Posts in music

I'm thrilled about the awesome write-up from RJ Frometa (@rjfrometa) and the premier of the Life on Earth video in Vents Magazine!

PREMIERE: Producer/composer Jason Todd Shannon explores the intersection of Art and Technology On New Music Video

Read the article here:


I've been listening to some early 20th century military band/orchestra music. I bought a record of John Phillip Sousa marches played by the Eastman Wind Ensemble. There is such interesting structure in the music. Wonderful moments of melodic chromaticism. I decided to try my hand at a few sketches. There is so much to learn from this unique and complex style of music.

For nature is also beautiful, even when we do not understand her, and where she seems to us unordered.
— Arnold Schoenberg

2016 starts with a challenging read, and one that I’ve put off for some time. 

When I was researching this book, I discovered that one of his students wrote an alternate condensed version, removing all of Schoenberg’s colorful rants and emotionally-charged discourse on musical aesthetic. In other words, he removed the good stuff. This book was originally published in 1911, at the same time Einstein was working on The Theory of Relativity. I can’t help but draw the parallel as this being somewhat of a musical equivalent. The musical unifying theory of everything, though I'm sure Schoenberg would have plenty to say about that description. This book is expansive and imaginative and unlike anything that had come before it in musical literature.  Schoenberg comprehensively presents the prevalent rules/theories while exposing the often flawed foundations and contradictions upon which they were built.  He spends an equal portion of his time discussing the things that are unexplainable to those that are explainable, and for that reason I cherish this book.


All of the Wes Anderson films have such a distinct musical signature, whether it is the incredible work of Mark Mothersbaugh in Rushmore or The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou to the Academy Award-winning work of Alexandre Desplat (Fantastic Mr. Fox and The Grand Budapest Hotel). The scores to his films are always fun and rich with texture. I've spent a lot of time with the original scores to Rushmore and Fantastic Mr. Fox in particular. Here is a quick sketch titled Who Ate My Porridge? - with a definite nod to some of my favorite quirky, fun and whimsical scores from the Wes Anderson school of film scoring. Special thanks to Clif Wilson for his work on the banjo.