A Statement and the Sound

Premiered by the Mnemosyne Quartet, heard here.

A Statement and the Sound for group of performers and PowerPoint presentation deliberates the aesthetics of music in a nuanced and lively pre-recorded lecture on aesthetics. Some completely (un)intentional glitches might still need to be worked out…

PERFORMANCES

  • June 17, 2019 by Mnemosyne Quartet, UMKC Composition Workshop, White Recital Hall, White Recital Hall at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, KCMO.

Idiopathic

In working with choreographer Sophie Henning, we explored the idea of an existing but uncurable and unidentified medical trauma that induces pain and paralysis. The music drifts from this paralysis to feelings of hope that comfort but ultimately do not solve the severe and debilitating medical condition.

PERFORMANCES

  • May 14, 2019 by the UMKC Dance Department, Petal by Petal , The Mulberry Room, KCMO.

Tektōn

Tektōn, the etymological basis of the word tectonic, is the Greek word for carpenter or builder. The jagged nature that begins the work mixes with more flowing sections that brought to mind the formation of volcanoes through massive force and molten rock, due largely to underlying action in tectonic plates. However, the word “tektōn” suggests an overarching craftsmanship to such chaotic landmarks, paralleling the construction and contrast between the erratic and the ordered in this piece.

Performances

  • April 9, 2019 by the UMKC Sax Choir for the 2019 UMKC Co[mp]llaboration at Californos, KCMO.

Le danse de Oberon

Le Danse de Oberon is a companion piece to Debussy’s “Le Danse de Puck” in his Preludes, Book I. In A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Puck wreaks havoc under the auspices of Oberon, husband to Titania, the queen of the fairies. The horn call motive in Debussy’s prelude alludes to Oberon, and my prelude begins with the same call. Despite his royal stature, Oberon’s anger at his wife leads him to seek revenge. The conflict between Oberon and Titania, two powerful mystical beings, intensifies the weather—changing seasons and unsettling the sea. My dance features a flustered nobility, where stately sounds stumble to give way for more comic sonorities. The work pulls from “Le Danse de Puck” in some of its harmonic vocabulary, rhythms, and the horn-call motif; however, Le Danse de Oberon features a more aggressive, earthy style to contrast Puck’s weightless image.

Performances

  • March 17, 2019 by Allison Moline for the 2019 UMKC Piano Studio Co[mp]llaboration
    White Recital Hall, University of Missouri-Kansas City, KCMO.

  • March 31, 2019 by Allison Moline for the 2019 UMKC Piano Studio Co[mp]llaboration
    Kansas City Public Library, KCMO.

BINGO

BINGO is a highly complex work featuring five musicians and three procedural operators. The procedural operators work through various strategies involving sophisticated formulas to determine the aural boundaries essential to the cohesive dynamism among the ensemble members. Despite the piece title, this work must not be interpreted to be a game of any sort. 

 Performances

  • March 14, 2019 by Seth Davis, John Dragoo, Austin Engelhardt, Joseph Gonzalez, Miguel Silva-Leon, Dylan Findley, Jacob Frisbie, and David Witter for Classical Revolution
    Californos, KCMO.

Andando

Andando begins quickly and gradually decelerates through metric modulations in “Que yo quiero llegar tardando” (“For I want to arrive late”). This movement retreats from the busyness of everyday life into the solitude of nature at sundown.

“Mi corazón ya es remanso” (“My heart is already at peace”) opens in stasis. This lyrical movement first traces a modal melody, then it swells passionately to a strong, yearning climax, depicting the faithful tears the poet leaves behind.

“Dar mi alma a cada grano” (“To give my soul to each grain”) acts as a coda to the work. Melodic notes are decorated with extended runs, freely made from past material. The work ends with a recollection of the second movement, ending in peace.

Andando was written for and premiered by Regina Tanujaya at her recital concert, Poems and Pictures.

Andando 

Andando, andando.
Que quiero oír cada grano
de la arena que voy pisando.

Andando.
Dejad atrás los caballos,
que yo quiero llegar tardando
(andando, andando)
dar mi alma a cada grano
de la tierra que voy rozando.

Andando, andando.
¡Qué dulce entrada en mi campo,
noche inmensa que vas bajando!

Andando.
Mi corazón ya es remanso;
ya soy lo que me está esperando
(andando, andando)
y mi pie parece, cálido,
que me va el corazón besando.

Andando, andando.
¡Que quiero ver el fiel llanto
del camino que voy dejando!

