Thursday, June 14, 2018

Symphony #7

My seventh symphony has four movements: Water, Air, Earth, and Fire. I wrote in in May to December of 2017. Here is the New England Philharmonic's premiere of Water in April, 2018; it is the symphony's first movement, and it was written first.

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Violin Concerto No. 2

Violin Concerto 2 is from 2015-16 and was written for Danielle Maddon, the concertmistress of the New England Philharmonic, which commissioned the piece. In the first movement, both the soloist and all the string sections play only pizzicato, and apparently this is the first time that was done in a string instrument concerto (I could be wrong). The second movement is a chewy slow movement, and the third is a fast scherzo in compound time.

This is the premiere performance from April 29, 2017 with Dani and the orchestra at Tsai Performance Center in Boston, conducted by Richard Pittman. The concerto is published and © by CF Peters.

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Préludes Book 8

The eighth book of piano préludes was begun in May, 2017. It is in progress. Each title is the name of a spice.

#71 Paprika is a prélude on a syncopated falling figure, and was written for Talia Amar.

#72 Mustard is a prélude on broken octaves in both hands, sometimes with extra notes, culminating in competing strands of parallel fifths at the end. Here is the crapfest MIDI.

#73 White Pepper takes off on the texture of the B-flat major prélude in WTC 1. Here's the rather wooden MIDI.

#74 Asafetida is about triplet upbeat figures to repeated notes that are approximately at the tempo of my walks around the lakes at Yaddo. Helen O'Leary suggested the title.

#75 Cayenne develops an uneven repeated note figure in octaves that uses swing eighths. Sometimes it feels jazzy, sometimes not.

Monday, December 26, 2016

Préludes Book 7

The seventh book of piano préludes was begun in October, 2016 and finished in January, 2017. In this book, every title is the name of a color.

Maroon (#61) is about repeated notes exploding into chords. Here is the crapfest MIDI.


Ivory (#62) is about scales and arpeggios just goin' up and down.

Azure (#63) is layered on top of an ostinato offbeat repeated note. Here is the crapfest MIDI.


Sepia (#64) is a study on a rising funk lick. Here is the crapfest MIDI.


Periwinkle (#65) is about upbeat rising arpeggio figures decorating a tune in slow notes.

Slate (#66) is a study on two-note warbling figures that diminish in volume. Here is the crapfest MIDI, which does not do the diminishing thing very well.

Cerulean (#67) is about another generic R&B lick and the sixteenth notes that swallow it whole. Here is the glitchy Finale MIDI.

Canary (#68) is a fractured madcap waltz that sounds suspiciously Second Viennese. Here is Maria Paola Parrini's premiere of it in Cleveland.

Here is the crapfest MIDI.

Emerald (#69) is the obligatory prélude-Davy-can-play, and is a slow one (duh) based on a left-hand ostinato.

Bronze (#70), being numbered a multiple of 14, is music ripped from the first movement of my second piano concerto. With practice, I could probably play this one, too.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Piano Concerto No. 2

The second piano concerto was written for Amy Briggs, and commissioned by BMOP with funds from the Jebediah Foundation. It was written in the spring of 2011 at the Camargo Foundation in Cassis, France.

The piece is also on a YouTube compilation album here.

Stolen Moments

Stolen Moments was originally written for string quartet, woodwind quintet and piano and commissioned by the Kaufman Center (Merkin Hall). It was written mostly at Civitella Ranieri in 2008. I arranged it for chamber orchestra (double woodwind quintet, strings and piano) in 2010 for the US Marine Chamber Orchestra, who premiered that version in May, 2011. Boston Modern Orchestra Project recorded it, thusly. The whole piece is also on a YouTube compilation album here.

The first movement assigns characteristic material to each group and then mixes and matches them at the end. That's Sarah Bob on piano.

The second movement sorta kinda channels spirituals and call-and-response.

The third movement is a deconstructed tango.

The fourth movement starts bebop, does a fugato, then a gigue, and then combines aspects of all the movements.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Preludes Book 6

Préludes Book VI was started at the Hambidge Center in northern Georgia in June, 2015 and finished in Maynard, Massachusetts in September, 2016. Here the conceit is that every title is gibberish.

Wayo (#51) is a slow passacaglia on a 3-bar theme written for Sarah Bob. Wayo is something her 13-month old daughter said.

Gfornafratz (#52) is based around fast broken octaves. Here's the crappy MIDI.

Twünk (#53) is based on fast scales in swing eighths. Beff came up with the title through the following process: The beginning sounds tinkly. Tinkle. Twinkle. Twink. Twunk. Twünk. Here is the crappy MIDI.

Fløpie (#54) starts as if it were a falling-thirds étude, and gradually adds complications that accumulate to broken-octave boogie woogie things in the left hand.

Twîfff (#55) is an irregular scales étude that slowly builds chords and evaporates them. Here is the crapfest MIDI.

Lèþidomm (#56), by virtue of its number being a multiple of 14, extracts music from my second piano concerto, frames it such that it begins and ends, and is dedicated to Amy Briggs. This one takes the very beginning of the piece, which is supposed to take off from Martler, and tacks on a little concert ending. This is a video of Amy playing that beginning before I wrote that 1-bar concert ending. 

Gnöpélledie (#57) was written on a request for a Satie-inspired piece. There is a reference to the first Gymnopédie in it, but otherwise it's not very Satie-like, except perhaps poetically.

Sprüllinəƒ (#58) is another broken octave prelude. Here is the crapfest MIDI.

Füllingræ (#59) was written for David Falterman as a promise in a twitter thread. It starts out like a repeated-note toccata and goes in some slightly different directions. This is the crapfest MIDI.

Krœłstächs (#60) alternates between rising lines that start in the low register and restricted register melodies and figuration that falls.