PROJECTS 2016-11-21T17:58:51+00:00


My musical research and documentary work takes me in so many interesting directions!
Here’s a sampling of the projects I’m currently actively working on, or hoping to bring to fruition.
If you’ve thoughts on advancing these efforts, or know of resources that can support them,
please be in touch!

Tucson’s Mid-‘60’s Rock/Pop Scene – a Documentary in Development

In 2013, I completed production of an award-winning documentary, “ZOOM! Tucson’s Late-‘50’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Record Label”.  The relationships developed during that project have led me to another fascinating documentary-worth topic – the fascinating rock and pop music scene in mid-1960’s Tucson.  If realized, this documentary will serve as a “sequel” of sorts to the Zoom Records story, and will complete another chapter in the examination of southern Arizona’s popular music culture through the last half of the twentieth century.
In the mid-‘60’s, The Grodes, including Manny Freiser, were in the forefront of Tucson’s garage band culture, making recordings both in Tucson and at regional studios.  Many of this era’s bands achieved regional – and in some cases national – notoriety. This documentary will feature interviews with Manny Freiser and other musicians, as well as noted musicologists/ record collectors, recording studio professionals and media figures from the era.

The University of Arizona Ear Worms Project

In the 2014-15 academic year, I created and led an interdisciplinary research effort examining the phenomenon of “ear worms” (also known as Involuntary Musical Imagery, or INMI).  What’s an “ear worm”?  You’ve probably experienced it — when a song gets stuck in your head for minutes or hours or days at a time.
This project was awarded funding from the University of Arizona’s Confluencenter for Creative Inquiry. I, along with UA faculty members Don Traut (Music Theory) and Andrew Lotto (Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences), devised a unique study model that may serve as a model for future research efforts into ear worms. The project also included the production of a documentary film covering the research effort and subjects’ experiences with INMI.

Bernard Woma, Dagara Musician” (audio documentary)

Renowned Ghanaian musician Bernard Woma is a master of the gyil, a traditional xylophone of the Dagara people in northwest Ghana.” He was born in the village of Hiineteng, located in Northwestern Ghana,  has travelled the world sharing his music and culture, and today operates the Dagara Music and Arts Center near the capital city of Accra.
The project presently before me is to help share Bernard’s compelling, inspirational life story in the form of an audio CD that documents his life and wonderful music, combining interviews I completed with Bernard several years ago and samples of his remarkable music.
Upon completion, the CD will be marketed as a means of raising funds for a children’s educational/learning facility in the tiny town of Medie, Ghana.


Listen to  a brief “sonic portrait” of Bernard, and a sample of the 60-minute program to be produced through this effort. The full-length CD can be purchased from this web site.

Arizona Public Media Short Documentaries

I’ve been given the opportunity to create several short, music-related documentaries for Arizona Public Media:
“Teaching Percussion and More” – this short film examines the teaching methods and philosophy of Brian Harris, a gifted Tucson, AZ percussion instructor whose students are consistently among the most successful in the Southwest. An inspiring examination of a gifted and compassionate music teacher. The film will air on the July 10, 2016 edition of AZPM’s Arizona Illustrated.

Like so many other institutions, the University of Arizona keeps the campus community on schedule by the every-quarter-hour sounding of the “Westminster Chimes” (actually an audio recording of the chimes) from a clock tower in the middle of campus.  But the acoustical environment of the UA campus, depending on where you’re standing, creates a quirky rendition of the chime series that plays some interesting games with its melody and meter. This short documentary piece is scheduled to air on AZPM’s Arizona Illustrated in the fall of 2016.

If You Knew Kenny…” (documentary film)

During my childhood in suburban St. Louis, MO, I became lifelong friends with Ken Brown, who in the ensuing years has since grown to be a remarkable visual artist in a variety of media.  Ken’s art can be seen playful or grimly serious, childlike or eerily unsettling, and is also a reflection of the joyful, adventurous spirit which resides inside this talented man. Now residing in Munich with his family, Ken prodigiously turns out art that is at times accessible, at times enigmatic, but always challenging…and to me, downright inspiring. Ken has graciously granted me permission to use a variety of his works in a video documentary on his life and art, which I plan to create starting in early 2017. The samples provide a tiny glimpse of the remarkable range of works Ken has created (and the mind behind them), and the amazingly divergent styles which continue to surprise and delight his family, friends, fans…and perhaps most of all, himself.

Accidental Photos

While most of my creative efforts are focused on music in one manner or another, occasionally a subject grabs my attention and enthusiasm that’s pretty far afield.  One example is my series of “Accidental Photos”, photographic images which my HTC cell phone seems to take with amazing regularity (with no direction from me), and which I’ve posted intermittently on Facebook, starting in early 2016.  In the summer or early fall of 2016, I’ll be hosting a special reception and showing of these photos at Stone Curves, the cohousing community where I live in Tucson, AZ, followed by a potluck celebration of community and friendship. Please contact me if you’d like to learn more about this event.