Monthly Archives: June 2014

A Happy Composer

Ladies and Gentlemen, today, I am a happy composer.  What makes a composer happy?  Well, basically nothing – we’re all tortured, existentially-fraught philosophers in sound who see this world for the vale of tears it really is.

But occasionally one receives a very decent recording of one’s own work, and one can’t help but feel a moment of pride.  Therefore, I present to you now two of my newest musical children:

Symphonic Essay (2014)

I composed this piece mainly this past January for the Cincinnati Symphony Youth Orchestra; we premiered it at the end of March and recorded it at the beginning of May.  Here’s an earlier essay/manifesto I wrote about it.

The Dwarf Planets (2012)

A suite in five movements for brass quintet, timpani and organ, composed for the Gargoyle Brass Quintet.  Each movement depicts the god or goddess assigned to one of the outermost celestial bodies in our solar system (click the title above for more info thereabout.)






Symphonic Essay – – tmp+3 – 2hp – str

I composed this piece over the course of about 6 weeks from December ’13 thru January ’14.  I wrote it specifically for the talents and strengths of the Cincinnati Symphony Youth Orchestra, which I have been privileged to conduct for several years now.

The piece is intended to be the first movement in a three-movement symphony; as such, it is written in strict sonata-allegro form.  The introduction is suffused with the general smokiness of 1940’s film noir (and the melodic sensibilities of Björk); the first theme is a romp in the manner of jazzy-Ravel and Sondheim; the effusive love theme is in the Tchaikovsky/Rachmaninoff mode.  If you look closely, the themes are all motivically related, something I’m rather proud of.

Here is an essay (which is really a little bit of a manifesto) about how this piece fits into my overall project of restoring the place of orchestral music in the wider pantheon of contemporary culture.