Limited (from Sandburg Songs)
soprano and ensemble



In Search of Planet X
clarinet, violin, and piano

Program notes ▾
My trio’s title takes its name from Percival Lowell’s 1906 search for a planet beyond Neptune. Lowell used the term “Planet X” to represent this unknown force. While composing I was inspired not only by the remarkable quest upon which Lowell hinged his reputation, but also by the sense of possibility and discovery and wonder and mystery that such a search represented. I composed In Search of Planet X for musicians at the Music09 Festival at the Hindemith Foundation in Blonay, Switzerland: clarinetist Michael Maccaferri, violinist Aida Boiesan, and pianist Johanna Ballou.

At the round earth’s imagin’d corners: symphony for orchestra

Program notes ▾
This work takes its title from John Donne’s poem. The title corresponds to the form and character of the first movement: soaring melodies and brass fanfares give way to meditative chords and sustained sonorities. First movement material is developed across all three movements, including the zany middle scherzo and the more dance-like finale.

In this excerpt of the final two minutes of the work, a montage-like series of interruptions in the brass recall the first movement, culminating in a grand restatement of its melodies and opening fanfares.

solo violin

Program notes ▾
The title of this work is derived from combining the initials of the violinist for whom it was written (im) with the German word for mouse (maus). This combination of syllables and imagery was the inspiration for my work. Small, scurrying fragments run this way and that. With frequent outbursts, their directions are at once frenzied and shy. Just as the opening gestures lead in every which way, the larger sections of the work are both frantic and singing, both contemplative and decisive. While the sections seek to explore great contrast, they are always linked by concise gestural and registeral relationships. What seems yearning in the middle of the piece is fleeting at the end. immaus is dedicated to Irina Mueller.

18-string kayagŭm

Program notes ▾
Celebrations explores the many meanings of the title, from its association with jubilant festivities to its solemn religious connotation. The music alternates between an energetic, syncopated opening and a series of contrasting passages, which are variously quirky, mysterious, and dance-like. Over time the opening material is transformed and recast, and the work ends in a warm, melodic, romantic landscape, quite different from where it began. Celebrations was commissioned by the Seoul Foundation for Arts and Culture and is dedicated to Jung Gil-seon, who gave its premiere on December 11, 2013 at the National Gugak Center in Seoul.

clarinet and violin

Program notes ▾
In this work I tried to capture the sense of gradually perceiving something as it unfolds around you. Much of the music is characterized by a broad, folk music-like melody that emerges in both instruments, but in slightly different ways. This presentation of a single melodic line, but in multiple voices and with varied rhythms, was inspired by Korean traditional music. A faster middle section contrasts with energetic lines and stark violin outbursts. The work closes with a return of the melody in the clarinet, embellished by light, scattered figures in the violin’s highest register.