Christopher Molla - Phonometricist, Bad Subject

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Christopher Molla

Phonometricist, bad subject

Chris composes for instrumental ensembles, writes songs, makes electro-acoustic music, sound art of various types, and does sound design. He was a founding member of the now venerable, though still notorious Camper Van Beethoven

In his 30 years as a music educator, he has worked with students ranging from infants to college undergraduates. 

Current projects include an ongoing collaboration with his wife, writer and artist Jessica Molla. They write, record and perform as Small Birds of Sound.

Chris holds a BA in music from UC Santa Cruz, and an MA in music composition from Mills College (but the doesn't hold them too tightly). Then there's that MFA in digital arts and new media from UCSC, for which he focused on sound art and theater sound design. His teachers in composition and theory include Anthony Braxton, Robert Ashley, Gordon Mumma, David Cope, Mary Badarak, David Rosenboom, Ben Leeds Carson, and Rick Cox.

 

Fugue on Bim Bum Biddy 

Max's fifth grade teacher, Linda, was wonderful (she still is, but Max in in seventh grade now). She taught the class quite a few songs over the course of the school year, and one of the first of these was Bim Bum Biddy

I thought it would make a fun fugue subject, so i jotted a few bars, then forgot about it. Well, a few weeks ago it started nagging me, so I dug it up and finished it. The sheet music can be found here. You can listen to it here. It's dedicated to Ms. Linda, and all the good folks at the…

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What Shall We Do With the Baby-O? 

I’ve been combing through my old recordings of music for young children that I used during the days of Jump Up Music and Movement. I don’t mind saying that there are some recordings in there that I still like a lot. One is my super lullaby-ish rendition of What Shall We Do With the Baby-O (Have a listen here.).

Back in the aughts there was a brief moment when I worked for Kindermusik. Actually, I worked for an outfit called Playsongs, and the owner of Playsongs wanted to use the Kindermusik curriculum for a…

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Joining the Lawrence Music Alliance 

Back in February I joined the Lawrence Music Alliance. It’s a relatively new organization that is working to improve the situation for working musicians in the area, and keep the music culture vibrant and growing. It’s my understanding that the thing has been more or less spearheaded by Fally Afani of I Heart Local Music fame, and musician/songwriter Nick Carswell, At the meeting last winter, they spoke about a survey sent out to folks in the Lawrence area, asking for feedback about the local music scene…

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A Misheard Lyric 

Blue Öyster Cult is one of those bands that, in my youth, I thought was ... ok. As a dyed-in-the-wool prog rocker, they just weren't quite notey enough for me. I can still, however, whistle/hum most of the guitar solo from the bridge of Don't Fear the Reaper, and I always thought that the tongue-in-cheek lyrics combined with the badass riff made Godzilla a fun song. The first time I heard Godzilla was when a friend of mine sang it, complete with the riff, one evening when we were hanging out (I think I was…

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Wanna be a Rebel? Study, Think, Make Stuff. 

This is a re-post from about three years ago (the Trump administration), salvaged from a previous website. These ideas will be relevant as long as human civilization lasts, so here you go.

We were in the midst of our seasonal rearranging of furniture, and I recovered a copy of the May 2019 edition of Harper's that Jess picked up from the library's pre-read-magazine-exchange-box thingy. It had slipped down between the wall and Rosie's bed - not sure how it made its way into Rosie's room. I was thumbing…

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Sheet Music and Scores

Bim Bum Fugue 95.6 KB