(click titles for notes + recordings + scores + video)

“pieces”

 

“Every Something is an Echo of Nothing” (2012)
Gangnam Variations (GANGNA~1.MID) (2012) for MIDI playback
GANGNA~1.MID was composed for Dartmouth College’s MIDI Jamz on Ice competition, where it was premiered on November 14, 2012. The work is a setting of Psy’s “Gangnam Style” using Max/MSP to process and layer MIDI ringtone arrangements of the popular song.
12CJNC12 (2012) for player piano (with Joe Andruzzi)
“I Will Remember Not Just to Touch” (2012) for multitouch surfaces
“I Will Remember Not Just to Touch” is an improvisational composition for three laptop musicians. The piece is implemented in Max/MSP, which detects the players’ fingers on MacBook trackpads and uses that data to control the volume, pitch, and rhythmic density of several musical and non-musical sounds. The piece was premiered in front at UNCG’s 2012 Collage concert.
An interactive excerpt of the piece is available to download for multitouch-enabled Apple computers (post-2007 MacBook Pros, for example).
“Street Cries of an Old Southern City” (2012) for two saxophonists, contrabass, and piano
“Street Cries of an Old Southern City” draws its musical content from a pamphlet of the same name published in 1927 by Harriette Kershaw Leiding. Leiding (the granddaughter of a decorated Confederate general) collected and transcribed a number of calls used by African-American market workers in Charleston, South Carolina. Although the breadth of the transcriptions is impressive, her choice of descriptors and attempts at capturing dialect make the text fairly problematic in its portrayal of African Americans. As a composer, however, I was perhaps more fascinated by the problems inherent in her musical notation—given a call of “red rose tomatoes” that consists of a descending minor third from B♭to G, Leiding makes her transcription in F major and common time; other notes seem to sit between lines and spaces or fail to add up to complete measures. In my arrangements of these fragments, I try to capture their inherent strangeness and artificiality.
Whither, Thence, Repeat (2011) for MIDI keyboard and laptop
Whither, Thence, Repeat seeks to take a familiar instrument (the piano, interpreted here as MIDI keyboard) and transform its most basic functionality—what if the piano could “remember” previous rhythms and continued playing them on its own? What if these rhythms were interpreted instead as harmonic intervals, or used to control sample playback? My redesigned MIDI instrument is utilized here to provide a musical setting for a public-domain reading of the eighteenth-century lexicographer Samuel Johnson’s A Grammar of the English Tongue.
Music for Airports: 1/1 (2010) for prepared piano (four hands) and vibraphone
This is an arrangement of the first movement of Brian Eno’s brilliant Music for Airports (1978). His recording, composed of overlapping piano and synthesizer tape loops, is a beautifully subtle introduction to one of ambient music’s most significant works. Although Eno’s early ambient pieces were conceived and realized as studio works, they have since taken on a new life of performance through ensembles like Bang on a Can (Airports) and Contact (1975’s Discreet Music). In my arrangement, I kept the instrumentation to only piano and vibraphone to capture the original recording’s sparseness. In order to still convey a wide repertoire of sounds, I utilized a wide variety of extended techniques, borrowing many from George Crumb (mutes, harmonics, and other methods of playing inside the piano) and developing some on my own (using fishing line and a violin bow). The piece is especially demanding of the third performer, who moves between the inside of the piano and the vibraphone. This recording of Music for Airports: 1/1 was performed in a reading by David Eisenband, Tim Hambourger, and myself in December 2010.

Ciscriptions (2010) for octet and electronics

Machine Work (2010) for video with sound
Machine Work is a collection of five short vignettes edited and scored for John Supko’s Sound+Image course. Each section depicts some element or aspect of machine “life.” The first and fifth, consisting of uncut factory footage, represent tranquility and brutality, respectively; the second and fourth suggest organic processes; and the third segment further relates machines to the natural world. Machine Work was presented on April 22, 2010, at The Inner Frame: A Concert of Multimedia Works Created for Sound+Image.
ttett (2010) for piano and live electronics
ttett is a remix of Stephen Jaffe’s Cut Time Shout for two pianos (also arranged for orchestra). My version takes a short snippet of the original, a lively and virtuosic encore piece that riffs on various classical and popular music tropes, and time-stretches these few notes so that they proceed at less than 1% of their original speed. Using these granular texture as an inspiration, I added a piano accompaniment that emulates Charlemagne Palestine’s “strumming” technique. Additionally, distorted samples of the original recordings are triggered during the performance.

Gauzy Gossamer [for string quartet] (2009)

Gauzy Gossamer [for laptop] (2007-2010; work in progress)

Fa (F–A) (2009) for wind quintet

this (2009) for iPods and radio transmitters; text by Jensen Suther

these colorjs fdont run (2008) for solo piano

“releases”

Keep Going, Keep Adding Ten (2010) with Jensen Suther and Brandon Say as Bankers Box

Buntús Cainte (2010) with Jensen Suther as Bankers Box

“How many shocks do we wish? How many shocks does it take to move us? Do we live only on shocks and thrills and sensations and the debasement of human values and the wastage of human life​?​” (2009)

Three Tape Pieces, January – March 2009

Some Someone Someone Someone Something Somewhere (2009)

After Having Thought This Through (2009)

Bole (2008) with Jensen Suther as Bole

An Element (2008)