Alejandro Tkaczevski, Doctor of Musical Arts, Stanford University: Composition and Computer Music
Partial List of Works
Album of Piano Music dedicated to my Students: Tin Pan Alley, Twinkles (the much-loved Teddy Bear, now in Rags), Blue Green Tango (piano solo), Sea Song, Renaissance, Chamomile Meadow, (and more)
Blue Green Tango, for Trio (piano, viola, double bass)
Miniatures for Orchestra (in progress)
Concerto No. 1 for Piano and Orchestra (revision in progress)
Cherubic Hymn, for a capella mixed choir, Slavonic text (English version available)
Two for Two Two, flue duets
Three for Two One, flute duets (audio file)
Diversion, string quartet
Imitation American Process Isorithmic Motet, brass quintet
Suite for Piano, piano solo, (excerpt)
Scenes from a Thousand Years, large chorus, piano and percussion
Ryoan-ji, for orchestra
Place in History
As composers, we do not have the luxury of the past ages, where most of the compositional questions were answered by the fashion of the day. In Bach's, Mozart's, or Beethoven's times, although each composer stretched the boundaries of their contemporary constraints, they did not have to compete with all of history, all regions, and all genres, as we do today. Having all of history, compositional techniques, genres, regional styles at our fingertips compels us to consider these factors when we write music. Or, inversely, how does the musical content and the chosen medium influence each other. By medium here, I mean, the genre, style, and compositional technique. So, consequently, these factors must be considered as a composer sets out to write an original work. These factors are tools with which to create.
Some Loose Definitions
Compositional Technique: the theoretical basis for originating and transforming musical material. Examples: Functional-Tonality, Modalism, Jazz, Serial-music and Twelve-Tone (what I like to call, hard-listening music), Process-music (minimalism), Chance-transformation, Linguistic-generation, Stochastic... and many others. Most music that is popular in the world uses functional tonality. Even music based on modes and Jazz use aspects of this and either extend it or restrain it.
Genre: the historical-social context of the music. Terms like Classical, Latin, Jazz, Hip-Hop, Rock, refer this constraint.
Style: the particular features of one composer or group of composers within a genre.
What I Like To Do
For every piece I set out to compose, the first question I ask myself is "what am I trying to say?" or "what is the primary challenge in this work?"
When analyzing a Piano Sonata of Mozart, one can discern that Mozart asks the listener, "What is tonality? Why do we have expectations? How are these expectations met or missed? etc..." It is at this deep level that Mozart's genius becomes most vigorous.
Taking a cue from this, with each new work, I challenge myself with the questions of compositional technique, genre and style, the way a composer from the past would choose a key. What does this technique, genre, and style represent: acoustically, socially, emotionally, linguistically, morally, spiritually, musically? How can I play them off each other? Compositional technique, genre and style now then become analogous to key or theme in traditional music. Form emerges then from the organic transformations of these aspects.
ALEJANDRO (ALEX) TKACZEVSKI, DMA
185 Francestown Road, Greenfield, NH 03047
Director * Music Composer * Pianist * Sound Designer * Teacher
Creative Coach * Analytical Problem Solver * Technology Expert
Summary of accomplishments:
* Wrote music and created audio for projects in the computer game, electronic toy, and film
* Designed digital instruments utilizing various and diverse synthesis techniques
* Led teams of professional musicians in performance and recording sessions
* Built music production and recording studio from the ground up
* Created and implemented processes coordinating the work of musicians, artists, and computer programmers
* Led local music teachers’ group and actively performed with local ensembles* Taught piano privately to children and adults
* Lectured college level theory and composition classes
* Freelance Composer, Sound Designer, and Piano Teacher, WEAVER SKY MUSIC, Greenfield, NH ~~ 2018 - Present
* Store Manager and Piano Instructor, PIANO AND ORGAN CENTER, Williamsville, NY ~~ 2011 – 2018
Lead sales team for Yamaha, Lowrey, and other brands of acoustic and electronic musical instruments. Organized marketing materials and promoted newly-established store in the community. Provided private piano and music instruction to over 25 concurrent students. Organized recitals and other public sales demonstrations.
* Audio Producer and Owner, SOUNDWEAVER, Fairport and Williamsville, NY, ~~ 1998 – 2012
Engaged multiple clients. Provided audio content or design management services for film, video, marketing, web interactive, and installations. Clients included Rosetta Stone, Kodak, WXXI (PBS TV station), Rochester Museum and Science Center, Rose Films, Ardent Learning, Holy Protection Orthodox Church, Post Central, and others.
