Peter Cincotti                Peter Cincotti

Matt Nathanson            Some Mad Hope

Rimsky-Korsakov            Sheherazade/Capriccio Espagnol (Bernstien conducting)

Mariah Carey                MTV Unplugged EP

Prodigy                The Fat of the Land

gin blossoms                New Miserable Experience

Paramore                 After Laughter

Michael Torke                Rapture, An American Abroad, Jasper (Alsop conducting)

Chet Baker                Chet Baker Sings

Paramore                Paramore

Paramore                Brand New Eyes

Paramore                After Laughter

Norah Jones                Day Breaks

Brad Mehldau Trio            Brad Mehldau Trio Live

Sara Evans                Restless

AuthorShilo Stroman

Joss Stone                The Soul Sessions

James Taylor                New Moon Shine

Michael Jackson            The Essential Michael Jackson

Alice in Chains            Jar of Flies

Echo & The Bunnymen        Echo & The Bunnymen

Echo & The Bunnymen        Porcupine

John McLaughlin            the free spirits, Tokyo Live

Echo & The Bunnymen        Crocodiles

Kat Edmonson            The Big Picture

Echo & The Bunnymen        Ocean Rain

WILCO                Sky Blue Sky

Echo & The Bunnymen        Heaven Up Here

Tori Amos                Little Earthquakes

Bill Frisell                Guitar in the Space Age

Nat King Cole                At the Sands/Welcome to the Club

Alarm Will Sound            Acoustica

John Mayer                The Search for Everything

Beck                    Morning Phase


AuthorShilo Stroman

John Scofield Quartet            What We Do

Juliana Hatfield            Only Everything

Svet Stoyanov                Percussive Counterpoint

The Psychedelic Furs            Book of Days

Juliana Hatfield            How to Walk Away

Lenny Kravitz                Are You Gonna Go My Way

Lyle Lovett                Pontiac

John Coltrane                Giant Steps

Peter Gabriel                Secret World Live

Matt Nathanson            Some Mad Hope

Soundgarden                down on the upside

Brad Paisley                Time Well Wasted

Joe Henderson            Inner Urge

Sara Bareilles                Kaleidoscope Heart

Ryan Adams                Prisoner

Alison Krauss                Windy City

Chris Thile & Brad Mehldau        Chris Thile & Brad Mehldau

Shelby Lynne                Just A Little Lovin’

David Gray                 White Ladder

Bill Stewart                telepathy

Stefon Harris                BlackActionFigure

Van Halen                5150

Dusty Springfield            Dusty in Memphis

Julian Hatfield    three            become what you are

Harry Nilsson                A Little Touch of Schmilsson in the Night

Dave Matthews Band            Away from the World

Faith Hill                BREATHE

AuthorShilo Stroman

Hello all. Here is my list for February. Some new releases this month! Also found a gem I never knew existed. Nilsson sings Newman by Harry Nilsson. Another great recording by one of the best voices in the history of Pop music. Enjoy!

Nine Inch Nails            With Teeth

Wilco                    Wilco Schmilco

Sara Bareilles                The Blessed Unrest

Martha Argerich            Chopin 5 CD Boxed Set

Bartok                    String Quartets

Lake Street Dive            Side Pony

Amos Lee                Spirit

Living Colour                STAIN

John Mayer                Heavier Things

Dirty Loops                Loopified

Dixie Chicks                Taking the Long Way

Marc Broussard            A Life Worth Living

Thelonious Monk            Criss-Cross

Sara Bareilles                brave enough

Liz Phair                Liz Phair

Fiona Apple                Tidal

Ryan Adams                Prisoner

Alison Krauss                Windy City

Harry Nilsson                Nilsson Sings Newman

Chris Thile & Brad Mehldau        Chris Thile & Brad Mehldau

Lee Morgan                The Sidewinder

Miles Davis                Milestones

Meshell Ndegeogello            Plantation Lullabies

AuthorShilo Stroman

Hello all! I was talking with a friend one day about what I listen too, if I keep track of my listening habits and if I ever would get through my entire collection. So, this year I decided to keep track! Steven Soderbergh has been doing a similar thing for years now. Check it out here: 

My list is only of recordings I've listened to all the way through. I didn't list the random things I listen to in the morning while getting ready for work or tunes I might be learning for a gig etc. This experience has been enjoyable reliving the emotions and memories related to many of these recordings. I hope you enjoy listening on a regular basis and this list might provide some new recordings for you to check out. Happy listening!


