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Faye-Ellen Silverman
www.fayeellensilverman.com
fayenote@post.harvard.edu

Faye-Ellen Silverman, born in New York City, holds a BA from Barnard College, an AM from Harvard University, and a DMA from Columbia University. Her compositions are published by Seesaw Music Corp., a division of Subito Music, and recorded on Albany, New World Records, Capstone and Crystal Records. She has received awards from UNESCO, the National League of American Pen Women, ASCAP, and the Rockefeller Foundation, and commissions from the Edinboro University Chamber Players, Seraphim, Philip A. De Simone, Larry Madison, Thomas Matta, the IWBC for Junction, the Monarch Brass Quintet, the Sylvia and Danny Kaye Playhouse, the Fromm Foundation, NEA, Great Lakes Performing Artist Associates, Con Spirito, the Greater Lansing Symphony, and the Chamber Music Society of Baltimore. She has taught at Columbia, various branches of City University, Goucher College, the Peabody Institute of The Johns Hopkins University, and the Aspen Music Festival, and is currently on the faculty of Mannes College the New School for Music and Eugene Lang College. She is also a Founding Member of Music Under Construction, a Founding Board Member of the International Women’s Brass Conference and the author of the 20th-century section of the Schirmer History of Music.

Click on a CD
Cover for Details


Manhattan Stories


Music for Velvet


Points of Entry: The Laurels Project, Vol. 2


Works of Faye-Ellen Silverman and Ralph Shapey


Audio Samples:Memory and Alterations    Stories for Our Time, movement 1    
The Wings of Night movement IV    

Works in the NYWC Catalog:

3 Guitars

Duration: 13'
Instrumentation: 3 Guit
As the name implies, “Processional is based on the idea of a parade. Chordal sections (the first of which uses double dotted rhythms) alternate with non-chordal sections derived from typical guitar techniques. The first and fourth of these non-chordal sections are contrapuntal. The second is based repeated notes and patterns involving an eighth note and two sixteenths. The third section is based on triplet sixteenth turns. The third and fourth non-chordal sections are separated by only three measures of chords, and the chords, this time, are unbroken. Each of the first three non-chordal sections moves higher than the last one, while the fourth stays in the higher range established by the third. In keeping with this progression, the first of these sections has the melody mainly in the lower voice, while the fourth has the melody in the upper. In general, both chordal and non-chordal sections get shorter and the tempi faster as the work progresses. Finally, the work comes full circle with a beat of quarter notes at 108 but with rhythms in half notes, so that the perceived tempo is the same as that of the opening measures (quarter note beat equal to 54). Opening and closing chords are also related, although the latter are slightly changed in keeping with their musical role.
Publisher:
Subito Music Corporation
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Adhesions

Duration: 12
Instrumentation: full orchestra

According to Webster’s dictionary, “adhesion” may be defined as follows: “in medicine, the growing together of normally separate tissues”. This definition, in conjunction with aspects of sonata-allegro form (typical of the first movement of a symphony), provides the structure of this short orchestral work. It was commissioned by the Greater Lansing Symphony, and dedicated to the orchestra and its conductor.

Publisher:
Subito Music Corporation
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Alternating Currents

Duration: 7'
Instrumentation: B~Tbn,Pno
In commissioning this work, Thomas Matta mentioned that it would be premiered as part of a series celebrating America and American music. This thought led me to the title “Alternating Currents” (represented by beginning the piece on A and ending on C, and two alternating tempos) as, in my mind, part of America’s strength comes from its technology, and the title term comes from the field of electricity. The definition of the title term also states that the field is strongest when lines are close together – a concept relating not only to electricity but also to the idea of America as a melting pot.
Publisher:
Subito Music Corporation
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At the Colour Café

Duration: 10'
Instrumentation: 4 Tpt,4 Hn,2 Tbn,B~Tbn,Tba,Perc
In writing a piece for the Monarch Brass (for the second International Women’s Brass Conference), I wanted to create a work which was light and fun, and one which made use of the soloistic capabilities of the players. The title of the piece came to me as I started sketching. A friend remarked that it reminded him of a jazz club with a drum set. From this image came the piece. While it is not a jazz work, it does rely on some jazz colorings, such as the opening with its tritone and fourth rather than piled up thirds, the snare drum accompanying the opening solo, and the use of jazz scales in one section. In addition to jazz shadings, various instrumental colorings are used, such as varied mutes and unconventional instrumental doublings (as when three trombones double selected notes of the opening tuba solo).Throughout the work, there are solos which drift in and out, like bits of conversation overheard in a crowded room. This is especially true of the fast section, which alternates three soloistic sections (each at a different tempo) with fuller ensemble sections.


Publisher:
Subito Music Corporation
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Azure Skies

Duration: 7 1/2'
Instrumentation: Vln,Vc,Hp
The title "Azure Skies" arose from my original intention to have the work’s premiere take place on the Cote d'Azur. The design is seemingly simple. There is a cello melody that appears three times - each of which continues the last appearance, but making use of a higher range. The first continuation includes double stops, while the second one has the violin below the cello. In between there are two interruptions with fragments of melody which try but don't succeed in leading the cello in other directions - in keeping with the lack of energy typical of days spent in the sun. The first of these has the harp taking off from the cello melody and leading the players to faster material, while the second begins faster and gradually slows down, both in tempo and in the speed of the subdivisions of the beat, which move from sixteenth notes to triplets to the eighths which also characterize the cello melody. The harmony remains tonal, but with tension just below the surface calm. The work ends with the other two instruments joining the cello, at which point the three slow down and fade away.
Publisher:
Subito Music Corporation
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Bridges in Time

Duration: 10'
Instrumentation: Tpt,Perc,4 Vln,2 Vla,2 Vc,Cb

Publisher:
Subito Music Corporation
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Candlelight

Duration: 16
Instrumentation: piano and full 0rchestra (3/3/3/3 4/3/3/1 timpani, 2 perc, harp, strings)
The idea of “Candlelight”, for piano and orchestra, originated as an expression of gratitude for those who helped or “lit a candle”. Gradually, though, this work evolved from other meanings of the title, since candlelight is a powerful universal symbol.

The piece opens with a candlelight procession (reminiscent of both political vigils and funerals), builds, then dissolves into darkness. Out of the darkness comes the light of a candle which, in Judaism, occurs on Friday nights to usher in the Sabbath – a day of joy. Thus exuberance follows, builds into dissonance, and disintegrates into emptiness. This is again followed by the lighting of candles, this time creating a brilliant flame encompassing the whole orchestra – a symbol of hope.

Publisher:
Subito Music Corporation
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Connections

Duration: 11'
Instrumentation: Cl,Vc,Mar
"Connections" was originally written for dance, in collaboration with the choreographer Leslie Satin. Composed in five short sections, it is based on a traditional Jewish Passover melody, which permeates the spirit of the work, most noticeably in the third section (where actual fragments are stated). The first and fifth sections are related in mood and tempo, and the second and fourth sections share actual musical material (as well as tempo). For example, the opening of the work - the notes D-E - arises from the cadence of the melody, which ends most phrases with E-D (and ends the work), while the opening of the second section - the notes G A B C, stated in the clarinet, relates to the A G F E of the original melody. The moving eighths of the second and fourth sections comes out of dance movements relating to prayer.

The title "Connections" has several meanings. It refers to the connection with Judaism, especially prominent during holidays such as Passover, the original relationship of the music to the dance, and the interconnections found within the work.

Publisher:
Subito Music Corporation
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Conversations

Duration: 5'17"
Instrumentation: Alto~Fl,Cl
“Conversations” is a musical illustration of the different ways in which conversations occur. It is one of my few more literal programmatic works; one in which the literal idea is transformed into the music – an Ives influence. The first movement starts with both instruments speaking (playing) together but with a slight divergence of opinion – like two people basically in agreement, nodding yes. It is soft and with limited dialogue. The softness is influenced by personal acquaintance with Morty Feldman. The shape grows and dies dynamically. The instruments begin on the same pitch, then the alto flute bends its pitch. After this, both instruments bend their pitches (the alto flute bending upwards and the clarinet bending downwards). At this point the clarinet changes pitches. Then both instruments move.

The second movement illustrates two people not listening to each other. The music portrays this by the use of two different tempi. At first each makes a pretense – the instruments alternate – but each is already thinking of what to say next. Then the pretense is abandoned as both keep talking. The third movement is a balance between the two extremes of the first two movements. Each instrument fills out the other. The flute contains whistle tones – an eerie sound.

Publisher:
Subito Music Corporation
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Danish Delights

Duration: 10
Instrumentation: Guit,Sop
When I read Sara Teasdale's poem “Pierrot in his Garden”, she seemed to characterize Volkmar Zimmerman and his involvement with the guitar perfectly. I then looked for texts that would match the mood. This led me to the idea of Corinna as a representation of a female singer. In this song cycle, Corinna and Pierrot each have both a representative tempo and a characteristic motive. After setting the Teasdale, I added an interlude with Pierrot playing on the guitar and Corinna uttering just one word – his name – related musically to the first song. This is followed by Corinna’s Tale, based on a surviving fragment by Corinna, an ancient Greek poet whose sung poetry enthralled her audiences. The guitar shadows the voice for the parts of the song that represent Corinna’s singing, while the singer is alone as Corinna tells her tale. As Corinna refers to Terpsichore as her Muse, the movement that follows is for guitar solo in the manner of a Renaissance dance. This sets the mood for “Corinna and her Lute” the ending of the cycle. The text is by the Renaissance poet and composer Thomas Campion. It begins with the tuning of the guitar, aided by the voice. The open sound of the lute, referred to in the text, is created by much use of open strings in the guitar part. This last song also brings in references to Corinna's song, Pierrot's song, and Terpsichore's dance.

