Music Well – Dosia McKay, Composer, Painter, Writer

Reflections on Art and Life

The Flow – Chapter 1

Numbness does not have to be destructive. Its lukewarm embrace can be nourishing, sustaining, prove wonderfully protective. When all other emotions have failed, numbness remains to offer a guiltless escape. … Continue reading

November 17, 2019 · Leave a comment

Freakish Intensity

The cover design made it more real. The novel is out with the editor and I am inching toward the release of the book. I am about to enter the … Continue reading

July 8, 2019 · Leave a comment

Back to the Novel Writing

Some of you have asked what happened to the psychological thriller I was writing last year. I had to put it aside for the last few months as I worked … Continue reading

June 28, 2019 · Leave a comment

From Faint Inklings to Tangible Embodiments

Once upon a time, Kate Steinbeck had a faint inkling about commissioning new music for her ensemble. We had talked about it many months in advance, before she really knew … Continue reading

June 23, 2019 · Leave a comment

Rubble Becomes Art – Score Editing

The final and crucial step of self-editing. Yes, I could catch the same mistakes on the computer screen, but there is something tangible and more immediate about editing on paper. … Continue reading

June 17, 2019 · Leave a comment

New Music for Pierrot Ensemble and Percussion

I had a lot of fun creating this graphic animation/representation for my new piece. “Abandon” captures a fleeting moment of forsaking self-imposed restraints in favor of complete freedom and joyful, … Continue reading

May 16, 2019 · Leave a comment

Rubble Becomes Art

I have spent the last four months composing a triptych of songs commissioned by Kate Steinbeck and Pan Harmonia, based on the poems of three North Carolina contemporary poets. Although … Continue reading

April 30, 2019 · Leave a comment

Chamber Music Commission – Art Songs

In celebration of its 20th season (2019-2020), Kate Steinbeck and Pan Harmonia have commissioned me to create an innovative work for voice, flute, bassoon and guitar for the chamber music … Continue reading

January 17, 2019 · Leave a comment

The Flow – A Psychological Thriller for Artists and Creatives

The Flow, my psychological thriller went out to Beta Readers today. I never thought I would write a book like this. I was only going to outline the plot, just … Continue reading

January 15, 2019 · Leave a comment

The Flow – a Psychological Thriller

An exciting day for me. I have finished the first draft of my psychological thriller and I’m able to share a more descriptive blurb with you: “A broken artist. A … Continue reading

November 28, 2018 · Leave a comment

Pan Harmonia Commission

I am pleased to announce that I have received a commission from Kate Steinbeck of Pan Harmonia to compose a new work in celebration of Pan Harmonia’s 20th season. This project will be … Continue reading

August 19, 2018 · Leave a comment

Composing the Harpsichord Concerto

Enjoy a composer / painter studio visit while I share the inspiration, challenges, and discoveries in writing a harpsichord concerto.

August 8, 2018 · Leave a comment

Harpsichord Concerto, II – Ballade

Traditionally, the second movement of a concerto is a slow one, allowing the audience to catch a breath between fast sections, but giving no rest to the soloist whose virtuosity … Continue reading

August 2, 2018 · Leave a comment

Harpsichord Concerto, I – Ritornello

The new harpsichord concerto is finished. Enjoy the preview of the first movement, the Ritornello. I will upload the other two movements in the next few days. Ritornello is a … Continue reading

July 31, 2018 · Leave a 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

Harpsichord Concerto – Work in Progress

The second movement of the harpsichord concerto is now in its final stages. Here I am checking the form for possible structural flaws. In my book, symmetry is always better … Continue reading

June 19, 2018 · Leave a comment

Harpsichord Concerto

I am presently composing a concerto in three movements for harpsichord and string orchestra (4,4,4,2,1 or larger). The total length of the music will be approximately fifteen minutes. I hope … Continue reading

May 1, 2018 · Leave a comment

New Music for Viola

I am happy to reveal my new composition for viola and piano. For now I only have a recording prepared using virtual instruments, but hope to reach out to living-breathing … Continue reading

July 21, 2017 · Leave a comment

Awakening for Viola and Piano

Ever since I have heard Rebecca Clarke’s Morpheus, my interest in writing for string instruments was piqued. I have since composed string quartets, a string trio, a piano trio, and … Continue reading

