Instrumental Music

 "My instrumental music is a place where I've explored questions about materials and events in musical works in light of the ever-expanding vocabulary of contemporary music. I cannot say that these sounds represent my 'first language' musically (can any of us?), and the journey of developing orientation, taste, and fluency in these spaces has not always been a comfortable one for me. But it is one that I have come to deeply appreciate, as it has challenged my assumptions about my predispositions and helped me to expand my perspective as a composer."   

"Chrysopoeia, written in 2019, is my first piece for string quartet. It's not a 'string quartet' proper, as it doesn't conform to the stylistic idioms of the genre! (You can learn more about the specifics of how the piece works back on the home page). 

During my first semester at the University of Iowa I had the opportunity to compose a piece for string quartet, which would later be read by the masterful and renowned JACK Quartet. Most of my colleagues in the composition studio also submitted pieces for this reading session! Later in the spring, a handful of these pieces were selected to be featured in a concert... and to my great surprise, I was honored to find my first piece for string quartet among these selected pieces! Watch the performance in the video on the right!"     

"The Becoming, written in 2018,  is something of a followup on a piece for 4-hands piano I created in my first year at Northern Illinois University. At that time, I was growing frustrated with the way I was approaching attempts to create 'modern sounding music'. On one hand I was trying to expand my proverbial tool-box, but on the other I felt like I was just feeling around in the dark. I wanted to begin to make some more conscious choices and come to clearer understandings of what kinds of sounds I was interested in.

 

The Becoming is a followup to the first piece written toward that effort. I called both of them 'transubstantiations' because I was interested using the transformation of materials over time as a possible scheme for the unfolding of events in a piece of music."     

"The Tempest, written in 2014, is my first piece for a chamber ensemble. Though I'd finished my Bachelors Degree already, I'd taken on some extra studies at Elmhurst College and had the opportunity to write a piece for the Chicago based group

Latitude 49.

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It's centered around the relentless sixteenth-note pulse on a single note, D4, and the varying chromatic and tertian colorings that change its context expanding out from and falling back to this pulse-center. It's heavily inspired by my love for heavy metal music (still going strong!), with its complex syncopations and biting harmonies."