Archive for December, 2023

2023 Year in Review – Adventure in Music

I am grateful for the many people who have made this year so special. At times I felt like 2023 was a normal year of music making and collaboration, and then I would be reminded that our recent past is very much with us and that the world is very fragile. 

I consider 2023 to be Adventure in Music year, and I think we have earned a bit of rest and a special cappuccino or affogato (see below) to commemorate the beauty that can exist in the world, if we so desire it.

Onward for a wonderful, safe, and healthy 2024, and thanks to all who have listened, enjoyed, and explored music with me in 2023!



  • Christopher Bush, clarinet
  • Johnathan McCullough, baritone
  • Frederic Jodry III, harpsichord
  • Robert Lehman, violin
  • Kimberly Lehman, viola
  • Rebecca Hartka, cello
  • Jeff Christmas, conductor with the Bowdoin Chamber Choir
  • Charles Coe, poet
  • Kabir Sehgal, Tiger Turn
  • Alex Fedorov, design
  • Steve Hunt, mixing and mastering
  • Gina Genova, Will Rowe, and Simon Henry Berry, American Composers Alliance
  • Gene Caprioglio, Edition Peters
  • Steve Schwartz, Your Heaven Audio
  • Michael Newman, Mannes School of Music
  • João Luiz, Hunter College
  • Tali Roth, Juilliard
  • Nick Morgan, TEDx


  • Alan Hovhaness – Mystic Flute, Op. 29arranged by ALC, Robbins Library, Arlington, MA, February 2023 (US premiere)
  • Daniel Felsenfeld – Only Winter Certainties on Bargemusic, Brooklyn, New York, April 2023 (info)
  • Sam Cave – …in the soft dark welling… at the Smith Center for the Arts, Providence College, September 2023
  • Nicolás Lell Benavides – Rinconcito for guitar & string trio, University of Southern Maine, December 2023 (info)

New Album & Recordings

  • Spanish Candy – May 26, 2023 on Tiger Turn (888-10) (info)
  • Berceuse Inquiète by Ronald Pearl, for the New Lullaby Project, live at Providence College (listen)

Album Reviews


  • honey cadence – a collection of six meditations by Aaron Larget-Caplan was published by the American Composers Alliance, May 2023 (info)

Publication Review:


  • Paul Revere Award for Graphic Excellence from The Music Publishers Association of the United States presented for Aaron’s arrangement of Bacchanale by John Cage, June 2023 (info)
  • Cultural Grant from the Massachusetts Cultural Council for Now Musique, Feb. 2023
  • Best of 2023 by The Arts Fuse: God’s Time: Music of J.S. Bach on Guitar, Dec. 2023 (info)
  • Reached 6-million streams!


  • Spanish Candy intro video (watch)
  • Remembering by Laurie Spiegel, written for the New Lullaby Project (watch)
  • Libertango by Astor Piazzolla, arranged for sextet (watch)
  • Interview with Anthony R. Green (watch
  • Interview with Daniel Felsenfeld (watch)
  • TEDx – moving still by Aaron Larget-Caplan (watch

Instructional Videos:




  • New press photos with photographer Paula Morin (info)
  • TEDx – moving still by Aaron Larget-Caplan (watch

Music I Am Interviews 2023 in Review

I started Music I Am Interviews in 2022, to learn more about artists I found exciting and to share their work with you. 

In 2023, 34 Artists were featured in the Music I Am Interviews! It has been an exhilarating year of listening to some truly wonderful musicians, learning about their introduction to music, composers we should know more about, and their latest projects.

To get out of my own bubble and discover new music, I made a point that a good majority of the interviews would be with those I have not collaborated with. 

Also we are on Instagram account! 
Follow us here:

*Click on the names below to read their interview and see their latest projects!

