Letters from the Muse Room #42 (November 2023)

The “Muse Room” is the room in my house where I make music and my wife makes visual art. Published the first Friday of every other month (though not this time), each issue of Letters from the Muse Room includes news and updates about my music, as well as something that has inspired me creatively over the past two months.

Dear friends,

My news and inspiration for this month were one and the same: playing my first pop music show in a very long time at PorchFest on October 14!

[Me playing guitar and singing on a porch!] It was a chilly day, but more people showed up than I expected, and I had a blast performing. It was great to finally share the five new songs with the world. Here was the setlist:

[My PorchFest setlist!]

A friend with high-quality cameras showed up and took some great pictures:

[Me singing at PorchFest.]

[Me singing at PorchFest, with the back of my daughter’s head in the foreground.]

[Me singing at PorchFest, with my Fender Acoustasonic amp in the foreground.]

My other piece of news is that I plan to record and release an EP, hopefully next year, featuring the five new songs. The EP will be called After The Flash, and this will be the tracklist:

Who I Am Part 2
Earthquake
Paradise Lost
Love After The Flash
Ocean Eyes

I look forward to sharing more about the EP in the months to come. In the meantime, though, my friend also recorded a few video clips, including clips of two of the new songs. Check them out at the YouTube links below!

“Too Far” clip (from Songs From My Shelf): https://youtu.be/VGksE3LeMhc

“Paradise Lost” clip: https://youtu.be/-Dq9zrqi2TU

“Ocean Eyes” clip: https://youtu.be/1jEpoGoeTkQ

(These links are unlisted for now, to give you all the first sneak peek, but if you’d like to share them with a friend please feel free!)

[Me singing passionately at PorchFest.]

—-

If you’ve been following me on Instagram or Facebook over the past two months, you know that I’ve also been inspired by the Indigo Girls:

[The Indigo Girls album Retrospective.]

And this book by composer Dale Trumbore:

[The cover of Staying Composed by Dale Trumbore.]

And this quote by composer Ben Johnston:

[Quote from composer Ben Johnston.]

And this lovely view of Shirley Bush Helzberg Symphony House (where I work) at sunset!

[Shirley Bush Helzberg Symphony House, the headquarters of the Kansas City Symphony.]

Thanks for reading. Have a wonderful holiday season, and I will see you in the New Year!

Peace,

AJ Harbison

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Letters from the Muse Room #41 (September 2023)

The “Muse Room” is the room in my house where I make music and my wife makes visual art. Published the first Friday of every other month, each issue of Letters from the Muse Room includes news and updates about my music, as well as something that has inspired me creatively over the past two months.

Dear friends,

Welcome to fall! (I know it doesn’t officially start until September 23, but, kids are back in school, PSLs are back at Starbucks, leaves are starting to blow off the trees… c’mon, it’s basically fall.)

I have two announcements in this Letter, one about concert music and one about pop music.

In the concert-music realm, I’ve recently joined Scorefolio, an online service that creates score videos, and I’ve done two so far. The first was a short piano prelude called “To The Nines” (because it’s based around ninth chords). The second one is my flute duet A Long Weight of Silence, a reflection and meditation on the pandemic through the lens of the six stages of grief. If you’re interested, you can watch the score videos on Scorefolio here or on YouTube here.

[A screenshot of score videos on YouTube.]

In the pop-music realm, I wrote last time about how seeing Matchbox 20 in concert had inspired me to do some pop music songwriting again. I’m happy to report that I’ve done just that. I’m planning a five-song EP, and I have four of the five songs written (and have started on the fifth). One of the songs I performed once (MAYBE twice), in California, 10 or more years ago; the other four songs are brand new and never-before-heard. I’m excited to share more with you soon.

[A pencil with some lyrics for “Who I Am Part 2.”]

The first song is called “Who I Am Part 2.”

But in the meantime, I’m very excited to announce something I haven’t been able to announce in years: If you’re in Kansas City in October, YOU HAVE A CHANCE TO COME AND HEAR ME PLAY MY POP MUSIC LIVE, FOR FREE. That’s right, I’ll be performing at PorchFestKC this year.

This is an awesome local festival that takes place in the Valentine/Roanoke midtown area; homeowners volunteer to host musicians on their porches, and people can come to see a particular artist or just stroll down the street and stop at whatever porch sounds like their kind of jam. I did this back in 2016 (wow, that was a long time ago) and it was super fun.

[AJ performing at PorchFestKC in 2016, with his three-year-old daughter next to him.]

A cute blonde came and crashed the party. :)

The festival is Saturday, October 14, and I’ll be performing on a porch near 39th and Broadway at noon. I’ll be debuting the new songs as well as playing others from Songs From My Shelf and maybe a cover or two. I’ll send more information and reminders as we get closer. I would love to see you there!

[The official graphic for PorchFestKC 2023.]

—-

I’ve recently been inspired by a book with a provocative title: Real Artists Don’t Starve, by Jeff Goins.

[The cover of Real Artists Don’t Starve by Jeff Goins.]

As often happens with me, I bought this book a while ago but never got around to reading it until now. And it’s had a lot of really good things to say. Its goal is to expose the “starving artist” archetype as a myth and show creatives how they can instead be “thriving artists” who make money from their art, connect with their audience and have a real impact.

If you’re an artist, a creative of any stripe or even an entrepreneur, I’d highly recommend it. Jeff Goins also has a Substack you can subscribe to where he writes about writing, life, creativity and the lessons he’s learned from them all.

Thanks for reading. If you’ve made it this far, I want to let you know that I really appreciate it, and I truly hope that these newsletters bring a little spark of joy and inspiration to you. Until next time, I hope you find some small (or some big) ways to thrive.

Peace,
AJ Harbison

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Letters from the Muse Room #40 (July 2023)

The “Muse Room” is the room in my house where I make music and my wife makes visual art. Published the first Friday of every other month (though it’s late this month!), each issue of Letters from the Muse Room includes news and updates about my music, as well as something that has inspired me creatively over the past two months.

Dear friends,

I hope you are all enjoying your summer! It’s hard to believe July is almost over.

Speaking of which, this Letter is late — this isn’t the first Friday of the month. That’s because we took a family road trip to Chicago the first week of July; read more (and see some pictures of really tall buildings) below.

[The Harbison family in Chicago with skyscrapers in the background.]

