For solo cello, commissioned by the Primavera Project for Matt Haimovitz
Six Graces was written for Matt Haimovitz, with his unique musicality and wide range of genres in mind. This piece was created as an interpretation and exploration of Sandro Botticelli’s iconic Primavera as well as Charline von Heyl’s modern-day reimagination of it. In studying Boticelli’s painting, my attention was drawn to the three dancing Graces, as well as the darker, more obscure characters which mirror them in von Heyl’s painting. I sought to portray the interaction of the characters in both paintings by creating dense, ethereal textures. This is achieved through extended techniques such as plucking the string with the left hand, playing with a scratchy bow tone, and notes that waiver in their tuning.
For Saxophone Quartet
In For Samantha, I experimented with two main ideas - reworking melodies into different moods through time signatures, and introducing sections of quarter tones. An example of the first idea is when a theme is presented in the first part of the piece in an asymmetrical meter, giving it an unbalanced feel. Later, the same melody returns in a more steady time signature, adding a groove. In terms of the second goal, I wanted to smoothly introduce quarter tones into the piece, and in order to accomplish this I gave the instruments staggered entrances. The purpose of this was to give the listener a chance to appreciate the gradual build-up in complexity of the quarter tone harmony.
For Cello and Electronics
I wrote Hypnogogic Song because I wanted to experiment with electronics, and more specifically, learn how to use looping in writing and performing. The piece begins with an introduction which establishes a melody. Once the melody has been established, the piece begins a pattern whereby the original tune is developed over a series of loops. The word "hypnogogic" refers to the transitional state between wakefulness and sleep, a surreal space where dreams begin and end.