o u r n o t e s + y o u r s o u n d
January 20, 2012
Hey folks. Waiting for my delayed flight to Philadelphia (no snow all winter until the morning I'm flying to an aca event? Thanks, cosmos...) seems like as good a time as any for a site update.
First off, my Catalog is updated with dozens of new songs. Some aren't yet available for purchase, but keep an eye out anyway, as I'll continue to update the catalog as I release more scores.
Once I do board, I'll be en route to the Winter Workshop, a conference/festival in the Philadelphia suburbs that features the usual tasty assortment of workshops, masterclasses, and concerts. I'm one of two clinicians; the other is the estimable Barry Carl, who I presume needs to introduction to anyone reading this. Really looking forward to working with both Barry's world-class talent and the eager young aca-minds in attendance. The day concludes with a concert by several of the participating groups. Thanks to Project Philly and Lower Merion A Cappella for putting together this great event!
No sooner will I be back from coolin' on South Street than it'll be time to pack for the Los Angeles A Cappella Festival. I touched on this annual SoCal extravaganza in my last update, but if you're not already up to speed via bombardment in recent weeks by every medium available for promoting a cappella events (which is as it should be), click the link above for all the info. I'm teaching arranging again, as well as moderating a panel featuring some of the best arrangers in the business, maybe some masterclassing, definitely some socializing of the first order - what SoJam is to the southeast, LAAF is to the West Coast. If you can, get there.
Then I'm home for a week. La de dah.
Then it's off to my beloved New England for a week of harassing Plaid/TVC/BitH/Overboard/Nate, culminating in TWO events in one day on Saturday, February 11: In the a.m., I'll be at Wilmington H.S. in Wilmington, Mass., teaching arranging at N.E. Voices; in the p.m., I'll be at Brown University in Providence, R.I., teaching - you guessed it - arranging at Amplify, the newest kid on the aca-fest block, brought to you by the folks at Liquid 5th. Both of these Friday-Saturday events will have outstanding opportunities to learn about improving your aca skills, and both will feature killer concerts - Redline, Firedrill!, and Pitch Slapped at N.E. Voices; Duwende and Transit at Amplify. If you're in the area, I definitely recommend checking out either event - or both, for that matter.
Besides all the frequent flyer miles, I'm neck deep in new projects for On the Rocks, Peter Hollens, Sled Dog Studios, Cartoon Johnny, The Staff, Cantus Youth Choirs, and this awesome new choir in Perth called Naya Chorale, among others. Also beefing up my studio accoutrement as I gear up (no pun intended) for recording a couple of groups from my alma mater: the Innocent Men (started by Vox One rock star Paul Stiller) and my own college group, Fifth Element.
That's all for now... if you're out on the road like me, safe travels, and to all, happy singing! :-)
November 18, 2011
Back from two AMAZING weekends of a cappella amazingness.
Experienced my first Mile High Vocal Jam a couple of weeks ago. Denver is a spectacularly cool and beautiful city, and I can't wait to go back. I was just observing rather than instructing, but I got to see some old friends and connect with some new ones - Tony Huerta, Claude McKnight, Urban Method, Matthew Selby, and many more were in attendance. And my buddy Craig Range, recently of Ball in the House, had his first gig as the new co-lead-singer of NOTA! (Congrats pal!) Wish I'd gotten to stay for the whole weekend so I could've enjoyed what I'm sure was a killer set from one of my favorite groups, m-pact.
And then there's SoJam. If you follow anyone on Twitter who was there, you probably have a pretty good idea of what went down:
- the release of "Sing 8: Too Cubed", which includes the track "Sleepwalking", sung by Peter Hollens and arranged and co-written by yours truly;
- an amazing college show hosted by two of the brightest rising stars in aca, Overboard and Musae, and won by defending ICCA champs Pitch Slapped (and which I had the honor of judging along with Bill Hare, Tat Tong, Florian Stdtler, and Bellatrix);
- some very cool workshops (including my arranging 'shop, which was packed to the gills and was a blast to teach thanks to a ton of very insightful questions from the attendees - see the updated Workshop page for a link to my outline) and masterclasses (shout out to the groups I worked with, The Staff and the Richmond Octaves);
- a pro showcase from the Boxettes and Naturally 7 that absolutely destroyed a theatre full of hardcore aca people who thought we'd seen everything (N7's set is probably the best live aca show I've ever seen);
- yet another mighty afterparty hosted by the man, the myth, the Evil Louis CK, Dave Sperandio;
...and that's just the tip of the iceberg. If you're not at SoJam, you're basically out of the loop for the next 12 months. Make your peace with that. Then buy tickets.