July 6, 2017 · 2 Comments

New Guitar Recording of my Music Released

I am delighted to announce that Sergio Puccini, an Argentine guitar virtuoso, has recorded my “Parting” and released it on his new album entitled “Sergio Puccini Plays Paul McCartney’s a … Continue reading

May 1, 2017 · Leave a comment

Survived

For those who care or find it amusing, my cello survived the month long cross country journey without an incident. It is only slightly out of tune and very dusty. … Continue reading

April 14, 2017 · Leave a comment

Cross Country Journey

I am making a cross country journey from Asheville, NC to Portland, OR. I have uprooted my family, my music studio, and my painting studio in order to start afresh … Continue reading

March 14, 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

A Musical Riddle

I came across this chart today while sifting through some old scores. It was tucked away in “Lush”, a piece I composed for soprano saxophone, and jazz chamber orchestra. I … Continue reading

December 27, 2016 · Leave a 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

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

The Value of Art

“The Art of Forgery”, an article written by Simon Bonneau which appeared in Sungrammata,  touches on several important ideas, one of which is the fact that people don’t buy the art. They … Continue reading

May 26, 2016 · Leave a comment

Music as Color

I don’t have synesthesia but I find that different keys (tonal centers) have distinct “flavors”. When I compose, a transposition of a musical passage may or may not make sense, … Continue reading

April 4, 2016 · Leave a comment

Watercolors for Symphony Orchestra

When I take a break from music, I turn to painting. My favorite media are watercolors, acrylics, and ink. When the paint is introduced to a wet canvas, it takes … Continue reading

March 23, 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

Glossolalia now on Spotify

I am excited to announce that my album “Glossolalia” is now on Spotify. I recorded the album two years ago with the fantastic string quartet from Poland – NeoQuartet and vibraphonist … Continue reading

February 7, 2016 · Leave a 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

Seeking an American Premiere of a String Quartet

I recently sent the score to “Glossolalia”, my string quartet, to Canada. I am happy that this piece is enjoying international travels. It has been previously performed at music festivals … Continue reading

December 22, 2015 · Leave a comment

Seven for Piano Solo

“Seven” – a newly completed piece for piano solo. A virtuosity fix of sorts. Colorful harmonies and cascading arpeggios. For virtuoso and advanced pianists. Get the score at http://dosiamckay.com/music/seven.shtml

December 21, 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

Impression for Piano Solo

Look at what I have unearthed for you! I composed “Impression” in 2007 when I was studying composition at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. At that time I was … Continue reading

December 8, 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

Not Knowing

I remember that day a year ago. It was before I began composing “Endless Immersion”. I only had a general idea of what I wanted to do, too vague to … Continue reading

October 23, 2015 · Leave a comment

Anemone – A New Way of Composing and Listening

Has it been three years already since Anemone was interpreted through this beautiful dance? The final track from the album “Lacrimosa” has a special place in my heart, as it … Continue reading

October 2, 2015 · Leave a comment

Triptych for Cello and Piano

I am going through some of my earlier scores and came across the Triptych for cello and piano. My fascination with the music of the early 20th century is evident … Continue reading

September 15, 2015 · Leave a comment

Unveiling – Music Painting

“Unveiling” composed for string orchestra is an exploration of layers of sound. Beginning with one solitary note, new aural strata gradually unfold in which multiple layers of counterpoint constantly shift, … Continue reading

September 2, 2015 · Leave a comment

Delusion

Art is not necessary. Art is not indispensable. There are more urgent issues such as maintaining peace, feeding the hungry, and protecting the environment. And yet, if we don’t have … Continue reading

August 18, 2015 · Leave a comment

Translating Color to Music

I feel restless again. Restless to translate these colors I have been dabbing with into music. I don’t hear the sounds yet. I just feel the need to remove myself … Continue reading

August 13, 2015 · Leave a comment

Geometry, Language, and Music – My Path to Composition – Radio Interview on “Zero Crossings”

What do geometry, language, and music have in common? The ancestral shadows, George Michael, and creative loneliness – it’s all there. I am talking about my convoluted path to composition … Continue reading

August 11, 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

Unconventional

When I talk about Endless Immersion, I’m supposed to have an elevator pitch to capture your attention in one sentence. I don’t have it. I don’t even know what genre … Continue reading

June 3, 2015 · Leave a comment
Follow Music Well – Dosia McKay, Composer, Painter, Writer on WordPress.com