I don’t have much music news to share this time; with the vacation and being between projects at the moment, I’ve mostly been doing some composition study and some melody and harmony exercises (as I mentioned in my radio interview on Classical KC). But I do have something to share with you!

I wrote last year about the Olympus Choirs Elements sound library, and how I wanted to share a before-and-after comparison of how it sounded for my piece Seal Lullaby. But I had deleted the before version in my excitement about the after. Well, a little while ago I redid another of my choral compositions, Adventus, with the Olympus library, and I did save the before version of that. So you can hear some before-and-after comparisons at this link!

[The opening system of the Adventus score.]

‑‑‑‑

I was certainly inspired by our trip to Chicago. There’s something about having to crane your neck all the way back to see up to the top of something that inspires a sense of grandeur and even awe.

[Looking up the steep side of a skyscraper in Chicago.]

We took the architecture boat tour and it was filled with beautiful buildings and fascinating history. Everything from older, ornate buildings:

[An older, ornate skyscraper in Chicago.]

to futuristic buildings (the way the future was envisioned in the 1960s):

[The Marina City Towers in Chicago.]

to a building designed to look like a bottle of champagne, built at the height of Prohibition:

[The Carbide and Carbon Building in Chicago.]

to the world’s tallest building designed by a woman architect:

[The St. Regis in Chicago.]

We also went to the Skydeck at Willis Tower, and spent two minutes in a glass box sticking out from the side of the building 1,353 feet above the ground.

[The Harbison family seemingly suspended in midair.]

On the way back we stopped at Starved Rock State Park in Illinois, where we took in the beauty of natural creation after a week of the beauty of human creation.

[Wildcat Canyon in Starved Rock State Park.]

This canyon is 125 feet deep, and it was very quiet at the bottom. It was a magical spot.

These two places didn’t inspire anything directly, though they certainly “filled the well.” My other inspiration did, however.

[Matchbox Twenty performing at the Starlight Theater.]

Two weeks before our trip, I saw Matchbox Twenty perform live at Starlight Theater in Kansas City.

[Rob Thomas on a video board at the concert looking half crazed.]

I’ve loved Matchbox Twenty for more than 20 years now, but it was my first time getting to see them live. It was a fantastic show and I had so much fun.

But it also inspired me to do some pop music songwriting and recording again. If you’re interested in my pop music and you want to hear some new stuff — stay tuned.

[Matchbox Twenty performing.]

I hope you find inspiration in creations this summer — human, natural, musical, and otherwise. I’ll see you in September!

Peace,
AJ Harbison

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Letters from the Muse Room #36 (November 2022)

The “Muse Room” is the room in my house where I make music and my wife makes visual art. Published the first Friday of every other month, each issue of Letters from the Muse Room includes news and updates about my music, as well as something that has inspired me creatively over the past two months.

Dear friends,

One of my favorite things is checking items off a list. I’m one of those people who will write something I’ve already done onto a list, just to cross it off.

[A fully crossed-off list.]

This picture makes me happy.

I got to cross something off a big list last week — I finished my rewrite of TheSpaceBetween!

[The end of TheSpaceBetween.]

I am hopeful that I may get to hear a live performance of the piece soon, but in the meantime, I’ve put the full MIDI recording up on the piece’s page on my website, where you can also look at a perusal score, read the program notes and even buy it. Check it out here: https://www.ajharbison.com/music/concert/thespacebetween.

My next project is a solo cello piece that will hopefully see several performances in and around Kansas City early next year. My goal is to finish it by December 31, so I’ll have more to share on it in my next Letter on January 6. Till then!

[A file titled “Shapeshifter” on my computer.]

—-

There were several things that inspired me over the past two months. I could have written about how the Kansas City Current professional women’s soccer team went from joining the league in 2021 and finishing in last place to playing in the championship game this year…

[The Kansas City Current logo.]

…or how I finished a really, REALLY long book…

[The Brothers Karamazov, by Fyodor Dostoevsky.]

…but instead, I’m going to write about these guys:

[The Dirty Loops.]

I was introduced by a friend of mine at the Symphony to the Dirty Loops, a band I can best describe as “maximalist jazz-pop fusion.” All three of them (lead vocals/keyboards, bass, drums) are truly amazing musicians, and their music manages to be both astonishingly sophisticated and incredibly fun.

[Henrik Linder, bass player for the Dirty Loops.]

The bass player’s bass has seven — count ’em, seven — strings. A typical bass has four. I’m telling you, they’re maximalist.

They first made a name for themselves for doing covers, and their covers tend to show up their sophistication. One of my favorites is their cover of Avicii’s song “Wake Me Up.” The original song — catchy and fun, right? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5y_KJAg8bHI&ab_channel=AviciiOfficialVEVO.

The Dirty Loops’ version? An elevation of the original, with way more complexity, crazy jazz changes and a brash key change (just for the outro) that’s one of my favorite harmonic changes in any kind of music. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j0sYj4wxyk0&ab_channel=DirtyLoopsVEVO.

[From the Dirty Loops’ “Wake Me Up” video.]

Another great cover of theirs is of Adele’s “Rolling in the Deep.” Just listen to the insane chord changes under the chorus (and, you know, the straight-up jazz piano solo in the middle): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j0sYj4wxyk0&ab_channel=DirtyLoopsVEVO

[The Dirty Loops’ drummer.]

I know the musical style and the songs aren’t for everyone, but the talent and craftsmanship on display in all of their songs is awe-inspiring.

I hope the final two months of your 2022 are filled with joy, hope and light. See you in 2023.

Peace,
AJ Harbison

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Letters from the Muse Room #35 (September 2022)

The “Muse Room” is the room in my house where I make music and my wife makes visual art. Published the first Friday of every other month, each issue of Letters from the Muse Room includes news and updates about my music, as well as something that has inspired me creatively over the past two months.

Dear friends,

I have a couple of new sounds to share with you this month!

My latest composition project has been rewriting TheSpaceBetween, which was premiered last year and had another performance this spring. I wasn’t really satisfied with either version of the piece, and I’ve been fully rewriting it, with mostly new music, for a different instrumentation.

[The opening of TheSpaceBetween.]

The piece is about the distance that the pandemic put between us, and the creative ways of connecting that came about as a result. Each instrument plays a solo line, in isolation; then there are two instruments that play together, then three, then four, and so on, with a piano interlude between each group.

I’m much happier with this version, and I’d like to share part of it with you. Here are a couple of minutes from the middle of the piece, including the quartets, the quintets and the sextet, with piano interludes in between: https://www.ajharbison.com/wp-content/uploads/tsbclip.mp3.

[The sextet, or at least three instruments’ worth of it.]

The other new sounds I wanted to share with you are those of the Olympus Choirs Elements sound library. I recently purchased this library and I’ve been very happy with the way it has sounded.

[Olympus Elements, from SoundIron.]

I spent some time a few weeks ago figuring out how it worked and creating a new MIDI demo of my choral piece Seal Lullaby. It still doesn’t sound like a real choir, of course, but it’s way ahead of what I had before.

I was going to post a before-and-after clip, but in my excitement over how good the “after” sounded, it appears I deleted all the “before” versions. Whoops…. Alas. But! You can hear the “after” on the piece’s page on my website, here: https://ajharbison.com/music/concert/seal-lullaby/.

Finally, for any regular readers who are wondering if I’m able to share news about my orchestra piece, unfortunately the answer is not yet. The performance has gotten pushed back and is not officially confirmed. But I’ll keep you posted, hopefully soon!

—-

I have two things that inspired me this past month, both music-related. Both of them are a mashup of two seemingly unrelated things that I am a fan of, and thus I can’t help being a fan of the result.

I love good rocking metal songs as much as the next guy. But when the good rocking metal songs tell the story of Norse mythology and Ragnarök, the Armageddon-esque battle between the Norse gods and the forces of evil — what’s not to love??

[Album cover of Emblas Saga by Brothers of Metal.]

Brothers of Metal are a Swedish band and they lean into Norse mythology like it’s more real than the real world.

Their official website about page begins, “BROTHERS OF METAL consist of eight powerful Viking warriors that originate from the glorious kingdom of Falun, far up in the north. Falun is a mighty town that lies within the dark iron woods where only true metal warriors reside.”

I love it.

Their label describes them as “a thunderous, catchy mixture of power metal, irresistible melodies, heavy riffs and some folkish elements,” which I’d say is pretty accurate. Their most recent single is “The Other Son of Odin,” and in addition to all those things, it also sounds like all that was awesome in the music of the 80s. Listen to it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nFGkutszRFA. And here’s their official YouTube channel, with all their songs: https://www.youtube.com/c/BrothersofMetalOfficial.

The other mashup that inspired me started with Mozart. I love Mozart symphonies as much as the next guy.

[The opening of Mozart’s Symphony No. 25 in G Minor.]

But when a Mozart symphony is performed by one of my favorite non-classical bands?

[Rodrigo y Gabriela.]

Magic.

Here’s the original version of Mozart’s Symphony No. 25 in G Minor, first movement: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SNZGarhNKbA.

And here’s the Rodrigo y Gabriela version: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wxV2T563b-Y

[Rod y Gab’s Mozart cover artwork.]

I hope you enjoy this music as much as I do. See you in November!

Peace,
AJ Harbison

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Letters from the Muse Room #34 (July 2022)

The “Muse Room” is the room in my house where I make music and my wife makes visual art. Published the first Friday of every other month (or the last Friday of the month, in this particular case, since I’m very late getting it out this month!), each issue of Letters from the Muse Room includes news and updates about my music, as well as something that has inspired me creatively over the past two months.

Dear friends,

Forgive my tardiness on this month’s Letter. It’s hard to believe July is almost over! After a busy month of June at work, a fun cross-country vacation with my family and then a couple of busy weeks after getting back, I suddenly look up and wonder where summer has gone.

But I really enjoyed the vacation. It was our first big road trip with the kids (15 hours each way!) but they did great and we enjoyed seeing my parents in central Virginia.

[Deer in my parents’ front yard.] Four deer in my parents’ front yard.

[A double rainbow and cars in the rain.] Double rainbow!

(More on the vacation below, in the inspiration section.)

In the Muse Room the last couple of months, I’ve been studying aspects of contemporary melody and harmony in a deeper and more analytical dive than I’ve probably ever done. Not a whole lot to share there, though I do feel I’m becoming a better composer.

My other main Muse Room project since returning from our vacation has been working on some preludes. At the church where I’m the music director, a pianist (often me but sometimes others) starts off the service with a short prelude, around 3 minutes. I’ve been compiling and arranging some original preludes that I’m using for this purpose.

[Me playing a prelude at church, with my daughter making a cameo in the front row.]

I’m drawing a lot of the preludes from music I’ve written in the past. There’s one based on an early draft of the melody from Rainlight, one based on a piece I wrote back in 2005, and one based on a prelude that I improvised on a new melody I wrote for the hymn “Just As I Am.” The latest one is based on a string quartet I wrote in 2012. The string quartet never saw the light of day, but the music is getting new life as a piano prelude. You can listen to it here: https://www.ajharbison.com/wp-content/uploads/pianoprelude.mp3.

—-

I’ve written before about how goal-setting every year is inspiring for me. I get excited about new things I want to do to become better — a better person, a better composer. Setting goals is very energizing for me.

[A Moleskine notebook and stickers, for setting goals.]

But, as with all energizing things, after a while the energy wears off and my pursuit of my goals falls by the wayside.

But something my wife and I have wanted to do for a while is a goal re-evaluation retreat — taking some time in the middle of the year to revisit our goals, assess our progress, and make adjustments if needed. We got to do it on our vacation, out on my parents’ back porch.

[My parents’ back porch. It was hot and humid but still fun.]

It was a wonderful exercise for me. I didn’t make any huge adjustments. But I did think about some slight realignments, some new short-term goals that would help me get to my larger goals. And it re-energized me to the point where I was excited to jump back in to some things (like working out) that I’d fallen out of the habit of doing. If you’re a goal-setter, I highly recommend re-evaluating at least once a year. My wife and I are planning to do another re-evaluation in the fall.

I hope to have some exciting news to share next month — revealing the identity of the orchestra piece I’ve been writing about. Stay tuned!

Peace,
AJ Harbison

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Letters from the Muse Room #33 (May 2022)

The “Muse Room” is the room in my house where I make music and my wife makes visual art. Published the first Friday of every other month, each issue of Letters from the Muse Room includes news and updates about my music, as well as something that has inspired me creatively over the past two months.

