Waves Themselves

This piece was created as a response to Pat Boran’s haiku sequence (or rensaku), which explores the flora and fauna of Dublin Bay’s (North) Bull Island. Boran’s rhyming haiku observe the interplay of bird, human and plant life on the island, and celebrate the delicate balance of a biosphere on the very doorstep of Ireland’s capital city.

An extract of the haiku can be found at https://www.naviarrecords.com/2021/10/14/poetry-in-sounds-bull-island-haiku/

The score is available at http://bit.ly/WavesThemselves

Video available at https://youtu.be/u1rSSRMw1M0

Posted in Cello, Clarinet, String Bass, Trombone, Vibraphone, Viola, Violin | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment


Tewanima was a silver medalist in the 1912 Olympic games. His 10,000 meter run set an American record in that distance that stood for over 50 years. However, as a Hopi Indian, he experienced true Koyaanisqatsi.

Image courtesy
Library of Congress

In 1906 he was forcibly separated from his parents and community, handcuffed and marched 20 miles to Keams Canyon, where he and other Hopi youths were shackled and made to build a road. Soldiers then marched them another 110 miles where they boarded a train to Pennsylvania, 2,000 miles from home, to stay at Carlisle Indian Industrial School.

His crime was that of being born an American Indian, and the motto of the school’s founder was, “Kill the Indian, Save the Man.” Indeed, many children did die there due to starvation, disease, and physical abuse. He was forbidden to speak his language or practice his religion as he spent his days sewing shirts while he tried to learn English.

In his original community, Hopi males were expected to be runners, which is also a spiritual practice, and Tewanima was one of the best. Distinguishing himself repeatedly, he represented the United States in the 1908 Olympic marathon, coming in ninth. He hoped that that would allow him to go home, but he was forced back to Carlisle where he baled hay and posed for promotional pictures. Savage Hopi Indians Are Transformed Into Model Students

In 1911 he won New York City’s 12-mile modified marathon, and in the 1912 Olympic games he won a silver medal in the 10,000 meter event. In no picture of him receiving his awards in these events (or any others I have seen) is he seen smiling. Following six years of virtual captivity, he was allowed to return home, where he tended cornfields and herded sheep. He married a Hopi woman and had one child, who was taken away to a boarding school, became ill, and was returned home to die.

Tewanima is written for Flute, Alto Flute, Clarinet, Bass Clarinet, Violin, Viola, Cello and String Bass. The melody of the second theme is based on Marco Lucchi’s “Incipit“. The piece also includes electronic expansions of the original, as well as the inclusion of the original twice.

The score is available at https://bit.ly/2YjQb7P

Posted in Alto Flute, Bass Clarinet, Cello, Clarinet, Flute, String Bass, Viola, Violin | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Night’s Edge

I decided to write the haiku for this one.

Night’s edge comes early,
leaves crunching under my feet,
suddenly winter.

Happy Halloween!

Night’s Edge was written for Alto Flute, Bass Clarinet, Trombone, Bass Trombine, Bass Drum, Gong, Vibraphone, Violin, Viola, Cello and String Bass

The score is available at https://bit.ly/3kLm6oj

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Six Emotions

Marco Lucchi has offered a number of piano patterns to remix. I wrote “A Book Of Disquiet” in response to the first of the patterns.

I decided to work on a second pattern, selecting piano patterns #5. I decided that the “remix” in this case should be a set of variations.

My approach was to break his piece into numerous sections, then write a set of variations that each had some basis of origin relating to the section. I asked him to provide me with a set of emotional characteristics he experiences in various circumstances. I suggested that for myself “inquisitive, clueless, caring, wacky, irritated, and calm” might apply.

He offered ten emotions and I selected six, “deep, unfaithful, creative, susceptible, slow, intuitive, and selfish.” Each of the six sections of the piece addresses one emotion.

The idea came to me from Elgar’s Enigma Variations, where each section referenced a person he knew. We do not know the actual piece of music on which the variations were based, and in that spirit I am not sharing the aspect within Marco’s piece I was working the variation upon. Hopefully, this will simply be an interesting 20 or so minutes out of your day.

Six Emotions was written for Flute, Oboe, Clarinet, Bassoon, Horn, Trumpet, Trombone, Tuba, Chorus, Triangle, Bowed Vibraphone, Cymbals, Violin, Viola, Cello, and String Bass.

The score is available at https://bit.ly/34Z3k5T

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Coffee Break

This piece was written in response to Naviarhaiku353 – Coffee Break

   coffee break
   a crumb
   for the sparrow

This haiku is by Bill Kenney, who writing haiku in December 2004, a month before his seventy-second birthday. His haiku and senryu have appeared in leading haiku journals and anthologies. He is the author of two books of haiku/senryu: “the earth pushes back” (2016) and “senior admission” (2018), both published by Red Moon Press.

