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Joel Roston Composer | Instrumentalist
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The Case for Adding Two Beats to the Alphabet Song

You can also read this post on 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. [...]

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 [...]

Linking Sibelius and Digital Performer

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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[...]

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[...]
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Nice, But Bummy

I received a call from a film-composer friend a few weeks ago asking if I could record a classical guitar version of Chopin's [...]

How’s Carl This Time?

There's good preliminary evidence to support this claim: As the excitement builds over the course of each hour-long Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me! episode, Carl Kasell’s exclamation of the last two syllables of the word “Chicago,” commensurately, rises in pitch. -- The Backstory Perh[...]
NATO: A Coalition United for Peace

A Coalition United for Awesome Music

I'm psyched to have had the chance to work with composer John Kusiak on a short film for the Eisenhower Memorial website. The video, NATO: A Coalition United for Peace, details Eisenhower's role in the formation of NATO. Check it out!.[...]

Erlewine Guitars

So, at least once a year I head down to the great and glorious state of Texas to visit family. A few blocks away from my home base here in Austin is a store called Erlewine Guitars. I've attempted, on many occasions, to check out the shop, but it's never been open -- until yesterday. Apart fr[...]