A Hermit Thrush at Constance Bay (in progress)

2(picc).2.2.2 / 2.2.0.0 / perc(2) / harp / strings

To A Lullaby

For flute, bass clarinet, trombone, percussion, piano, violin, and cello 

To A Lullaby was inspired by a traditional folk melody that was sung to me as a child. This melody lies at the core of every part of this composition, but it only emerges unobscured in the final section of the work. Up until that point, textural elements and motivic transformations work together to hide its original form. In writing To A Lullaby, I sought to create and address orchestrational "problems" in this group of seven instruments, including continual questions of blend and the orchestrational partial to near-complete shrouding of the primary melody.

Title/Description

Bright Distance Blurring 

1+picc.2.3+bcl.2, sax(3) / 3.2.2.1, euph / timp.perc(3)

In Bright Distance Blurring, I have explored the concept of an interrupted journey, imagined in musical terms. The formal design of the work is based on the establishment of a forward- driving, goal-oriented musical texture which is interrupted by a blurred, fading section. After this thinning out, there is a short interlude which features an instrumental reimagining of the Great Horned Owl’s song. This use of birdsong is inspired by the many owling and birding trips I have participated in under the guidance of my father, a birdwatcher. I have included the Great Horned Owl’s song in this interlude because it recalls for me an atmosphere of utmost stillness and calm, which contrasts greatly with the subsequent return of the initial musical character. 

Incongruous

For piano and two violins

“Incongruous” is an exploration of variable degrees of congruity between an individual’s inner state of mind and their outward demeanour. I examine these ideas through the lens of my lived experience of mental illness, highlighting the specific scenario of attempting to hide “abnormal” mental states behind a “normal” exterior. I have sought to create incongruity through the use of specific instrumental roles and functions, as well as the juxtaposition of highly variable musical language. Through this pluralism of musical language, I have aimed to create a multi-layered representation of the complexity within an individual struggling to conceal their internal mental state.

Conversations

For cello, electric guitar, and voice (spoken)

"Conversations" features a text (author: Brendan Kent) about the importance of friendship. Inspired by these words, I created a musical setting for cello and electric guitar over which the text can be recited. This work was specifically composed for networked performance and was originally recorded live over the video conferencing platform Zoom. Recognizing the latency inherent in this manner of playing together at a distance, I consciously avoided notating simultaneous attacks for the two instrumentalists and strove to compose parts that would fit together flexibly with slightly different timings. 

Echoes Beneath the Surface

Stereo fixed media

“Echoes Beneath the Surface” is an acousmatic piece which explores the gradual accumulation of sound layers to form increasingly complex textures. At several points, faraway human voices appear before being quickly obscured by other layers. These appearances, although brief, constitute the focal point of the piece: voices that persistently reappear despite an environment that perpetually blurs and obstructs them.

Theme and Variations

For solo piano

“Theme and Variations” is built on a quiet, pensive original theme, simply presented through unembellished two-part counterpoint. The twelve variations that ensue reveal a colourful range of textures, characters, and compositional approaches to variance, with a constant attention toward the careful management of contrast. These variations present in two main types: the first, clearly defined, well-marked, robust, and frequently playful; the second, legato, resonant, atmospheric, and blurred.

Piano Concerto

For solo piano / 2(picc).2.2.2 / 4.2.3.1 / timp, perc / strings

Centered around small motivic structures, this three-movement piano concerto uses a trichord pitch collection as a generative device, especially within the first movement. The second movement explores ideas of dream states, memory, and remembrance, while the third movement embodies a constant rhythmic energy, lilting yet often unquiet. 

Escape 

For cello and piano

“Escape” is a cello sonata in four movements, inspired by elements of my own experience with mental illness. The movements are linked by their related emotional states, as well as musical devices such as ostinatos, polytonality, and frequent pedal points. 

Directions

For solo piano

 

“Directions” is a work for solo piano that explores questions of contrast and unity in the context of motive-based writing. In this work, I attempt to preserve a recognizable unity from start to finish through the use of motives, in the midst of dramatic progressions and shifts in mood, activity, and character. 

 

Urban Movement

For solo piano

 

“Urban Movement” is a short, virtuosic work that makes extensive use of strong, rhythmic ostinatos. Listening to these short, driving patterns, I would often imagine scenes of a noisy metropolis bustling with activity.

 

Danza extraña

For solo piano

 

Originally conceived as an etude, “Danza extraña” presents a series of “strange dances,” linked together by brief connective material and maintaining a single quick tempo throughout. 

 

Trio for Flute, Cello, and Piano

 

Written for friends of mine who played together in a flute, cello, and piano trio, this work has a deeply pensive, often distant quality. It centers around long, gradual build-ups of intensity while remaining heavily grounded in a single chord progression. This progression continues to cycle throughout much of the work’s seven minutes.

 

Nocturne for Strings

For string quartet

 

Based on my “Nocturne in F-sharp Minor” for piano, this nocturne for string quartet takes the same melodies to a more complex and fuller realization. I aimed for expansion both contrapuntally and in formal structure from the original piano version. As this quartet was my first attempt at writing for a chamber group, I spent a lot of time working out counterpoint between the instruments and searching for a method of smooth voice-leading that would enhance the romantic nature of the music. 

 

Nocturne in F-sharp Minor

For solo piano

“Nocturne in F-sharp Minor” was directly inspired by the piano nocturnes of Frédéric Chopin. In this nocturne, I emulated the sense of longing, the transparent textures, and the long lines that I enjoyed in the nocturnes I was practicing. Suitable for an intermediate / advanced pianist at an RCM Grade 8 or 9 level. 

Sonatina in C Major

For solo piano

 

Inspired by my favourite sonatinas as a young pianist, this “Sonatina in C Major” follows the conventions of a Classical sonatina. It includes a first movement in sonata-allegro form, a slower second movement, and a joyous rondo to finish. Suitable for an intermediate pianist at an RCM Grade 6-8 level.

 

Maple Syrup Suite

For solo piano

 

A three-movement collection for young pianists, “Maple Syrup Suite” is comprised of three maple syrup-themed movements: “Drip, Drip, Sap,” “Sweet, Sweet, Dance,” and “Yum, Yum, Taffy!” Suitable for a beginner / intermediate pianist at an RCM Grade 3-5 level. 

Date

2022

2022

2022

 

2021

 

2021

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2020

 

 

2020

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2019

2018 

2017

 

 

2016

2012

 

2011

 

2010

2010

2009

2009

Duration

 

7:00

9:30

8:10

 

6:15 

4:00

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5:10

 

 

 

 

 

10:00

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

19:00

 

 

 

23:15 

 

5:15

 

3:20

2:25

 

7:30

 

5:00

3:20

 

 

5:40

1:30