Dear friends,

Happy May! I hope warm weather and sunny skies are heading your way or have already arrived. Kansas City has finally gotten there, I think, and the colors of spring have been out in force.

[Violets in our front yard.] [White tree blossoms.] [Green and pink trees.]

It’s been a fairly quiet couple of months in the Muse Room, but I have two primary projects I’ve been working on.

Project #1: Since Chimera Contemporary’s performance of my piece TheSpaceBetween in mid-March, I’ve decided that I want to rewrite it — partly to make it a stronger piece with a clearer form and partly to recast it for a more common instrumental ensemble. It’s taking a better shape now, and the instrumentation is now flute, oboe, clarinet, violin, viola, cello and piano.

Here’s a clip from the beginning, with each instrument taking a turn with a solo line and the first duet: https://www.ajharbison.com/wp-content/uploads/tsbclip.mp3.

Stay tuned to my Instagram and Facebook pages for more updates on the rewrite as it progresses!

[The opening of the score to TheSpaceBetween.]

Project #2: I decided I wanted to compose a little less than usual in 2022 in order to devote some more time to studying. And the other thing I’ve been up to is studying (considering the season, appropriately enough) Igor Stravinsky’s Le Sacre du Printemps (better known in English as The Rite of Spring).

[Stravinsky’s manuscript of the first page of The Rite of Spring.]

Stravinsky’s manuscript of the first page of Le Sacre du Printemps. Gorgeous, is it not? I wish my musical handwriting looked like this….

I’ve been looking primarily at melodies and harmonies so far, and I feel like I’ve learned a lot. I’m seeing how he doesn’t develop the melodies very much*, and tends to just layer a bunch on top of each other near the end of a movement. I’m seeing how he often uses chromatic lines to activate a dissonant texture. I’m seeing how he builds up dissonant chords by juxtaposing a consonant chord in one orchestral section with a different consonant chord in another section.**

* And a lot of the melodies are really just short motives rather than fully formed melodies.

* A great example of this is the beginning of the Introduction to Part 2; the flutes are alternating between D-sharp minor and C-sharp minor chords, and the horns are holding a D (natural) minor chord. Listen to it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fwFOcaBwCWc.

I haven’t done a detailed deep dive like this into too many pieces before, and it’s proving inspiring as I gain insight into how the piece works and get ideas for techniques I could use in my own music. (Which, of course, is the whole point!)

[Marked-up score of the introduction to The Rite of Spring. Fruitful studying!]

I could never miss a chance to recommend that you listen to The Rite of Spring, so, check it out! Here’s a video recording with the London Symphony Orchestra: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EkwqPJZe8ms.

And here’s the Leonard Bernstein/New York Philharmonic audio recording, where the video follows the score: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rP42C-4zL3w

And, while we’re on the subject, I can’t miss the chance to also recommend this version I found last year — the entire score, as written by Stravinsky, played on electric guitar:
https://twitter.com/ajharbison/status/1365026759243137031.

—-

While I’m certainly being inspired through what I’m discovering in The Rite of Spring, a different piece of music also inspired me this past month. It’s called Chinese Ancient Dances, and it was composed by one of my composition teachers from my master’s program, Chen Yi.

[Chen Yi.]

The piece is for clarinet (or saxophone) and piano. It’s in two movements, “Ox Tail Dance” and “Hu Xuan Dance,” both of which are based on literary descriptions of (you guessed it) ancient dances from China.

[Score cover for Chinese Ancient Dances.]

What fascinates me about this piece, and much of Chen Yi’s other music, is how she juxtaposes traditional Chinese music (often using five-note pentatonic scales) and spiky contemporary music (often using twelve-note chromatic scales). In the opening of Chinese Ancient Dances, the clarinet or saxophone plays a traditional-sounding melody with folk-like ornamentation — not pentatonic in this case but easy to listen to. When the piano enters, it plays a thundering bass line that uses all twelve notes of the chromatic scale in succession.

Throughout both movements the instruments mostly maintain these characteristics, and the result is a piece that’s strikingly contemporary yet also accessible. Give it a listen!

[Performance of Chinese Ancient Dances by Zach Shemon and Jiyoun Chung.]

This performance took place at the UMKC Conservatory, where Chen Yi teaches. I was actually in attendance at this performance!

I hope your next two months are filled with warmth, color, and spiky yet accessible art. :)

Peace,
AJ Harbison

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Letters from the Muse Room #31 (January 2022)

The “Muse Room” is the room in my house where I make music and my wife makes visual art. Published the first Friday of every other month, each issue of Letters from the Muse Room includes news and updates about my music, as well as something that has inspired me creatively over the past month.

Dear friends,
Happy New Year! I hope you’ve had a wonderful holiday season and some time to relax and refresh.

[My family’s Christmas tree.]

One of my favorite traditions in the week between Christmas and New Year’s is planning goals for the coming year. It always gets me excited as I look ahead to what I want to accomplish, and the new year brings new energy and motivation. (More on this below!)

[Moleskine planners old and new.]

It’s been a month since the release of A Long Weight of Silence, my video collaboration with Kansas City Symphony Principal Flute Michael Gordon. If you missed it, you can find it on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/AJHarbisonMusic/posts/10161206001214008) and YouTube (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VSgIUjob6sE). I’d love to hear what you think!

[A Long Weight of Silence video, starring Mike G.]

I’m continuing to work on my new orchestra piece; one of my goals is to finish it by the end of February. More next time, but for now, here’s a brief clip of a heroic march section featuring a snare drum and four majestic horns: https://www.ajharbison.com/wp-content/uploads/rainlightmarch.mp3.

––––

As I mentioned, the process of planning out goals is itself inspiring for me. Thinking about what I want to do differently and/or better in the new year inspires me, usually, to be way too ambitious.

[I love demotivational posters.]

[The original version of this quote isn’t bad, but I like this take on it.]

But I do look forward to pursuing these goals — working toward becoming a better person (goals relating to reading, fitness, learning French) and a better composer (some pieces I want to write, some studying I want to do, some pieces I want to listen to).

I look forward to sharing some of the fruits of my musical goals in future Letters. Watch for clips and info on a new piano cycle, and maybe some symphonic listening inspirations!

I also have a goal for becoming a better social media post-er — if you want to stay up to date in between Letters, you can follow me on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/AJHarbisonMusic), Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/ajharbison) and Twitter (https://www.twitter.com/ajharbison).

