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, 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 you can 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’s 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.