Hello all!

The blog is finally back up and running after far too many months. I’m planning on posting a list of all of the musical/life events that occured over the past two seasons (I miss the Texas winter and spring more and more as we slowly approach surface of the sun temperatures), but I figured a purely musical post would be appropriate to get the ball rolling again.

Anyways, on to the music:

This past Monday, Lindby’s bassist and my good friend, Kyle Claset,  gave his Theory Capstone Presentation. For those of you who haven’t delved too deeply into the world of Music Theory majors, a capstone is the equivalent of a senior recital.

Performance majors put on concerts to show their skills. Composition majors (like myself) have a bunch of different people perform their portfolio of works. Theory majors write epic papers (backed up by powerful powerpoint presentations) and argue a certain, specific point in a certain realm of the musical world.

As an example, Kyle tried to persuade his audience of professors and peers that a new type of sonata should be acknowledged and classified alongside the existing five types. The meat of his argument came from providing musical examples that fit into multiple categories and could not be constrained by one classification.

It was certainly a compelling argument and really got me thinking about the nature of compositon versus theory. Creation versus definition. Chaos versus order.

As a composer, I have a natural bias that would have me leaning towards the idea that compostion came before theory. The first mental image I conjure up is that of our ancient ancestors sitting around creating rhythms with primitive drums and perhaps singing in form or another.

However, if I look at it from Kyle’s point of view, I would have to admit that the very act of defining rhythm and providing even the most basic of structures would reside in the world of theory.

It’s very much in the vein of which came first, the chicken or the egg.

Kyle and I have actually discussed how the ideas of composition and theory are essentially at war with each other. Composers create what they feel/think sounds good. Theorists try to make sense of it and define it. Of course, even though they’re at war with each other, one could never exist without the other.

And upon further thought, this conflict between the two arts actually helps both of them progress forward towards further innovation.  Composers always want to break new ground and come up with ideas that have never been tried. This partially stems from the fact that theory has defined and classified what has already been done. If a composer succeeds at this goal, then theorists suddenly have a plethera of new work ahead of them. It goes hand in hand, and one fire basically feeds the other.

It’s ying and yang. It’s life and death. It’s order and chaos. It’s the power and drive of opposites.

It’s theory and composition: the backbone of the musical world.

-Spurrier

Hello all,

So instead of one topic today, I’m going to provide some bullet points regarding a number of different musical categories. Nick Goodrich, co-leader/founder of Lindby, is getting married this Saturday, so life is a little crazy to say in the least. Expect a return to full-length blog posts next week.

  • Jared Arnold’s, Lindby’s now ex-drummer, last show occurred this past Friday at the Cellar out in Fort Worth. I have never seen that venue as packed as that night. People dancing, screaming, rocking out, and just having a good time from the looks of it. We wrapped up the night with the proverbial passing of the torch by having Jared pass off drums to the one and only Tanner Brown (check out the Events page for the next opportunity to see Tanner rocking out with us). Expect some pictures (and possibly some HD video) soon.
  • This past Sunday, Mel and I went out to Campania in Southlake to see Mike Springer, my piano teacher, and Andy Sperandeo, my former guitar and voice teacher, play in a jazz trio and enjoy some delightful food and drinks. The coolest part is that the trio performed up on the top floor, which turns out to be a roof patio. After the hottest summer on record, listening to some jazz on the roof of a building with a cool autumn breeze seemed just about right.
  • Only partially musically related but still important: I began reading the book Outliers: The Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell. Once I finish it, I’ll likely do a whole blog post about it, but even though I’m only two chapters in, I can safely say it’s becoming one of my favorite books ever.
  • Lastly, I just ordered all of the top rated, early Black Sabbath albums from Amazon. Why not just download them form iTunes or listen to them on Rhapsody? Because they aren’t on there (and no, I won’t be pirating them because, as a professional musician, it’s hard to think of a better example of irony than stealing music)! Amazingly, the only Sabbath that I can find in digital form is during the Ronnie James Dio years. Nothing personally against Dio, but no thank you. Ozzy forever. Plain and simple. I’ve only ever listened to their second album, Paranoid, and have always loved it. Yes, it’s metal, but only part of the time. Sometimes it’s just psychedelic madness or just awesome instrumental jams. I am quite pumped for this package to arrive.

So there you have it: Lindby, jazz, amazing books, and Black Sabbath. That should do for now. Off to pick up my groomsman tux!

Spurrier