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Joel Roston Composer | Instrumentalist
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Upcoming Performances

in Blog

1. Tomorrow, April 5th @ MIT's Kresge Auditorium, I'll be part of an ensemble of thirty-or-so musicians performing Terry Riley's In C. Apart from traditional, Western instruments, the piece will include Senegalese drummers, Balinese gongs, and some bizarro instruments built and performed by the MIT [...]

What I Like to Tell Myself About the Relationship Between the Lyrical and Harmonic Content of the Song “Things We Said Today” by The Beatles

Listen to this: Here’s what I think about when I hear the above song, “Things We Said Today,” by The Beatles: The singer of this song is speaking directly to a specific person -- a woman with whom he is romantically involved. Taking that dialogue into account, I divide t[...]

The Sounds of American Doomsday Cults Vol. 14

You can also read this post on So, a company called Faithways International released a record called The Sounds of American Doomsday Cults Vol. 14 in or around, I guess, 1984. Neither I nor anyone I have spoken to about it over the years (the Internet included) has ever encountere[...]

Cadences Too Boring?

Murder, She Wrote: The most powerful Neapolitan chord available without a prescription. [...]

New Pieces Debuting on the 18th

in Blog

Four Richard Brautigan Poems, a set of poems I arranged for flute, clarinet, and voice, will debut on January 18th as part of the Advent Library Concert Series. 8 - 10pm: The program, running from 8 - 10pm, is: Whisper Solos (2011): solo interpretations by Rebecca, Todd, and Matt Suite f[...]

Death of a Mug

in Blog

Years ago, I was gifted a very special mug from my pal and at-the-time bandmate, David Altman. He knew that I had been looking for a very large mug (for reasons that are too boring to get into here) and informed me, via whatever 2004-ish chat-consolidation software I was using at the time, that he o[...]

New Piece Debuting This Friday

This Friday, Duo Orfeo will be debuting a new piece of mine, Spectral Lines, at the Harvard-Epworth United Methodist Church. Also on the bill is music by Albéniz, Granados, Tárrega, Llobet, Frank Wallace, and Phillip de Fremery. Here's a blog post by the duo talking about the program. [...]

It’s My Birthday Today

Beautiful Weekend, my project with Noell Dorsey, started years ago as an Olive Grain cover band. Olive Grain was a duo, one-half of which was my friend Craig Colorusso. Their only release contained six songs, the second of which, "Lily," I listen to every year on my birthday. [...]

Heading Back to London

I'm pleased to be heading back to London with Tyondai Braxton and the rest of the Central Market Ensemble. This time around, the group is being joined by the London Sinfonietta as part of an evening of all-around incredible music.[...]

Norman Schwarzkopf Made Me Gay

Last year I composed music for Sara Zia Ebrahimi's film "Norman Schwarzkopf Made Me Gay" -- a short, animated jaunt through the modern history of Iran and how it has intersected with and impacted the film maker's life. The film has since debuted at Rooftop Films in NYC and is scheduled for an upcomi[...]