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.

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.

NEW COMMISSION: Trio for amplified violin, viola, and narrator

I’m excited to announce that I will be collaborating with the Third Angle Ensemble on a new piece scored for amplified violin, viola, and narrator! The new trio will be part of “Heaving Voices 4.0,” a concert series devoted to works featuring spoken text against live music.

I’ll be using a text titled Frozen Smolder by Portland author and poet, Sandra Stone. The new trio will (likely) also be under this name.

3a FS Sketches

(some initial sketches)

The premier will be on Friday, November 5th at 7:30pm and will be performed at Studio2@Zoomtopia in downtown Portland. There will be another performance the next night, too.

You can read more about Third Angle’s Upcoming season here.

Percussion Duet COMPLETED

Man, I really need to get better at updating this site. A lot has been going on and consequently my already limited attention-span has been drastically reduced. There’s a new job potentially happening, a new collaboration that may call for a new piece with Cascadia Composers, some arranging work for Steam Radio Syndicate… etc, etc. All good things, in the end.

The point here isn’t to whine though, it’s to announce the completion of a brand new percussion duet that I’m quite excited about. It was written for Seattle’s RE:Percussion Duo (Andrew Angell and David Soloman, respectively), and, if all goes according to my master plan, it will be premiered in mid-August. This will be the first solely percussion piece I’ve written. I’ve written extended works that feature percussion before (one with soprano, cello, and percussion trio), but never with percussion as the main focus. The instruments featured are  ‘high’ and ‘low’ resonant metal pipes, 2 toms, vibes (4-hands), 2 triangles (high and low), 8 tuned flower pots, and 7 suspended glockenspiel bars. Metallic pulses are a central idea throughout (this piece was partially inspired by David Lang’s Anvil Chorus), though the closing sections are much warmer and mellower. A single rhythmic motive is heard through the entire work in various guises; it’s dissected, varied, augmented, diminished, and ornamented within and around a wide variety of rhythms derived from Morse code (there aren’t any secret encoded messages, though; the Morse code was used primarily to generate motives by selecting letters from pitches). The form is a rough ternary with some extended transition periods, and the piece lasts around 9 minutes as a single movement.

I still need a title.

NEW COMMISSION: Duet for Percussion

I’m a bit late announcing this, but I’ve begun a new work for Seattle’s RE:Percussion Duo which will receive its premier in mid-August at the Community Music Center. This concert will be a collaborative effort and is being generously sponsored by Cascadia and Friends. It’ll also feature a new work by Portland composer Troy Ramos, as well as some yet-to-be determined works by Cascadia members and rep of the duet’s choosing.

More to come!