It turns out I'm not the self-promoting type (I seem to have been born without that gene), I've never hired a manager or publicist, and I occupy a portion of the Brandeis web presence anyway. I get a free web page (10 megabytes!) with my Earthlink subscription, and verily I say unto you, I'm not passing up any free stuff, at least not today, this month, or even this year. If you think this web page is kind of poopy, well, tough. You can always turn the page. In general, self-promoting composer sites make me anywhere from slightly to violently ill, and this one isn't much different (I'm suppressing a gag reflex as I type this). Like all composers, I am, after all, at least secretly self-obsessed. I am endeavouring not to use that breathless press-release style prose -- especially the stuff written in third person -- that so many composers use on their sites, as we prefer first person plural. Meanwhile, if you prefer your self-promotion to be more official-lookin', click on the "Brandeis page" link -- it's about as generic as it gets. It should be fairly self-evident that I haven't paid a professional to put this page together. And incidentally, I used to have hair.
There are five pages of "Reviews". Both good ones and bad ones are included, because they are equally true. "News" is a sort of occasional diary, and it's really, really boring. Yet there are people who tell me they love reading it, and they hound me when it's late. The number of regular readers is well into the low two figures.
My friend Gregg says that the Worldwide Web has become little more than a huge, bad J.C. Penney catalog (which may be redundant). This web page doesn't try to fix or disprove that. But they say that the first step is to acknowledge the problem. Thanks, Gregg.
The picture on the left is me (partly obscured by scarf), Beff, and Christine Schadeberg, in a cafe near Carnegie Hall after Christine had performed Beff's "Not Dressed For This". It was taken in 1994 when I was still on the faculty of Columbia; I still have the shirt. The picture in the middle was taken on June 8, 2003 in our dining room soon after I had figured out the timer function on a Nikon Coolpix 4500. Feel free to compare my forearms to Popeye's. The picture on the right was taken by Ines Huergo at JB's Seafood Shack in New Smyrna Beach, Florida, on June 3, 2005. I was soon to stuff myself with the best grilled tuna I had had all day. If you stare at my lips in any of the pictures for a really, really long time, eventually you will have to go to the bathroom.
I write music. Concert music. Texas tea. The music is difficult to describe, and difficult to play (it's not just hard, it's damn hard, or in Maine, wickid had), not tonal in the familiar diatonic sense ("tonal" as it's usually used is imprecise, and in many senses, and to my ears, my music *is* tonal -- people have also called it atonal, with more tonal centers than you used to have, sounds like it's in a minor key, pretty, opaque, accessible and unremarkable) -- sort of a supercharged chromatic tonality if you will (my eyes rolled instinctively when I typed that) -- and pretty traditionally structured -- and it has lots and lotsa notes. Some people call the music Modernist. Julius, age 8, remarked "the notes don't fit together but make sense". Others have called my music Romantic, total rockout, borderline Neoclassical, zany, too melodic, not melodic enough, jazzy, postmodern, eclectic, and highly unified. Go figure. I live in Massachusetts and Maine with my wife Beth, and we own two red canoes. Both of us grew up in Vermont near Lake Champlain, me in a dairy farming region (where we don't talk about our feelings, we don't talk about how much we make, and the word "cow" has between five and six syllables) and Beth in the ultra-cosmopolitan Burlington. I teach composition and music theory at Brandeis University, and Beth teaches composition, theory and clarinet at the University of Maine in Orono. Thanks to our long-distance marriage, we have two of many things, including cats, houses, mortgages, cars, vacuum cleaners, back yards, refrigerators, garages, lawnmowers, iPods (actually, we have six), back doors, mud rooms, attics, futon couches, driveways, kitchen sinks, basements, washers, dryers, belly buttons, and fingernail clippers. And of course, also two canoes (both of them red), thanks to a recent co-inheritance in Vermont. And six computers. And eight printers. Including a color laser printer (bitchin).
My students, both graduates and undergraduates, get to call me Davy, as do my colleagues. I do not know what any of them call me behind my back (this expression would not make sense if I were a mobius strip). Other very good (but strange) friends, and relatives, call me Uncle Davy (note: "Davy" is a four-letter word).
If you have read this far, it may be time to get a life.
The story so far
A little bit of Davy on the web
(a program that is fantastically easy to use, and that crashes over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over)
Other David Rakowskis on the web that aren't me
Part of my collection of friends and acquaintances whose first and last names both have five letters
Composer web pages (Variety-Pak) (* studied with me)
Anagrams on "David Rakowski"
Work avid as kid.
Work a Davis kid.
Dr. Kiwi's a vodka.
I vow a dark disk.
Kirk voids a wad.
Dr. Wok (via a disk)
Kid saw Kirov ad.
Kirk avoids wad.
Kid, I was Dvorak!
Sid Krakow, diva.
Dr. Wok said "Kiva."
I work. Ask David.
Sarah Helen Brady
My collection of people who want to be on that list
Robert ("Bobby") Ceely
David "Szmuk" Smooke
Additional friends and acquaintances whose names average five letters