Wishing the best to Music From China

Last Fall, Music From China premiered my piece, “The Avoidance of a Word.” I had the privilege of traveling to New York City to perform the percussion part with them at the premiere at Symphony Space in Manhattan. Their hospitality, kindness, and support will always be remembered. Next week hear them perform music by my teachers … Continue reading

“Once Upon a Time…” Part I

“Once upon a time…” Encountering these words, we already know a lot about what we are going to read or hear. We know are in for a narrative. It won’t be just any story but something fantastic. It will be a Fiction. The ordinary restraints of reality need not apply, although they might.The symbolic may take … Continue reading

Composer’s Circle

Composer’s Circle features one composer everyday. Today, I am the featured composer with my piece Conversations w/ Ligeti & Heidegger & (Mom in the Background) performed by Trillium Ensemble. I am grateful for the work of Eric Guinivan, the website’s curator, in his advocation for new music. Please support Eric’s work by subscribing to Composer’s Circle or liking … Continue reading

What music do you write?

“Oh, you’re a composer. So, what kind of music do you write?” I’m often asked this question when meeting new people. It’s usually either preceded by, “so, what do you do,” or if they know I’m involved with music, “what instrument do you play.” To the latter, I usually playfully respond, “I play the composer.” “What … Continue reading

10 Favorite Books

Recently, I was asked to list 10 books that have left an impression on me. Many of the writers in the list are connected through common interests and influences. Rushdie, Eco, and Calvino were all influenced by Borges and are magical realists. Some have concerned their writings with expressing moral and social issues. They have not been afraid to … Continue reading

Uqbar: Confessions Part II (of II)

The first Uqbar post was written in an earnest tone. Now, I will confess: Uqbar is a fiction. Literature is one of my main nonmusical influences. The foundation of my approach to musical form is rooted books like Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse V (look for a post on Vonnegut and form coming soon). It was Jorge Luis Borges who initiated my fascination with … Continue reading

Uqbar: Confessions Part I (of II)

I often find myself charmed by olde things. I owe the discovery of Uqbar to the conjunction of a mirror and an encyclopedia. Late one night, as is often the perfect time for fantastic discoveries, I happened upon an obscure, lost country while searching articles on Mirrors. (The Mirror is an ongoing artistic fascination/project of mine. … Continue reading

Back in May, I was honored to have two pieces premiered during the 2014 Pittsburgh Festival of New Music. Trillium Ensemble opened Saturday’s concert with Conversations w/ Ligeti & Heidegger & Mom in the Background.  Listen to their premiere performance here: https://soundcloud.com/scottsteele/conversations-w-ligeti-heidegger-mom-in-the-background-1 Trillium has also performed and recorded Silent Spring by Mark Fromm. Also on the … Continue reading

Expanding the Repertoire: Glockenspiel Solos

Recently, I received a recording of my solo glockenspiel piece, the situation is…, performed by the commissioner of the work, Brett Dietz. Inspired to expand the repertoire, he has commissioned new glockenspiel works from many composers, including one of my former teachers David Stock. Brett’s mission is bold. As he stated in an article he recently wrote … Continue reading

Paranoid about androids: MIDI in Opera

A few weeks ago the New York Times published an article on a Connecticut opera company opting to replace its musicians with MIDI recordings. I don’t have a problem with a radical retake on a classic. It’s usually interesting whether I love it or despise it. I don’t mind if someone wants to try out electronic timbres … Continue reading