Kitchen Piece No. 1

For found-percussion. Duration: 5'00"

Kitchen Piece No. 1 depicts the nighttime escapade of an inexperienced home chef attempting to cook dinner for two. The night starts out manageable enough with the opening and enjoyment of adult beverages. However, as the naïve chef continues their heroic cooking journey, they begin to get overwhelmed with everything happening at once and their foolproof plan quickly falls apart. This piece samples common kitchenware and metal drinking straws and uses live sampling techniques such as granular delay, randomized pitch shifting, flanging, and variable delay to sculpt the soundscape of a panic-ridden kitchen.

Premiered at UW-Milwaukee Electroacoustic Sound Studios Concert on 12/14/23.

Suspended Mementos

For Bass Clarinet and Marimba. Duration: 6'30"

The title Suspended Mementos refers to moments where a nostalgic memory races to the foreground of your mind, taking the reins of your wandering mental space. These brief remembrances can be incredibly vivid and detailed such as a piece of black melted gum you walk by every day on the sidewalk, or the smell of a grandparent’s old tobacco pipe you’ve never seen lit, or the hangnail you keep getting on your left ring finger. They can also be frustratingly hazy, the source blurred by the inevitable progression of time, such as the last time you jumped on your family’s trampoline when you were younger, or your preferred underwear, or your fondness for the color yellow. Sometimes they take front stage suddenly without warning, and sometimes they are triggered by something whose origin is unquestionably clear to you. Sometimes it seems like these mementos are suspended around you dangling from the invisible fabric of space like an imaginary mobile hanging above a child’s crib, catching your mind’s eye here and there as you deal with the reality beyond those wooden bars.

This piece uses a generous amount of a variable delay effect from the electronic Max patch. I like to think of the delayed sounds as the mobile spinning around you, different mementos coming in and out of focus. The overall progression of the piece follows a circuitous journey between past memories – evoked by vocal sounds in the clarinet, a high-low effect in the marimba which sounds like laughter (especially with the delay), and pentatonic scales – and the reality of the present – evoked by sudden stops in the electronic delay which signals a snap back to reality, notes that speed up and slow down erratically as if stuck in metropolitan interstate traffic, and violent noise at the end of the piece that signal the constant stimulation of modern life.

Recorded 10/14/2023 at a reading session with Transient Canvas. I would like to give a huge thank you to to Transient Canvas for their time and the recording of their great performance!

Laminar Flow

For Multi-Percussion Duet. Duration: 6'00"

laminar flow (noun) : an uninterrupted flow in a fluid near a solid boundary in which the direction of flow at every point remains constant - Merriam-Webster Dictionary

Seeing actual examples of laminar flow are always striking to the eye. The fluid either looks frozen in place or looks like an optical illusion; it may seem like the fluid is not in a state of motion, when, in reality, it is flowing so smoothly that the fluid appears completely undisturbed. This piece is loosely based off of this state of motion, the idea of motion in general, and the broad concept of looking/sounding like one thing while being another thing. Laminar Flow moves between tempos through an uninterrupted flow of metric modulations while also moving between rhythms and keeping the stickings/rudiments the same or moving between stickings/ rudiments and keeping the rhythms the same. This piece also plays on the double entendre of "flow" - in this case referring to the word's usage to describe motion and its usage to describe groove.

Recorded on 8/31/2023.

The Imposter

For Voice (Tenor), Violin, Double Bass, and Drum Set. Duration: 5'30"

“The Imposter” is a poem by Ryan Townsend that portrays the struggle between your true inner-self and your fake outer-self. The poem describes an entity - the imposter - trying to claw and scratch his way out of the prison you have attempted to place him in. Sometimes you are successful in being your true, authentic self, but other times he breaks free and takes over interacting with others. This composition contains multitudes of extended techniques and sounds that replicate scratching, clawing, crying, moaning, creaking, popping, etc. that follow the internal struggle with the imposter in the poem. The themes for both the true self and fake self are at constant odds with each other and manifest themselves both separately and together through the weave of their rhythmic and melodic material.

Premiered at the New Music On the Point summer festival on 6/13/23. Thank you to Brian Riordan for the audio and Emmanuel Berrido for the video.

To Continue Turning

For black morph suit, photoresistors, breadboard, flashlights, Arduino, and fixed media. Duration: 7'00"

This piece was created during the 2023 New Music On the Point summer festival. As a participant of this festival, I was a part of the Electronics Ensemble, where we learned how to utilize Arduino and circuitry with breadboards to create sounds and music. Together with fellow composer Nathaniel Parks, we created this piece, which uses processed sounds created from Arduino and spoken text from a poem of the same name. We also took a black morph suit and ran wires from a breadboard to a speaker in each hand and to two photoresistors placed on the head of the suit. This results in a high frequency pitch emanating from the speakers when bright lights are shone on the head and a low frequency pitch or even sporadic clicking when the photoresistors are covered in dim or low light. We then created a video to pair with the performance and used the light from the projector and two flashlights wielded by Nathaniel to affect the photoresistors on the suit, which was worn by me.

Premiered at New Music on the Point summer festival on 6/17/23. Thank you to Brian Riordan for the audio and Emmanuel Berrido for the video.