Juan Ramón Jiménez

Walking

Walking, walking.
How I want to hear each grain
of the sand I tread upon.

Walking.
Leave behind the horses,
for I want to arrive late
(walking, walking)
to give my soul to each grain
of the earth my feet graze. 

Walking, walking.
How sweet to enter my field,
An expansive nightfall descends! 

Walking.
My heart is already at peace;
I am the only one I expect
(walking, walking)
and my foot seems, burning,
as if continually kissing my heart.

Walking, walking
How I want to see the faithful tears
of the path I leave behind!

(Translated by the composer)


Performances

  • December 1st, 2018 by Regina Tanujaya for her “Poem and Pictures” Recital at White Recital Hall, University of Kansas City-Missouri, KCMO.

I see men as trees, walking

In a biblical account (Mark 8:22-25), a blind man is healed by Christ in two stages. After his first blessing, Jesus asks the blind man if he sees anything. The blind person responds: I see men as trees, walking. Then (and only then), Christ finishes healing the blind man to full sight.

This hazy space between petition and the actualization of hoped miracles creates a special tension and yearning I invoke through the music. My work calls attention to a sparse temporal space and atmosphere from which the music drifts in and out of colorful clarity through several textural and contrapuntal soundscapes. Underlying these textures is a strumming refrain, first introduced by the viola. Also notable are open-string harmonies and quick arpeggiating passages that develop and ultimately fuse together in the work.

This work was written for Quarteto L’Arianna with double bassist Pedro Gadelha at the São Paulo Contemporary Composers Festival.


Performances

  • September 24th, 2018 by the Quarteto L’Arianna with double bassist Pedro Gadelha at the Catedral de Sé, São Paulo, Brazil.

Pa-Hay-Okee

Pa-Hay-Okee refers to the site now known as the Florida Everglades. This word, from the Seminole language, translates to “grassy water,” describing the vast marshes filled with sawgrass and other plants. The sawgrass acts as a symbol for the entire natural region. Fields of sawgrass appear beautiful, but as implied in its name, each blade of grass can cut through flesh. In this complex habitat are both the breathtaking reeds, herons, turtles, and even manatees and flamingos as the glades approach the ocean. Yet, alligators and venomous snakes lurk within this formidable domain. My work captures this paradoxical beautiful danger through a mysterious, lyrical, and volatile interaction between the bassoonist and the live processing of the bassoon sound. All electronic sound in the piece derive from live input during the performance.

Inside Out

I wrote Inside Out as a collaboration with Taylor Edwards, a dance choreographer interested in the process of seeking out and finding answers. We worked together throughout the process on music and dance inspired by trap rhythm and groove. I formed the "drum kit" through a variety of household sounds, such as scraping wrappers together, punching pillows, playing a guiro, tapping castanets etc. and created the background sounds with a singing bowl and xun. The clarinet music is improvised within the structure of the dance and includes live electronics triggered at certain time points. 


Performances:

  • May 7th, 2018, 11 Vignettes, Dylan Findley and Taylor Edwards, choreographer

Connect/Disconnect

I seek to expresar the puan 的 conexión sin paʻi, ese moment الذي le horizon pırıltı ile luz dan bentuk suram nehmen Sie Form an. Sin embargo, für die униженный penyangkalan del 幫, الاستمارات oscurecer եւ de disconnect ล้ำลึก para আসা dengan gràdh mòr. 這是ang sitwasyon હુ ઇચ્ચુ છુ لتجنب, 넘다 la espalda juu ya wakimbizi.


Interested in performing Connect/Disconnect?

Perusal Score

Connect/Disconnect- Score (read from score)


Performances:

MARCH

MARCH plays with the definition and purposing of a traditional march, following John Phillip Sousa’s standard march form. Militaristic drum rhythms, iconic bass patterns, declamatory brass calls, flowery woodwind patterns, modal melodies, and Stravinskian primitivism come together to connote ceremony, pageantry, valor, patriotism, entertainment, and calls to arm that have been associated with marches for centuries.

To be premiered.

Swallowed Up

 Swallowed Up is a commission from the Barlow Endowment for Music Composition, premiered by PULSE Trio. It develops the homonymic properties of the word “swallow.” The work’s overall three-movement form symbolizes: the digestive action, a series of living things, and the Passion story of Jesus Christ.

