I write music; both theatrical and non-theatrical; for voice or just instruments. I'm not a singer slash performer. You'll hopefully never have the misfortune of hearing me perform any of my songs - something even my mom is sorely tested to find something nice to say. My writing style has gone through a lot of stylistic changes over the years - a normal thing. In high school I was writing for big band jazz, then started getting interested in 'traditional' orchestral and chamber style in college. I dabbled with 12-tone and avant garde in graduate school while still writing jazz and chamber works. After grad school I got into writing for NYC theatre and had some modest successes - certainly not enough to sustain a career. I took time off from composing to raise a family. Now that my kids are old enough to ignore me, I'm back into it. When I was in third grade, students were asked to choose an instrument to learn. I remember asking which was the most difficult instrument to play; didn't see the point in spending a lot of time learning to play an instrument that was 'easy'. Since my school didn't have string instruments, I was told the trombone. That started my musical journey. In tenth grade jazz band, we were playing a piece that I thought was horrible and thought I could write better, which I then set out to prove. Guess I'm still trying to prove it to this day, huh?!? I eventually took the trombone to performing in New York all-county groups but didn't go further because I was getting more interested in writing and I just didn't practice enough - same problem I've had with my own kids now (wonder if that trait is hereditary?). When my voice changed in high school, I ended up having a lower than low bass voice. Since there were no bass singers singing pop/rock on the radio, and I was completely turned off by WQXR opera singing, I never was interested in developing my singing voice - there didn't seem to be much of a career going in that direction (Barry White doesn't really count). At graduate school (New England Conservatory of Music), I sang (bass) with the Boston Symphony Orchestra's Chorus in performing Mahler's Second Symphony with conductor Claudio Abbado and soloist Jessye Norman. That was a fabulous experience. Thought it was pretty funny that here I am, a composition major who had never taken a voice lesson in his life, brought in as a ringer in a chorus made up of voice majors, just because I can sing a double Bflat (Mahler wrote that in the choral part). Only recently have I started taking voice lessons (what can you do with a G2?). Music that has influenced my writing style? I'd have to say rock 'n roll of the 60's - 80's, jazz from all periods, various 'serious' composers through my college years. Because I played the trombone, I was much more into Chicago, EWF, and Blood Sweat and Tears than groups like the Grateful Dead. Was big into ELP, ELO because their songs were ambitious and orchestral. I listened (and still listen) to all styles of music, even ones I don't like because I believe that I can always learn something - even if it's just to reconfirm why I don't like that style/performer in the first place. I like a lot of the music my kids listen to. Hey, when you're stuck in the car with them, it keeps the peace and some of the stuff really is good! My writing style has settled into theatre/cabaret style, with a smattering of art song for vocal works. My instrumental writing tends to be in the neo-romantic/neo-classical style of the musical spectrum - although there is the occasional really 'out there' piece that I have no clue where it came from.
Articles Written by laurence_dresner
- I Tend a Nomadic Fly...... January 15, 2011 in Compositions & Piano Solo
- Remembrances for String Quartet...... January 15, 2011 in Compositions & String Quartet
- Pastorale for Piano, Clarinet and Violin...... January 15, 2011 in Chamber-With Woodwinds & Compositions & Laurence Dresner & Woodwind Quintet, Quartet, Trio, Duet