Thursday, August 29, 2013

Suspended Cycles

I personally love the rich texture that is created when voices are being introduced as others continue to sustain, thus creating a beautiful overlapping effect, most commonly utilized in the Strings...           it can also be simply glorious and sonorous in the Horns as well, etc...

This Blog demonstrates how suspended 4th & 2nd chords can be modulated to and from one another while always sharing 2 voices in addition to having the ability to move through all keys through cycle V root motion.

Therefore, as these chords modulate through the keys they create a wonderful feeling of movement while offering stability since they are always sharing voices and they can also pivot or come to a point of rest virtually anywhere.
Which sure is a wonderful harmonic device for us composers to have at our disposal.

Please note that these suspended 4th chords can also be identified as suspended 2nd chords by a different name, thereby opening up even more avenues for root and bass motion variations, etc...


I have identified additional chord type movements using this approach that I will more than likely post as well at a later date. Please sequence this and try creating your own compositional framework
in addition, through rhythmic alterations, etc... and without doubt you will enjoy it.  Guaranteed!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Penka Kouneva - Master Class questionnaire post

Back in February of last year I had the honor and pleasure to assist and contribute to
master Lead Orchestrator & Composer Penka Kouneva's master class series here in Los Angeles.

I thought I would post a questionnaire that she asked me to answer and submit for the classes benefit. I hope that some of my answers will resonate to, for and with you.

Please check out her amazing work at for her compositions and body of work are truly inspiring. Thank you!

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Collaboration Quartet (Movement II - Update)

Composer Florian Behnsen from Verden an der Aller, Germany will be composing the second movement for this Collaboration Quartet. He is based in Berlin and will be representing the German contingent for the project.

I have been accepting the additional composers based on there genuine nature, unselfishness and serious commitment towards this endeavor. It will also definitely be an all international project based
on the submitted inquiries I have received thus far and I could not be happier with this development.

I am asking that each successive composer interested in contributing to the rest of this project be limited from 2 to 2 and 1/2 minutes in order create their own individual movement. This will allow adequate time in order to link from the previous composers movement in a logical melodic, harmonic and rhythmic manner as well as introducing, developing and resolving their own theme for the next composer to then pick up from.

Please continue to contact me at if there are more interested composers and
Florian Behnsen's movement will be up within the weeks to follow. I believe that allotting each composer several weeks to write and submit there own movement should be fair and sufficient.

Thank you for your interest and for following these blog posts. There have now been nearly 20,000
page views... which I would have never anticipated or expected. It is wonderful to know that there
are so many focused composers and musicians around the globe today.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Collaboration Quartet (Movement I)

I have composed and posted this, my initial section in order to hopefully inspire my fellow composers to potentially want to contact me and contribute there own section to this project.
Based on the response so far, it looks as if this project could and should be entirely international.
I feel that this configuration would be in the best interest of our musical diversity, comradeship and mutual respect towards each other.

The inspiration for my introduction movement was based on my love and respect for Elliot Goldenthal's music... especially "Titus".

I am asking for each interested composer to write there own 2 to 2 1/2 minute section/movement to add to this and/or any other subsequent sections until the Quartet's completion. It is my intention to keep this particular Quartet between 12 and 20 minutes in duration... depending on how many composers are interested, serious and compatible within this collaborative forum.

I will be engraving the final performance version within Sibelius 6 and it is my goal to have it performed somewhere out here in Los Angeles or at any venue that my fellow collaborators may care to suggest.

Please contact me at regarding any questions, comments, additional criteria, etc...and I look forward to meeting and hopefully collaborating with many of you. Thank you!


Brent Heflin McHenry