Singer, composer, and pianist from Queens, and a founding member of hip-hop improv comedy group Freestyle Love Supreme. I write indie soul songs, and delight in spontaneous melody and open space.

Singer, composer, and pianist from Queens. I write indie soul songs and delight in spontaneous melody and open space.

Easy Road

So I know it's been all TV-this and Freestyle Love Supreme-that recently, but that's not the only thing I'm doing these days. I dropped by Studio 42 recently to record some of my tunes for the new This Is Not The Radio compilation…

Forbidden Love

Happy Valentine's Day, all. Sorry I'm a little late. Here's a video edited by photographer/filmmaker/firecracker Anya Garrett to a song from my If We Were EP, Sweet Reprise…

Far Side of Town

I'm taking one small step into the brave new world of 21st century music promotion. I'm opening up the first track on my album, Far Side of Town. I'm giving it a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial license, and making it free for download…

Mastering: Defining Your Terms

Never ignore your instincts. That's the lesson I've learned in the past few weeks. Never ignore your instincts. Not because they're always right about the world, but because they're always right about you…

32 Days

I'm at home right now, waiting for the doorbell to ring. The master of my EP is out for delivery, and soon it will be in my hands. I have mixed feelings about this…

Done

The unthinkable has happened. On Wednesday night, I finished all the mixes for the album. 6 tracks, 24 minutes. If We Were. I sent it out for mastering the following morning. (I can't believe how much it costs to overnight a package to California!!)…

Aargh

Waiting to hear back from Red Bull. The suspense is killing me. Aargh…

69 Days

Getting closer. I've been working on the mix to If We Were. It's tough because there are so many different lines going on at once. It's hard to decide what should be in focus, and what should be background. I'm also having trouble striking the balance between sound that's intense and enveloping and sound that's not painfully loud. I guess that'…

Compromise

I finally got things sorted out. I was making bad judgments about this whole mixing process, the kind I think we all make. I worked on these mixes for a while, and I enjoyed the process, and I liked what I heard, so I said "These mixes are good."…

Doin' It

Thanks for all your advice, everyone. At final count, I had 7 votes yes and 0 votes no. So I spent Saturday figuring out how to export tracks for La Da Da Dee so that they still have all my little tweaks, and they don't take up too much room…

The Contest - ?!?!?!?

I have been mixing this record for quite some time. A couple months actually, because it's so hard to put enough time in every day. I've been neglecting my friends and family, working alone in my lair to revise and recolor something that I put together myself in the first place. Going a little stir-crazy. Nonetheless, I thought it had been…

T minus 96 Days

I really was planning to post once a week. I have all kinds of drafts in a folder called "Blog" on a variety of insightful topics ranging from the Dirty Projectors show I saw in April, to the unreleased classic Stevie Wonder snippets that have been floating around the blogosphere recently and the general "Woe to the music industry" reaction…

Mixing

I'm mixing. I'm putting out an EP in a few months called If We Were, and for the past few weeks, I've been mixing. I'm making such a big point of it because I used to HATE mixing. As soon as I was done writing and recording, everything else would become a chore. All I wanted was for someone else to be able to step in and do it. Someone who…

Back On Track

Well folks, it's been a long time. Which is not to say that I haven't been working. Oh, I have. Instrumental parts, vocals, harmonies, lyrics. The usual struggles. Just behind the scenes…

Day 25

Worked on Far Side again this evening. It's hard to tell what's right and what's wrong, what's beautiful and what's just too much. Time for bed…

Day 24

If you have it, put on Stevie Wonder's I Believe When I Fall In Love and listen to the piano going into the chorus right at 1:13. If not, you'll just have to read this entry instead…

Day 21

More work tonight on Far Side. I redid one of the verses and made it sort of stark. I tried some reversed harmonies, but immediately it sounded like I was trying to do Radiohead. The song is Thom Yorkey enough as it is…

Days 19 & 20

I've been working for the last two days on "The Far Side of Town." It's so nebulous right now. I'm not even sure if that's what the song is called…

Day 17

Lovely rehearsal tonight for our mini-gig on Monday. Come on out; it'll be great…

Day 16

So, after a long day of work, then a visit to the doctor about the soft-wrapped marble that my throat has turned into, and an attempt to make dinner without falling asleep, I tried to get down to work tonight. I started in on 4ths again, trying to make some sense of the weird groove I put together last night…

Day 15

So I just spent another hour working on La Da Da Dee. The keen readers among you may remember that just yesterday, I proclaimed that song "done." But you can never underestimate the need to revise, to perfect, to tweak. I started by just making innocuous fixes here and there, cleaning up the timing of a piano part, adding quiet strings to…

Days 12 & 13

I've been working some more on La Da Da Dee. Cleaning up those bridge grooves, filling out the 3rd verse, trying to get the ups and downs right. I don't like programming drums for slower songs. It's too easy to subvert the groove with a misplaced fill. I just looped a basic 6/8 patten and recorded everything over it. Then when I find a moment…

Day 11

Last night, I got down to business with the bridge on La Da Da Dee. I really like bridges. I like that feeling you get when everything's going along as expected, and then something starts to give, and you know you're off on a new journey. My music has always been about motion, about getting from one place to the next; departures and arrivals…

Days 6 & 7

Last night, I worked on that Perfect Moment bridge yet again. Sometimes I reach a point where I'm just throwing things together with almost no regard for what actually makes sense, and absolutlely none for context. But then I'll listen back later on and realize that I've done something new. That once I've veered from the path of trying to make…

Day 5

Another day, another hour. I spent this one, once again, working on this new bridge section to Perfect Moment. I have only a glimmer of how it needs to go, a sort of epic lightness, that reflects, as Matty suggested to me the other day, the way my characters wait. When you're lost in your 20's, your waiting is the biggest thing you've got. …

Day 4

You'd think that, after a long day of fixing and setting up stuff, two more hours of driver-related troubleshooting would kill a man's spirit. But guess what, Digidesign? Even though I had to reinstall your drivers twice, even though you made me reinstall the whole OS 10.4.9 Combo Update, and even though your goods still stubbornly and…

Day 3

Alright, folks, it's on. I spent another hour troubleshooting drivers today, and I finally figured out what was wrong. Anyone out there using a Digi 002 or Digi 002 Rack, don't buy anything from Ximeta. They write really shitty software for their NDAS drives. I should have realized this when I first installed the software and got kernel panics…

Project "Get It Done"

One day in August 2005, in a rented flat in Scotland, with a rented laptop, I suddenly had something. The day before, all I had was things. Machines and cables. Cases that nearly didn't make it onto the plane. Cheap surge protectors found at the end of a long walk with a bad map. But that day (let's pretend it was a Thursday), that Thursday…

Day 1

I started on my new schedule tonight. I taped some logs up on my wall for filling out dates and hours and what songs I worked on and all that good stuff. I decided on a minimum of 1 hour per weeknight and 2-3 per weekend day. By the time my mixing appointment rolls around, I'll have put in some serious hours, and hopefully this thing will be…

I'm also a developer

I specialize in building tools for musicians. For the past couple years, I've been part of the team at Soundfly, a new kind of music school for today's musician.