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Newt Love Works of Music

Cool Music You May Not Know About

Like the composer Robert Schumann I hear music in my head. I always have. I like some of the music I hear, and write it down. That is where my music compositions come from. If you would like to read about where the music "comes from," you can read my page about Musical Hallucinations and Central Auditory Processing Disorder.

I tried for a while to break into the LA music scene as a writer, but had no luck. I met some great people, though. I was friends with Dick Eastmann, who wrote a lot of hits for Bon Jovi, the Pointer Sisters, and other acts. I got tired of rejection, and so quit trying to sell. I did not quit writing. From that early period, I have three catalog sets in the Library of Congress Copyright Office.

In 2005, the Annapolis Chorale, directed by J. Ernest Green accepted my Easter Cantata, "Man of Sorrows," for performance and publication. The cantata is written for double choir and full cathedral organ. You can download a WAV file of the score by clicking here. It does not have voices singing the words, but you can hear the music.

As a child, my dad and I would listen to Opera, "Live from the Met" sponsored by a grant from Texaco. Dad also had a lot of 78 rpm Enrico Caruso records. I think we wore the grooves out on them. Later, as an adult in St. Louis, my friends, Jan and Ellen Richter, got me involved with the Opera Theater of St. Louis. I loved it.

I started to pull together music for an Opera "Sitting Bull." Since most good Operas are essentially short stories set to wondrous music (with good acting and dancing, too), I soon realized that my Opera was too large. I broke it into two Operas.

Another characteristic of Opera, is that there needs to be a core kernel of truth that gives the work meaning, and staying power in the performance lists. All great Operas have it. For Sitting Bull, the core truth is the juxtaposition of the actions of the people of the USA just after the Civil War. Immediately after freeing Blacks from slavery, they sent Civil War trained soldiers to fight the free Red Man, and imprison them on reservations. The Black Man had rights; the Red Man had none. The hypocritical dichotomy of these actions, from a human rights perspective, never occurred to the less enlightened minds of the late 1800s. Sitting Bull is an Opera about the head of a nation watching his culture being wiped out, and his spiritual and physical response to that danger.

The core truth in "Crazy Horse and Custer" is that both men were the same person expressed in different cultures. Each was destined to rise to the top of the warrior class, and as such, they were destined to meet on the battlefield. Like heads and tails on a coin, they were the same, but opposite. They shared a character flaw that would disqualify them from becoming the head of their nation. Custer was at the Greasy Grass (what white folks call the Little Big Horn) looking for an Indian battle that he could win and brag about at the Democrat Convention in St. Louis. Custer wanted to secure the nomination so he could run against and defeat U.S. Grant, becoming the President of the United States. Crazy Horse was a great man, but did not have enough humility for some Oglala. Some thought he pushed too quickly to become a headman, and as such, disqualified himself from the role.

I don't get too much time to work on the Operas. Sitting Bull is about 80 percent complete, while Crazy Horse and Custer is still in formation, only about 15 percent done. I am still debating the concept of having one tenor sing both the Crazy Horse and Custer parts. It's a great idea philosophically, but my Lakhota spirit is not settled on the matter yet.

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