Publisher:
Subito Music Corporation
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Dialogue

Duration: 4 1/2'
Instrumentation: Hn,Tba

“Dialogue” is a one-movement duet for horn and tuba in two sections. The first, designed to feel non-metered, works with steady eighth notes and trills. The section gradually grows in dynamic intensity until it dissolves into the second section. The latter contrasts with the former by its more definite rhythmic patterns and by its shaping of large-scale dynamics to grow to mezzo forte (medium loud) and then to die out. The work begins and ends with solo tuba on a low B.

Publisher:
Subito Music Corporation
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Dialogue Continued

Duration: 9 1/2'
Instrumentation: Hn,Tbn,Tba
“Dialogue Continued”, for horn, trombone, and tuba, began as a continuation of “Dialogue” (a horn – tuba duet) written from the perspective of nearly a quarter of a century later in time. This new work is in five short movements. The first and third movements are moderate in tempo (choosing the same tempo as the second movement of the original “Dialogue”), the second and fourth slow. The fifth movement, the longest of the work, moves from a slow introduction to a fast main movement. The note “B” seemed a natural tonal center, as the work is for brass instruments, two of the three players premiering this work have last names beginning with B, and this pitch began and ended the original “Dialogue”. The pitch “A” represents the first name of the third player. The wide variety of ranges and tone colors that are available from these three instruments – from close-knit ensembles to extreme ranges - has been exploited in creating this work.
This work – my first composition of the 21st century - was commissioned by Susan Slaughter for members of the Monarch Brass Quintet’s performance at the National Museum of Women in the Arts.
Publisher:
Subito Music Corporation
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Double Threat

Duration: 6'
Instrumentation: 2 Tpt
A trumpet duet, meant as a companion to my trumpet trio named, appropriately, Triple Threat.
Publisher:
Subito Music Corporation
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Duplex Variations

Duration: 11'
Instrumentation: Vln,Pno
The name “Duplex Variations” comes from the form of the composition. The work has two levels of ideas being varied. The introductory section (level A) comes back twice at the same tempo and with the same pitches, while its accompanying material is varied. The violin accompaniment becomes trills for the second statement; and violin and piano share the theme, surrounded by a newly created countermelody on the third appearance. The tempo and the piano material (stated four times as fast) also return at the start of the coda. The second level (level B) follows each statement of level A. Level B varies a small element of the original A material to build new sections,
The piece is designed to show off both players. Ideas sometimes begin in one instrument, and sometimes in the other. At times, one instrument anticipates the variation of the next. Originally conceived after watching dancers and listening to a recording of Paganini, this is meant to be a high energy, high-spirited work.
Publisher:
Subito Music Corporation
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Echoes of Emily

Duration: 6 1/2'
Instrumentation: Eng~Hn,Voice~(Alto)
Like many other composers, I feel strongly attracted to the poetry of Emily Dickinson – due to her thoughts, the beauty of her words, and the suitablility of her works for songs. “Echoes of Emily”, as the title indicates, sets two poems by her. An English horn solo (one of several works written with the oboe/English horn player James Ostryniec in mind), transitions between the two. The first song describes loneliness, while the second mocks the naivité of a too-lofty ambitions and desires, and describes an acceptance, through experience, that all is not possible.
Publisher:
Subito Music Corporation
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Edinboro Sonata

Duration: 8'
Instrumentation: Tba,Pno
Edinboro Sonata takes its name from Edinboro University Chamber Players. It was written for their concert series at the Erie County Public Library. This three-movement composition plays with the timbral possibilities of combining the various ranges and colors of the tuba and the piano in a work filled with melody. It is designed to be fun to play rather than purely virtuosic.

This work starts from the mysterious low range of the piano and the low range of the tuba – both on the same A. The mystery comes from the diffuseness of sound in both instruments in their low ranges. The tuba slowly glissandos from, then back to this note at the distance of a tritone. The movement is a true partnership between piano and tuba, with the melody transferred from one instrument to the other. The movement returns to its low register as it draws to a close. The second movement opens with a series of dramatic chords in the piano, spanning almost its entire range. The opening chords appear several times throughout the piece, and the top notes of the chords – EBCF#– with the order of the last two notes reversed, is also used on the downbeats of the piano runs. The tuba part, too, grows out of this series of pitches. The choice of the notes C followed by F# comes from the idea of uniting all three movements by the interval of the tritone. In the third movement, the running passages that open the first measure of the movement in the tuba and then are imitated in the piano are a variation on the opening glissando of the first movement. The two instruments imitate each other first at the octave and then at the interval of the seventh. Then the runs transpose the opening – increasingly varying the material as the movement progresses. The diffuseness of sound of movement one is varied here by the use of mute throughout in the tuba and the use of the soft pedal for several measures in the piano. This movement also plays with different rhythmic groupings – runs in groups of six, six mixed with four, and groups of five notes to a beat are among the rhythmic variants used. The movement approaches its end with several glissandi in the tuba once again outlining the interval of a tritone. The piece ends on the low A of the work’s opening, although this time the piano part is reinforced at the octave with the very lowest note of the range.

The Edinboro University Women’s Studies Department and Student Government Association and the Friends of the Erie County Public Library commissioned this work. It is dedicated to tuba player Daniel Burdick.

Publisher:
Subito Music Corporation
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First Position

Duration: 7'
Instrumentation: Tbn,Mar
"First Position" is built around the notes of the first slide position of a trombone, along with the intervals of the overtone series which are present between every two adjoining pitches. Thus the piece begins by emphasizing the low Bb pedal tone, then the Bb one octave higher. The phrase that follows makes much use of octaves. The next pitch emphasized is F (the second harmonic over the low Bb pedal tone). Gradually the piece expands to include the higher partials, and takes advantage of a wider range (including glissandi encompassing many partials in rapid succession.) The climax of the piece, prior to the extended trombone cadenza, emphasizes D and Ab - other pitches culled from the overtone series on the first position. This work, written for the First International Women's Brass Conference, is meant to be a showcase for the two players involved
Publisher:
Subito Music Corporation
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For Him

Duration: 10'
Instrumentation: Fl,Vc,Vib
“For Him” was written for my former teacher, Otto Luening, as a present for his seventy-fifth birthday. As he was a flutist, flute is one of the three instruments used. The piece is in five movements, each presenting one timbral idea. The first movement is in arch form. The work progresses from one to two to three back to two and then to a single instrument – solo cello. The cello opens with pizzicato to establish the mood. The arch is also created with dynamics, going from soft to loud to soft once more. In keeping with the arch design, the pitches at the end are a retrograde of the opening. The second, slow movement is concerned with different spacings of octaves. Octaves played by the three instruments together alternate with melodic fragments. Once again, the dynamics go from soft to loud and then, briefly, return to soft.
The third movement – fast and harsh in character – alternates dissonant chords with constantly moving sixteenths scattered throughout the instruments. Four-note chords in the vibraphone and two-note chords in double stops (cello), as well as the use of seconds within these chords, accentuate the harshness. The meter is constantly changing. The fourth movement is very soft and floating – cello and flute harmonics and vibraphone with soft (marimba) sticks. The vibraphone forms a background by picking up cello pitches. The dynamic arch goes from pianissimo to, briefly, mezzo forte, before returning to pianissimo. The fifth song alternates between longer and shorter notes – the longer notes are trills in the flute and double stops in the cello – and between combinations of two and of all three instruments. This movement is also fast, but not as angry as the third movement.

Publisher:
Subito Music Corporation
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For Showing Truth

Duration: 4'35"
Instrumentation: SSA a capella

“For Showing Truth” is a setting of John Keats’ poem “Written on the Day that Mr. Leigh Hunt Left Prison”. Leigh Hunt, a friend of Byron, Keats, and other Romantic poets, was an editor of The Examiner who spent two years in prison for criticizing the Prince Regent. While in jail, he continued to edit, to read, and to write. Keats’ angry poem points out that the jailing of Hunt for telling an unflattering truth could not silence his friend, who rose above his punishment by continuing to read and to think.
I chose to set this poem because it expressed poetically a subject relevant to today’s world (the early 1970s) – that of the jailing of individuals for voicing political opinions considered objectionable by the government. I further emphasized the centuries-old existence of this issue by quoting from the still-sung old German folk song, “Die Gedenken sind Frei” (“My Thoughts Are Free”), dating from shortly after the Protestant Reformation. This quotation is accompanied by a pitch pipe to suggest a folk-like quality in this otherwise a cappella piece. . At the time of this composition, I had just finished writing an article on Gesualdo. Hints of his vocal writing may be heard in this work.



