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A Bowl of Rotten Cherries

Saturday, May 26, 2007

9:24PM - Unstuck

OK I did it this afternoon.

Still don't like it, but it works.


Friday, May 25, 2007

10:55PM - I'm Stuck

Almost halfway through the First Act of Varmints...

At a point where the opening reprises. However, this is a dream-flashback sequence, so I don't want the music to sound too much like the opening. However, it needs to sound like the opening, comparing that event with what is going on At Rise.

This is a simple compositional problem, but I have been on it most of this week, and I hate the sound of every method I've used with it so far.

If I can get past this point, then almost everything past it to the end of the Act has been sketched out for over a year. Even did the Aria which follows this sequence for an audition. Received a very good response.

I spent much of the interim time doing the Piano Reduction (writing the orchestra score first on this one from the piano sketches, as everyone knows). I've now reached this point in the Piano-Vocal score as well...

So, I know what I'll be spending the night doing... I have a few more ideas, but I'm still stuck.

I've had this libretto for so many years. I love it, as well as the play it's based on... But now, I want to get this done and over and ready for the marketing phase, and then go on to something else.

But I also want it to be perfect. Dark Mission was good, in an experimental way, but I mainly just got to this same point and wrote anything I thought of. Criticism on it has been pretty savage, but for the wrong reasons.

Current mood: distressed

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

11:23PM - The Ghosts of Versaille (sp?)

Gave this opera by John Corgliano a second viewing last night. I hadn't seen it since the telecast of the World Premiere in the early '90's, but still I have used it many times since to illustrate things I feel are wrong with modern opera.

However, my own tastes and my own style of composition are a lot more toward modern "classical" music these days. So, I borrowed a copy of the VHS of the premiere of this piece (already listed as one of the hundred great operas) in order to review it in light of my tastes which are a little more cultivated than in my Conservatory days.

I still don't like it.

However, at least now I can pick out musical moments which are actually quite inspiring.

So I'll give it another decade or so...

Sunday, May 13, 2007

10:51PM - VARMINTS Progress

Writing on average an hundred measures of music a day on this project (with orchestrations) to a total now of about seventeen minutes. I should have this opera finished and ready for marketing sometime in the next few weeks.

Hooray for me! I rule!

Well, all joking aside, it's good to know that there's one thing I can do right.

Current mood: giddy

Sunday, May 6, 2007

12:42PM - OLR

Not accepting that much for this issue... So should be done tonight with that.

Just waiting on a couple bios...

Saturday, May 5, 2007

10:08PM - Why Do I Even Bother?

Well, it has officially been decreed from On High:

I am to always be poor and alone, and any prayers people send for me are to be ignored.

Maybe I should just end it all now and get it over with.

Current mood: disappointed

4:02AM - My One Choice For President

Well, I watched both the Republican and Democratic Debates... Here's what I found.

In my view, one thing stands supreme in Government: The United States Constitution.

For too long, our leaders in Washington have bypassed this document, to the impending ruin of this Nation. All except Bush, of course, as he discarded [the Constitution] entirely.

Did you know that the President can make laws with a stroke of his pen, without even mentioning it to Congress or the Supreme Court, and that this tradition has been in place for well over an hundred and fifty years? Is this the Constitution? No. That document expressly forbids the President such power.

And that was only the beginning.

Modern Presidents (Clinton to a lesser degree and Bush actually did purposefully to the fullest degree he could) have waged open war against the Constitution. They care not for America or its Sacred Liberty. They have been traitors to the American Way. All they cared about was bringing more and more power to the Federal Government, and to themselves in particular.

And then, of course, Washington always votes themselves a pay raise for doing such a good job of depriving us of our Liberties. At our expense, of course.

But the Constitution and our American Liberties, albeit almost mortally wounded, are not dead yet, my friends. The Libertarian Party has been fighting these many years to preserve it.

But the Libertarians cannot win. They aren't even permitted to debate (notice what happened when Badnarik got a Court Order in '04 to be permitted to debate: he was locked up by the police for the duration of the debate he was to attend.)

But some Libertarians are playing it smart, running for office from the two major parties. You can always tell the Lib. Here's the key...

Democrats are sometimes willing to condescend to let us plebians have some personal freedom. That is, if we promise to agree with them on everything and also to give them all (and I mean all) our hard-earned money. Who cares if we have rent to pay and mouths to feed. The Government gave us that money, so they deserve all of it back.

