Running Ragged (2019) 5'00"
I’ve long wanted to write a piece for solo clarinet, so when the occasion arose to write a piece for the very talented Jeff Anderle, I jumped at the chance. Running Ragged is short and sweet, inspired by impressionistic and ragtime music alike.
Special thanks to Composers, Inc. for the opportunity to write this piece and to Jeff Anderle for giving the world premiere.
Premiered at Composers, Inc.'s BAMM! on April 9, 2019 by Jeff Anderle at the Berkeley Piano Club in Berkeley, CA.
Short Stories (2014) 12'00"
The order of the movements of Short Stories is ultimately left up to the performer. I want the performer to embrace his or her own individual experience of the music. The music reflects the stories’ contemplative nature and utilizes the intimate nuances of the guitar to reflect the small moments Salinger explores.
Premiered at the sixth annual Hot Air Music Festival on March 15, 2015 by Patrick Connor Smith (guitar).
Short Stories was inspired by the writing of J.D. Salinger; in particular,
Salinger’s short stories about the fictional Glass family - a family searching
for existential truths in post-WWII America. Salinger spent years creating
the characters of the Glass family, each short story focuses on one or two
of the seven children. The First Vacation in Years is inspired by “A Perfect Day
for Bananafish” and culminates in the suicide of the eldest son, Seymour.
Damn it, Bessie! and The Interruption of the Olive are inspired by “Zooey” and
“Franny” respectively. While a forlorn Franny turns to a higher power for
guidance, Zooey’s anger and skepticism leads him to be combative with his
mother and Franny. The misleadingly calm world found in The Only Boy Who
Could Ever Make Me Laugh reflects the unhappy life of Walt Glass’s ex-lover
years after Walt’s death in WWII from “Uncle Wiggly in Connecticut”. Sailors
Never Cry is inspired by Beatrice “Boo Boo” Glass-Tannenbaum as she
comforts her upset young son in “Down at the Dingy”.
Tangent (2013) 6'00"
The idea for Tangent came after watching the cult classic, Donnie Darko. For those who have never seen the film, it is a dark sci-fi film that explores the effects of parallel universes. The film begins as most films do, introducing the characters existing in what is called “The Primary Universe”, but the plot quickly changes when the world enters a parallel universe, called “The Tangent Universe”. This happens for no explainable reason and is not immediately marked by any one event. The theory in the film states that after entering “The Tangent Universe”, a large metallic object, called “The Artifact”, falls through a worm hole and into “The Tangent Universe”. The rest of the film follows the title character over the next few weeks in this alternate universe. The fate of the world rests on his shoulders to return “The Artifact” back through the same worm hole it fell through before the unstable “Tangent Universe” collapses on itself.
Written in 2015 for Sarah Lee as part of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music's Viola Project IX. Revised for Justine Preston in 2017, performed and recorded live at Music on the Hill in San Francisco in December 2017.
Holding Water (2013) 7'00"
Holding Water is a musical interpretation of the act of holding water in one's hands. It is a balancing act - to hold the water too gently or to clutch it too tight will result in the water slipping through your fingers. This is a soft meditation on maneuvering the water, but it is interrupted with fits of frustration.
Written for Jared Grubow and premiered in 2013. Performed and recorded live by Trevor Dolce at the fifth annual Hot Air Music Festival on March 2, 2014.
Into the Wild (2009) 7'00"
Into the Wild is inspired by the story of Christopher McCandless as told by Jon Krakauer. Disenchanted with society after graduating from Emory University, Chris abandoned his car and traveled mostly by foot across America. His ultimate desire was to venture to Alaska - "into the wild." In April 1992, Chris was last seen alive near Fairbanks, Alaska at the head of the Stampede Trail. Months later, Chris’s emaciated body was found in an abandoned bus used by hunters. Chris carried books by his favorite authors and in one, he wrote "Happiness only real when shared." Chris’s journey was meant to escape societal conventions and relationships, but in the end, his understanding of happiness switched to sharing experiences with others to be truly meaningful. Into the Wild is in three sections: "Leaving - The Beginning", "Searching - The Journey", and "Understanding - The End."
Premiered by Thomas Helbig (guitar) in 2011 in Syracuse, NY. Arranged in 2015 for flute/alto flute and guitar.