Publisher:
Subito Music Corporation
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A Free Pen

Duration: 33'
Instrumentation: See description
"A Free Pen" is a cantata-like composition on freedom of speech and in honor of the 200th anniversary of the Bill of Rights. The work, approximately 33 minutes in length, is for narrator (intended to be performed by a non-musical "celebrity"), 4 solo singers (Soprano, Alto, Tenor and Bass), 8 choral singers functioning as a "Greek" chorus (2 on each part - S.A.T.B.) and 15 instrumentalists. The libretto, compiled by the composer from historical and literary documents on Socrates, Spinoza, Zenger and others, deals with the struggles for freedom of speech which have been going on since ancient Greek times and which are continuing today.

Publisher:
Subito Music Corporation
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From Sorrow

Duration: 10'
Instrumentation: Tpt,Hn,B~Tbn
The instrumentation of this work – trumpet, horn, and bass trombone - is that of Aeropagitica, a brass trio in residence at Mannes College, for whom this work was written. The materials of this piece came to me after attending the IWBC Conference. At that Conference, I had learned that a friend’s brother had cancer, but was thought to be recovering. After I came home, I learned that this brother had died. The first movement, then, originates in the half step motive – a traditional motive of lament since Baroque times. The tempo is soft, and much of the texture is muted. The solo bass trombone interlude, still low and dark, takes the piece to the tempo of the last (second) movement. The last movement starts at a moderate tempo, and gradually increases speed to a rapid coda as the trio emerges “from sorrow”.
Publisher:
Subito Music Corporation
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Gliffs

Duration: 15'
Instrumentation: Pn
“Gliffs” is a Scottish term for “moments” or “short periods of time”. The work itself is in ten short, interrelated movements. The movements are of three basic types: chordal (I, IV, VII, and IX), slow and more melodic (III, V, and IX), and textural with melodic insertions. (In pieces of the last type the melody, in each case, is inserted in a different way.) Motives are recalled but not always exactly (as happens with real-life memories), and the interrelationships increase as the work progresses. The tenth movement serves as a coda. It is slightly longer, requires more virtuosity, and has more direct references to previous movements. Also, it is both chordal and textural, and mixes slow and fast tempi.

In addition to motivic interconnections, structure is created through use of tempo. Certain tempi – quarter notes at 56, 60, 66, 88, 96, 108, and 132 – recur frequently, with different note values assigned within the same speed of beat. This too creates a sense of unity via variation. Although this composition was well underway before viewing the choreography of Pina Bausch, her dance work “1980” had a decided influence on the use of variation as memory and on the sense of playfulness of this work.

Publisher:
Subito Music Corporation
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Gliffs

Duration: 15'
Instrumentation: Pn
“Gliffs” is a Scottish term for “moments” or “short periods of time”. The work itself is in ten short, interrelated movements. The movements are of three basic types: chordal (I, IV, VII, and IX), slow and more melodic (III, V, and IX), and textural with melodic insertions. (In pieces of the last type the melody, in each case, is inserted in a different way.) Motives are recalled but not always exactly (as happens with real-life memories), and the interrelationships increase as the work progresses. The tenth movement serves as a coda. It is slightly longer, requires more virtuosity, and has more direct references to previous movements. Also, it is both chordal and textural, and mixes slow and fast tempi.

In addition to motivic interconnections, structure is created through use of tempo. Certain tempi – quarter notes at 56, 60, 66, 88, 96, 108, and 132 – recur frequently, with different note values assigned within the same speed of beat. This too creates a sense of unity via variation. Although this composition was well underway before viewing the choreography of Pina Bausch, her dance work “1980” had a decided influence on the use of variation as memory and on the sense of playfulness of this work.

Publisher:
Subito Music Corporation
www.subitomusic.com
mail@subitomusic.com


Hollowed Refrains

Duration: 11'09"
Instrumentation: Ob,Vln,Pno
“Hollowed Refrains”, created while in residence at the Rockefeller Foundation Center in Bellagio, derives its structure from its title. The piece starts with empty, hollowed sounds – octaves and fifths. The fifths used in the opening and in other sections of the piece originate in the open strings of the violin (G, D, A, E). Slow, tonal sections alternate with faster, less-tonal ones. Material from the former is reinterpreted in the latter (e.g. the use of repeated tones and of octaves), which builds up and then dies down as the section is “hollowed” or emptied to form a refrain of mood and of material of the opening.
This alternation occurs three times. The third of these fast sections sums up the piece with references to the basic materials, including an “angry” use of the pitches of the opening violin strings in oboe double-trills and in loud, arpeggiated chords in the violin. The piece ends with a final refrain –¬ restating the repeated, solitary Gs of the opening.
The Great Lakes Performing Artist Associates commissioned this work for Michael Davis, Thomas Gallant, and Nelson Harper. It is dedicated to the memory of Paul Fromm, whose passing have left so many of us with the “hollowed” feeling which accompanies the loss of a friend.

Publisher:
Subito Music Corporation
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Hymn of Compassionate Love

Duration: 12'
Instrumentation: see description
“Hymn of Compassionate Love” was written at the suggestion of my friend and former student, Larry Madison (to whom the work is dedicated). He suggested that I write a short work for church choir, using the King James version of the Bible, which has a beauty of language. As a Jew, I am unfamiliar with the New Testiment. So I turned to a friend. Philip A. DeSimone, for text suggestions. From all those he suggested, I chose I Corinthians 13. I especially liked the text because, while the modern translation of the text calls for love, the original meaning of the word, caritas (translated as “charity” in the King James version) seemed to imply compassion and ethics as well as love in order to be a worthwhile person. And the text seemed universal, in its words and message.

Larry suggested a short, practical piece. To this end, I’ve created a work with two movements (Caritas and Through a Glass Darkly) and an interlude. Each movement is composed so that it can be performed either alone or as part of the whole. The soloists can be drawn from the choir at large, as the solo parts aren’t excessively difficult. The work can also be performed with just piano (or organ), or in its orchestrated version. The orchestration itself is limited to trumpet, timpani, and strings, and the string parts are carefully written so that divisi passages are playable on single strings if additional strings aren’t available

Publisher:
Subito Music Corporation
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In Shadow

Duration: 6 1/2'
Instrumentation: Sop,Guit,Cl
“In Shadow” was created as a personal response to the death of a close friend from cancer. All three short movements are to texts of Emily Dickinson. The first, “Elysium”, for soprano and clarinet, expresses the painful period of waiting for a diagnosis. The second, “Out of the Morning”, for soprano, guitar, and clarinet, deals with the seeming impossibility of going on after learning of the terminal diagnosis of a friend. The clarinet and guitar play excerpts from the children’s song “Skip to My Lou” -- a commentary on the fact that children continue playing and other lives go happily on, a feat that seems amazing to one experiencing overwhelming grief. The third song, “In Shadow”, for soprano and guitar, takes the singer from anger to acceptance of the inalterable loss. The song accelerates and gets louder through each verse dealing with anger at nature for continuing. At the point of acceptance, the soprano returns to the original slow tempo and soft dynamic level, and the song ends even slower and softer. The guitar accompaniment changes from angry chords and ponticello to muffled sounds and harmonics.

Publisher:
Subito Music Corporation
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Interval Untamed: Five Miniatures

Duration: 7'
Instrumentation: Alto~Sax

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Journey Towards Oblivion

Duration: 10'
Instrumentation: Sop,Ten,Fl/Pic,Eng~Hn,Cl/Bass~Cl,Perc,Vla,Vc,Cb
“Journey Towards Oblivion” is written in memory of my teacher and friend - Vladimir Ussachevsky. The texts, by D. H Lawrence (sung by the tenor) and Christina Rosetti (sung by the soprano) were chosen as representative of Vladimir’s feelings during the last months of his life - his anger at dying (coming, as it did, when there was so much more that he wished to do) and his desire to be remembered. These two texts start out distinctly and then gradually merge.
The tenor part begins by emphasizing F. As the piece progresses, the emphasized pitches become lower and lower ending, finally, on A. This sinking, foreshadowed in the opening three measures of the piece, is reinforced instrumentally. The clarinet becomes bass clarinet, the percussionist moves from glockenspiel to xylophone to vibraphone to marimba and, finally, to timpani. And by the end of the work, the strings and English horn emphasize their lower registers.
The soprano, has a simpler, more naive part. She is accompanied first by the flute, then by the piccolo as the piece progresses and becomes more wistful in its expression of the desire to be remembered. The soprano part emphasizes the pitches E-F-E, used for the text “remember me”. The F-E motive ties in with the opening of the tenor. It is also reminiscent of the “sighing” motif of Baroque music, and also has a personal connotation since it is also used as a main motif in “Triskelion” - written by Vladimir for this composer and James Ostryniec.

