I’m so excited to announce that “Fire Inside (feat. Kay-Kay)” is now live everywhere you can buy music.

Buy on Bandcamp Here

Sream on Spotify Here

Stream/Buy on Apple Music Here

Stream/Buy on Google Play Here

Linear Notes

I don’t like writing about my own music. Everything I have to say in the track is in the track.

“Fire Inside (feat. Kay-Kay)” was inspired by a trip to NYC last summer. I stayed with my best friends, and we constantly went out to enjoy the finest music and art in the world.

Like the rest of my trips, I spent a great deal of time alone while my friends worked. When I’m alone, I avoid listening to music.

I don’t know where these tracks come from, but I was alone in Central Park towards the evening, and I heard the piano and bass out of the blue, and when I returned, started writing it a few months later.

I incorporated some ambient sounds of NYC in the background, with the voices of some old spirits of house music to create something that I want hot guys to dance to in the club.

I’m not qualified to talk about diseases or make health recommendations. Instead, I’ll observe the effects of COVID-19 at the social level. COVID-19 causes panic prophesy, depraved journalism, and armchair expertise.

1) Panic Prophesy

Right now, there’s a feedback loop happening between the media and citizens. The media creates negative, sensationalized reports about the potential negative impacts of COVID-19. Fictional, speculative reporting triggers panic buying and other irrational behavior that causes real damage to supply chains, the environment, and psychology.

Suddenly, mere conjecture becomes a frightening reality. People feel like their panic is validated, and panic more, causing more damage that gives the media more to report on, which in turn causes more panic.

This is primarily a psychological phenomenon, but that doesn’t make it any less tangible or real. We must believe in a system for it to keep working. Doubt leads to more issues.

2) Depraved Journalism

Not all journalists are depraved, but today most of them choose to abandon their ethics in favor appalling reporting that generates clicks instead of facts. How did they do it?

If you follow Reddit, you can be ahead of the news by a few days, because journalists are now using Reddit as a trusted source. Reddit doesn’t take steps to verify content it receives, and it is also clear that journalists aren’t using their training and ethics to stop falsehoods from reaching the country.

The issue is that Reddit users on subreddits related to COVID-19 tend to be doomsday people, spreading the same vitriol and conspiracy theories over and over again until they become verified at the popular, community level and find their way into mainstream news sources.

Journalists need to uphold ethical standards because their reporting informs and directs the general public. Most will not travel to the affected areas and get the truth as it is on the ground, and rely on heavily colored testimony from Reddit users, who may be CCP operatives, anti-CCP operatives, conspiracy theorists, people who are there and honest, or people writing fiction. Most of this content simply isn’t possible to verify at face value.

Journalists simply aren’t doing the extra work to verify content before reporting it, and it causes panic prophesy.

3) Armchair Experts

I didn’t know that most of my friends on social media had medical training until COVID-19. Nor did I notice that most of them have access to the same journals and databases that universities and labs use, despite never going to college or graduating a few years ago. I also didn’t know that so many people understood diseases to the point where they feel like they can make recommendations.

Suddenly, everyone feels like they understand disease because they watched a few YouTube videos about viruses. People fight with each other about recommendations to stay home or go out, how serious the COVID-19 is, or whether China or the WHO lied about the numbers. It’s a waste of time.

Not only is it frivolous to debate without expertise, it is also frightening how little we truly know about the world around us.

One thing that caught me off guard in music is the sheer amount of music I’m expected to learn in a short amount of time. If I’m lucky, I’ll get a day to look at the music before I must play it. On good days I’ll have some time that day to look at it. Usually, people plop a score down, count it off, and that’s that.

So how does one learn a lot of music in little time? First, you limit the scope of the work. Second, you work efficiently within the limits you set.

Since these limits are set by context, I won’t provide any catch-all strategies. What I have here instead is a framework that I use time and time again, that you could try out too.

A lot of people give blanket strategies. “Just make charts.” “Work on your sight-reading.” “Listen to more music on your free time.” But generic advice never helps.

What if takes a longer time to make a chart than it does to learn the piece? Or, you already have a chart, wouldn’t it be faster just to correct a few typos?

