An Essay for Solo Piano is a collection of short pieces originally written as composition exercises and assignments for my undergraduate composition degree.
The first piece in this collection, Two and Three, has a conflicting jazzy dance-ish feel, represented by a few dissonant chords and triplets being played over eighth notes. It also has an atypical ending in a dark, chromatic cadence.
The second piece, In Four Notes, is a dark journey through dissonant chords and a travelling melody that only uses four notes, D-A-C-and E flat. This piece is a quasi-tonal journey through a dissonant group of notes, really seeing how much the piano can do with very little information.
The final piece, Walking, is characterized by the walking bass-line throughout the entire piece in the left hand of the piano. This has more of a swing feel than the first piece, as it uses moderate swing rather than just triplet rhythms.
A Collection of Short Pieces: Two and Three, In Four Notes, and Walking. Scored for Solo Piano. Performance and Score information available via the CONTACT page.
Scored for flute, clarinet, cello, and piano, Quest is a journey of moral character in three short movements. The first movement, “For Indulgence,” is characterized by swaying between conflicting rhythms in a minor mode to represent selfishness and greed. The second movement, “For Subsistence,” slowly transforms melodic fragments to depict harsh conditions and survival through the torments of humankind. The third movement, “For Liberation,” combines the earlier elements of character with a new one, inspiring allies to rise above miserable conditions and eventually, celebrate freedom from affliction.
Movements include: For Indulgence, For Subsistence, For Liberation. Scored for Flute, Clarinet, Cello, and Piano. Performance and Score information available via the CONTACT page.
Legacy of a Warrior transpires in four sections and describes the loss of a hero held in deep regard by many. It begins exceedingly slow and gradually accelerates until it culminates into a rhythmically-driven battle theme, then lulls into a slow reflective section. In this piece I explore varying qualities of dissonances and employ several minutes of slow, minor key passages.
Sections include: Loss, Hope, Battle, Wasted. Scored for 2 Violins, Viola, Cello, and Double Bass. Performance and Score information available via the CONTACT page.
No Longer Mourn is a piece based on and set to Shakespeare’s Sonnet 71. The piece follows the form of sonnet in four sections, each more dramatic than the last. The music emphasizes on words like dead, woe, and decay to show that while the characters in the text love each other, the dying speaker does not want their partner’s mind to fill with woeful thoughts after their passing, so that it may fill with love in memory and the ability to move on. The music weaves between the beauty of love, and the pain of losing it. In the end, a peaceful yet painful resolution is reached.
Below is the text of Shakespeare’s Sonnet 71:
No longer mourn for me when I am dead Then you shall hear the surly sullen bell Give warning to the world that I am fled From this vile world, with vilest worms to dwell:
Nay, if you read this line, remember not The hand that writ it; for I love you so That I in your sweet thoughts would be forgot If thinking on me then should make you woe.
O, if, I say, you look upon this verse When I perhaps compounded am with clay, Do not so much as my poor name rehearse. But let your love even with my life decay,
Lest the wise world should look into your moan And mock you with me after I am gone.
Scored for SATB Choir Performance and Score information available via the CONTACT page.
Inert Redemption starts out ‘uneven’ in every way. It slowly evens itself out, becoming more consonant and conventionally written. The first section opens with a baritone saxophone solo, then a harmony from the alto saxophone and alto flute. This evolves into a frantic, unstable second section, and eventually a third section reminiscent of the first, but in a new key. The last section builds to the climax, and then diffuses with a woodwind chorale section and a calm finish.
This piece started out with a very different middle section and instrumentation, but I revised it later for a more cohesive feel. Performance and score information available via the CONTACT page.
Pain Buried Beneath is a piece that describes the pain hidden in many of us beneath false attitudes and mannerisms. So signify this, I use multiple dissonances and unorthodox chord progressions underneath arpeggiated lines and expressive melodies. The mood struggles between pain and beauty before finally reaching a sad and abrupt conclusion.
This piece was one of multiple used for my composition portfolio application to Stetson University. In the future, I may revise it to increase the length, as well as create better cohesion among the sections. This is some of my earliest work that was fully thought out and completed.
Scored for Violin I, Violin II, Viola, Cello and Double Bass. Performance and Score information available via the CONTACT page.
Commander of the Troops is a piece that describes the militaristic efforts of a military general in the midst of a war. The piece transpires in 3 sections: one that introduces the melody in a call to action for war, another that moves the melody to the bass voice with a more rhythmically driven upper voice looking over the battle – assuring command, and a final section driven more by chord hits to signify the large efforts of battle being over, but the efforts of war just beginning. Throughout almost the whole piece there is an obbligato in the left hand of the piano, signifying the formidable attitude of the commander that instills fear in the enemy.
This is one of my very earliest fully thought out compositions, and I later re-used my sketch material for this piece to write Quest in 2019.
Scored for Flute and Piano. Performance and Score information available via the CONTACT page.