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Just for Fun

Duration: 10 1/2'
Instrumentation: chamber orchestra 1/1/1/1 1/1/1 1 perc., strings
Composers are often asked, "For whom are you writing this composition?" As the name implies, this work was written "Just For Fun". It was also written to provide pleasure for performers and audience alike. In this work, each short movement treats melody in a different way. In the first miniature, one melody evolves into another (with a faint reprise of an earlier melodic idea at the end). In the second, melodic fragments are interwoven above a flowing melody. And in the last, melodies are inter-cut rapidly -- somewhat in the style of MTV. The three movements are connected tonally. The first moves from D to E, the second from E to C, and the last remains centered around C.

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K.1971

Duration: 20'
Instrumentation: see description
“K. 1971” is based mainly on Kafka’s “The Trial”, the story of a man who was arrested and convicted of a crime he knew nothing about. Selections of text were made to emphasize Kafka’s condemnation of our legal system. To reinforce this musically, the voice of K. is heard as electronically processed speech, made to sound as if being spoken by a computer. Taped viola and clarinet are played against live clarinet and viola to set the mood of uneasiness. A Chinese poem by Wen I-to, about the pure beauties of nature, is used as contrast. In addition, the cocktail party, (a mockery of political discussions that lead nowhere), uses a French-English adaptation of a text by Balzac (from “Le Peau de Chagrin”), to add near-comic relief. Texts from the “Diaries of Franz Kafka”, set in German and English, are used to comment on the ideas of “The Trial”. Certain limited aleatoric elements (the choral parts and the string parts) are combined with collage techniques, basic twelve-tone techniques, and quotations (in the cocktail party section) from Berlioz. An electronic tape was created by processing a recording of the opening and closing viola and clarinet parts. This adds symmetry (as does the repetition of the string parts). The entire composition works best with some dramatization of the texts.

An earlier version (the beginning and ending of this work) was written for my master’s dissertation at Harvard University, created while studying with Lukas Foss. Peter Kazaras and Susan McClary were narrators in this earlier version.

F. and M. narrator, tenor, bass, female chorus, fl, cl, vln, vla, vc, cb, and electronic tape. Tape realized at the Columbia-Princeton Electronic Music Center

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kalends

Duration: 15'
Instrumentation: 2 Tpt,Hn,Tbn,Tba~or~B~Tbn
“Kalends”, written for the Mt. Vernon Brass Players at the request of its trumpet player, Langston Fitzgerald III, (then also playing with the Baltimore Symphony), is a work in three movements, connected by two solo interludes. As the title suggests (Webster’s dictionary defines “kalends” or “calends” as “to announce solemnly”), the work contains of forceful brass chords in the first and third movements. These are interspersed with shorter solos. In the first movement these soloistic moments (beginning with a half step in the trombone – an important interval in the entire work) grow in length and complexity, and prepare the interlude. In the third movement these become, in turn, short sections of rapid counterpoint. The second movement, by contrast, is built of layers, with each instrument having its own kind of motion and function. The work ends – again in keeping with its title – with a final announcement of chordal material.
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Layered Lament

Duration: 5'37"
Instrumentation: Eng~Hn,Tape
In “Layered Lament” creates layers of a lament with electronic tape (itself created by layering techniques) and English horn. The tape part was fashioned entirely from pre-recorded string sounds, furnished by Vladimir Ussachevsky. Through processing, sustained string sounds were changed to resemble a human lament, then modified pizzicato sounds were superimposed for added tension. The English horn part, written with James Ostryniec in mind, is built on sounds found on the tape.

The tape part was realized at the University of Utah Electronic Studio in the spring of 1982. The English horn part, begun in 1982, was finished in 1983 – just in time for its premiere at the Thirteenth International Festival of Experimental Music in Bourges, France.

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Left Behind

Duration: 11
Instrumentation: Sop,Hn
David Jolley requested a piece for percussion and horn based on a Jewish theme. This work is based on the centuries-old Sephardic song “Durme, durme”. Its Ladino text suggests its origins at a time when Christians, Muslims, and Arabs flourished side-by-side. The song itself is a lullaby – one that expresses the hope that the loved one can sleep without anxiety and pain. The simplicity of the melody lends itself to compositional embellishment.

This work is a fantasia on the first verse of the melody – which unfolds over the course of the composition. Intervals from the melody are used in the embellishments, and part of the melody forms a cantus firmus in the slow section of the work. The horn writing itself is meant to show the off the beautiful tone and the virtuoso abilities that characterize the playing of David Jolley. The marimba part matches the horn in virtuosity. The two sometimes play in counterpoint, and sometimes serve to finish the other’s thoughts.

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Let's Play

Duration: 11'
Instrumentation: 2 Vln,Vla,Vc
This is meant to be a playful work. Let's is an invitation to join the group.
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Love Songs

Duration: 12 1/2'
Instrumentation: Sop,Fl/Alto~Fl
“Love Songs” is the title of a collection of poetry by Sara Teasdale. The title seemed apt, as all the texts used are by this poet, albeit from several books of poetry. This work uses four poems. The four texts are chosen as varied commentary on the same theme. The tonal centers move from song to song, resolving, finally, the opening F on song one on E in song four. There is a gradual increase in tempo for every movement (songs and interludes). The first movement has quarter equal to 84, while the last uses dotted quarter equal to 84.
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Love Songs

Duration: 12 1/2'
Instrumentation: Sop,Fl/Alto~Fl
“Love Songs” is the title of a collection of poetry by Sara Teasdale. The title seemed apt, as all the texts used are by this poet, albeit from several books of poetry. This work uses four poems. The four texts are chosen as varied commentary on the same theme. The tonal centers move from song to song, resolving, finally, the opening F on song one on E in song four. There is a gradual increase in tempo for every movement (songs and interludes). The first movement has quarter equal to 84, while the last uses dotted quarter equal to 84.
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Madness

Duration: 5'13"
Instrumentation: narrator and chamber orchestra
Texts by the composer.

Three movements:
I. Hysteria
II. Speaking Without Thinking
III. A Statement About Madness

Narrator and 2/2/2/2 4/2/2 timpani, 1 percussion, strings

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Manhattan Fixation

Duration: 11 1/2'
Instrumentation: Vc,Sop,Mezzo~or~Sop
When Gilda Lyons, whom I met at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts (VCCA), commissioned this work for Seraphim, she mentioned that the group (soprano, mezzo-soprano, and cello) would like a work without words. While at first this seemed difficult, this ended up having a freeing effect on my imagination. The second impetus came from a book I was reading on the bus from the VCCA. The book was Allen Shawn’s “Arnold Schoenberg’s Journey.” In talking about Schoenberg’s monodrama “Erwartung”, he wrote, “ Throughout the score the singer returns obsessively to that first note in the oboe (C-sharp), as if to a sore tooth.” In addition, I was working on finishing a CD entitled “Manhattan Stories”. In creating the liner notes, I realized how much my life was tied to Manhattan. Hence “Manhattan Fixation” was born – a work in five short movements, all based on the pitch C-sharp.
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Manhattan Fixation

Duration: 11 1/2'
Instrumentation: Vc and women's choir
This work can be performed either with solo or with multiple women on each part. See the description under the solo version.
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Mariana

Duration: 11'
Instrumentation: Mezzo,Cl,Pno

The poem "Mariana" by Alfred, Lord Tennyson, describes the suffering of the Shakespearian character Mariana ("Measure for Measure"), whose lover broke off their engagement. For five years she waited for him, hopelessly in love. The seven-verse poem describes her sense of isolation and desperation. The last few lines of each verse repeat the same words with subtle variations. In addition, certain elements of the text reappear in different verses. For example, the first verse speaks of "blackest moss" while the fourth verse refers to "blacken'd waters". The musical structure, which derives from the text, also uses the idea of variation. Rhythmically, this occurs by inserting an occasional measure of 3/8 or 9/8 into the prevailing 6/8 meter (two groups of three) and by changes of accent within the 6/8. Groups of two, established in the instrumental introduction, provide contrast during several of the short interludes connecting verses. This rhythmic contrast merges into the verses to become isolated groups of two within the prevailing three, and then groups of two sounding against the prevailing groups of three. Harmonically, a chord with a prominent tritone is varied during several of the interludes. There are also numerous examples of text painting -- e.g., falling tears, swaying shadows, and a slow clock ticking, among other instances. These recur in variation when the textual imagery repeats.

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Meetings

Duration: 9'
Instrumentation: 2 Euph,2 Tba
Meetings was commissioned by the IWBC for Junction, and is dedicated to this group. The title refers both to the name of the group for whom this was written (Junction) and to the fact that the group is made up of four virtuoso players who come together to perform. (According to the Webster’s Dictionary, “junction” is “a place where things meet or cross”.) Thus the parts occasionally cross each other - in keeping with the title. The players also finish each other’s thoughts. The work is in three short movements – Introductions, Joint Ventures, and Farewells.

The first movement starts with the individual instruments spelling out the chord Bb Db F A. Part of the chord returns at the end of this movement. The chord also appears at the beginning, within, and at the end of the third movement. In the first movement, there is interplay of textures and melodies as the instruments drift apart and come together at increasingly faster tempos. In the second movement, the two euphoniums and the two tubas join together to sound like a modern, harmonized chorale. The last movement starts with the instrumentalists playing in unison – sometimes two performers, sometimes three, and occasionally all four. Over time, the sixteenth note figuration becomes background to a melodic line that emerges. The sixteenth notes slow to include triplets, then eighth notes. The work ends as it began, with the instruments spelling out the opening chord one at a time.

