Works

Scores and parts avail­able upon request.

Solo


The Dop­pel­ganger (2012)

Dura­tion:  c. 8.5’
Instru­men­ta­tion:  trombone

Bela Fleck meets Schu­bert in Africa.  Built on the 4-note theme of Schubert’s haunt­ing song, Der Dop­pel­ganger.   Some use of impro­vi­sa­tion and extended techniques.


Three (2013)

Dura­tion: c. 3′
Instru­men­ta­tion: three pianos
Requested by Com­posers Concordance

Bell-like vibra­tions of the three pianos coin­cide, col­lide, and emerge into lyricism.

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While We Were Sleep­ing (2012)

Dura­tion: c. 5′
Instru­men­ta­tion: piano
Requested by Com­posers Concordance

While We Were Sleep­ing is a dra­matic, semi-improvised piece, Posei­don unleashed, writ­ten in response to Hur­ri­cane Sandy’s dev­as­ta­tion. The storm approached at night, I impro­vised the open­ing, thought of our unheeded wake up calls and woke to find what had hap­pened while we were sleep­ing. (Click here for video.)


Visions (2008)

Dura­tion: c. 7.5′
Instru­men­ta­tion: piano
Com­mis­sion: Access To Music

To recall the magic of Taos, the light, the air…in three remem­brances, the first night there, the wan­ing of sum­mer, a visit to Geor­gia O’Keeffe’s home in Abique.  (See video)


Bus­cando (2006)

Dura­tion: c. 9’
Instru­men­ta­tion: harp­si­chord
Com­mis­sion: Arthur Haas, Pro­fes­sor of Music, Yale University

A wan­der­lust of a piece one theme lead­ing to the next with inevitably or sur­prise. Oppor­tu­nity for embell­ish­ment and impro­vi­sa­tion harkens to the Baroque.  Level of vir­tu­os­ity can be tai­lored to your temperament.


Rant (2004)

Dura­tion: c. 6.5’
Instru­men­ta­tion: solo cello or bass viol
Com­mis­sion: Martha McGaughey, Fac­ulty, Mannes Col­lege the New School for Music

A dia­logue of oppo­sites, the music explores a range of lyric and per­cus­sive pos­si­bil­i­ties. I hope that each player will make it his or her own rant.


Cham­ber Music


Duet After Win­ter (2012)

Dura­tion:  c. 9’
Instru­men­ta­tion:  two violins

He emails from Japan right after the earth­quake — “I’m ok,” he says…the vio­lins begin in uni­son, fall into close dis­so­nance, echo one another’s themes, never quite in the same place, but yearn­ing. — March 11, 2011


And So It Begins (2010)

Dura­tion:  c. 16.5’
Instru­men­ta­tion:  string quin­tet, tenor sax­o­phone
(Also avail­able for string cham­ber orches­tra & tenor sax­o­phone)
Com­mis­sion:  The Clas­si­cal Sax­o­phone Project

If this were a story, loss and regen­er­a­tion would be the themes.  The incar­nate dis­solves into the ethe­real, a heart-beat pizzi­cato becomes a time-ticking drum beat, and resolves into an easy bossa nova, tak­ing the lis­tener through an emo­tional process that is in the end, life-affirming.


The Beauty Way (2009)

Dura­tion:  c. 8.5’
Instru­men­ta­tion:  soprano, tenor & bass gam­bas
Com­mis­sion:  Empire Viols

Inspired by my res­i­den­cies in Taos, NM, Native Amer­i­can, African, and Old Eng­lish folk tunes com­bine to explore what the Navajo call “the beauty way”, those times when we are in har­mony with all that is.


A Due (2008)

Dura­tion: c. 4’
Instru­men­ta­tion: dou­ble bass, piano
Com­mis­sion: Basso Mod­erno Duo

Explores how the sound worlds of bass and piano over­lap and con­trast. The open­ing is an impro­visatory crescendo-diminuendo in which the play­ers attune to one another. An equal part­ner­ship between the instru­ments, with some use of extended tech­niques. The over­all mood – med­i­ta­tive, lyri­cal, impassioned.


Strange Cohab­i­ta­tion (2007)

Dura­tion: c. 8’
Instru­men­ta­tion: piano 4-hands
Com­mis­sion: The Lark Ascending

Three short char­ac­ter pieces inspired by Nancy Bogen’s story, Twelve Tone Blues. The piece describes the char­ac­ter and the rela­tion­ship of an old mar­ried cou­ple — a pair of oppo­sites who com­ple­ment each other, but some­times ruf­fle each other’s feath­ers. He’s a self-serious com­poser; she a whim­si­cal intel­lec­tual. Musi­cal jokes abound, as well as lyri­cism, and a chance for the­atrics if the play­ers are so-inclined.


