About the Piece Having played the viola for the majority of my life, the unique qualities of the instrument's tone and timbre have been an important part of how I perceive music. The roots of this piece lie in improvisation, and textures that I find aurally pleasing on the instrument. These include long tones juxtaposed against quick, acrobatic passages, as well as finding the limits of the instrument's register.
'Driven' for Brass Quintet (2014)
About the Piece Starting off at a slow and concentrated tempo, using the instruments sparingly, the listener is soon shoved head-first into a fast paced, adrenaline rush. With very little room to catch your breath, the audience is almost overwhelmed with a full brass texture. Having roots deep in the composer’s fear of driving, the piece is unapologetic and brash.
'Clear Skies & Calm Shores' for Guitar Trio (2014)
About the Piece Relaxed and gentle, this piece for guitar trio evokes a feeling of simplicity. As the performers trade ostinatos and distant harmonics, yearning melodies form around them to create the image of a ship’s bow, rocking on the serene waters below.
'Crisp' for String Quartet (2014)
About the Piece Beginning with an exhilarating rhythmic motive in the cello, 'Crisp' hurtles the listener into a whirlwind of harmonic and metric shifts. Establishing a focus on ostinati early on to guide the listener, the piece morphs into sections showcasing varying string techniques including pizzicato, marcato, and sul ponticello.
'Faith' for Solo Piano (2013)
About the Piece While working on a short film, a director asked me to read through a new script he’d been writing and to sketch out ideas for what the music to this film may sound like. The piece depicts a man and his wife struggling with the notion of bringing a child into a world filled with hate, while simultaneously grappling with their faith in God. While the film was never made, I took my material and created this concert suite.
'The Starry Night' for Woodwind Trio (2013)
About the Piece Based on the Van Gogh painting of the same name, this piece for woodwind trio was originally conceived for a composer/choreographer collaboration concert. The bright stars, the swirling winds, and the dark silhouette of a cypress tree are among the identifiable aspects of the painting. These are also the basis of my musical material for the piece. The opening two-note motive illustrates the point-afterglow nature of the moon and the stars in painting, and the moody bass clarinet melody follows the contour of the wind. The melody begins to work its way upwards through the ensemble, as if it is climbing the tree to get a better view of the sky above.
'Dawn' for String Trio & Mandolin (2012)
About the Piece This piece is meant to paint the picture of the sun rising on a new day. With bright strumming of the mandolin and lush string melodies, the piece focuses on melodic development while each instrument gets their own moment to shine.