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Memories

Duration: 8 1/2'
Instrumentation: Vla
“Memories” is a work in four movements: I Lyrical, II Playful, III Melancholic, and IV Angry. The mood of each movement is established by tempo (alternating slower and faster movements), characteristic rhythms, and coloristic techniques typical of strings. The first movement uses string harmonics, the second has double stops, and the third, played muted and without vibrato, uses the special color of the lowest string as well as bent pitches, quarter note trills, and occasional harmonics and double stops. The last movement, with its tremolo and ponticello colors and its wider melodic leaps, exploits the entire range of the viola.
The first movement begins with a three-note motif that is expanded to form longer lines. The second movement contains shifting rhythms. In the third movement the end is the reverse of the beginning. The fourth movement uses repeated notes on ponticello strings, accents, and shifting meters to establish its angry mood.


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Memory and Alterations

Duration: 6 1/2'
Instrumentation: Mar

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The Miracle of Nemirov

Duration: 30'
Instrumentation: see description
A one-act opera, based on a short story by I.L. Peretz called "If Not Still Higher", about a rabbi and his good deeds during the Jewish High Holidays. Libretto by the composer. Includes an electronic modification of an actual Jewish prayer given to the composer by Cantor Max Wohlberg.

1 soprano, 1 mezzo, 1 alto, 4 tenors, 1 baritone, 1 bass.

1/1/1/1/ 3 horns, 1 percussionist, 2/1/1/1, electronic tape

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No Strings

Duration: 11'
Instrumentation: Fl/Pic,Ob,Bass~Cl,Bn,Alto~Sax,Hn,Tpt,Tbn,Tba,Perc
The title “No Strings” refers both to the instrumentation and to the independent use of these instruments in solo passages and, at times, with specifically assigned musical motives. This independent usage seemed especially appropriate for a piece written for the Brooklyn Philharmonic, an orchestra of virtuoso soloists.

The first movement (“Basically Brass”) features the alto saxophone (an instrument with both brass and woodwind qualities), often accompanied by soloistic brass instruments. The second movement (“Mixed Means”), which opens with an extended passage for timpani alone, features short, seemingly unrelated motives in several instruments which gradually come together. The last movement (“Wandering Woodwinds”) again balances fully orchestrated passages with solos. This third movement, which contains references to the first two, ends with the individual instruments breaking away from the full ensemble, once again asserting their position of “no strings”.

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Oboe-sthenics

Duration: 6 3/4'
Instrumentation: Ob
This work was chosen to represent the United States at the International Rostrum of Composers/UNESCO.

The title “Oboe-sthenics” is a take-off on the word calisthenics. Just as calisthenics are designed to develop and strengthen the body, “Oboe-sthenics” is a workout for the oboe, designed to develop and expand the abilities the performer. Written for James Ostryniec, and premiered by him at the Study Center for New Music in Tirol/Innsbruck, the composition uses some of the most recent techniques for oboe including multiphonics (following the fingerings and notation worked out by Larry Singer), quarter tones, double trills, glissandos, and embouchure variations.
The opening two measures of the work state the important musical materials – a multiphonic chord, a quarter-tome trill, and sixteenth notes. The first part of the piece presents multiphonics in various contexts, with occasional sixteenth note runs and other interspersed materials. The second part expands the sixteenths into longer runs at gradually increasing dynamic levels, interrupted by multiphonic chords. These runs finally dissolve into double trills, tremolos, and then quarter-tone trills and lead, finally, to a reversed statement of the opening three sounds.


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Obsessions

Duration: 9'
Instrumentation: Vc,Pno

According to Webster’s Unabridged Dictionary, an obsession was originally the act of an evil spirit in possessing or ruling a person. Thus, as the title suggests, “Obsessions” deals with material that is repeated several times before wearing itself out in varied ways. In this work the obsessions have two aspects – motives which repeat several times, often with slight variants, before disappearing; and the presence of the interval of a second (usually minor, sometimes major, occasionally major followed by minor). Throughout the work, variations of color (including contrasting ranges of both piano and cello) and texture are used.
The work begins with a crashing introduction. Three contrasting sections with material derived from minor seconds (fast -slow - fast in speed) follow. Each of these sections is interrupted by a variant of the original material stated at the original speed. The first interruption dissolves its anger, while the second maintains its violence throughout. The three contrasting sections also follow different paths. The first fast section becomes increasingly agitated until extreme repetition takes over. The slow section – highly melodic – remains consistent throughout. Unlike the first section, which builds to a violent climax, the angry variation of the opening idea must physically intervene. The final fast section features pizzicato (plucked) playing in the cello. Arco (bowed) playing gradually takes over again, leading to an obsessive cello “cadenza”. This cadenza is also based on the semitone, this time stated as a major seventh. This continues until, once again the obsessions – with their accompanying tensions – are finally resolved.
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Of Wood and Skins

Duration: 11'
Instrumentation: 2 Perc

The title of this work started as a word play on a work of my teacher, Vladimir Ussachevsky, called “Of Wood and Brass”. This work is in five short movements using different combinations of percussion instruments made of wood with those made with “skins”. The definition of “skins”, which refers to percussion drum heads, has been expanded to include clapping – produced by human skin. The first and fifth works mix the two, The second and fourth movements are wood only – two marimbas. And the middle movement is for “skins” – snare drum and bass drum. As most percussion works generally use a wide array of instruments, this work purposely limited the number of percussion instruments involved in the work.

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On Four

Duration: 11'33"
Instrumentation: Eng~Hn,EVI~(Electronic~Valve~Instr),Pno~(4 hands)

Written for the group Four for Now (James Ostryniec [oboe/English horn], Nyle Steiner [on Electronic Valve Instrument, which he invented], Faye-Ellen Silverman and Vladimir Ussachevsky [piano four hands]) formed to perform at the Bourges Festival, “On Four” is in two movements. The first, entitled “Oppositions”, begins with the EVI (Electronic Valve Instrument) and the two pianists opposing the oboe/English horn player. This opposition is established in the introduction, and is used to set off an English horn solo. About halfway through the main part of the movement, the English horn and EVI reverse roles, leading to an EVI solo that begins with the material of the previous English horn solo. A short coda recalls the introduction.

The second movement, “Couplings”, intertwines changing pairs of instruments. Within the three main sections – the second and third of which have tempi related to the first movement – there are interruptions, as one couple usurps to place of the other. There are also seductions, leading to new pairings, until all four instruments finally join together.

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Pas de Deux

Duration: 6'
Instrumentation: Mar,Pno
In the world of dance, a pas de deux is a dance for two dancers. Here, it is a two movement “dance” for two instrumentalists, with the form playfully originating in the human mating ritual. In the first movement, the marimba begins alone. Before the first phrase is finished, the piano notices the marimba, and finishes its phrase. There is then some friendly dialogue and flirtation. As the movement progresses, both instrumental parts become more complex, as each tries to attract (and put a best foot forward for) the other. In this section, some of the piano figures are taken from traditional virtuosic piano patterns, such as parallel double thirds, and one hand crossing over the other. At the very last minute, as both instruments join together excitedly, the piano runs away, and the marimba rushes to catch up. The movement ends with the piano encircling the marimba.

In the second movement, which remains at a steady tempo, the piano and marimba support each other throughout - sometimes with similar musical material. When the marimba moves to establish its independence, the piano lets it do so (just as the marimba had done for the piano earlier), but stays softly supportive in the background. When the marimba seems too far from the piano, the piano picks up the marimba material and moves to join it. The movement ends with the piano and marimba merging into one - playing the same notes in the same range.

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Passing Fancies

Duration: 16
Instrumentation: Pic/Fl,Ob,Cl/Bass~Cl,Bn,Hn,Tbn,Perc,2 Vln,Vla,Vc,Cb
“Passing Fancies” (named for Paul Fromm, to whom the work is dedicated), is a continuous composition in five movements. In this work, the composer attempts to create a narrative that will only make complete sense once the entire work has been heard in its totality – somewhat n the manner of several South American novels. Ideas, therefore, recur with changes, accumulating meanings as they progress. The most prominent of these is a melody in the key of D, which begins by outlining the D major triad. It first makes a partial appearance in the first movement, only to resolve into the predominantly angry mood of the second movement. It is hinted at in the second movement (as a counterpoint to the main melody); resumes in the third (its fullest statement, but unresolved); pervades much of the tonality of the fourth and, finally, “triumphs” at the end of the fifth.
This piece establishes several moods: angry (opening chords, recurring exactly in movements three and five, and reflected in the feeling of the opening of the third and fifth movements); sad or forlorn (the slow sections of movements II, IV, and V, foreshadowed at the end of I); playful (the pizzicati passages of I and IV and the brass section of II); and cheerful (the D major idea discussed above). Within each movement there are mood changes – somewhat more frequent as the piece progresses, once the basic moods are established in the first movement – in keeping with the title of passing fancies.
The Fromm Music Foundation commissioned this work.

