Solos and Duos

Images link to the Solos and Duo page in the store.  Not all scores are available there, but feel free to inquire through the Contact page if you're interested in something listed below that isn't.

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Libretto extracted from a certain very active Twitter feed, January 1, 2016-January 1, 2017, and written in the lead-up to the inauguration in an effort to convince myself that everything would be ok.  It was not.  Unfortunately, this piece became obsolete in about two weeks, so it's offered here only as a historical relic.

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Solo Voice and Piano (2017)

The Best Words A Tiny Opera in Tweets

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Bluff Mountain, NC, was a special place to me growing up, and inspired these three movements of varying difficulty intended for new 4-mallet players; the first, Nocturne was commissioned by Mark Boseman for his method book Mallets and Music.  Advanced players should investigate Four Nocturnes for Violin and Marimba which sprung from the same sketch material.

Video of Mark Boseman Performance - Mvt. I: Nocturne

Purchase Mallets and Music by Dr. Mark Boseman

Solo Marimba (2016)

Bluff Mountain Suite

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For solo snare drum plus (optionally) a talented individual who can reliably solve a Rubik's Cube in 5 minutes or less, in front of an audience.  Commissioned by the National Toy Hall of Fame for its 2016 induction celebration and premiered by Colleen Bernstein.

Video of old version with Colleen Bernstein and Oliver Xu

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Solo Snare Drum (2016, rev. 2018)

Cube

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Commissioned by Cameron Leach and an ArtistShare Consortium.  Decay No. 1 (2016, percussion quintet) was an exploration of the power of decay, entropy, and complexity in the physical world, which made me want to explore the same forces as they manifest in our own brains. It's a piece about how the detritus of what we experience as failures is, in a way, the only material we have available to build the next thing. Featured heavily in the sonic landscape are the sounds of the house in which I grew up.

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Multi Percussion and Tape (2017)

Decay No. 2

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Endings can be dramatic, but most are elusive. Remaining time slips like sand through fingers, too quickly to feel what is there to be felt, leaving only a fading, shrinking image.  When Michael Burritt commissioned the piece, I asked musician and poet Wendy Eisenberg to write a meditation on this idea.  Wendy’s words not only capture, but trigger a feeling of intangibility, seeming to glide past the horizon even as they are spoken.  This poetry and the surrounding textures are delivered by my old friend and collaborator Mandy Elliot, whose haunting and malleable voice constitutes the whole of the tape part, except for a bit of percussion played on the desk in my studio.

Performance by Michael Burritt, produced by FourTen Media

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Solo Marimba and Tape (2018)

The Endings of Things, from a Distance

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For Raina Arnett and Victor LaBozzetta, Four Nocturnes draws from the same musical and emotional material as Bluff Mountain Suite, but unlike that piece is intended for advanced players.

Performance by Raina Arnett and Victor LaBozzetta

Mvt. 1 Onerial

Mvt. 2 Ethereal

Mvt. 3 Arterial

Mvt. 4 Residual

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Violin and Marimba (2017, rev. 2018)

Four Nocturnes

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Four songs for the oft- (and unfairly)-maligned alto clarinet, commissioned by Joe Clark in his ongoing quest to bring every shunned and little-used clarinet into the light.

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Alto Clarinet and Piano (2018)

Songs for Winter

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A part of the Histories collaboration with physicist Regina Demina, and commissioned by Colleen Bernstein, Scintillãre is a 2-movement meditation and dance inspired by the surprising lives of photons and their cascading interactions with matter, the complex harmonic relationships between waves, and the hidden worlds that they inhabit all around us.

 

Video by Colleen Bernstein and FourTen Media

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Marimba and Tape (2015)

Scintillāre

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Scintillāre can also be performed as a duo, the drummer in rhythmic unison with the marimba; the score is written with rhythm and pitch contour for the drummer, but allows freedom to orchestrate the part around the kit.

Marimba and Drum Set (2015)

Scintillāre

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Published in 1896 at A.E. Housman’s personal expense after rejections from several publishers, A Shropshire Lad was to become a sign of the times, and of those to come for British readers. The sixty- three poems evoke a lost youth in the country, the death of friends, and a world that has changed irreversibly around the yearning protagonist. The influence of the Scottish “border ballad” can be heard in the simple folk rhythms of the text, and provides a ghostly backdrop to modern themes of isolation and displacement.

 

Video of premiere by Chad Somers and Kurt Galvan

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Low Voice and Piano (2016)

Seven Songs from A Shropshire Lad

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Created in partnership with theatrical percussionist Nikki Joshi, The Yellow Wallpaper is a setting of the seminal short story of the same name by Charlotte Perkins Gilman. Published in the New England Magazine in 1892, the work was written after Gilman’s struggle with a bout of postpartum psychosis. The Yellow Wallpaper tackles themes of patriarchal attitudes towards the treatment of women’s mental health. The story centers on a young woman confined to an upstairs nursery, unable and unwilling to see her newborn child due to a mental health crisis chalked up by her husband as a “temporary nervous depression-a slight hysterical tendency.” In this room of confinement, the woman must hide her intellectual writings from her male keeper, further leading to her descent into madness, sparked by the all-encompassing wallpaper that surrounds her day by day.

Short Film, produced in partnership with the Rebanks Family Foundation and Ontario Arts Council

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Theatrical Percussion (2019)

The Yellow Wallpaper

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