Making music and listening to music

Music Monday II: Epic Story Songs


Over the past two years, I’ve come across 3 songs that transcend the typical verse-chorus-verse-chorus-bridge-chorus format to music tell stories on an epic scale. While progressive rock often has atypical song structures and immense stories of fantasy, these songs are accessible to the masses (sill sound like pop/rock) and tell life stories.

The first has been around a while: Billy Joel’s “Scenes From An Italian Restaurant“. For seven and a half minutes it uses various musical styles to tell the rise and fall of a relationship and ties it all together with a casual storyteller-style. A “greatest hit” for good reason.


SYD on TV (or “Look! That’s the back of my head!”)


Over the past couple of years I’ve recorded the Singing Youth of Denver (SYD) at various times. Recently I was recording them when the director, Lee Cole, was honored as a “Channel 7 Everyday Hero”. As I set up my audio equipment, they were preparing to film the kids. The segment aired on TV recently and you can see the video here. If you look carefully near the beginning when you see the choir, you’ll see my laptop and the back of my head. No, really, it’s my head. –Mark

Music Monday I: Free Ambient Techno


I’ve been thinking about doing this for awhile. I tend to make projects too large and then never start them. So, with a fresh commitment to just doing something and no promise on consistency, I introduce to you: Music Monday!

This week I want to share something with you that is free and legal. Too good to be true? Not if you like electronic and/or ambient music. There are more and more artists releasing free or name-your-price music. This selection is, for the most part, gentle electronica. Some “noise as music” done with real artistry.


The ABCs, by Devon


My nephew made a guest appearance today in the studio. He sang some of his kindergarten knowledge “A Cappella.” I recorded it, and may have added a little music to it after the fact.


CD Release: Meanwhile, Back at the Ranch


CD Cover

We have finally released the CD of the musical “Meanwhile, Back at the Ranch”! Woo-hoo! The play is about some cowboys who sing to their cattle to keep them from stampeding, but aren’t very good at it. At some point, some sweet-singing cowgirls enter the picture as well as a no-good-do-er looking to steal the ranch. It has explosions, cows, and everything else necessary for a good time. CD’s are $12 and help Hyland Christian School. If you would like a CD, email me or leave a comment and I’ll get a hold of you. We can ship CDs for an additonal $2.

Here’s a sampler track with excerpts from some of the songs: Ranch Music Sampler

More info after the break. (more…)

How to Decorate a Christmas Tree in 3 Minutes


Well, you do a time lapse, of course! Watch the video below and you’ll get the idea. If you want to watch it full screen or be able to rate it, go here. Don’t get so caught up in the motions that you miss the meaning and the memories. We wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! May your holidays be full of family, friends, and fun.


Mark, Nicole, and Lincoln

Hot Air Balloons


Last weekend was the Erie town fair. For a small town, Erie does a nice job, with the launch of a lot of hot air balloons as a highlight. On Saturday morning I was awakened by the sound of the “phooosh” of the hot air balloons and took some video out our bedroom window.

Loopy Kazoo


For those of you that don’t mind something both different and cheesy, here is a recent talent show performance by yours truly. By the way, nothing was pre-recorded… it was all done on the spot. (If you want to see it directly on YouTube or even rate it, it’s here)

The Rose and Red Balloon


I recently made a soundtrack for a short film. Jon Byron made an entry for On The Lot, which is a reality TV show co-produced by Steven Speilberg. It is a film-making competition that requires a 5 minute short for entry. Jon came to me for the music. The ante was upped when he said there would be no sound other than the music.

The film is now here.

This project was a lot of fun. Let me know what you think. You can post comments below.