James Bohn (composer)


"James Bohn on Black Velvet" by Evan Jacob

Do yourself a favor, and check out "Felix Pines and Dines" for Wind Ensemble . . .

Many kind people have performed the music of James Bohn, including: The Arcadian Winds, Paul Cienniwa, Michael DeQuattro, Emergo Orchestra Productions, Ensemble Decadanse, Corey Jane, Holt, Mary Ellen Kregler, Margaret Lancaster, Murray State University Symphonic Wind Ensemble, the New Bedford Choral Society, The New York Miniaturist Ensemble, New York System, POW!!, The Rhode Island College Brass Ensemble, The Rhode Island College Choir, The Rhode Island College Opera Workshop, The Rhode Island College Symphony Orchestra, The Rhode Island College Wind Ensemble, Judith Lynn Stillman, Thump, the University of Illinois Symphonic Orchestra, the University of Illinois Trombone Ensemble, Maksim Velichkin, and Verdant Vibes. Studies have shown that performing music by James Bohn causes performers to be viewed as 17% more sexually attractive to both men and women. Performing music by James Bohn is also an effective form of weight loss. In addition, people who perform music by James Bohn develop whiter teeth and thicker, fuller hair. Science is never wrong.

All the cool kids listen to "MF" for electric guitar and orchestra . . .

Compositions

mf
mf for orchestra with electric guitar and laptop (or synthesizer). Watch it on YouTube! Performance materials are available upon request.
Felix Dines and Pines
One trick I use on a regularly use in terms of a starting point for a composition is a mental game I sometimes play that I call “what if”. In the case of Felix Dines and Pines, my “what if” was “what if Igor Stravinsky (from his Petrushka phase) was commissioned to write a score for an animated cartoon, and he worked under the tutelage of Carl Stalling (from the late forties).” Not only are there anachronisms that would make such a situation impossible (even if one were to have their own Tardis), it is also unlikely that you could get Stravinsky from any era to work under anyone’s tutelage (not counting Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov’s of course). That is the wonderful thing about the creative process though: such problems are irrelevant.

That being said, my “what if” scenario was really only a starting point. While Stravinskian elements can be found, it is really my version of Stravinsky, not a studied attempt to accurately represent the master composer. In terms of evoking a little bit of Stalling, I stuck in an easily identifiable theme for Felix, and stuck in a couple of quotations. Stalling had the whole Warner Bros. catalog to borrow from, while I only have public domain. The astute listener will hear a well-known Christmas carol, and may even recognize a theme from The Carnival of the Animals by Camille Saint-Saëns.

My father, Lawrence Bohn, taught at the same high school I attended. When we came home from school at the end of the day, we often watched an hour or so of cartoons (Warner Bros., Tom & Jerry, Pink Panther, Jetsons, etc.) on television before continuing with our evening. Between laughs my father, who is two years younger than the film Felix Dines and Pines, would explain all the WW II era jokes from the Warner Bros. cartoons. While I enjoy any time I get spend with my Dad, these were some of my favorite times. My score for Felix Dines and Pines is lovingly dedicated to my Dad.

Watch Felix Dines and Pines on YouTube!

[note that the score is designed to be printed out on 8.5 x 11" paper, and blown up to 11x17" paper.

Performance materials are available upon request.
Landscape 2: Snow
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When I was young, I spent a lot of time as a passenger in the family station wagon. In the Midwest, where I grew up, you’d often have to drive long distances to get to your destination. I would look out the car window, and notice how the horizon seemed to never change, while the middle ground had regular bits of change, a cow here, a barn there, etc., while the foreground would whip by at a dizzying speed. A spectator, one could chose where in the landscape to focus to fit one’s mood and preferences. “Landscapes” is a series of pieces written with support from Stonehill College. The pieces attempt to provide the listener with a similar aural experience, where layers of musical material provide different pacing and different levels of activity, all while cohering into a musical landscape.
Landscape 4: Sand Dunes
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When I was young, I spent a lot of time as a passenger in the family station wagon. In the Midwest, where I grew up, you’d often have to drive long distances to get to your destination. I would look out the car window, and notice how the horizon seemed to never change, while the middle ground had regular bits of change, a cow here, a barn there, etc., while the foreground would whip by at a dizzying speed. A spectator, one could chose where in the landscape to focus to fit one’s mood and preferences. “Landscapes” is a series of pieces written with support from Stonehill College. The pieces attempt to provide the listener with a similar aural experience, where layers of musical material provide different pacing and different levels of activity, all while cohering into a musical landscape.