The work is in 3 movements:
I. Exotic Birds
In singularity or in large flocks, this movement represents a depiction of exotic birds which include (as in the last movement) many extended woodwind techniques (microtones, reed and mouthpiece crowing, multiphonics, and key slaps).
II. Exotic Snakes and Lizards
This is a 5-voice fugue with a slithering, snake-like fugue subject. Some typical fugal techniques (inversion, augmentation, and stretto) can be found in this movement.
III. Exotic Cats
This movement depicts large cats such as lions, tigers, and leopards. The horn’s insistent “roars” continually send all of the previously heard animals scurrying for cover and eventually into a frenzy. In the end, the lion (king of the forest) ends up having the final word over all of the other animals (exotic or otherwise).
Finalist in the 2019-2020 American Prize Competition
Romance for Oboe and Piano is dedicated to my beloved wife and oboist, Tracy, who inspired the deepest feelings behind every note found in this piece.
Commissioned by Dr. Tracy Carr, oboist, Eastern New Mexico University.
A song cycle of 4 songs utilizing poems by Nietzsche, Rumi, Rückert, Goethe, and others. The song titles are:
I. Midnight Song
II. Night and Sleep
III. At Midnight
IV. Song of Light
Commissioned by Trio Encantada of Eastern New Mexico University, Portales NM
Awarded Honorable Mention at the 2013 Boston International Contempo Festival Composers’ Competition
Duration: 38:00 Instrumentation: Oboe, Voice and Piano
According to Chinese science and philosophy, yin and yang describes how apparently opposite or contrary forces are actually complementary and interconnected that work together to form a dynamic system in which the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Thus, yin and yang can be thought of as complementary forces rather than opposing ones.
The form of this piece is in two sections – an opening chorale followed by a fugue. When comparing the first section (chorale) to the second section (fugue), they sound in opposition. These opposing elements are: calm vs. energetic, soft vs. loud, homophonic vs. polyphonic, consonant vs. dissonant, emotional vs. intellectual, slow vs. fast, use of a major vs. octatonic scale, serious vs. humorous, and simple vs. complex. Despite these contrasting elements, the opening notes of the chorale in the first section become the foundation of the beginning of the fugue subject used in the second. Thus, even though the two sections strongly contrast musically with one another, the opposing forces here are thematically connected to ultimately form a composite, interconnected whole.
Commissioned by Dr. Richard Schwartz, saxophonist, Eastern New Mexico University