Bryan Adams                 Reckless

Brad Mehldau Trio             Progression

Radiohead                 A Moon Shaped Pool

David Bowie                 Blackstar

A Tribe Called Quest            We Got it From Here…

Kneebody/Daedelus            Kneedelus

Brad Mehldau/Joshua Redman    Nearness

Ryan Adams                1989

Deftones                Gore

John Mayer                Room for Squares

George Michael            Best Of…Double CD Set

Dave Matthews Band            Big Whiskey and the GrooGrux King

Bartok                    String Quartets

Amos Lee                Mission Bell

Ornette Coleman            Change of the Century

Donny McCaslin            Beyond Now

Pat Metheny                Trio 99-00

Ryan Adams                Ashes and Fire

Fishbone                Give a Monkey A Brain and He’ll Swear He’s the Center of  the Universe

Lisa Loeb & Nine Stories        Tails

CAKE                    Comfort Eagle

Liz Phair                White Chocolate Space Egg

INXS                    Kick

Robert Plant                Band of Joy

The Sundays                reading, writing and arithmetic

Art Blakey & The Jazz Messengers    The Big Beat

Beck                    Morning Phase

AuthorShilo Stroman

Once I decided this would be the foundation of the piece I made…you guessed it, another list! This one had the instrumentation (piano, bass clarinet, flute, string quartet and percussion), a foundation for my text, a basic time limit and an idea of the overall vibe I wanted to capture. Sometimes I jot down orchestration ideas or time signatures, grooves, licks etc I might use in a piece. Parameters are often good for me. After I’ve finished this brainstorm of sorts, the actual writing begins and I tend to write very organically. Meaning, I let it come to me and I tend to “play around” with ideas until I like where they're headed. I generally don’t plan too much out ahead of time and I rarely use a key signature. I like letting it happen which must be the Jazz musician in me. 

Warning! Some technical stuff to follow.

This piece started with a drumset groove in a 6/4 time signature and the tempo is marked as “Trance Ballad”. (Check my instagram for a short video of the groove) I wasn’t even at a drumset when it came to me. I think I was at Starbucks with my laptop. (I can often get lost in my work at a coffee shop)

Intervals stacked in 4ths or “quartal harmony” came out right away first by the piano and later by the strings. A very “awkward” bass clarinet melody came next. I love the bass clarinet because its such a warm and versatile instrument. I won’t go into more detail as to not give TOO much away. Some slow moving string melodies, a change of groove and spaces for the text completes the basic structure of the piece. Now that the piece was written, I needed details of my text.I was at Colorado State University where I teach and was talking with one of my students about the project. He mentioned his girlfriend is a writer and actress and might be interested in the project. I was SO EXCITED. We went back and forth about the general vibe I wanted and I sent her a recording of the piece. She came back with some great material and we will record the samples here is a couple weeks. Think Casablanca meets the 1990s Seattle Grunge Scene!

The piece is completed and I’m looking forward to rehearsing and performing the work. I hope to see you there! Follow me on twitter, instagram and Facebook with the hashtag,  #NOCOELEMENTAL for more updates regarding my piece and the concert series. 

AuthorShilo Stroman

And it rained… is the title of my composition for the NOCO Artists Elemental Concert Series. ( I was very excited when Scott Stewart (NOCO Artists Director) approached me about writing a piece. Contemporary chamber music is something I have a real passion for and I’m glad there is such a great group right here in Northern Colorado! I thought I’d share some of my compositional process in hopes it will inspire people to attend the premiere of the work.

The idea of representing the elements through music really appealed to me due to my background in arranging/composing for the pageantry arts (marching bands and indoor percussion ensembles). Writing for the pageantry arts always entails creating a musical landscape that portrays some sort of concept. So, writing a piece inspired by an element is right in my wheelhouse. The first concert is Fire and Water and I wrestled with these two ideas for quite a while. Water ended up generating the most ideas right off the bat.

One of the first things I do when working on a new piece is to “fill the well”. Meaning, I listen to a lot of music similar in style to what I’m working on. Or, sometimes something thats not related at all! Here are two pieces I was listening to while working on And it rained..If you like these links, please consider supporting the artists by purchasing their recordings!

In continuing to “fill the well”, I always make a list of ANYTHING that comes to mind in regards to the concept. (lots of crazy notebooks in my world) In this case, water in the form of rain became the idea that most resonated with me. Next in the process? More lists! I knew I wanted to use samples ( of spoken word in some way. I made lists of poems, movie quotes, lyrics etc. that related to rain. (Special thanks to Veronica Patterson for sending me some poems to check out!) I really wanted to use some sort of poem or quote but nothing was capturing my attention. Then it came to me. Are you ready? Romantic Comedies! More commonly known as, “chick flicks”. EVERY one of these films seems to have a scene containing rain, even if it takes place in the desert…kidding. However, Hollywood has done a great job teaching us what role rain has in these movies. I may have seen several of these movies…don’t judge. What can I say…I’m a hopeless romantic and the movie When Harry met Sally was my gateway drug. Plus, it had a killer soundtrack!

A page from my notebook. 

A page from my notebook. 

Check back soon for what happens after the well is full! 

Follow me on twitter, instagram and Facebook with the hashtag,  #NOCOELEMENTAL for more updates regarding my piece and the concert series. And…pay attention next time you watch a film with a rain scene!


Twitter: the_stro

Instagram: strodrum

Facebook: Shilo Stroman

AuthorShilo Stroman

I'm sure many of you have seen the Judd Apatow movie thats the inspiration for this entry. If you haven't, its a great commentary on where a lot of people are at this point in their life and good for some laughs! However, I am not one of those people. I don't have kids and I'm not married. Like the movie, I do have questions regarding my career, my state of happiness and level of "success". The best part of this movie is the end because I discovered a new musical hero in Ryan Adams. (Can't believe it took me this long and special thanks to whoever put him in the movie!) I won't spoil the end of the movie so here is a music video.

