Reflection no. 2

Reflection no. 2 was composed for the 2020 Cazenovia Counterpoint Festival in Cazenovia, New York. It was premiered at the Rising Stars concert on July 28th, 2020, a program which featured young, award winning performers.

Reflection no. 2 for Flute and Piano is a continuation of the sound world of Reflection no. 1 for piano solo. Like that earlier piece, Reflection no. 2 expresses a predominately lonely character which is interrupted by a brief period of agitation. Perhaps they are two parts of the same piece? The piece was constructed using the four note pitch class set from my first string quartet. This set was then processed as a rotational array to create four unique harmonic configurations related by a central pitch. Such an approach is influenced by the serial music of Igor Stravinsky. The piece also bears some influence from Olivier Messiaen; the opening texture was taken from his piece Le Merle Noir.

Vita Marie Dean – Flute

Sar Shalom Strong – Piano

Reed Quintet no. 1 ( Reading by Akropolis Reed Quintet )

Reed Quintet no. 1 – Reading by Akropolis Reed Quintet

This piece was written in contradiction to my usual process. Each movement first presented itself as a complete or semi-complete whole before undergoing “composition surgery” and emerging as something similar but uniquely different. The pitch and rhythmic materials, as well as the tempi and relative durations of all three movements were informed by Fibonacci numbers. The use of Fibonacci numbers was most radical in the second movement. Each movement is of a very different character and I hope that you will enjoy getting to know each one.

I. With Light Intensity

II. With Individual Precision

III. With Flowing Movement

The recording provided was recorded in a reading session with the Akropolis Reed Quintet:

Tim Glocklin – Oboe

Kari Landry – Clarinet

Matt Landry – Alto Saxophone

Ryan Reynolds – Bassoon

Andrew Koeppe – Bass Clarinet

Kevin Muldoon – Sound Engineer

Recorded in the Setnor Auditorium at Syracuse University – 2/25/20

Shall the Circle Survive?

Shall the Circle Survive? for double saxophone quartet is told from the perspective of an unknown narrator, whose voice is heard in the piece from the various members of the ensemble. Having just lost a loved one, their (the narrator’s) jumbled thoughts of mourning are heard at the very beginning. These thoughts are interrupted throughout¬† the piece by longer musical passages as the narrator’s mind becomes intoxicated by¬† pleasant memories of the one they mourn. Yet their mind always returns to the somber contemplation heard at the beginning.

Much of the piece is based on the folk hymn Will the Circle be Unbroken. All of the spoken portions of this piece are adapted from the lyrics of the Carter Family recording of the song from 1927.

Premiered 12-6-17

Shelbey Evans, Zach Grenig – Soprano Saxophone

Mitchell Beck, Matthew Loya – Alto Saxophone

Chris Sacha, Emmanuel Fernandes – Tenor Saxophone

Beau Haygood, Eric Espinoza – Baritone Saxophone