoy interacting and getting the crowd involved because I love having a crowd at my fingertips and excited to see what’s up my sleeve. I don’t even know what’s up my sleeve. Its all improv which is scary when I sit back and actually think about it.


I remember walking outside of Osaka at maybe 6ish in the morning one time and stillness around me. The moon was gorgeous and every step echoed of the covered passage ways. I could smell something cooking afar. A smile and a deep breath made for a beautiful memory. And the culture in Japan was beautiful and rich. The people are beautiful in this respectful sorta way. I need more. So what is next? I need to let this soak in. It could be another trip I look back at as simply being a fun adventure but I think it has the potential to be a trip that alters the course of my life when all is said and done. Too many special moments happened on this trip that I’ll never forget. Ya know? The ones that seem to be part of your destiny. The ones your gut tells you are happening for a reason.

For now I have a full plate!  Both my symphonies are being performed in 2015 in the USA and abroad!   Spring will find me in Portugal and Denmark and then summer in Paris.  But what does any of it really mean?  Who cares what we do.  Does it mean anything?  Deep down it’s funny because I’m that same 14 yr old shy, awkward, scared boy.  But why?  I guess im still figuring out that part. For now ill excuse myself by saying it’s me respecting the moment.  But none the less, somehow I have to find time to get back to Osaka for a significant amount of time.  There is something cool happening in that city and I need my finger on the pulse!



Just a quick update! I thought I’d have more time to post more often but things have been insane. Here are a few photos of the festivals we have played. And wow what amazing food in both Taiwan and Japan!



SUMMER 2014 (Blog Post 1)
A teacher once told me that if you you are thinking something during class, chances are that many others are thinking the same thing. Well I can’t really seem to find a composer that thinks the same way as I am thinking.
I read on every damn composer’s site that they are an “award winning” composer and paint this picture of success. Then you listen to what they are doing and…
Well I’ve never won an award for anything besides a creative writing contest in high school that my journalism teacher entered me in, without telling me. I threw away the award..
And don’t get me wrong, I’ve definitely experienced some amazing things in life because of music so it really paid off to learn a few instruments instruments! Although now people tell me that I have certain successes because of my personality? WTF! I guess I have my moments, because I certainly love people and I love listening to stories. I think I have my moments where I really connect with people because I’m also certain there is a list of people that would say my personality does not attract people but more-so turns them off.
Back to music…so eventually I learned that any ole’ Joe can pick up a guitar. That’s why I hated playing guitar once I was in college. I needed a new fix. I hit the road touring the U.S. with my brother and best friends in a tribute to the D.I.Y touring culture of the 80’s. This was a blast and I highly recommend this to anyone coming out of college. Why get a job when you can travel, play music, get in trouble, have adventures, and see all the unique pockets our country has to offer. After 3 or so years o this I started growing and transitioning into a cinematic sound and outgrew our little punk band. I started a large orchestra based band and eventually started composing for film and now symphony orchestra. It took around 8 years to make that transition and even now I’m facing new challenges. The challenge of academia. Maybe I’m too amateur? But it’s comparable to being in the twilight zone or in a bar of “independent” minded people all wearing the same black outfits. I mean, every composer I meet that has gone through the academic route in learning composition thinks, acts, and sounds the same. They have to know this right? I even hear the same with film composing in that the music or sounds composers use as they sound obviously sampled and will eventually sound dated.
Maybe everyone has it figured out but I don’t. I’m still on the journey but maybe one day I can look back and truly answer that question. I hope with this blog that someone else out there can benefit from what I have to say. Although I’m not really sure what I have to say. But who cares. It’s the wild wild west out there and the world keeps spinning. Someone else might have the deal or the money or the popularity but if you read between the lines I just described Milli Vanilli, Backstreet Boys, David Cassidy, etc! Make the music and do everything yourself…
I’ll rant here and there to keep things spicy. I tend to stick my foot in mouth but sometimes I’ll also try to be politically correct just in case I decide to run for president one day. Don’t expect perfect punctuation but de expect a ton of run-ons! I’m about producing and less about waiting until something is perfect. That’s why my family calls me the rabbit. Oh, and I meant what I said about loving stories! So if you actually scroll this far and want to tell me your story, please do! I would love to hear from you…