Find­ing Accord (2005)

Dura­tion: c. 7.5’
Instru­men­ta­tion: vio­lin, cello, piano
Com­mis­sion: Alaria

The 3-way con­ver­sa­tion goes in and out of agree­ment in a tete-a-tete of musi­cal oppo­sites. Vio­lin­ist dou­bles on ankle bell. Some use of pre­pared piano.


Inci­den­tal Duck­lings (2004)

Dura­tion: c. 6.5’
Instru­men­ta­tion: vio­lin, cello, piano

Suite of dance and inci­den­tal music from The Ugly Duck­ling. (See video)


Dia­logues with the Dis­tant Moun­tains (1987/rev. 2006)

Dura­tion: c. 8’
Instru­men­ta­tion: alto sax­o­phone and piano
Com­mis­sion Atlanta Music Teach­ers’ Association

In dia­logue with the expan­sive land­scapes of north­ern California.


Music with Narration


We Part the Trees (2014)

Dura­tion: c. 8’
Instru­men­ta­tion: piano, nar­ra­tor
Text:  Roger Aplon

Writer Roger Aplon impro­vised the text while lis­ten­ing to my sex­tet, And So It Begins.  We Part the Trees is my musi­cal response to his text.  The pianist is given themes for impro­vis­ing an accom­pa­ni­ment to the narration.


Sky is Falling (2013)

Dura­tion: c. 8’
Instru­men­ta­tion: piano & nar­ra­tor, or piano solo
Text:  Roger Aplon

Sky is Falling alter­nates between clas­si­cally notated and struc­tured impro­visatory sec­tions.  Aplon’s dense imagery and lyri­cal ear, make his writ­ing more akin to music than poetry.


My Amer­i­can Shtetl (2007)

Dura­tion:  c. 18′
Instru­men­ta­tion: vio­lin, cello, piano, nar­ra­tor
Text:  Bel Kauf­man
Com­mis­sion: Alaria

Two Sholom Ale­ichem sto­ries abridged, para­phrased and with added com­men­tary by his grand­daugh­ter, the author, Bel Kauf­man (Up the Down Stair­case). Tells the Jew­ish immigrant’s tale with humor and pathos, laugh­ter through tears. Music weaves strands of Klezmer dance tunes, Yid­dish songs, rag­time, and jazz, with a con­tem­po­rary clas­si­cal approach.  Suit­able for fam­ily audiences.


Voice


Chain Reac­tion (2008)

Text:  Debra Kaye
Dura­tion: c. 4 ½’
Instru­men­ta­tion: soprano and piano
Com­mis­sion: Nancy Ogle, Pro­fes­sor of Music, Uni­ver­sity of Maine

Joni Mitchell meets art song with a bit of drama queen thrown in.  A cli­mate change song, with a the­atri­cal bent and a hope­ful end­ing. Also pokes fun at prima donnas.


Slants of Light – Four songs on poems of Emily Dick­in­son (2003)

Dura­tion: c. 11’
Instru­men­ta­tion: bari­tone and piano
Com­mis­sion:  Paul Haugh­tal­ing, Pro­fes­sor of Music, Uni­ver­sity of Alabama

The cycle includes the fol­low­ing poems: Not Know­ing, There’s a Cer­tain Slant of light, I Heard a Fly Buzz when I Died, and This is the Land the Sun­set Washes. Piano is equal part­ner to the voice.


Where You Are (2002)

Text:  Walt Whit­man
Dura­tion: c. 3’
Instru­men­ta­tion: tenor and piano

A love song with “sub­tle elec­tric fire”. 


The Coun­try Mouse & the City Mouse (1998)

Text:  Richard Scrafton Sharpe
Dura­tion: c. 5’
Instru­men­ta­tion: mezzo and piano

A mini-opera, the song tells the famous story. Com­bines the sim­plic­ity of folk music and oper­atic styles. Piano is an equal partner.


Choral


Mem Hey Shin — Heal­ing (2014)


Text:  taken from 72 Names of God, tra­di­tional Kab­bal­is­tic text.

Text:  Tra­di­tional Kab­bal­is­tic text.
Dura­tion:  c. 1’
Instru­men­ta­tion: SATB

Writ­ten at the request of Com­posers Con­cor­dance as part of their 72 project, a col­lab­o­ra­tion between sev­eral com­posers to write 1 minute set­tings of each of the 72 Names.

