violin

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.

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.

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:

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:

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:

 

Fisherman Ascends

Fisherman Ascends refers to the transfiguration of Peter on the Mount of Transfiguration.  "Remit" expresses the cleansing and purging process from sins found in baptism.  "Sanctify" expresses the change of heart and character through the receiving of the Gift of the Holy Ghost over a lifetime.


Interested in performing Fisherman Ascends?

Contact me for more information.


  • Read by the New York Piano Trio, November 22, 2014.

RF ISOLATION: Faraday Cage

for string quartet

A Faraday Cage allows a safe area from currents or transmissions.  For example, when lightning strikes an automobile, the driver will not be shocked, being in the vehicle.  The driver is surrounded by the charge—being inside the conductive material; however, the car acts as a Faraday Cage and isolates its interior from outside forces.  A musical example would be a safe haven from radio or telecommunication, an isolation from outside noises.

The piece is symbolic of the battle between the outside influences and voices that the world has to offer and the subtle, yet sublime inner peace that comes from following the values that resonate in the heart.  Each part yearns for inner peace while surrounded by the dissonance of its opposing parts.  Allusions to early chant music echo the search for peace that comes from hearkening to the ancient and eternal truths revealed by God.  The unison ending refers to the ultimate finding of tranquility through God.


Interested in performing RF ISOLATION: Faraday Cage?

Contact me for more information.


Performances: