Question Answer Illustrative Tune
"Frequently"? Really? All bona fide Qs that folks have really asked me. Frequency is relative.  
Do you use live performers in your pieces? Whenever I can.  

Do you use instrumental samples in your compositions?

Yes. I have a library of thousands of samples, including Miroslav's sampling of the players in the Czech Philharmonic

  • Waiting for Budd - Finale Waiting for Budd - Finale

When do you use instrumental samples rather than live musicians?

My preference would be to summon the NY Philharmonic as I need it. Usually 'round midnight. My fallback: samples from the Czech Philharmonic.

  • Wingwalker Wingwalker
How do you know how to compose for all the orchestral instruments? As a conservatory student, I had to learn not only the quirks and ranges of all the instruments, but also how to play them, at least a little.  
Do you ever use a sequencer to compose? Yes. I use Digital Performer.  
Whatever happened to old-fashioned score-paper composing? Old-fashioned? Gulp!  

What’s your approach to sound design?

Long story short: I capture original audio on a digital (.wav) recorder and manipulate sound to suit the purpose.

Do you have a recording studio? Indeed I do.  
Do you produce for recording artists other than yourself? Yes, with exuberance.  
Can you record vocalists in your studio? Can and do, with ardor.  
I wrote some lyrics. Could you set them to music? Again? Delighted!  
Could you remix and produce a demo for my band? Yes, my studio's set up for that.  
What do you have by way of real, not digital, keyboards. I have a 1935 vintage Steinway Model M Grand.  
Do you still have and play that Martin 000-28 guitar? Yes, refurbished in 2011 by (shoutout) Lark Street Music  
Why do fools fall in love? To get to the other side?  
Who are your favorite composers? Paul Hindemith, Jimi Hendrix, Bernard Herrmann, Buddy Holly, Alan Hovhaness, Herbie Hancock, Pepe Habichuela, Leigh Harline (for When You Wish Upon a Star)... From among the H  

Any experience writing game show themes?

Funny you should ask!

  • Reggae Salad Reggae Salad

Can you compose something flamenco-y for this scene?

Claro que sí.

  • Making the Stones Cry Making the Stones Cry

What would fit well as ambient music for this scene that takes place in the 1910's?

Here's a thought: a piano rag.

  • Miss West’s Rag Miss West’s Rag

Could you channel Bernard Herrmann for my film noir?

It'd be my pleasure. I've studied and assimilated his brilliant scores.

  • Fat Cats Overture Fat Cats Overture

Could you compose a Sousa-style march?

In my sleep! I grew up in a band.

  • March New Nassau - Convention Hall Version March New Nassau - Convention Hall Version

Could you create a performance that sound like it was performed by, say, a seventh grade band?

I was in one. That's in my DNA.


Can you… oh never mind.  OK, can you compose Andean music?  Authentic Andean music?

Second nature. I grew up with Peruvian music all around me, even before my stay in South American.

  • Atahualpa Atahualpa

Why don't you run upstairs and write a nice Gershwin tune?

Good one, Lenny.

  • Any Man Can Tell at One Look Any Man Can Tell at One Look
How many blackberries grew in the blue sea? How many dark ships in the forest?  

Looking for a Mancini-esque song here. Possible?

One of my idols!

  • American Buffalo - Heads American Buffalo - Heads

I'm looking for a composer who can convey a sense of the supernatural.

Language is natural; music supernatural. Yes.

  • Where I Come From Where I Come From

I want to evoke the feeling a Venetian street, say, at 11 pm.

Il mio piacere

  • Ghosts of Newstead Vault Ghosts of Newstead Vault

Could you recreate the ambience of a circus slipping into darkness?

Carousel and all!

  • Ladies and Gentlemen Ladies and Gentlemen

There's a full-cast Black-Rider-style production number here. Can you be the composer and music director of this?

Best Waits on vinyl. Neo-Weil. I'd be honored. Bring on the trombones and xylophones.

  • Nellie Gwynne’s Waltz Nellie Gwynne’s Waltz

Could you… oh, forget it.  No, could you channel Beethoven via Philip Glass?  Using solo harpsichord?

Careful what you ask for.

  • Nothing Is As It Seems - Prologue Nothing Is As It Seems - Prologue

For this dog-death scene, I'm hearing a full-tilt orchestral funeral march, okay?

You got it. A touch of Beethoven cum Chopin.

  • Requiem for a Newfoundland Hound Requiem for a Newfoundland Hound

What could you whip up for this scene that's supposed to conjure up merry olde England?

