Tuesday, July 18, 2017

One of the 20th century's masterworks, Quatuor pour la fin du temps
by Olivier Messiaen (1908-1992). Excellent recording with score; the
YouTube link has detailed notes and starting times for each movement.

Monday, July 17, 2017


My name is Ari Schwartz and I'm a Junior at Oak Park River and Forest High School. I play harp with my school's orchestra, band, and choir, as well as in small ensembles. I love music theory and classical music, especially Bach and Saint-Saëns. My favorite instruments to write for are harp and cello. This camp is such a great opportunity because I can learn composition techniques and then have my music played by musicians. I'm also excited to get to know other people my age interested in composition.   


     Hey, I'm Remington and I go to Charleston High School in Charleston Illinois. I play bassoon and French horn as well as sing and beatbox. I'm in my school's band, choir, and a cappella groups. I'm here at camp because of many reasons. Firstly I came because I always had a love for writing stories and I realized that I wasn't literate in music as I was in English. Secondly I came because I've always felt drawn to composition and was curious if I wanted to pursue it in college. And Finally I came because my a cappella group needs an arrager and so I came in the hopes that the skills I learn here translate to that.
     I'm most inspired by the human voice and want to write a lot with that. Beyond that though I'm inspired by people I found off YouTube namely Jacob Collier, Adam Neely, 12Tone, Rob Scallon, and Andrew Huang. I love intricate jazz and odd rhythmic time signatures. My philosophy is that the farther away from the 4 chord, 4/4 time the more emotional weight a work can obtain. But yeah that's me! Oh yeah I'm also a fan of rap, jazz, and bluesy country/rock as well as EDM and AJR.


Hey guys.
I'm a percussionist and a vocalist at Plainfield North High School. I've done lots of musical things, but composing for this ensemble is turning out to be one of the most challenging. I've never written for an ensemble like this, and I'm challenging myself to write for everyone. I hope I get to know all of you and why you're writing what you're writing.

Introduction ?

Hello ! My name is Rachel Ybanez- freshman at Plainfield East High School. My primary instrument is bassoon, and I dabble around in piano a bit as well- even though I play clarinet better than I play the rest haha. My favorite style of music is instrumental pieces- whether that's piano solos, arrangements for concert band, or even video game background music.

I like hearing how people are able to tell stories and make you feel different emotions just by the pitch of sound that different things can make. Here, I hope to learn things I could do to improve my music- along with listening to what other people around my age can make. Truthfully, I'm younger and a lot less experienced than most people here and hope to learn more about the capabilities of different instruments. Because of my inexperience I find myself shying away from writing for other instruments aside from solo piano.

Thank you for taking the time our of your day reading this and teaching us, I look forward to the rest of the week!

Blue in Green, lead sheet

Bill Evans, "Blue in Green," take 3.
Bill Evans, "Blue in Green." Recorded by Miles Davis on Kind of Blue, 1959.

Beethoven, Diabelli Variations

With score; Alfred Brendel, piano.

Bach, Goldberg Variations - Glenn Gould, 1981

J. S. Bach (1685-1750), Goldberg Variations, BWV 988. 
Glenn Gould, piano (video, 1981)

Bach Goldberg Variations - Glenn Gould, 1955

J. S. Bach (1685-1750), Goldberg Variations, BWV 988. 
Glenn Gould, piano (recorded in mono, 1955)

Sunday, July 16, 2017


Good evening everyone! I just sent out invitations to all of you to join the Composition blog for this week - if you have trouble joining, please let me know. Once you join, could you please write a short post about yourself? I asked all of you today what year in school you are, what you play, and where you're from - but I forgot to ask about your favorite music, and what you hoping to gain this week.

So please remind us all where you're from, what year in school you are, what are your instruments or voice type, and also tell us a little bit about your favorite composers or musicians, and what you're most interested in, or excited about, learning this week.

As for me - I grew up not too far from here, in Taylorville Illinois (which is no relation to my last name); I've been a professor here at Illinois since 2001. I play piano, but I also used to play bass and French horn; these days I also conduct various ensembles. Lately I've been pretty interested in sonification, or using music and sound to represent data. You can check some of this out here - www.stephenandrewtaylor.net/genetics.html.

Favorite composers - I have lots! Ligeti, Lutoslawski, Georg Friedrich Haas, Charles Ives, Conlon Nancarrow, plus all the classics - especially Beethoven these days. I work quite a bit with Pink Martini and the rock singer Storm Large, doing their orchestral arrangements - they just played last month with the Chicago Symphony, which was very exciting.

Brad Mehldau, "Resignation"

From his 1999 album "Elegiac Cycle"

Shostakovich Prelude and Fugue No. 1 in C Major, Op. 87

Performed by the composer.

Chopin, Prelude in C major, op. 28 no. 1

Performed by Martha Argerich. These videos which show the score as the music plays are some of my favorites.

J. S. Bach, Prelude and Fugue in C Major, WTC I

BWV 846; performed by Sviatoslav Richter.

ISYM Composition 2017 Daily Schedule

Welcome to ISYM Composition 2017! Here is our schedule for the week - this may change depending on what you are all interested in.

Saturday: Final Concert, 12:30 pm, Smith Recital Hall

8:15 - 9:15 amComposition Studio ClassMB CAMIL I - 4033
Monday: Variations and passacaglia - Notating by hand
Tuesday: Modes - Sibelius and jazz chord notation
Wednesday: Rhythms - more Sibelius
Thursday: Popular music and arranging - Sibelius, making parts
Friday: Final proofreading - going over parts - OR student presentations

9:30 - 10:30 amIndividual Composing/Lessons
(Taylor, Smith)
MB CAMIL I - 4033
MB 3rd floor practice rooms

10:45 - 11:45 pmTechnology TopicsMB CAMIL I - 4033
Monday: Logic (or Garageband) - using built-in sounds
Tuesday: Logic - editing sound files
Wednesday: Logic - effects
Thursday: Working with microphones
Friday: Pre-Concert Preparation


1:15 - 2:15 pmIndividual Composing/Lessons
(Taylor, Shaw)
MB CAMIL I - 4033
MB 3rd floor practice rooms

2:30 - 3:30 pmPerformance/Orchestration SessionsSmith Recital Hall
Monday: Read through pieces in progress
Tuesday: Percussion Master Class with Ryan Pearson
Wednesday: Violin/Cello Master Class with Erika Zelada and Yeonwoo Seo
Thursday: Flute/Clarinet Master Class with Jenny Shin and Angela Kucharski
Friday: Rehearsal for Concert

3:45 4:45 pmMusic Technology Elective
Dr. Eli Fieldsteel
MB CAMIL II - 0324

12:30 pm Saturday, July 22Final ConcertSmith Recital Hall