30. November 2012 · 9 comments · Categories: Life

Over Thanksgiving, I recorded versions of 12 tracks for my new CD of original solo cello music. I have about 6 more to go before I’ll be done. Recording in my Dad’s studio went really well. I’m still adjusting to the new cello bow I bought from Shar, so it took a little longer to get everything sounding the way I wanted it to. There are still a few little things I plan to fix up on the cuts I recorded for your listening pleasure!

Recording really forces me to focus on the music to get it to sound just right. I did a little bit of last minute composing on a couple of the pieces before we started. Wanderlest (I changed the name from Wanderlust for the CD) needed a new ending, as I had ended it in my previous version by going into another song. So I wrote a nice exciting ending, with some cool chords at the end.

I am so swamped with projects and homework for the end of the semester right now that I won’t have a chance to record again until the winter break. In the mean time, I am listening to my previous recordings of the other songs so I still have them in my mind when it comes time to record.

I just bought a new Kindle fire, too! It is really nice. I’ve been reading on it and just love the interface. I hope to watch some movies on it soon too, and get some games. I was disappointed that it did not do flash, as I am hooked on a flash game on Facebook called Hidden Chronicles that uses flash. However, the games and apps store section looked pretty big, so I’m sure I’ll be able to find some fun stuff.

I have applied in a lot of places for internships now! I have my first interview next week with Google! I am excited and a little nervous. I hope it goes well!

I will end with a link to a cute kitty video that needs sharing:


All together now… Aaaaawwwwwwwwwwwwww!!




As a computer science student at Michigan State University, I have been told repeatedly that one of the best things I can do for my career at this point is take on an internship for a semester (usually summer). I have already done one internship (at NASA ARC) and am hoping to do another one this summer with a well known company.

I have sent applications with my resume and such to Google, Microsoft, Zynga, and IBM. I was impressed with the ease of the process — all four employers made the application process quite efficient.

Of course, I could always just work full time at my current job at the National Superconducting Cyclotron Laboratory over the summer. That is my default plan. However, if I get an offer for a nice internship, I probably would not turn it down. It is always nice to get away from campus for a bit and learn some new skills.

27. October 2012 · 2 comments · Categories: Life

It is the weekend!!!

I actually will be pretty busy, still. I have a software design assignment and two artificial intelligence assignments to work on. Too much fun

Tomorrow I have a driving lesson from 11am to 12pm. I am looking forward to getting my driving skills better before the road test

Tomorrow night I am going to see Christopher Carter at the International Center. He is an illusionist. It should be a good show. If anyone wants to go with me, I can bring one non student guest. Just let me know.

This semester has been very satisfying so far. I really really like my job at the NSCL.

There is a root beer party at a neighboring dorm Sunday night. I may go, depending on how much I get done before then.

I have next to me a tentative set list for my first album. I really wish I had my cello here at the dorm so I could practice the pieces! i hope to do some recording over Thanksgiving break, my Dad’s schedule permitting, and the rest during the mid semester break.


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I ended up in the hospital yesterday morning because my back/headache got so bad. Not fun. Fortunately, they gave me a nice medication that made me sleep and when I woke up the pain was gone.

Now it is starting to hurt again. But, I have doctor’s appointments the next couple days to try and get to the bottom of it.

Class is going well. Huge “step assignment” project in my software design class is threatening to eat all of my time, but I’m making sure I get some fun in too.

Work went well today. We had an impromptu meeting in the early afternoon. My project is coming along nicely.

I have made a few more quick, messy recordings of my music that I will share here. These four are all solo cello. The last is a rather long, 4 part improvisation. It cuts off at the end, sorry about that. I may upload the full version when I have more time.

The first piece is Run right in.

Next, we have Waltze to the gate.

And now, Waldorf the Great.

Last, but not least, is the long but good one: Wanderlust. Sorry it cuts off at the end!

I will be recording a CD of some of my music this year. Consider these a sneak preview for those of you cool enough to read my website.

If you are curious how I composed these, here is a little insight. I get in the mood to make a piece. I might see my cello, and think, hmm.. I think I’ll write a piece for it. I then pick it up, adjust the bow, adjust the end pin, make sure I’m in tune, and then switch on the recorder on my iPod.

Then I start playing some open strings, and a few small forms and phrases that come into my head. Sometimes this is all that happens. Often, however, a large phrase or musical idea pops in, and I give it form as best I can.

The recordings you are listening to below are first recordings. This means I composed them right on the spot. That is why there are occasional hesitations, squawks, and out of tune bits, or parts when I might start singing along or such. This is all part of my creative process. When I make the CD, most of these artifacts will vanish, as by then I will have played the pieces several times and know the hard parts better.

I do not plan and write the music out first, as some composers do. I just “hear” the music internally while I am holding the instrument and play what comes to me.

Before I became a composer, I always wondered about how composers made their music. If you have that same curiosity, you now know how I do it. For now, at least. I have been known to put something together in Finale before, just to get an idea down. Now that I have a recorder, though, more and more I just will sing a tune if it comes into my head when I am not ready to compose.