Thursday, August 30, 2018

Something for Thursday

I've really been grooving to the soundtrack to Guardians of the Galaxy vol 2 of late, and of the wonderfully-chosen songs from that film, this one for me is a standout. I suspect that many people, like me, had never heard this song before the movie--or even heard of the song, as it was apparently just a regional hit in the 1970s, being about a road in Chicago. But it's got this nifty energy to it that reminds me of some of the best country-rock out there.

I especially like the poetry in the lyrics, such as "And the blue lights shine with a heavenly grace to help you right on by." Great song!

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Tone Poem Tuesday

I still owe him a much longer post, but meantime, this past Saturday marked the 100th anniversary of the birth of Leonard Bernstein, one of the greatest musicians this country has ever produced. Here he is conducting the music of another of America's greatest musicians, Aaron Copland, in his Appalachian Spring ballet. This is still the finest performance of this work I know.

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Something for Thursday

A bit of film music adapted for chamber performance, by the great Joe Hisaishi. From My Neighbor Totoro, here is "Kaze no Torimichi (The Path of Wind)".

Tuesday, August 21, 2018


Check this out, folks: I have joined local geek commentary website The Geekiverse as a staff writer! Huzzah!!

In addition to other things, I'll be mainly writing a regular column I'm calling Curios from the Outer Rim, in which I look at geeky stuff that's at least fifteen years old, so as to balance the ever-present focus on what's coming out today/this weekend/this month/this year. My first installment is live now, so go take a look!

Tone Poem Tuesday

Remember how in the movie Amadeus Antonion Salieri is presented as a basically competent composer whose music might have been nice at the time but deserved its fade from memory?, Salieri was no Mozart. But he wasn't a boob, either. He was prolific and many a composer, really. And the movie, though great, took significant liberties with musical history. Salieri did not hound poor Mozart to his death, even if their relationship was frosty.

Here is the overture to his opera Les Horaces. This is not the work of "a mediocrity"!

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Tone Poem Tuesday

We did a piece by Vasily Kalinnikov last week, so this week...let's do another one!

Just as last week I was unable to dig up much actual information about the Bylina Overture, so too am I unable to find a lot out about The Cedar and the Palm, which is a "symphonic picture" written in 1898 (which happens to be the year my maternal grandmother was born). Here it is:

Thursday, August 09, 2018


Crossposting from it's the back cover blurb for my next novel, and my first released book not in the Forgotten Stars sequence! It's a supernatural thriller titled The Chilling Killing Wind, and I can't wait for it to be out there in the world. I will have a date nailed down soon, but for now, I'm planning for mid to late September.

So what's the story about? Well:

Tonight, former detective John Lazarus will finally put his old life behind him. He has a new job as a teacher, a new home, and a new love. All he has to do is get through tonight’s execution of Roy Edgar Chalmers, the last of the three men who killed John’s wife in a botched robbery. Once Chalmers is dead, John Lazarus will be done with his old life at last.

But tomorrow the murders will start: strange, violent crimes whose only connection is the pair of voices exhorting the perpetrators to kill. As an occasional police consultant, John Lazarus will increasingly suspect that something abnormal is at the heart of these killings. And when Roy Edgar Chalmers, not nearly so dead as he should be, approaches him for help, John Lazarus will realize that maybe his old life isn’t quite done with him….

Stay tuned for more!

Something for Thursday

James Horner, scoring Field of Dreams: "The Place Where Dreams Come True" and "End Credits". One of the most magical endings to a movie I have ever seen, and Horner's music is a major part of that.

Tuesday, August 07, 2018


This Saturday, at Off the Beaten Path Books in Lakewood, NY, a certain author will be doing his first-ever book signing.

If you're in the neck of the woods and you want a signed copy of Stardancer, The Wisdomfold Path, or Amongst the Stars--or all three!--drop on in!

Sooo... is it kosher to wear overalls to one's own book signing? (Oh yeah, I'm doing a book signing! Off the Beaten Path Bookstore in Lakewood, NY! If you're within a six hour drive, come over!) #amwriting #writersofinstagram #writerinoveralls #indiebooks

Tone Poem Tuesday

I've long loved the two symphonies that Vasily Kalinnikov wrote, but I've been largely unfamiliar with the remainder of his output. Kalinnikov was a talented composer who produced a lot of rich, emotional, and songlike work before his untimely death from tuberculosis in 1901, when he was just 35 years old. Had he been able to live to his seventies, I wonder what rank he might hold in musical history.

I haven't been able to find much information about this particular work beyond its title: Bylina, an overture. You probably don't need to know more than that, though. This music is its own reward.

Monday, August 06, 2018

Forest murmurs: Hunters Creek Park

Walking at Hunters Creek Park yesterday.

In the woods at Hunters Creek Park #hunterscreekpark #wny #eastaurora #nature #hiking #trees

This park is "undeveloped", meaning it's a parcel of land in the wilderness and farm country southeast of Buffalo, with no amenities other than a fairly extensive series of trails, some of which are more heavily traveled than others. The access to the park consists of two gravel parking lots, and that's it. The park follows Hunters Creek (hence the name) as it cuts through an impressive ravine on its way to Buffalo Creek, which in turn becomes the Buffalo River, which empties into Lake Erie just upstream of where it empties itself into the Niagara River. All this water, therefore, is destined to plummet eventually over the great Niagara Falls themselves.

But anyway, Hunters Creek is a fascinating pleasure. The only people you encounter here are fellow hikers and mountain bikers, and occasionally a person camping overnight (I'm not sure this is permitted but I know it happens).

A few photos from yesterday's bit of hiking, which involved a side trip to the Creek itself because I'm always drawn to water.

Trees overhanging the creek #hunterscreekpark #wny #eastaurora #nature #hiking #trees #stream #runningwater

Looping trail #hunterscreekpark #wny #eastaurora #nature #hiking

Not a lot of water now.... #hunterscreekpark #wny #eastaurora #nature #hiking #stream #runningwater

Mossy rock #hunterscreekpark #wny #eastaurora #nature #hiking #moss

The dee-oh-gee's shadow on the creek bottom #Cane #dogsofinstagram #greyhound #greyhoundsofinstagram #hunterscreekpark #wny #eastaurora #nature #hiking #stream #runningwater

Adventurers. #Cane #dogsofinstagram #greyhound #greyhoundsofinstagram #overalls #dungarees #biboveralls #vintage #gap #gapoveralls #ootd #denimoveralls #overallsarelife #hunterscreekpark #wny #eastaurora #nature #hiking #stream #runningwater

Thursday, August 02, 2018