Though I like the idea of it quite a bit, I've never really been able to faithfully stick to using processes or generative techniques. I usually start out with a process and then veer off course and inevitably make lots of intuitive choices with a loose framework of process behind it, so this is about as close as I'll probably ever get.
the gentle air is based on a two-dimensional universal Turing machine field with a very simple set of rules governing pitch and rhythm. Other than using some of the initial 'simplicity behavior' material as structural tentpoles, once I arrived on a generative process that I liked the unfolding of, I really stuck with it. More than many processes, this one really forces you to listen on a localized level rather than slower large-scale changes.
if you look up you can see the stars (2008–2018)
piano. duration: the elapsed time between the astronomical twilight of dusk and dawn (in a given location and time).
This piece is dedicated to the romance surrounding the madcap and meditative 'all night' concerts of Terry Riley and my love for John Luther Adams' site-specific sound installation, "The Place Where You Go to Listen." I sought to write a piece that would be unique for every performance, and not just through improvisatory means, but unique because it was being done on that day of the year and at a particular place. As the weeks and seasons change so does the musical materials of the piece itself. And so here we have music that lasts all night; given the place and time of year it was done, that could last a week or merely an hour.
I would see the ideal concert space as a relatively still outdoor setting (or open to the outdoors) where the changing light and stars could be readily observed. The music itself responds to the specific place and specific time as it is being performed and it is my hope that listeners will allow themselves to be present and connected to the ever-changing rhythms of daylight and darkness, seasonality and transition.
Lake Eden (2017)
two pianos. 8'
(contact me for score)
Lake Eden is on the campus of the former Black Mountain College. Dedicated to my friend Andy Lee.
Warm Chromatic (2017)
Warm Chromatic is not a musical reference, but about color. ‘Lilting' is the over-arching character I’d use to describe it. All of the rhythmic changes are fairly intricate and every ‘repetition’ is explicitly notated, so for me it’s a ton of pages in a 12 minute work.
dandy dandylion elephant tiger polar bear (2013)
I asked my 3 year-old son for a title. I got a title.
bird-drawn in the sky of light (2012)
There are modules/sections/etc. that have three possible elements to play. When ‘or’ is indicated, it is up to the performer which elements to play in each section and how often. It is advisable to decide in advance on a basic strategy of repeats and changes rather than settling for an aviary randomness. No pause between elements is intended, but subtle and tasteful rubato is always welcome.
Each section is meant to last around 3 minutes. The entire piece should be played as quietly as possible while still allowing a measure of resonance to hover (and accumulate as desired) inside the piano. The acoustic of the performance space will largely determine loudness and tempo. Pedal held throughout. Lights dim.