Blake’s music “promotes introspection and thought, bringing us back to the things in life that truly are important.” – Ethan Hahn, Soundplot
As a composer, Blake utilizes an expansive pallet of musicality and color, borrowing from contemporary choral, jazz fusion, chamber orchestral, acoustic folk, and sub-saharan rhythms and harmony in his writing. Blake has received numerous awards and honors for his work as a composer including features in Downbeat Magazine, commissions from choral groups all over the world, and several radio/TV spots. Blake’s compositions and arrangements have been performed by ensembles ranging from collegiate garage bands to the full-time professional men’s choir Cantus at events such as American Choral Director’s Association conferences, National Public Radio shows, and on Carnegie Hall’s concert series.
In fall of 2013, Blake led a successful Kickstarter campaign to raise funds for the creation of several pieces based around the beauty of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. This project, entitled “Houghton-Hancock Hum-Alongs,” features a blend of indie-folk and orchestral-chamber-pop and was completed in Spring of 2015. To download the album, visit the iTunes store or stream the tracks on Spotify.
Blake is the cofounder of the chamber music ensemble, Goodnight Mr. Max and has written several works for the group. Under his artistic direction, the ensemble released a blend of orchestral/folk/tribal pieces on a 7-track CD titled “Sleepaway” which also was featured in Downbeat Magazine and on several online blogs:
The pieces “reach for the heavens with huge sweeping choruses, swelling crescendos, top-of-lungs gang vocals, and an emphasis on tribal percussion … starting with an authentic sentimentality and building to a passionate fireworks display without missing a beat. The beats, by the way, play an important role throughout. The hand claps and hand drums! They pound their way through a lot of these tunes, whipping the stringed instruments and gentle croonings into a frenzy of dance and chants” – Mostly Midwest, Kalamazoo MI
Inquiry regarding Blake’s compositions, arrangements, or various ensembles can be sent to: firstname.lastname@example.org