Roger M. Wilcox's rescued digital-audio media

On this page are digital-audio captures of music that, previously, had existed only on analog audio tape in my collection.

Most of these are songs or instrumental/electronic pieces I wrote and recorded, primarily from my one year as a grad student in Music Composition at UCLA.  However, at least one of these pieces was written by another music student in or around the same time frame, and appears here only because I was one of the performers.

Ave Maria, by Richard Mark Davis (.WMA format), or Ave Maria (.MP3 format)

R. Davis was a music composition student at Cal. State Northridge in 1989. I think he might be this guy. He also composed a piece called "Hanta Yo!" based on a Native American legend. I'd forgotten his first name until a chance discovery in December 2012 of some old programme notes, but I would never forget this gorgeous piece of choral music.

The soloist on the "Sancta Maria" line is, sadly, not me.

61! (.WMA format), or 61! (.MP3 format), by Roger M. Wilcox

Remember the early-1980s video arcade game Vanguard?  Remember when you flew through Energy and became temporarily invulnerable?  The game played a little theme tune while your invulnerability lasted that served to underscore how awesome you now were.  At the time, I didn't realize they'd gotten this theme from the "Hawkmen attack Rocketship Ajax" music in Flash Gordon.  I only knew that I really, really liked this theme and I wanted to hear more of it.

So, in my one year as a graduate student in music composition at UCLA, I took on this theme as a personal project in my electronic music class.  I called it "61" because the three syllables "SIX-ty ONE" fit the opening 3 notes of the melody so well.  (Admittedly, any three-syllable phrase would probably work just as well, but 61 was my folder number from one year in the Isomata festival choir.)

The results still thrill me to this day.  I wish all synthesizer trumpets sounded as good as this one does.

Circumpermutations Number One (.WMA format), or Circumpermutations Number One (.MP3 format), by Roger M. Wilcox

A piece I wrote for 4-piece chamber ensemble (clarinet, piano, and I think 2 strings), which I rendered in electronic form in my spare time during my one-and-only year as a music composition grad student at UCLA.  The title was a play on "Two Circumambulations", a piece written by a fellow composition student (who, alas, I ultimately believe was more talented than I).

There was never a Circumpermutations Number Two.

For They March Alone (.WMA format), or For They March Alone (.MP3 format), by Roger M. Wilcox

I heard the refrain to this song in a dream, when a group of valiant, powered-armor-clad rebels living in a dark future split up in the face of the enemy, and one group sacrificed itself so that the other could escape certain doom.  The dream managed to make the rendition of this refrain even more sorrowful than what I was able to record.

This dream later became the basis for a story I called Areopagiticon.  The title was a reference to John Milton's Areopagitica, not because the evil empire was patterned after the Areopagus or anything, but because I liked the sound of the name.  I never finished writing the story.

Certain themes in the text were drawn from my understanding of Wilhelm Reich's emotional plague, which at the time I was a True Believer™ in.  Here is the complete text:

Do you know where your children are, now that they're what they've become?
Once they stood on their own despite your bemoan, and marched to their own drum.
And when at last the time came to choose, they did the only thing that could be done.

Now they march as soldiers, fully grown,
With an uncertain future, for they march alone.

When the life from within is struck from without, you have little choice but to run.
And a desert as wide as history's tale is rent by the harm that's done.
Then the next generation reminds of that life, so you pass on to them your demon.

Now they march as soldiers, on their own,
In a meaningless war*, for they march alone.

Now our children have come and gone, despite what we'd like them to be.
The light we despise** will soon fade from their eyes on the shores of a nameless sea.
For what we all failed to understand was their right not to live mis'rably.

Now they march as soldiers, all unknown,
With no future or past, for they march alone.
For they march alone.
For they march alone.
*) Later editions render this line as "In their last war on Earth".
**) Later editions render this phrase as "The light we so prize".

The Force that Through the Green Fuse Drives the Flower (.WMA format), or The Force that Through the Green Fuse Drives the Flower (.MP3 format), by Roger M. Wilcox

From a live performance during my one-and-only year as a music composition graduate student at UCLA.