How about an Anglo-medieval ballad with crumhorns and hand drums?

  • Better to Hold Better to Hold

The protagonist is comatose on a gurney here. Could you create a surrealistic sound tableau for this?

I'm dying to!

  • Unveiling Unveiling

Here I'd love something '60s-ish yet sexy and slinky, ya know?

I think I remember living through that. Well, two thirds of it.

  • Luna Luna

The actor is scouring the skies for stars. Could you compose something… galactic?

Far out!

  • Star Star

Sorry, but this is yet another scene in an insane asylum. Can you evoke that again?

Pie glue.

  • Welcome to the Shady Frost Sanitarium Welcome to the Shady Frost Sanitarium

This stabbing scene needs something horrific, chilling.

I'd suggest a dash of Herrmann-esque strings with a pinch of West Side Lenny and a sprinkle of Stravinskian Kastchei.

  • Dorme Bene Dorme Bene

A tango is what I envision here. I don't suppose...

Vivía y estudiaba en l'Argentina, che  ¿Qué pensás?

  • Freaks Song - Tango Freaks Song - Tango

Could you provide rain sound effects.

Better than that, I can serve it up with today's special: full-frontal Boulez-ian serialism.

  • Raining Raining

Could you convey a sinister, suspenseful ambience?

Sure. Soon as I'm done watching the 6:00 News.

  • Playing the Race Card Playing the Race Card

This scene should be underscored with something gospel-y, blues-y.

Woke up this mornin'...

  • Montgomery Bus Boycott Montgomery Bus Boycott

I know you play guitar. How about slide?

Where's that wine bottle?

  • We Love It Out Here We Love It Out Here

What I'm going after is the sound of heartland America.

Durn tootin'.

  • Suds Bucket Juggernaut Suds Bucket Juggernaut

Can you write some bouncy music to underlie a computer-based training module?

I'm thrilled to compose upbeat music for any medium.


For a computer game, could you compose a rockin' ditty with a Coptic flavor?

Sure. Based on which hymn?

  • Saudi Rock Saudi Rock

Do you do rock and roll?

Is the pope Catholic?

  • Rock Solid Rock Solid

Could you compose a score with an exotic primitive ethnic feel?

Sure. I'll even devise a non-Western scale for the project.

  • Dave’s Heart Song Dave’s Heart Song

For this staging, I'd like to evoke the feel of Pulp Fiction.

Surf's up, dude. I'm fluent in Ingmann, Dick Dale, and the Chantays.

  • Gangster Apparel Gangster Apparel

Could you take samples of existing music and compose an original collage?

Yes indeedy. I've long been a devoted student of the works of both Pierres -- Schaeffer and Henry.

  • Hoboken Four Hoboken Four

I'm producing a document about a colleague of Fellini and Nino Rota. What would you suggest?

Rota's in the pantheon of great composers. It's always an honor for me to emulate his style.

  • Sweet Lunacy’s County Seat Sweet Lunacy’s County Seat

What's called for here is some over-the-top faux opera.

Scarpia, only darker.

  • La Fine Della Caetani La Fine Della Caetani

What's your recommendation for this documentary profiling Greek immigrants?

For starters, I'd suggest channeling Theodorakis and featuring a bouzouki, clarinet, and fiddle.

  • Adagio con Malinconia Adagio con Malinconia

Can you provide a Cannonball Adderley-style stompin', jumpin' groove?

Jump? How high?

  • Marlon Brando Sat Right Here Marlon Brando Sat Right Here

I need movie music. Real chandelier-rattling butt-rumbling movie music.

OK. Turn your amp up to 11 for this

  • Waiting for Budd - Requiem Waiting for Budd - Requiem

Actually, the subject of this documentary loves Shostakovich as well as Beethoven. Can you mix 'em up?

How about Shostakovich's passacaglia line from the Eighth overlain with snippets of Beethoven?

  • Dmitri’s Dream Dmitri’s Dream

The subject of this documentary is a Beethoven aficionado. Could you give ol' Ludwig the Old Skool treatment?

As long as we steer clear of Deodato.

  • 3Gs 3Gs

The theme for this play should sound like porn music from the '70s.

I'll do anything for art. Even wonca wonca guitars.

  • Noises Off Noises Off

Know any good oboe jokes?

What's the difference between oboe road kill and raccoon road kill? Skid marks in front of the raccoon!

  • Waiting for Budd - Requiem Waiting for Budd - Requiem
Who's on first? That's right.