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Perpetual Motion
reed quintet

Perpetual Motion is a sonic exploration of interlocking rhythms across multiple parts in a chamber ensemble. The piece features a blurred texture at the beginning marked by a bass clarinet solo and a stark, pointillistic middle section before a return to the introductory material to end the piece.

Recording by Calefax Reed Quintet.

Blue Ridge
clarinet quartet

Finalist for the 2022 USNA Band Call for Scores. Blue Ridge is inspired by the natural beauty of America's forests and mountains. During the pandemic in 2020, I found myself taking more road trips than I had taken in a long time. During my long drives, I found solace in the quiet beauty of the scenery that passed by. It was a transformative experience for me, one that has had a lasting impact on my creative practice. Many of my compositions are directly inspired by the sprawling vistas I saw on my travels, and Blue Ridge is no exception. This piece in particular is inspired by the Great Smoky Mountains area of the Blue Ridge Mountains along the Tennessee and North Carolina border. It depicts a sunrise over the peaks, rays of sunshine streaming through the trees and mist. The music is relaxed and serene, loosely based on the American folk tune "Oh Shenandoah" which comes in and out of focus throughout the piece, as if being viewed through the mist in the morning along the slopes of those mountains. There are also small nods to Aaron Copland's Appalachian Spring dotted throughout.

Ripples 4
open instrumentation quartet

Ripples 4 represents the first in a series of pieces based on acoustically recreating a sense of delay. Player 1 plays the "dry" signal, while the other 3 players each simulate a dotted-eighth note delay that gets quieter and dies out after the third echo. The piece is meant to be played by any grouping of four musicians playing the same four "instruments," which can be any object that can create four different sounds. Possible options include four sets of bongos played with two different sounds per drum, four voices using a different pitch or syllable for each sound, or four vibraphones, in the case of this rendering, using a different pitch of a four-voice chord for the sounds.

I Know of Nothing Else but Miracles
trombone choir (or low brass)

I wrote I Know of Nothing Else but Miracles as I reflected upon my experiences during the pandemic that began in 2020. Forced into a new way of life, I began to appreciate everything around me more than I previously had. I found such beauty in both the simplicity and complexity of my surroundings and marveled at everything from the craftsmanship of a sweater I wore to the wind passing through the leaves of a tree. Everything took on new meaning. The title of the work is taken from Walt Whitman's poem "Miracles" in which he considers everything in his life, and truly everything in existence, to be a miracle, appreciating the gift of life and the beauty of it. After all, what greater miracle is there than life itself?

Recording by the University of Wisconsin - Madison Low Brass.

flute, clarinet, electric guitar, piano, and double bass

Synchronicity, or “meaningful coincidences,” is a concept introduced by psychologist Carl Jung to describe events that aren’t proven to have any causal relationship to one another, yet seem to be meaningfully related. For example, one may notice a particular number or word appearing repeatedly— seemingly everywhere. Or, one may have been thinking of messaging a friend just moments before receiving a message from that friend. Synchronicities aims to recreate this feeling using a recurring motif found throughout the piece in intentionally subtle ways. This can be seen when different sections (without repeated material) feel connected by an element that is not immediately apparent. Underlying motifs and ideas continue to appear throughout and lead the listener to look for the meaning behind the coincidences.

Recording by NOW Ensemble.

On the Windswept Plains
violin, cello, guitar, and piano

On the Windswept Plains is inspired by my travels to and from Denver during the two years I spent living and studying there. I tried to capture how the wide open plains, rocky outcrops, and huge expansive skies made me feel as I drove between Texas and Colorado. The piece is currently being reworked into a chamber orchestra version.


Three Vignettes
viola and vibraphone

Three Vignettes is a set of short pieces, each meant to represent a snapshot of a certain mood or feeling. The pieces explore textural, timbral combinations between the two instruments through a variety of (extended) techniques to produce an array of sounds.

viola and piano

Night is a sonic exploration of my personal feelings about nighttime. On the whole, I love the night: the atmosphere is quiet as many people retire indoors and go to sleep; shining, shimmering lights turn on all over; and the sky above is dotted with twinkling stars. It is a peaceful time when I feel I can compose and find some time to relax. Nights are full of melancholic beauty. On the other hand, night (and darkness in general) has historically been a time that is uncertain, unsettling, or even frightening for humans. The darkness can obscure the truth and even create non-truths in the form of hallucinations. Night mostly deals with the former, usually moments of melancholy and relief, but with moments throughout (and especially at the end) that represent the more uncertain aspects of nighttime.

Birds in Conversation
clarinet and marimba

Birds in Conversation is a lighthearted tone poem regarding my love for birds and rhythm. I imagined a busy treetop full of different birds all having different conversations with one another, some silly and some more serious, and wrote what I thought that might sound like. The result is a rhythmically intricate mix of chittering and song that comes together to create a wash of sound reminiscent of bird calls.

Termination Shock
clarinet and double bass

The Termination Shock is a boundary within the Sun's influence in space where solar winds drastically slow down to be slower than the speed of sound. This area is just before the edge of the heliosphere, the total area of the Sun's influence, beyond which is interstellar space. Space has always fascinated me, its countless mysteries and unfathomable magnitude. This piece was inspired by this edge in space, between our home and what lies beyond. I imagined a manned spacecraft of the distant future approaching this boundary, unsure about the unknowns of interstellar space, anxious but excited about what discoveries lie ahead.

soprano and piano

Robin tells the tale of a little bird who keeps his spirits up through all the seasons by singing his song. He shows his appreciation for the milder seasons, singing his thanks for the joys they bring, and continues his optimism through the winter. The soprano represents the robin singing optimistically through all the seasons, which are represented by the piano. The piece includes a robin motif featured in both parts and a transcription of actual American robin song featured in the piano.

Recording by Madison Williams and Cody Guy Garrison.

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