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Paula's Song

Duration: 9'
Instrumentation: 2 Vln,Vla,Vc
“Paula’s Song” describes a life journey. There are two alternating formal ideas. The first is a melody that unwinds over the course of the composition, beginning each time on the pitch C. Each appearance centers on a range an octave higher than the last, as if to continue the last interrupted thought. It begins in the lowest octave of the cello. Its second appearance has viola and cello playing in unison. Its third appearance has all four strings in unison. The final appearance is cello alone, but supported by the other three strings. In a sense, this represents my mother starting alone and ending with a husband and two children as support..
Between the statements of the melody are episodes, each one shorter than the last, as the journey accelerates in time and increases the subdivisions of the beat. Each of these has its own material, and plays on variation principles to form the section. In addition, the second grows out of the first and has a one -measure anticipation of the third. Thus the episodes are independent but not entirely unlinked. All three episodes are preceded by “transitional” phrases. In the first transition, the viola joins the cello in a contrapuntal melody – enriching the cello. The second transition consists of pizzicato material derived from the first. The pizzicato becomes the accompaniment to the main material of the episode. The third transition consists of a phrase in which the unison breaks away into four independent parts. The work is dedicated to my mother.


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Pregnant Pauses

Duration: 9'
Instrumentation: 4 Guit
Pregnant Pauses, written for the Corona Guitar Quartet, is in three short movements. Part of the work's title comes from a comment that my former teacher, Otto Luening, made shortly before his death in 1996. on the need to allow a work to breathe. So I began to think about pacing - and of using a pause (a silence) as a way of allowing for something new to happen. Thus the silence becomes "pregnant" with expectation. The first movement makes extensive use of the opening chord – meant to replicate the full sound of flamenco guitar. The opening melody (stated in measure 5) – EFAFE – provides the basis this and for the other two movements. It also returns in a direct restatement at the end of the movement, but at a tempo anticipating the second movement. The opening of this latter movement is a slight expansion of the fifth measure melody, but at a slower pace. Using variations on this material, this movement shows off the beautiful melodic qualities of the guitars. The third movement follows directly from the second. It begins with the pitches C D Eb D – a modification of the main theme of the first movement. It is meant to show off the virtuosic playing of the Corona Guitar Quartet, for whom this piece was written. This movement ends with references to the melodic material and tempi of the first two.

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Processional

Duration: 7 1/4'
Instrumentation: Guit
As the name implies, “Processional is based on the idea of a parade. Chordal sections (the first of which uses double dotted rhythms) alternate with non-chordal sections derived from typical guitar techniques. The first and fourth of these non-chordal sections are contrapuntal. The second is based repeated notes and patterns involving an eighth note and two sixteenths. The third section is based on triplet sixteenth turns. The third and fourth non-chordal sections are separated by only three measures of chords, and the chords, this time, are unbroken. Each of the first three non-chordal sections moves higher than the last one, while the fourth stays in the higher range established by the third. In keeping with this progression, the first of these sections has the melody mainly in the lower voice, while the fourth has the melody in the upper. In general, both chordal and non-chordal sections get shorter and the tempi faster as the work progresses. Finally, the work comes full circle with a beat of quarter notes at 108 but with rhythms in half notes, so that the perceived tempo is the same as that of the opening measures (quarter note beat equal to 54). Opening and closing chords are also related, although the latter are slightly changed in keeping with their musical role.
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Protected Sleep

Duration: 9'
Instrumentation: Hn,Mar
David Jolley requested a piece for percussion and horn based on a Jewish theme. This work is based on the centuries-old Sephardic song “Durme, durme”. Its Ladino text suggests its origins at a time when Christians, Muslims, and Arabs flourished side-by-side. The song itself is a lullaby – one that expresses the hope that the loved one can sleep without anxiety and pain. The simplicity of the melody lends itself to compositional embellishment.

This work is a fantasia on the first verse of the melody – which unfolds over the course of the composition. Intervals from the melody are used in the embellishments, and part of the melody forms a cantus firmus in the slow section of the work. The horn writing itself is meant to show the off the beautiful tone and the virtuoso abilities that characterize the playing of David Jolley. The marimba part matches the horn in virtuosity. The two sometimes play in counterpoint, and sometimes serve to finish the other’s thoughts.


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Quantum Quintet

Duration: 12 1/2'
Instrumentation: 2 Tpt,Hn,Tbn,Tba~or~B~Tbn
A National Endowment for the Arts Consortium Commission [combining the American Brass Quintet, the Catskill Brass Quintet, the Mt. Vernon Brass Players, and the Southern Brass Quintet].

“Quantum Quintet” is so titled because the work is structured, in the first and third movements, on the principle of quantum physics, that new particles are created in a particle collision. Such collisions may be seen at the beginning and the end of the first movement. The individuality of sub-atomic particles is represented, in the first movement, in contrapuntal passages in which each instrument makes use of a different interval – such as the minor third in the second trumpet and the perfect fourth in the horn. The third movement contains motion similar to the first movement, only here the rapidly moving lines cross each other, and individuality in some contrapuntal passages assumes a rhythmic nature, such as sixteenth quintuplets in the first trumpet and eighth note triplets in the French horn.

The contrasting second, slower movement is based on scalar accompaniment figures, above which the first trumpet interjects a simple, happy tune – at first slowly, and only a small fragment, then faster and with more length – only to be interrupted by the other brass. The trumpet makes several attempts to re-assert the tune – each time slower and with less confidence. Throughout all three movements, the various coloristic possibilities of muting and spacing are explored.

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Reconstructed Music

Duration: 7 1/2'
Instrumentation: Vln,Vc,Pno
“Reconstructed Music” was begun on September 14, 2001. It begins with isolated notes in extreme ranges, and slowly fills in the space and time between events. As the title (and date of composition) suggests, the idea is one of rebuilding. The central pitch of the work is C, both because it represents the lowest note in the cello and because it is the starting point of the tonal system’s “circle of fifths” – the first key learned by beginning music students. The title also pays tribute to the Construction Company, as this composer is a founding member of “Music Under Construction”.
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Restless Winds

Duration: 5'
Instrumentation: Fl,Ob,Cl,Bn,Hn
As the name of the woodwind quintet that commissioned this work is Con Spirito, the title “Restless Winds” immediately came to mind. In this short work, five different ideas – each with distinct tempo, timbre, and melodic or gestural material – are intercut. No idea remains present for too long, however, since the winds are too “restless” to stay on a conventional course. The ordering of these ideas (which often vary with each appearance) is meant to seem unpredictable. The nonchalant bassoon material – a meandering melody that continually gets diverted – unifies the composition via its appearance at the beginning, end, and within the work. As with the title (and, hence, with the form), the dance-like nature of some of the main ideas also derives from free association with the name Con Spirito
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Settings

Duration: 9 1/2'
Instrumentation: Pn
“Settings” is a rhapsodic, one movement work in four large sections plus an introduction and coda. Written shortly after the end of an important relationship, it uses angry chord clusters and plucked strings to make its points. The opening is chordal in nature, and leads to the slightly faster first section, which contains references to these chords. A slow, more lyrical section follows. This section, in turn, leads to the fast scherzo-like third part. This latter section, the fastest of the four, combines rapid passages with held chords, which prepare a restatement of the introductory material in expanded form. These chords form a transition, in turn, to the fourth section – the slowest and most lyrical of the work. “Settings” ends with a coda, which refers back first to the first section, then to the chordal introduction. Motivic relationships exist among fast sections (one, three, and coda), the opening of the chordal parts (four basic chords are used) and, to a more limited extent, between slow sections (two and four).
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Shadings

Duration: 10
Instrumentation: Fl,Ob,Alto~Sax,Bn,Hn,Tba,2 Perc,Vln,Vla,Cb

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Speaking Alone

Duration: 5'
Instrumentation: Fl
Speaking Alone” is a short, one movement work for flute, although it has also been performed on the bass flute. The entire work is soft (I often refer to it as my “Feldman work”, after meeting Morty Feldman), only rising to medium loudness in a few places. Andrew Bolotowsky introduced me to many of the flute techniques used in this piece. Much of the piece calls for flute harmonics. These are exploited not only as a challenge to the performer (this simple-sounding work is extremely difficult to play), but also for their forlorn, far-away quality. Pitches wind sounds (“whistle tones”) are also used, creating a distant, scarcely audible timbre.
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Speaking Together

Duration: 9 3/4'
Instrumentation: Vln,Pno
“Speaking Together” is a dialogue for violin and piano in three movements. The first movement is playful – a flirtation between violin and piano until, finally, the two are united. The sound grows from soft pizzicato violin in the lowest register to col legno violin (with some pizzicato interruptions) with a wider pitch and dynamic range to, finally, arco violin covering a large range. The second movement is slower and more lyrical,. Throughout the work, timbral colors indigenous to each instrument are carefully balanced. In movement two, for instance, muted violin is, at times, matched by una corda piano writing and muffled chords (muted on the piano strings),
The third movement begins as a violent argument that gradually dissipates until the instruments are once more calmly united. It opens with cascades of descending lines, alternating and overlapping between violin and piano. The opening piano chords appear several times within the movement, but with different rhythms. The cascades are interrupted by somewhat softer passages in non-descending shapes, then dissolve into chords and then, finally, the anger of the opening changes to violin harmonics (still in descending shape) and pizzicato violin harmonics, reminiscent of the fact that the work opened pizzicato. Muted piano chords balance the bowed violin harmonics, while the pizzicato harmonics are balanced by the softer sound of plucked piano strings. The work ends quietly

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Stirrings

Duration: 13'
Instrumentation: chamber orchestra
As the title suggests, “Stirrings”, for chamber orchestra, is about musical growth and movement. Hence it begins quietly – timpani pianissimo (almost an indefinite pitch), and then low notes in the double bass, played pizzicato, gradually joined by other strings. Winds also enter in stages and in their lower ranges, e.g. the alto flute, accompanied by the second horn, which begins the entrances of the winds. As the piece progresses, the lines and ranges expand, and the strings gain sharper definition as they move from pizzicato playing to muted arco playing and, finally, to arco but without mutes. The work, in one movement but with contrasting sections, ends with a large climax that culminates in a fast coda.

