are we not drawn onward to new era? (2017)
Instrumentation: Cello Sextet
"are we not drawn onward to new era?" is a short interlude with a focus on experimenting with palindromes in music. A palindrome is a word, phrase or sequence that is read exactly the same forwards as it is backwards. This piece, both in title and in structure, is just that. This idea is not new to music as the first composer to do this was Haydn in his Symphony no. 47. Following a similar structure I've created a piece that reaches a middle point, at rehearsal mark E, and flips on itself to create an exact mirror image. It is important for the performers to note that the dynamics written are extremelly important to create emphasis on the middle point of the piece. Through density of scoring and a gradual increase in dynamics the middle point is also the loudest moment that occurs within the music. The phrase there should be performed quite aggressively and with a lot of energy.
Hurry Up - Wait (2016)
Instrumentation: Woodwind Quintet or Clarinet Ensemble
During a time period of my life, from 2014 through 2016, I spent much of my time commuting to and from New York City as well as within New York City. Hurry Up - Wait, written for Washington Square Winds, is a reflection of time spent during various time periods within my typical daily schedule. Although the music is not designed to tell a story, each movement of the piece is meant to reflect different moods and emotions that I have come to associate with the idea of my own personal "New York Minute."
This I Am Sure Of (2016)
Instrumentation: Alto Saxophone + Percussion
This I Am Sure Of, for Saxophone and Percussion, is dedicated to my best friend and loving fiancée, Kayla Ann Dempsey. The initial melodic and harmonic content of the piece was created by using a custom musical cryptogram that assigned each letter of the alphabet to specific pitches. Using this cryptogram I selected a few names, locations and dates that are important to our relationship. Using these short melodic fragments I expanded the texture of the piece by filling in the gaps and adding supportive harmony.
On Water and Land (2016)
Instrumentation: Fl/Alto Fl, Cl, B. Cl, Vln, Vla, Vc, Cb, Pno, 3 Per
“Not I, nor anyone else can travel that road for you. You must travel it by yourself. It is not far. It is within reach. Perhaps you have been on it since you were born, and did not know. Perhaps it is everywhere – on water and land.” – Walt Whitman
“On Water and Land” for the NYU Contemporary Music Ensemble is an exploration of soundscapes created by the unique instrumentation used within the piece. Combining traditional orchestral elements alongside the use of some more contemporary techniques, a gently flowing transition from one texture to another is created. The piece is originally inspired by Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman combines a balance between swelling “water” tones and heavily rhythmic earthy, or “land” tones.
Push Stop. To Go (2016)
Instrumentation: Guitar/Cello/Bari Sax or Guitar/Bass Clarinet/Bari Sax
"Push Stop. To Go" had presented itself at a time when daily life was beginning to be a rather monotonous and repetitive pattern. From commuting on the train to sitting in class, spending time in a practice room and teaching lessons, there was nothing to break-up my own daily tendencies. The commission for Bent Frequency would lend itself to being the first of many plans "outside the box," a reflection on my own actions to stop daily patterns and push beyond previous capabilities.
Listening Through an Open Door (2015)
Instrumentation: String Quartet or Pierrot + Percussion
"Listening Through an Open Door," for the JACK String Quartet, is a reflection on the occurrence of sounds and noises that surround us from day to day. These sounds are mostly second nature to our ears and we often do not notice their existence. However, these sounds can also be quite intrusive and disruptive to our natural ability to hear rhythms within our daily soundscape.
Also available for: Symphony Orchestra
What Is ... (2015)
Instrumentation: Violin, Clarinet (Bb) and Piano
"What Is ..." is a high energy experiment in a theme and variations. The theme, heard between rehearsal marks A and B, is more textural rather than melodic. The structure of this theme, and it's variations, also rely on a few sub-themes within the texture. The two sub-themes, parallel minor 3rd / minor triads and a pattern of half and whole steps, can be heard throughout the entire work both on the surface and buried within the structure.
Instrumentation: Woodwind Quintet or Saxophone Quartet + Piano
"Whirlwind", as the name implies, is a flourish of melodic lines dancing over a driving bass line motif. A burst of energy from start to finish, in the moto perpetuo style, keeps the players in constant motion until the gradioso chorale-like conclusion. Light and lively this short piece of music is perfect to break up your program. The World Premiere of Whirlwind, done by the Washington Square Winds, is in the woodwind quintet version. Originally written for piano, Whirlwind has since been arranged for many ensemble settings including woodwind quintet, saxophone quartet, and percussion ensemble.
Dark Paradise (2012)
Instrumentation: Solo Vibraphone + Solo Soprano (voice)
"Dark Paradise" is a modern take on the Dies Irae from traditional mass text. Opposed to a traditional setting this is written more intimately with only two performers and a few verses of the english text translation from the Dies Irae. Stage setting and mood make this an interesting and modern take on a traditional form.
Instrumentation: Two Flutes + Piano
"Nightlights" is a modern version of a nocturne that plays on the original sense of the musical form. Traditionally a nocturne is night music, however, "Nightlights" mixes the idea of a nocturne with the idea of a young child at rest; Nothing but the shadows on the walls within their line of sight.
Aubade no. 2 (2012)
Instrumentation: Solo Bb Clarinet + Piano accompaniment
"Aubade no. 2" is a short etude designed to be playful and light in style. An Aubade, in definition, is something pertaining to the morning and sunrise. An etude similar to a nocturne in style but opposite from a nocturne in mood.