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A two-year anniversary

This coming week marks two years since releasing Heaven and Earth: Scripture Songs for the Old and New

This album was the catalyst for converting me from writer-dabbler to writer-producer. Why? Because it was made for 

1. A specific…

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I'll take a piece of everything.

I had a keyboard synthesizer in high school with an onboard multitracker so I could layer recorded sounds. It was pretty sweet technology in its day. In college I told another composition student about it. 

“Don’t use it,” he urged. 

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Tania Melnyczuk

I had a pleasant dream one Saturday morning about an auction. I hadn't been to an auction in a while, even though two fifty-cent La-Z-Boy armchairs in the living room testified of my success. This unexpected dream prompted…

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A few weeks ago there were no plans to distribute "Pensée No. 1." 


Plans have changed. 

It's now on Apple Music, Amazon, YouTube, Spotify, and a number of other platforms. This means you can now follow Vandalia River on…

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Becoming Vandalia River

The Vandalia Room began as an umbrella for a number of pursuits: original music, audiobooks, and a blog. "Vandalia" refers both to home - it was once a contender as the official name of West Virginia - and the woman…

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Another Kind of Anniversary


We tried another piano rig this week that involved lining one mic to the interface with a 1/4" patch cable. I warned the others the cable might give us issues cause I've had it since I was thirteen.

Then I…

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Bootstrapping Pensée No. 1 

Here's a new little piece written in part to test using three microphones on the idiosyncratic grand piano.

Two problems have haunted previous piano captures: Piano sounds too brittle and distant Too much room noise A warm, close piano sound…

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Start Where You Are

Four weeks ago I wrote about eight things that helped me produce music. I must confess, that post sometimes feels like a joke. At the least, it would give away my inexperience to any professional looking on. So I'm comforted…

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