And All Time

For Chamber Ensemble – Fl. Ob. Cl. Hn. Bsn. Pno. Vln. Vla. Vcl. Cb.
Duration: 13′
Commission: Commissioned by the Fromm Music Foundation for Fifth House Ensemble.
Premiere: March 24, 2017. Fifth House Ensemble; Fourth Presbyterian Church, Chicago, IL
Text: from “The Bells” (Edgar Allan Poe)
“Time Is” (Henry van Dyke)
from “On Time” (John Milton)
from “Poem of Joys” (Walt Whitman)
Program Note:
I devised the idea of a piece on time when I found several texts all dealing with time from various points-of-view. These four poems work very well together: Edgar Allan Poe’s The Bells addresses the delight of the universe spinning in rhythmical time; Henry van Dyke’s Time Is comments on how we experience the slow or swift passage of time based on various states of emotion; John Milton’s On Time accuses time of being greedy, stealing time from man’s lives; and Walt Whitman’s Poem of Joys celebrates the joy of time, both now and always, as well as throughout the universe. I arranged these four texts in this specific order to craft a narrative that moves through delight, sadness, anger, and finally joy. I carry out the idea of time through the tempo of the works – all but one tempo indication are derived from a musical beat lasting one second (i.e. the speed of the quarter note is sixty beats per minute). The performers double as the narrators of the poems throughout the piece.

…because it is winter everywhere…

For Alto Flute, Viola, Cello, and Contrabass
Duration: 10′
Commission: Commissioned by the Network for New Music, Philadelphia, Linda Reichert, artistic director, for the “Poetry Through Music” project.
Premiere: February 26, 2017. Network for New Music; Presser Hall, Settlement Music School, Philadelphia, PA.

For Orchestra
3(2nd dbl. A.Fl.; 3rd dbl. Picc.) 3(dbl. E.H.) 3(2nd dbl. Eb Cl.) 3(3=CBsn) – 4 3 3(B.Tbn.) 1;
Timp. 3Perc. Pno.(dbl. Cel.) Hp. Str.
Duration: 11′-12′
Commission: Los Angeles Philharmonic Association, Gustavo Dudamel, Music Director.
Premiere: February 24, 25, and 26, 2017. Los Angeles Philharmonic, James Gaffigan, conductor; Walt Disney Concert Hall, Los Angeles, CA.

For Guitar and Ensemble
Duration: 13′
Commission: Commissioned by the Talea Ensemble.
Premiere: February 17, 2017. Nico Couck, guitar, Talea Ensemble; National Sawdust, Brooklyn, NY.
Mythology Suite

For Wind Ensemble – 5Fl.(5th dbl. Picc.) 3Ob.(3rd dbl. E.H.) 6Cl. B.Cl. 2Bsn. Cbsn. (or Cb.Cl.)
S.Sax. A.Sax. T.Sax. B.Sax. – 4Hn. 3Tpt. 2Tbn. B.Tbn. Euph. Tba.; Timp. 4Perc. Hp. Pno.
Duration: 19′
Commission: Originally commissioned by the Albany (NY) Symphony Orchestra; arrangement commissioned by the Carthage College Wind Orchestra for the 2017 Japan Tour.
Full Premiere: February 16, 2017. Chicago College of the Performing Arts Wind Ensemble, Stephen Squires, conductor; Ganz Hall, Roosevelt University; Chicago, IL.
Partial Premiere (mvmts I. & II.): January 22, 23, 24 and February 5, 2017. Carthage College Wind Ensemble, James Ripley, conductor; Toka Hall, Kurashiki, Japan (22nd); Stake Memorial Hall, Hiroshima, Japan (23rd); Marine Base, Iwakuni, Japan (24th); Carthage College, Kenosha, WI (5th)
Movements: I. The Lovely Sirens
II. Penelope Waits
III. Pandora Undone
Program Note:
The Mythology Suite consists of three movements of my Mythology Symphony, arranged for large wind ensemble.

Movement 1: The Lovely Sirens
The Sirens were sea nymphs, usually pictured as part woman and part bird, who lived on a secluded island surrounded by rocks. Their enchanting song was irresistible to passing sailors, who were lured to their deaths as their ships were destroyed upon the rocks. The Lovely Sirens presents three ideas: the Sirens’ beautiful song, an unfortunate group of sailors whose course takes them near the island, and the disaster that befalls the sailors. The sailors’ peril is represented by the Morse code S.O.S. signal (three dots, three dashes, and three dots—represented musically by short and long rhythms). The S.O.S. signal grows increasingly more insistent and distressed as it becomes obvious that the sailors, smitten with the voices of the Sirens, are headed for their demise.

Movement 2: Penelope Waits
This quiet movement represents Queen Penelope, the faithful wife of Odysseus, as she patiently waits twenty years for her husband’s return from fighting the Trojan Wars. Penelope herself is represented as an oboe. She is accompanied by a chamber orchestra (rather than the entire ensemble) as she keeps at bay the suitors who wish to marry her and inherit her riches.

Movement 3: Pandora Undone
This movement is, in turns, both lighthearted and serious. The music depicts a young, naïve Pandora who, while dancing around her house, spies a mysterious box. She tries to resist opening it, but her curiosity ultimately gets the best of her. When she cracks the lid open and looks inside, all evils escape into the world. Dismayed by what she has done, she looks inside the box once more. She discovers hope still in the box and releases it to temper the escaped evils and assuage mankind’s new burden.