September 24, 2019
Our first Artist Spotlight episode features composer, animal-lover, and vegan foodie Dr. Douglas Knehans, who has lived and worked in places as varied as Australia and Cincinnati. His compositions have been performed worldwide at Steinway Hall, Carnegie Hall, and festivals in Italy, Poland, Czech Republic, Ukraine, Austria, the US and Australia.
Dr. Knehans joins us today from Cincinnati, Ohio. His compositions include Contemporary Classical, Orchestral, Vocal, Choral, Music Theatre, and Opera music, and have been performed worldwide at Steinway Hall, Carnegie Hall, and festivals in Italy, Poland, Czech Republic, Ukraine, Austria, the US and Australia. His works have also been included on a number of solo and compilation recordings.
Dr. Knehans is the recipient of numerous national and international awards; his works have been broadcast on television and radio, including television music that was nominated for an EMMY Award.
He was born and raised in St. Louis, and immigrated to Australia when he was thirteen. He is a graduate of Australian National University, has a masters from Queens College in New York, and a doctorate from Yale.
He currently lives and works in Cincinnati Ohio with his wife Josephine and their two children, as well as what he’s described as “the director of our household, our small dog Honey.”
Try-This-At-Home, hack, or experiment suggestion for listeners that will enhance life with music: Dr. Knehans recommends a Deep Listening/Meditation exercise. He says, “It is remarkable how distracted we are in this day and age. We give no time to ourselves or to quiet, unintruded time. This is a great way to both feel more centered and to take in great music.”
- Lie flat on the floor, breathe and empty your mind of thought (five minutes)
- Put on your favorite music (or stream Dr. Knehan’s Drift) —and return to flat on the floor position
- Close your eyes. Listen to the music and don’t think of anything, just listen
How can listeners learn more about your work and connect with you?
Listen to the full performance of Dr. Knehan’s composition, Drift (on Spotify).
Today’s Listener Improv comes from Vanessa, who left this comment on the website: “Hi my name is Vanessa, I am 11 years old. I use Just Dance on the Wii to have fun dancing with music and being competitive with my sissy Delany.” What a great way to enhance life with music – you’re getting in movement (I know my kids’ gym teachers have actually used Just Dance in gym class!), so it’s a fun way to get off the couch or away from the desk; even one song is going to leave you energized and with a smile on your face; it’s a social activity but can also be done by yourself when no one else is available; AND you can learn some dance moves while you’re at it! Thank you, Vanessa!
Please tell me the practical ways YOU enjoy music by commenting below or on social media (I’m on Instragram, FB, and LinkedIn), or in an email (firstname.lastname@example.org). I would love to hear from you!