5 Children’s Songs (2012)


1.  There is No Frigate Like a Book

Text:  Emily Dick­in­son
Dura­tion:  c. 3’
Instru­men­ta­tion:  SA + piano

Miss Emily’s ”pranc­ing poetry” set in a bossa nova trib­ute to the plea­sures of reading.


2.  There Was a Lit­tle Girl

Text:  Henry Wadsworth Longfel­low
Dura­tion:  c.  1’
Instru­men­ta­tion:  SA + piano

The famous poem set with an Edward Gorey sensibility.


3.  Time to Rise

Text: Robert Louis Steven­son
Dura­tion:  c. 1’
Instru­men­ta­tion:  Uni­son + piano

A birdie with a yel­low bill” hops through the piano as the voices sing an angu­lar but lyri­cal melody.  Text from “A Child’s Gar­den of Verses”.


4.  Ting-a-Ling Spring

Text: Debra Kaye
Dura­tion:  c. 2’
Instru­men­ta­tion:  SA + piano

Two min­utes of spring fever.


5.  Seeds Are Sleeping

Text: Debra Kaye
Dura­tion:  c. 3’
Instru­men­ta­tion:  Uni­son with optional des­cant + piano

…the moral — “Plant your seeds and watch them grow, soon they’ll blos­som where once was snow.”


Hope is the thing with feath­ers (2011)

Text: Emily Dick­in­son
Dura­tion:  c. 5’
Instru­men­ta­tion:  SATB + piano & bell

A soar­ing fan­tasy on the sub­ject of hope.

Count­ing Sheep (1988)

Text:  Debra Kaye
Dura­tion:  c. 3′
Instru­men­ta­tion: vocal trio or 3-part chorus

Mary Had a Lit­tle Lamb “remixed” as a 3-part poly­met­ric choral reading.


Musi­cal The­ater & Opera


The Ugly Duck­ling (1998)

Dura­tion: 1 hour
Instru­men­ta­tion: piano/vocal or piano, vocal, flute, trum­pet, bass, drums

A musi­cal ver­sion of Hans Chris­t­ian Andersen’s clas­sic tale hailed by the New York Times as “a fantasy-filled hour that com­bines clas­si­cal bal­let with songs rang­ing from blues and gospel to lively show tunes.” Pro­duced by Lit­er­ally Alive Children’s Theatre.


The North Wind and the Sun (1992)

Cham­ber opera
Dura­tion: c. 21 min.
Instru­men­ta­tion: piano/vocal
Com­mis­sion: Fort Wayne Children’s Choir

Excerpts from The North Wind and the Sun are avail­able for children’s chorus.


For Young Pianists


Get­ting Ready for the Guests (2000)

Dura­tion: 1’
Level: Advanced Begin­ner or Early Intermediate

The left hand plays a stac­cato, quar­ter note mid­dle C through­out, while right hand ven­tures into six­teenth notes. Inspired by the irreg­u­lar pat­terns in Scar­latti, stu­dents with a good ear can learn the piece by rote. Meant to evoke the rush­ing around and clean­ing up before the guests arrive, the piece ends with a laugh, the door­bell rings.


5 fin­ger pieces
By rote
Bought a Cat

Dura­tion: 30 sec. or less
Level: Young begin­ner — suit­able within the first weeks of lessons

This three-note song using mid­dle C, D, and E, tells the story of a child who buys a vari­ety of ani­mals and brings them all home. Lots of melodic rep­e­ti­tion makes it easy to learn, and a good song for train­ing the ear to hear skips and steps. There is also a chance for the child to insert the name of his/her sib­ling into the song.
Text by the composer.


Some­times I Run to Catch the Bus

Dura­tion: 30 sec. or less
Level: Expe­ri­enced young beginner

Easy to learn, a good song for train­ing the ear to hear scale-wise motion, skips within the tonic triad, and find­ing tonic, it ends with a leap to the tonic after the words – “Some­times I make it!” That can be a cause for dis­cus­sion – did you make it? Text by the composer.


Carol Has a Play Date

Dura­tion: 30 sec. or less
Level: Young beginner

This song stays within the 5-finger posi­tion and uses repeated notes, good for train­ing the ear to hear and coor­di­nate when the melody moves and when it stays the same. Text by the composer.


The Tre­ble Clef Song

The words of the song col­or­fully describe how to a draw a tre­ble clef…”You start with a fish hook…” At first the teacher can sing as the stu­dent draws the clef, soon enough the stu­dent learns the words. Helps even the youngest stu­dents to draw the clef successfully.