Welcome to my website.
In these pages, I mean to introduce the primary aspect of my professional life as a musician — music composition. I have provided sample audio files and scores of my compositions written over the past two decades, each of which you are welcome to download.

My work as a composer can be likened to that of an architect -- an artist whose creative efforts begin with a vision, but are brought to life with materials that serve functional and formal purposes. Just as buildings are designed to be pleasant, inviting and engaging to the eye, so it is with music, which is successful in part owing to the beauty of its melodies, its rhythms, and other musical features -- all of which are assembled in such a way as to attract the ear. What is more, a successful musical composition will transport the listener beyond their daily concerns.

I respond personally to a wide range of composers: from Machaut to Boulez and the current group of French spectralists; from Bach, the great contrapuntalist and advocate of contemporaneous styles, to the current group of Austrian composers centered in Graz. I am also drawn to the rich tradition of Russian music, and especially to the music of Rachmaninoff, and contemporary Russian composers living in Moscow. Further, I revere the Americans Ives and Feldman. I am also sensitive to the great impact our folk music and jazz continues to exert in many countries.

While such tastes may seem ecumenical, by me, there is one crucial and critical measure for all music: does it pass the "goose-pimple" test? has it moved us emotionally? have we allowed ourselves to get lost in its beauty, and to forget our concerns, in a state where time is suspended?

I am a modernist, but only in the broadest of terms — for modernism provides freedom and liberty to work as an individual. At the same time, we have an obligation to know historical models if we are to make informed decisions, for it is in the retooling of "old" ideas that "the new" emerges.

As a teacher of young composers, I serve as a role model and as a guide, ensuring that students have grappled with the following issues — issues that serve as my mantra: "know your audience," and "know what you are trying to say."

I believe that all music derives from the concept of "dialogue," be it among the smallest details of the inherent qualities of sound — the interval, say, as the relationship between two pitches — to the interaction between a composer and a performer. The latter association is particularly essential in a composer's development, for one taps into a wealth of musical experiences when working with performers. And the relationship is reciprocal, for performers learn to reconsider performing traditions by gaining insight into a composer's thought processes. The result of these relationships is a growing body of repertoire that represents and mirrors our lived sets of experiences.

eXTReMe Tracker

 — September 21 - 30 —

With IWP writer Christopher Merrill, poet Steve Kuusisto and choreographer Michelle Pearson, attending US State Department sponsored workshops in Guangzhou and Nanning, China.

 — November 10 —

Concert performance with Michael Norsworthy at the Sacramento State Festival of New American Music.

 — December 6 - 7 —

A premiere of a new orchestral work by the Quad City Symphonic orchestra.

 — December 14 —

A performance of An Elm We Lost at Yale University / Institute of Sacred Music, Max Holman, conductor.