Category Archives: iPad

Watch a New Video for “You Smiled Because You Knew”

Today, I’m releasing a new video for my instrumental piece, “You Smiled Because You Knew.”

You may remember my recent blog post about the importance of its title. And how it’s the most listened-to piece of music I’ve made so far (but only because of it’s title).

I filmed this video from a plane, while departing from New York’s LaGuardia airport back in June. It was a beautifully clear Saturday morning as I took off en route to Atlanta, GA. I think the music pairs really nicely with the feeling of becoming airborne and the beautiful view of Manhattan looking south. You see all of Central Park, the bridges that connect Queens and the Bronx, and finishes as the plane crosses over the Hudson River into New Jersey.

Check out the video below.
If you don’t see the video below, use this link:

Another interesting fact about this piece of music – It’s licensed under Creative Commons, which gives you permission to share, remix, and build upon this piece of music so long as you include a credit and use the music non-commercially.

If you’d like to use this piece for something you’re currently working on, please do so! I’d be honored. Just download the audio using the link below, add a credit to your work, and let me know about it.

The audio track is available for immediate download for $0.69 right here.

Hope you enjoy it!

The Importance of an Intriguing Story


It’s sort of funny. More ironic than funny, actually.

A few years ago, I wrote, performed, and recorded a piece of music entirely on an iPad. The GarageBand app had just been launched and I wanted to experiment with it. So for a few days, I used my time commuting on the 2 Train between Brooklyn and Manhattan to compose and record. I liked the way the piece turned out, so I released it online.

The ironic part? It’s the most listened-to piece of music I’ve ever composed.

I had to disable downloads from SoundCloud because they were about to charge me an upgrade fee. It was getting too many! I moved it over to Bandcamp here on this page, so you can still download it if you want to.

But this post is not to talk about one music service over another. Nor is it to discuss techniques for composing music on an iPad. And it’s certainly not to tell you about how many people are listening to my music.

This post is to share the part of the story that is most interesting to me. Why is this piece getting so many listens?

Well, it certainly wasn’t for either of the reasons I thought it might be.

  1. It was released as a free download.
  2. It was composed and recorded entirely on an iPad.

No. Turns out, the reason actually has to do with the piece’s title. It has an intriguing story. The intriguing story led to me writing about that story. And writing about that story is what continues to allow people to find and listen to the music.

I must confess. At the time, I didn’t even know there was an intriguing story to tell.

My piece was an instrumental, so I was at a loss for a title. I happened to be scrolling through a blog called i can read. The blog consists of quotes layered over images in a beautiful way. The day I named my piece, I came across a fantastic quote.

“When I saw you I fell in love, and you smiled because you knew.”

So I named my piece, “You Smiled Because You Knew.”

After deciding on this title, I figured I should probably know a little something about the origin of the quote. The blog post attributed it to William Shakespeare.

Yet something about that attribution gave me pause. Really? Shakespeare? It didn’t sound like something he would have written. Sure, he wrote plenty about love, but the structure and the phrasing seemed uncharacteristic.

My curiosity kicked in and I discovered that my suspicions were, in fact, correct. The quote is not Shakespeare. It is actually a translation of the Italian libretto from the Verdi opera, Falstaff. Written by Arrigo Boito. Not Shakespeare.

I thought this was absolutely fascinating. Think about all of the years that have passed since the Falstaff libretto was written. All of the years since Shakespeare has lived. All of the technology that allows us to research the written word in seconds! Yet still, we have a misconception about something so seemingly simple as who should be credited for a popular quote.

As a brief aside, the opera is actually based on a work by Shakespeare, “The Merry Wives of Windsor.” So there is a loose connection. It is probably the reason the quote is falsely attributed. Yet Shakespeare never wrote those lines. It was Arrigo Boito.

All of this was so intriguing to me. I couldn’t help but write about the experience. And since my experiment with composing music on the iPad led me down this path in the first place, I included a link to my instrumental piece, “You Smiled Because You Knew.” You can read that post here.

