Music For Modern Dance

available for creative collaboration / now accepting interested students


" . . .  The collaborative process between musician and dancer is an extremely rewarding and educational experience. The dancer brings to life artistic considerations such as texture, phrasing, articulation, tempo, mood, and the list goes on. The astute musician will find the modern dancer's corporeal approach refreshing and liberating."


"Turkey And Sam"


The music for "Turkey And Sam" was specifically crafted for the solo recital of Mason Gross School of the Arts dance student, Casey O'Neill. I composed, produced and performed all of the music for her piece, entitled "Turkey And Sam." I produced a pre-recorded textural backing track in Garage Band; then during the performance I improvised on the saxophone according to the sequence of the dance and based upon a loose harmonic and melodic structure adapted from the choreography. 

I composed the backing soundtrack as both a supporting narrative of Casey's movement and as a platform for my voice on saxophone. Ultimately, I was choreographed into the dance, itself. The resulting work was a fully integrated artistic vignette. I am proud of what Casey and I produced. I believe we demonstrated that this type of cross-pollination produces fruitful results.

Here is the recital.


((YouTube link here.))



an independent study


I had the good fortune to study for two semesters with Robert "Tigger" Benford of the Dance Department at Mason Gross School of the Arts. The purpose of our independent study was to explore the modern relationship between dance and music. I studied the atypical musical forms, meters, styles, rhythms and conceptual approaches of music composed for modern dance. These conceptual structures afford contemporary musicians ways in which music and dance successfully communicate.

My musical background is the 4/4 worlds of jazz, salsa and American popular music in its various forms.  Dancing and movement is intrinsic to all these styles of music. My goal was to study the contemporary artistic relationships between music and modern dance in order to influence my own artistic development.  This project enhanced my composition and improvisation strategies by providing new insights into the possible (renewed?) connections between movement and jazz. This project introduced novel insights into how musicians, their music, modern dancers and other artists all connect with each other moment-to-moment.

During the course of this study we explored the following topics: mid-20th century modern artistic philosophy; improvised dance-class workshops; artist's journal; modern dance technical theory; student collaboration; and a final project.



final project


the really cool final project was this link to "Presence of Rhythm" (any vids?) (give brief explanation) Spring 2012 DancePlus student recital

world premiere of "Presence of Rhythm"