String Quartet no. 1

This String Quartet is made up of three movements with the two outer movements serving as mirrored poles and a contrasting second movement in the middle. The piece is very free but the first and third movements are comprised (almost) entirely of a repetitive intervallic pattern which is cut up and manipulated in many ways, so as to make it mostly unrecognizable. In the second movement, the darkness of the outer movements subsides, giving way to a droning foundation and singing melody. Tremendous gratitude belongs to the literary work of William S. Burroughs, whose revolutionary cut up method in part inspired the techniques that I employed throughout the piece in developing my interval fragments.

Performers: Micah Vogel, Emily Criss – Violin

Krista Swenson – Viola

Laura Robb Martin – Cello

 

 

Premiered 5-1-18

 

Winston Smith Enters Room 101

Winston Smith Enters Room 101 is a piece inspired by George Orwell’s 1984. All of the spoken portions of the piece are lines borrowed from the novel. The intention of the music is to characterize the state of mind of Winston Smith, the book’s protagonist, when he is tortured and dehumanized in Room 101a place within the Ministry of Love where dissidents are faced with “the worst thing in the world” in order recondition them to accept their totalitarian reality and to love Big Brother.

Premiered 12-6-17

Andrew Cardwell, Tyler Golding, Vincent Lei- Percussion

With the Shapes

With the Shapes is a sort of compound piece made up of two entirely different settings of the same text by Michael McClure – Song (I work with the Shape).The first setting, for female voice (alto) and piano treats the poem with mystery and ambiguity. The second setting, for male voice (bass/baritone) and guitar, is a bit brighter and more energetic.

Premiered 12-6-17

Mvt I

Malvika Sriram – Voice

David Dryfoos – Piano

Mvt II

Kevin Iwai – Voice

Scott Nelson – Guitar

Shall the Circle Survive?

Shall the Circle Survive? for double saxophone quartet is told from the perspective of an unknown narrator, whose voice is heard in the piece from the various members of the ensemble. Having just lost a loved one, their (the narrator’s) jumbled thoughts of mourning are heard at the very beginning. These thoughts are interrupted throughout¬† the piece by longer musical passages as the narrator’s mind becomes intoxicated by¬† pleasant memories of the one they mourn. Yet their mind always returns to the somber contemplation heard at the beginning.

Much of the piece is based on the folk hymn Will the Circle be Unbroken. All of the spoken portions of this piece are adapted from the lyrics of the Carter Family recording of the song from 1927.

Premiered 12-6-17

Shelbey Evans, Zach Grenig – Soprano Saxophone

Mitchell Beck, Matthew Loya – Alto Saxophone

Chris Sacha, Emmanuel Fernandes – Tenor Saxophone

Beau Haygood, Eric Espinoza – Baritone Saxophone