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Joel Roston Composer | Instrumentalist
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Pride Comes Before the Fall


I added music to one of my all-time favorite Internet videos.

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My Friend Kevin

in Blog

Kevin Micka: The Self-Contained Collaborator I met Kevin Micka in the early-to-mid-1990s in Connecticut. He had made the trip down from Newton, MA to Hartford where he was practicing with a band fronted by a mutual friend. I happened to be at the mutual friend's house hanging out when Kevin a[...]
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My Friend BJ


  Here’s a story about my friend BJ, which I’ll call: BJ Warshaw and How Life Works SometimesI met BJ while living in Brooklyn, NY in the year 2000. We were both music/band-people and we met through other, mutual music/band-people-friends. Fifteen years later, BJ is still a mus[...]
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New Chamber Piece


I'm super psyched to announce the world premier of my newest piece, You Will Never See Another Silver Fox! It's being performed by the group Boston Nonet at Harvard's Holden Chapel on Sunday, March 1st at 2pm. [...]
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The Case for Adding Two Beats to the Alphabet Song


You can also read this post on medium.com. Let’s talk about the first half of the American English version of "The Alphabet Song" for a minute. This is the iconic tune which, for many/most of us, was our first introduction to the foundational building-blocks of the English language. [...]
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Giving Credit(s) to Chopin


For those of you keeping track at home, a few months ago I posted about an arrangement of a Chopin piece that I recorded* for a film. The film is Drew Tobia's [...]
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Linking Sibelius and Digital Performer

in Blog

This week, I found myself wanting to link Sibelius (7.1.3) with Digital Performer (8.06) in such a way that each individual Sibelius instrument was connected to its own track in DP. This would allow me to compose in Sibelius, but use samples and processing effects from DP. Seeing as there isn’[...]
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Beyond Assonance: Rhyme Attempts in Popular Music 1


Below are five of my favorite rhyme attempts in popular music. I did my best to list instances that give me the impression that the artist is sincerely and unambiguously attempting to make two words rhyme. For instance, I didn't include Danzig's "Not of this World" because I get the feeling he's[...]
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NPR and, Tangentially, Prince


A while back, I received a call to improvise a "Heartbreaker"-meets-"When-Doves-Cry" guitar solo for a PSA that the city of Boston was doing to promote safety on the T. As is often the case with these sorts of projects, though the production department loved it, whoever had the final say thought[...]
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Defensible Lyrics 1


This is the first blog post in what will be a lazy series of blog posts cataloging lines from songs that I feel are mostly, if not utterly, defensible. NOTE: This blog post contains language that may not be suitable for people who don't enjoy reading the word "fucker." Here we go: Arti[...]