Blog

  • He Said there was no Sound

    Brand new piece written for the Rogue Trio based in Tempe, AZ. They asked me to write something after being affected by a shooting that occurred in Flagstaff, AZ, but wanted it to be about the victims and not the shooter or the political implications. They have been wonderful to work with, and I hope that more people will take the opportunity to write for this unique but wonderful instrumentationIf you are interested in getting the score and or parts, please contact me and we can work something out.

    Program Notes

    At the completion of this piece there had been 50,219 gun related incidents in the year 2015. 12,717 of those ended in death. The definition of a mass shooting is disputed by multiple sources as different things. Some sources (typically those that argue for less gun control laws), inflate the definition of a mass shooting at 4 or more victims (victims as defined by fatalities), while other sources define victims as injuries and fatalities. Regardless of these statistics, mass shootings in America have plagued our schools so much so that you cannot go a week without hearing about a mass shooting in a school in the media. 

    President Obama who has been outspoken in regards to this subject has said, “Somehow this has become routine.  The reporting is routine.  My response here at this podium ends up being routine.  The conversation in the aftermath of it.  We've become numb to this.”

    Beyond all this talk about gun control, something that we rarely talk about are victims who get injured or who witness these atrocities. The PTSD that occurs is something that is hard to report on because by the time these victims have a chance to breath after a couple days, another mass shooting has most likely occurred and the media has moved on to a new city, but these victims do not move on. They can’t move on. Their best friends are being murdered in front of their eyes. Soldiers who have been conditioned to see violence experience PTSD, but average civilians with no training are just thought to sit there and move on? This is horrifying. 

    This piece explores these concepts of moving on. It’s a distant memory. The event occurs so quickly that it is as if I never heard a sound. One victim said these words in an interview with a journalist, and it broke my heart.

  • Automobiles, Planes, and Trains

    A brand new work written for Audrey Miller and Ryan Lemoine which they will premier at the NASA conference in Lubbock, Texas in March of 2016. If you would like to purchase a copy of the Score, feel free to contact me. 

    Program Notes:

    As someone who travels a lot, and has lived in places that required frequent use of Planes and Trains, as well as growing up taking roadtrips quite a bit I experienced the beauty and the frustration that goes along with the process. I decided to visualize each mode of travel that I have used as a way to display this beauty and frustration. 

    “The 5,” is my interpretation of driving on the I-5 from Seattle to Southern California on the way to Arizona where I grew up. A route that takes you through different parts of the west coast, there are many beautiful parts on this drive. This drive also takes you through Los Angeles, which is the frustrating aspect of the drive. 

    DL 1128, is a flight between Phoenix and Atlanta. While I was conceptualizing this piece, Audrey Miller and Ryan Lemoine who commissioned this work talked about writing a piece based off of places we have all lived. Audrey grew up in Washington State, and Ryan grew up in the South in Louisiana. Audrey also went to school in Florida, and Ryan in North Carolina. The airport in Atlanta is the busiest airport in the region, and it would not be strange to pass through this city on the way to the places we lived. Airplanes are incredibly frustrating experiences. The process of going through security and take off is never fun. Once you are in the air, it becomes slightly less frustrating, and if you open the window you might see something beautiful, but then as you deal with landing your ears pop, and again are fairly frustrated.

    The Crescent Train, is the train route along the east coast that goes from New Orleans to New York City. As I lived in NYC for two years for my masters, and Ryan lived in Louisiana, This final movement displays my experiences taking trains in various places throughout Europe, and in NY. As the train revs up, it can become slightly bumpy but once it is in full motion it is a pretty easy process. One that I find enjoyable because there is very little focus that is needed as when you have to drive, and can be much less frustrating than flying. It ends with the de-boarding process into NYC’s Pennsylvania Station. NYC is incredibly chaotic, especially at this very busy train station. 

  • Controversy for the Sake of Controversy

    Just finished a new piece! A saxophone quartet that will be prermiered by the New Thread Quartet on the Live 45 Concert Series in March 2016. It was a great experience to write a larger work for an instrumentation that I know very well. If you are interested in getting a score shoot me an e-mail under the contact me page, and we can work something out. 

    Program notes:

    Everyone has that friend who posts via social media something controversial. Sometimes these controversial posts have nothing to do with their interest in the subject, but as a way to get attention. Another example would be a friend who starts a fight or discussion because they were bored or again just wanted attention. I personally do not like this, but it happens. This quartet is my response to experiences I have had with controversy for the sake of controversy.

     

    The music uses repetition as a way to iterate the repetitiveness that can occur when these types of discussions happen. One person says something, and another person repeats almost the exact same thing in a different voice. In the end everything resolves, but in my experience the resolution has nothing to do with the original argument so I have incorporated that into the ending.