How useful is sight-reading? Sure, I can read almost anything these days. But I don’t have a large working memory of songs like a lot of my peers do. Sight-reading and learning are different processes, and we need to distinguish when reading is useful and when learning is useful, since reading takes less time and not all gigs require that you learn the songs on a deep level. (If you balk at this, then I’m sincerely jealous of how much free time you have to learn thousands of songs in all twelve keys and their histories and intricacies between different recordings)

And who isn’t constantly listening to music? I’m no exception. That doesn’t mean I know how to learn songs quickly!

Anyways, here are some strategies I use to limit my work and work efficiently. I also have some bonus tips on learning music fast at the end.

1) Setting Limitations

Generally, I try to work as little as possible on any given piece of music. This isn’t out of laziness, but rather volume and time constraints. There is a large amount of music to learn, and almost no time to learn it.

When I set limitations on what I do, ask the following types of questions:

  • What is the classification of work?
  • Will I be able to read music on the job?
  • How many rehearsals will we have?
  • How is the music delivered?

Here are how I answer them.

What is the classification of work?

Piano work generally comes in these types:

  • Recordings
  • Rehearsals for some type of ensemble (orchestra, choir, musicals, chamber ensemble, jazz band, etc.)
  • Performances

These are not exclusive categories, and often overlap. But they help in setting limitations on how much time spend with the music.

Recordings

For instance, recordings will require a lot of time practicing, since there is little room for error during the recording process. Unless I’m making rehearsal recordings at home, then I will simply record everything at 50 BPM and speed it up in the DAW later, so that no one project takes more than an hour of time.

Rehearsals

Most of what I do currently is as some type of rehearsal pianist. In these situations, I spend more time learning the vocal parts, since the singers need accurate parts, and singers hate hearing pianists figure things out. I spend little, if any, time learning accompaniment parts in these situations. I usually play pop patterns to make the accompaniment parts better. Consequently, I don’t practice the chart as much as those patterns I constantly revise, and I spend time refining chord voicings over time.

Performances

If we’re performing, the time spent with the music depends on the nature of the performance. If we already had a lot of rehearsals, I don’t have to spend time on the music outside of rehearsal. If I get to read the music, I don’t have to memorize it. If the performance is background music, it’s ultimately not important to learn thoroughly, since the audience isn’t listening (don’t kid yourself). If it is a recital or competition, then that requires a great deal of preparation.

Will I be able to read music on the job?

When music is provided and read during the performance, that saves learning time, since memorization is no longer necessary.

How many rehearsals will we have?

Frequent rehearsals mean that it is not necessary to work on the music, other than a superficial level to get the notes correct. Even that might be a waste of time if the director chooses new keys or interprets rhythms differently than what is notated in some sections.

How is the music delivered?

Music is delivered as a score or audio file.

When the music is a score, it might not be readable at first, so there could be some additional preparation to make it readable for rehearsal, such as indicating page marks, or re-beaming incorrectly beamed rhythms. Otherwise, additional preparation is unnecessary and should be avoided.

Audio files may require some type of transcription. Audio files always take the most amount of time to learn, but in these situations, it’s best to listen to the music on a loop repeatedly until it sinks in. Usually, this music has the most improvisation, so it’s not necessary to learn specific melodies as much as how long each section is.

2) Efficiency vs. Laziness

Some people might think I’m lazy for learning music like this, or “cheating” by recording parts in this way.

The difference between laziness and efficiency is that laziness doesn’t care about quality and speed, while efficiency is ensuring that products are delivered quickly without losing quality. I’d rather spend 6 hours recording six separate pieces for six separate clients, rather than 2 hours working for one client.

Since I work efficiently, I can offer more revisions, since the revisions don’t take any time to complete. This means clients get more value for my rates than what other musicians provide.

