‘Aviana’ for flute solo is my most recent piece. It was my intention to write a work that, hopefully, would pique the interest of the contemporary flutist. It is a piece that is both challenging and idiomatic, with a sprinkling of extended techniques. I believe the composition to be evocative as well, and, if skillfully performed, should appeal to the imagination of the listener.
Ariana is around 5 minutes in length and, as the title suggests, is meant to evoke images of birds of all shapes and sizes filling the sky.
The entire piece is available on request. You can hear the midi version below:
This ten minute work is in three distinct movements
The first piece is entitled ‘Greasing the Wheel’. Here a jagged series of staccatos depicts a whimsical machine clanking away. Intermittently, these figures include smoother interludes. Our machine continues to sputter along until the well-greased wheel whizzes away, out of sight!
In piece number, (Woebegotten Blues) the music slowly slides along with a series of deep sighs. Just at the point when things slowly slide to a halt, the piece changes gears, moving along with a jazzy groove. Finally, deep sighs return and the blues fade away.
The final piece, (March of the Leafcutter Ants), is in homage of the little creatures who drag bits of leafs long distances to their nests. As are the ants, the music is constant and persistent.
Cancion de Cuna is a work written for bassoon quartet.It is, essentially, a series of variations on a Honduran lullaby. The work pays homage to the many people who risked their lives crossing through Mexico on their way to the US in search of a better life.
You will also find a link to a video of the piece performed by the Luftbassoon Quartet. A set of parts is available on request.
It is believed that there is a correlation between the phases of the moon and one’s state of mind. My Moon Phases for oboe, clarinet and bassoon is a three movement piece; each movement being a reflection on three of these phases and corresponding moods.
The first movement, New Moon, is introductory in nature and is meant to set the tone for the piece. It is believed that at the onset of the new moon, one should set one’s intentions for the coming lunar year.
The second movement is inspired by a Waxing moon. During this phase, one is encouraged to be energetic. Here the music moves in that manner yet with an air of mystery.
The final movement, Waning Crescent, is quiet and reflective in terms of one’s thoughts and emotions.
A perusal score and parts are available on request
My newly completed Three Pieces for Violin and Cello is now available. The piece is about ten minutes in length and is comprised of three brief movements. In writing this piece I had three objectives: First, it was my intention to compose a work that was as idiomatic as possible while still being artistically appealing. Next, I wanted to challenge myself ( especially in the first movement) to hone my skills in writing counterpoint. Finally, I wanted to present a work that was both dramatic and lyrical in nature.
A score and set of parts is available on request. Finally, a midi realization is found below.
Blue Streak for marimba solo is a playful romp; a cheerful blend of jazz and contemporary classical idioms. Despite the fact that the work is highly structured, it was my intention to have the piece come across as totally improvised. The opening bouncy motive builds and evolves in a variety of ways as I attempt to explore the various possibilities of the marimba. A full score is available on request.
Song of the Hours is a trio for oboe, cello and piano. The title of the work is in reference to the canonical hours, particularly Matins and Laudes, i.e, the period of time just before and during dawn. These references are not liturgical in nature, but rather referential in terms of the natural world and how it unfolds in the early hours of the day.
The work is in three brief sections. In the first section, there is a lyrical dialogue between the oboe and cello This is followed by a fleeting scherzo-like section where there is an interplay wherein the oboe and cello together are paired in counterpoint to the piano. The final section of the work is, in general, a reprise of the opening section. However, now instead of having an accompanying role, the piano is placed in the foreground.
Song of the Hours was premiered at an International Double Reed Society conference in Tokyo, Japan in 2014. The recording of the premiere is linked below. A score and set of parts is available on request.
A magical tale about a young Princess, an old soothsayer, and a mountain of gold!
In a faraway kingdom, a King and his Princess daughter are in the Royal Chambers. Always inquisitive, the Princess ponders questions such as: ‘Why is the sky blue?’and, ‘Why does fall turn into winter?’.
Having learned that there is a wiseman in the Kingdom who can read the stars, the Princess pleads with her father to bring the Wiseman to the palace. Finally, the King relents and orders a courier to find and bring the Wiseman to the palace.
In a cave in the wilderness, the Wiseman a soothsayer, sings of the stars and the wonders of the world. He sees in his crystal ball and a golden coach is approaching his cave.The courier enters the Wiseman’s cave and conveys to him that the King requests his presence at the palace and adds that no harm shall come to him. The Wiseman agrees.
At the palace, the King asks the wiseman to teach the Princess everything he knows including how to ‘read the stars’. The wiseman agrees under the condition that no one else shall be present while he is with heru
A year passes and confident the princess has learned everything he’s taught her, the Wise man departs. The Princess sings of all the wonderful things she has learned.But while reading the stars, she discovers that the army of the Evil King is gathering at the border. She immediately informs the King who sends troops to ambush the enemy.
To reward the Princess for her efforts, the King appoints her his personal advisor.
While reading the stars, the Princess discovers that the army of the Enemy King is gathering on the border. She alerts the King who immediately dispatches his troops to stage an ambush. In recognitions of her actions, the King appoints the princess his personal advisor.
Materials available on request: Piano Score, Full Score, Set of Parts, Libretto
A ‘Chubasco’ is a magical weather event often associated with South and Central America. These summer storms occur as well during the rainy or ‘monsoon’ season in Tucson and Southern Arizona in the United States. The Tucson Valley is situated in the north of the Sonoran Desert. It is also surrounded by mountain ranges that are in the southern most region of the Rockies. It is here that the rainy season or ‘monsoons’ take place from late June until about the end of September.
It is this thrilling natural event that I attempt to capture in my Introduction and Chubasco. the ‘dry heat’ and the intense light of early summer seem to create a shimmering effect across the valley. In time, wisps of clouds sneak above the Catalina and Rincon Mountain ranges. I try to depict this in the ‘Introduction’ section of the work. Here the strings play light, rhythmic figures which accompany the lyrical lines in the winds. In a few days, large billowing clouds skirt the sky and distant thunder softly and ominously sounds in the distance. The skies darken; the wind picks up and the chubasco is upon us.
In the ‘Chubasco’ section of the work, turbulent ostinatos churn in the winds and brass, above which the violins lyrically soar. The orchestral textures intensify and become denser culminating with a boisterous timpani solo. As the microburst passes and the storm clouds move on, a dazzling array of light appears in the sky. Following the timpani solo, a solitary trumpet sounds accompanied by colorful washes of harmony in the winds brass and strings which aim to depict this natural phenomenon. What remains are a few rolls on the timpani as thunder from the now dista!nt storm softly sounds and fades away.
A perusal score of the work is available on request. There is a link below of the premiere recording of the piece. It is performed here by the Mission Chamber Orchestra conducted by Emily Ray.