Los Angeles Toy, Doll & Amusements Museum

My work with Los Angeles Toy, Doll & Amusements Museum was a labor of love in so many ways. At some point I felt compelled to create a fanfare and other incidental music.


I wrote these tunes to accompany a website feature on the history of neon, but Flash fell out of favor before it went anywhere. I tried to convey something of the eerie mystery of the neon glow as it was first seen by Geissler, then a little interlude as Tesla tries and fails to conquer the medium, and finally Georges Claude triumphantly succeeds in monetizing neon for, wait for it, advertising.


Rock River Bridge, another labor of love, is my pet and unfinished project. Each of these four examples has some bit or other I’m proud of. The Peddler briefly conflates Roy and Dale’s Happy Trails with Ferde’s On the Trail; At The Poorhouse has a mockingly dark PBS vibe to it plus a damn plausible accordion; Lordsburg conveys happiness even with the old, substandard sound set; and Bury Me Not mixes tropes (tonepoem instrumentation with cowboy touches) to mitigate the bathos.

sketches of shame

As I became more familiar with my tools, tunes would arise out of nowhere. Developing a new idea I would burn a disc of it in the morning before work, listen to it on the 45-minute commute, and spend the rest of the day driving my colleagues mad with incessant humming. Well Did I? repeats the musical question, “Did I really do this?”