Working on A New Commission

Since returning from touring Argentina and Uruguay (more on that later) – I have been talking to some great people in Needham, MA. They are celebrating their 300th anniversary by commissioning a new band piece, an orginal play and a piece for choir and string orchestra. David Neves contacted me and invited me up to meet some students and the choir/orchestra director. I had a great meeting and met some wonderful people. The kids has some great ideas and Jonathan clearly has their respect and developed a great rapport with them. In the end I think we have come up with a really great plan to feature both groups, individually and together while addressing some of their interests and all the while trying to reference Needham’s history.

I am so excited to be asked to work on this project. In future days I will posting some thoughts, some musical ideas and sharing the creative process. Hope you all enjoy the ride with me.

** A bit of a time crunch – the premiere is in November – and I need to get it to them by the end of August — it looks like it will be about 15 minutes — I should be writing notes, not words… !!! 🙂


And So It Goes…

So, I have wanted to arrange a Billy Joel’s And So It Goes for a while now. I finally found a few minutes and wrote it out last night. In figuring out what I wanted to do, I took the time to really look at the piece. What a truly inspired song! In it’s harmonic simplicity, it packs a huge punch – I can’t get it out of my head. It was validation to me that the craft of composition comes in many forms and this piece is brilliantly crafted. We all know that Billy Joel is a great performer, but here he shows his true skill as a composer. There are a number of performances on YouTube – (including a concert version of his) – some not the best, but inevitably, (due to the quality of the writing) all evoke something very special and personal. I’ll try to get my version out there soon, but in the meanwhile – take another listen and let yourself be moved!


Common Tones in Simple Time

SO… A while back, I took my dad and his wife the airport — they had been here a week — we had a great time.

It was early — about 6 am — I couldn’t do pop music so I turned to WNYC and heard the end of the String Quintet in g of Brahms — as always some wonderful ideas and some beautiful music.

After that, they introduced John Adams, “Common Tones in Simple Time” — I am not a huge minimalist fan — but I love a lot of Adams’ ideas and the orchestrations can be really interesting.
This piece did not disappoint. It was a little long — though helped me get through the ride back to CT — but it also had some really wonderful moments.

I am currently working on a piece for choir and small orchestra, “Lux” and there are some wonderful colors in his piece that evoke light for me — I also realized what a great addition to my piece the use of vibraphone would be — thank Mr. Adams!

I encourage you to take a listen — the performance they used was SF Symphony with de Waart — well played, crafted and very musically rendered.


BOG Funk – for Jazz Ensemble

BOG Funk is a piece I wrote a while back for some really intense jazz students of mine. There is a big bari sax solo, since the student was playing bari at the time. There is a great video of Alison Kolinski’s choreography to it. Very retro! I will add the www. address. Enjoy! DJL


Welcome to Darin’s Blog


Darin Lewis is active as a composer, conductor, pianist, organist, and educator. With over 100 compositions in his oeuvre, Mr. Lewis composes music in all genres including orchestra, chamber ensemble,solo voice, concert band, piano, organ and choral.

He has conducted in France, Hungary, Germany, Italy, England, the Czech Republic, Austria, Spain, as well as throughout the United States. He is currently Artist-in-Residence at the Horace Mann School in NYC, Director of Music at Christ Church Episcopal Riverdale and Artistic Director and Founder of the Simpatico Chamber Ensemble.