The Sun Returns

This piece was written Disquiet Junto Project 0292: Eclipse Music and is dedicated to the memory of Bassel Khartabil.

I have seen two eclipses and hope to see another one soon, weather permitting. I imagined a time when eclipses were not understood and it was thought that they were a portent of the end of the world, as the sun disappeared into the moon. This piece is of the thoughts of those people as they began to see the sun emerge from behind the moon and realized that they would live another day.

This piece is scored for Trombone, Bass Trombone, Sopranos, Altos, Tenors, Baritones, Basses, Violin, Viola, Cello, and String Bass.

The Sun Returns
The Sun Returns – Score

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This piece was written for Junto 0291: Make Music That Sounds Like a Lantern

1 – Consider what might be called the “lantern effect” — the way light is filtered through the textured material of a paper lantern.
2 – Consider how the lantern effect, a visual phenomenon, might have a sonic corollary. That is, answer to the question: What would the lantern effect sound like?
3 – Record a short piece of music that evidences the lantern effect idea that arose from Step 1 and Step 2.

My piece considers the masking of sound as a filter is applied to it. Five notes are initially offered after which a filter is slowly applied. While some tones continue through the filter (no photographic filter is perfect, the steepness of the cut always allows some unwanted light to continue through), the others are removed, only to morph and reform into an altered version of the original. By the time the piece has completed, the five tones have been offered as twelve different forms.

For what it is worth, I tried to figure out the chord that was employed and a chord namer program offered “Minor 6th Add 14th” in case that is helpful. If interested, as always, the score is available.

This piece is written for impossible chorus.


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Two Cities

This piece was written in response to the Disquiet Junto Project 0290: Text-to-Beat.

  • Find a good text-to-speech system that you think you can work with musically.
  • Experiment with different combinations of words to produce a rhythm you want to work with.
  • Record the rhythm you developed.
  • Produce a track using the rhythm as the foundation.

Instead of trying to find a rhythm that I liked, I decided to select the words and work with what came to me. My favorite opening sentence in a novel is from the Charles Dickens novel, A Tale of Two Cities. The sentence is much too long to establish a rhythm so I just used the part everyone knows, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times”.

However, this results in a rhythm that is much too boring and predictable for this exercise, so I had the words converted to Japanese and pronounced through a text-to-speech program. The result was considerably more complicated and challenging, but offered something considerably more fun to work with.

Two Cities is written for saxophone quartet.

Two Cities
Two Cities Score

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This piece was written in response to Disquiet Junto Project 0289: Ancient Artifacts.

Step 1: Imagine an instrument that has been lost in the sands of time.
Step 2: Imagine what that instrument sounded like.
Step 3: Record a piece of music employing that instrument.

The history of tuned percussion instruments in ancient Greece offers few examples (the Krotalon being one) so to fill this gap I imagined a large machine that worked like a music box. The circular disc had pegs that initiated the striking of bars or strings.

Thelonia is a piece of music for this instrument, written by a woman, and when discovered was buried and the device destroyed. The music remains, the instrument can only be imagined.

Thelonia is scored for Glockenspiel, Marimba, Vibraphone and Harp.

Thelonia score

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Green And Black

The idea of Disquiet Junto Project 0288: Interspecies Duet was to use samples of two different animals and have them make music together, with a bonus for adding myself.

I decided to use existing samples I have made over the years, one a recording of frogs in a pond near my house and the other crows deciding to be loud very early in the morning.

In this piece the two animals use their periodic calls to contest one another. I am represented as a collection of percussion instruments, attempting to negotiate the conflict, but in the end one wins over the other.

Green And Black is scored for Cymbals, Wood Blocks, Tubular Bells, Xylophone, Vibraphone and Harp, along with the electronics.

Green And Black
Green And Black electronics

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Looking For Planes

Back in April I offered Looking For Planes – Looking, the first of a three part piece for two pianos that dealt with my granddaughter looking for airplanes flying overhead.

I have completed the piece and the three parts are subtitled Looking, Finding, and Forgetting.

The music link goes to the three parts played as the piece should be heard, and the links to the scores are for the three parts.

Looking For Planes

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Awakes Etude

This piece was written for the Disquiet Junto Project 0286.

The idea here was to translate, transliterate, and interpret a piece of music, so I selected Awakes, a piece I wrote last year that described my granddaughter when she wakes up.

The piece is in four sections. The first part is the initial sequence of what I wrote.

The second part has been translated. In this regard I thought of myself as a child, with more energy than one has a right to own, which offered its own set of problems.

The third part has been transliterated. I ensured that the soundings of the original piece were intact and interspersed a mockery of the interpretation.

The final part is the interpretation. The original section is hidden within the notes that have been squeezed in between, offering order and chaos.

The four sections work in a circle of fifths, moving from D to A, to E, to B with a G natural.

The piece is scored for piano.

Awakes Etude

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