Bonus tips:

  • When sight reading, read for the chord and pattern, not the specific notes (I’ll write more about this later)
  • Music is all “lego music.” That is, you can learn a set of building blocks (“legos”) and use your discretion and refinement to pick the correct musical phrase at the correct time. Yes, this applies to classical music, too.
    • This isn’t to trivialize what we do as musicians. It’s just how I’ve always viewed music. Remember: just because you have all the ideas in front of you, doesn’t mean you’ll know what do with them!
  • Most charts are great time savers, but they don’t have a lot of useful accompaniment parts. Play something that sounds better than the chart. Left hand octave doubling, avoid doubling the melody with the vocalists (if requested), using 10ths in the left-hand, and using your own voicings are ways to get you started making something sound better.
  • When reading a Piano-Vocal sheet with chords, just ignore the piano part.
  • In piano music, chords are outlined in the left-hand part in octaves, so you can usually tell what chord you’re playing just by reading the left hand and the key
  • There’s a big difference between reading on your own and reading in front of people. Have some friends over, have some wine, open a music book, and read it in front of them to get used to the pressure.
  • Most musicians in a certain specialization work with the same repertoire over and over again, so learning the canon in each specialty is useful
  • Work on your abilities to focus and sustain attention over long periods of time without spending too much mental energy.
  • If the band uses drugs in rehearsals, make sure everyone is at the same high. Otherwise, members will not be able to properly connect at the same wavelength. This is hard to do. For this reason, it is usually best to avoid drug abuse at rehearsals.

  1. Hey everyone! Thanks for showing up to the gig I organized.
  2. Boy, I could learn a thing or two about musicianship from the vocalists I work with!
  3. Oh, I was rushing? Sorry! I’ll be sure to work with a metronome before the next rehearsal. Gosh, you know what? I should work with a metronome more in general. I could really improve my internal clock. Most of the band has better much time than I do. Thanks for reminding me!
  4. I will make time to learn the music before rehearsal, so I don’t have to worry about sight-reading at practice. Lord knows I’m not the best reader in the world.
  5. Wow, these other players in the band are way better musicians than I am!
  6. I could really improve my music theory knowledge.
  7. I am completely prepared for all the accompanying gigs I have this week. Heck, what am I saying? I meant this season!
  8. I’m not hungover.
  9. I could play fewer chord extensions next time.
  10. I actually read the accompaniment part note for note last run!

I don’t typically write about this sort of thing, but a lot of people kept asking me about it, so I figured it would make a good blog post.

I used Apple computers my whole career up until about two years ago. Then I did the unthinkable and moved to Windows. How come? And how bad is it–are the rumors true? Is it better?

Since people, especially audio people, like talking about gear, I’ll write a bit about my own experience. I’m not going to make any recommendations because your situation is different than mine, and I’m not the type of fanboy anymore that recommends what I have out of some misplaced loyalty.

My History

One of my earliest memories was watching my dad send an email to his friend Caroline in France. My dad told me Caroline would call us when she got the email, and she called us about five seconds later. At that point, I had already been to France, and I wondered how she could get an email instantly, but we had to take a plane and go through a whole ordeal to talk to her.

Ever since that moment, I’ve always had a fascination with computers. I used to break them constantly and played with the settings in the Mac just to see what could happen. In middle school, I took a Python class from my friend’s uncle, and ran a laptop with Linux on it.

Neither the class nor the laptop worked out. I realized I prefer making music to making software because music is much more abstract and more interesting to me. Linux is great for people who want to customize their computer endlessly and don’t need commercial software. While I love changing settings, I do need Adobe and Cubase to work, otherwise I won’t have a job. So much for Linux.

I switched back to Apple computers for a bit. And then I ran a Hackintosh, but that was horrible. Anyone who tells you their Hackintosh works is a liar. That computer ended up dying during a severe power surge and I ended up building my own PC and running Windows for the past two years.

Why did I switch?

It was purely a cost-saving measure for my business. In other words, I didn’t have the cash for a new Mac. I also refuse to go into debt for equipment, so I had to find something cheap and powerful.

I built my system for $600 and recycled a bunch of old parts from the Hackintosh. I ended up with a Ryzen 5 2600, 4 TB total of storage, 256 GB PcIE drive, a Radeon RX 560 with 4 GB of VRAM, and 16 GB of RAM. I later upgraded to a 1TB PcIE drive, 32 GB of RAM, and a new CPU cooler and case for a total of $200. You just can’t find a modern Mac with those specifications at that price.

