Creative Philosophy

I emphasize the use of orchestration, particularly, the blending of sounds in my music. I am especially interested in the moment that the start of one sound and the ending of another become blurred.  I aim to create a musical continuum between seemingly opposing parts. Ultimately, I hope to prompt questions about the distinction between the real and the unreal, or “imaginary.”

My primary motivation for creating music is derived from escapism, invention and beauty.  I am interested in breaking down barriers between the listener and the composer, so as to include the experience itself, allowing the listener to hear a piece of music as evolving. In my music and collaborations, I intend to achieve a relationship between the process of composing and the composition itself.

My recent work has been inspired by a variety of influences, both musical and non-musical: sculpture (Canopy), poetry (Map of Rain Hitting Water, Blackbird, One Voice, White Ash and The Clockmaker’s Doll), devotional guideposts (Moments), natural ecological phenomenon – specifically, the trajectory of a lunar eclipse  (E: series including E: Tip, E: Vespers and E: clipsed), painting (Condundrums) and Bach (Flone) among other things.

Writing chamber music is particularly interesting for me. I enjoy working closely with performers and most of the pieces featured on ArtIfacts and Sky-Born were written for specific performers. Collaboration is an integral part of my process. Whether through other disciplines are within music, my artistic voice thrives when challenged by another.

In August of 2017, I had the honor of being the first commissioned composer at the Beaver Island Music Festival where my second orchestral piece, Secret Sky premiered.  This led to several larger scale works including Escher Keys (a bassoon concerto inspired by the work of MC Escher) and an extended song cycle, Galatea’s Dream, both premiered in 2021.  In 2022, my interest in birds and artwork has continued with premieres of Rhythmic Mosaics (a mini concerto for violin and Pierrot ensemble) and Swansongs (a cello and piano duet in three movements inspired by the artwork of Hilma der Klint).  Upcoming project include an opera based on Lee Smith’s novel, The Devil’s Dream.

Check out this interview at the MacDowell Colony from my residency in 2016 and other recent press.

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