What are some of your resolutions or goals for 2022? I’d love to hear from you. Hit reply and let me know!

Peace,
AJ Harbison

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Video Premiere of A Long Weight of Silence!

Dear friends,
I am thrilled to announce that the video of my new piece A Long Weight of Silence, composed for Kansas City Symphony Principal Flute Michael Gordon, will premiere THIS FRIDAY, December 3 at 5 p.m. Central time!

As I’ve written about in previous Letters from the Muse Room, A Long Weight of Silence is a meditation on the pandemic through the lens of the six stages of grief, written for one flute in isolation (i.e. one person playing both parts in a video, as it will be for this premiere) or two flutes together.

Mike gives a fantastic performance, and has made a video that takes the meaning and impact of the piece to a whole new level. I can’t wait to share it with you.

Watch for it at 5 p.m. on Friday on my Facebook page and YouTube!

Peace,
AJ Harbison

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News Recordings

Letters from the Muse Room #29 (September 2021)

The “Muse Room” is the room in my house where I make music and my wife makes visual art. Published the first Friday of every other month, each issue of Letters from the Muse Room includes news and updates about my music, as well as something that has inspired me creatively over the past month.

Dear friends,
I hope you are all safe and well, as we enter the autumn season. (Or not; my wife insists that September is the hottest month, and only tricks you into thinking that fall is beginning.)

On the news front: As you may remember, there are two performances of my music coming up!

First, Mike Gordon, Principal Flute of the Kansas City Symphony, is in the process of recording the duet I wrote for him, A Long Weight of Silence, for “one flute in isolation or two flutes together.” I will keep you posted on when that recording will premiere.

[The cover of A Long Weight of Silence.]

And second, coming up in exactly 29 days, Ensemble Mother Russia Industries will be performing my new, hot-off-the-digital-presses piece TheSpaceBetween at the new headquarters of the Charlotte Street Foundation.

[Charlotte Street Foundation building.]

I hope you’ll come and see the concert on October 2; it should be a lot of fun. In addition to my piece about social distancing, there will be avant-garde theatre, a piece focused on breath, an improvisatory piece in which the performers check the weather in Montenegro, and more. I’ll remind you as it gets closer — but mark your calendar!

To give you a taste of TheSpaceBetween, here’s a MIDI clip from the middle of the piece, as the instruments start to connect more and more and reach a high point all playing together: https://www.ajharbison.com/wp-content/uploads/TheSpaceBetweenMIDIexcerpt.mp3.

––––

A few weeks ago, my parents came to town for a visit, and while they were here, my wife and I seized the chance to take a quick vacation for just the two of us. We drove a few hours south of Kansas City to Bentonville, Arkansas, to visit the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art and its satellite campus The Momentary.

[The Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art. Pretty, ain’t it?]

Crystal Bridges is a museum in a forest, on a river. It’s all right, y’know?

It was a lot of fun (despite being insanely hot and humid) and definitely a time of “filling the well.”

[Not visible: 90 degree heat with 80% humidity.]

[The Crystal Bridges gift shop.]

Even the gift shop is awesome — it’s designed to look like the underside of a mushroom.

[Dale Chihuly glass marbles floating in the water.]

I got to see a painting by one of my favorite abstract expressionists, Morris Louis:

[Airborn, by Morris Louis.]

And we got to see an “infinity room” by Yayoi Kusama:

[Yes, it was trippy. And awesome.]

Whether or not you can take a trip to a museum in a forest on a river any time soon, I hope you can participate in some activities that nourish your soul and fill your well, as this did ours.

Peace,
AJ Harbison

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Letters from the Muse Room #28 (July 2021)

The “Muse Room” is the room in my house where I make music and my wife makes visual art. Published (new for 2021) the first Friday of every other month, each issue of Letters from the Muse Room includes news and updates about my music, as well as something that has inspired me creatively over the past month.

Dear friends,
Happy summer and Fourth of July weekend to you! I hope you are enjoying warmer weather and brighter days. As we start to emerge from the pandemic, I am back working in my office and starting to spend more time with, y’know, real live human beings. It’s pretty awesome.

[Two monitors on my desk at work. I really enjoy having two monitors.] A picture of the former… not the latter.

And, speaking of awesome, I have some exciting news! In fact, two exciting news…es!

Exciting News #1: I’ve recently finished composing a piece for my friend Mike Gordon, Principal Flute of the Kansas City Symphony. It’s a flute duet titled A Long Weight of Silence, and as I wrote about a few months ago it’s a reflection on the pandemic through the lens of the six stages of grief. It’s written for “one flute in isolation or two flutes together,” so while eventually it will be performed as a duet, for its premiere it will be performed by Mike in video form.

[Mike G performing a duet… BY HIMSELF] Mike was the creator of the hashtag #KCSisStillMakingMusic, and he recorded a huge number of videos at the beginning of the pandemic — including this one, which was another “duet” that he played by himself.

I am super excited about this and I will be sure to let you know, via an email in between Letters, when it will premiere — hopefully later this summer!

In the meantime, here’s an audio clip of a MIDI performance — the first three minutes of the piece: https://www.ajharbison.com/wp-content/uploads/A Long Weight of Silence beginning.mp3.

Exciting News #2: A proposal of mine was recently selected in a composition competition held by the Charlotte Street Foundation and Ensemble Mother Russia Industries, and I’ll be writing a piece for the ensemble that will be performed on October 2! I just had my first meeting with the ensemble and the other selected composers last week, and it will be a wild and extremely diverse concert with some really fascinating music.

[Ensemble Mother Russia Industries.]

This piece will be based on the idea of social distancing. The performers will be spread throughout the venue (a black box theater), and will pass melodies to each other around the room. The musical lines will start to intersect at more and more points until a web of sound fills the whole space. It will then go in reverse, with fewer and fewer connections, until only one instrument is left. But instead of fading out to silence, that instrument will be joined by another instrument in harmony for the last few moments, providing another connection and ending in hope instead of silence.

It’s another pandemic-related piece, but I’m excited for the chance to work with this ensemble and I can’t wait for the performance. Someone at the meeting suggested that the piece could be played with all the lights turned out in the theater; it’s a very intriguing idea.

[Something like this.] It might look something like this.

The performance will be at the Charlotte Street Foundation’s new headquarters at 3333 Wyoming Street in Kansas City. If you’re in town on October 2 I hope you’ll check it out!

