Kutimbua Kivumbi (stomp the dust) | for orchestra (2015)
Second Place Winner of the 2016 American Prize in Composition (orchestral division). Kutimbua Kivumbi is a Swahili phrase that loosely means, “Stomp the Dust.” This composition was inspired by a trip to Kenya where, as a part of a sabbatical, I studied the music of the Akamba people in the Machakos region. More extensive program notes are embedded in the YouTube page.
On a Poem By Miho Nonaka: Harvard Square | for solo flute (2011)
Winner of the 2016 Flute New Music Consortium Composition Competition (solo flute division). This composition – inspired by Harvard Square, a poem by the Japanese poet, Miho Nonaka – is a work for solo flute, composed for and premiered by my friend, Caen Thomason-Redus. It was not my intention to, necessarily, text paint each word of the poem; rather, I tried to evoke the essence of the poem’s meaning. In one word, Nonaka describes her poem as being about ‘resonance.’ A natural term in the music world, the word ‘resonance’, figuratively speaking, can also mean evoking images, memories and emotions, which she beautifully achieves in Harvard Square. This composition is for the virtuoso flutist, utilizing various extended flute techniques. For example, the composition begins with the flute playing bamboo tones, a way for the modern western flute to, by using nontraditional fingerings (which I notated in the score), sound like a shakuhachi flute, a Japanese bamboo flute.
Distance | duo for cello and marimba (2016)
This work is for the virtuoso cellist and marimbist, and is inspired by a poem by Miho Nonaka entitled, Distance. This piece was composed in memory of my friend, Roger Lundin.
Deep River | for treble choir (2014)
This is a live performance of my setting of Deep River for women's choir and piano. The Wheaton College Women's Chorale (for whom the piece was written) is performing the work under the direction of Dr. Mary Hopper
Ritual Dances | for band (2002)
Performed by the Band of the Royal Belgian Navy. Composed and premiered by The United States Army Field Band.
X |for percussion ensemble (2014)
X—not the Roman numeral for 10, or the 24th letter in the alphabet, or the civil rights activist, but the Greek symbol for Christ—is inspired by the text of an old 19th-century Salvation Army hymn, Christ is All. The verses were penned by Herbert Howard Booth, the son of William Booth (founder of The Salvation Army church), and W. H. Williams wrote the words to the chorus. The Salvation Army as a religious and social movement that began in Victorian England and was founded with the purpose of helping and spreading the Christian message to the lowest of society: the homeless, the poor, the drunks, the harlots, etc. In this work, I wanted to musically evoke the hustle and bustle of mid-19th century London, propelled, in part, by the industrial revolution, including the darker side of that era: drunkenness, hopelessness, and despair. This work is rhythmically complex and sonically harsh. As the piece progresses, slowly the beautiful hymn, by which the piece was inspired, enters in and ultimately takes over—serene and peaceful—musically evoking the sacred notion that while we live in a world full of darkness, it’s the love and grace of Christ that is our light, our hope, our peace.
ψαλμοὶ καὶ ὕμνοι καὶ ᾠδαὶ πνευματικαί | for solo piano (2011)
This is the dynamic and graceful performance of the my work for solo piano, ψαλμοὶ καὶ ὕμνοι καὶ ᾠδαὶ πνευματικαί, performed Iris Cheng
I. Ede Ede (Nigeria) ...an ostinato – attacca
II. Bringing in the Sheaves (U.S.A.) ...a variation
III. Jisasi Fukemino (Papua New Guinea)...an impromptu
This work was composed for and premiered by my friend, pianist Sha Wang Luangkesorn, in 2011, and commissioned by Geneva College.