How bad is it?

Two things suck about Windows: drivers and aesthetics.

GPU drivers are a pain to update and I have to think about doing that every so often. I could get them from Windows Update, but then I wouldn’t have the AMD super resolution features I like so I can get some more mileage out of my 2013 display.

Drivers also cause problems on lots of other machines. I personally didn’t have many issues, but lots of people complain about them online.

You just don’t deal with drivers on Macs. This is a really huge benefit that gets underplayed, honestly.

Windows is ugly in my opinion. They recycled a bunch of icons from Windows 95 and recycled them into this mish-mash 70s office aesthetics meets bargain basement Apple design in this retro future 90s crap they call Windows 10.

Other people without taste think Windows looks fine, but I’ll leave that to you. Anyways, taste is too subjective to have any real discussions about it.

Also, getting used to using the control key for everything instead of the command key was a bit of a struggle at first.

Are the rumors true?

I was a die-hard Apple fanboy and heard all sorts of rumors that kept me on the platform out of fear. The truth is that none of them are true.

I never:

  • Noticed my computer getting slower over time
  • Had disruptive updates that made me miss a deadline or deleted files
  • Had any issues with software stability
  • Had my audio equipment perform worse (it performs better now)
  • Had malware
  • Had demanding programs run slowly or crash frequently costing money in missed deadlines and time

Is it better?

Yes.

Windows is the largest desktop operating system in the world by several orders of magnitude. Consequently, it has a significant objective advantage over every other platform: software support.

I’m not just talking about the number of programs you can run. That doesn’t really matter, since most of us use the same sets of software across Windows and Mac. Software support refers to how much attention the engineers give their products. It makes sense for businesses to spend the most time developing and optimizing for the largest platform. Business always do, and Mac users unfortunately get left in the dust.

Software for Windows is far better optimized and often performs better than its Mac versions. For instance, Adobe Media Encoder typically encodes video faster on Windows than the Mac. My computer renders 4k video from Premiere in real time. I created complicated, old school iTunes style visualizers in After Effects that took one hour to render for every minute of 4k video. Macs still can’t do that. Especially not $600 Macs.

Also, Windows software gets updates and new features before its Mac version. Most of my plugins got 64-bit support in the Windows versions before the Mac versions.

Updates on Windows are not disruptive compared to Mac. Updating to Catalina is still problematic for some software. I’m not restricted to old versions without security updates at this time on Windows like Mac users are.

Should I switch?

I don’t know, honestly. It…depends. Everyone has different needs, and you should use what fits you, your budget, and your business. Obviously, if you’re using one of the few programs that only runs on a Mac, you should stay on the platform. And, generally, if your computer does what you want in a reasonable amount of time, there’s just not a good reason to get a new one.

The only position I feel comfortable giving advice is if I know you as a friend, or we speak for a few hours and I get a good idea of what your situation is like.

So, I’m not going to make blanket statements on what’s better or worse for you here. I did speak about benefits of the Windows platform, but those are objective benefits, and it may not make a difference to you if you use Apple-only software or you’re happy with your computer. All that really matters is that your equipment works for you.

It didn’t make sense for me to remain on the Apple platform, so I moved. That’s just me, though.

I’m not too loyal to any one platform these days. If Apple makes cost-effective products that offer better performance, I will switch back when my computer eventually fails or can’t keep up with modern software.

I never got any benefit from being loyal to a brand. Apple never allowed discounts, and Microsoft won’t give me any money at this point.

Be loyal to your family, friends, and your art instead of your gear.

Success only happens when luck, talent, and hard work combine.

Luck

Luck is not about having good odds in roulette or hitting all green lights on the way to work.

There are a lot of factors of success that are not up to an individual. Luck is about not getting cancer that gets in the way of your career and kills you at 25.

Luck is being born in a country where it’s possible to be happy. Someone who stays healthy enough to work is lucky. Someone who doesn’t get blown up on the way to work is even luckier.

