Ladies and Gentlemen, today, I am a happy composer. Â What makes a composer happy? Â Well, basically nothing â€“ 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. Â Therefore, I present to you now two of my newest musical children:
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. Â Here’s an earlier essay/manifesto I wrote about it.
A suite in five movements for brass quintet, timpani and organ, composed for the Gargoyle Brass Quintet. Â 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.)
I composed this piece over the course of about 6 weeks from December ’13 thru January ’14. Â 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. Â The introduction is suffused with the general smokiness of 1940’s film noir (and the melodic sensibilities of BjÃ¶rk); the first theme is a romp in the manner of jazzy-Ravel and Sondheim; the effusive love theme is in the Tchaikovsky/Rachmaninoff mode. Â 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.