Republicans care about letting you have your money. That is, if you are rich already. But be careful around these. They want you to let them run every aspect of your life from cradle to grave (and beyond, since the Fundamentalists are normally Republican) Yes, they want to be your gods.

So how do you spot the Lib.?

By the guy screaming, "This isn't right!" to both sides. Or, as we'll put it, "This isn't Constitutional!"

Luckily it was easy for me. I noticed the 1988 Libertarian candidate for President standing on the stage at Reagan's, running for the Republican Presidential nomination.

Yes, friends, I speak of Doctor Ron Paul.

Please tell your friends. At last, a contender who cares about shrinking the Government and its powers back to the limits the Constitution allows has arrived on the scene. And his record in Congress shows him unwavering in this cause.

At last someone cares about restoring our Liberties.

And that his first agenda is the end of the IRS will help the poor too LOL...

Of course, the media isn't giving him that much attention. We need to get Paul to the forefront. He MUST win the Republican nomination to get that golden shot at the Presidency.

I wouldn't seem so insistant anyway, but George W. Bush has intentionally and purposefully ripped the Constitution and our Sacred Liberties to shreds. One more "Bigger Government" President like Hillary will probably bring all this to total and irrevocable ruin. She wouldn't have the ability, but that the Tyrant and Demagogue George W. Bush has already laid the groundwork to where the American Dream held by our Forefathers already hangs by the proverbial string...

Please help me get Dr. Paul to the Presidency.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

4:45PM - Sales Blues

At my age, insurance is fast unaffordable. However, I can offer it to a parent for a newborn child for literally pennies a week, locking into that small premium rate for as long as premiums are paid.

Parents, however, believe this a frivolous expense. They believe that when the child reaches middle-age, then he can buy his own. It is impossible to explain that the rate will be that for a middle age person and not for a child. So I am constantly beating my head against a wall for a "maybe."

And to beat all matters, my competition across the road is billing himself as the "only legitimate Agent in Unicoi County."

Excuse me? I did not memorize a textbook and pass a post-collegiate level examination only to have the validity of my license questioned by customers who have read his ads!

Well, a week without a sale and my previous sales have cancelled. So Monday this job is over.

To be honest, I don't care. I have spent over five hundred dollars on gas this month and, after the cancellations, I have made nothing.

This was my last chance ever at paid work.

Oh well...

Current mood: apathetic

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

2:43AM - MARY Alumni Performance

This weekend was the ten year Anniversary of the Kehde-Scarpelli rock opera "MARY" in Charleston. I sang a supporting role in this piece from its premiere in '96 until '98. Strangely enough, I had never seen the show since I left it, so I decided to make the trip.

First of all, I want to mention the present show is a lot stronger than it was in the old days - music, lyrics and cast all included. It of course helped that Ryan Hardiman reprised Joseph on a special return as well as Tanya Dillon coming back as Elizabeth.

Ryan I keep in constant contact with, but I hadn't seen perform since Scarlet Pimpernel. Tanya I hadn't even spoken to since '98.

I saw a few other familiar faces. However, this was only after I was reintroduced. In other words, they all knew me, but... But I only remembered them as kids in their early teens. Now many of them are out of College! Suddenly, I realize what teachers must feel after their students go off and then come back to visit after so many years.

I was disappointed by the people I did not see. I guess Travis is busy in Nashville. I emailed Genevieve about the Reunion Show dates, but she is on the West Coast these days and decided not to come in. Our original cast is scattered to the four winds, and there are so many people I miss. What I wouldn't give to be able to sit for coffee with all of them and just catch up. Some of them I have tried to find for a few years now. Every once in a while I'll come across someone. I hope the trend keeps on.

Penny had DVD's of the Original Cast on sale. I bought one. Watching it now, I am comparing the infant musical we all helped raise for three years (most of the Original Cast left during 3rd year) with the mature work I saw this weekend. I cannot help but to be proud for Dan and Mark. Bravo a million times over.

Current mood: nostalgic

Sunday, November 5, 2006

2:23AM - Love Of Long Ago Progress

Just reached "God has granted you love". A Beguine. Don't ask me why, it just came out that way. Nice though. Same chord structure as the opening.

This draft is shaping up nicely, I think.

