Bertrand Russell and The Old West a Couple of Ways

January 3, 2016

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My wind octet Trail Days (2006), a piece inspired by the Old West’s cattle trails, was played twice by the Neoteric Chamber Winds this past August (2015) and my To Fill the Hour (2009) for large chamber ensemble was performed on October 22 by the Exit 128 Chamber Orchestra, directed by Travis Herd. To Fill the Hour is a six-movement work depicting models of happiness and unhappiness as presented by Bertrand Russell in his 1930 book The Conquest of Happiness. I am grateful for both of these performances of some not so easy music.

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At the very first Florida International Toy Piano Festival next weekend, I will be  playing and discussing my 2008 toy piano piece, The Crail Family, 1910. My music depicts the still life of the photographic image of the family as well as my impressions of the workaday existence of this frontier family in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Knowing nothing about this family except what the caption tells us, my depiction is obviously not fact-based, but rather pure imagination.

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