Dark Days

darkdaysSometimes you just feel like writing a piece just because you need to. While moving from Baltimore to Minneapolis, I found myself reflecting on the two years I lived in Baltimore. While the title may not seem to reflect fondly on the Charm City, it is instead a reflection on an intense period of study and growth. Dark Days begins as a study in ennui, but as the piece progresses, it moves to a union of hope and optimism.

Incidentally, the piece began in Baltimore, but was finished while exploring the many coffee shops of Minneapolis, trying to find the best coffee shop for writing music. (It’s Caffetto, on 22nd and Lyndale)

For piano trio (violin, cello, and piano).

Duration: 16:33

Score Excerpts:

Dark Days, Page 1

Dark Days, Page 1 (Score)

Dark Days, Page 4 (Score)

Dark Days, Page 4 (Score)

Dark Days, Page 17 (Score)

Dark Days, Page 17 (Score)

Perpetual No. 2

perpetual2Perpetual No.2 was commissioned by Andrew Martin and Christine Taylor. The notion of perpetuality in music, that is to say, music that has a constant pulse that never (or only very briefly) deviates is one that is found in the music from the concert hall to the dance hall. In this series of pieces the composers aims to exploit this dichotomy by inviting a concert hall audience to let their heads sway forward and backward.

Although very short, this work requires a fair amount of endurance due to the never-stopping nature of it. The performers should avoid at all costs letting the 16th note pulse slow down. Even to the sacrifice of pitches and rhythms, the pulse is the most essential element of the piece.

Example Pages:

Perpetual No. 2 Perpetual No. 2 (Click on the image for a bigger version)

String Quartet No. 3

stringquartet3String Quartet No. 3 was written for the 2005 Aspen Music Festival. The work was begun in Aspen, CO. in August of 2004 and completed in Minneapolis in January of 2005. With several friends getting married at the time, the original inspiration for the four movements was old wedding fallacy of “something old, something new, something borrowed, and something blue”. Although the movements do not carry these titles, their initial impetus was generated by this superstition.

4 Movements (Mvt I, Mvt II, Mvt III, Mvt IV)

Duration: 16:30

Score Excerpts (click for larger view)

String Quartet No. 3, Movement 1, Page 1 (Score)

String Quartet No. 3, Movement 1, Page 1 (Score)

String Quartet No. 3, Movement 3, Page 19 (Score)

String Quartet No. 3, Movement 3, Page 19 (Score)

String Quartet No. 3, Movement 2, Page 24

String Quartet No. 3, Movement 2, Page 24


Electra and Iphegenia

electraIn Geek Love, a novel by Katherine Dunn, the Binewskis are a family of circus performers with an amateur pharmacist father. The father prescribes drugs to his wife in order for her to give birth to deformed children. These children, the ones that survive, form the core of the “Fabulous Binewskis,” a traveling circus sideshow. One, or two rather, of the Binewski children are Electra and Iphigenia: virtuosic piano playing siamese twins. Joined at the hip, they performed works for piano four-hands as their traveling sideshow act.

This piece is an illustration of the music they played, represented by their fiery personalities and eruptive temperament(s).

duration: 6:07

Score Excerpts:

Electra and Iphegenia, Page 1 (Score)

Electra and Iphegenia, Page 1 (Score)

Electra and Iphegenia, Page 6 (Score)

Electra and Iphegenia, Page 6 (Score)

Electra and Iphegenia, Page 27 (Score)

Electra and Iphegenia, Page 27 (Score)