“Garden of the Innocent Bird” groups together the oral digestive phase, the bird swallow, and Christ’s suffering in the Garden of Gethsemane. The bird swallow is known as the bird of liberty because it dies when captured. Christ wilfully handed Himself over to be killed to liberate those captive in sin. The oral phase of swallowing food softens food and then bites and grinds it into a bolus. Likewise, in the Garden of Olives, Christ suffered to the point that He bled from every pore just as olives are crushed under extreme pressure for their oil.

“Sting” refers to the pharyngeal phase, the sea swallow, and the crucifixion of Christ. This digestive phase prepares for and then catapults the bolus to the stomach. The sea swallow’s sting is lethal. Christ died being nailed to the Cross He carried, after being falsely judged, beat, and betrayed.

“Vincetoxicum hirundae” relates the esophageal phase to the plant swallow-wort and to the Resurrection.  The Latin title comes from the swallow-wort’s scientific name, referring to its properties to cure snake poison. The swallow-wort, in Dacian culture, was known to open any locked door. The esophageal phase pushes the bolus into the stomach, where nutrients are absorbed and taken throughout the body. Christ’s Resurrection announces that “mortality might be swallowed up of life” (2 Corinthians 5:4). It allowed Christ power over sin, conquering the devil, the biblical serpent.


Interested in performing Swallowed Up?

Perusal Score

Swallowed Up- Score and Parts


Performances:

In the Mind of Energy

“This division of energy into actual and potential seems to me to be defective. It prevents the direct comprehension in the mind of energy as being motion and nothing else; it leaves unexplained how a body perfectly at rest can come to move; and further implies the dissipation of energy . . . in a new phase, for, if all the actual energy in the universe were to become potential, all the real and positive motions which constitute life might indefinitely cease.”

- George Iles, The Constancy of Motion, Popular Science Monthly, Volume 10, December 1876

Written for and premiered by Transient Canvas at the ALBA Music Festival.


Interested in performing In the Mind of Energy?

Perusal Score

In the Mind of Energy- Score and Parts


Performances:

Refreshing the Feeling

Commissioned by TransAmerican Duo (Diana Ramirez and Brian McKee), this work for violin and bassoon blends energy, humor, expressiveness, and virtuosity in a strange fashion.


Interested in performing Refreshing the Feeling?

Perusal Score

Refreshing the Feeling- Score and Parts


Performances:

Improvisations VI: Just, Plane, Natural

Improvisations VI: Just, Plane, Natural manipulates the improviser's playing to be different partials of harmonic series. Though the performer is free to improvise within the bounds of good judgment, the form is dictated by the order of events in the Pure Data software.


Interested in performing Improvisations VI: Just, Plane, Natural?

Contact me for more information.


Performances:

strengthen the body/enliven the soul

strengthen the body/enliven the soul

Commissioned by the Atlantic Music Festival, strengthen the body/enliven the soul refers to the scripture: 

"Yea, all things which come of the earth, in the season thereof, are made for the benefit and the use of man, both to please the eye and to gladden the heart; Yea, for food and for raiment, for taste and for smell, to strengthen the body and to enliven the soul." -Doctrine and Covenants 59:18-19.


Interested in performing strengthen the body/enliven the soul?

Perusal Score

strengthen the body/enliven the soul-Score and Parts


Performances:

 

Four Miniatures and a Prelude for a Somewhat Large Chamber Orchestra

Four Miniatures and a Prelude for a Somewhat Large Orchestra features four miniatures based on similar thematic material (and also a prelude). The first movement introduces the motif through claustrophobic shifts between loud and soft.  The second explores juxtaposition in an off-kilter scherzo.  The third explores jazz and boogie woogie styles in a hectic shuffle. It is dedicated to those Louis who get people to dance. The fourth movement develops material from the second movement in a stark, silent, and dissonant close to the miniature set. (Following the miniatures is the prelude. It is a merengue.)


Interested in performing Four Miniatures and a Prelude for a Somewhat Large Chamber Orchestra?

Perusal Score

Rent Score and Parts


Performances:

Wend Your Way

Commissioned by the American Guild of Organists Student Commissioning ProjectWend Your Way is a fantasia on the classic Latter-day Saint hymn tune and text.  It progresses from the depths of sorrow for the martyrdom of the early members of the Latter-day Saint church's prophet, Joseph Smith, through the uncertainties of what lie ahead for the Saints, into the confidence and strength found in everlasting hope, and finally to the glorious joy of reaching a land of refuge and sanctuary, serving as a literal narrative and the personal spiritual journey we all strive to make in life.


Interested in performing Wend Your Way?

Perusal Score

Wend Your Way- Organ Music


Performances