All That We Hold


In the act of creating, composers naturally have access to everything they have ever composed, played or heard. My experience has been that all musical cultures and genres are treasures to be cherished and enjoyed, and so my compositional techniques have correspondingly rich and diverse sources.

Each of the world’s musical cultures seems to have developed one particular dimension of musical creation in a unique way: Europe’s harmony and counterpoint, sub-Saharan polyrhythm and polymeter, India’s complex melodic and rhythmic intricacies — these treasured heritages are now equally available to everyone, and I feel fortunate to have been able to partake in and benefit from them. They have expanded, deepened, and sharpened the skills that I originally developed through my own training in European classical composition.

All That We Hold employs a number of such compositional techniques, each the result of traditions that were decades, centuries, and perhaps millennia in the making. Developing skill in even one of these techniques is a major undertaking, and is therefore far beyond the scope of any one website or text.

Instead, I hope to create and post a series of short videos that will offer glimpses of the techniques used in All That We Hold. These techniques will be common knowledge to some, only partially understood by others, and totally new to many, but my hope is that they at least offer some perspective on the music’s make up.

Those who find these videos of interest may wish to download the score, which is available for a nominal fee. The music, too, is also available for download.


Mixed Meter

Michael Leibson
February, 2019

Michael Leibson is a composer, music consultant, and music educator, who specializes in jazz and classical harmony. To learn more about him, click here; for information about studying with him, click here.