light and shadows, waves and time
light and shadows, waves and time collects some of my most recent solo and chamber works featuring wind instruments, ranging from the athletically virtuosic to the lyrically expressive. The album’s title pairs the relationships between a force and its result when it is obstructed (of Light and Shadows) with the temporal motion through which one may experience sound (des ondes et les temps). The remaining works relate to this pairing of objects and the events that create a reaction: Order is disordered (...unsettled, unphased...), the mind affects a body’s motion (Out of Mind, Into Body), and disparate genres are imposed upon each other (Ragahoro Breakdown). More directly, Counterpunch is an active result of a punch, while Elegy is a peaceful reflection of a tragic end to human life. light and shadows, waves and time is the balance, therefore, between conflicts and resolutions.
des ondes et les temps
des ondes et les temps (of waves and time) was composed in honor of William and Frances Averitt in celebration of their retirement from Shenandoah University. My first composition under Will’s guidance, Two Movements for Solo Flute, was composed spring of 1988. After nearly 25 years, des ondes et les temps may be a far more mature third movement, partly due to the title’s reference to time as it contains quotes of that first piece in the frame of a perpetuum mobile. This version for tenor saxophone was created at the request of several saxophonists in 2015, including my colleague Casey Grev, who recorded the work for this album.
The origins of ...unsettled, unphased... are found in a variety of sources. Its rhythmic roots are found in traditional Eastern European folk and dance music, jazz, and progressive rock. Its tonal roots combine serial techniques with freely chromatic motivic development, and its overall formal structure is derived from a sonata-rondo hybrid, with a few interjections of additional material thrown in for good measure. ...unsettled, unphased... was composed for saxophonist Robert Young and percussionist Tim Sullivan in 2014.
This arrangement of Elegy was created for Akropolis Reed Quintet in 2015. In its original version as part of my 2002 work Duo Sonata for clarinet and alto saxophone, Elegy was composed in memory of those who died in the attacks of September 11, 2001. The current version exists for all those who wish to remember a loved one lost for any reason.
Ragahoro Breakdown is a virtuosic musical fantasy combining elements of North Indian Raga with characteristics of a Bulgarian Horo and subtle hints of American folk music. The piece is a dynamic, temporal, and textural crescendo to the end. Ragahoro Breakdown was commissioned by a consortium of duos from around the United States and Europe initiated by Duo Entrè-Nous (Jackie Glazier and Don-Paul Kahl) in 2015.
of Light and Shadows
of Light and Shadows is a sonata in two very contrasting movements reflecting upon the interactions between light and light’s shadow-creating obstructors.
The first movement, Luminant Shadows, is a quiet nocturne, which makes use of some of the extended timbres of the saxophone and extreme ranges of the piano as shroud to more traditional musical materials also contained in the movement.
The second movement, Flickering Beams, Perpetual Wind, is a stark contrast to the first: Imagine a cyclone where streams of objects pass a flickering light at a potentially destructive speed, propelled forward by a constant wind.
of Light and Shadows was commissioned by a consortium of 20 saxophonists, including Stephen Page, initiated by my friend, pianist Liz Ames, whose passion for collaborating with saxophonists is unparalleled.
Out of Mind, Into Body
A reflection of the mind’s moody effects upon physical movement, Out of Mind, Into Body exists in a slow-fast-slow ABA structure, making use of the full range of the bass clarinet and subtly used multiphonics. Commissioned by the Society for New Music and composed for John Friedrichs in 2016, Out of Mind, Into Body was premiered by John in Syracuse in February 2017, with dance choreographed by Cheryl Wilkins-Mitchell. It is dedicated to my dear friend and bass clarinetist Christopher Clark.
Counterpunch was composed for the Eos Sextet from Arizona State University as a gift to my friend and their mentor Christopher Creviston. Alternating elements of driving American-style minimalism and a fusion of jazz and funk, Counterpunch is a loud concert opener or closer.
des ondes et les temps (remix)
As a closer to this album, I created a remixed version of Casey Grev’s virtuosic performance of des ondes et les temps from the raw recording files. All sounds in this track originated from Casey’s tenor saxophone. While some passages are left pure, other sounds have been manipulated, filtered, and/or looped to create an ambient, layered soundscape extending the work’s original structure.
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