Archive for May, 2009

La Quinta Ad

May 26, 2009

this weeks entry is a video one, for

(or here:  Youtube)

at a wedding a couple of weekends ago in Des Moines, IA, i stayed at a La Quinta Inn and Suites.  i figured it was the perfect opportunity to shoot a high quality commercial for them to bring home and score, so i went to work.

The content for this was really handed to me.  As i walked around the hotel i realized that everything i needed to know about this place was staring me in the face.  i shot my room a bit, the hallway, lobby, elevator, parking lot, and stairwell, and over the course of a couple of days got a couple of good shots of the La Quina sign.  i made sure to get some stills to animate when i got home too, including the little shampoo bottle and the making of a coctail.  BAM!  shoot wrapped.

then i came home and made a basic lyric sheet for the images i got, and put them in a functional order.

then, as the lyric sheet came together in time and content, i started playing guitar over cuts of the video, set at a specific speed, so that the video would match the music in time.  had i started cutting the video with these specific clip lengths i would’ve saved a lot of time, and now i know.  i set all the image lengths to divisions of 2 seconds, and set my music metronome to 120 beats per minute.  BAM!  music wrapped.

also, thanks to, i now have a much slicker video player for, and several videos posted on their site.  thanks vimeo!

also, thanks to Nate Roettgen for his inspiring performance in the video!  nate was a real jem to work with.

thanks for tuning in!


piano etude number 6

May 22, 2009


this is a favorite of mine among the etudes so far.  until now, counterpoint was a secret love of mine.  now you know.  for a real how-to on counterpoint, start with bach’s keyboard material.  inventions, fugue’s, sinfonia’s, they all set the bar high, and they’re all created with a pretty specific set of rules.  what i tend to do with counterpoint now is approach it within these rules/guidelines and break them as my ear leads.  a recent approach i like alot is to stick more or less to rules for theme and form, but break some of the rules of harmony.

this piece get’s a wee bit out of the harmonic box, but mostly stays close to home.  things that it does do that are the most strict are.

1.  harmonic and rhythmic themes

2.  theme at the relative minor (briefly)

3.  theme at the fifth (modified)

4.  two voices only

5.  canon

right around :53 seconds, listen for the “canon”, which is the theme presented exactly the same way in two different voices, but at different times.  in this case, they’re offset by one beat.  you’ll hear the theme start in the high voice and then follow in the lower voice, remaining exactly the same until the very end, where i changed the lower part to end the piece.

thanks for listening, as always.  and toon in sometime soon, as i’ll hopefully be posting some fresh tracks from a hip-hop record i’m making.

p.s.  i’ll also be updating soonly, with my first attempt at an advertizement.  if you havn’t seen this video site, please stop by!

piano etude number 5

May 12, 2009

well, hello there!  thanks for reading this sentence.  i maid it myself with my bear hands.

this weeks “song of the week” is another etude.  this one is all based on a whole-tone scale.  the score (for the time being) says, “monsters approach triumphant”, cause that’s how it feels in my imagination.  this, like most of the etudes, was a great exercise in limiting the parameters in order to come up with a cohesive piece, and the whole tone scale creates a pretty fun character that can be devious, with all its tri-tones, and dreamy at the same time.  it leaves you hanging a little, listening for a harmonic home-base.

thanks for listening.


p.s.  i’ve made a little house for my stop animation videos, at, give it a looksy!

new etude AND new site

May 5, 2009

hey friends,

thing 1: etude number 4!

this one is the “pretty” one, and the longest of the bunch.  i’m still a little on the fence about it.  i’m happy with the theme and general idea, but may try and trim it down a bit.  stay tooned.  🙂

thing 2:  i just launched as a host for stop-animation shorts i’ve been making.  hope you like them!  they’re ridiculous.