Apart from that, I've just been busy with the usual fall semester insanity. New projects lately have included college groups (The Staff, The Blend, and Capital Green, among others), pro groups (holiday tunes for Vocalocity and Cartoon Johnny), more Peter Hollens niceness (stay tuned to Peter's YouTube channel for a couple of new ones very soon that we're especially proud of), and an increasingly hefty contingent of top-tier high school groups as well (including last year's ICHSA champs, Limited Edition, and this year's winners and runners-up, PFC and Soul'd Out).
On deck: as much studio time as I can shoehorn into December, followed by some work on the upcoming Pitch Slapped album and prepping for a trip to sunny SoCal for LA-AF. Speaking of which - LA-AF is bigger and better this year than ever before, with two days of workshops instead of one, plus the festival's first collegiate competition. And the pro showcase features the beastly talents of Bay Area badasses Hookslide, Sing-Off favorites Pentatonix, and one of the hippest, funkiest groups in our entire corner of the music universe, Duwende. And it's still on the beautiful campus of UCLA when many of us would otherwise be huddling in front of any source of heat available. It is NOT to be missed, y'all.
Happy holiday season ... now if you'll excuse me, my wife just pulled a batch of toffee out of the oven, and I can't allow it to go uneaten much longer. :-)
September 14, 2011
Been busy. Been really, really busy. Still am. But two months is a long time without an update, and I can't have y'all thinking I went all Dave Chappelle on you. Plenty of news to share, but the biggest stuff for purposes of this update is this:
First, the Catalog page has been completely overhauled and now includes info on each song's voicing (male/female/mixed), number of parts, and price. The page contains four separate .pdfs - one sorted by each of the aforementioned categories, plus one that's straightforward alphabetical by song title - as well as a good old-fashioned Excel spreadsheet in case you want to just sort the darn thing yourself. I've also instituted a whole new (read: cheaper) pricing structure, about which you can read more in the Catalog itself.
Second, and even bigger than that:
The score for "Poor Wayfaring Stranger" is now available for purchase.
(Fourteen-point font. Told ya it was bigger. BAM.)
Yep. Four months after the release of the single and video featuring Peter Hollens, yours truly, and some multiple-Grammy-winning group called The Swingle Singers, the score that has been far and away my most requested can become part of your music library. Check out the Catalog page for more details (hint: it's under "P"). :-)
All of that would be more than enough for an ordinary site update. And probably even for an extraordinary one. But there's oh so much more: with the school year starting and most college groups just finishing auditions, there's no better time to unveil the first edition of my Most Wanted List.
Most Wanted is my list of the top ten songs I'm dying for a chance to arrange. It's based on nothing at all other than my own subjective preferences for which songs I haven't arranged yet that I think would be the coolest to do. Why do you care? Because, as an incentive to help me check songs of the list, for each song, I'm offering a $100 discount to the first group that comes to me with an order for the arrangement. The discount is good with any other deal as well - all my usual volume discounts, loyalty discounts, etc., still apply and are calculated first, after which I take an additional $100 off the already discounted price. There's no catch. All you have to do is be the first to commission my arrangement of any particular song on the list (or songs - feel free to stack up the discounts), and in return for you giving me a chance to arrange a song I think is cool, I knock $100 (per Most Wanted song) off your bill, even if I'm already applying other discounts (which, unless you're a first-time client ordering one song by itself, I almost certainly am).
That's the really big stuff. There are other updates floating around as well - I've updated my Audio page with new clips, and I've gotten back on the horse with #ReqLis thanks to the debut EP by SoJam co-headliners The Boxettes. There's also a batch of tidbits like these to catch up on:
While my pal Christopher Diaz is living the dream in L.A. as music staff on The Sing-Off, I've had the opportunity to fill in alongside Dave Brown as guest host on award-winning podcast Mouth Off a couple of times: first on the August 7 episode, and again on this week's episode. It was a huge honor and a ton of fun, and I hope to be back in the guest host chair in the future. Many, many thanks to the guys for having me.
