Cass Hansen

​​Okay, this is where I’m supposed to elaborate on my achievements ---awards, accolades, degrees from prestigious schools I’ve attended, my work in TV and film and other such stellar accomplishments of note.

Sorry,  I have a very different philosophy when it comes to “selling” myself online.   I don’t really care about notoriety, monetary success, or ranking when it comes to composing.  I compose because its part of my being and because of the artistic rewards it imbues on one who travels down the road (maybe in my case—alley) of creative endeavors.

I’ve always felt that a legacy,  as it pertains to music,  is born by the music created and the composers involvement in this “legacy”  is merely  “a-tag-along” appendage of the music’s success. In other words,  if the music is exemplary and becomes iconic, then the composer, with all his/her foibles, eccentricities, anecdotes, experiences, etc.  will become known and most likely renowned.

 Not that my music will ever become iconic, let alone known, but I put my emphases towards the music I create, not myself.  I charge a nominal fee for downloads and sheet music on this site so I can continue buying pencils, manuscript paper, a new electric piano if mine ever gives up the ghost so I can continue composing.

Enough said,   but I should at least provide a “CliffsNotes” bio of my existence up to this point, a kind of “Bio for Dummies” just to confirm I’m a real person.

I was born in a non-musically talented family in Iowa.  Not that my family could be categorized as “philistine” when it came to musical enlightenment,  but they were no aficionados of the art either.  My mother thought best I’d be trained on an instrument (the piano) for a well-rounded education.  My first piano teacher was a very nice lady who who’s claim to fame was being able to play a superlative and rousing  rendition of chop-sticks.   From there I was lucky enough to have a few gifted pedagogists with musical degrees that launched me into composition.

My parents also loved theater and especially Broadway shows which they took me regularly to.   The old KRNT theater in Des Moines Iowa was a renowned auditorium,  which for awhile,  was the largest theater west of the Mississippi when it was built.   Fortunately for me,  many of the now legendary performers of that era came to the old KRNT , Julie Andrews, Rex Harrison from “My Fair Lady”,  Mary Martin (Peter Pan), Yul Brynner (The King and I), as well as performances from Victor Borge , Horowitz, and Arthur Rubinstein.

 I’ll always remember the Rubinstein performance I attended at Iowa City in 1972.   He finished playing Debussy’s Prelude, “The Sunken Cathedral” and the audience didn’t clap.  There was just  this incredible silence for about 10 seconds and then one person started clapping and then the whole auditorium exploded into tumultuous applause.   He had so hypnotized us with his playing that we forgot to clap. 

 My piano professor took me backstage afterwards to meet Mr. Rubinstein.  She (my teach) immediately began talking in French to him, her pointing at me while they talked and Rubinstein's eyebrows raising during the tete-a-tete .   To this day I wish I knew what she was telling him about me.  Guess I'll continue to conjecture on the positive side about it.    Anyway,   I’ll never forget that  night for the rest of my life.

 Back to the music at hand. My compositions for the most part are melodic and fully ensconced in the 19th century rather than the more modern sound of the 20th and 21st.  However,  I do use modern harmony techniques-- (such as bi-tonality, dissonance, chromatic mediants, aleatoric writing, copious key changes, pandiatonicism,  detuning (quarter steps), etc -- as tone color rather than a integral part of the harmonic foundation of the piece-- to spice things up as it were.

And finally, since I have no time restraints or schedules to keep in composing at this point,  I compose when I’m so moved to do so.   Please come back and visit every so often for new opuses I pen.   I can’t promise a steady  stream of consciousness when it comes to composition,  but I will continue to follow my musical/compositional journey however it chooses to manifest itself.

Thanks for visiting my humble site!!