—-
Three inspirations this month: one in music, one in a book, and one in life.

Music: I’ve written before about Dessa; I love her album Chime. Over the last six months, she’s been releasing a single on the 15th of each month, calling the series Ides.

[The first single in the Ides series, “Rome”.]

The first single was (appropriately enough) “Rome,” which I loved; I really enjoyed “Terry Gross” and “I Already Like You” too. (Also a special shout-out for “Talking Business,” a noir story told without using any verbs.)

[“I Already Like You” cover image.]

Her lyrics are smart, biting, witty and funny (the interludes in “Terry Gross” made me laugh out loud when I first listened to it). The songs include some profanity and mature themes. But if you’re a fan of good words and music, you should check it out.

Book: If you’re a fan of books, and/or children’s books, and/or books about children’s books, this one’s for you.

[Wild Things: The Joy of Reading Children’s Literature as an Adult]

I recently started reading Wild Things: The Joy of Reading Children’s Literature as an Adult by Bruce Handy, and I’ve enjoyed it immensely so far. I am a fan of books and children’s books and books about children’s books, and I’m a fan of this book. He has excellent insights and anecdotes, and it’s very engaging and very funny. Reading the book is like having a conversation with a friend who is brilliant and also makes you laugh out loud. Very highly recommended.

Life: As I mentioned, I have spent more time out in the real world with real live people lately, and that has been inspiring. At the Symphony we had our first in-person committee meeting since March 2020. A few nights ago I went out with a friend for drinks. Things are looking brighter. I hope they are for you, too.

Be well.

Peace,
AJ Harbison

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Letters from the Muse Room #23 (November 2020)

The “Muse Room” is the room in my house where I make music and my wife makes visual art. Published the first Friday of the month, each issue of Letters from the Muse Room includes news and updates about my music, as well as something that has inspired me creatively over the past month.

Dear friends,
We are now fully into fall, and in Kansas City, we’ve seen lovely fall colors in the trees, and also had our first snowfall.

I have three items for you on the news and updates front!

News and update #1: I am very close to finishing up my orchestral piece, Rainlight — just working on cleaning up the score and extracting the parts. Here is a clip, as promised, featuring the last minute and a half of the piece. The horns play the primary theme one more time, then the rain fades to a drizzle and a mist and the strings fade to silence: https://www.ajharbison.com/wp-content/uploads/rainlightending.mp3.

News and update #2: My piece for women’s chorus and piano, Voices Rising United, was selected to be part of World National Indie Radio’s “Songs For Change” Radio Special! The special is airing on their website, wnir-radio.com, every afternoon in November at 6:30 p.m. Eastern time. And Voices Rising United kicks things off at the top of the show. Check it out!

News and update #3: I also said last month that I’d have an announcement related to my pop music. Ten years ago, in December 2010, I released my singer/songwriter album Songs From My Shelf.

I recorded, mixed and mastered it all myself, and I actually had some really nice audio equipment at the time. Trouble was… I didn’t know anything about audio, or recording, or mixing, or mastering, or how to use any of the equipment I had. So, while the songs were good, the production quality was… not so good.

During my time in grad school at the UMKC Conservatory, I took a bunch of audio engineering courses, and as a result, I now know a lot more than I did back in 2010. So, to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Songs From My Shelf, I am remastering the full album!

While there are definitely limitations with the original tracks, the remastered songs are already sounding way better, and — for anyone who has listened to the album before and had to crank their volume all the way up — way louder.

I’ll be offering the remastered album for sale on my website, but if you purchased the album in the last 10 years, I’d like to give you a copy for free. Just reply to this email (or the December one) with a picture of yourself holding the CD, or a screenshot of the digital album on your phone or computer, and I’ll send you a link for a free download!

If you don’t own a copy of the album but you’d like to, I’ll keep you posted as to when it’s available on the website!

––––

I was inspired this past month by a pair of videos that a friend shared with me. The first one was created by Adam Neely, a self-described “bassist, YouTuber, general enjoyer of things.” He describes his YouTube channel as “exploring what music means and what it means to be a musician.” The video that I watched from him was “The 7 Levels of Jazz Harmony.”

It was an excellent introduction to the subject, with well-illustrated examples of each “level,” and I think even people without the musical background to understand what a Dbmaj7(9,#11) chord is will learn something that will help them understand jazz a little better.

The second video was entitled “Wintergatan — Marble Machine.”

I’m a little surprised I’ve never seen this before, since it was posted more than four years ago. But it’s a marvel of engineering and music!

I hope you enjoy these videos as I did. Be well.

Peace,
AJ Harbison

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Letters from the Muse Room #14 (February 2020)

The “Muse Room” is the room in my house where I make music and my wife makes visual art. Published the first Friday of the month, each issue of Letters from the Muse Room includes news and updates about my music, as well as something that has inspired me creatively over the past month.

Dear friends,
This has been a good week to be a Kansas Citian. First, on Sunday, this happened:

[Kansas City Chiefs Super Bowl win!]  
 
Then (as a result), on Wednesday, this happened:
 
[Chiefs victory parade and rally at Union Station]  
 
More on that in a moment. 
 
But first, I have a new clip of music for you! I finally finished my first draft of the piano trio, and I was particularly excited about the way the ending turned out. 
 

You can listen to the last minute of the piece, including the surprise ending, here: https://www.ajharbison.com/wp-content/uploads/pianotrioendingclip.mp3.

While I feel the ending fits the piece very well, it’s also an homage to one of my favorite pieces: Rachmaninoff’s Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini. It’s a great piece, and you really should listen to the whole thing, but if you don’t have 23 minutes you can skip to the ending here

––––

So… how ’bout those Chiefs??

I’ve been watching sports since I was a little kid, and I’ve always enjoyed watching sports, but it’s only recently that I’ve realized why. As I talk about in my artist statement, music for me is all about storytelling — and I’ve realized that that’s why I love sports, too. A football game, a whole football season, is a particular genre of story that’s being written in real time.

I’ve realized that the reason I enjoy watching football more than any other sport is because I feel like it writes the best stories.

In baseball, for example, each team takes a turn on offense in each inning. Nothing can change that; it’s part of the game.

But in football, everything can change in a moment — a surprising punt return, a fumble, an interception, a trick play, a runaway touchdown, and suddenly there’s a whiplash-worthy twist and the whole story changes.

