The Red Elephant Rag

August 17, 2009 Uncategorized 5 Comments

The extent of my drawing skills...

The extent of my drawing skills...

I’ve been composing music since I was 12.

In all that time, the only person who ever performed my music was me.  This is logical for two reasons: 1) I never wrote anything down, and 2) Nothing I wrote was any good.

I had this secret fantasy that one day another musician would hear a piece of mine and go, “You know what, I absolutely have to learn that.  You have to write that down for me.”  And then I would get to hear them perform my music.  My music!  And I wouldn’t even be playing it!  I imagined them strutting up to the stage and introducing the latest work by Martin Spitznagel, who was of course a very serious and well-known composer because why in the world would they be telling the audience my name if they didn’t expect them to all nod their heads and go, “Ooh, that is a very real person”?

After all, I spent a large part of my day learning the music of other people.  It seemed like every other composer had that thrill except for me. What, I wondered, would it be like to hear someone else interpret the very notes that my muse dreamed up?  What would it feel like?  What would go through my head?

Well, I have to wonder no longer, because I have awesome friends:

And the only thing I have going through my head right now?


Thanks, Bryan.  This was totally worth the wait 😀

5 Comments to “The Red Elephant Rag”

  1. Bryan Wright
    Martin -- it thrills *me* to no end that you're pleased. Seriously, "Red Elephant Rag" is an AWESOME piece. It's so much fun to hear, and incredibly fun to play. The only reason more people haven't been playing it is because you only recently wrote it down. (I demand that you remove reason number 2 from your post above -- that simply isn't true!) I seriously think "Red Elephant" will be around for a long time, and I am only one of a long line of pianists who will enjoy the challenge of learning and playing it. It really is a modern "classic." Thank *you* for writing it down and making it available. I can't wait to start in on some of your others :-) See you soon!
  2. Martin
    Thanks, Bryan! Your continued encouragement is a big part of the reason why I'm composing more nowadays. I was blown away when I heard this performance of "Elephant." You infused it with such attitude and energy. I never realized it could sound like this. You're faithful to the score and yet you make it your own. I especially love your flourishes like the awesome chromatic octave run at 2:50 - damn! I've watched this video, like, 50 times. It gets better with each viewing. Can't wait to hear it live. Thanks again, buddy :D
  3. Günther
    I really love this song! A very catchy melody, awsome composition! Will you ever be in Germany for a gig?
  4. Martin
    Thanks for the comment, Gunther! I've never been to Germany, but I'd love to play a gig there sometime. You can tell by my last name that I've got German roots. Definitely hope to get there sometime soon :D
  5. Martin Spitznagel – Plunk At It Until It Sounds Good
    [...] to say, none of these were very good either (though I did manage to write one winner in this time). It took me 12 years to finally write a piece that stacked up against my own [...]

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