Hello, I’m Tom. Welcome to a very small site detailing what I’m about.
I’m a musician-type dude. I grew up in New York City and I got some diploma-type things in music theory and composition. I write music for cool people and cool ensembles and for myself.
I play a bunch of instruments, have a special bond with the guitar and will occasionally perform in public. I got some awards and some nominations (including the big “G”) but was raised that it’s rude to talk about yourself extensively, and am only as good as what I’m up to now – so I’ll let you decide whether or not my work speaks for itself.
I spend vast amounts of time arranging and conducting music for other people, albums, films, concerts – that sort of thing. I spend every other possible moment composing stuff, and trying to convince people whom I greatly admire to work with me, and when that happens, I’m humbled and happy.
Like any composer (born after 1965) who went to school, I studied “modern” composition, and that evolved into a profound hatred of atonal music, mathematically conceived music and any music for musicians instead of music for the people who will eventually listen to the music (something I, with a naiveté of which I am proud, refer to as the “purpose” of music). It also evolved into a hatred of pretentions discussions with my colleagues, even though there are a few composers who I consider amazing people and close friends.
I dig the idea that musicians who don’t know what a complex chord is called or how it’s spelled – as well as musicians who don’t know the range or transposition of the English Horn – aren’t cast aside. It’s my job to know that – and there’s great value in things that are not me.
I’m generally disappointed with the disconnect I sense between “composers” and “people I see when I’m in the supermarket.” It seems you have to be a songwriter or write dance music or be a pop star to write music people want to hear, and I just don’t think that’s true.
I believe instrumentation is the fundamental difference between “pop music” and “classical music,” the rest is just notes. Add a drum kit, and it’s not classical music. I think if the drum kit were around in Beethoven’s time, he would have written for it. I could dig seeing aforementioned gap closed at some point.
I love seeing (what I perceive as) a trend back toward people actually learning to play instruments and sing, and have a massive respect for people who’ve honed a craft.
I dislike people who think that classical music is really that far removed from popular music. This is a composer/theorist/journalist viewpoint, and not a player’s standpoint. Not the players I know, anyway. It’s also (perhaps most importantly) not an audience member’s viewpoint.
I also dislike pretentious people.
I also love steak. Cooked, but as rare as possible.
I love me some Ravel, I love me some Purcell – but I love me some Wu-Tang Clan and some Led Zeppelin too. If you were clever, you could make a couplet out of those rhyming names.