Talent

Talent exists. Some people are better at learning than other people.

I remember practicing about 2-4 hours a day from when I was 10 to about 21. I went to a music camp with people who practiced as much as I did, but knew more repertoire and played it far better than I could.

I also know a producer who, after four years, got around 1.4 million monthly listeners on Spotify and offers to play EDC. It took me a year to make a track.

It also took me four years to learn how to read sheet music. Now, I sight read professionally, but those were a tough four years.

People with talent will get farther than other people. And, they can do it with less work, but only if they commit to it.

Those pianists at the music camp aren’t getting paid as much as I am, and the producer who got to play EDC isn’t making music these days. So, like the other aspects, talent isn’t everything. It’s absurd to say talent doesn’t exit, though.

Hard Work

Finally, there’s hard work. Obvious, right? But what I’m about to say isn’t as trite as the millions of writers out there lauding hard work.

There’s a hard work fetish in this country. We believe we can accomplish anything with enough time. We believe talent doesn’t exist, and only losers in casinos pray to lady luck.

It’s just not the case. Hard work is necessary, but it won’t get anywhere without luck or talent.

You need luck to get in front of the right people at the right time. You need talent to go farther than people who work harder than you. And, you need hard work to persevere through the slow periods.

Failure

I haven’t encountered many failures in my career. I usually meet people who hit a hard wall and simply can’t grow anymore. Maybe it’s up to them. Usually, they’re missing some talent, hard work, or luck.

You simply have to have all three.

This continues the first post. Click here to read it.

Here, I’ll argue that “natural” is a term that refers to everything that exists. I will also prove why analogies are meaningless. Finally, I make the case using contemporary evidence that music periods are utterly meaningless and should be done away with.

3) Natural? What?

Lazy critics and teachers toss around the word “natural” or “unnatural” when they really mean “I like this” or “I didn’t like this.”

But, “natural” is a very odd word. What does it really mean?

We can divide the world into “natural” and “unnatural” (or non-natural). This is how we tend to think about the world. Colloquially, we think that what humans make isn’t natural, and what bears and tigers do is natural.

Let’s take this division further. Natural refers to what exists in nature (bears), and unnatural necessarily refers to everything else (us). What this means is that everything that exists is natural, and we don’t have to worry about the rest, since the rest isn’t there.

But we’re here. We’re natural, since we’re from nature, because we’re using the condition “that which is from nature” to divide the dichotomy. Since nothing exists outside of nature, then everything must be natural.

Music exists, so it is natural.

Instead of hiding behind words like “natural,” take the extra step and make a statement about music that’s not based on personal taste using evidence from the score.

4) Your analogy is like garbage

Analogies are great until you try to say something.

Some people (no one I studied under) told me piano playing is like flying a plane. That makes absolutely no sense. At what point when I play piano do I find myself pulling into an airport terminal? Turning on the seat belt light? Using a vocal fry to communicate?

When you make a chart that lists out items compared in an analogy, you’ll find that the items compared don’t have anything in common.

It’s often said that being a sound designer is like being a sculptor. That is, until you realize that sound designers don’t work with marble, sound isn’t solid, you can’t touch a sound, and you certainly don’t use Pro Tools to make a bust of Caesar.

5) Modern music is from a century ago: Stop using periods

Music periods are utterly meaningless.

Classification is based on a set of characteristics. Academics group music from certain periods, like the “baroque” using a certain date range. This is a horrible way to classify things, because those dates are shared among everything.

Recall that our classification systems use unique characteristics, not shared characteristics. Classifying music by a time period is far too broad to have any real meaning.

This makes no sense. The music from the “baroque” “period” that lasts is here because it’s outstanding music, not because it follows some ideas that people made up centuries later. A few centuries later.

Here’s music that’s all published within 25 years (1970-1995). Notice how these pieces have nothing in common. And I’m not even using periods as broad as academics are.

Agree yet?

When I reviewed the “Discussing Music Badly” series, I thought it wasn’t fair of me to critique other people and their ideas without talking about things I messed up. Although I stand by what I argued in those posts, I already wrote the second part a few months ago, and I scheduled that post to publish automatically January 2020, it just doesn’t feel right to attack others and pretend I’m perfect along the way.

