Music Well – Dosia McKay, Composer, Painter, Writer

Reflections on Art and Life

Voice and Piano Transcriptions

I was able to carve out some time for a song cycle I composed in 2019 for mezzo-soprano, flute, bassoon, and guitar. The piece was commissioned by visionary flutist Kate … Continue reading

August 27, 2022 · Leave a comment

New Music for Cello Solo

The first draft of the new cello piece went out to D. Scot Williams who commissioned it. Seven and a half minutes of music exploring all registers of the instrument, … Continue reading

July 22, 2022 · Leave a comment

Hello There, Music

No one knows I have begun working on the cello solo piece, not even Scot Williams who commissioned it. Earlier this week I casually began drafting the shape of the … Continue reading

June 25, 2022 · Leave a comment

On the Rooftop of the Kennedy Center

It was never my dream to have my music performed at the Kennedy Center. I simply did not believe in dreaming outrageous, impossible dreams. Yet the improbable happened, all the … Continue reading

June 13, 2022 · Leave a comment

Glossolalia Anniversary

In February of 2014, I booked a recording studio and traveled to cold and overcast Poland to collaborate on a recording with NeoQuartet from Gdańsk. I didn’t have to do … Continue reading

June 4, 2022 · Leave a comment

New Music for Cello

I am thrilled to be commissioned by D. Scot Williams to compose a new work for cello. Not a stranger to contemporary music, Scot has previously commissioned several other composers, … Continue reading

May 28, 2022 · Leave a comment

Earthrise for Symphony Orchestra

I am alarmed by humanity’s fascination with destruction. We consume hundreds of films and video games devoted to natural disasters and cataclysms. We entertain ourselves with graphic depictions of gore, … Continue reading

May 15, 2022 · Leave a comment

Earthrise – English Horn Solo Excerpt

​Before I share with you my new orchestral piece, let me tease you with a short excerpt of the English horn solo. I have never written for this instrument before … Continue reading

May 10, 2022 · Leave a comment

Circadian Rhythm

I am learning about solar noon and solar midnight. In London, for example, they happen at 1:04 pm and 1:04 am. If we assume that the optimal sleep length is … Continue reading

April 2, 2022 · Leave a comment

Synesthesia

When I talk about color in music (besides being a composer, I am also a painter), I am often asked whether I have synesthesia. I do not, and I am … Continue reading

March 29, 2022 · Leave a comment

Fragility

A year ago, during great personal distress, I composed Fragility. Now I am haunted by the same feelings as are so many of my family and friends. One might have … Continue reading

March 7, 2022 · Leave a comment

New Orchestral Music

I am nearly finished writing my latest orchestral piece. It has taken me to colorful harmonic places I have not encountered before. Principal English horn players will find a blissful … Continue reading

March 4, 2022 · Leave a comment

Rapturous Amazement

What is the purpose of life? In my view, the purpose of life is to enter a state of rapturous amazement. If we take the time to look around, we … Continue reading

February 21, 2022 · Leave a comment

How Long Did It Take You?

I truly dislike it when people ask, “So, how long did it take you to paint this?”. How should I answer this question? Should I count the time before I … Continue reading

January 21, 2022 · Leave a comment

Patience

At the end of last year, I worked intently on a new orchestral piece but then Christmas and New Year, predictably, broke my stride. Music composition is like long-distance running … Continue reading

January 15, 2022 · Leave a comment

The Guiding Light

Producing an album often seems like driving a car from the back seat. Theoretically, if you know where you want to go and are able to communicate clearly, and if … Continue reading

July 7, 2021 · Leave a comment

Fragility Official Music Video

Fragility official music video is out on YouTube. Fragility is the opening track of my latest album entitled Groundless. The video concept and editing are mine but the amazing videography … Continue reading

June 7, 2021 · Leave a comment

Groundless

https://dosiamckay.com/music/groundless/ I have made ambitious plans for international travel in 2020. I was considering Japan or Korea but a friend strongly suggested China. I had already purchased the plane tickets … Continue reading

June 5, 2021 · Leave a comment

Things I Wish I Knew

On the occasion of the release of the 3rd Endless Immersion album, I am reminded of the video I created for the first one. My hair might be different now … Continue reading

February 10, 2021 · Leave a comment

Waiting for the Titles

I spent the last few days editing tracks for my upcoming album. One darling was killed in the process and the rest had to justify to me why I should … Continue reading

February 3, 2021 · Leave a comment

Endless Immersion 3 is Here

iTunes | Amazon | Bandcamp | Spotify https://dosiamckay.com/music/endless-immersion-3/ The next installment of the Endless Immersion series and another full hour of seamless, immersive musical experience is here. As always, I have a difficult time categorizing my music. This … Continue reading

January 24, 2021 · Leave a comment

Manifesto

Manifesto is a strange yet captivating film. Because it is a mish-mash of many art and political manifestos recited in new contexts by the ever-inventive Cate Blanchett, there is no … Continue reading

January 21, 2021 · Leave a comment

Endless Immersion 3

Before I release my brand-new album, I will first release the 3rd installment of Endless Immersion. Originally conceived in 2015, Endless Immersion was a soundtrack to an art installation in … Continue reading

December 16, 2020 · Leave a comment

Composer Desk Again

I am documenting this makeshift set up before the arrival of my new desk. It looks convoluted but ergonomically speaking, it works very well. It is actually my drafting table … Continue reading

November 2, 2020 · Leave a comment

Composer Desk

I am reinventing the wheel again, that is, I am reexamining the ergonomics of my music studio setup. The three main elements always are the MIDI keyboard, the computer keyboard, … Continue reading

August 2, 2020 · Leave a comment

At Peace

The score has been spiralbound and the parts have been taped according to the Major Orchestra Librarians’ Association’s guidelines. All that remains is to send the materials to the Knoxville … Continue reading

June 23, 2020 · Leave a comment

Dark Sister, Sing from Rubble Becomes Art

Here is the recording of the premiere of Dark Sister Sing from Rubble Becomes Art, a triptych of art songs commissioned by Kate Steinbeck and Pan Harmonia. This performance took place … Continue reading

April 25, 2020 · Leave a comment

“Watercolors” for Orchestra to be Premiered by the Knoxville Symphony

I am delighted to share that my “Watercolors” for Orchestra will be premiered by the Knoxville Symphony on the Masterworks Series concert in October. Although I was not born in … Continue reading

February 17, 2020 · Leave a comment

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 · 1 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

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 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. https://dosiamckay.com/music-scores/harpsichord-concerto/

August 8, 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

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

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

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

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
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