Somber and deeply expressive, this
chaconne for String Orchestra and Piano is evocative and full of imagery. Although the form is a modified chaconne, the piece is essentially a tone poem depicting the many and varied moods of Autumn. As the Summer gently wanes and dissipates into fall, we hear an adagio chorale (the theme, or main harmonic material upon which the ensuing variations are based). This segues to
a viola solo with light piano accompaniment as the trees gradually change colors the their harvest hues. Soon the leaves begin to twist and tumble in the crisp Autumn breezes as they fall to Earth accompanied by a delicate, almost twinkling treament of the theme. The winds intensify surreptitiously and finally the entire ensemble
reveals itself as the first storm of the new season sets down upon us; wind and rain lashing the tress - brief but brutal. Please listen and enjoy the piece as you imagine your own narrative.
Running time- 8:52
2. Abandoned Voices
A juxtaposition of orchestral strings & brass with funk bass, hip-hop and ambient, beats, Irish bodhran drums, ambient rhythms & textures mashed up with Irish Lore singing and female chant. This departure from my typical style represents my attempt to fuse orchetsral textures with more contemporary genres,
Running time- 2:12
3. Quiet Places
This suite is a series of short pieces bridged together musically, each reflecting
its own quiet locale. First, a jazz environment gently sets upon us (clarinet/bass
clarinet, two acoustic guitars, piano, bass and varied percussion) and we enter
a dimly lit, intimate lounge, which then flows into a vast open meadow of wildflowers
Running time- 1:38
I was given the opportunity to prepare
an audtion commercial for a prestigious Manhattan based music production studio.
It begins with the opening Trumpet theme from Mahler's Symphony No.5 and progresses
from there into a quasi-rock synth fanfare. The "storyline" seemed to
suggest to me that the truck was a captured animal that frees itself, escaping
the urban confines to be in the wild, running and playing with its bretheren;
at last it climbs to the surrounding summit and surveys all it has conquered.
Running time - 0:58
This comical march is arranged for four saxophones,
three trumpets, two trombones, vibraphones, and piano. Though there is a Hungarian
flavor to the melodies, they are neither genuine folk tunes nor arranged traditionally.
Energetic, even frenetic at times, this is an impish piece, belying it's slow
Running time- 2:15
My ballet for full orchestra is the story of
a dream through an imaginary ancient forest, somewhere on the British Isles. Here
we have come upon a river; at first broad and fierce, then swifter and more kinetic
as the undercurrents start to rise the surface. The section concludes with turbulent,
crosscurrents (represented by various rhythmic strata) rushing towards a crashing
Running time- 0:57
7. Glenville Woode: The
At this point in the program, the protagonist
has accidentally found a sacred druid burial ground and witnessed their dance
ritual. We join the ballet in progress as the secret rite finishes and the protagonist
has suddenly been discovered interloping. Naturally, he/she is pursued by the
worshippers, and flees, knowing full well if caught, survival is unlikely.
Running time- 1:26
No. 1 in D Major:
Mvt.1 Allegro con spirito
A jubilant outburst for full
orchestra opens the symphony written in the style of the Classic Era. This movement
takes form as a Theme and Variations and is of a motivic nature.
No. 1 in D Major:
Mvt.1 Allegro moderato
This second symphonic excerpt has
a more Baroque texture to it, especially in the use of part doublings, and is
the late transitional material that eventually leads back to the opening theme,
used to close the entire movement with fanfare.
Running time- 0:25
No. 1 in D Major:
This excerpt from the 3rd movement adopts the Classical Era "fast" dance movement, though not as brisk or weighty as Beethovian Scherzo. An inital outburst is followed by a strongly rhythmical, jubilant string ostinato with the principal theme harmonized above in the winds, then repeated with brass elemnts to highlight the theme. This is followed with a flowing lyric melody carried by the Franch horns and Trombones, with strong counterpoint in the winds, which gives way to a unison voicing of the 2nd theme's counter-melody.
Running time- 0:59
This brief yet dramatic orchestral sequence
was written for a web site (webExpand.com). It played while the various graphical
content loaded and displayed, concluding with the full logo dissolve, synchronized
musically with the final chord and tympani roll.
Running time- 0:33
12. Drie Kleine
A small section of the eerie second movement of three ensemble pieces, decidedly
contemporary in both sound and scoring. Arranged for piano, flute, English horn,
viola, cello and vibraphone the music flows along cautiously, yet continuing forward,
racing to a great climactic collapse.
Running time- 1:07
An easy whimsical melody arranged for a traditional bluegrass band: fiddle,
banjo, piano, and percussion. This tune has now been expanded and rearranged, as well as having lyrics added to it, to become 'Tickle Petz', just one of the featured songs in the Tickle Bugz line of childrens' books by author Barbara Davis.