1/1/1/1 2 horns, timpani, 1 percussionist (can also play timpani part), strings

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Stories for Our Time

Duration: 12 1/4'
Instrumentation: Tpt,Pno

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String Quartet (Untitled)

Duration: 9'
Instrumentation: 2 Vln,Vla,Vc

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Taming the Furies

Duration: 4'35"
Instrumentation: Fl
Lately, I have joined the long line of composers interested the persistence of myth as a way of explaining our lives. The myth most often of fascination to artists is that of “Orpheus”, the musician who could tame wild beasts with the power of his music. Some versions of the myth have him descending to the Underworld, where he must persuade the Furies to release his loved one. The title of this work refers both to this journey and to the need of humans to overcome the furies that lie within.

Two of the gestures of this work come specifically from the myth. The descending passages refer to the descent into the Underworld. And the trills refer to the birds that are part of the animal kingdom enthralled by Orpheus. The work moves from large leaps and dissonance to flute harmonics and consonance. The Furies erupt from time to time, but each time the eruption has less violence.

Several years ago, the flutist Nina Assimakoupulos requested this piece for her Laurels project. The Laurels project consists of works for solo flute of less than five minutes in length, to be based on a myth.

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Three by Three

Duration: 8'
Instrumentation: 3 Perc
The percussion trio “Three by Three” explores the monophonic, polyphonic, and homophonic possibilities of different groupings of pitched and non-pitches percussion instruments. It consists of three short movements (hence the title) and two even shorter interludes. Both interludes are for the same solo player and use the same instruments. Movement one grows from one player on non-pitched percussion instruments to two to three. Both the second and third players begin in unison with player number one, and gradually branch out to independent parts. The movement, which has progressed from soft drum sounds played with the fingers to wooden and other non-drum sounds, ends with a touch of pitched percussion. Movement two, by contrast, consists of pitched percussion, with just a hint of non-pitched timbres. The middle of the movement contains a duet for two vibraphones. Movement three maintains the pitched/non-pitched ratio of the previous movement, but includes chords as well as polyphonic lines. At times, all three players perform on different instruments, but sometimes the balance shifts to two similar/one contrasting timbres.
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Three Movements for Saxophone Alone

Duration: 6 1/2'
Instrumentation: Sop~Sax
“Three Movements for Saxophone Alone” is my first published composition. It was written for my friend Howie LeShaw. Created after listening to several recordings of virtuoso jazz saxophonists, the work shows the influence of jazz. The work uses many specialized techniques to show off the instrument, some of which were discovered by reading the Bartolozzi book on woodwind techniques. The first movement begins with key slaps, then moves to air being blown through the instrument before the full saxophone sound emerges. This emergence from nothing shows the influence of Lukas Foss, with whom I had recently studied, as well as other composers. The second movement is slower. The end returns to the beginning. Different kinds of pitch changes – including bent pitches and quarter tone glissandi – are used, along with different speeds of vibrato, and buzz tones. The third movement also creates similarities between its opening and its closing measures. Use is made of contrasting registers (two notes high followed by two notes low, then again two high notes). These and other specialized instrumental techniques are used to showcase the instrumentalist.
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To Love?

Duration: 9 1/4'
Instrumentation: Voice (bass-baritone), Pn
Settings of an Elizabethan song and poems by Coventry Patmore and Ralph Waldo Emerson.
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Translations

Duration: 6'
Instrumentation: Vln,Vc
Philip A. De Simone commissioned “Translations” in memory of his friend Linda J. Warren. He chose the title as a tribute to her talent for linguistics. He chose the instruments of violin and cello for their expressive qualities. Overall, this short composition is a conversation with a resolution. The title, one of whose meanings is transformation, is reflected in the work in several ways.

This short, multi-sectional work opens with the instruments in octaves. But their usual order is reversed. The cello is above the violin, in an intense range, while the violin begins with a passage on its lowest string. This gives the simple, lyrical melody an unusual coloring. The two instruments come together at one point, but never cross to their expected ranges, The cello adds a mute towards the end of the section, subtly transforming the color. The overall feeling is one of calm. Within this and the work’s other sections, the violin and cello exchange material but with variations (translations).

Out of this emerges a playful, pizzicato section with the violin on top. The violin states a motive based on a half step followed by an augmented second - the top of a harmonic minor scale, often associated with Judaism (Linda’s religious tradition). This motive is, in turn, a transformation of the half-step whole-step motive that began the piece. The passage accelerates and the color changes via the use of arco (bowed notes), until at last the section dissolves into a short passage based on the opening (using the half step of the motif and the opening speed and mood) but, of course, “transformed”. The cello is still above the violin, but uses harmonics, and the violin is muted. This accelerates into a second fast section, using both the Jewish motive and its closely related cousin, the half-step whole-step motive, varied via the use of retrograde, of the opening. Within this second section, the tempo increases slightly to reach the tempo of the first fast section, but transformed to note values twice the speed (sixteenths instead of eighths). The color again changes from the first half of the section to this second half, this time via the addition of mutes for both instruments.

This transforms yet again into a version of the opening motif. This new section uses the exact same first two pitches of C# (stated here as a grace note) followed by D of the work’s beginning. This time, however, the mood is angry and the tempo almost halfway between the fast contrasting sections and the slower sections built on the opening. The anger dissipates and the music resolves. This final, calm section is reached by having the G#s (played col legno) in the cello – suspended by silence - becoming the pitch of the violin passage in the original tempo. The cello part states, one last time, the opening three pitches (C#, D, and, finally, E). This time the instruments revert to the expected order of the violin above the cello, both in a high range and both, via the use of harmonics towards the end of the passage, expressing a sense of resolution and peace. This idea of resolution is reinforced by the use of pitch. The C#, which opened the work by moving up a half step, now resolves down to C. This uses the idea of translation (in the archaic sense of the word) from life to death, from the frenzy of this world to peace.

It is hoped that this composition, meant as a living memorial, expresses the warmth and complexity that was the essence of Linda, as well as the ongoing love of and by her friends.

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Trial Balance

Duration: 6'
Instrumentation: Cb

In financial accounting, a trial balance is proof that a ledger, with its debits and credits, is in balance. The idea of balancing opposites is the basis of this piece. Thus the high harmonic opening with intervals of a fourth are balanced off by a muted passage of low notes based on the interval of a second. These opposites are brought together, then a new set of opposites begins, one contrasting pizzicato and arco (bowed) passages. The pizzicato section is faster and playful, while the arco that follows is more lyrical and colored with double stops. Instead of a merger following the passage, the merger occurs this time between the contrasting passages. The pizzicato passage is taken over by the arco passage as the latter interrupts the former with the same interval of a second. The lyrical section is followed by a return to the opening harmonics and a merger of techniques and intervals – high/low, pizzicato/arco, fourths/seconds – as the whole work re-establishes its balance. Throughout the composition, special attention is paid to the unique colorings of sound available on the double bass. This is signaled from the start, where high harmonics are used – a sound not typically associated with the double bass by those whose knowledge of the instrument derives from the orchestral repertoire.

