I've learned that composition is not a viable career option for me.

Stone Airplane

I love how simultaneously concise, poingient, and hilarious Shel Silverstein's poems can be, even if I've aged out of his core demographic a bit.


An die ferne Geliebte

Inspired by Beethoven's incredible setting of the same poem. Songwriting is tricky when you don't do much singing (not least in German).

Three Short Dances

Dances for piano, cello, and clarinet. Each of the three conforms only to the loosest definition of its eponymous dance type.


For bass and vibraphone. An attempt to translate the strict rules of sonnet (rhyme, meter, etc.) to a harmonic, melodic, and rhythmic grammar.

Miniature Dance Suite

Four lossely connected ideas modeled on Schubert's short dances: short waltz-like melodies with minimal development.


Bagatelles are qualified as "short and unpretentious", though this could probably do with some pretense.

Caprice for Cello
Modeled on Paganini's famous caprice. I'm not intimately familiar with the instrument, so it may also require a prodigy (accidentally).

It helps to try and understand how the masters do it.

Bruno Mars – SB48 Halftime Show

Probably the most visible drum solo in recent years was by a pop singer. And it was actually really good (even if the game wasn't). Dedicated to the heroes of Super Bowl LI.

Brian Blade – Jazz Crimes

Brian Blade's playing is definitely some of the coolest among modern players'. I've given up hoping to sound anywhere as hip, but this attempt to write it out gave a lot of insight.

Philly Joe Jones – Straight, No Chaser

The bop drummers, including Philly Joe Jones, are the ones you want to play like. It's entirely unsurprising that Clifford Brown and Miles Davis chose this guy.