Running Time- 0:18
14. Motorola - My Moto
This commercial was intended for European eaudiences so I went with a moderate funk groove with a tehcno edge. A bright organ sounds off with a chordal figure as a with an urban beat straightaway. An electric bass enters with arepeated melodic riff, while percussive hits and rumbling drums punctuate a variety of the actions in the video. The final re-statement of the bass melody is interrupted by stop-time, which precedes the appearance of product and logo. This fades out with a new drum line, a pulsating synth sample and the original organ motif. See the video here.
Running Time- 0:33
The inventor of the iGrab, film producer Sean Pomper, asked me to compose orignal music for his commercial using the U2 song 'Beautful Day' as a model. So I decided to emulate the feel of a live venue with a crowd on the edge, waiitng to explode. The result was a quiet, hesitant intro featuring rhythm guitar that, soon enough, opens up to an energetic display of raucous enthusiasm. A heavy guitar solo dominates the forgreound while the bass thumps along insistently; full strings round out the harmony and add a lush layer of easy counterpoint; finally a driving hi-hat guides a quartet of toms through its boisterous statements. The finishing touch is the addition of sound f/x, including two types of crowd noise, and the different whooshes (one 'fade in', one 'fade out'). See the video here.
Running Time- 0:49
This is another commercial from my portfolio. There was a delicate yet haunting quality to the women in this video that, along with the copy, suggests inncocent vulnerability; that youth and beauty are fleeting by. Bells usher in the track and a simple piano ostinato figure sounds against a gently rising violin duo - this sets the affect nicely. Quiet percussion undulates beneath, slowly gaining momentum, the pattern extends little by little after each utterance. Surrpetitiously the full beat is revealed, coupled with a rhythmic string section that overtakes the soundscape, heralding in the product and slogon. See the video here. Click here if you'd like to see the score and video.
Running Time- 0:33
17. Killer Hoo Ha Theme
The producer of the new horror-satire film 'Killer Hoo Ha' asked me to compose a brief theme for use throughout the film. This pastiche of orcehstral and atmospheric effects, composed around whispered utterances of the movie tag line 'hoo ha,' captures the spooky, frightening qualities I was looking for without sounding too campy or overly comical. Using the 'Friday the 13th' opening theme as a model (as directed by the producer), I decided to modernize the overall sound with a host of contemporary orchestral textures. The music itself has been modified for use in the trailer. See the video here.
Running Time- 0:57
ANTHROPOMORPHIC: THE MUSICAL
The tragic story of Wesley and his attempts to find courage in a bigoted world. Told through parable and set in an imaginary world where the Invertabrates rule, as the Vertabrates struggle for the most basic rights. Anthropomorphic is a touchingly human drama, for puppets.
These songs are presented in show order without the vocal parts.
18. Anything More
The opening number from the musical, and Wesley first enters this magical world afer narrowly escaping a beating from some locals toughs. Here he questions his role in his own destiny and his frustrating attempts to live happily, as he is. This recording features myself doubling the vocal part on Clarinet. You can listen to the version without my Clarinet playing here.
Running time - 2:29
19. We Got Some Show
The cunning spider Venton, organizes a traveling Revival in the area preparing for the evenings 'religious' event. His plan is to fleece the locals, so I tried for a carny-like atmosphere that had a real stagey 'oomph'
Running time - 2:22
Just To Run Away
Cricket finds Wesley, and after learning how he came to be in their world, he offers Wesley some advice. When does one stay and fight, and when do you run away? Intermingled within this conundrum are fantasies of a world that is as it should be, beofre it was all taken away - blue skies, singing birds, sun and rain - and the stark reality of the cold worlds they both live in. This song shifts between two thought pleateaus, represented by a Quasi-Funk/Disco section, and a Waltz-like tune in a gentle, flowing 6/8 meter.
Running time - 3:02
21. On The Horizon
Wesley and Oglesby are still lost in the woods, so the Vertebrates gather together to send a prayer into the wind to protect the lost ones. This choral piece features some a lovely 5-part round in the chorus, supported by soft undulating moving figures in the woordwinds against a langorous french horn solo.
Running time - 3:22
22. What Dreams May Come
Holcombe meets with Cricket to discuss loyalties in the battle. Cricket, whose heart is with the human boy Wesley, is conflicted and Holcombe advises him to choose a side, and consider what the future may hold. This vocal duet is supported by a dense orchestrartion that features a great deal of textures; rich with counter-melody, imitative figures, and sonorous harmonies.
Running time - 4:27
23. Everything Is A Circle
Preparing for the great battle the Vertebrates are resting on a hillside as Granath meditates the sad wonderment of the cyclic nature of tragedy...for all beings, despite their differences. A light, melancholy orchestration nicely balances this delicate yet pondorous statement.
