Audio/Visual

Berceuse

for violin and piano – 2020


Hyde Sextet

for flute, harp, and string quartet

Inspired by the legends of Hyde Hall in Cooperstown, NY, Hyde Sextet depicts a ghostly soirée at that estate. The piece was commissioned by the Musicians of Ma’alwyck and performed on site.


Under Four Flags

silent film score for violin, cello, and piano – 2018

Under Four Flags was a United-States-government-issued film, shot mostly in France, and released shortly after the armistice was signed. It follows American military forces in the final days of the war and seems intended to give a taste of life at the front lines.

What interests me most about the film, however, is what it reveals, not so much about the war itself, as about how its creators wanted to depict the war. Even though, as the film itself proclaims, “there is nothing staged about these scenes,” still the filmmakers’ choices about what to include (and what not to include) and how to describe the action all combine to create, consciously or unconsciously, a particular narrative regarding the conflict. And, as you might expect of a government-issued film of the day, that narrative is highly patriotic, glorifies the fighting, and glosses over much of the horror and tragedy. This creates a tension for us as viewers between the sugar-coated version that we see on the screen, and the stark reality just beyond it. It is this tension that I seek to capture in the music, by creating a score that not so much supports the film as deliberately clashes with it.

Commissioned and performed by the Musicians of Ma’alwyck.


Aleda: The Flight of the Suff Birdwomen

chamber opera in one act – 2018

Set in Staten Island in 1916, Aleda tells the true story of a unique women’s suffrage demonstration attempted by early female pilot Leda Richberg-Hornsby and the National American Woman Suffrage Association (N.A.W.S.A.). Equipped with a bi-plane, a cargo of votes-for-women petitions, and a huge banner reading “Women want liberty too,” the suffragists endeavored to fly over New York Harbor during a national celebration at the Statue of Liberty in order to “bomb” President Woodrow Wilson with petitions. The elaborate plan ended in fiasco as a gale of wind forced a premature crash-landing in a Staten Island swamp. Luckily no one was hurt, yet the attempt stands as a testimony to the courage and inventiveness – not to mention dramatic flair – of these women in their struggle for the ballot.

Commissioned and performed by the Musicians of Ma’alwyck.


Actæon

for full orchestra (first half) – 2017


Three Jazz Preludes

for trumpet, trombone, percussion, and piano – 2016