Music Theory for the Bored with Justin Merritt

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In order to be more productive, composer Justin Merritt once tried polyphasic sleeping, meaning he slept only a couple hours per day. After countless hours of busyness, he finally came to the revelation that he just needed to feel bored to become inspired. In this episode of Composer Quest, Justin and I talk about how Buddhist philosophies have influenced his life as a composer, and he shares some great composition advice he gives to his students at St. Olaf. Justin also explains how he invented a unique system of creating scales and modulating, which he used in his beautiful piece “Lachryme” for string orchestra.

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