Coffee Break was written for Flute, Clarinet, Horn, Trombone, Violin, Viola, Cello and String Bass.

The score is available at https://bit.ly/2SXPvzn

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A Book Of Disquiet

A Book Of Disquiet was written in response to Marco Lucchi’s piano patterns no 1

Let us absurdify life from east to west.
– Fernando Pessoa from The Book Of Disquiet

Marco Lucchi offered a set of piano patterns and allowed anyone to remix the piece. I saw the first pattern as being organized into seven sections and decided to address each one individually, so these have been used, abused, stretched, repeated, and otherwise altered. I extracted meaning from each and offer accompaniment through traditional instrumental means.

Marco’s offering was accompanied by a picture of Fernando Pessoa, a Portuguese poet. I have not read much of his work but what I have read appears to be quite surrealistic. In that vein the seven sections of the piece are tangentially related but are primarily on their own.

A Book Of Disquiet was written for Flute, Oboe, Clarinet, Bassoon, Horn, Trumpet, Trombone, Gong, Temple Blocks, Cymbals, Violin, Viola, Cello and String Bass.

The score is available at https://bit.ly/3mUZ3Zk

Posted in Bassoon, Cello, Clarinet, Cymbals, Flute, Gong, Oboe, String Bass, Temple Blocks, Viola, Violin | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Come To Me

Come To Me was inspired by the poem of the same name by yaskhan – yassy66.wordpress.com/2020/08/22/come-to-me

It is dedicated to my dear wife, Kathy, who is one of the few capable of putting up with me over a long period of time.

Come To Me

Come to me in the wild blue yonder
Come to me in the azure twilight
Come to me when the stars are bright
Come to me with passions thunder.

Come to me on wings of cupid’s dove
Come to me under a teal canopy
Come to me in a symphonic fantasy
Come to me with a potion of love.

Come to me in this rendezvous
Come to me, my shining knight
Come to me with loves’s allure.

Come to me till dawn flies on wings of colored light
Come to me, walk my destiny through
Come to me, beguile me, light me up like dynamite.

— yaskhan

yaskhan’s poetry blog can be found at yassy66.wordpress.com/.

Come To Me was written for Flute, Clarinet, Horn, Trombone, Violin, Viola, Cello and String Bass.

Come To Me – Score

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Haiku Music – Volume 10

My tenth and final self-published haiku music album – ten musical interpretations inspired by ten haiku.

Full album here.

The Emptiness of My Mosquito Net 6:11
sleeping, waking
the emptiness
of my mosquito net
… Chiyo-ni
The Heavy Leaf 7:33
See the heavy leaf
on the silent windless day
falls of its own will.
… Nozawa Bonchō
The Last Kite 5:53
the last kite
carries the setting sun
in its wings
… Aju Mukhopadhyay
Traveling Monk 7:42
the sun set behind
a traveling monk
tall in the withered field
… Masaoka Shiki
Unknowable Blue 6:20
true tranquillity
hiding underneath creased sheets –
unknowable blue
… Mark Morris
A White Feather Fell 9:22
A bird flew past
very close
a white feather fell
… Mats Unden
A Wild Sea 9:27
A wild sea-
In the distance over Sado
The Milky Way.
… Matsuo Bashō
Through the City 4:18
meandering through the city
cars around
infinite game
… Bartosz Leszczyński
Peaks of Cloud 6:47
Peaks of cloud:
The ship has crossed
A windless sea.
… Natsume Soseki
The Bell of Life Passing – For a Lucky Dawg 11:49
from evening mist
the bell
of life passing
… Issa
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All Creatures Have A Name

All Creatures Have A Name was written in response to Disquiet Junto Project 0451: Ursula’s Silences

     Step 1: In the classic fantasy novel A Wizard of Earthsea, its author, Ursula K. Le Guin, writes the following: “For a word to be spoken, there must be silence. Before, and after.” While the words are her own, of course, they are spoken not by the narrator, but by the book’s main character. The statement occurs toward the end of the book. For emphasis, Le Guin informs the reader that the character, whose name is Ged, speaks the words “slowly.”
     Step 2: Consider how the statement can be applied to music, to sound, to the linear unfolding of a composition.
     Step 3: Record a piece of music inspired by the Le Guin text: one sonic object at a time, with attention paid to the spaces, the silences, between those objects as they are introduced.

As it turns out I was working on a similar project so my mindset was already in the right place. For the music I looked toward the end of the book to draw out the intention.

All Creatures Have A Name was written for string quartet.

All Creatures Have A Name – Score

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