Donald Mitchell - Composer
by Donald Mitchell
(4 Corners Area Colorado)
A bit about the origins and philosophy of my approach to composing. I've been playing self-taught guitar and singing since I was 8 years old. Back then, and through my early teens, I was into folk music. Folk music was great because each song tells you a story. Solo acoustic guitar chordings and lyrics about people, places and things. Also, lots of different chord "changes" that let you hear their relationships; major, minor, dominant, progressions, scales, modes, melodies, harmonies, counterpoint, syncopation - all those elements that are the building blocks of composition. I developed an intuitive grasp of musical theory -- if only by virtue of discerning what makes a song enjoyable to listen to and by learning to play it.
In the late-60's I heard groups like CCR and Cream; and my composing approach morphed into rhythm-and-blues, rock, and pop -- employing acoustic and electric rhythm guitar song structures with blues-rock electric lead riffing, improvisation, and percolating basslines down below (thank you Jack). Also, that's when I developed a passion for recording on two-track tape machines to capture and reference song ideas. Later, other important influences taught me about expanded song structures, altered chords, and leading tones - but, I've stayed more-or-less true to those earliest influences.
Today, I see myself primarily as a composer. For me, a song is successful if I can tell a good story supported by an interesting assemblage of complementary chords, riffs, and tonalities. And, I'm still passionate about capturing those song tracks on multi-track recording platforms.
I have produced 3 CDs to-date. The titles are > A Complex Simplicity; Shadows; and ROCK. You can check 'em out at CDBaby or visit my website mitchelldon.com. If you're wanting to do "covers" of any of the songs on my three CDs, you'll need to follow through with the US Copyright Office compulsory mechanical licensing and notification law requirements. You can formally contact me via mail at Arragonne Don Music Publishing which administers my copyrights as listed under the Contacts section of this website. Also, please give me a "head's-up" via the email or the phone number provided.
Some very helpful and informative reading that will completely educate you about the compulsory mechanical license process is available at, respectively, the Register of Copyrights, Harry Fox Agency, and/or the CD Baby website addresses: http://www.copyright.gov/