I let myself get distracted by things that aren’t important for music production. I trusted too many YouTube tutorials that didn’t help. Other mistakes I made were that I cracked software and I didn’t pay any attention to how my design looked.

1) Getting distracted

There are all sorts of distractions in life. I’m not really talking about the day to day distractions, like making sure you don’t spend too much time on email or social media and letting yourself get sucked into a YouTube hole. With enough coffee, Diet Coke, and fear I don’t find myself getting too drawn into these time wasters as deeply like I did a few years ago.

Here I’m talking about parts of making music that aren’t relevant that I spent too much time worrying about. You can find countless forum experts who manage to balance a full-time job, a music career, and hundreds of thousands of posts on a forum that prattle on infinitely about parts of producing music that just don’t matter. What compressor circuit types you use, which DAW you use, whether it’s ok to clip or not, if it’s better to use MIDI sequenced drums or lay them out as audio files in the timeline, and EQ “rules” are insignificant. These are all based on opinion and I found that I change all these elements from project to project anyways. I wasted too much time and energy on these really boring topics and weighing these pros and cons took time away from working on music.

What matters in music is the melody, chord voicings, the arrangement, and the emotional connection the audience feels with the track. No one wants to talk about these things because it’s hard to talk about. It’s a lot easier to discuss what tools to use instead of how to use them, and I found that people generally shy away from discussing aesthetics. What I don’t get is that a lot of mixing involves aesthetic choices, too, but when it’s hidden behind an EQ or piece of software people seem to think that it becomes more objective.

So, don’t pay attention to what these guys have to say. Most of what I do now that people tell me sounds good breaks all the “rules” I “learned” in forums anyways.

2) Trusting tutorials when they didn’t work

YouTube tutorials can be a great resource. I personally love stuff by Greg Howlett, the guys and girls at Pretty Simple Music, and Nahre Sol’s entire channel. I also watched lots of masterclasses from Alfred Cortot and the harpsichordist Scott Ross. Those people are brilliant and really helped supplement what I learned on the job and in lessons. I wouldn’t be where I am today if I wasn’t lucky enough to find their tutorials.

I also wasted tons of time on producers who gave advice that was wrong. Did you know that decibels are logarithmic? Yeah, the guy who made that video you probably watched didn’t really talk about that when they discussed gain-staging or how compressors change sound pressure. Sometimes they’d share some mixing technique. The worst part was that I spent too much time trying to get these horrible techniques to sound good, instead of just dropping it and moving on.

Now I’m much more critical of YouTube tutorials. I’m always open to trying out new techniques. In the future, instead of wasting time trying to parse out a malformed video by a guy without any chart positions who’s using a cracked version of FL and kisses the microphone with every syllable, I’ll just drop the technique if I don’t get a benefit after trying it out.

3) Cracking Software

When I started producing, I didn’t have that much money. I had lots of time though and knew people IRC chatrooms who helped me crack software.

I cracked software in all sorts of ways. I typically attained plugins through free trials. On Macs at the time, you could right-click on the .app file and select “Show Contents.” Then, in some cases, you could view the source code of the plugin. I typically removed the parts of the plugin that connected to the internet to verify its installation, or talked to whatever the “Authorize.app” was, or looked for a section in the code that set a timer on the fully functioning trial mode so that the trial went from lasting a few hours to a century. Later on, I ran keygenerators on any plugin I couldn’t get a trial for. Now I can’t believe I ran something developed by a criminal and even gave it administrator access to my machine!

I don’t use cracked software anymore, and now I don’t recommend it, even if you don’t have the money to buy plugins and still want to make music. Software has come a long way in ten years, and the copy protection probably isn’t this easy to break anymore. Malware also came a long way in ten years, and the vast majority of cracks are trojans and sophisticated coin miners that will make your system unstable.

Also, there’s a big irony in guys who go to the club, get bottle service, go to the casinos, or get hotels and claim that $150 is too much to spend on their careers. Those are the guys who also tell me I’m too expensive. People really reveal who they are in their spending habits.

