Reports on my forays into web design and coding.

One of the “fun” (heh) things about being a solo entrepreneur is that one has only one’s own mistakes to learn from.  Happily, it also means that along the learning curve you get to develop really wonderful relationships with the folks who have supported your business.

RtD BookOn Thursday I got a very pleasant email from the interim senior minister at First Unitarian Universalist Church of Columbus, sharing the wonderful news that their two choirs would like to share my solstice cantata, Remember the Dark, in their worship services on January 29.  Her staff was concerned, though, that for a congregation of their size the cost might be prohibitive.

(This is what happens when I base my pricing structure on congregations the size of my beloved little UUCV: the kind of numbers that make sure my expenses are met for a small order suddenly seem unwieldy and unreasonable for larger groups.)

So I appreciated the gentleness of the email, and after a little bit of Dashboard finagling, I was delighted to be able to respond with a new volume discount pricing structure for Remember the Dark.  The Columbus choirs—and now, anyone—can order larger quantities of RtD scripts at up to a 60% discount.  Just place the order through my Shop page, and the discount should automatically apply: 20 or more copies are only $3.00 each, and 50 or more copies are only $2.00 each!

I’ll be reviewing my catalog over the next several weeks to evaluate the pricing of my choral inventory, but if you have a particular request please follow Rev. Jennifer’s lead and contact me.  It’s all about the relationships!

20160219_123751If you’ve tried to access over the last 36 hours or so, chances are you received at least one very apocalyptic-sounding error message.

My entire domain (goodness that sounds regal) was down, and it was completely my fault. It’s back up now—thanks more to people who know much more than I about these things than to the self-flagellation I’ve been engaged in since yesterday morning—so website and email should be functioning normally again.

If you’ve tried to reach me, please accept my apology and re-send your message.  (There’s a contact form here if that’s easiest for you.)

Frédéric Chopin, 1838. Oil on canvas, by Eugene Delacroix.

One of the things I love most about my career is that I get to experience a never-ending stream of new repertory—between my work at UUCV, at Open Stage, at CASA, and elsewhere, I never have time to get bored with the material I’m working on!  The downside to this excitement is that I seldom have time to really dig in and master a piece of music in a way that feels “complete.”  Or rather, I seldom take time to really dig in….

So today I spent a few hours procrastinating all of the work I’m “supposed” to have gotten done today, and instead put some time into brushing up on one of my all-time favorite piano solos, Chopin’s E Minor Nocturne.  I first performed this piece at senior piano recital in high school, so it seemed appropriate to use this as my first experiment with digital recording.  I played the piece on my Yamaha P-140 digital keyboard into GarageBand on my Mac using Garritan’s amazing Abbey Road Studios CFX Concert Grand Virtual Piano, and produced a recording that sounds almost disconcertingly like the way the music sounds in my head when I think about playing it.  (Did that make any sense at all?)

Anyway.  Take a listen, and let me know in the comments what you think.  There will, I hope, be many more of these “demo tracks” to come!  But for now, I’m going to take this Nocturne as my cue to head off to bed.  In six minutes it’ll be New Year’s Eve!

The erstwhile enigma.

Michael, an astute reader in Philadelphia, commented the other day on my Facebook page that the print music for “To Know You” (the Parisian-café-esque track from Something Begun) was clearly visible in the header photo for the Shop page, but the music itself wasn’t actually available in the shop.


Long story short: the printout in the photo was the trio version that Jason, Deb, and I originally recorded.  But because there are so few trios out there with our particular combination of vocal ranges, I wanted to condense the piece down to a solo version for public release.  Michael’s observation prompted me to disenduffify myself and get the charts ready.

So!  (drumroll here…)  If you’d like to take a gander at “To Know You” (and maybe figure out exactly why it’s so impossible to dance to without looking like the coffee isn’t the first thing you’ve had to drink today, ifyouknowwhatImean), you can do that here.  If you want to add the piece to your repertory, click the “Add to Cart” button and you’ll get two copies of the piano/vocal score plus a free bass chart, all for less than the price of a grande latté.  (And do let me know if and when you perform the piece.  I love to hear about my songs finding new homes!)

One of the songs I wrote while we were working on Something Begun that didn’t quite make it to the record, “Before Me” is one I play for myself during those rare quiet moments of “me time.”  It’s one of a few pieces I’ve written that I call “Muse Songs”—although I know I’m the one that first typed this particular set of lyrics into the laptop, I find new wisdom here that couldn’t possibly have originated in my head.  You know those little parables that feel both familiar and profoundly insightful?  Yeah, this is one of those.

(Also, music geeks will enjoy discovering a bit of Arnold Schoenberg’s twelve-tone technique employed in the structure of the vocal line, but that’s an Easter Egg for the “behind the scenes” tour.)

Visit the shop to take a listen to a solo demo performance of the piece, and order a copy if you’d like to add it to your music library.  It’s included in my “Completely Non-Holiday-Related Website Launch Sale,” so get that cart up to at least $40 and you get 50% off your entire purchase.

Either way, I’d love to hear your thoughts on the song.  Comment away!