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Music by Ben

I've been playing guitar since 1995 and teaching since 1999. I started playing in middle school in general music class. I picked things up fast and eventually got a used classical guitar for Christmas. After years of lessons, a BA in Music Education, and years of teaching/band/performance experience, I am a decent guitarist.

I like writing neat chord progressions and improvising. I like spontaneous solos rather than written out ones. This comes from laziness and creativity. I love music theory and appreciate music that shows creativity in this way. I'm very good at hearing things by ear and learning them on guitar. I'm not such a good music reader. I also have experience recording and mixing.




Grace & Caperings existed from 2012-14. We gigged a few times and had a lot of fun playing together. My friend Tony Astolfi is a very gifted songwriter and guitarist (one of the best I've ever known). Here's one song recorded at the Freedom Farm in Bolton, MA:

And here's an entire gig playlist from October 2013 at Grace Community Church in Chelmsford.


We released an album in 2013 recorded at The Bridge Sound & Stage in Cambridge, MA:


Jill and I were in a band together from 2008-10 called Sugar Road with two talented people we have known for years. Ryan Pendant and Hannah Daman are very dear to us! We had lots of fun making music together, and we got to play a few gigs in local coffee shops.

We released one EP together which sold out quickly (we only made 50 copies). Here are the original tracks from the album plus some bonus tracks! I recorded, mixed, and mastered all of these.

Sepia

The Orchard

Wish You Well

Right Hand Stars

Forest Hill

Beauty of the Skies

Lovely Fool

Sunrise

The following are songs I co-wrote or covered with Katie Enlow from 2009-14. She has a beautiful voice and writes amazing melodies.

I used to record a lot from 2004-12, and these are some of my better songs from that era:


Pure Imagination

A jazzy arrangement of the ballad from "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory". My own arragement, though I got the basic chords from the sheet music.

Recorded 2/17


Prelude to a Kiss

My own arrangement of this great jazz standard.

Recorded 6/16


Zelda 2 Castle Theme

For those of us who were anti-social gaming nerds in the 90's! This is the castle theme to Zelda II (Link). Not as good as the first Zelda, but still a recognizable tune if you played NES back then. Created using only guitars!

Recorded 7/12


Come Heavy Sleep

I am often inspired by Renaissance guitar music and lyrics from Frederick Noad's book. I often tell my stuents that if there was electricity in the 1500's, they'd be playing heavy rock just like today. They use power chords, regular guitar chords, and progressions we still use today. Songs are written about similar things from death to frivolous infatuation. Tablature was the usual way for guitarists to trade ideas and write music, just like today.

This song is a very moody one by John Dowland. It speaks of his fervent wish for death.

Excuse my singing, I'm no professional singer and spent more time on the guitar parts! However, this performance by Roberta Invernizzi features a real singer!

Recorded 6/11


Study in A

I'm not really a passionate classical player, but there are some pieces that are just beautiful. This is one of them, by Matteo Carcassi. I've played this at a few weddings (once even for the bride walking down the isle).

Recorded 12/10


Vivify

One day I was sort of inspired to make a neat jam track and actually ended writing some lyrics for Jill!

Recorded 2/10


Satriani Licks

I used an Axe-Fx and created a preset based on Joe Satriani's rig. I created this song with Logic using MIDI loops and a few guitar tracks to see how well it fit. It turned out better than I expected, and when I posted it on the Axe-Fx forums, the response was unbelievable! Like most of my soloing, it's unrehearsed with just a few takes to come up with ideas.

Recorded 8/09


Before I Could Say

My friend Jon Langberg is an incredibly talented musician I know. I was honored that he asked me to record a solo worthy of his song! Since it's a longer song this is just my solo part near the end, but if you want the full version you can download it here.

Recorded 8/09


Pavlov

There's no guitar in this one, just downtempo chill music with synths galore.

Recorded 4/09


When I Survey

For Christmas 2008, Jill requested an album of hymns done in my own style. I called it "Hymns for Lord and Lady". I like how the whispering came out - very pensive, and the melody is carried by the electric piano and synths. I used drum loops, so the drums are boring but at least realistic-sounding.

Recorded 12/08


Lost My Thought

Recorded with a band I was in for a while with some cool fellows called Overshine. The guy who we paid to record this was an experienced professional who has recorded for Stryper. He made us sound really good!

Recorded 7/08


1 Corinthians Love Song

This song was written a few months before our wedding by my buddy Nate in 2001. In January 2008 we decided to re-record this tune. Nate played this version for his wife Caroline when he proposed! It came out really nice. We also played this at Nate's rehearsal dinner on 6/6/08. I play the mandolin and sing harmony on this song, and I also recorded and mastered it.

Recorded 1/08


Tune in A

My first Garageband creation. It uses all built-in loops except for the solo guitar. I'm actually proud of this one, I like the melody and the soloing is decent! Mixolydian tonality gives it a neat sound; it's interesting that so many of the built-in Garageband loops matched.

Recorded 1/04


Performances with Jon Langberg, a great friend and amazingly talented musician. Jon writes his own songs, and we also play covers. Recorded from 2012-13 (although we still play together sometimes).



"Prison could be a nice place to live - the bars on the window like bars on a crib. Freedom is the least desired gift to give." -Poor Old Lu, "Speak Soft"