It has been said that there are as many ways to set a poem as there are poems to be set.  Igor Stravinsky, as well as countless others, have set Dylan Thomas's "Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night."  In fact, Dylan Thomas's solemn, somber words have moved millions, and it's only a tragedy that he came into our history too recently for some of the early great composers to set his words.  And so, I would like to bring you now a setting of the words of Dylan Thomas in the style of one of the greatest American composers of all time . . . John Philip Sousa!

Stand In Silent Requiem (.WMA format), or Stand In Silent Requiem (.MP3 format), by Roger M. Wilcox

From a live performance during my senior year as a music composition undergraduate student at UCLA.

The setting here is After The End.  Here is the complete text:

O . . .
Dusk has fin'lly made its descend.
The last rays ebb golden from a ghost town,
Our stay has fin'lly come to an end.

The only sound's the wind rushing across the ground,
A dead wind through the skeletons of trees,
Blowing dead grains of sand into concrete spires
Once lived in by such fools as these.

All we ever were is gone
From the lifeless face of Earth, our womb.
All record of our passage stands silent, wrapp'd in concrete,
A fitting stone to mark our tomb.

We were but transients, but ephemeral,
Soft creatures on a bed of stone.
And yet we survived, and yet we thrived,
And made this world our own.

And from the life here sprang intelligence,
And tools in its machine.
And weapons, and dominance,
And hatred that was never before seen.

There was a time when living people walked these streets,
When they could live amid their vic'tries and defeats.
The sand slipped between their toes, and the wind blew through their hair,
And shady leaves rustled from trees in lazy air.

Their love saw the best and worst,
Then came the fear of what came first;
What we were searching for, we never found.

With power to control,
We struck ourselves, and took our toll.
Now all life's been driven away —
Or driven into the ground.

That was how we played
For the time we stayed;
Dusk has fin'lly made
Its descend.

All lost life grieves on our remnants:
"Oh, how could we have nurtured them?"
This dead town, the wind, the sand, the dead trees
Stand in silent requiem.

(Haydn's 39th) .WMA format, or (Haydn's 39th) .MP3 format, by Roger M. Wilcox

From a live read-through by a wind ensemble, during my one-and-only year as a music composition graduate student at UCLA. They did the read-through twice, and the above recordings were from the (generally cleaner) second attempt. See also: (Haydn's 39th), grafted ending, .MP3 format, which has the superior ending from the first read-through.

The melody was inspired by the first 2 bars of the secondary-key-area in the exposition of Haydn's Symphony Number 39 in G minor, first movement.  Here's what Haydn could have done with it!

Suicide of a Skunk (.WMA format), or Suicide of a Skunk (.MP3 format), by Roger M. Wilcox

From a live read-through by a 10-piece small orchestra, during my senior year as a music composition undergraduate student at UCLA.

The inspiration was a Tex Avery cartoon called Little 'Tinker featuring a skunk — not Pepe LePew — who was desperate to find himself a girlfriend. Sadly, every female he got close to ran away holding her nose. Eventually, he decides to end it all. In the cartoon, he stumbles across a female skunk at the last minute and they live happily ever after; in my music composition here, though, this doesn't happen.

Ovation logo (.WMA format), or Ovation logo (.MP3 format), by Roger M. Wilcox

From a film music project done during my senior year as a music composition undergraduate at UCLA.

It's short.  Very short.  The tune was actually borrowed from an earlier film music project that I did very badly at, as an attempt at self redemption.

Feeble Ground (.WMA format), or Feeble Ground (.MP3 format), by Roger M. Wilcox

From a live performance done during my senior year as a music composition undergraduate at UCLA.

Billed as "A Lied in English" (as in German Lieder), and in fact it does borrow stylistically from Robert Schumann quite a bit, with a wee bit of Franz Schubert's "Erlkönig" thrown in for good measure.  The text was a personal reaction to . . . well . . . being dumped.  There, I said it.  Here's the complete text:

Peace to lie here with the one I love,
With such green below and blue above!
Her touch said it was no crime
To live while there was yet still time.
We lived, and we were,
She for me, I for her;
There was such beauty then!

That was where I made my stand,
There was nothing to demand.
I felt so great to make my stand upon such solid ground.
Lover's ground.
Firm ground.

