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Ochotona Princeps • Solo ukulele • 2023
Ochotona Princeps is a fanciful tribute to the American Pika, in two movements.
The first movement is a tribute to their status as Chordates - the 'Chordata' element here is therefore a play on words. The music starts with a dialogue (argument?) between pikas, with additional voices joining the conversation as pikas emerge from their rocky hiding places. Some of the voices are close by, some are distant.
ii. Sleeping on Forget-Me-Nots
The second movement was composed the week that my dog was put down, and is a something of a funeral march and lament. The title was inspired by a photograph of a pika carrying forget-me-not flowers and grass to build its nest in Cawridge, Alberta, Canada.
Holy? • Solo piano • 2023
Holy? is a work of catharsis exploring intersections of faith and religion, deity and humanity, holiness and hypocrosy. The composition finds musical inspiration in the classic hymn by Reginald Heber, Holy, Holy, Holy!
Arboretum • Solo guitar • 2023
Arboretum is a collection of pieces exploring musical Americanisms.
Golden Larch is infused with a carefree energy and offers a subtle nod to the likes of Glass and Gershwin.
White Pine evokes the sentimentality of a snow-blanketed winter landscape during the Christmas season.
Red Cedar features lush arpeggio-driven sonorities with melodies that dissolve as quickly as they emerge.
Blue Spruce branches out stylistically and is rooted in a light-hearted funk groove.
Driftwood • Solo guitar • 2022
Driftwood takes inspiration from Poem on his birthday by Dylan Thomas. I was 35 years old and reflecting on life and the passage of time when I composed this piece.
This sandgrain day in the bent bay's grave
He celebrates and spurns
His driftwood thirty-fifth wind turned age;
Herons spire and spear.
- Dylan Thomas (from Poem on his birthday)
Fair Winds and Following Seas • Solo guitar • 2022
Fair Winds and Following Seas is a solemn farewell that acknowledges loss while anticipating newness. It was composed after the passing of a loved one, in the midst of the global coronavirus pandemic, and is dedicated to "the departed".
let me square the yards, while we may, old man,
and make a fair wind of it homewards,
to go on a better voyage than this.
- Herman Melville (from Moby Dick)
Firstborn of the Dead • Solo guitar • 2022
Firstborn of the Dead is a piece with religious themes inspired by my time as a church Music Director/Pastor.
The Garden is a celebration of innocence, naivety, and peacefulness.
The Curse is about the grief, frustration and fear that accompany undesired consequences.
The Promise provides reassurance and hope but is not a return to innocence. Consequence is fulfilled rather than removed.
Over The Pacific • Solo guitar • 2021
Over The Pacific is a revisiting of musical themes that I first composed while living in tropical Darwin, Australia. I continued to develop these themes while completing my Bachelor of Music in Sydney, Australia. I would often visit the beaches and stare out across the ocean, imagining that I could see Canada, the land of my birth. I did not consider the piece finished until after I had moved "across the Pacific" and had lived in Canada for about a decade.
Puppy Dance • Solo guitar • 2009
Puppy Dance was composed when I was living in Brooklyn and dog-sitting a pup named Cinnamon. The piece features the lively "yipping" of a playful puppy which eventually tires itself out, curling up to rest after a short high energy play session.