I couldn’t believe what happened after writing that one post. Other people had been curious about this too! They read about my discovery and listened to the piece. Some even reached out to tell me about it. I noticed increased traffic to my website. More and more people were listening and downloading my musical composition. To this day, that one post drives more traffic to my website than any post I’ve written. It’s actually the 3rd search result when you Google the quote!

Yes, it’s sort of funny. A piece of music I wrote and released quickly as an experiment is the most listened-to piece of music I’ve ever created.

But it just goes to show you how far a great story can go.

I’ve learned something valuable from this experience. I hope that in sharing it, you will also benefit. What I’ve learned is this – It’s so important to tell your story. It’s interesting. It’s important. And it will take you places you never thought possible.

So please, go tell yours.

Creative Commons License

You may remember my composition and experiment – writing, performing, and recording a piece of music entirely on an iPad. The piece is called “You Smiled Because You Knew.”

In the spirit of experimentation, I’ve decided to change the copyright license to be less restrictive by using a Creative Commons license. Instead of the standard “all rights reserved,” you are now free to share it, remix it, make derivative works based on it, and even use it commerically.

  • More about the license here →
  • More about the quote that inspired the title here →
  • To listen to the piece, click here (or use the embedded player above)→

So please go ahead, use it as a soundtrack for a slideshow or a video, sample it, remix it, whatever you’d like to do. If it’s helpful to you, write me a quick email to let me know how you were able to use it!


The Quote Behind the Title: “You Smiled Because You Knew”

The title for my piece, “You Smiled Because You Knew” was actually taken from a quote I originally saw on a Tumblr blog – i can read. The quote was set over an image. I loved the combination of the two. The quote was attributed to William Shakespeare.

When I saw you I fell in love
And you smiled because you knew

Beautiful, right?

I made it a favorite on my blog reader and would revisit it every now and again. Then it occurred to me. This quote sounded NOTHING like Shakespeare’s writing. I am by no means a Shakespeare expert, but the language and sentence structure seemed completely out of context. What had happened? Had someone lifted each line separately and put them together in a new way?

I was intrigued.

On to Google. The top hit was actually a Wikipedia entry for a list of common misquotations. Yet, there were many other hits that attached Shakespeare’s name to the quote… like a Top 100 list of Shakespeare quotes to use on Valentine’s Day.

It turns out that this quote actually belongs to poet, journalist, novelist and composer, Arrigo Boito.

I am fascinated by the way such a seemingly obvious error could be so widespread. You might say to me, “There’s a lot of junk and false information on the internet.” Well, yes that’s true. Yet, I wonder if this speaks to something larger.

Today, ideas spread quickly. Copy/paste keyboard shortcuts are easier to recall than friends’ phone numbers. The ideas that are shared are the ideas that win our attention. We share things that we love, even if we don’t bother to check into the validity or accuracy of these things.

It’s easy to quote Shakespeare not only because we love his work, but because he’s given us free access to share and perform it. And how ironic that his works are still among the most performed today.

He’s given credit for beautiful quotes that aren’t even his.

I composed and performed “You Smiled Because You Knew” completely on an iPad. The sounds you hear are samples of real instruments, but the device I used to create the music didn’t require me to actually touch a “real” instrument. Does knowing this fact make the music less credible or authentic?

The piece is free for you to listen to and share. If the player doesn’t appear below, click here.

You Smiled Because You Knew

I composed and recorded an instrumental piece for two pianos, synthesizer, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, bass, and drum set. The odd part? I composed and recorded the entire piece on my iPad using virtual instruments in the GarageBand app. It’s called “You Smiled Because You Knew.”

Feel free to share it and comment below. Hope you enjoy it!

If the player does not appear above, please click here to listen to the song. It will open in a new window.

PS – As always, the mailing list was first to know about this new track. Click here to join the mailing list.