Cold Over Gravity

for woodwind doublers quartet

One summer day, while hiking in the Shawangunk Mountains of New York, I suddenly felt a blast of frigid air, escaping up out of a cave some distance below the trail. I wondered about the depth of the fissure, and what kind of force could propel this air up against gravity. It did not look safe to investigate, but I found my thoughts returning to this place over the next several weeks, envisioning the cold subterranean world just out of sight. My music, consequently, was imbued with those imaginings: this piece features a strong tension between upward-reaching motives and heavy, downward-directed harmonies. The energy and mystery of those mountains are fused in my memory with the composition of this work.
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In Which They Are Received

for 6 like instruments

Buy viola versionBuy clarinet versionBuy flute version This extended 6-part canon was originally written for 6 clarinets. Each instrumentalist plays the same material, but the impact of these identical statements varies with the surrounding musical context: some entrances produce tension, others merge smoothly with the prevailing atmosphere, and others barely register as the listener’s attention is concentrated elsewhere. Alternate versions are available for 6 violas, 6 flutes or 6 bassoons, and additional arrangements are in progress. The piece can also be performed by a single instrumentalist with electronic delay.
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‘Solar’ Saxophone Quartet

for two alto, tenor and baritone saxophones

  1. Photovoltaic – Parker Spiral
  2. Sunstroke – Brightest Minds

This piece was inspired by our sun. The “Photovoltaic” section expresses the invigorating effect of a sunny day (or more literally, the process of creating power from light). “Parker Spiral” refers to the shape of the sun’s extended magnetic field. “Sunstroke” is a reminder of the dangers the sun can pose to us, and “Brightest Minds” celebrates the people who have discovered ways to harness the sun’s power for the benefit of humankind. Continue reading 

Ode to a Nightingale

for SATB chorus and violoncello

The text for Ode to a Nightingale is taken from a poem of the same name by John Keats. Writing in the spring of 1819, the twenty-three-year-old Keats had watched his brother die of tuberculosis only a few months earlier and was now ill himself. The poem expresses a love of nature but also a revulsion to the natural world and a desire to escape from it.
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The Mask of Night [chamber version]

for soprano, tenor, baritone and chamber ensemble

  1. A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Act 5, Sc. 1
  2. The Merchant of Venice, Act 5, Sc. 1
  3. Othello, Act 5, Sc. 2
  4. Romeo and Juliet, Act 2, Sc. 2
  5. Hamlet, Act 1, Sc. 5
  6. The Tempest, Act 4, Sc. 1

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