And there, where the love was strong,
And there where nothing could go wrong,
She laid my hand beside herself and said:
"You've got me all wrong, dear,
This wasn't for long, dear,
You're a friend, tried and true —
But your worth to me is through!"

I sat in shattered silence as she stood and turned away;
As she brushed old dust off of herself, I barely got to say:
"What about the words we exchanged in the past?
Did it really mean so little when you said it would last?"

Without turning back to look me in the eye
She said, "Don't push it anymore, and now goodbye!"

Now I lie alone, no one to know,
With the blue above and green below.
It was my mistake to ever think that happiness could be found.
I'll not make my stand upon such feeble ground!

Tuning Fork (.WMA format), or Tuning Fork (.MP3 format), by Roger M. Wilcox

An electronic music project, from my one-and-only year as a music composition graduate student at UCLA.

Tuning Fork is one of my Champions characters.  A lab accident permanently deafened her, but imbued her body with the ability to vibrate at super speed.  She now uses her body as ears, which, while not as good as her real ears would have been had they survived, still works well enough for her to make out human speech.  Her classic attack pose is with both her arms raised up at right angles, looking vaguely like . . . well . . . a tuning fork.  (At which point she vibrates her arms so rapidly they make destructive noise.)

The opening represents her letting loose with her vibratory powers.  The recap represents the usual sorrow and loss that seem to accompany all superpowered people in the comics these days.

Indiana Jones' Theme (.WMA format), or Indiana Jones' Theme (.MP3 format), by Roger M. Wilcox

Ah, the movie music of John Williams.  Nothing will stick in your head and get you humming along like his Raiders March from Raiders of the Lost Ark.  (If adventure has a theme. . . .)  Few have enjoyed seeing Indiana Jones swing from his whip without conjuring up their own lyrics to this utterly memorable melody, myself included.

I wrote this particular text in my senior year in High School, to perform at a little school-run talent showcase called "Coffeehouse" (which lacked any actual coffee).  Years later, Ken Tamura offered to record it with me, leading to the rendition you see before you.  Here is the complete text:

You're a fighter, you're a man,
You're a teacher with a debonair hand,
You're the master of the whip,
But despite all these things, man, you sure are a drip!

(He's a fighter, he's a man,
He's a teacher with a debonair hand,
He's the master of the whip,
But despite all these things, man, he sure is a drip!)

You will step all over one and all.
You'll survive a long snake-pit fall.
You're the one with whom our fates rest.
You can slay and save pretty well, but say you're the best.

Stand alone, you don't need a Han'
Do it Solo . . . what a Star Wars man!
Fool around in the desert sand.
Don'tcha know you're supposed to be lookin' for some kind of ark,
While you, the Germans, and Marion shift into park;
So get out there and bring it back
So we can hide it away and make certain that you leave no mark!

You're the bravest, you're the all,
You can whip them up against a wall,
You will never throw a fit;
But despite all these things, man, you know that
With women, you can't score worth shhhhhhhhhhaving cream!

You lived in an okay time,
Though the movies cost an entire dime;
The economy was bad,
But compared to the world now your time seemed real glad.

(He's a fighter, he's a man,
He's a teacher with a debonair hand,
He's the master of the whip,
But despite all these things, man, he knows that he sure is a drip!)
(Sure is a driiiiiip)

I'm beginning to wonder about you
And the hypocritical things you do;
In all of Africa you never once stepped in doggie doo —
Indiana Jones!

Deuterium, or How to Get Fused for Less Than 90 Dollars a Week (.WMA format), or Deuterium (in .MP3 format), by Roger M. Wilcox

In High School, I noted that most songs are either about religious themes or romantic relationships.  But what about other topics?  There, surely, was a fertile market just waiting for new and fresh offerings.  So, I decided to write a song about . . . a hydrogen isotope.

Later, Ken Tamura recorded it for me, adding his own creative touches to the accompaniment I'd written.  Here is the complete text:

An isotope of hydrogen used in thermonuclear blasts,
It's twice as heavy as normal, and it's stable so it lasts!
The H2 of heavy water, the kind that's harder to pass;
It even mixes with vodka, believe me it's a real gas!
I hit the magnetic bottle ev'ry day, it gives a charge to my life.
It's more fun than being hung by your toes, and better than beating your wife!