I was interviewed by Shawn Pearce for the CASA website. The official interview is here; Shawn and I nerded out pretty hardcore, though, so the other 75% of the interview (aka the outtakes) is available in three parts on Shawn's site here, here, and here.
Peter Hollens released more stuff (arranged here at Random Notes, as always): the single and video for his first original, "Sleepwalking", and the single and video for a mashup of Adele's "Turning Tables" and "Someone Like You". His RN-arranged take on "Firework" also completely dominated all competition in a recent Mashable poll for the best cover of the song.
The lovely ladies of Musae entered a contest by Grammy nominee Melanie Fiona, who was seeking the best YouTube cover of her single "Gone and Never Coming Back". The Musae version, a Random Notes arrangement, was the recording star's favorite, taking home the top prize. Congrats ladies!
I'll officially be an instructor for both SoJam and LA-AF. I'll be teaching arranging at both, potentially masterclassing depending on need, and moderating an arranging panel at SoJam as well. Hope to cross paths with you in both Durham and Westwood at the appropriate times.
There's probably a bunch of things I'm forgetting. And there are definitely one or two things I'm leaving out on purpose. :-) But I think that'll about do it for this time around. Keep checking in, like Random Notes on Facebook, follow on Twitter, and as always, stay tuned...
July 11, 2011
Ok. Back in action.
Actually, I was in action the whole time, which accounts for the lengthy radio silence (at least in terms of site updates). Remember how I told you the last update was gonna be a short one? Yeah. I'm making up for it this time. Here's the rundown:
In early June, spent a week in Boston with mah frins Alex Green and Alex Koutzoukis (of Plaid A Cappella) and Lo Barreiro and Ang Ugolini (of The Vocal Company). Hung out with the Swingle Singers; caught one of their gigs with the Boston Pops; visited my old roomie/bandmate Mike Benard from my Ball in the House days; mingled with the likes of Christopher Diaz, Overboard, Redline, Amanda Aldag, Ben Stevens, Emily Flanders, Dave Longo, Nicole Milano, Heather Newkirk, and Jeff Thacher, to name just a few of the luminaries in town for the week of Swingles/Pops gigs; and pushed producer/beatmaker extraordinaire James Cannon through the streets of Ithaca in a shopping cart.
Bookending my time away from this webpage, I spent last week in Kansas City in order to get some writing done for a major upcoming project. As luck would have it, the Barbershop Harmony Society was having its international convention in town at the same time, so I got to hear total aural nonsense like Crossroads, Max Q, and Vocal Spectrum (and hang out with my homey Kari Francis from Frequency). WOW. We could all learn a LOT from the blend and tuning (if perhaps not the wardrobes) of our barbershopping compatriots. I managed to get a hefty chunk of writing done, too, so hopefully before long there will be more news about that project for you to digest.
In between, I was mostly busy with the lads of Outspoken, who have been in the studio of late with Peter Hollens. These guys put out a great album last time, and the new one is going to be leaps and bounds ahead of that one. Between several original arrangements (including a Stevie Wonder cover that's one of my favorite arrangements I've ever done) and spicing up a number of theirs for the studio, I have the good fortune to have my fingerprints on most of the tracks on the upcoming release, for good or for ill, so keep your ears peeled for it.
Some of the most fun projects I get to work on are those that come from my friends at A Cappella Records. Last time, it was a Portal 2 cover for Acquire A Cappella. This time, it was Lady Gaga's "Edge of Glory" for illustrious Stanford group Mixed Company, now available on iTunes as a digital single. As always, looking forward to my next collaboration with the ACR crew!
Wouldn't be an update without talking about Pete. Since I last checked in here, we've collaborated on several new tracks, of which covers of Billy Joel's "Lullabye" (video, iTunes) and RENT anthem "Seasons of Love" (video, iTunes) have already been released. Please check out the videos and, if you enjoy them, purchase the tracks. Believe me, we have a LOT more in store for you, starting with the release of Peter's first original track this Thursday!
The very latest news is that the track list for Voices Only 2011 has been released, and two of the first four tracks on the compilation are Random Notes arrangements - OTR's fierce "All the Above", which opens the album, and MTG's haunting cover of the Rescues' version of "Teenage Dream". Thanks to everyone involved in making those tracks shine, and thanks to Corey Slutsky for putting together yet another killer set of tracks for his latest edition of VO!
