Graveyards, By Ballet Mech

A project from my production group, Ballet Mech, out now on Bandcamp, iTunes, and Spotify.

This project is a remix album of Jeremy Messersmith’s entire “The Reluctant Graveyard” album. We got all the original tracks (stems) from Jeremy, and tried to re-compose the entire album. We focused mostly on keeping Jeremy’s voice, and the general structure of the song, but started over with almost everything else.

I’m really happy with it, and looking forward to the next big Ballet Mech project.


After finishing my dissertation in 2008, I needed to work on a track that was pure fun. No delusions of profundity, just a fast track exploring some of the techniques I had uncovered while working on the last few projects. It’s almost like a study – when a painter paints a bunch of faces before painting the big scene using all of them.

Incidentally, it was programmed at a few festivals. Namely the Spark Festival in 2009. The track is free to anyone that wants to make a video for it – email if your interested.

After Voyage

voyageThis piece was done as part of the “Art Inspired Music” Project at McNally Smith College of Music. Students were paired with a local visual artist, and tasked with “translating” a visual work of art to a musical medium. As a faculty member, I couldn’t resist, so I joined in the fun.

From the gallery book:
“When I first met Alonso at his studio to talk about the work, my initial reaction was to make short audio samples of the piece and compose a musical work out of those sounds (how often do you get to bang on an actual piece of Art?) However, what came to me while I was working on the music was much more involved than just using samples of the work. Alonso talked about the piece symbolizing the voyage made by his family when entering the United States as immigrants. Having never experienced a cultural uprooting so sever, I tried to abstract the idea into musical analogies, and treat the piece as a musical voyage. It begins in a world filled with natural sound: wood (incidentally, all taken from the sculpture itself), with some harmonic string instruments familiar to everyone (cello and violin). As the piece progresses, the natural sounds leave their familiar ground, and gradually transform into electronic sounds. Thus, the voyage of acoustic (familiar/home) to electronic (unfamiliar/new) is the voyage taken in my audio rendering of Alonso’s Voyage.”

Saturations III

saturations-iii-albumThe Saturations series of pieces all focus on a very narrow “subject” and, similar to photography, saturates it with as much of the subject as possible. In Saturations III-A for example, I took a very short sample of a choir (singing an earlier piece of mine). The original sample was only a few seconds long, but through a number of software processes this complete work was made entirely from that original sample.

Listen to an excerpt:

Contains three electronic ambient works:
1. Saturations III-A
2. Saturations III-B
3. Saturations III-C

These pieces have been programmed widely, including being featuring at the Society of Electro-Acoustic Music annual conference, International Computer Music Conferences, and at the Spark Festival of Electronic Music and Arts.

Dry Cell

drycellDry Cell (for soprano saxophone and electronics) was originally conceived as a narrative: In a future dystopic world absent of humans, only the remains of our technology survive. With energy running out, the “batteries” are left gasping for power. The piece begins in the “old west” of this future age, and as it progresses (and builds in intensity) we move into the remains of our major cities and see the remains of urban sprawl and the batteries clinging to life. The piece is loosely inspired by Alan Weisman’s The World Without Us.

Dry Cell was premiered at the Third Practice Festival, Richmond VA in 2009. performed by Michael Straus.

This piece was made possible by the What are you looking at Commissioning Fund directed by Michael Straus in conjunction with consortium members Erik Rönmark, Jan Berry Baker, Vicki Purslow, George Weremchuk, Alex Sellers, Matthew McClure, Ryan Lemoine, Grif?n Campbell and Joey Trahan.

Sample Pages:

Dry Cell (Printed Score)

    Dry Cell (Printed Score)

    Dry Cell (Printed Score)



albumcover This album has been a labor of love for a few years now. I initially wrote what became Kinesthesia I as a commission for the Southern Theatre’s Electric Eyes festival. The piece was meant to explore my passion for the intersections of chamber music and more aggressive electronic music. After the premiere of Kinesthesia I, I decided it needed a counterpart – and so came Kinesthesia II. In Kinesthesia II, I focused on developing the intersections in a more direct way. Leaving behind regard for what was deemed (to me) as a “hybrid” of two genres, and instead focusing on it as it’s own genre.

Kinesthesia: Music for String Quartet and Electronics

This recording is made possible by the Minnesota State Arts Board Artist Initiative fund, with commission support from the the Jerome Foundation, Meet the Composer, American Composers Forum, and the Southern Theater.

Track Listing:

Kinesthesia I: Depraved Indifference
1. Chaconne
2. Instrumental No. 1
3. A Moment with Ronald Hawk
4. The Path of Least Resistance

Kinesthesia II: Evoked Potentials
5. Chorale
6. Instrumental No. 2
7. The Angle of Repose
8. Push

Please contact for a complete score.

Saturations III-C

saturations-iii-cThe Saturations series of pieces all focus on a very narrow “subject” and, similar to photography, saturates it with as much of the subject as is aesthetically desired. Saturations III-C uses samples made on the UPIC (Unité Polyagogique Informatique du CEMAMu) system while studying at CCMIX (Centre de Création Musicale Iannis Xenakis) in Paris, France. Unlike any of my other Saturations pieces, this piece uses one additional sample – a single strum of an acoustic guitar.

In 2007 this work was choreographed by the Tulane Dance Department for ICMC 2007 in New Orleans.

Duration: 4:09

Saturations III-B

saturations-iii-bThe Saturations series of pieces all focus on a very narrow “subject” and, similar to photography, saturates it with as much of the subject as is aesthetically desired. Saturations III-B uses a single white noise sample with various synthesis techniques and rhythmic effects.

duration: 6:34

Saturations III-A

Saturations III-A The Saturations series of pieces all focus on a very narrow “subject” and, similar to photography, saturates it with as much of the subject as can be aesthetically pleasing. Saturations III-A uses a single sample of a choir with various synthesis techniques to achieve an atmospheric environmental soundscape.

The software used was mostly Soundhack. In fact, the majority of the piece is fairly uneffected from one single file generated in Soundhack. I time stretched the inital choir sample to be around 100 hours long. The artifacts created in doing this resulted in the majority of the “clicky” material of the piece.

This piece exists in a stereo, quad, and 8-Channel versions.

Duration: 6:08

Studio Z Fanfare

studiozfanfareIn the summer of 2009 I was in residence with the fantastic champions of new music Zeitgeist. As part of their “composer workshop” series, me and a few other composers (Abbie Betinis and Justin Merritt) had the opportunity to work with Zeitgeist and write a new piece for them. The catch was, we had to write it in 3 days.

I ended up with 2 short pieces. One entirely acoustic, and one entirely electronic.

I spent my first session with them just recording their studio (Studio Z). They had just moved in to this cool new space, and were in the process of remodeling it. Perfect for someone like me that likes to sample all kinds of banging on things. So I wrote this little piece using only sounds gathering from knocking on the walls, floors, coffee makers, trash cans, and whatever else I could find in their new studio.