Deuterium, deuterium,
Fused to helium at a couple million °C;
Deuterium, deuterium,
In bombs galore
Oh, nevermore
Will anybody say, "Let it be!"

Some want fusion in H-bombs, and some want fusion controlled,
But I just wanna take it in and never more be cold.
The price is now at its lowest, just 90 dollars a gram,
And yet I know of no one who's inhaling it like I am.
More economical than chemical heat, it blows it way off the chart.
The only bad thing is that it takes six million degrees to start!

Deuterium, deuterium,
A boon to all mankind;
Deuterium, deuterium,
It would be just great,
We wouldn't wait,
If only it weren't so hard to find!

I'd like to meet someone else who inhales the stuff to this day.
I'd shake his hand, congratulate him — and have him put away!
I don't want regular hydrogen, and tritium is a flam,
But don't put me in a rubber room, or I might just go ka-blam!
Some day I'll go off in a fireball, oh what a death that would be!
I'd die in triumph, and only take four million others with me!

Deuterium, deuterium,
Makes a gong sound like a clang;
[shrugs; I was hard up for a rhyme]
Deuterium, deuterium,
The only stuff that will really make me go off with a bang!

And the Word Is Love (.WMA format), or And the Word Is Love (.MP3 format), by Roger M. Wilcox

(performed at a wedding in 1994)

Fun fact: The lyrics at the end of the first verse were inspired by the last sentence in "30 Seconds Over Broadway" from the book Wild Cards.

Since long before
We wrote our lore
Before we wrote down time,
The feeling came
Through us, the same
As now they sometimes must climb;
The gentlest thing
Would loudly sing
In silences all heard.
Wherever it came down,
It made the sound
Of just a single word.

No Secret lay
In night or day,
Intense the word was known;
Yet so much so
That by some cruel blow
It's possible to be thrown.
Sometimes we cry,
"We'd rather die!",
The word seems so unsure;
But it's still there,
It's ev'rywhere,
The only thing that will endure.

And the word is love!  Love!  Love!  Love!
Love for all your life!
And the word is love!______
Be you husband, child, or wife!
The strength you draw
From natural law
Can never be absurd.
You might forget
What you have learned,
But don't forget the word!

(short instrumental refrain, played on a flute)

For the life that we live,
And the love that we give,
And the truth that we know
We cannot confuse;
Reach down to that deep desire,
And let it show its fire,
It's the reason for being here —
What have you got to lose?

This does not mean that you must always love upon demand,
Nor does it mean to love by coming down with an iron hand,
This does not mean to love afar upon some distant shore,
It merely means to love yourself, and your close ones all the more.

And the word is love!  Love!  Love!  Love!
Love for all you're worth!
And the word is love!______
Feels like a second birth!
It's all around
In ev'ry sound,
And rock, and tree, and bird.
You can forget
All you've been told,
But it's impossible to forget the word.

And the word is love.

My Love (.WMA format), or My Love (.MP3 format), by Grenda vil Dift, 2856 A.D.

Originally written in 1994 for my short story The Starlane Destroyer.  I never did get around to finishing that story.

My love!  The center of my life,
Be with me when I am gone.
The warmth of your love can propel me
Past the deepest darkness and on.
My love!  The beacon in my nights,
Don't let your thoughts of me despair.
My love!  You're all the diff'rence I need;
Our lives' pure light shall dare!

I still recall a time
Before you turned my night into day,
And I wondered then, as I wonder now,
How could it have been any other way?

My love!  When all is said and done,
What we have will not be lost.
The darkness won't last forever,
And the dawn shall break through the frost!
My love!  Together we were, once,
And though that time refused to stay_____,
My love!
For all it's worth,
I know we'll be together again some day.

Gloreya In Excelsis (.WMA format), or Gloreya In Excelsis (.MP3 format), by Roger M. Wilcox

In my Junior High and High School years, I got to perform several songs by P.D.Q. Bach, "The oddest of J.S. Bach's 20-odd children." I also performed several settings of Gloria In Excelsis from the ordinary of the Mass. But I was surprised and dismayed to learn that there had never been an intersection of the two: P.D.Q. Bach had never written a Gloria setting.