My good friend Christopher Diaz, who many of you know as one of the hosts of the excellent Mouth Off podcast, is joining Deke Sharon, Ben Bram, Ed Boyer, and the rest of the music staff on Season 3 of The Sing-Off on NBC. They couldn't have picked a better person for the job, so tune in starting in September for a full fall schedule of TSO featuring groups that have had the epic benefit of Christopher's wisdom. (And keep listening to Mouth Off while Diaz is busy in LA for the next couple of months, as the show will continue in the hands of Dave Brown and a bevy of less-qualified guest hosts. For example, me.)
I think that's all for now ... tons more on the to-do list, including tracks for hotshots like Sled Dog Studios, Capital Green, the Sapphires, and the Blend, plus a second original from Peter Hollens and another track for the Swingle Singers (this time with all their proper members). Also coming soon: site redesign, thanks to my abundantly talented friend Maria. In the meantime ... Twitter ... Facebook ... soon-to-actually-have-stuff-on-it YouTube channel ... you know the drill. :-)
May 31, 2011
This update will be simultaneously one of my shortest (at least recently) and one of my most significant, so I hope you'll stick with me for the duration. :-)
The long and the short of it is this: Today marks the official transition from Random Notes being "something I squeeze into my nights and weekends when I'm not practicing law" to "my full-time gig." I'm keeping my law license so that the option to practice part-time, or someday even full-time again, isn't foreclosed. But for all intents and purposes, last Friday was the last day that my occupation was "attorney". It'll take some getting used to after five years practicing law, but now when people ask me what I do for a living, the honest answer will (finally!) be "musician".
It's a little mind-boggling, and a little scary, but mostly just very exciting. I'm very much looking forward to being able to devote 100% of my professional time & energy to working with my many outstanding music clients, and even more so to having more time with my wife, Kristine, who I've missed tremendously as the demands of juggling a law career and a music career consumed more and more of my time.
I have lots more news for y'all, but I wanted this update to be short and sweet. Keep checking back - here, on Twitter, and now on Facebook too - for all the latest, and as always, thanks very much for dropping by!
May 16, 2011
Things are a-hoppin' around the ol' ranch.
I recently did some work on the arrangement of Acquire A Cappella's recording of the Turret Opera from the video game Portal 2. The song was released last week and is currently charting on the iTunes vocal music charts in fourteen countries (and has been in the Top 10 in six of those). The accompanying video notched 100,000 views in its first day. The track was produced and released by A Cappella Records and is yet another success story for the young label, as well as for the talented folks of Acquire A Cappella.
Peter Hollens' newest single, a dance-infused cover of Lady Antebellum's "Need You Now" featuring his lovely and talented wife, Evynne, and the superhuman talents of House Jacks mouth drummer Jake Moulton, was released last week as well. The track was arranged by me and mixed by the megatalented Tat Tong, who apparently wanted a break from producing chart-topping hits in the Hong Kong market and took some time to work with us. The video comes out this Thursday and is my favorite Hollens video yet of all the ones I'm not in. :-)
As far as the ones I am in ... the one, anyway ... I'll close with that, as it was responsible for one of the most spectacular compliments I've ever received. My arrangement of "Poor Wayfaring Stranger", by Peter Hollens featuring the Swingle Singers and me, was released a couple of weeks back, with the video following shortly after. Today, I received an e-mail forwarded to me by Clare Wheeler, music director of the Swingles, from a listener who heard the song and commented that it "really knocked me out", that it was a "beautiful arrangement" and "a real winner". That's lofty praise no matter who it's coming from.
It came from Ward Swingle.
I've never met Mr. Swingle, but my respect for him and his work is immeasurable. People in this vocation do not get any more legendary than him. There are people who are as legendary - Gene Puerling comes to mind, which reminds me of the second biggest compliment I got this week - but no one more so. I'm a little beside myself over it, to be honest, but the world keeps turning, so here I am, updating my webpage. :-)
There's new #ReqLis as well, and the long-awaited Catalog page, where you can find ALL of the past arrangements I have available for purchase. Hope you'll check out both of those pages while you're here. Also check out the hott-with-two-t's-on-purpose new single from roughly six hundred of my friends (but mostly from my good buddies Alex Koutzoukis and Alex Green, whose powers combine to form Plaid A Cappella), a cover of Kanye's "All of the Lights". As always, follow me on Twitter, and stay tuned for all the latest. Ciao!
April 30, 2011
Yikes. Been a while. Sorry 'bout that.
