All posts by David Archer

The surest way to perform at Carnegie Hall is…

…to have your piece commissioned there and then write yourself in as the soloist! That is essentially what has happened for Vancouver composer John Korsrud, who will perform his piece in the Hall on Friday. He began writing a piece for trumpet soloist and orchestra as part of a concert featuring the music of Louis Andriessen and his students, and was written into the promotional material as the soloist to his own piece, contrary to his intentions. You can read about it in the Globe ‘n Mail here. What a cool story! And gutsy on his part, to go through with the performance. John’s website is also worth a visit, if only to play his virtual marimba by rolling the mouse over the menu… After a long day, I am easily amused.

In the meantime, I suppose the rest of us will just practice, practice, practice…

Viva School Tour

Every year, Viva Boys and GirlsViva Youth Choirs sends its Boys’ and Girls’ Choirs out for a day-long tour of Victoria’s elementary schools. This year marked my second as accompanist for VIVA, and last week we performed for three different school assemblies. To the children, the tour meant a fun day away from classes, and we had a blast.

The kids have alot of energy, and when you combine more than twenty of them in a room for any length of time, almost anything can happen. A spontaneous marimba performance at lunchtime, for example. (We were eating in the school’s music room. Can you blame them?) The kids also took part in the fine schoolyard tradition of altering the lyrics to their favorite songs when they thought the teachers weren’t listening. I can tell you from personal experience that choir kids do this with more gusto than any other group on earth.

For some children, the tours gave them their first taste of fame. After a performance at Oaklands Elementary School, a brave kindergarten student approached our snare drummer for an autograph. Don’t let it go to your head! It is these little events that stay in my mind as fond memories after all the music is sung and the hard work is done. With Viva, the job title ‘accompanist’ is often expanded to include tasks such as cleaning up spilled soup, crowd control, and chaperoning choristers to various venues. This just makes the job more interesting as the kids can be so spontaneous, and this is one of the reasons I enjoy working with Viva. There are more pictures up on our Facebook page. Also, Viva’s season winds up with a final performance at St. Aidan’s Church on Saturday, April 17, that will feature a performance of my piece written for the Boys’ and Girls’ Choir called Rat Milk! Message me if you would like more information.

Photography Credits

A big thank-you goes out to photographers Mark Yager and Paul Tedrick, who were kind enough to take pictures of me in the Magnolia Hotel‘s lobby. It’s really awesome to see the results of their hard work! Paul is an award-winning professional photographer in Victoria, BC, who has that creative spark that makes a project exciting. I know that he is available for weddings and other occasions throughout Vancouver Island and the San Francisco area (where he recently moved from). You can find him on his website,, where he also featured some of my photos on his blog. I highly recommend his services. You can also check out Mark Yager’s Facebook page to see more of his fine photos. Thanks, guys!

Soundstone Music 2.0!

Welcome to my new website! It’s here at last, after two solid months of research and planning. *whew* I had some fun learning how to use HTML, CSS, and PHP in conjunction with WordPress, the web developing software I am now using to maintain the site. If you are looking to start your own blog or website, give them a try. It’s free and has really gained a broad base of support over the last few years. Now on to the important stuff…

I’m looking forward to the future of the business! The reason I made the big web upgrade is so that I can better serve my clients by doing what I love to do, which is to make music and help others do the same! I’m available to do transcriptions (that is, make sheet music and charts), compose, and work as a pianist in a variety of settings. I needed to become a bit more visible to the search engines and this site will hopefully make that happen. There is now more detail in the descriptions of my services, which should make it easier for people to make a choice and then get in touch with me.

One other major change to the site is this new blog, which you are reading now. I’ll be able to give updates about my musical activities, and post pictures, articles, and hopefully some new audio clips in the coming months. It’ll be lots of fun.

So feel free to stay a while and look around! If you like what you see so far, why not subscribe to the blog, or follow me on twitter or Facebook using the handy buttons to the right. Or send me an email; I’d love to hear from you.