Listen to the Music

Much of this music was produced on a shoestring (naturally). But each composition in its own way embodies unwavering courage to “chart its own course”, which I’d like to think will tickle the fancy of the broad-minded music nut.

Some pieces are performed by real bands, and some pieces are performed by a computer pretending to be a real band. But it’s all music. And either way it gives me an opportunity as a composer to “display my wares”.


The use of headphones or earbuds is highly recommended in order to get “up close and personal” with the music — as if the band has set up in your living room to play just for you (and raid your fridge afterwards).

Recommended Selections (AKA “Composer’s Favourites”):

The Darn Tootin’ Free-Range Orchestra

Okay, right off the bat I have to admit something: this band doesn’t exist yet. There are ambitious plans to put together a 13-piece dream band to perform The Scenic Route To Somewhere, but numerous logistical challenges are still inhibiting progress. This is an extravagant project for a composer/bandleader with big ideas and limited resources. 

So in the meantime we have the next best thing! ……. This surrogate rendition is performed by little invisible musicians inside my computer who seem to be quite happy to play this music at the drop of a hat. In more socially-acceptable circles they’re known as Sibelius Sounds (by Avid Technology) and they do a fine job. They’re dying to play for you right now …….

The Scenic Route To Somewhere

2021    Dur. 11:18    Stereo

Sometimes the journey is more important than the destination.

Integrated Circus

It was the beginning of a brand new decade so I put together a brand new ensemble called Integrated Circus. Alas, it was a short-lived integration but we did manage to successfully produce a recording of a brand new composition on The Music Gallery’s brand new 8-track Teac ……..

Slightly Cactoid

1980    Dur. 18:42    Stereo

Music that expresses bright, colourful flowers in some places and sharp, spiny needles in others.

The Caliban Quartet Of Bassoonists

The Toronto-based bassoon quartet (1993 to 2008) was comprised of bassoonists from The Toronto Symphony and The National Arts Centre Orchestra. Their repertoire ran the gamut from traditional chamber works to pop music adaptations, and they were also known to commission original compositions for their unique instrumentation.

Don El Bonzo’s Quirk Step

2004     Dur. 3:09    Stereo

A short comedy-march for bassoon quartet and drum set.

The Eskerville Volunteer Fire Dept. Band

In the mid-80s my head was full of atonal music with “rock ‘n’ roll energy” that would literally be impossible for real musicians to play. So I decided to invest in a MIDI system (musical instrument digital interface) that would reproduce the sound of the band instruments electronically. This also required embracing the then-new world of the personal computer. After a lengthy period mastering all this techie stuff, I began to compose The Path of Greatest Resistance, a process which continued intermittently over a stretch of about 8 years.

To my great delight I was able to compose music without any regard whatsoever for real-world practicality. Consequently the horns often go beyond the pitch range of real instruments, and even the hyperbolic guitar chords are sometimes built on 8 or 9 notes at once.

Essentially this music is a cartoon. Think of it as “aural animation”. It’s meant to sound like a small concert band that has their own unique style, but the sound they make is not particularly realistic.

I even thought it would be fun to make up a fictitious band that is supposedly performing this piece. I created a whole backstory to the band and went so far as to invent the individual musicians who are “playing” the music, and drew a sketch of them. Click here to meet my imaginary friends.

The Path of Greatest Resistance

1996    Dur. 10:45    Stereo

An atonal romp through the musical underbrush. A few scratches and insect bites guaranteed.


In the summer of 1974, just barely out of high school, I received a federal Opportunities For Youth grant to put together an 8-piece band to inflict my music on the unsuspecting citizens of Southwestern Ontario (Middlesex, Elgin, Oxford and Norfolk counties). We played concerts in park bandshells, public libraries, agricultural fairs, and the famous Port Dover Fish Festival.

The concept of the music program was meant to analogize a formal dinner: the performance began with an appetizer which was a familiar song from the current pop charts. That was followed by the entrée which was another popular song but we would take liberties with it by introducing some kinks and variations. The main course was my compositions which would comprise the bulk of the concert. And then dessert was a short novelty tune, often a children’s song.

My hope was that people would come away having experienced some new taste sensations, because it was all laid out before them ….. like a smorgasbord. 

These recordings were made during one of our rehearsals. We set up a couple of mics in front of the band and off we went, live to tape    what you see (hear) is what you get.

Life Is But a Dream

1974    Dur. 16:18    Stereo

Music that flings itself upon its horse and rides off madly in all directions (apologies to Stephen Leacock).

The Electrolux Suite

1974    Dur. 6:04    Stereo

What can a first-time composer equipped with nothing more than a melodica and a canister vacuum cleaner hope to achieve?

Stirring the Stew

1974    Dur. 11:22    Stereo

Contrasting flavours and textures mix together in this musical “melding pot”.

The Basement Tapes

(Moray’s basement, that is)

Sometimes it’s just not possible to put together a full band to make a recording. For these two compositions three of us performed all seven parts by recording onto a 4-track Teac then mixing them down and overdubbing more parts on top of that. Seems so primitive now.

Both of these pieces were scored for clarinet trio plus rhythm section. And to make things more interesting I decided, just for the heck of it, to feed some of the clarinet parts through various electric guitar pedals that our guitarist Robin Aulis had brought along. Consequently some of the clarinet bits don’t sound like clarinets at all.

Special thanks to Bentley Jarvis for the use of his brand new 4-track Teac and microphones for these recordings.

Diary of an Insomniac

1975    Dur. 9:50    Mono

A chronicle of musical developments in the graveyard shift.

Subterranean Adventures

1975    Dur. 8:02    Mono

Getting “down and dirty” suddenly has a whole new meaning.

Miscellaneous Midi Projects

A few compositions that are MIDI-only realizations, all created within the confines of my computer late at night when the creative juices start flowing.

Inversion of Relief

2003    Dur. 2:59    Stereo

A brief exploration of distinctively protuberant musical topography.

The Electrolux Suite (MIDI version)

1999    Dur. 9:14    Stereo

It’s the robots’ turn to give the old chestnut a whirl.

Unfinished, Untitled

2001    Dur. 0:34    Stereo

A bit of musical mayhem that was never completed.