Nomad Suite

Year composed: 2019

Instrumentation: flute, guitar

Duration (approx.): 10′


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


Coming soon.


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.

Violet Fantasy (Viola)

Year composed: 2011 (arr. 2019)

Instrumentation: viola solo

Duration (approx.):  7′


An arrangement of the composition for solo cello.

Perusal Score


Violet Fantasy is essentially about change. The piece is a series of ever evolving variations of a single theme. As the piece progresses its melody is torn apart and re-contextualized in a number of ways, winding and flowing through a free variation form like a flower laced vine across a branch. The theme never appears exactly the same way twice. It’s often fragmented and disjointed, yet manages to find itself in the end. If anything, Violet Fantasy represents an idea of what pertains through change, and what susceptible to the moment.

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

New Commission: Polish Library Association

I’m super excited to announce that the Polish Library Association will be commissioning a new multimedia string quartet from me to celebrate the centennial anniversary of Poland’s independence!

The piece will feature projected images chosen with help from the PLA and will be performed by the Delgani Quartet later this year.

More details to come.

New Composition: Child Of The Sun

On New Year’s Day I finished a piece that I began last September; a lullaby for my daughter. Commissioned by the Seen/Heard Trio, it’s scored for Mezzo-soprano, flute, and harp, andtitled Child Of The Sun, and features a poem written by my wife, Tri’ah.

This piece is a love note, in the purest sense, to our daughter Vedavearre; it’s our welcoming-into-the world to her. It’s also first extended foray into writing for voice and harp, so it was a new and exciting frontier for me. I’m very pleased with the results thus far, though no doubt there will be a lot of refinement as I work with the ensemble once I get the finalized score sent to them (I’m still getting it copied into Finale.)

I’ll be sharing more news about the new trio as it progresses!

VEIL, for solo mezzo-soprano & fixed media

Just finished a new piece for Megan Ihnen and the Sleep Songs project. Scored for solo mezzo-soprano and fixed media (with optional percussion), VEIL is a wordless song for sleepless souls in the dead of night.

I’m often plagued by sleepless nights. I have the winning combination of taking several hours to fall asleep with being an extremely light sleeper, so seldom does a night go by without me waking up and staying up for several hours. Coupled with this is my mind’s inescapable habit of compounding every thought and worry I had during the day into a hyper-compressed play-by-play that appears to have a fondness for midnight screenings. A burning mind is no anecdote for insomnia.

I wanted to try and capture this relaxation-of-the mind in Veil. Restless thoughts are represented by rapidly changing radio stations that are chaotically overlapping each other. The white noise feels almost inescapable, like a static-electric fence, and outside that fence is a violet gold sunset, a glowing crepuscule inviting you to escape your anxious chains. The longer you stare into the sunset, the lighter the chains feel. They become so light that they feel as though they dissolve like the sand between your toes at high-tide. Pretty soon, you forget you had chains at all as you’re swept into honey lavender harmony.