I have written more than 1,000 pieces of music. These are arranged into about 100 "Opus" numbers. Some opus numbers are just a single piece of music, while some have a large number of items. For example light operas, musicals and ballets each have 30 or more musical numbers. In fact 120 musical pieces are included in just 6 opus numbers. My four Orchestral Suites and my five "Symphonies" each have four major sections (a total of 36 "movements" and these always have four or more musical themes). A great deal of my music is often quite dance-like.
My attitude (philospophy) toward composition is conservative and rests on my belief that melody is paramount. For example, rythmn, harmony, orchestral colour and mood simply support the "tune" often providing variety. Sometimes I can get a bit carried away with "clever ideas" - and in that case I hope that judicious edits will ensure that simplicity eventually prevails. Keeping it simple is not easy.
Personal "Compositional" styling.
My music owes it existence entirely because I "hear" it in my inner mind. It always comes from an emotional trigger. Almost always a memory of an event, circumstance, place, person, relationship. Almost always I am "hearing" (imagining) a small classical orchestra, often what was called a "salon orchestra." I might play it on a piano and write it down and then replay it in my mind with various instruments. This can go on for years.
The only minor exception is when I am writing vocal music / light opera where the lyrics come first, Then the entrances and exits and gradually a feeling of mood. However, the lyrics are also rooted in imagination of the dramatic situation and the need of the characters on stage. My own life memories are often a part of it.
I love classical music - e.g. Mozart, Beethoven, Mendslssohn, etc
I love Romatic era light music, particuarly for dancing. The Strauss family, Offenbach, Verdi, bel conto opera, ballets (Giselle breaks my heart) and into traditional Broadway/West End musicals
I greatly enjoy Ragtime music because it is so wonderful to dance to and also Swing music, Traditional Dixieland, and Twentieth Century dance music up to and including rock and roll.
The underlying cause of my musical taste can be laid squarely at the musical pen of Sir Arthur Sullivan. His music "reaches" me deeply.
From the age of 2 - 5 - I was "interned" in a Japanese prison camp in Shanghai. My mother was in the chorus of the camp' Gilbert and Sullivan entertainments. I loved it, loved it, loved it. And still do. It has opened up so many doors. It may have helped save my life, and it has certainly helped give me a life.
Almost all my scores are available in printed form. Most of the scores are for a "standard" small symphony orchestra or small dance or theatre orchestra.
Many score are available on this website in various forms, such as mp3, wave, and some even have a video showing a "piano-reduction" of what is playing.
L.V.O. ("Orchestra") The "LVO" is the Lantzville Virtual Orchestra, i.e. my computer using "Sibelius" software. This is how most of my music has been "recorded" and are saved as mp3 or wave files.
C.B.C. (Orchestra). This is the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation's Radio Orchestra with Ken Hsieh conducting. They recorded four of my orchestral suites, or 15 pieces of music, at their Vancouver studio. The CD is available. It might have been the last recording that this famous and much loved orchestra recorded before being disbanded by the C.B.C. The announcement was made to the musicians at the end of our recording sessions.
Other recordings have been made but are not suitable for placing on-line. What would be truly lovely would be to have musicians (instrumental and vocal) volunteer to record them. At my home near Nanaimo, B.C. I have a small studio for rehearsing, recording and for dance lessons and dance practice.
Some Performance History
- "Distress Call" is a Light Opera that was performed privately at the Nanaimo Theatre Group for club members.
- "Square Peg" overture was played by the Nanaimo Symphony Orchestra at the Vancouver Island Universtity theatre.
- The Nanaimo Mount Benson Philharmonic played my "Treasure Island" Overture (prelude) at a "reading" during a rehearsal.
- My stage play "Treasure Island" (a musical adaptation) with my script, lyrics and music was performed by the Nanaimo Theatre Group and years later a second production had a run at the Community theatre in Nanaimo.
- For N.T.G.s stage production of "The Heiress" I acted the role of Dr. Sloper. Since I also did the sound design I slipped in a recording of my "Catherine's Waltz" during the opening scene.
- For N.T.G. I also included some of my own music for their "Pied Piper" Christmas Panto" where I was music director.
- Barro Productions performed "Aesops Fables" (a children's musical) and I wrote all the music and was musical director. This has subsequently been performed several times by local elementary schools with a children's cast, with me at the piano.
- "Woman Of The Woods" (a light opera) was performed for several performances in Qualicum Beach theatre, the Duncan Community Theatre and the Port Theatre in Nanaimo. We had a 12 piece orchestra and I conducted. It has a cast of just seven singer-actors-dancers.
- My "Britta's Waltz" was performed at a house party in Ladysmith. Similarly the "Tides Of Life" with libretto by Marjory Cullerne's mother, sister of Haydn and Harry Wood
- A few of my pieces have been played by my dance orchestra at dances. The orchestra was my "Nanaimo Salon Orchestra."