New Composition: Kyrie for Chorus, Orchestra and Symphonic Organ in F minor, Op. 43

Yesterday I completed work on a new composition and I am proud to present it here on my blog. This was an unplanned work, the music just seemed to come to me on Christmas Eve and in under 24 hours I completed it. I decided to dedicate the work in memory of my Dad, who died in 2010 from prostate cancer; and my sister, who lost her life to a drunk driver in 2012.

I am also working on another, bigger, composition right now which I hope to have finished by the end of January. Stay tuned for that!

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World of Warcraft Shot of the Week: Stranglethorn Vale (Part 3 of 3)

This week’s World of Warcraft Shot of the Week is a grand finale to a three part series showing off the awesomeness of Stranglethorn Vale. The journey ends at the port of Booty Bay, a large pirate port city nestled into the cliffs surrounding a beautiful blue lagoon on the southern tip of Stranglethorn Vale. The city is entered by traversing through the bleached-white jaws of a giant shark. Run by the Blackwater Raiders who are closely associated with the Steamwheedle Cartel, the port offers facilities to any traveler passing through, regardless of their faction. Combined with the world renowned Salty Sailor Tavern, it is one of the most popular locations in Azeroth. Outside of Booty Bay, on the island of Janeiro’s Point, is the giant statue of Baron Revilgaz – de facto ruler of Booty Bay.

You can view and/or download this week’s shot in it’s full resolution here!

 

The Christmas Song (Horde Edition)

THE CHRISTMAS SONG (Horde Edition)

by Kevin Harris

Night elf ears roasting on an open fire,
Draenei heads hanging on the wall,
Orcs singing songs of conquest and death,
and Trolls standing up straight and tall.

Everybody knows a dead dwarf and some mistletoe,
help to make the season bright,
Horde warriors with their eyes all aglow,
Will find it easy to slay Alliance tonight.

They know Great-Father Winter’s on his way,
He’s loaded epic loot and gold upon his sleigh,
and every Horde will understand why,
how fun it is to punt a gnome and see him fly.

And so, I’m offering this simple phrase,
to the Alliance noobs, yeah that means you,
even though we’ve owned you many times, many ways,
Merry Christmas to you.

FOR THE HORDE!!!!

Happy Birthday Beethoven!

Two hundred forty-four years ago in Bonn, Germany one of the world’s greatest composers was born. Ludwig van Beethoven has been a big influence on me in many ways, most of them musically. I have spent a great deal of time learning all I can about the man and his music. I have read six biographies on him, one of which was written by his secretary Anton Schindler several years after Beethoven’s death in 1827. But I would like to share my own story about how I came to discover him and why I admire him so much.

In 1987 I was a very different person. I had been going through some of the most horrible times of my life and I was listening to some of the worst kind of music imaginable. I mean, you know, music about the devil, death and stuff like that. Bad stuff! At the behest of the psychologist I was seeing at the time, I decided to change my musical interests toward something more positive. Since I had been playing the piano since age seven, I decided I wanted to switch to classical music. I always had respect and interest for it since I played it on the piano so many times. So I decided to purchase Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5 – seeing as I was familiar with that work and loved it. But when I went to the record store…yes, as in LPs – remember this is 1987, compact discs hadn’t come about yet…anyway, when I went to the record store I just quickly thumbed through the records and found the first thing with the number 5 on it. I didn’t know the difference between symphonies and concertos and stuff like that. When I got home and plopped the record on my Dad’s turntable and listened, I was surprised to find it was not what I was looking for. But I stopped myself from turning it off because the power and majesty of the music was incredible. I listened to the entire record and was immediately hooked on Beethoven. I went out a few days later and got a whole pile of records and cassettes to play: String Quartets, more concertos and of course, the Symphony No. 5 I had wanted in the first place. Over the years I became more and more enamored with this dude named Ludwig – who was he? what was he like? what did he love and what did he hate – what was his story? So I began a quest to learn everything I could about who he was. I soon came to learn that he and I have some things in common. I’m not deaf, but I do have a stormy personality. He considered himself above the common people, I do that on occasion too. Beethoven overcame many trials in his life, he never married, he could never find someone to share his life with. He, like me, had many relationships that ended in failure for one reason or another. Despite those challenges, he overcame the emotional trauma of losing loves and eventually his hearing. He overcame it all through his music — just as I too compose music to cope with the challenges I face in my life.

So I wish my mentor, my teacher, the one who has inspired me more times than I can count, a very happy birthday. May God bless his soul where-ever he may be.

And now, in closing, here is a YouTube video of the very same piece of music I heard on that day in 1987. Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 5 in E-Flat Major, Op. 73 “Emperor”

World of Warcraft Shot of the Week: Strangethorn Vale (Part 2 of 3)

This week’s shot of the week is part two of three in the Stranglethorn Vale series. It focuses on the sub-zone known as The Sundering.

The Sundering is a massive whirlpool in the middle of Stranglethorn Vale, dividing it into Northern Stranglethorn and the Cape of Stranglethorn. The vortex was created by the Cataclysm, also known as the Shattering or the Second Sundering. Despite the similar name, the pool is not known to have played any important role in the disaster; it is simply one of many geographical changes that resulted from it.

You can download/view a full resolution version here.

World of Warcraft Shot of the Week: Stranglethorn Vale (Part 1 of 3)

Well I am sure that everyone has their own tales to tell regarding Stranglethorn Vale, especially if you play on a PvP server. I myself fell prey to the gankage that happens there. This week’s shot of the week is the first in a three part series, simply because no one shot can sum up the incredible awesomeness of Stranglethorn. So for starters we begin in Northern Stranglethorn just outside the camp of the bold explorer Hemet Nesingwary.

Northern Stranglethorn (also referred to as Stranglethorn Jungle) is an expanse of jungle in southern Eastern Kingdoms. It is part of the greater Stranglethorn Vale region, separated from the Cape of Stranglethorn by The Sundering. This dense, tropical and resource-filled jungle has holdings of many factions whose agendas conflict or intertwine in the zone’s story. The Jungle Troll instance Zul’Gurub is located here.

You can download or view a full resolution version of this week’s shot HERE.

World of Warcraft Shot of the Week: Ironforge

This week’s World of Warcraft Shot of the Week is IRONFORGE!

Ironforge is the capital city of the dwarves, a member of the Alliance. It is the ancestral home of the Bronzebeard dwarves. The Council of Three Hammers rules the kingdom of Khaz Modan from the throne room within the city. Carved into the stone heart of Khaz Modan, the mighty city of Ironforge is a testament to the dwarves’ strength and resilience. The city is perhaps the most intricate of the Alliance cities, boasting many small passageways, shops built into the rock walls, and cavernous rooms. The feel of the city is a bustling, rowdy, and somewhat industrial one. However, it is predominantly safe-feeling and cozy; fires roar in the hearths of the inns and shops, and much dwarven laughing and frivolity is to be heard. Also, unlike Stormwind and Darnassus, the city is actually a massive cavern carved into the earth by the dwarves; the ceiling and floor are both hard stone.

You can view/download a full resolution version here.