Compositions & Arrangements

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Shimmer (May 2018)

This piece premiered May 13th, 2018 at the St. Peter’s Episcopal Church in Chelsea. Thank you to Leanne Friedman and the Femmelody Chamber Music Collective for performing the piece!

The original performers were:

  • Leanne Friedman - Flute
  • Jenny Kuh - Oboe
  • Nettie Jones - Alto Saxophone
  • Melissa Hagstedt - Tenor Trombone
  • Alexandra Sheer - Piano
  • Larissa Flint - Soprano

Program Notes

This piece came from two contrasting ideas. Originally, they were two short musical ideas, but then they took on personalities. They gained these characteristics that I wanted to explore and develop. If I was better with words, I could describe them and how they contrast and mix, but that's why this piece exists. One idea is delicate and sweet, and the other is longing. Then, together, they shimmer.

River (Vltava) (April - May 2017)

This piece was my second piece composed at the Sunline Sound recording studio in Prague, Czech Republic while I was a composition intern there.

Program Notes

I’d call the genre of this piece “Bombastic Orchestral”. It takes catchy, pop-like melodies and puts them into a roughly ternary form. There’s three themes. The first one came to me in my first few weeks in Prague, which is why I’ve subtitled the piece after the river of Prague. The second one came to me a year and a half earlier while I was improvising over “Separate Ways” by Journey. The last one was an experiment to challenge myself to write something more dissonant. I always jammed with my friend from freshman year, and he came up with all these beautiful jazzy, dissonant chords. I came up with something, and it finally came to use. I cranked this guy out in about 4 weeks, right before the end of my internship. Unfortunately, this synthesized version still has a lot of kinks in it, and I would change several minor details if I still had the software to do so.

Arabian Flames (February - April 2017)

This piece was my first piece composed at the Sunline Sound recording studio in Prague, Czech Republic while I was a composition intern there.

Program Notes

My internship supervisor gave me a suggestion to do a classical/orchestral version of one of the songs on his album, "Golden Symphony". I took the song "Start the Flames" and took various elements from that song, but then I composed my own soaring melodies on top. On top of that, I used several of my melodies and variations that I used in Arabesque Variations (see below). So, I put two and two together and got "Arabian Flames". I'd also call the genre of this piece "Bombastic Orchestral".

Trust Me (2016)

This is a song I wrote the summer before college, but it took forever to actually finish. It's quite personal, so I won't delve too much into detail about its conception. I had a long sketch of the words and melody when I came into college, but I had no harmonies besides a pedal C chord and the occasional G chord. In college, I met my friend Jake Sandakly who was in my Music Technology program and who lived in the same dorm as me. I showed it to him, and he helped me reduce it down, cut out the fluff, add some repeats, and added the harmonies. I also wrote a violin solo the next year in 2017, except I didn't get around to recording it. So I played it on electric guitar instead.

The recording and mixing is still in the works, so check back later for an audio sample

Arabesque Variations (Fall 2015)

Back in my senior year of high school, we played a piece called "Arabesque" by Samuel Hazo, and I was obsessed with it. It was an extremely challenging piece, and it was completely packed with energy. I read the melody off my flautist friend's sheet music one day, and I never forgot it ever since. When I got into college, I would improvise on piano, and this melody always came up. When I improvised on the theme, I wormed around and accidentally played something that reminded me of the last movement of Dvořák's New World Symphony. So I thought - what if I combined this epic concert band piece with this epic and bombastic symphonic piece? So I did. I wrote out my variations to Arabesque and transitioned to a transposed snippet of the 9th Symphony and then combined the two to form my ending. It was originally scored for my high school's instrumentation. Unfortunately, they never played it. But here's a recording from Finale.

Florentine (December 2014)

I was playing "Enjoy the Silence" by Depeche Mode back in highschool on our piano to relax, and I improvised and took some long solos. I came upon one little motif that got stuck in my head, and I became fascinated with it. I took that motif, did all sorts of embellishments to it, then I decided to write this piece. I had some long chords I created while improvising on marimba and came up with a melody in my AP European History class that I then repeated and embellished with gradual changes. It was originally meant for a percussion ensemble with marimba, chimes, bells, vibes, etc, but when I tried recording it, the marimba didn't have the resonance that I wanted. Then, a few months later, I came back to the project and decided to score it for concert band. It was originally done in Finale, and the recording is from Finale's Garritan VST.
Link me!