So, I set out to fill this void, and the result was this song. I was lucky enough to get this performed in Santa Monica High School's 2-June-1983 choral concert, by the Madrigal Singers (of which I was a member). Those of you who are familiar with John Rutter's Gloria might recognize a measure or two.

I say, Gloreya!
Gloreya (Gloreya), Gloreya (Gloreya), Gloreya (Gloreya)
In ...
BASSES: Whoa, yeah, Excelsis!

I say, Gloreya!
Gloreya (Gloreya), Gloreya (Gloreya), Gloreya (Gloreya)
In ...
BASSES: Whoa, yeah, Excelsis!

WOMEN: I don't wanna harm your ego, but
Gloreya in Excelsis what?
Gloreya in Excelsis what?
MEN: You don't know, because we haven't told you yet.
WOMEN: Have you?
MEN: No, and that's all you'll ever know is
Gloreya in excelsis
With nothing coming after it!

TENORS: Say, who's this Gloria anyway?
I might want to meet her someday.
EVERYONE ELSE: Oh, shut up!

MEN: Gloreya
In excelsis,
I say, Gloreya!
In excelsis!
WOMEN: Please tell us what comes next,
We are simply dying to know!
MEN: Curiosity killed the cat.
Take it, Ann!  
(Ann was the name of our pianist)

Gloreya in excelsis, woo!
Gloreya in excelsis, yeah.
Gloreya in excelsis
WOMEN: Stop!
If you don't tell us what comes next
We'll sing a clashing chord...
MEN: No! No!
No, don't do it, anything but that,
We'll tell you what comes next,
Just start along with us!
WOMEN: Okay.
MEN AND WOMEN: Gloreya in excelsis...

(At this point, the pianist makes a mistake, fails to correct it, and shuns the piano in disgust. Then the choir, slapping their palms to their foreheads, exclaims:)


Of Love (.WMA format), or Of Love (.MP3 format), by Dede Duson

This was one of the many published songs sung by the Santa Monica High School Madrigal Singers under Janice Mitchell, in the three years that I was with them.

What makes this particular performance special, and worth saving, is that it was conducted by Brian Garner, a fellow high school senior. Mrs. Mitchell was retiring from choral directing at the end of June 1983, and we Madrigal Singers put this song together on our own as a little farewell to her. We performed it at the very end of the same 2-June-1983 choral concert in which we performed my Gloreya above.

Sit down and rest
Life will wait for a few moments
There’s still time to practice love for a little while
Time to let the fresh air of real peace into your life
Be still
Be still
And learn again how to live
Raise your eyes and see beyond this narrow life
Learn to love
Learn to love
And fill your heart with sunshine
Be still.

In the Jungle (travesty) (.MP3 format), by Ken Tamura, with vocals by Roger M. Wilcox

An experimental travesty of Solomon Linda's "The Lion Sleeps Tonight", conceived by Ken Tamura. The voices that sound like they're from a telephone answering machine are from a telephone answering machine.

Pomping Circumstances (.MP3 format), by Ken Tamura

A short, head-held-high march that ends somewhat abruptly.

Batman Punk (.MP3 format), by Ken Tamura

From Ken Tamura's Batman Underground project. A punk rendition of the old Adam West Batman theme.

Batman / King Tut (.MP3 format), by Ken Tamura

From Ken Tamura's Batman Underground project. A cross between the old Adam West Batman theme and Steve Martin's "King Tut".

Batman / Wipeout (.MP3 format), by Ken Tamura

From Ken Tamura's Batman Underground project. A cross between the old Adam West Batman theme and the Surfaris' "Wipeout".

Batman's Death Scene (.MP3 format), by Ken Tamura

From Ken Tamura's Batman Underground project. A trippy soundscape, maaaaaaan.

Roger M. Wilcox's digital audio that wasn't rescued from cassette

I've also recorded several of my old songs in digital-audio form, which have never been recorded on cassette (or any other medium) before.

They're on this page:

Roger M. Wilcox's digital-audio recordings page.

Click here to go to Roger M. Wilcox's home page.
Send comments regarding this Web page to: Roger M. Wilcox.