March 25-27 brought me to voCALnation, a fantastic new aca fest held in NYC. I taught Advanced Arranging (the outline is HERE), hung out with beaucoup awesome aca pals, and witnessed THE best live aca show I've ever seen - Duwende and the Swingle Singers, MC'ed by Christopher Diaz in a Tigger onesie. It was not to be missed.
A couple of weeks ago, I made the trip out to beautiful Eugene, Oregon to spend a few days with BFAM/BAMF Peter Hollens and his lovely wife, Evynne - and it just so happened the Swingles were in town at the same time. (Remarkable coincidence, that.) I swung by On the Rocks' weekly Friday show, where I guested on a couple of tunes and became the second-ever official honorary member of OTR (after the talented and newly-engaged Courtney Jensen, who was at the show too - file under "pleasant surprise"). A lot of the weekend was spent tracking and shooting video for Pete's new single, Poor Wayfaring Stranger, which includes six of the eight Swingles (plus Peter and me filling in for CJ and Kevin, respectively). The single was released on iTunes this past Thursday, and the video will be out on YouTube this coming Thursday, so check 'em both out when you have a chance. One of the most stellar musical experiences of my life... so far.
Which reminds me ... Peter's previous single, a cover of Justin Bieber's "Pray", was released in late March. The track features one of the best vocalists Peter and I know, the ridiculously gifted Therry Thomas of Sing-Off winners Committed. "Pray" also includes the aforementioned Courtney Jensen on VP, as well as an all-star gospel choir made up of hotshots like OTR's Jonah Seitz, Hannah Juliano of Pitch Slapped, "Little John" Martin of Streetcorner Symphony, and ... me. The track was planned out, arranged, recorded, and filmed - and then a devastating series of natural disasters impacted northern Japan. It was immediately decided that all proceeds from the track would go to Japan disaster relief, and the accompanying video was re-edited accordingly. Japan still needs our help; if you haven't already, please consider purchasing "Pray" on iTunes - again, 100% of proceeds go to Japan disaster relief. (As an aside, a music composition student at Northwestern University did a blog post analyzing the arrangement.)
In lighter news, I have the great honor of being nominated for Favorite Arranger in the A Cappella Community Awards (ACAs). I'm nominated alongside some of the best in the business - Chris Harrison, Ed Boyer, Nick Girard, and Randi Stanley. I'd love to have your support - you can vote for me on the ACA site (you have to be a CASA member to vote, but it's well worth it even without the voting privileges, as their membership page can show you). Peter and OTR have nominations up the wazoo themselves, so vote for them too!
What else have I been up to? Editing arrangements for Sled Dog Studios and Emerald City Productions; cranking out new scores for Outspoken, NPYNK, Mind the Gap, etc etc etc; gearing up to watch my lovely and talented wife, Kristine, play Ulla in the Producers next weekend; and, oh yeah, that whole "being a lawyer" thing. Keep checking in - I won't make a habit of going so long between updates, I promise. For all the very latest in 140 characters or less, don't forget to follow me on Twitter too. While you're here, check out the new #ReqLis and updated Audio page. Happy listening!
March 11, 2011
Got your tickets for voCALnation yet? The hottest new aca-gathering sets sail on its maiden voyage from March 25-27 in New York City. In addition to performances by CAL groups and aca royalty Duwende and the Swingle Singers, there's a bevy of top shelf workshops and clinicians - too many to list here, but the whole rundown is on the VCN website. I'll be participating on an arranging panel with some of the biggest names in contemporary a cappella arranging - Clare Wheeler, Christopher Diaz, and Nick Girard - as well as teaching my own Advanced Arranging workshop. Hope you can make it!
Peter Hollens has a new (Random-Notes-arranged) single out, along with a new video in partnership with Operation Beautiful. We're putting the finishing touches on recording Peter's upcoming fourth single; if you haven't already, get caught up on the first three via Peter's YouTube channel.
The newest Random Notes projects include brand spankin' new arrangements for usual suspects On the Rocks, Divisi, and Outspoken, as well as new clients such as Kieran Daly (of Cartoon Johnny fame), Lincoln-Sudbury High School's Accent A Cappella, the University of Nebraska's premier group Bathtub Dogs, rockin' U of Oregon mixed group Mind the Gap, and groups with two of my favorite names out there - Harvard Business School's Heard on the Street (get it?) and Gay Men's Chorus of Los Angeles subgroup NPYNK. Keep your ears open, and remember to follow me on Twitter (@RandomNotesLLC) for the latest updates!
