Portfolio Excerpts:

The Visitor (2018), for six percussion and six low strings

Ridge & Furrow (2017), for two cellos

Perishable (2018), for mezzo-soprano and chamber ensemble

mammal (2016), for prepared piano solo

Full Portfolio:

The Visitor (2018)

For six percussion and six low strings
Duration: 12-14’

Commissioned by Continuum Contemporary Music with support from the Canada Council for the Arts
Premiered on January 21, 2018 by Continuum Ensemble with the TorQ Percussion Quartet, Ryan Scott and Rob Power at 918 Bathurst, Toronto

Link to score

Program Note:
Landscape figures strongly in Icelandic folk tales. Before the middle of the 20th century, life for many people meant living on an isolated farm in the heath—seeing your neighbours only on the rare occasion. Custom dictated that you would always welcome in an unexpected visitor because refusing them frequently meant relegating the traveler to a certain death by exposure. News traveled slowly—you might learn of the death of a local farmhand a year after its occurrence, only to come to the unnerving realization that you had recently hired that same person to work on your farm. The Icelandic folk tales blur these lines between living and dead, the horrors of harsh reality and the supernatural.

Cue spots: 6:40-8:18, 10:45-12:10

Ridge & Furrow (2017)

For cello duo
Duration: 6’30”

Recorded in studio by VC2: Amahl Arulanandam and Bryan Holt
Commissioned by VC2, with the financial support of Shauna Rolston
Premiered on February 2, 2018 by VC2 at Atelier Rosemarie Umetsu, Toronto, Canada

Link to score

Program Note:
Ridge & Furrow refers to the archeological traces left by a style of farming popular in Medieval England. These formations were created when farmers would plow through the same area in the same direction, year after year. The piece written for VC2 explores this concept by cycling through and over the music of the past, in this case Beethoven's Cello Sonata in A major. By taking the contour of a phrase from the restless Scherzo and slowly transforming its shape during the course of the piece, Ridge & Furrow focuses in on the undulating lilt of Beethoven's sonata.

Cue Spots: 0:34-1:32, 3:35-4:12

Perishable (2018)

For mezzo-soprano, viola, cello, double-bass, bass-clarinet, and synthesizer
Duration: 8’

Tanner Porter, mezzo-soprano
Nate May, synthesizer
Sammy Lesnick, bass-clarinet
Alexandra Simpson, viola
Sam DeCaprio, cello
Russell Thompson, double-bass

Link to score

Program note:
The music starts out with the best intentions, headed like clockwork in a very specific direction. As time moves, more and more things start to deviate from the original plan. By the end, like a pear decomposing in a time lapse film, we have hopefully reached a place of fertile decay. The text is drawn from the platitude “Everything happens for a reason.” By deconstructing the phrase into its component sounds, my hope is to create a new reason from the constituent materials, in the way a decomposed piece of fruit provides fertile soil for new things to grow. 

mammal (2016)

For prepared piano solo
Duration: 14'30"

Commissioned by Vicky Chow with the support of the Ontario Arts Council
Premiered on October 27, 2016, Roulette, NYC
Performed by Vicky Chow at the Banff Centre For the Arts, August 2017

Link to score

Program Note:
As a piece for solo piano, mammal doesn't explore melody or harmony in the traditional sense. Instead it searches for a way to make the whole giant installation-of-an-instrument hum to itself; to make the cavity of the beast sound in as many different ways as possible. It is a kind of duet between the piano's speaking notes and their resulting resonances; a moment of eaves-dropping on the instrument's interior dialogue, and an attempt to answer the question “what does the piano hear when it sings to itself?” 

Cue spots: 2:42-4:17 (mm. 60-96), 6:44-7:53 (155-178), 9:11-10:49 (197-218)
Movements: I—0:00, II—5:25, III—9:27, IV—12:44