Current mood: creative

Monday, October 30, 2006


Thursday, October 26, 2006

7:18AM - Without You

Bought Anthony Rapp's memoir Without You off Ebay. Read i through last night at work. Haven't cried in a long time, and definitely so much.

Current mood: calm

7:15AM - *sigh*

My study/bedroom is being rearranged, so my particular computer is currently unhooked. This means work had to stop VERY temporarily on Love of Long Ago. Will continue work probably later this morning.

Composers meeting tomorrow. I would like to take the opening to the meeting as my work in progress.

Opera Season in Charlotte starts Sunday. Madama Butterfly. Looking forward to the production, although I am not looking forward to the drive.

Current mood: busy

Monday, October 23, 2006

2:04AM - Love of Long Ago

It's sad when you work a year or more on a Chamber Opera which will probably come out as lasting a little over half an hour.

However, I have struggled with this piece for almost two, until today. I think I can complete the penultimate draft this week.

The key came in how to delineate the characters...

From my first reading of Charles's libretto, I had always wanted the character of GRANDMOTHER to have music reminiscent of Puccini and spiced with a dash of Vaudeville for nostalgic sections.

But what to do with BERTHE and LOVER???

The key came to me today. GRANDMOTHER and BERTHE are the opposite ends of this argument, so why not make their styles of music exact opposites?

So BERTHE will have major sections of dodecophonic music. The Dodecophonic Movement is something I've always held in contempt, charging it with being the eternal ruin of Western Art Music. However, I find it can sometimes be useful.

This also creates a bit of irony. GRANDMOTHER, the character which today's audiences will see as ultra-liberal in her views, has conservative tonal music; BERTHE, whose views are comparatively conservative, has 20th Century style atonal music.

The LOVER is a linchpin. He is created in the memories and imaginations of each character in turn. Therefore, his music is flexible. I'm sure there are tenors out there who also are...

A Chamber Opera in One Act
Libretto by Charles Deemer
Music by John D. Nugent
Based on a short story by Guy de Maupassant

BERTHE (the grand-daughter) SOPRANO
LOVER (in the memory of GRANDMOTHER) TENOR

View libretto here.

Current mood: artistic

Monday, October 9, 2006


You scored as Indiana Jones. Indiana Jones is an archaeologist/adventurer with an unquenchable love for danger and excitement. He travels the globe in search of historical relics. He loves travel, excitement, and a good archaeological discovery. He hates Nazis and snakes, perhaps to the same degree. He always brings along his trusty whip and fedora. He's tough, cool, and dedicated. He relies on both brains and brawn to get him out of trouble and into it.


Indiana Jones


Lara Croft


Batman, the Dark Knight


William Wallace


Captain Jack Sparrow


James Bond, Agent 007


The Amazing Spider-Man


Neo, the "One"




El Zorro


The Terminator


Which Action Hero Would You Be? v. 2.0
created with QuizFarm.com

Monday, September 25, 2006

4:27AM - *happy sigh*

Want a really pretentious way to feel better about yourself? Do a Google search LOL

Most aren't mine, but I got a number of pages :)

Current mood: amused

4:09AM - Yes I Know...

After my previous post, under the present administration I can be imprisoned, irregardless of my Constitutional Rights (if present administration has ever READ the Constitution, which I doubt).

But it had to be said in simple words.

4:05AM - My Hat is in the Ring...

The King is a tyrant, whether we say so or not. Might as well say so.

-- Peter Stone, 1776 Screenplay

Sunday, September 24, 2006


You scored as The Fox and the Hound. What a sad movie! You are all about friendship though, and would do anything to protect your friends. You are very loyal and proud.


Finding Nemo




Beauty and the Beast


The Fox and the Hound




Pirates of the Caribbean




The Little Mermaid




The Lion King




Cool Runnings


Snow White


The Lady and the Tramp


Which Disney movie do you represent?
created with QuizFarm.com

10:08PM - Real Work


With the long hours, I still haven't been able to write a note of the Stabat Mater. Managed a few measures of Varmints today (in the Overture). Wanting to have a Symphony finished by the time I take my leave of absence in December so that I can use some of tht time in marketing.

In the meantime, I have found some nice possible commissions in the Chamber Music area. I hate writing Absolute Music, but anything is good to get my name out there so I can market the operas.

On the other hand, I also found a long-shot opportunity to get a commission for an opera. More on this later, when I finish writing my proposal and maybe when I hear back to see if the opera house wants to work with me.

Current mood: blank

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