This piece titled track was inspired by a quote often credited to Henry David Thoreau: “As a single footstep will not make a path on the earth, so a single thought will not make a pathway in the mind. To make a deep physical path, we walk again and again. To make a deep mental path, we must think over and over the kind of thoughts we wish to dominate our lives”.
The piece was written for and premiered by Sarah Cahill. “track” is dedicated to my good friend, Danny Clay.
Published by Imagine Music Publishing http://stores.imaginemusicpublishing.com/track/
Center for New Music in San Francisco, Sept. 30, 2015 – 7:30pm
San Jose State University, October 1st, 2015 – 12:15pm
Sacramento State University, October 2nd, 2015 -4:00pm
Program Note: When granted the opportunity to write for the Silver Keys Trio’s instrumentation, my wife and I had just begun to expect our new daughter. I swung between exhaustive fragility and terrifying elation and still do with Alice now here and born. This text has become my much needed mantra, as anything I do, from parenting to music, is destined to fail without love. My deepest thanks go to the virtuosic Silver Keys Trio for organizing the commissioning consortium that brought about this seven movement piece.
I Might Speak
With Tongues of Angles
Yet Without Love
Have Now Become
A Clanging Cymbal
This set of variations was written for oboist and friend, Lindsey Lyrenmann. It was designed as a launching point for improvisation during the communion portion of the December 21, 2014 service at Zion Lutheran Church in San Francisco. While it can of course be performed as written, each variation may also be shuffled in order to meet the unique pacing and aesthetic needs of the venue.
These three poems by Elinor Wylie (1885-1928) can be found in her book “Nets to Catch the Wind”. This set, which was premiered September 5th, 2014 at the Center for New Music in San Francisco, was written specifically for Amy Foote, Danielle(Reutter-Harrah) Sampson, Adam Cockerham, and Alexis Luque.
The Eagle and the Mole
Avoid the reeking herd,
Shun the polluted flock,
Live like that stoic bird,
The eagle of the rock.
The huddled warmth of crowds
Begets and fosters hate;
He keeps above the clouds
His cliff inviolate.
When flocks are folded warm,
And herds to shelter run,
He sails above the storm,
He stares into the sun.
If in the eagle’s track
Your sinews cannot leap,
Avoid the lathered pack,
Turn from the steaming sheep.
If you would keep your soul
From spotted sight or sound,
Live like the velvet mole:
Go burrow underground.
And there hold intercourse
With roots of trees and stones,
With rivers at their source,
And disembodied bones.
I was always afraid of Somes’s Pond:
Not the little pond, by which the willow stands,
Where laughing boys catch alewives in their hands
In brown, bright shallows; but the one beyond.
There, where the frost makes all the birches burn
Yellow as cow-lilies, and the pale sky shines
Like a polished shell between black spruce and pines,
Some strange thing tracks us, turning where we turn.
You’ll say I dreamed it, being the true daughter
Of those who in old times endured this dread.
Look! Where the lily-stems are showing red
A silent paddle moves below the water,
A sliding shape has stirred them like a breath;
Tall plumes surmount a painted mask of death.
Village Mystery (excerpt)
I saw the dead girl cringe and whine,
And cower in the weeping air–
But, oh, she was no kin of mine,
And so I did not care!
“Entrance” was written as an opener for the Twin Cities Trio and their regular tours in elementary schools. Wishing for a short piece that could act as a bridge between contemporary and classical music, Handel’s “Entree” from the Aylesford Pieces comes in and out of focus. This work is now published with Imagine Music Publishing.