I have a piece which has been published by someone other than myself for the first time yet! Meditation for solo euphonium is a work that I wrote in the Spring of 2012, and has now been published by Waterton Brass Music, a small publishing business in Virginia which publishes brass music.
Though this site has not been updated recently, I have not been idle. I am now coming to the end of my student teaching, which has been eating up all of my time for this whole semester. I have been composing some, however, and am presently in the middle of a couple projects, including a multi-movement choral work. In my spare time (ha!) over the past week or so, I have also been working on redesigning this website, moving it to a new host and giving it Continue reading →
This past semester I wrote a piece for full orchestra (2,1+EH,2,2; 4,2,1+bass,0; 4timp,2perc,pno,hrp; str). The piece is an illustration of a poem by Kobayashi Issa, translated by Steven D. Carter: Lightning flashes, throwing light on those who cringe at the thought of death. The piece, titled Illuminated Mortality, is largely a very violent, thrashing piece depicting the lightning of the poem. The middle section is slower, calmer, and more introspective, with moments of both hope and despair, before it returns to the thrashing lightning to end the piece.
On Saturday, April 21, at 7:00 PM, I will be presenting my senior composition recital in Urness Recital Hall. The program will include six pieces, four of which were completed this semester. The program includes an aleatoric brass quintet titled The Pealing Bells, a Prelude and Fugue in B Minor for flute, horn, and violoncello, a twelve-tone piece Four Bagatelles for Clarinet and Piano, a setting of a James Joyce poem titled O Cool is the Valley Now for mezzo-soprano, flute, clarinet, trumpet, and piano, a setting of a brand new poem by Continue reading →
I finished the last piece for my composition recital this past weekend, titled Prelude and Fugue in B Minor. It is a prelude and double fugue for flute, horn, and violoncello. It is stylistically similar to Bach’s fugues, but it adds some contemporary dissonance treatment. The fugue modulates systematically, beginning in B minor and moving to the relative major, then to its parallel minor, then its relative major, etc., until it returns to the original B minor. The piece will be performed on my composition recital, which Continue reading →
At the end of January, I wrote a piece for unaccompanied SATB chorus using a text written by Sean Fleming, a poet who graduated from St. Olaf just last year. The poem is titled Coyote Wine. Gray hide emerges from gray mud, your hair rusting at the shoulders beneath the pruned vineyard rows where old clusters turn to raisins. The wicks of your ears piercing the fog for a rabbit’s death squeal tuned exactly like our corroding chains reeling repetitiously. The reward of civilization is suffering, Continue reading →
This summer I submitted two pieces to the 2011 Minnesota Music Educators Association Collegiate Composition Contest. I finally received word of the results, and my two submissions, O Cool is the Valley Now and Four Bagatelles for Clarinet and Piano, tied for second place in the chamber ensemble division. I hope that this is a fairly good sign, considering that this is the first contest I have ever entered. I am, of course, planning to enter more competitions in the future.
At the very end of first semester — in fact half of it was over winter break — I wrote a brass quintet. It is titled The Pealing Bells because it is meant to evoke a sense of the semi-random ringing of a set of bells. The work is for three trumpets, trombone, and bass trombone, and is completely aleatoric. Aleatoric music is music which is determined by chance. In other words, rather than telling the performers exactly what and when to play notes, I gave them a general Continue reading →
For the majority of this semester, I was working on a piece for saxophone quartet. The piece was written in a Neoclassical style. It uses modern harmonies but is organized in a Classical style. It is in two movements, and is my longest work to date, being approximately twelve minutes in duration. The first movement is slow, quiet, and hymn-like. The movement introduces the atonality of the piece, presented in a homophonic texture imitating a hymn, though with changing meters. The movement highlights chords which Continue reading →
On April 21 at 7:00 in Urness Recital Hall I will be giving a full composition recital. The program will include an aleatoric fanfare for brass quintet titled The Pealing Bells which I just finished a few days ago, an atonal saxophone quartet titled Sonata Agitata which is a work in two movements, the latter being in Sonata form (despite being atonal), O Cool is the Valley Now, a setting of James Joyce’s poem of the same name for mezzo-soprano, flute, clarinet, trumpet, and piano, Four Bagatelles for Clarinet and Piano, Continue reading →