Chamber and Solo

Clang! for percussion duo – 2017

Clang! is inspired by the following haiku by the 18th century poet Kobayashi Issa:

Clang once more
Mountain temple bell!
Spring rain

The experience described in this haiku is a distinctly musical one: the tolling of a bell being slowly swallowed up in the Read More…

All Flesh is Grass… for alto flute, clarinet, violin, cello, and bass – 2015

This summer I traveled by car through a significant portion of the American Midwest. While I
have been through most of these places in the past, these more recent travels struck me differently. I
found myself frequently captivated by the geography and history of this area, and how those two
things have worked together to change both the landscape of this place, and the larger history of our
country. This piece is intended to capture the complex emotions that I felt while experiencing the Read More…

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The Heron - Version 2A’ Chorra-ghritheach for soprano, bass clarinet, and bass – 2015

Commissioned by Victoria Minton, A’ Chorra-ghritheach (The Heron), is a setting of a portion of the poem of the same title by Sorley MacLean. The text is an early work for MacLean, and is the first in a long career of poetry in Gaelic. The portion of the poem used in this work compares the mind and life of a heron with those of the author. This comparison expresses dissatisfaction with the complications humans impose on their own emotional lives, especially in contrast with the simplicity of a heron’s. Read More…

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Age of Forests - Version 2Age of Forests
for string quartet – 2014

A great deal of music has been written in the past which draws on nature for its inspiration. Beethoven, Haydn, Debussy, Mendelssohn, Vivaldi, and countless others have written works intended to evoke natural processes or picturesque landscapes. The tendency in the vast majority of these works is to idealize nature, to treat it as peaceful and beautiful. Anyone with first-hand experience and knowledge of nature, however, knows that this is a decidedly incomplete picture. Read More… 

FlyFly Trapped in a Jar
for solo violin – 2012

The inspiration for this piece initially came from a song by Modest Mouse with the same title. The concept of a fly being trapped inside of a jar is alluring in its tragedy. The fly is normally so free in its movement and is then confined to a tiny, space where it can barely move and will probably die. Read More…

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mitochondriaMitochondria for solo piano – 2011
Mitochondria are small parts of cells that manufacture ATP, the fuel cells use for energy. The thing that I found interesting about them, and the thing that I am attempting to capture in this piece, is that they are not only identical across the different cells in a person’s body (thus a blood cell contains mitochondria that are identical to a brain cell) but are also identical across the entire female lineage of a family (thus, you have the same mitochondria as your mother who has the same as her mother). Read More…

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