(Or, you know, 21 unanswered points in the fourth quarter of the Super Bowl.)

The Chiefs have written a pretty amazing story this season, culminating in their first Super Bowl win in 50 years (they won Super Bowl IV before it was even called the Super Bowl, in 1970). 

My wife, my daughter and I braved the cold and the crowds to attend the victory parade on Wednesday, and it was fun to celebrate a great happy ending.

I hope you find some inspiration in unexpected stories this month.

Till next time!

Peace,
AJ Harbison

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Letters from the Muse Room #12 (December 2019)

The “Muse Room” is the room in my house where I make music and my wife makes visual art. Published the first Friday of the month, each issue of Letters from the Muse Room will include news and updates about my music, as well as something that has inspired me creatively over the past month.

Dear friends,
Happy December! Whether you celebrate Advent, Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, the winter solstice, and/or Festivus, I hope this will be a meaningful month for you with lots of lights, celebrations with family and friends, and hopefully warmth.

You can hear a recording I made in 2009 of “Hark the Herald Angels Sing” on my website — and even download it if you want — here! 
https://ajharbison.com/music/pop/redeemer/hark-the-herald-angels-sing/

In terms of news, I’ve continued working on the piano trio, and I have a new clip to share!

I mentioned in September that the concept of the piece is two alternating ideas, one fast and rhythmic and one with a continuous, sustained, lyrical line, with the instruments — piano, violin and cello —  each taking a turn featuring in each of the ideas.

This clip is from the second section of the piece, with the piano featuring in the second, more lyrical idea. Listen here! https://www.ajharbison.com/wp-content/uploads/pianotriomiddledemo.mp3

I’ve also started to think about some ambitious compositional goals for 2020. More on those in January….

––––

On the inspiration front, I surprised my lovely wife last month with tickets to a Rodrigo y Gabriela show. Rod and Gab, as they’re affectionately known by their fans, are a Mexican guitar duo who do some pretty incredible things.

The entire show was just the two of them playing their guitars — mostly nylon-string/classical guitars, though Rodrigo used an electric guitar for some of the songs from their newest album — with no other instruments.

One of the fun things about the show was that their guitars had cameras mounted to the headstocks, and the live feed from those cameras was projected onto the stage’s backdrop.

They both had an incredible amount of energy and showmanship that made the concert a lot of fun, but the music is excellent as well. Rodrigo plays lead and Gabriela plays rhythm guitar — but her rhythm guitar playing is unlike anything I’ve ever heard. 

She uses the body of her guitar as a percussion instrument, and it’s miked in a way that makes hits on the guitar sound like a kick drum in places and a snare drum in others. (But the performance is all live, without any extra electronics or effects.) She plays super-fast rhythms (often in triplets) on the guitar strings to create a full, vibrant accompaniment to Rodrigo’s lead lines. 

The best part about her playing is that it’s not a gimmick, and it’s not just showing off, but is actually an integral part of their style. (While still being crazy awesome.)

You have to see it and hear it to believe it. This video is from a long time ago (2006), but it’s a great performance of one of their most popular songs and has a number of good camera angles that show what Gabriela is doing.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SZbFLHlB8o4

In addition to having a great time at the concert, I was inspired by the energy, excitement and originality of their music. I want to write “concert music” that makes people feel the way I feel when I listen to Rod and Gab. 

Peace,
AJ Harbison

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Letters from the Muse Room #10 (October 2019)

The “Muse Room” is the room in my house where I make music and my wife makes visual art. Published the first Friday of the month, each issue of Letters from the Muse Room will include news and updates about my music, as well as something that has inspired me creatively over the past month.

Dear friends,
I have some music for you this month! Last month I mentioned the new trio I started working on, for violin, cello and piano. And this month I have a clip for you!

I tried a new method for writing my first draft of this piece, something I’ve never done before — a rhythm sketch. Before I wrote any pitches, I composed the rhythms of the whole piece on three one-line staves.

I’m still not quite sure how I feel about the method — it might not be something I do again. But it did allow me to get a lot done on the piece quickly, and have a start-to-finish skeleton to work from.

Since that original rhythm sketch, I’ve started filling in some pitches. The beginning of the piece, the first of six sections, is a feature for the cello, and you can hear a MIDI demo of it at the link below!

https://www.ajharbison.com/wp-content/uploads/triodemo.mp3

I’d love to hear what you think of the clip — reply to this email and let me know!

––––

I was inspired last month by a piece I listened to that surprised me: Alban Berg’s Violin Concerto.

Berg is perhaps best known for being one of Arnold Schoenberg’s composition pupils; Anton Webern is the other famous one.

Together the three of them pioneered twelve-tone music, a music theory system that declared each of the twelve chromatic notes of Western music had equal importance, without a tonal “center” or home key.

Berg is interesting to me because he combined the twelve-tone system with the lyricism and familiar musical gestures of the Romantic period (c. 1830 – 1900), making for atonal music that is surprisingly accessible.

I recently listened to his Violin Concerto, not knowing what to expect — but I really, really enjoyed it. It’s a twelve-tone piece, but the twelve notes of the tone row are arranged in such a way that they form a lot of consonant and tonal-sounding chords.

The opening of the piece riffs off the four open strings of the violin (G D A E — the roots of the consonant chords in the row), using that pattern to develop the material of the tone row.

The ending also caught my attention: Even though it’s an atonal piece, it ends on a consonant chord (B-flat major with an added 6), with just a hint of the very beginning returning in the last two measures.

I encourage you to give it a try, even if you think you don’t like twelve-tone music. There are brass fanfares in the first movement that are reminiscent of the “Star Wars” score, and a great dramatic climax in the middle of the second movement.

You can listen to the piece and follow the score (with the orchestra part in a piano score) in this YouTube video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gd0dMs0MTg8.

––––

One final thing before I sign off. I’m going to be taking a trip in October, and I’m planning to share some photos and videos from it on my Facebook page and on Instagram. If you’d like to check them out (and trust me, it’ll be fun), you can follow me at:

https://www.facebook.com/ajharbisonmusic
https://www.instagram.com/ajharbison

Thanks — I look forward to connecting with you there!

