In each choral/vocal piece I compose, I am looking for a musical context that will most effectively communicate the message of the text. In purely instrumental music, my goal is still to effectively communicate, but in a more abstract way. Perhaps Henry Wadsworth Longfellow said it best: “Music is the universal language of the mind.”
The list of musical influences on my musical corpus is extensive. I find that I must continually challenge myself to discover more about the craft of composing if I am to continue writing music that will encourage others. I am inspired, in this endeavor, by studying the music of great composers. This never-ending process of learning invigorates the desire to create new and, perhaps most importantly, meaningful music.
I think finding good musical influences is one of the important components in making meaningful music. People often comment that my music is “visual.” I think part of that sensory stimulation, beyond the scope of the auditory, is based on the fact that effective composers understand how to use sound to communicate ideas. What I believe makes music unique, as a form of communication, is that it has the potential to communicate on three planes simultaneously: cognitive, affective and spiritual.