From a forest of standing mirrors
premiered by Bearthoven, Fall 2014
Fold a piece of paper in half legnthwise, then widthwise, and repeat until you reach the smallest square possible. Now unravel the square and make note of the different permutations that arise during this process. Eventually, unfold the square completely. Notice the minute differences in the creases, then zoom out and look at the whole. Repeat this process, but this time do not be as precise. Fold haphazardly into something resembling a square, unfold, observe, and look at the aggregate network of folds: the residue of a process. The paper is no longer a flat plane, but rather a much more complex, multidimensional object that stands on small points, rather than the entirety of itself.
premiered by elena gabbrielli and maarten stragier, summer 2014
"The otherworldliness of the soft-focused glow suggests an unknown that exists within the possibility of human experience." -Damelio Gallery
While working on this piece, I serendipitously stumbled upon the work of the Japanese photographer Noguchi Rika. Her ambiguious subjects and translucent color palette paralled my own interests in this work: blurred instrumental identities and monolithic harmonic swatches. Swelling guitar harmonics, bass flute multiphonics, and sterile sine tones are woven into a monolithic tapestry that flows in and out of relief. Like the bird in Rika's 'Marabu #14', vague contours of the instrument's identities are barely perceivable, folding into an "atmospheric tableaux".
for agnes martin
amplified diatonic harmonicas
seven cassete tape players
premiered by the osu new music collective, winter 2015
I've been obsessed with harmonicas for quite a while, which is rooted in my much deeper obsession with Bob Dylan. Dylan aside, I'm very interested in the instrument's flexibility, (typically detuned) tonal structure, clear difference tones in the upper register, and the interference / beating when overlaid. All of these elements are used to generate the structure, harmony, and other compositional tools in 'For Agnes Martin'. In this piece, harmonicas weave their way through a slightly modified Pierrot ensemble, floating above a bed of overlapping clipped sine tones that emanate from cassette tape players. The different topographies of instrumental sound, harmonicas, and sine tones bleeding in and out of reflief reminded me of the "floating" layers in the work of Agnes Martin, where paint, canvas, and the liminal space between these elements seem to fluctuate.
things fall apart
[snare drum and everyday objects]
live-processed video (created by JR Gualtieri)
premiered by evan woodle, fall 2012
"Things Fall Apart" was originally written for Ryan Jewell in reaction to his unique snare drum and everyday object improvisations. Inadevertently, this piece became as much of a piece of choreography as it is a piece of music. The percussionist navigates a fragile and often chaotic world of unstable sonic objects that are carefully balanced on the snare drum's surface. The resonance and friction of these intersecting objects with the snare drum are captured, processed, and woven into the fabric of the live sound. The piece is titled after a work by artist Sarah Sze, who creates massive installations and intricate sculptures from the minutiae of everyday life.
premiered by the osu symphony orchestra, summer 2011
In this piece, I attempted to transform the symphony orchestra into an immense transistor radio. By observing and documenting the multifarious behaviors and sound qualities of radios, I developed a palette of sounds that I then set out to transcribe with the orchestra. Anselm Kiefer's landscape works of dense, dark space, and powerful linear trajectories was a major influence in the conceptualization of the work's structure.
cassette tape players
premiered by the osu new music collective, summer 2009
A run on sentence about American identity.
the temptation of st. anthony
premiered by the osu trombone choir, winter of 2009
a common thread running through a lot of my music is a rationalization and / or conceptualization of sound with images. this piece was my first experiment with this approach. In the work, I used the the hieronymus bosch triptych 'The Temptation of St. Anthony' as a point of departure. oddly enough, i tried to create a horizontal reading of the painting: imagine a verticle cursor sweeping across the painting from left to right. I translated aspects of the painting's density, texture, emotion, and symbology into sound, and scultped these ideas into a tapestry of dramatically surging and flowing sound masses.