We live in a strange world, friends! With a few taps or clicks we can listen to recordings of just about anything ... from Palestrina to Daft Punk and everything in between, in every direction. And I do! Isn't it cool and fun and amazing?! How does that impact me as a composer? Well, for instance I'll be humming a line from a De Lassus motet and it will morph into a line from a Stevie Wonder song. I'll be writing a serious orchestral piece and I'll think to myself, "Ohh, you know what this needs? A Gil Evans moment!" (Gil was a famous jazz arranger, notable for his work with Miles Davis.) I've loved Debussy's music from the time I was a young piano student. Debussy was a rule-breaker ... but a very informed, skillful, creative rule-breaker, which is probably why he succeeded so well. Another of my favorite rule-breakers is Brian Wilson, one of the founding members of The Beach Boys and the mysterious genius behind their landmark album Pet Sounds. Wilson knew the rules of Southern California surfer rock so well that he knew how to break them in revolutionary, ear-tingling ways. How did he break them? By applying techniques and instruments that he heard in Debussy's classical world! (Wilson says Gershwin was a huge influence too.) In totally different worlds, Debussy and Wilson were each trying to say something new and interesting by playing in the borderlands between styles, by rearranging familiar material in unfamiliar ways. Even with all of that said, I can't really explain why it occurred to me one day that I could re-compose Debussy's "Prélude" (from Suite Bergamasque) using melodic and harmonic material from Pet Sounds. But that's what I did: the piece follows the Pet Sounds album song-by-song from beginning to end. (And bonus points if you notice one quotation from the album Smile! also.) Unless you know Pet Sounds well, you might not notice every detail, so instead, I invite you to imagine two of your friends—in this case Claude and Brian—laughing with each other as they play pinball. Or something like that.