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Triple Threat

Duration: 7 1/2'
Instrumentation: 3 Tpt

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Troubled Repose

Duration: 6 1/2'
Instrumentation: Fl,Vla,Cb

“Troubled Repose” was created for the Belgian ensemble Nieuwe Oogst,
The form of this work comes from its title. The piece exists in three sections. The first consists of two short introductory subsections, with the second one slightly faster than the first. In both, the mood is restful, with slight disturbances (indicated by minor tempo increases). In the middle section, which begins at a yet faster tempo than that of the two introductory sections, the change is more radical, and happens over a longer period of time. The disturbance is more audible. As with the introductory section, the disturbance interrupts the material at the original tempo, which then returns. In this middle section, this return uses some of the same eighth note material to clarify the form. The last section is without a disturbance. Instead, it gradually changes the tempo from that of the middle section to that of the opening of the composition

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Trysts

Duration: 5 1/2'
Instrumentation: 2 Tpt
“Trysts” involves two trumpets that, like their human counterparts, alternate between sections in which each has some independence and sections where the two come together. In the independent sections each trumpet has its own sound quality (either one is muted or both have different mutes). Each of these sections has its own tempo. The sections where the two come together, in contrast – including the beginning and the end of the work – have similar sound qualities between the two trumpets and are marked by the same tempo indication throughout the work.
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Two Bagatelles

Duration: 6'
Instrumentation: Pn
Three/Four, the first of Two Bagatelles for Piano, was created in 2007 as a companion piece for Two/Three. As the title suggests, it is built around the interplay of threes and fours, used in time signatures, rhythmic values, and interval choices. The opening theme, for instance, is in four plus three measures in three-four time. As the work progresses, time signatures of three and four alternate. The opening motif, DFG, is built by adding a third above D, then a fourth above D. The choice of D is used to create a relationship with Two/three, which also begins on D. This melody is varied several times in the work, including a chordal passage with harmonies of thirds and fourths. The surface rhythm also reflects this interplay. Triplets and sextuplets alternate with sixteenth notes. The overall form is a build-up to a climax, near the end of the short work, before the work ends quietly, as it began.
Two/Three plays with the rhythms of groups of two and groups of three. Within the first phrase, eighth notes (twos) and triplets (threes) alternate. As the work continues, groups of twos are sounded against groups of threes. Then the twos become fours (sixteenths), and threes and fours alternate. In the next phrase, the right hand has the melody with eighths and triplets, while the accompaniment plays steady sixteenths. The threes next evolve into groups of sixes, and sixes (three sixteenths in the space of two sixteenths) alternate with groups of fours. At the end, the internal acceleration stops, as sixteenths slow to triplets, then to eighths, to quarters, and finally to even slower units.

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Two/Three

Duration: 3'
Instrumentation: Pn
Published before Three/four was added, this may be purchased as a separate work. (Both Two/Three and Three/Four have been written to be performed both separately and together.) For further notes, see the listing under Two Bagatelles.
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Unquiet Dreams

Duration: 9'
Instrumentation: Cl,Vln,Pno
In "Unquiet Dreams", a trio for violin, clarinet, and piano, ideas float in and out of focus, as if in a dream-like state. Tonally, the first two movements are in B, while the last movement unexpectedly shifts from B to Bb -- the kind of shift expected in a dream. The first movement introduces the three instruments, then presents the rhythm of an Irish jig, intermingled with other dance references. The second movement joins clarinet and violin for much of the movement. At a certain point, the piano joins the clarinet, and the violin continues independently -- merging again with the clarinet when the piano succeeds in breaking away. Then a brief violin solo, joined this time by piano, is followed, and balanced, by a brief clarinet solo, also accompanied by piano. The clarinet solo leads back to a reminiscence of the material that opened the movement. This material is then stated in the violin before dying away, but this time in harmonics -- less severe, as in the end of a nightmare. The last movement has dance-like material in the piano that is interrupted by the violin and clarinet presenting a waltz. These ideas compete for a while, then, as in a dream, the materials merge and transform until, joined once more in similar material, the work comes to an end.
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Volcanic Songs

Duration: 10'
Instrumentation: Hp
“Volcanic Songs”, commissioned by the Chamber Music Society of Baltimore for Karen Lindquist, consists of two “songs” connected by an interlude. As the title suggests, this work alternates between short, eruptive sections and quieter, more song-like moments. The first song makes use of chords and narrow-range runs in its “volcanic” moments, while the second contains sweeping runs and glissandi. In both “songs”, tempi and dynamics assume structural significance. The interlude, which incorporates some characteristics of both outer, longer movements, contrasts by its playful mood, its steady, faster tempo, its absence of songlike material, and its brevity – a short respite between eruptions. The second song contains subtle references to the first, furthering the interconnectedness of the piece established by the interlude.
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Wilde's World

Duration: 14'
Instrumentation: Ten,Guit,Vla
“Wilde’s World” is a setting of the text “To L.L.” by Oscar Wilde. In order to re-create his turn-of-the -century world, the instruments of viola and guitar have been chosen to accompany the tenor. Some of the word settings are melismatic, in keeping with the decorative approach to art of the late 19th century. The setting is mostly through-composed, but some music and text recurs, mirroring repetitions in the text, such as references to rain

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Winds and Sines

Duration: 15'
Instrumentation: full orchestra
“Winds and Sines” is a work in one movement consisting of a slower and a faster section linked by a transition, preceded by an introduction and followed by a coda. Interrelationships exist among the various parts. Dedicated to my former teacher, Vladimir Ussachevsky, this composition draws materials from the two areas that held a permanent fascination for him: electronic music and the desert lands of Utah.
This work wone the Indiana State University [International}] Composition Contest.

3/3/3/3 4/2/2/1 timpani, 1 percussionist (can also play timpani), harp, piano, strings

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Windscape

Duration: 5' 09"
Instrumentation: Fl,Ob,Cl,Bn,Hn
“Windscape” is in one slow movement interrupted by a fast middle section. The work is soft at both beginning and ending, as are many works that begin from nothing and recede to nothing. The held notes of the slower sections contrast minor with major seconds. The flute part uses harmonics to soften the sound as the work approaches its end.

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The Wings of Night

Duration: 25'
Instrumentation: Guit, mezzo and baritone soloists, and SATB

My five-movement work contrasts the positive and negative aspects of night - night as a time for love and passion, and night as a cover for evil deeds. The first movement sets Emily Dickenson’s well-known poem “Wild Nights! Wild Nights!” Emily Dickinson has always fascinated me because her life was so confined and proper, yet her emotions so strong. The guitar introduces and supports the passion of the chorus. A guitar interlude dissolves this passion, and sets the mood for the next movement. The second and fourth movements match each other. Both use mezzo-soprano and baritone soloists (dark voices), and both set Shakespeare. Both deal with the negative aspects of night. The first. ”Comfort-Killing Night” deals with the rape of Lucrece. Her innocence, portrayed by guitar harmonics, contrasts with her pain. The fourth movement, “The Night Before the Battle”, from Henry V, is the famous passage of the hours before the battle between England and France. The third movement shows the fun of “Saturday Night”. With energy somewhat akin to rap music, it is mainly spoken. It is set only for chorus – speaking, clapping, stamping feet and, on occasion, even singing. This texture balances the two interludes that are only for guitar. The fifth movement, “May Night” is purposely simple – pure and joyous. The voices sing in unisons and octaves, and the guitar strums continuous chords. This movement is set up by a short guitar interlude, “From War to Peace”, which begins with commentary on the fourth movement and dissolves to harmonics and pure sounds.

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Xenium

Duration: 8'
Instrumentation: Fl,Pno

The word "xenium" comes from the Greek "xenia", which means "a gift to a guest". It was conceived as a work for a guest performer (my friend Howie LeShaw) for a concert, which, due to changing circumstances, never occurred. As this guest performer also specialized in klezmer and jazz music, specific references to these occur within the work. "Xenium" is in four short movements, centering around the tonality of D. This central tonality is hinted at in the beginning of the first movement, is stated in the middle section of the second movement, and is the prevailing key of the last movement. Other movements circle around D, emphasizing C or E.

The first movement takes off from the chords of the opening measure. When the flute enters, it begins by improvising on the restated opening chords. The chordal melody contains an augmented second, a tribute to the klezmer music played, in other circumstances, by the "guest" performer. The second movement is in ABA form with the outer sections using triplets and the middle section using a melodic idea with a hint of jazz -- a second tribute to the "guest". The third movement relates to the first in its use of slow tempo and its opening chordal texture. The opening chord uses the pitches A and E, pitches also found within the first chord of the first movement. The last movement is fast and dance-like -- meant to show off the technical abilities of the guest. The end of the movement refers back to the opening of the work.

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Yet For Him

Duration: 10'
Instrumentation: Fl,Vc,Pno
Written at the request of former Baltimore Symphony flutist Bonnie Lake for a recital, “Yet For Him” is also intended as an eightieth birthday present for my former teacher, Otto Luening. His name is stated at the beginning. A crescendo followed by a diminuendo on held pitches form the Os, and flute trills bisected by a piano-cello chord form the ts. This opening material generates much of the composition. The work is in four continuous sections – slow/medium fast/slow/fast. The first and fourth sections are related, and the second and third sections open with the pitches of the first piano chord of the composition. Parts of this composition are written either without bar lines or with irregular time signatures. The piano writing includes many pitches played inside the piano.
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Zigazgs

Duration: 8 1/2'
Instrumentation: Tba
In keeping with its title, “Zigzags” explores changing moods. The form resembles a soliloquy. The player starts his or her recital calmly, in the present time (represented by eighth notes in the middle range, with soft to medium loud dynamic range). He or she then diverges more and more (as if reviewing past incidents), with increasing ranges and louder dynamic levels, until the divergences assume more importance than the transformed returns to the original material, and a full range of tuba techniques has been explored. Towards the end of the last digression, the “zigzag” structural shape also becomes the musical material in a series of downward, followed by upward runs.
The mood shifts occur in many ways, sometimes so gradually– due to the use of rhythmic common denominators or accelerandos and ritards – that it takes a while to perceive the change. At other times, the mood shifts abruptly. Interrelated tempos provide additional structure for the work

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