Instrumentation: solo snare drum & electronics
This short piece is my first foray into electroacoustic composition. I wanted to focus on the specific spectral properties of the snare drum itself, and so each section of the piece centers around a different "harmonic polyrhythm" - a rhythmic pattern that matches an individual harmonic ratio of the overtone series present within the drum. I used improvisation as a jumping-off point for some of the motivic development. The piece has very little to do with Terry Riley's famous work with a similar title, but I do like writing in D.
Composed while studying abroad in Prague, and premiered there in May 2018. Performed by Kyle Brenn.
Special thanks to Michal Rataj & Aron Kobayashi Ritch for their guidance and help with mixing!
Instrumentation: percussion duo
This piece’s title has three meanings. First, it is the backwards spelling (minus the ‘ck’ in the middle) of the word necker, a reference to the necker cube—an optical illusion where the front face of a transparent outline of a cube will appear to change orientation the longer you look at it. In German, the verb recken means ‘to stretch,’ and if nothing else, this work stretches the musical capabilities of the two players. It is also a homophone for the English word reckon, meaning 'to consider.’ Many times throughout the 8 minutes the players and listeners alike are asked to reckon with various musical conundrums in which more than one rhythmic pulse or melodic arc is present.
recken relies on interlocking patterns, ostinati and improvisation-inspired passages between two disparate elements: a vibraphone, and what can be seen as a deconstructed drum set, in its most basic parts: kick drum, snare drum, hi hat, and cymbal. In turn, responsibilities for both of these elements are distributed between the two players, adding an exciting visual aspect to the performance. I was heavily inspired by my own fascination with the drum set, the first instrument I started playing and the one that I relate to the most. recken is an attempt to fuse polyrhythmic grooves with a minimalist-leaning contemporary classical idiom, and should above all be enjoyable and challenging to play and to hear.
Premiered by Cisum Percussion (Nicholas Hall & Noah Hadland) in October 2017 at their Composing for Percussion Workshop.
Haves and Have Nots
(2017, later revised)
Instrumentation: violin, cello, piano, percussion
Originally performed with choreography by Mimi Liu (NYU Tisch Dance '17), as part of the Jewish Community Center of Manhattan's collaborative workshop with NYU. The 2017 program was entitled "The World is a Very Narrow Bridge: New Music and Choreography" and featured premieres of four pieces by New York composer/choreographer pairs based around a five-month study of Jewish text surrounding fear.
Believing it was a landmark piece in my compositional development, I revised it in the fall of 2017 for the semesterly NYU Composer's Collective concert.
Premiere performance featuring Emily Vold (violin), Emirhan Tunca (cello), Kyle Brenn (percussion), Patrick Gallagher (piano).
Composer's Collective performance featuring Yaz Lancaster (violin), David Mayers (bassoon), Danielle Chan (percussion), Alex Saraceno (piano).
Break of Day
(2015, rev. 2016)
Instrumentation: solo vibraphone & string quintet (2 violins, viola, cello, double bass)
Based on a birdcall heard frequently outside my home in Connecticut, Break of Day celebrates birds in an impressionistic way, avoiding instruments or musical figures that are generally associated with them. I try to evoke a wide range of images and emotions throughout, from the graceful, almost hypnotic motion of an airborne flock to the chaotic scramble for the last breadcrumb—all in the service of honoring nature’s original music makers.
Premiered at the 2017 NYU Composer's Collective spring concert. The audio included here is a MIDI rendering.
Instrumentation: solo marimba
Written in the midst of the college application process, Solitudes is a reflection on the various anxieties and inner struggles I was experiencing when looking to the future. It represented for me a more detailed exploration of motivic and rhythmic development, with the constant eighth notes in 12/8 time giving the relatively simple melodies forward momentum.
Recorded at Western Connecticut State University by Lucas Borgstet. Performed by Kyle Brenn.
Instrumentation: concert band (picc, 2fl, ob, 3cl, bscl, 2asax, tsax, bsax, bsn•3tpt, 4hn, 2tb, bstb, euph, tuba•timp, 4perc)
Debut large-ensemble venture, with a sweeping, expressive sentiment borne from looking back on a great journey. Ideal for an intermediate high school or college band. Premiered by the Norwalk High School Wind Symphony (Chris Rivera, director) at their 2015 spring concert.