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Why I Write Music

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Music is meaningful in my life for many reasons. First, I have grown up with music as an important element of my education. My parents provided me with whatever was needed for my musical improvement, lessons, instruments, and sheet music. As far back as I can remember I have always had a record collection. Listen and more listening was not a chore but a passion. My Grandfather made it possible for me to attend my first Pittsburgh Symphony Concert, and I developed an important insight into classical concert music and opera.

When the time came for me to choose and instrument, I gravitated to the clarinet. I loved the sound and the way the instrument was at home in many styles of music. I wanted to be Benny, Artie and Woody all rolled into one. But I also knew the names of great classical players like, Hasty, Caputo, Drucker and Choffi. I practiced without nagging or pushing, and I was able to play well early on. Then came school and the idea of competition entered the mix. This led to ensembles and bands, groups and orchestra; I found these to be most exciting. I enjoyed performing; actually I enjoyed performing a lot!

Secondly, music is my personnel form of self-expression and impression; it helps convey my feelings and emotions. When performing, I try to express the deepest ideas the composer intended, by using my instrument, my brain and my heart. Every note/sound must have direction and purpose; it must give voice to the central germ of a human thought. If the listener is so moved, then I have succeeded.

Lastly, there is nothing I enjoy more than musical performance. It matters not that I am performing solo, with a small chamber group, a jazz band, or and orchestra, I love to perform. I also love having performed. The joy of entertaining people, taking the audience for a journey, and bringing them back is just wonderful for me. Being on stage with others who enjoy the same thing is exhilarating and extraordinary. When I am in the midst of a performance I get the strong feeling that I am home.

Making music for others to enjoy leads inevitably to writing music to accomplish the same goal and that has been my aspiration my entire life. Without a doubt, my music is my experience. I write things that I like to hear and things I like having heard. I love jazz, the complexity and melodic joy of it; the improvisational element is intoxicating to me. I love the inventiveness of Mozart, Schubert, Beethoven and Berlioz. I love the richness of Shostakovich, Mahler, Brahms and Strauss. I am sure all of these influences have found their way into what I write.

So, this is my explanation, it is why I write music. Sure I would like to have orchestras/pianists/soloists play my music, but that is not the primary aim of my labors. It is most important that I write IT! That I express myself as I once did as an instrumentalist.

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