La traición de las imágenes
(The Treachery of Images)

for mezzo-soprano, flute, viola, contrabass and prepared piano

This song cycle is my response to eight surrealist works by René Magritte, whose famous The Treachery of Images highlights the impossibility of art to truly reflect reality. Magritte described his creations as “images which conceal nothing [and] evoke mystery… [they do] not mean anything, because mystery means nothing either; it is unknowable.” I have tried to capture the same spirit of mystery in both the words and the music.
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In Which They Are Received

for 6 like instruments

Buy viola versionBuy clarinet 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 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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Consciousness is the Creature of Rhythm

for flute/piccolo, clarinet/bass clarinet, bassoon, violin, percussion and optional narrators

Consciousness is the Creature of Rhythm was inspired by the short story Moxon’s Master by Ambrose Bierce, in which an inventor is apparently killed by his automaton. The story is full of logical gaps, however, and what really happened has been a matter of debate. This piece deliberately leaves those gaps unfilled, suggesting connections and motivations without explicitly endorsing any theory. The audience must use its imagination to make sense of the action and determine who is responsible for Moxon’s death. Continue reading 

Out of Her Place

for SATB chorus (unaccompanied)

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.
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Sing to the Nebula

for flute, clarinet and guitar

This piece was inspired by NASA’s images of nebulae, interstellar clouds of gas and dust that are often strikingly beautiful. Continue reading 

Tuesday Evening Commute

for solo marimba (4½–octave)

This piece begins with the slam of a door as a city-dweller leaves work one Tuesday night. The momentum that propels him along his familiar route is interrupted a few times: by a surprising sight on the street, by a collision with a fellow pedestrian, and by a daydream on the train. As the commuter nears home his mood lightens, his pace quickens, and the last thing we hear is the slam of his own door as he disappears inside.
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Выздоровление (Recovery)

for soprano or mezzo-soprano and piano

This pieces is available in two transpositions for high (range C4–G#5) and low (B♭3–F#5) voices. The score can be purchased from Gumroad (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:

Text in Russian by K. N. Batyushkov Continue reading