February 26, 2011
After a few long days of listening and tweeting, my #acatop25 is up! Check it out HERE or via the link in the nav bar to the right. Does anyone care what I think? Maybe not. But it was fun. :-)
What's on deck? (Besides a road trip to see the new 5-part Sonos lineup in Iowa on Friday?) I'm VERY excited to be teaching an arranging workshop at voCALnation in NYC the last weekend in March! (And just as excited to scope the performances by Duwende and the Swingle Singers and catch up with my fellow acaheads.) More on that as we get closer. But don't let that stop you from getting your passes now...
Don't forget to check out the newest video from Peter Hollens, and subscribe to his YouTube channel if you haven't already. Also, check out "The Sing-Off: The Best of Season 2", now available alloverthedangplace and featuring 1.5 of my arrangements (the 1 is OTR's "The Final Countdown"; the .5 is Men of Note's "Take a Bow", which was arranged for TV by Ben Bram and augmented for the studio by me).
More exciting news is just around the corner... I'm so excited, you guys...
February 2, 2011
Made it back in one piece from my first Los Angeles A Cappella Festival. MAN was that fun. Taught an arranging workshop, saw old friends, made new ones, witnessed amazing talent in every facet of the a cappella game, and had my first (and second) In-N-Out Burger. (High points: Yogurtland in Culver City opening back up for us at 12:28 a.m.; writing the world's shortest screenplay with Charlie Forkish and Ben Cunningham;Sonos crashing the after-party; Twitter-taunting absent aca-friends with pictures of the sun setting behind Santa Monica Pier.) Thoroughly rewarding on all counts.
If you didn't make it to my workshop, don't worry - not only are the materials available at the link above, but I'll also be reprising the course (refined of course) atvoCALnationin New York City, March 25-26. So, y'know. Go to that. :)
CARA (Contemporary A Cappella Recording Awards) nominations are out, and Random Notes clients are WELL represented! Oregon'sOn the Rocksled the way with four nominations for their primarily-Random-Notes-arranged album A Fifth. UWEC'sFifth Element(of which I'm an alum) stepped up to the plate with a pair of nods for their album Runaway, which features a couple of my charts. Past clientsLast Call (Cornell) and theDuke's Men(Yale) each represented with multiple nominations as well. (And my personal amigos Nels Urtel, Lo Barreiro, Robert Dietz, Ben McLain, Bradley Turnbull, and Hannah Juliano each snagged nods to boot.) Good day for lots of very talented people. Congrats!
More and more new awesomeness coming your way from the pen of Random Notes in the very near future, including the newestPeter Hollens single, a collaboration withCartoon Johnnyaca-stud Kieran Daly, and the Sing-Off Season 2 album, which is closed out by my collaboration withOn the Rocks- an EPIC all-new studio version of their swan song, The Final Countdown. Stay tuned here and follow me on Twitter (@RandomNotesLLC) for all the latest!
January 27, 2011
The big news around here goes like this:
In a couple of hours, I'm leaving for theLos Angeles A Cappella Festival, where I'm teaching an arranging seminar entitled "Arranging: Be More Awesomer". Hope you can make it - if not for me, then for the oodles of amazing performers, clinicians, and a cappella aficionados who will be wandering UCLA come Saturday!
Be sure to check outAcalosophy, the new blog and Twitter feed (@Acalosophy) on a very important topic that's harder and rarer than it sounds - bringing good singing together with a cappella so that you can get the most out of that voice of yours. Acalosophy is a result of the passion, dedication, and occasionally humorous frustration (well, I think it's funny, anyway, but I live too far away for her to throw things at me) of Lauren "Lo" Barreiro ofThe Vocal Company, former music director of theFlorida State AcaBelles, newly mintedBoston CASA Ambassador, and zombie-evading dance club enthusiast. I'm a huge fan of Lo's and there's no topic more important to improving our craft, so follow @Acalosophy and visit the site often!
Don't forget to subscribe to my boyPeter Hollens on YouTube, download the new Random-Notes-arranged single "F*** You" from the always excellentUCLA Awaken A Cappellaand the incontrivertable badasses over atA Cappella Records, and check back in after LA-AF for more breaking news!