* Senior Manager, Audio Dept., FISHER-PRICE, East Aurora, NY ~~ 2001 – 2009
Directed audio production that effectively supported marketing and design team objectives for over 200 electronic toys, TV-set-top devices, and computer games. Successfully led, trained, coached, and managed a group of 8 sound designers, composers, and speech editors. Engaged and managed contractors, talent agencies and recording studios throughout the United States and Europe. Created and managed $2M budget and sought cost-effective ways to deliver services. Prepared complex concatenated speech scripts, directed sessions, edited audio in compliance with software requirements and specifications. Wrote original linear and interactive music.
* Project Manager, ARDENT LEARNING, Rochester, NY ~~ 2000 – 2001
Account executive for multiple clients. Managed production of sales training materials for traditional and electronic media. Interacted with clients, scheduled content writers, managed workflow, and processed data. Produced audio content for several CD-ROM and web-based projects.
* Creative Arts Manager, FUJITSU INTERACTIVE, San Francisco, CA ~~ 1996 – 1998
Completed several MS-Windows based game and artificial-life titles within corporate-mandated schedules and budgets. Anticipated and solved potential problems in design phase of projects. Met or exceeded deadline expectations while maintaining a high standard of technical and aesthetic quality. Effectively directed and managed team of writers, graphic artists, web masters, sound designers, and composers by providing clear vision and maximizing their talents.
* Senior Sound Designer, BRODERBUND SOFTWARE, Novato, CA ~~ 1992 – 1996
Successfully completed numerous educational computer game titles (such as “Where in the USA is Carmen Sandiego”, “First Degree”, “Zoombinis”, “Discover Space”, and many others) well within deadlines setting high corporate quality standards. Designed audio specifications, composed music, created sound effects, and recorded and edited voice-over dialogue. Researched, proposed, and employed newest technologies in order to fulfill design requirements.
* Visiting Music Instructor, STANFORD UNIVERSITY, Palo Alto, CA ~~ 1993
Taught undergraduate Music Theory and Analysis course, focusing on Mozart Piano Sonatas.
* Visiting Music Instructor, SANTA ROSA JUNIOR COLLEGE, Santa Rosa, CA ~~ 1991-1992
Prepared curricula and lectured courses in Music History, and Music Theory and Ear-Training. Advised and evaluated students.
* Visiting Music Instructor, GAVILAN JUNIOR COLLEGE, Gavilan, CA ~~ 1991
Prepared curricula, coordinated schedules and lectured courses in Electronic Music, Music History, and Music Theory. Directed performing ensembles. Advised and evaluated students.
* First Prize, Hartford Symphony Orchestra Composers’ Competition: “Ryona-ji” for orchestra, 1984.
* “Fame” 1980 MGM feature film, on-screen performance of piano composition “Rondo 1979” during Audition Sequence.
* CMS regional conference 2000: presented talk: “Audio Production for Interactive Media: Tools, Techniques and Growing Career Options”.
* ICAD conference 1996: presented talk: “Auditory Interface Problems and Solutions for Commercial Multimedia Products”.
* Appearance in the Steven M. Martin documentary film “An Electronic Oddyssey” about Leon Theremin, 1993.
* “Out of Thin Air” Keyboard Magazine, February 1992, Robert Moog and Olivia Mattis, assisted in translations of interviews with Leon Theremin and in preparation of article.
* Regularly sing and assist in directing choir at Sts. Theodore Russian Orthodox Church, Williamsville, NY 2001-2018.
* Regularly performed on viola with Amherst Symphony, Amherst NY, and Amherst Chamber Ensembles, 2006-2014.
EDUCATION AND PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT
STANFORD UNIVERSITY, PALO ALTO, CA: Doctor of Musical Arts (1992)
Music Composition and Computer Music: Master of Arts in Music (1987)
UNIVERSITY OF HARTFORD, HARTT SCHOOL OF MUSIC, HARTFORD, CT: Bachelor of Music (1985)
Music Composition and Piano Performance
* Situational Leadership, Managing Across Cultures, Meeting Facilitation, while at Fisher-Price (2001-09)
* Dale Carnegie Training: Public Speaking Certificate, San Francisco, CA (1996)
* Aspen Music Festival: Center for Advanced Compositional Studies, Aspen, CO (1990)
* Tanglewood Music Festival, Young Composers' Program, MA (1981)
* Manhattan School of Music, Pre-College Division, Piano Certificate, NY (1981)
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