Long ago, the Boston Globe tagged me a “master composer” for my work with my band The Indigo Invention Group. Since working with that group and Boston’s Jazz Composer’s Alliance, I have written music for choreographers, theater directors, and television producers. I thrive on collaboration, able to write in pretty much any style and sound palette you throw at me. My work composing scores for documentaries and animation can be heard on networks like Discovery, Nat Geo, History and PBS. My original scores for Portland Stage’s productions of “A Christmas Carol” and “The Snow Queen” live in their archives along with live production footage. I’ve also live-scored hundreds of short-form improvisation theater and educational performances. I love to compose, improvise, and collaborate. And I’ve done it a lot.
I also love to teach. Inspired by Kodaly pedagogy while doing a graduate degree at the New England Conservatory, I went on to teach elementary and middle school general music in the Cambridge Public Schools while also developing an audience for the Indigo Invention Group in the early 2000’s. That’s when I also cut my teeth underscoring for live comedy at Improv Boston, which, under the direction of Will Luera granted the Indigo Invention group a monthly residency at their old Cambridge Street address. Amidst all this, I earned level 2 certification in Kodaly pedagogy, which became the cornerstone of my work with children at the Cambridgeport School.
When I moved to Portland, Maine in 2006, one of my kids was 2 and the other was in utero. I began composing for television and movie scores while also teaching at Portland’s Friends School and later the Breakwater School. Here, too, I applied my zeal for composing with a solid foundation in teaching so that I could share with kids not only the imagination of creating original work, but also the ear-skills to bring them to life. I taught camps at Portland Stage’s Theater for Kids while also composing and music directing for some of their premier productions. I also taught private lessons through this period and eventually found myself teaching one of Dan Sonenberg‘s triplet sons. Dan was kind enough to urge me to apply for an open music theory and ear training position at the school of music at the University of Southern Maine. I’ve been there since 2015.
Through all of this, I’ve tinkered with code. I’ve imagined creating games for people to experience music in a way that improves their music skills. Uncertain of what these might be and lacking funds or business savvy enough to raise money to hire a software and design team, I taught myself how to program for iOS. I made one game (Bubble Tones – now kaput) and have since gone on to create Tone Hole.
Teaching elementary school rooted my thinking in creating games that engage learners with singing and connecting to music literacy. Composing for media collaborations awakens my zeal for making special moments come to life in performance. Teaching college ear training re-affirms my devotion to pointing students to their true voice and giving them the tools to bring it to life. And as I lean back from all this pedagogy and performance, I yearn to create something new: ways for anyone – ANYONE – to develop their own musical voice; vehicles for music students and music fans alike to get deep inside tones evolving through time; methods for people to interact with music and hear melody in unusual and intimate new ways.
Every day, I wake up and seek to share these experiences to YOU. That’s why I’ve made Tone Hole. I hope you enjoy it, and I hope it brightens your ears to all the other kinds of music you adore.