Ear Drops

Released: 20 September 2021

This is the first of my albums that will be presented only on-line. I will be adding new pieces to it as they are composed and recorded. This new approach is very exciting for me. I can now share the pieces immediately upon completion; previously, I had to wait until I had completed all of the tracks on an album. That wasn’t easy!

Liner Notes


  1. Eight Simple Questions:  A series of short, improvised vignettes.
  2. The Little Miracle: This piece was written in 2021 to celebrate the long-awaited arrival of Benjamin Daniel Thomas, the son of my colleague, Jennifer Stojan.
  3. Dedication:  Inspired by my friend, Kate Mendeloff, this is a set of three brief, improvised excursions into the world of the pentatonic scale. It celebrates her dedication to her family, to her students, and to the theater.
  4. Eight Thoughtful Replies:  Another series of concise, unstructured improvisations.
  5. Beholding Miriam: This piece was composed to celebrate the birth of our beautiful granddaughter, Miriam, in October of 2021. The title is a callback to the piece I composed for Miriam’s mother after her birth: “Beholding Eleanor.”
  6. Remembering Mimi: This is a series of brief, improvised pieces in memory of Wilma Rosenbloom, who died at age 87 in 2021. Wilma, whom we called “Mimi,” was a member of our family, though unrelated, and very much loved. In the key of C, the 3rd note in the solfege system (do, re, mi, fa, sol, la, and ti) is an E, so each of the little pieces starts with two E’s, Mi-mi.
  7. Always Beloved:  This piece was written for my third grandchild, who was lost to a miscarriage in late 2022. 
  8. Bundle of Energy: This piece, partly improvised, was composed in late 2022. The main theme came to me as I was sitting on the piano bench with my grandson, Yossi. He was randomly banging away at the treble keys and I was trying to play something fun in the bass.
  9. Improvisations 44:  Another series of languid, improvised reflections, intended to comfort and console.
  10. Hand Hygiene:  Many people have become familiar with the sound of automatic hand sanitizer dispensers, especially those of who work in the medical field and have to cleanse our hands dozens of times each day. This piece is just “Bundle of Energy” with that all-too-familiar sound added at strategic moments.
  11. The Jade Dragon:  In honor of the extraordinary life of Stu Hilbert, a series of studio improvisations employing pentatonic scales. 
  12. Musical Prescriptions:  A series of studio improvisations done for Charles Guerriero.
  13. Bye, George:  A piece composed to say farewell to my friend and fellow poet, George Rosenwald.
  14. Czule harmonie dla Valerie:  Another series of spontaneous improvisations, this one dedicated to my friend, Valerie Askanas. The title is a Polish translation of “Tender Harmonies for Valerie.”
  15. Amazing Amber:  A collection of improvisations in honor of my wonderful bonus daughter, Amber Gipson-Fine.
  16. Fine China:  More  spontaneous, off-the-top-of-my-head music employing pentatonic scales.
  17. Tehilah’s Sunrise:  A waltz composed with great love to welcome our second granddaughter, Tehilah Rachel Thompson. She was born in November of 2023.
  18. Great Scott:  I also have a wonderful bonus son, Scott Thompson, who inspired this series of improvisations.
  19. Origami:  Improvisations intended to evoke Japanese musical harmonies.
  20. Three Sketches:  Believe me when I tell you that I am a truly horrible artist. I do a little better when I trade colored pencils for piano keys.