These lyrics say a lot.

I don't remember were we wild and young
All that faded into memory
I feel like somebody I don't know
Are we really who we used to be
Am I really who I was

Thank you Ryan Adams for writing what many of us are feeling. This can be a weird feeling to navigate. I feel sad about the youth that is gone but happy about being wiser. We really aren't who we used to be and I find comfort in this. A life experienced is a life that has changed. The problem is, when you get to that "midlife crisis" part of your life, you start to freak out because it might be a much different spot than you had planned or imagined. Another movie on this subject is Noah Baumbach's While We're Young 

This look at life through an artist couple's point of view hit a little closer to home. The artists meet a young couple and have very interesting interactions with them while trying to "find themselves" at this point in their life. Again, good for a few laughs and made me think about what my next step might be. The truth is, after the initial shock and fear wore off about turning 40, I'm pretty excited about what lies ahead. From past experience, I know when I have feelings of uncertainty and a little fear about change, its exactly the right time to dive into something new! The good news is, it has always turned out great in some way. I learned a new skill, gained some important life experience or found a new career path. Sometimes all three!

40 has brought focus for me and I'm excited what this "new chapter" has in store. I hope it has a similar effect for you too! Thanks for reading.




AuthorShilo Stroman

This is a concept I've been embracing (I guess this is the correct word for it) over the past several months. Maybe its because I'm turning 40 this July, or because my grandmother passed away last summer or the music I've been listening to. Whatever the reason, its been something in my mind and I'd like to share how it can be a blessing. The dictionary definition is: a sentimental longing or wistful affection for the past, typically for a period or place with happy personal associations.

This past summer I was really into Pretenders recordings. What a great band! This tune is about her hometown. Nostalgic? You be the judge. The point is, you can harness that nostalgic feeling and use it for your art. Use what you know! Also, what a killer bass line.

This tune also reminds me of the good old days of RECORD STORES! I spent many hours sifting through racks of recordings with friends. It started with 8-tracks, then cassettes and finally Cds.  Listening to people in record stores passionately talk about music seems to be gone now. Music used to be a social activity. I talk (ok, soapbox) about this concept to my students. Some of them roll their eyes but most of them are engaged and like to hear about the history of music as experienced by a real person. I understand those days are gone and won't return again, but I hope my students will take some morsel from my rants and make music a social activity again. Share your story with others and engage people in discussions about music! Please visit your local record store like, Twist and Shout in Denver. 

I've been listening a lot to grunge music in preparation for a recital I'm doing. Yes, you read that correctly. My childhood friend and fellow faculty member at Colorado State University are putting on a Grunge Recital with a Jazz quartet. This music means SO MUCH to me. I'm convinced the music of your teens through college makes the biggest impression on you. The fact that I can relate so deeply to this music makes it the perfect vehicle for me to arrange and perform. I'm STILL using this music for inspiration in every facet of my musical career. Driving with this music cranked can really clear my head.

So, the next time you get that nostalgic feeling, harness it for your art. Arrange a tune you were listing to in your youth. Take that drive with the tunes cranked to clear your head. Talk to a student about the good old days. Take a trip to your local record store and support a dying institution. Don't fight nostalgia, embrace it!

AuthorShilo Stroman

The concept of blogging was a foreign concept to me. I didn't think anyone would want to read my thoughts and ideas. However, like many artists in this day and age, I've been looking for ways to adapt and improve my lifestyle. Or, like the cover of David Cutler's book, The Savvy Musician states, "building a career, earning a living and making a difference." I feel the sharing of ideas is a great way to accomplish this and like the Pomplamoose song says, "The Internet is Awesome". 

Below are some ways I've found to get started sharing your ideas.

1. Research

Being in a state of constant learning is even more important now. Everything changes rapidly and you don't want to get left behind. Here are a few books to get started.

Austin Kleon, Steal Like An Artist and Show Your Work

They are easy to read and will shed some light on how to share your art. 

David Cutler, The Savvy Musician

I wish I had this book in undergrad because it would've been very helpful. I also attended the workshop.

Ariel Hyatt, I was able to meet her at the Savvy Musician in Action workshop and was blown away with her knowledge of all things web based for artists. Check out her blog.

2. People like interaction. Do what you do in "real" life.

A blog is another form of interaction and can reach thousands of people! I traveled quite a bit this Fall (I drove nearly every mile of I-70 in Colorado from Grand Junction to Burlington) working with competitive marching bands and realized how much I like interacting with people and sharing ideas/experiences. Whether I was in Denver, CO or Panhandle, TX I realized the students and directors I was working with were all striving toward the same goal. They were all striving for excellence in music while teaching/learning some valuable life skills along the way. By blogging, I can engage the people I worked with this fall and hopefully many more! We can all learn more in this fast paced world and sharing ideas via a blog is a great way to achieve this. When adding to your online presence, be sure to make it real. Not like this Brad Paisley song.

Everyone has a story, time to share it.


I hope you enjoyed my first blog post. Thanks for reading.




AuthorShilo Stroman