A brief interlude from all the Russo posts:

In March, I had the pleasure of assisting Minna Choi and the Magik*Magik crew with a livestream performance of Max Richter's "Recomposed" at the Merced Theater. Here is a tiny snippet from…

Read more

Composing Music by William Russo: Chapter 4

In Chapter 4, we explore small and large themes!

First, we will start with a motive (also called a motif, cell, or figure): a series of tones that are distinctive, but incomplete - usually 1-2 measures long. A small theme…

Read more

Composing Music by William Russo: Chapter 3 / Part 3

In the last part of Chapter 3, we learn about musical addition, subtraction, context, and subfigurations!

Addition & Subtraction

When you add tones (e.g. passing, neighboring, anticipation, ornamentation, and/or auxiliary tones) to an original theme, this is called Addition. When…

Read more

Composing Music by William Russo: Chapter 3 / Part 2

In the next part of chapter 3, we learn about different kinds of rhythmic transformation!

​​Rhythmic Transformation

Rhythmic Transformation: "a theme's rhythm is changed in order to vary it from previous statements."

Displacement: a phrase can be started on…

Read more

Composing Music by William Russo: Chapter 3 / Part 1

Chapter 3 is all about transformation. It details the different types of melodic transformation and rhythmic transformation - more tools to add to our composer tool box! Transformation is useful because it can stretch out ideas and give you more…

Read more

Twilight Fox

A wintertime collaboration retrospective

Before I wholly dedicate myself to sabbatical prep, I wanted to share the fruits of a fun side collaboration (Twilight Fox™) with my friend Vincent Favilla. Vince wears many hats - psych professor, programmer, artist, musician…

Read more

Sabbatical Syllabus

For those of you who expressed interest in the nuts and bolts of my learning journey, I've provided a general outline for the current vision below. And if you are a joyfully curious composer who would like to work through…

Read more

Blog Goals for April-Dec 2021

In lieu of grad school, I have decided to embark on a DIY deep dive into the study of composition and orchestration. In order to carve out large blocks of time for uninterrupted learning and creating, I am taking a…

Read more

Hildegard Of Bingen

​O Ignee Spiritus (O Fiery Spirit)

In May of 2019, I gave a talk/performance at Pixar Animation Studios about nine extraordinary women composers and their music, and the first composer I introduced was Hildegard Of Bingen. Here is a partial…

Read more