the gentle light that strays
I’m currently working on an audio arrangement for a choreographic work by VCU Dance student Hallie Chametzky.
I’m superimposing two pieces of archival audio onto each other. The music is an early 20th century klezmer piece, “Doina and Hora” by Jacob Hoffman with Kandel’s Orchestra, which will be layered with a recording of Susan Sontag reading the poem “Try to Praise the Mutilated World” by Adam Zagajewski.
Extensive editing and rearranging was necessary to merge the timbre, rhythms, and form of the two pieces of audio and fulfill the choreographer’s vision for the atmosphere and color of the soundscape.
We are excited to present this work at the Department of Dance and Choreography’s annual Salon on Wednesday, November 29th, at 7 PM in the VCUArts Depot Annex building located at 814 W Broad St, Richmond, VA 23220.
Check out some of the original content that the arrangement was made from!
Try to Praise the Mutilated World read by Susan Sontag
Timestamp – 30:30 – 32:05
VCU Junior Recital
April 21st, 2017 was my first full length piano concert and my inauguration into the world of professional piano performance.
In this thirty minutes I played Johann Sebastian Bach’s Prelude in Fugue in No. 21, in Bb major, Anton Webern’s Variations for Piano, Op. 27, and Ludwig Beethoven’s Piano Sonata No. 15 in D Major, Op. 28.
You can find recordings of all of these, and more, on the piano page! If you would like to download any of the recordings please feel free to contact me.
Below is a sample of my contemporary piano playing. While these Webern pieces are tame in terms of sound production, the mathematical structures used to create them are complex. Webern used math and symmetry in the composition and performance practice to create these pieces. This compositional method is referred to as Twelve-tone Serialism.
When I perform contemporary pieces such as this I emphasize one simple idea, motion, or motif to give the audience something tangible to follow. Try to listen for the linking components in these pieces.
Anton Webern: Variations for Piano, Op. 27 – I. Sehr mäßig
Anton Webern: Variations for Piano, Op. 27 – II. Sehr schnell
Anton Webern: Variations for Piano, Op. 27 – III. Ruhig fließend
NYU Film Scoring Workshop
Over the summer of 2017 I attended NYU’s film scoring workshop where I had the chance to meet and work with students from all over the world who share my passion for writing music. It’s rare to find oneself immersed in a group of people so passionate and excited about the same things that you are. What a fantastic experience!
During the workshop I composed, orchestrated, and recorded music for a short film clip.
You can watch the clip and see the orchestration here. To see more work like this go to Film Compositions.
Clip from How To Train Your Dragon 2
Score to How to Train Your Dragon 2 by Colton Dodd
Berklee’s Songwriting for Film and TV
Over the Summer of 2017 I took a class at Berklee school of music for songwriting. This was the first time I was demanded to write music outside of the classical realm. True song form and pop style composition. The demand was high for this class and I had to compose many short tunes, more like etudes in the study of a style. Now I can sit down and compose a song fairly quickly, and effectively research any style and attempt to mimic it.
This is the final project from the class. We were given a topic, a guideline, and a song for sound reference. I was given The Supremes “You Can’t Hurry Love.” I wrote all the music and recorded all the instrumental tracks. Thankfully, my talented friend Colleen Christman was able to record vocals and add her own unique sound and a few licks.
Colton Dodd: When Will I Find It