Nomad Suite

Year composed: 2019


Instrumentation: flute, guitar


Duration (approx.): 10′


NOTES:

Commissioned by and dedicated to the Cerulean Duo: Sarah Tiedman, flute, and Mario Diaz, guitar

i. cacti dreams

ii. desert nocturne

iii. hit the road


PERUSAL SCORE

Coming soon.


PROGRAM NOTES

All who wander aren’t necessarily lost, and those who are lost might not have been wandering in the first place. But we travel along our paths whether we have a destination in mind or not, and for most its the journey, not the destination, that gives meaning to our daily lives.

My piece, Nomad Suite, was inspired by a poem by Robin Beth Schaer titled Nomad that I felt encapsulated this kind of wanderlust at the heart of our journeys. Desert imagery was at the center of my mind as I was composing this duet. The piece begins from the perspective of a dreaming cactus, thorns pointed outward defending itself from desert predators, roots firmly planted in the ground.

In the second movement the piece moves outward to the desert itself, stars glittering and simple songs sung by the fireside.

The piece concludes in the third movement by finding a lonesome road that is splitting the desert in two. A path unknown leading us to an unknown destination through energetic riffs and strumming.


Copyright © Jay Derderian Music Publishing (ASCAP), 2019. All Rights Reserved.

Oh, Moon

Year composed: 2019


Instrumentation: mezzo-soprano, alto sax, viola (optional), and fixed media


Duration (approx.): 8′


NOTES:

Commissioned by and dedicated to Megan Ihnen and Alan Theisen.

Mezzo range – Ab3 – F5


PERUSAL SCORE


Copyright © Jay Derderian Music Publishing (ASCAP), 20198. All Rights Reserved.

Ludic Loops

Year composed: 2018


Instrumentation: piano, marimba


Duration (approx.): 10′


NOTES:

Commissioned by and dedicated to the L+M Duo.

Performers must be proficient in both piano and marimba. The two performers switch places during the course of the piece. An alternate version wherein both performers remain at their designated instrument is currently being developed.

Contact the composer for a demo recording.


PERUSAL SCORE


PROGRAM NOTES

Do you ever feel like you’re hooked to your screen?

We’re more connected now than in any other time in history. We can send a message to the other side of the world at the speed of light. And with this same technology we can do many other things we’ve never dreamed of; we can share pictures of cats, get into arguments with strangers, stay on top of the news, share baby pictures, send texts with rather suggestive emojis, look at satellite photos of countries we’ve never visited, gamble, play video games, take countless pictures and share them instantly… the list goes on ad infinitum.

The information we have at our fingertips saturates every aspect of our modern lives. We’ve become dependent on knowing every little thing. There are actually internet addition treatment centers now, something we could’ve never fathomed 20 years ago.We’re seeking the high brought to us by this plethora of information.

And some of us just might be stuck in the loop.


Begin, again

Year composed: 2018


Instrumentation: 2 violins, viola, cello, and projected images


Duration (approx.): 8′


NOTES:

Commissioned by Polish Festival of Portland, Oregon for its celebration of the Centenary of modern Poland’s Independence.

Images must be projected via a projector and screen with the use of Power Point, or possibly other means (contact the composer if you have questions or technical issues).


PERUSAL SCORE


PROGRAM NOTES

Begin, again – commissioned by the Polish Festival of Portland – is a celebration of unity, though the mood of the piece may not make it seem that way. Unity in this instance comes through the perseverance in the face of constant adversity, and a nation which has repeatedly been torn apart and rebuilt.

Starting on a unison A-flat, Begin, again’s texture slowly begins to tear itself apart despite several attempts at remaining on unison pitches. The gestures become more and more wild as time goes on, intervals get broader, rhythms are ever-so slightly displaced to create an evolving, shimmering fabric of sound. All this gives way to a bleak chorus in the lower registers of each instrument before finally resolving to the opening A-flat, closing with a brief quotation from the second movement of Gorecki’s Third Symphony.


The People They Think We Are

Year composed: 2018


Instrumentation: piano, fixed media (pre-recorded sound on .mp3 player or CD), and video


Duration (approx.): 20′


NOTES:

Commissioned by and dedicated to Kathy Supove.

Video segments may be omitted if it’s logistically unfeasible to incorporate them.


AUDIO


PERUSAL SCORE


PROGRAM NOTES

My great-grandmother arrived in the United States in 1913 escaping the atrocities of the Armenian Genocide. She arrived after travelling alone for weeks in a country where she didn’t speak the language, didn’t know anyone, and was completely isolated. Her husband remained in Armenia for an additional 15 years after she left, and since the country was in turmoil, she had no way to contact him. My great-grandmother never knew whether her husband was dead or alive for a decade and a half while she completely built her life up from scratch. Fortunately they were able to reunite and start a family, which lead to a new branch on our family tree.

Contrast this with our current political climate.

Families are being torn apart by ICE; people seeking asylum are having their children torn away from them and face the horrifying possibility of never seeing them again. Babies are being torn from their mother’s arms, even as they’re breastfeeding. There are entire detention centers full of crying, hysterical children being kept in cages, wondering where their parents are, wondering where they themselves are. And there are people in the United States – both private citizens and people within our current administration – who view this not only as a proper but necessary deterrent to the misdemeanor of illegal border crossing. People who have the privilege of not having to escape a country ravaged by violence, poverty, and fear, who don’t have to know what it’s like having to do whatever you need to do to save your family.

While I can’t possibly hope to communicate what it’s like to live through such senseless atrocities, The People They Think We Are is my meager attempt to point towards the atrocious state of humanity that brought us to our current policies expressed through dissonant, fragmented, and violent piano gestures juxtaposed against a harsh backdrop of distorted guitar feedback and pounding, arrhythmic drums. The piece also offers an extended prayer during the second half for those still searching for their lost love ones, and is bookended by footage of the annual swift migrations that take place at Chapman Elementary in Portland Oregon every year.

We are supposed to be the melting pot, but instead we are becoming an incinerator.


Copyright © Jay Derderian Music Publishing (ASCAP), 2018. All Rights Reserved.