Music Well – Dosia McKay, Composer, Painter, Writer

Reflections on Art and Life

Home Archeology

Discovery of a buried ziplock bag during a routine weeding of a flower bed led me to a more involved archeological dig which produced the featured figurine. It was slimy … Continue reading

June 18, 2019 · Leave a comment

A Unifying Principle

How do I express this movement musically? And when I hear gripping music, how do I paint it? These two artistic disciplines have been closely related in my creative output. … Continue reading

April 1, 2019 · Leave a comment

The Cemetery

Cemetery in Wejherowo. This section dedicated to small children. Growing up in Poland, I was never sheltered from the reality of death and suffering. I remember visiting the graves of … Continue reading

September 21, 2018 · 1 Comment

In Search of Divine Patterns

I have always believed that there is a divine order in all things. Studying calculus in college and diving deep into music theory showed me hidden treasures few people are … Continue reading

June 21, 2018 · Leave a comment

Intersection of Art and the Real World – Twenty Years Later

I am skimming through a few episodes of The West Wing in disbelief that the series is almost twenty years old. In nearly every episode president Bartlet gives his staff … Continue reading

June 11, 2018 · Leave a comment

Toolbox

You can accomplish anything if you have the right tools. However, the problem often lies in the fact that the right tools may be out of reach, you may have … Continue reading

May 26, 2018 · Leave a comment

Fragments

I think about all the places I have ever lived and feel a profound sense of loss. I am grateful to heave been exposed to different environments and experiences, but … Continue reading

February 10, 2018 · Leave a comment

A Quiet Room with a Large Window

To be perfectly honest, following many of you ultra successful artsy people on social media has been difficult recently. Your premieres, international travel, awards, commissions, exhibits, and accolades–you are in … Continue reading

October 31, 2017 · Leave a comment

Arizona – Thrive or Survive?

A girl on the internet shared her adventures of moving from Hawaii to Arizona. She said the islands became too small for her and since she loves collecting rocks and … Continue reading

October 7, 2017 · Leave a comment

Storing the Memories

First world problems: my phone with an excellent camera is broken. I am using a replacement phone with a mediocre camera. My full blown camera has a portrait lens while … Continue reading

October 6, 2017 · Leave a comment

Fragile

Every morning I wake up with anxiety. I reach for my phone to quickly scan the news to find out whether the new Korean war has begun. Then I check … Continue reading

September 5, 2017 · Leave a comment

Rediscovery

Dandridge, TN – rediscovering the town of my birth, of my American birth, that is. Remembering how difficult and lonely the first years were and how many people showed me … Continue reading

August 20, 2017 · Leave a comment

The Climb

Mount Shasta. Out of every three climbers who attempt the summit, only one reaches it. But not before conquering the Misery Hill, which is described as a false summit. You … Continue reading

April 3, 2017 · Leave a comment

Pilgrims

We are all travelers, pilgrims, believers in higher purpose, traveling in different directions, but somehow on similar paths. Or maybe on different paths but drawing the same conclusions. Who knows? … Continue reading

March 28, 2017 · Leave a comment

Open Spaces

I have heard about the vast spaces of the West and it doesn’t surprise me that people have been drawn by them for centuries. Here anything seems possible. I want … Continue reading

March 25, 2017 · Leave a comment

The Grand Canyon

After 12 years, this is my second trip to the one and only Grand Canyon. Its vastness and gravity still pull me in the same way they did before. It’s … Continue reading

March 21, 2017 · Leave a comment

Solo

I took a solo hike into the bottom of the canyon and began fantasizing about taking a full solo trip. I crave uninterrupted segments of time when I can fully … Continue reading

March 21, 2017 · Leave a comment

Presidential Library

I thought a presidential library was a public library on steroids endowed by a president. A great collection of books, recordings, maps, ultra fast internet access, engaging geography or history … Continue reading

March 15, 2017 · Leave a comment

Change

Change is difficult because it confronts me with the impermanence of all things. I must say goodbye to this home, to this friendship, to this idea of where I fit … Continue reading

March 6, 2017 · Leave a comment

Goodbye

Dear Asheville, Thank you for everything! The last five years have enriched me with new friendships, scenic natural surroundings, and much inspiration for music composition and art making. I am … Continue reading

February 3, 2017 · 1 Comment

Treasured Possessions

Some of the most thoughtful gifts I have received over the years have been music scores by other composers. I have many officially released works, as well as a few … Continue reading

December 16, 2016 · Leave a comment

A Patch of Blue – Analysis of the Music Score by Jerry Goldsmith

The following is a scholarly paper I wrote during my graduate studies at the New York University in the Fall of 2009, a requirement for professor Ronald H. Sadoff’s class … Continue reading

December 4, 2016 · Leave a comment

No Commitment

Medusa – one of my early paintings. Remarkably, as I look back, I feel myself drawn to the same color palette again; soft grays, blue, black. Maybe I have come … Continue reading

August 18, 2016 · Leave a comment

Limitation as Freedom

I am discussing the concept of limitation in the context of artistic freedom. When I am faced with the whiteness of my creative page, I like to set limiting parameters … Continue reading

August 11, 2016 · Leave a comment

“Mathis der Maler”, Symphony by Paul Hindemith – Analysis

The following is a scholarly paper I wrote during my graduate studies at the New York University in the Fall of 2010, a requirement for professor Justin Dello Joio’s class … Continue reading

