The difference between emotions and feelings Emotions are physical. They emerge from our body at the brain-stem/ lizard brain/ ‘old’ brain level as a result of sensory input. Music delivers sound and, if the listeners allow it, stimulates the emotional center of our brain called the amygdala. “Feelings originate in the upper parts of the brain and are mental associations and reactions to those emotions. They are influenced by personal experience, beliefs and

A synthesizer driven low frequency sine wave voice, doubled by the celeste player was added to the traditional orchestra in my “Symphony: Venus and Vulcan in America“. Why?    Two reasons: 1) curiosity and 2) love of low bass The orchestra is an extremely flexible sonic organism – capable of sounds yet unheard. The addition of low, pure tones were not added because I felt that the orchestra needed it;  nor did I add them because this little

Introduction and goals behind the symphony Venus and Vulcan in America After getting the good news on October 6th, 2015 that I was to write a new piece for the Orlando Philharmonic I inquired “What kind of piece would you like?”  The next day, Maestro Jacobsen challenged me with : “How about you create a piece that connects them? Start where the Tannhaüser ends and take us to where the

  For the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra‘s (OPO) May 31st Gala fundraiser for 2013, again at Full Sail University‘s Live venue, the orchestra decided to create a program of familiar repertory that was to be highlighted with striking visuals. The theme of the show was “Music of the Night“; a series of pieces beginning with dusk through early evening for part I; midnight for part 2; and pre-dawn late night through

Guest Conducting the Orlando Philharmonic, May 18 2013 @ The Springs I learned a great deal by conducting the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra in Aaron Copland’s “Variations On A Shaker Melody”. As a composer, I often take the conductor’s role for granted. One new insight was the amount of flexibility a conductor wields over the outcome of the performances. Though this allows for bold interpretive freedoms, it demands a heavy responsibility

The 2012 National Young Composer’s Challenge – West   About 130 promising young composers ranging from 11-18 years old came to our first YCC West event at the beautiful San Domenico School in San Anselmo, California. We were delighted to find a fantastic group of young musicians truly interested in becoming composers, showing deep interest in the craft and the emotions that it wakens in us all. Steve Goldman, is the heart

April 20th, 2012 Full Sail University  Venue To finally hear the Orlando Philharmonic play “Four Dimensions” and see Nathan Selikoff‘s work was a wonderfully mind-boggling. What an experience these last two days have been! Thank you, Full Sail University and Orlando Philharmonic! Jim Shelton, an important individual from the Friends of the Philharmonic, snapped some excellent photos of Friday night’s rehearsal and sent them my way. First Dimension In this

In my last update, Maestro Dirk Meyer and I realized that the most reliable method of triggering a sound event with a Wii-mote was pressing a button rather than using accelerometer data. Marc Pinsky, the Max Engineer for “Four Dimensions”, designed this multi-channel ‘sound server’ application for the upcoming premiere which allows each trigger to fire off the sound in glorious 5.1 surround at 24bit/96kHz resolution.  Four Dimensions is a work for a live orchestra (including EWI in the ‘winds’)

  Four Dimensions is a work for a live orchestra (including EWI in the ‘winds’) and electronics. The electronics are pre-recorded. How will the electronics synch up to the orchestra during the performance? I asked Marc Pinsky, the Max Engineer, to develop our use of a Nintendo Wii game controller (called a Wii-mote) to be used by the conductor, Dirk Meyer as a conducting baton – doubling as a baton

    Brian Smithers is a saxophonist comfortable in legit, jazz and popular styles, an EWI-ist, arranger, author and music technologist extraordinaire. He will be playing the EWI for the April 21, 2012 “Symphony in HD” premiere of “Four Dimensions” with the Orlando Philharmonic. In this video, Brian demonstrates the EWI for us. Brian is a fellow Full Sail University employee, as is Marc Pinsky. Along with teaching Digital Audio