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. Continue reading →
Out of Her Place was inspired by the iconic women’s rights advocate Susan B. Anthony. The first and last stanzas of the text are from speeches she gave at women’s rights conventions; the middle stanza contains lines from her personal letters. Continue reading →
This piece is about seismic forces: the energy that causes earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, tsunamis, geysers, and hot springs. The opening motives in the brass and timpani represent this energy, perhaps in the form of lava, swirling and bubbling below the surface of the earth. It is present throughout the piece, sometimes an undercurrent to lively activity, sometimes a distant echo in an otherwise serene landscape. Like the forces they represent, these motives command our attention when they are most disruptive, but they can cause startling outcomes even when we fail to notice them. Continue reading →
The Driscoll Alphabet for chorus is a set of twenty-six blocks of music, each corresponding to a letter in the English alphabet. It can be performed in two ways:
The entire alphabet can be performed, A to Z, as written. The duration is about 15 minutes.
Any of the letters can be performed, in any combination. They need not spell actual words, although this might be a good place to start. (At the first performance, VocalEssence spelled out “Voices of Quiet Joy”, a piece lasting about 7 minutes.)
This piece is available in two transpositions for high (range C4–G#5) and low (B♭3–F#5) voices. They can be purchased as a set from Gumroad or Ko-fi (US Letter PDFs only). View a score sample of the low voice version.
Watch soprano Abigail Chapman and pianist Fang-Yi Chu performing the high voice version:
This piece was inspired by two sisters dealing with the loss of a loved one. Each instrument represents one of the sisters, who initially have very different attitudes and cannot communicate with each other. As the piece progresses the two lines interact, working through various stages of grief together. Continue reading →
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 →
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. Continue reading →