for EMvibe and three laptop performers, 6:15
performance by N. Cameron Britt and Sideband
Ctenophora is the phylum of the alien, flashy and sometimes bioluminescent comb jellies. Like an Ernst Haeckel illustration, this piece presents sonic images of some of the possibilities of the EMvibe. The EMvibe here is accompanied up with 3 laptop performers who use tethers to manipulate samples of bowed vibraphone.
for EMvibe, 8:30
In Sleight, I tried to be very specific about how the instrument responds to the performer. The piece has a lot to do with illusion, both aurally and visually (this visual aspect obviously isn’t captured with the audio recording). I tried in places to create the effect of multiple instruments playing simultaneously by defining assigning different “effects” to different registers, or even to specific notes.
Fill Up Jar (2011)
for string quartet and percussion, 18:38
performance by the Brentano String Quartet and Cameron Britt
With Fill Up Jar I was trying to create a piece which integrates my percussion playing into a traditional ensemble without treating myself as a soloist. This piece benefitted greatly from several workshops with the Brentanos over the course of a semester.
Gossamer Albatross (2009)
for flute, harp and viola, 5:43
performance by janus from their New Amsterdam Records release
When I composed it in 2009 Gossamer Albatross represented somewhat of a change in my compositional approach. Previously I was much more process oriented and with this piece I allowed myself more freedom. Since then I have continued with this freer approach and have grown much more interested in development than I was previously.
Study in C(ows) (2011)
for piano solo, 4:35
performance by Kate Campbell
This piece is partly a recomposition of Tom Johnson’s piece Narayana’s Cows that came out of an analysis I was doing on that piece. It uses the same algorithm as the Johnson piece but my piece treats the algorithmically generated material much more freely and the musical parameters are mapped differently from the Johnson piece in my piece.
for two alto saxophones, trombone, piano, electric guitar, percussion and electronic dones, 11:16
performance by Ensemble Klang
for PLOrk featuring Anders Åstrand, 15:08
With this piece I wanted to give the laptop performers the opportunity to interact with the soloist in a more traditional way — by listening, responding. I also wanted to do a piece where the laptop performers don’t actually touch their computers (it turns out that they do touch them for one section) so I used the built-in microphone to control the sound and Dance Dance Revolution pads to change more global aspects of the piece. The soloist is an incredible improvisor so I wanted to leverage those skills. He and I worked together to create a framework that shapes the piece, but gives him considerable freedom.
The video is from a rehearsal, but an audio excerpt from the performance is below.
Brocken Specter (2006)
for vibraphone and electronics, 3:19
This piece came out of some improvisations I recorded while living in Stockholm, Sweden. The recordings were originally intended as studies for another piece, but took on a life of their own.
Improvisation has long been an important component of my work, as both means and end. It was through improvisation that I came to the more traditional “notes on paper” form of composition. I have been working with cellist Tom Kraines over ten years now as the duo Dithyramb. Below is a sampling of our work.