for the purposes of application to Northwestern's Composition and Music Technology PhD program
In addition to the small descriptions provided, more information is available in the program and performance notes contained within the scores themselves.
His hand turned the page over.
for baritone voice, trumpet, trombone, bass clarinet and fixed media (2020), recording by loadbang
The first piece included is His hand turned the page over. which was written based upon a proposal I submitted to loadbang which was selected to be carried out. In setting out to write this piece, I wanted to explore ideas of difference in interpretation, in people and in understandings. With that idea in mind, I created three characters with three accompanying sets of musical material that are alternated between throughout the piece and which all use an excerpt James Joyce’s Ulysses as their text. For the materials themselves, I wanted them to be quite varied from each other, creating one that was in a freely atonal pointillistic vein, one in a more lyrical and traditional (quasi-tonal) style, and one in a more lugubrious 24-tet setting. The alternations become more and more rapid as the piece goes on, before reaching a final climatic section.
for large orchestra (2019)
This piece takes a somewhat geometric approach to the creation and manipulation of musical elements, with a chromatic cluster as its originating source. Formally, the piece uses the idea of Ritornello as an organizing structure, with the piano refrain being interspersed between the cluster-based areas.
If limited on time, you can skip mm. 74-85 (4:37-5:26), mm. 125-136 (8:20-8:50) and mm. 148-163 (9:32-10:12). These are all sections where I feel the midi realization is especially unrepresentative or are based on repeated or vamped material.
This is a midi rendering of the score, with the piece scheduled for premiere in the 2021/2022 season.
In this piece, a goal of mine was to explore connotations and uses of wind. This came out in various ways: use of wind instruments, use of air-sounds, the idea of wind as conversation, and calm or rapid wind, among others. In deciding how the two instruments comprising the duet might interact, I found the idea of conversation to be most engaging, and went about to creating an echoing, conversational, canonic texture which gradually loosens as the piece continues, until the voices do not echo each other at all but are instead independently improvising on the final page.
If limited on time, you can begin at m. 37 (2:34), the earlier sections are extremely quiet and thus aren't conveyed as well in recording.
Duo for Two Types of Wind
for clarinet and saxophone (2019), recording by Duo Entre-Nous
for prepared guitar (2020), recording by Jay Sorce
This is a recent piece of mine, from the Autumn of 2020. In it, I wanted to explore improvisation in a more extensive and comprehensive manner, as well as giving a significantly greater degree of musical control to the performer. However, another topic that I was interested in, is what makes a specific piece itself. From this question, the idea of writing it for prepared guitar emerged, in the effort to create a sound-world and tuning scheme that would be unique to this work and differentiating it from other text/graphic works. I also found it cathartic in the creation process, as I've long had interests in poetry/writing and visual art as well, both of which I was also able to explore in creating this work.