February 28, 2016 · Leave a comment

Women Composers in the 21st Century

Following is a list of women composers who are living (have lived) in the 21st century. This compilation focuses on composers of contemporary classical (art) and experimental music written for … Continue reading

February 19, 2016 · 1 Comment

A Winter Memory from Poland

A winter memory from Poland, many years ago: Apocalyptic amounts of snow paralyze the entire country. Trains equipped with plows are not able to get through. Forget about buses and … Continue reading

January 23, 2016 · 1 Comment

Fidgeting in the Sacred Space

Where have you done it? So far I have done it on the kitchen counter, in the bathtub, in the basement, in the bedroom, in the bathroom, the living room, … Continue reading

January 15, 2016 · Leave a comment

Swimming in the Sea of Invisibility

I didn’t like my arts teacher in elementary school and the sentiment was reciprocated. I did not agonize over the fact as the teacher didn’t like any of her students. It … Continue reading

January 6, 2016 · Leave a comment

To Create is to Be Alive

I paint to remember and to forget. To celebrate and to mourn. To rage and to be still. In all of these I want to affirm life and gratitude for … Continue reading

December 22, 2015 · Leave a comment

Symbiosis – An Artist’s Internal Dialogue

An artist’s internal dialogue never stops. Isn’t it enough that I have to interact with the outside world? Wouldn’t it be nice to “come home to myself” for the respite … Continue reading

December 17, 2015 · Leave a comment

What Is The Point Of Art Making?

What is the point of quiet and consistent art making in a world run by those who scream the loudest and who put on a gaudy circus? If I stop … Continue reading

November 27, 2015 · Leave a comment

Contemplation of the Score in Slow Motion

I dragged up my 52-lb weighted Kurzweil keyboard from the basement in order to stammer through some Bach and Chopin to remind myself what compositional craft used to be about. … Continue reading

November 8, 2015 · Leave a comment

Composition Competitions – Gambling and Return on Investment

I have been sharing my successes and hopes with you, but have been concealing failures and struggles. It is not all glitter and red carpet in my profession. It is … Continue reading

June 23, 2015 · Leave a comment

Arts Education Behind the Iron Curtain, Part 2

If you have not read the first part of this essay, you might benefit from reading it to establish context of the following. The first day at the Conservatory was … Continue reading

February 13, 2015 · Leave a comment

Arts Education Behind the Iron Curtain, Part 1

I feel very privileged to have devoted much of my life to the study and practice of music. Having attained degrees from two American universities after completing studies in the … Continue reading

February 4, 2015 · Leave a comment

Bach and Beyond

Sometimes when I hear music like this, I feel that after Bach and his sons, every composition is superfluous. Much of this piece consists of a unison line against simple … Continue reading

January 29, 2015 · Leave a comment

I am an Exhibitionist

I am no psychologist, but sometimes I think that our adult years are only meant to be spent resolving our childhood dramas and fulfilling our infantile dreams. Why do I … Continue reading

January 22, 2015 · 4 Comments

Why You Are Afraid to Commission a Composer

You are a soloist, a music director of an ensemble, or an artist in another field looking for original music to complement your project but you are apprehensive because You … Continue reading

October 14, 2014 · Leave a comment

Top 12 Comments from my Composition Professor

My first composition professor Dr. Kenneth Jacobs recently celebrated his retirement from the University of Tennessee. I have learned a great deal from him through many tears and hard work … Continue reading

September 16, 2014 · Leave a comment

How to Commission New Music?

Because sometimes people don’t know what to expect when they approach a composer, I am publishing my Creative Fee Schedule for Concert Works. Soloists, ensemble directors, patrons, let’s build the … Continue reading

September 11, 2014 · Leave a comment

Are You a True Artist?

I see these inspirational articles floating all around me, forcing me to examine my artistic direction and stripping my soul to bare bone. Are you a true artist? – they … Continue reading

April 29, 2014 · Leave a comment

A Path to Success in the Arts

From time to time I receive e-mails from young people wanting to enter the field of music composition. They ask for advice on how to “break into the industry”, how … Continue reading

July 10, 2013 · 1 Comment

Personal Recommendation

Personal Recommendation If you want to get anywhere, you need to be introduced and recommended by another person. Do you want to land a graduate school, a new job, a … Continue reading

July 5, 2013 · Leave a comment

Epiphanies

I have been reading my diary from ten years ago and stumbled upon a very important turning point. In October of 2003 I wrote timidly: “A thought has been coming … Continue reading

June 28, 2013 · Leave a comment

Where Does a Talent Come From?

Where does a talent come from? It’s a lucky combination of genes, sometimes from the immediate ancestors, and sometimes from generations far beyond our knowledge. Here is a photograph of … Continue reading

June 3, 2013 · Leave a comment

What Is the Shape of Your Music?

Why are you attracted to certain kinds of music and not the others? What need does the music fill in your life? What are the circumstances in which you find … Continue reading

May 29, 2013 · 1 Comment

Constraints and Freedom of Art

I’m going very slowly through Bertrand Russell’s A History of Western Philosophy, refreshing on some long forgotten concepts and discovering new ones. I marvel at the different models of society … Continue reading

May 24, 2013 · Leave a comment
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