Running time - 2:23
24. She No Longer Sings
After experiencing the cruelty of angry peers and bigoted overlords, having unwittingly forsaken the love of his God, and broken his mother's heart, Wesley laments alone that no longer will her gentle voice carry him to sleep. This lullaby is Wesley's tender farewell to those he loves and those that once loved him.
Running time - 2:31
25. Carry On
The show's finale. Having decided he can no longer remain in a world of hate and rejection, Wesley accepts his fate. His pained pleas to be able to carry on in spite of what his life is is met with ultimate tragedy. He now knows he is just not strong enough to win that battle. The cast takes up Wesley's swansong transforming it to a song of hope, hope that we should all one day find the strength we may need to bravely be ourselves in the face of adversity; that we shall all carry on.
Running time - 3:21
Press releases announcing the show:
Brooklyn Daily Eagle - Time Out New York - The Brooklyn Bugle
ARRANGEMENTS & ORCHESTRATIONS
No. 35 "Haffner" Mvt. 2, K.385
The quintessential Andante from Mozart's famous symphony is the first selection in The
Clarinet Album, a collection of arrangements originally for clarinet and piano,
which has now been expanded to include versions for violin (performed here), flute
and oboe. I was drawn to this particular movement by the pure elegance of the
melody - truly Mozartian in it's grace and presence. Click here to see pages from the score.
Running time - 4:42
This transcription features Telemann's
haunting embellishment of his beautiful melody, as well as my own originally composed
piano accompaniment. Of note is the early use of Neoploitan harmonies, in conjunction
with their 7ths (particularly in relation to the dominant), which function like
the more modern augmented-6th chord. This juxtaposition of Early Baroque modality
and Romantic tonality, the familar and the different, gives an unsettled lost
sense of being to the music. Click here to see pages from the score.
Running time - 2:48
in C-minor "Pathetique" Mvt. 2, Op. 13
simple rendering of Beethoven's touching rondo from his tumultuous piano
sonata. The frenetic energy of the first movement gives way to calm, serene, reflective
music. The melody is rich and mildly dissonant, surely one of the Master's greatest.
The listener is brought from heights of quiet inspiration to depths of despair,
only to be brought back to an even loftier plateau.
Running time - 4:57
29. Variations on a theme by Gillespie
Although this piece is an original compostion, the opening theme constitutes a piano treatment of the classic jazz standard "Be Bop" by Dizzy Gillespie and Charlie Parker. This is one of my all-time favorite heads to play as I've always been intrigued by the strength of this melody. Its clean structure, simple contours and easy recognizability makes it ideal for exploration and variation. This recording features the introduction and first variation.
Running time - 1:25
30. Intermezzo Op.117, No. 2
An arrangement of the highly pianistic keyboard work by Johannes Brahms. Due to it's highly idiomatic character, such as long melodic arpeggios, orchestrating it presents a unique set of challenges. There are touches of Debussyian impressionism here, and I've taken some liberties with Brahms' original dynamic markings in certain phrases, and added a few countermelodies and percussion, but otherwise it is faithful to the Master's original.
Running time - 4:23
31. Ablösung im Sommer
The first of two commissions from the New York Symphonic Arts Ensemble. This is actually a re-orchestration of the Gustav Mahler Lied from 'Das Knaben Wunderhorn', one of his first collections of Lieder for voice and piano. Mahler uses the same material to open the Third Movement of his Symphony No.3, and my arrangement is modeled directly after his own, with some slight alterations. The final four bars, however, are original, though based on the original orchestration.
Running time - 1:36
32. Nicht wiedersehen!
The second commission from the New York Symphonic Arts Ensemble. This is a wholly original orchestral setting, based on nothing other than the source material - that is, Mahler's initial arrangement for piano and voice. I was given some very insightful, specific direction from Tim Hutto, conductor of the NYSAE and this work is a reflection of his creative vision as much as it is mine. A sad song indeed of longing, with moments of brooding and remorse, marked by some striking yet beautiful harmony in the closing farewell.
Running time - 3:54
33. I've Led And Followed Pain
The first piece produced for the opera 'Trojan Seas' I've been commissioned to co-compose and orchestrate. In this choral work, The Sea is singing here, expressing it's connection to the pain, sorrows, triumphs and tribulations of humankind, as it touches all shores and all people. It fluctuates through a variety of emotions, from reflective meditation to outright bursts of anger and frustration.
Running time - 3:53
play above sound files (.mp3) click on title of excerpt; if this doesn't work, or is too quiet, download
by right-clicking and selecting "Save link as...," then listen with iTunes or similar.