Anyways, running cracked software caused all sorts of issues in my machine. Nothing ever felt like it worked correctly, and I spent more time rebooting and troubleshooting my machine than making music. Ethics aside, it’s just not a good business idea to have your main tool break all the time.

I did learn a lot about the architecture of the Mac operating system in 2006, which could be useful. Cracking and copy protection testing could be a good route for me down the road to make extra cash. It never really was that hard, especially since engineers typically included a comment that said “Trial mode enabled here” at some point in their code.

4) Not paying attention to design

I’m not a very visually oriented person. Although I appreciate good design, I just can’t do it myself. I thought for a while that my music was good enough to market itself. It wasn’t.

Packaging is a significant way in which people interact with products. You wouldn’t buy a can of peaches with a label that didn’t look good. Why would I get anywhere with how my music was packaged? I’m surprised I’m where I’m at now, considering how badly Joe Roller was marketed.

I addressed that by hiring a designer I believed in and seeking honest feedback from my friends. I read lots of books about art, spent hours searching images online, and really thinking about my own visual aesthetics and what I like.

It took a while, but now the Joe Roller branding is something I can really believe in.

Thanks for reading!

Thank you so much for continued readership. I didn’t expect my blog to be a huge source of engagement. I only did Thank you so much for reading my blog. I did this just for fun and share my thoughts about what’s going on in the world and share my approach to music and 500 people a month are interested in reading it.

Part of the components of my blog outlined in the first post includes a “Repertoire Quarterly.” Since I started the blog in Q4 and it’s the end of the year, I’m going to show you everything I did through the entire year of 2019.

Occupations:

  • Accompanist at Kunsmiller Creative Arts Academy
  • Rehearsal Pianist/Accompanist for Take Note! the subset of Denver Woman’s Chorus of the Rocky Mountain Arts Association
  • Substitute Accompanist at Denver School of the Arts
  • Rehearsal pianist for CenterStage Theater Company
  • Accompanist at True Voice Vocal Studio
  • Private Instructor

Writing:

  • Undergraduate Honors Thesis (awarded magna cum laude from the English department and the University of Colorado)
  • This Blog

Original Classical Music Chronological:

  • 4 Waltzes, op 99 (40 pgs)
  • Bach Passacaglia BWV 582 for Piano (13 pgs)
  • Buxtehude Chaconne BuxWV 160 for Two Pianos (24 pgs)

Original Dance Music as Joe Roller Chronological (Publication Pending):

  • Fire Inside (ft. Kay-Kay) (5 min)
  • Arapahoe Wind (8 min)
  • Sixish (6 min)
  • Tawa (6 min)
  • Nuvak (6 min)
  • Onyo (7 min)
  • Dream Field (7 min)
  • Lucid Sound Distribution (5 min)
  • IM3 (3min)

Solo Piano Repertoire Alphabetical:

  • Schubert Impromptus D935 op. post
  • Bach/Roessler Passacaglia BWV 582 for Piano
  • Buxtehude/Roessler Chaconne BuxWV 160 for Two Pianos (both parts)

Musicals Alphabetical:

  • 9 to 5
  • Footloose Jr.
  • Frozen Jr.
  • Into the Woods

Choral Repertoire Alphabetical:

