Jay C. Batzner is currently an Assistant Professor at the University of Central Florida where he teaches theory, composition, and technology courses as well as coordinates the composition program. He holds degrees in composition and/or theory from the University of Missouri Kansas City, the University of Louisville, and the University of Kansas.

Jay's music is primarily focused around instrumental chamber works as well as electroacoustic composition. His music has been recorded on the Capstone, Vox Novus, and Beauport Classical labels and is published by Unsafe Bull Music.

Jay is a sci-fi geek, an amateur banjoist, a home brewer, and juggler.

Travel thoughts

Went to and from Richmond this weekend for the Third Practice festival. U of Richmond is a wonderful campus, full of fall colors and general beauty. It was a nice change of pace from the same-old-same-old in Florida. The music at the festival was generally of the slow and delicate variety, with some real stand out pieces that I'll talk about later.

I've found a great way to combat travel fatigue (and new music fatigue, which happens when to hear so much music in a short period of time). The answer, of course, is more music. I flew on AirTan which uses XM radio and I plugged into the most nostalgic decade channels (mostly 80s, some 90s) and just reveled in music that I haven't heard in a long time. "Train in Vain," for example. Haven't heard that song in, well, probably 15 years. It was awesome.

There were so many artists and songs that I had just forgotten about. XM radio brought back painful amounts of nostalgia. Sunday I relived two top-40 countdowns. Rick Dees top 40 from November 1991 and Casey Kasem's countdown from sometime in October 1986. I was instantly transported back to my sister's room, where we would listen to these every week. It was, I think I said, awesome.

You see, my experience with music (before college) was almost entirely pop radio. There were no alternative influence in my humble Iowan upbringing. The most earth-shattering thing I remember hearing when I was in junior high or so was Run D.M.C. I had Raising Hell as the flip side of a bootleg cassette (David Lee Roth's Eat 'Em and Smile was the other side). When I started getting "serious" about music, I turned my back on my pop past. Gone were my Huey Lewis and the News cassettes. Away with Cinderella. Faster Pussycat (I'm the guy that owned both of their albums) was put to sleep. In the last 5 years or so I've starting to see what I mistake I had made.

Other interesting things that happened this weekend (at least to me) were that I recommended Girl Talk's newest album Feed the Animals to the waitress at an Indian restaurant, forgetting to warn her about the intensely graphic sexual content throughout. I forgot how raunchy the words are because I was marveling at their sample skills.

Also, our pilot from Richmond to Atlanta referred to the "War of Northern Aggression." Haven't heard that one in a while, either.

Since I have devolved into almost random babbling, how about this: Thunderball vs. Never Say Never Again. Discuss.