January 8, 2011
Massive New Year's update. So much to catch up on...
On the Rocksconcluded their run on season 2 of The Sing-Off as the last group to leave before the live finale. Couldn't be prouder of them and their amazing work. What a privilege to get to write for people with that kind of talent and commitment.
(And speaking of which - congrats toCommittedon their win. To say it's well-deserved is an understatement. Who sings like that? WHO?!?!)
I started a weekly feature onmy Twitter feed(following yet?) called Required Listening. Look for the#ReqLishashtag. Every Wednesday, I roll out a recommendation for your ongoing arranging education. So far I've featured arrangements by the likes of Chris Harrison (Sonos), Mark Kibble (Take 6), Dylan Bell (Cadence), and Nick Girard (Overboard). Let me know what songs or arrangers I should feature next!
I had the honor of recording bumpers for the BEST A CAPPELLA PODCAST IN THE UNIVERSEVERSEVERSE verse, the illustriousMouth Off. Thanks to Dave Brown and Christopher Diaz for letting me sit at the cool kids table. :)
There's a veritable smorgasbord of exciting new projects in the works here at Random Notes. Stay tuned in the coming days and weeks to hear my arrangements in a bevy of new places:
-- I'm teaching a workshop, "Arranging: Be More Awesomer", at theLos Angeles A Cappella Festivalon January 29. Come learn, ask, say hello, heckle, whatever strikes you as the best use of your time. Hope to see you there!
-- "The Sing-Off: The Best of Season 2", available Feb. 8! Random Notes arrangements include the epic studio version of On the Rocks' swan song, "The Final Countdown", as well as a generous helping of studio sweetening onMen of Note's "Take a Bow";
-- last but definitely not least, the newYouTube channelfrom On the Rocks founder and lead singer (and number one Random Notes partner in musical crime)Peter Hollens! Keep an eye on Peter's channel for a series of multitracked solo a cappella singles - which will also be available as digital downloads in all the usual places.
It's going to be an exciting new year. Keep checking the site for the latest news!
So many exclamation points. I really need to lie down...
December 12, 2010
Hope you've been enjoying The Sing-Off so far! There is a thoroughly unfair amount of talent on the show this year, and it's a huge honor and an epic thrill to have my arrangements performed on that stage.
On the Rocks continues to rock faces; they take the stage again on Monday, December 13 with one of my best-known arrangements, Mr. Mister's "Kyrie" - the song that started the Tom/OTR connection many years ago. "Kyrie" also features lead vocals by my good friend Peter Hollens, who is simply a vocal freak show. Tune in to NBC at 8/7c to watch the competition heat up and see if Nicole can string together a cogent sentence.
November 24, 2010
The tracklist for BOCA (Best of College A Cappella) 2011 has been announced, and the opening track is a Random Notes arrangement - On the Rocks' stellar cover of the Earth Wind & Fire classic "Sing a Song". Big-time congrats to the fellas of OTR!
As for everyone else ... keep your eyes peeled for an OTR member or two rocking the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, and stay tuned to a certain peacock-themed network in December for more of our boys from Eugene (and more Random Notes arranging)...
November 21, 2010
Check out the spankin' new sound clips on the Audio page!
Had an absolutely amazing time at SoJam 2010 in Durham last weekend. Great people + great music = epic happiness. Sonos and Basix rocked the casbah, I met a metric pantsload* of a cappella kindred spirits, and Dio hosted an epic afterglow (sorry for decimating the bacon-wrapped scallops ... the rest of y'all need to be faster next time.) Even got the thrill of chatting with Claude McKnight one-on-one for a while on Sunday night. Feeling rejuvenated, inspired, and hungry for a second helping of North Carolina barbecue. Next stop: LA-AF!
* Not an actual unit of measurement.
November 12, 2010
Welcome to the brand new online home of Random Notes LLC!
The name may be new, but the product isnt: Random Notes is Tom Andersons arranging service.
Okay my arranging service. (Sorry about the third person just then. Wont happen again.) Theres no us. Its just me. Cozy little operation. The name Random Notes is an anagram of my own name; an anagram, in turn, is formed when the letters of an existing word or phrase are rearranged to make a new one. Its also a nifty metaphor for what I can do for your ensemble.
Please wander around the site and learn why Random Notes should be your partner in musical crime. Look. Listen. Touch. Smell.
Mmmm. Autumn fresh.