Adkins, Adele and Wilson, Daniel Roessler, Joseph and Merchant, Scott Someone Like You
Ahrens, Lynn and Flaherty, Stephen Shaw, Kirby Make Them Hear You
Bassett, Dave and Platten, Rachel Roessler, Joseph and Merchant, Scott Fight Song
Batie, Cassandra Monique and Decliveo, Jennifer Roessler, Joseph and Merchant, Scott Rise Up
Bechler, Emma   The Revival
Brown, Andrew “Knox;” Glynne, Jessica; Smith, Finlay; Bennett, Janee Sharpe, Bryan Ain’t Got Far To Go
Burrows, Mark   Until All of Us Are Free
Holland, Brian et al. Roessler, Joseph and Merchant, Scott Feel It Still
Ivory Circle   No One Will Find Us
Jones, Mick and Strummer, Joe Roessler, Joseph and Merchant, Scott Should I Stay or Should I Go
Jovi, Jon Bon and Karak, George Roessler, Joseph and Merchant, Scott Runaway
Key, Francis Scott Redei, Rob The Star Spangled Banner
Lauper, Cindi and Hyman, Rob Roessler, Joseph and Merchant, Scott Time After Time
Milck   Quiet
Miranda, Lin-Manuel Roessler, Joseph and Merchant, Scott How Far I’ll Go
Moroder, G. and Forsey, K. Roessler, Joseph and Merchant, Scott The Never Ending Story
Olsavsky, Alexendra Artemisa What Happens When a Woman?
O’Mara, Mike   It’s Love, I Just Know It
Peňa, Andrea and Garrity, Sawyer Finegold, R. M. Shine
Rae, Kayla   All Love
Rae, Kayla   Changed Up
Ray, Amy Lemon, Shari Go
Reagan, Bernice Johnson and Baker, Ella Josephine Kucsan, Kathy and McElhaney, Clarsa Ella’s Song
Rollison, Shelly   Human to Human
Sherman, Richard M. and Sherman, Robert B. Roessler, Joseph and Merchant, Scott Chim Chim Cher-ee
Simon, Paul and Withers, Bill Roessler, Joseph and Merchant, Scott Bridge Over Troubled Water / Learn On Me Medley
Thomsen, Sara   Water is Life ~ Mni Wičoni
Young, Adam and Owl City Roessler, Joseph and Merchant, Scott Fireflies
Young, Adam; Thiessen, Matthew; Lee, Brian Roessler, Joseph and Merchant, Scott When Can I See You Again?

Vocal Repertoire Alphabetical:

Composer Title
Anka, Paul Put your Head on my Shoulder
Barber, Samuel Sure on This Shining Night
Brown, Jason Robert Stars and the Moon
Brown, Jason Robert Still Hurting
Carmichael, Hoagy and Mercer, Johnny Skylark
Carnelia, Craig What You’d Call a Dream
Collins, Phil You’ll Be In My Heart
Davenport, Phil and Cooley, Eddie Fever
Fauré, Gabriel Ici-bas!, op 8 n 3
Garner, Erroll Misty
Gershwin, George and Gershwin, Ira Someone to Watch Over Me
Gershwin, George and Gershwin, Ira Summertime
Griffes, Charles T. Tone Images, op. 3
Hamilton, Arthur Cry Me a River
Hamlisch, Marvin and Kleban, Edward What I Did for Love
Howard, Bart Fly Me to the Moon
John, Elton and Taupin, Bernie Your Song
Lambert, Lisa and Morrison, Greg As We Stumble Along
Lawrence, Drew C.; Perri, Christina; Yeretsian Barrett Jar of Hearts
Lennon, John and McCartney, Paul Let It Be
Mancini, Henry Moon River
McCartney, Paul and Lennon, John Blackbird
McCoy, Kansas-Joe Why Don’t You Do Right?
Mercury, Freddie Bohemian Rhapsody
Minchin, Tim When I Grow Up
Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus Ave Verum Corpus, K618
Pasek, Benj and Paul, Justin Runnin’ Home To You
Pickett, Wilson Mustang Sally
Porter, Cole In the Still of the Night
Reid, Mike and Shamblin, Allen I can’t Make You Love Me
Rodgers, Richard My Funny Valentine
Schubert, Franz An Die Musik
Schubert, Franz Ave Maria
Schumann, Robert Im wundershönen Monat Mai
Sheik, Duncan and Sater, Steven Mama Who Bore Me
Sondheim, Stephen Giants in the Sky
Stewart, Dave; Rubin, Bruce Joel; Ballard, Glen With You
Stewart, Michael and Coleman, CY The Colors of My Life
Strauss, Johan and Genée, Richard Mein Herr Marquis
Traditional Par un Matin
Tunstall, KT Black Horse and the Cherry Tree

That’s a wrap! Thanks for a great year and see you on the other side!