11 Douglas Knehans Composer
12 Fred Hand Guitarist – Composer
13 Lori Laitman Composer
14 Alan Fletcher Composer – CEO
15 Armando Bayolo Composer
16 Dale Kavanagh Guitarist – Composer
17 Ann Moss Soprano
18 Ivan Enrique Rodriguez  Composer
19 David Starobin Guitarist Producer
20 Andree-Ann Deschenes Pianist
21 Richard Cameron-Wolfe Composer
22 Jessica Bowers Soprano 
23 Miguel del Aguila Composer
24 Buzz Gravelle Fretless Guitar
25 Daniel Kurganov Violinist
26 Kirsten Volness Composer
27 Gerard Cousins Guitarist – Composer
28 Trevor Berens Pianist
29 Holly Mulcahy Violinist
30 Stephanie Ann Boyd Composer
31 Alejandro Rutty Composer – Bass
32 Nicolás Lell Benavides Composer
33 Thomas L. Read Composer – Violinist
34 Vivian Fang Liu Pianist- Composer
35 Sophia Agranovich Pianist
36 Vivienne Aerts Singer – Composer
37 David Bernard Conductor
38 Diana Tash Mezzo-Soprano
39 Lisa Neher Composer – Soprano
40 Shaun Drew Composer
41 Nathalie Bonin Violinist – Composer
42 Nagme Yarkin Performer – Composer
43 Douglas Boyce Composer
44 Woody Harris Guitarist – Composer


Music I Am #44 – Woody Harris, Composer, Guitarist, Music Editor

The moment when you knew you wanted to be a musician:

Not sure, no one individual or moment.

An important skill for a career in music that does not have anything to do with an instrument or making music:

Sense skills: listening, observing, tasting, feeling.

Two ways you stay motivated:

Constantly examining the textural sonorities I produce, their color, form and relationship to previous and following tones.

Latest Project:

‘Coming To My Senses’ is my most recent album, however I am working on a new album.






What inspired it:

If this question follows on the previous one, I would say the sound world of previous works inspires me to search for new ways to work with open forms and to search for an even more intense balance between open harmonies, melodic fragments, polyrhythms and colors – to follow my instincts. The results hopefully expand the vocabulary and syntax of the guitar and in retrospect build a bridge between modern classical composition and the traditional American genres of jazz and blues. This form of expression I refer to as ‘intimate jazz’.

Who’s on it:

Me – at the moment

How do you discover new music?

For many years (decades) I have frequented contemporary classical music concerts – which are generally sparsely visited and ‘traditional’ jazz clubs. Additionally I listen to music friends produce and recommend. Having said this I admit to generally not listening to much music other than the music I am presently working on – it is enough. I work best in isolation. Having studied classical guitar, composition and musicology, and having worked as the senior editor of scholarly chamber music and orchestral music at the German music publisher Bärenreiter for over 25 years, I have had the privilege of working with autographs and primary sources of Bach, Mozart, Schubert, Mendelssohn, Debussy and Ravel among others, and working with these sources has revealed to me the general insecurities EVERY composer has in finalizing and fixating sounds. This is humbling work and helps me to see music with other eyes, and has helped me in the search for expression and growth in my music.

One living and one dead musician that deserves more attention:

  • Dead: Composer Charles Ives, guitarist Wes Montgomery
  • Alive: Italian Vito Palumbo and George Benjamin

Where can we find you online?

Music I Am #43 – Douglas Boyce, composer

The moment when you knew you wanted to be a musician:

It is an interesting question because the start of my interest in music-per-se was quite epiphanous: watching a videotape of Stop Making Sense in my junior year of high school and feeling ‘what the hell was all that!’ at the end. But the shift of my primary interests (physics, mathematics, classics, and history) had a much slower unfolding, happening over several years, with numerous, analogous eureka moments: first hearing Coltrane (suggested by my first piano teacher, a Franciscan nun with three music degrees from Eastman), first hearing Crumb (at a concert in an art museum where I walked in late and saw a percussionist drumming on bass strings ), first hearing Ars Subtilor (at a concert featuring the astounding Enemble P.A.N.), the last two in my freshman year at Williams College. But the story of how the idea of music as a career/life-project is less about inspiration and more about necessity: the conversations around whether my undergrad honors project would be in Physics or Music, with my teachers, family, friends, and myself were quite… fraught.

