The Stick Men book has been printed and is available for purchase at Bandcamp! Thanks a ton to everyone who contributed – we raised far more than we originally anticipated! The book looks beautiful:
It’s available with or without playalong tracks.
I didn’t realize this while working on the book, but I believe it’s the first book of sheet music ever made for Markus Reuter’s Touch Guitars. I’ve also been working with Markus on his art music compositions, and got the opportunity to collaborate with him on arranging his first published piece for solo piano. You can hear the debut performance below:
We are excited to announce that we have been working on a sheet music book for our records ‘Absalom’ and ‘Deep’. In order to allow fans and players to delve deeper into our music, the book will feature notation and tablature (in the original tunings) of all of the stick and touch guitar parts from those records and the title tracks from ‘Open’, plus anecdotes about each song. We will be producing both physical and digital PDF versions of the score, plus a PDF version of the acoustic drum parts for Deep. All packages will also include an early version of a new studio track, entitled ‘Embracing the Sun’.
Gabriel Riccio (of Trey Gunn’s book) is creating notation for all of the parts and working closely with Markus Reuter and Tony Levin to make sure the tablature reflects exactly how the parts were played on their instruments. However, the notation will give you the tools to translate this music to another instrument of your choice, whether it be standard guitar or bass, piano, glockenspiel, or qanun. It can also serve as a study score if you’d like to analyze the music and dissect its inner workings.
If we reach 125% of our goal, we will also include our arrangement of Stravinsky’s Firebird Suite.
You will also be able to purchase digital playalong tracks to accompany the score. There will be 3 versions of each song – one without drums, one without touch guitar, and one without stick.
Your pledge is very valuable, as it will allow us to commission the transcriptions, print high quality spiral bound physical copies of the book, and mix and master the playalong tracks. If you can’t contribute, sharing the campaign will also be of great help.
Tony, Pat, Markus & Gabriel
Here is a sample page:
Edit: The project has been funded at 145%, far beyond what we originally imagined – thanks a ton for all of your support!
I’ve been working with Trey Gunn (King Crimson) on a score book of his music for a while now. You may have seen the transcription I did of King Crimson’s ‘The ConstruKction of Light’ – Trey found that transcription and was so impressed that he hired me to do a full book. Finally, after a very successful crowdfunding campaign and a whole lot of work, the book is complete and available for purchase! This sheet music should be interesting to any musician who wants to learn some cool rhythmic ideas, so even if you’re not a tapping player, this will still have something to offer. Since Trey’s music frequently contains multiple simultaneous time signatures and symmetrical scales, there were many challenges to notating this music, and the result was quite unusual! Here are some sample pages, the first of which showcases the multi-time signature technique: Kuma Sirrah The ConstruKction of Light
The book also contains anecdotes and playing instructions from Trey on every song. Purchase the book at Trey Gunn’s bandcamp page.
Here’s a new video of a piece I wrote for solo saxophone in 2009.
‘Winding through Angles’ for solo alto saxophone was composed in the spring semester 2009 under the tutelage of Gerald Levinson. It is based on the ‘five note’ exercises – at any given point, the piece is centered around a group of five chromatic pitch classes contained in a major third. It modulates between different groups of five notes until all twelve pitch classes are used in the work. The first movement is a slow build, while the second movement is an exercise in frustration, simultaneously angry and mocking itself. I chose the saxophone because it is an instrument capable of great expression, largely underused in the classical world.
The piece was written for and premiered by Soren Larsen, who later performed all of the saxophone parts on Interior City. It was then performed by his teacher, who created this video. You can hear Soren’s debut performance of the piece here for comparison:
Sheet music for this piece can be purchased here or viewed below:
I was recently hired to transcribe and create sheet music for six songs by City and Colour (two from each of their albums). My transcriptions of these songs are for sale at their official website and can also be found below:
On the subject of transcriptions, Trey Gunn of King Crimson discovered and praised my transcription of the band’s ‘The ConstruKction of Light’:
I created this transcription of ‘The ConstruKction of Light’ for my senior comprehensive music exam at Swarthmore college. It was performed in a quartet arrangement, with myself on drums and vocals, Tony Blekicki and Swarthmore physics professor Carl Grossman on guitar, and Ben Rachbach playing the Warr Guitar part on a keyboard. Unfortunately, the performance was not recorded.
Note that the guitars and the Warr Guitar sound an octave below where written.
I also recently created piano arrangements of two songs by Animals as Leaders.
If you like what you see here, know that I am available for hire! I can offer a number of transcription/copying services (creating sheet music for your band from an audio file, creating digital scores from handwritten scores, transposing scores) in addition to session vocals and keyboards, production, arrangement, and composition. If you would like to hire me for any of this or can think of anything else you’d like to have me do, please email email@example.com and I can send you my resume!
If you would like sheet music for Interior City, the full score and parts books for piano, drums, bass, guitar, saxophone, and violin are for sale on the stores page.
This week, I’d like to take a break from talking about Interior City to share some of my chamber music with you. Here is a video of ‘Between Entwines’, a collaborative work which Sophia Uddin (the violinist on Interior City) and I wrote and performed together.
This video is from our debut performance of the work at the second annual Swarthmore College Student & Alumni Composers Concert in Lang Concert Hall on October 29, 2011.
Program notes: ‘Between Entwines’ was written during the summer of 2011. It began when Gabriel sent Sophia a tiny sketch for her to augment and return. It continued to grow from there, mostly through email correspondence, with some additional work done in chat boxes and in person. It is intended to be the first entry in a series of piano/violin collaborations using the same set of motives.
Sheet music for Between Entwines can be purchased on the Stores page and can be viewed below:
Before Between Entwines and Interior City, Sophia was a member of The Mandelbrot Quartet, who performed some movements I wrote for string quartet. Here is a video of their final performance of these movements at a split concert with the jazz quartet Menage on April 22, 2011 in Lang Concert Hall:
I began writing the quartet with the ‘Interruptions’ movement, a hyperactive expression of crazed joy. The title was actually devised by Gerald Levinson, my composition teacher at the time, as the piece constantly interrupts itself. The harmonic language of the movement (chromatic contrary motion) was inspired by Ligeti’s first string quartet, while the structure was inspired by Stravinsky’s Symphonies of Wind Instruments. ‘Hedonistic Ritual’ is a short, fast and angry movement which was inspired by seeing this Dillinger Escape Plan concert and wanting to bring some of that anarchic energy to a classical concert hall.
Here is The Mandelbrot Quartet’s debut performance of ‘Interruptions’ from the first annual Swarthmore College Student and Alumni Composers Concert in Lang Concert Hall on November 6, 2010:
At the same concert, I participated in a performance of Ben Starr’s vocal composition ‘Assumpta est Maria’:
As a side note, the closing number of the Mandelbrot/Menage concert was a joint performance of Keith Jarrett’s ‘The Wind Up’ with both Mandelbrot and Menage. It’s not often that you get to see a jazz quartet and a string quartet perform together!