Peace,
AJ Harbison

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Letters from the Muse Room #7 (July 2019)

The “Muse Room” is the room in my house where I make music and my wife makes visual art. Published the first Friday of the month, each issue of Letters from the Muse Room will include news and updates about my music, as well as something that has inspired me creatively over the past month.

Dear friends,
Happy Fifth of July! I hope you had a chance to celebrate the Fourth with your favorite traditions. Our family spent time with Grandma and Grandpa, grilled some tasty food, listened to Hamilton (only the non-explicit tracks, at this point, due to the kids), and enjoyed watching some fireworks in our neighborhood and on the Missouri River.

This last month hasn’t been the most productive — our whole family was sick, some of us twice, so sleep, energy, time and motivation have all been in short supply. But! I do have a few things for you!

1. New music, part 1: As I mentioned last month, I led music for our church’s vacation Bible school program, and I wrote the music for this year’s theme song, which was from Ephesians 1:3. You can see the words and hear a demo recording on my website at https://www.ajharbison.com/music/pop/blessed-be.

2. New music, part 2: I also mentioned last month that I might record the ending of panicpanicpanic, and I did want to share that with you. It’s the only part of the piece with singing. You can hear it here: https://www.ajharbison.com/wp-content/uploads/panicpanicpanicendingdemo.mp3.

3. New perusal score: I’ve added to my website the perusal score for the piece I finished before panicpanicpanic, which is a piece for soprano and cello titled Requiem. It uses excerpts from the traditional Requiem Mass’ text, with some interspersed texts from the book of Psalms. You can see it here: https://www.ajharbison.com/music/concert/requiem.

4. New piece: At the request of my wife, my daughter, and a Letters reader or two, I’ve started working on setting Rudyard Kipling’s poem “Seal Lullaby” to music. I wrote about the poem in May, and I’m trying to write a fairly simple arrangement for chorus. I’ll probably arrange it for women’s chorus as well after I finish the mixed chorus version. More to come in future Letters!

—-

I’m not much of a podcast guy, but this last month it was a podcast that inspired me. A long time ago I donated to a Kickstarter campaign for SCORE, the first full-length documentary about film music and film composers.

The creators of SCORE recently launched a podcast they’re calling a “biopod” — like a biopic movie, but in podcast form. They bill it as “a movie for your ears,” and it really is. It’s called BLOCKBUSTER, and it’s a dramatization of the lives of Steven Spielberg and George Lucas through the 1970s and the filming and release of Jaws, Close Encounters of the Third Kind and Star Wars. It’s six episodes long, totaling a little under three hours.

The podcast is really well done — the actors are great, the sound design is excellent, and the background music does an amazing job of evoking the scores of the movies they’re talking about without actually playing those scores.

The emotional and musical climax of the podcast is in episode 5, with the recording of John Williams’ score for Star Wars in London. They play a fair chunk of the score on the podcast, and listening to it in this context brought it alive to me in a way I hadn’t experienced it before.

George Lucas said that John Williams’ music saved Star Wars, and the BLOCKBUSTER podcast is an excellent illustration of the power of music to tell a story.

You can listen to it on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or their website, https://www.getblockbuster.com.

Peace,
AJ Harbison

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Letters from the Muse Room News Recordings Scores

Letters from the Muse Room #4 (April 2019)

The “Muse Room” is the room in my house where I make music and my wife makes visual art. Published the first Monday of the month, each issue of Letters from the Muse Room will include news and updates about my music, as well as something that has inspired me creatively over the past month.

Dear friends,
Today is April Fool’s Day, but no joke — I’ve got some music to share with you this month! One “pop” music song, and a “concert” music clip.

I’m the director of worship music at my family’s church in Shawnee, Kansas, and over the last few weeks during Lent we’ve been singing some new psalms. One of the psalm texts, Psalm 143, really struck me, and I composed a new tune for it. I tried to make it a simple melody that would be quick and easy for the congregation to learn, but also something beautiful that would fit the emotion of the words.

You can hear a guitar/vocal demo recording of it, and read the words, on my website here: https://www.ajharbison.com/music/pop/psalm-143.

I’ve mentioned in my last couple of emails that I’m working on composing a piece for speaking chorus, panicpanicpanic. The text is a poem called “Panic” written by my brother, Mark Harbison. I’ve written music to a couple of his poems before (see Light of the World and Fall Colors), but I’m particularly excited about this piece. The poem describes what it feels like to experience a panic attack, in very vivid language, and I’m trying to set the text in a vivid way as well — with only speaking and sound effects, no pitch. (Except at the very end, but more on that in a later email.) It’s pretty intense, but I think it will be really effective with a full chorus.

‑‑‑‑

Just a quick note on the inspiration front. Recently, driving home from a Kansas City Symphony concert, I saw this bumper sticker on a car in front of me:

There is so much brokenness and ugliness that we encounter on a daily basis — on the news, in our relationships, in our own hearts. Take some time this week to protest by making some time and space for beauty. It could be reading a good book, visiting a museum, listening to music, or making something yourself. Step back from the brokenness, take a deep breath, and experience something beautiful. Fyodor Dostoyevsky wrote that “beauty will save the world,” and that can be true in little ways, as well as big ways.

Peace,
AJ Harbison

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Scenes and Visions: Concert Music of AJ Harbison Now Available!

My new concert music recording, Scenes and Visions: Concert Music of AJ Harbison, is now available as a free download! Please download, listen and share!

Scenes and Visions: Concert Music of AJ Harbison

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New Music Coming 9/16/16!

It’s almost here! Scenes and Visions: Concert Music of AJ Harbison will be released as a FREE download on my website (right here) on Friday, September 16. More details in the announcement video below!

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A New Record and an Exclusive Preview!

I’m very excited to announce the release of a new record, scheduled to drop in the next few weeks! Scenes and Visions: Concert Music of AJ Harbison was one of my final projects for my master’s degree at UMKC, for which I composed, recorded, edited, mixed and mastered all the music. It includes five pieces and nine tracks, and will be available for FREE download on my website when it’s released. The artwork is being created right now, and I can’t wait to share it and the music with you all.

But! In the meantime, you can hear an exclusive preview on my SoundCloud page. I’ve uploaded three movements of Five Scenes for solo piano, along with the full version of I Saw in the Night Visions for solo cello, which is a recording of a live performance. These tracks won’t be available anywhere else until the record is released, so take a listen, like, comment and share!

https://soundcloud.com/ajharbison/sets/concert-music

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