An important skill for a career in music that does not have anything to do with an instrument or making music:

I’ll give two. Skill at long-term planning, as in organizing one’s life but also practical stuff of Gannt diagrams and how to REALLY use a spreadsheet. That stuff matters to a surprising degree. A deep knowledge and earnest interest in at least one other domain of human life and thought. In a moment wherein the support for the arts and indeed the foundations of the noösphere are collapsing, as musicians, we must effectively translate our praxis and our intentions, and be able to do so without oversimplifying them or relying on existing ideologies about music in the world of non-musicians. As thinkers like Gadamer and (Richard) Bernstein taught us, the conversation across domains of thought is essential but requires a great deal of work to engage in a truly engaged pluralism. And if we can’t pull that off, we’re in even bigger trouble than it looks like we are.

Two ways you stay motivated:

Coffee & Deadlines. They are, in actuality, serious points, but let me explain. I arrange things, whenever I can, such that my morning coffee is consumed as I am consuming. Yes, I need to get up early and hit the ground running, but I have found over time that when I do that not only do I stay productive, but the rest of the day feels good because whatever annoying administrative grind I need to deal with, I can think back out the day being productive, and encourage to start the next day the same way Deadlines matter not just because they are obligations (contractual or reputational) but because I am lucky (and have worked hard (as echoed below) to work with wonderful players and (more importantly) wonderful friends and partners in the strange voyages of modern music. And so, the deadline is an obligation in the way that finding the right birthday present for a friend is. You put in the time because it is the right thing to do and to be doing, even when pressed.

Latest Project:

The Bird is an Alphabet is an album of new settings of American poets (Jorie Graham, BJ Ward, Wallace Stevens, Melissa Range, and Marlanda Dekine). All the poems are interrogations of language, of the word, and its role in life, and in the creative life; the music draws upon art-song, medieval music, modernist chamber music, and the energy and freedom of hip-hop.








What inspired it:

The album connects to many themes of my work; A Book of Songs (recorded by tenor Robert Baker (tenor) and Molly Orlando (piano)) links the European 19th-century art-song tradition inaugurated with the modernist aesthetic which replaced its rhetoric. Scriptorium written for Byrne:Kozar:Duo by Melissa Range (Lawrence University) puts forward an evocation of the medieval ars veterum practices, but more severe in its outcome the work sets for poems. Ars Poetica was written for counter)induction and the poet, Marlanda Dekine, and provides musical spaces for the spoken performance of her poetry of personal history, and cultural form. As mentioned above, all of these works are written _for_ the performers, and so they are inspired by the texts, but also by the beautiful musicianship of those who would be joining the fun after the pieces were ‘done.’

Who’s on it:

A Book of Songs: Robert Baker, tenor, Molly Orlando, piano Scriptorium: Byrne:Kozar:Duo Ars Poetica: counter)induction, Marlanda Dekine (poet)

How do you discover new music?

If you are very careful and devout in what you engage with on social media, the algorithm will reward you; also, even if you find and listen to regional radio shows online you will often find a coherent, cogent sense of what is going on in the community.

One living and one dead musician that deserves more attention:

  1. Guillaume de Machaut: yes, not unknown, but not truly given the detailed study by more people. As I say to my students, you will come away from engaging with his music thinking that we’ve been in decline since 1350.
  2. Elena Mendoza: Look up Nebelsplitter, and fasten your seatbelts.

Where can we find you online?


Upcoming Event you’d like to share?

Ars Poetica performed by counter)induction and Marlanda Dekine at the Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh, Saturday, January 13, 8:00 pm

pic 2: Marlanda Dekine, Caleb van der Swaag, and Dan Lippel