Offering insight into the creative processes of a contemporary composer, Tinman
presents 150 vignettes from author David Cope's life. Some of the notable individuals discussed in this innovative biography are John Cage, Karlheinz Stockhausen, Pierre Boulez, Aaron Copland, Warren Zevon, Carl Sagan, Frank Drake, Douglas Hofstadter, Arthur Knight, Danny Glover, Steven Spielberg, George Lucas, Dorothy Freeman, Arthur C. Clarke, Isaac Asimov, and Philip José Farmer. Tinman
offers a fond music journey including two encounters with Bach, Rachmaninoff's classic "Prelude in C-sharp minor," Beethoven's Fifth Symphony
, Pierre Boulez, and the sadness of Igor Stravinsky's death.
The title, borrowed from L. Frank Baum's book The Wizard of Oz, is an aphorism affectionately attached to Cope in the late 1990s. The reference reflects the many attitudes about his work with his computer music program, Experiments in Musical Intelligence; critics felt the results of this program lack heart.
Though Tinman covers many other aspects of Cope's life-from his love of the cello, to his days as a graduate student at the University of Southern California, and to his work as a composer, author, and teacher-the main theme centers on his search for self-identity.