compositions

Many of the compositions listed on this page are available as free downloads. These are PDF files. Users are required to abide by the following strictures governing fair use of these free scores: Musicians may download these scores for their own personal use, including performance. Music libraries of colleges, universities, and conservatories may download these scores for inclusion in their collections. All other uses, including publication of whole scores or excerpts thereof, for any purpose and in any medium, are strictly forbidden without the express written consent of the composer. To obtain scores that are not currently available as free downloads, kindly email your request to enquiry@kevinhgray.com. Listed works for which timings are not given may be assumed to be still in preparation, but available soon.

Click below to see compositions involving particular instruments.         hide descriptions   view descriptions

BASSOON WORKS
CLARINET WORKS
FLUTE WORKS
HARPSICHORD WORKS
HORN WORKS
OBOE / ENGLISH HORN WORKS
ORGAN SOLO WORKS
PIANO WORKS (SOLO AND DUO)
SAXOPHONE WORKS
TRUMPET WORKS
VOCAL WORKS


BASSOON WORKS

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The Spattered Hand:

   Five Pieces for Bassoon and Piano Inspired by American Paintings

Calligraphic Forms   (3:00)

From an Ominous Chord   (1:15)

Centrifugal Forms   (4:15)

The Spanish Flying Machine   (2:00)

Green Shift and Up   (4:45)

(dedicated to Lecolion Washington, who premiered this work with pianist Lois Hobbs Yu)

This set of pieces contains a great deal of variety, both of mood and complexity. The first piece is the most challenging, presenting difficulties of ensemble, rhythm, and technique on par with my most difficult music. The last piece is among the most accessible (at least to the listener) of my works, though still quite difficult despite its straightforward rhythms. The second piece is a bit like a dark, but brief, recitative. The third is obliquely introspective, while the fourth is tautly rhythmic. No extended techniques are specifically required. The set may be played either in its entirety, or in performer-selected groupings.

Listen:


CALLIGRAPHIC FORMS, from The Spattered Hand: Five Pieces for Bassoon and Piano Inspired by American Paintings

Chronaxie

   for Oboe, Bassoon, and Piano   (16:45)

This serious, abstractly dramatic, single-movement composition is a tour-de-force for all three instruments, and, though no extended techniques are used, conventional playing techniques are pushed to their limits in this transcendentally difficult work. Almost certainly my most uncompromising effort, this highly varied piece is frequently characterized by thorny ensemble, difficult rhythms, and unabashed virtuosity. Five years in the making, Chronaxie had the lengthiest gestation period of any of my works to date, and is, among my efforts, perhaps the one that is closest to my heart.

Listen:


from CHRONAXIE, for Oboe, Bassoon, and Piano, structure one

Kurago Katsu

   for Two Bassoons, Prepared Piano, Pipe Organ, and Dance   (ca. 70:00)

(premiered by bassoonists Lecolion Washington and Jennifer Rhodes, organist Andrew Drannon, and pianist Kevin H. Gray, choreographed by Laura Prentiss Blow)

Kurago Katsu purports to explore the metaphysical relationships between puppet and puppeteer in classic Japanese Bunraku. The longest of my compositions, this chamber ballet is dominated by highly abstract writing, and follows a seventeen-movement design that uses the full musical forces only sparingly. There are movements for solo piano, (which may be played independently, with or without preparations) bassoon duo (which also may be played independently), and solo organ. Each conceivable pairing is exploited, though the bassoon duo is never separated. The most rhythmically complex writing (other than the prepared piano solos) is given to the trio of bassoon duo and prepared piano, and this music forms the basis of the Kurago Suite, listed elsewhere. A wide range of moods and structures are utilized in this kaleidoscopic work. The dance is governed by staging directions that are primarily concerned with mood and emotion, rather than specific choreography, thereby affording each new choreographer an essentially clean slate. Further instrumental suites extracted from this massive work are planned.


Kurago Suite

   for Two Bassoons and Prepared Piano   (four movements) (15:45)

(dedicated to Lecolion Washington and Jennifer Rhodes, premiered by bassoonists Lecolion Washington and Chris Jackson, and pianist Kevin H. Gray)

The music of this suite is mainly extracted from my lengthy chamber ballet, Kurago Katsu, which is scored for two bassoons, prepared piano, and pipe organ. The first and last movements are extracted with minimal alteration directly from the original score. The second movement was originally a bassoon duet, to which I have added sparse piano writing. The third movement does not appear in the original ballet, but is newly written for this suite. Areas of propulsive writing alternate with more lyrical moments. The preparations for the piano are identical for all affected pitches, and a muted sound is the objective of the preparations. This work might be seen by some as having a slightly neo-classical flavor, and, while complex and difficult, it is not extremely so.

Listen:


from KURAGO SUITE, for two Bassoons and Prepared Piano, movement four

The Qoshnay Speaks; With Sadness Awake

   for Bassoon and Harpsichord   (9:15)

(dedicated to Jennifer Rhodes)

This work owes its inspiration to Uzbek culture, and makes use of extended techniques for the bassoon. Additionally, the bassoon part’s tessitura is so consistently high, that treble clef would be the most logical way to write it, most of the time, if more bassoonists were comfortable with treble clef. The harpsichord uses the buff stop, (or lute stop, or harp stop) throughout. Areas of agitation notwithstanding, this is, predominantly, an introspective work, marked by moments of plaintive lyricism. The rhythmic structure of the piece is far from simple, though.

Listen:



Marsyas Conquers the World

   for Bassoon and Piano   (7:30)

(dedicated to Lecolion Washington, who premiered this work with pianist Kevin H. Gray)

(There is also a version of this piece for alto sax and piano, that was composed alongside this work. Since then, I have also transcribed the saxophone version for clarinet in A.)

Equal parts concert etude and tone poem, MCTW is transcendently difficult for the soloist, and challenging for the pianist, as well. Soloist and pianist are at odds through most of the piece, hopefully creating a tense and unsettling aura for the listener. Jagged, anguished writing dominates this highly complex work.


Seven Worlds

   for Bassoon and Bass Clarinet   (6:30)

This piece is inspired by Uzbek culture, and the title refers to a work by Uzbek poet Alisher Navoi. While neither of the two instrumental parts could be described as particularly virtuosic, their interactions are often marked by extremely complex rhythmic relationships, making this work very demanding from an ensemble perspective. No extended techniques are required.


Papageno’s Dreams

   for Two Bassoons and Piano   (8:15)

(commissioned by Kristin Wolfe Jensen, and dedicated to Kristin Wolfe Jensen and Lecolion Washington, who premiered this work with pianist Collete Valentine)

A loose theme-and-variations on one of Papageno’s arias from Mozart’s Magic Flute, this work confounds expectations by placing the theme in the middle, rather than at the beginning. Though quite demanding, this piece is less overtly modernistic in tone than most of my other bassoon works. Despite the piece’s essentially playful nature, the three parts all contain their fair share of difficulties. This work is one of the few I have produced that is consistently and traditionally tonal enough to justify the use of key signatures!


Modsefa Scur

   for Clarinet in B flat, Alto Saxophone, Bassoon, and Harpsichord   (8:45)

This overtly avant-garde quartet, of unconventional instrumentation, is structured in two similarly-paced, but nonetheless distinctive, movements. Pointillism, rapid Klangfarbenmelodie, and challenging rhythms are the stock-in-trade of this adventuresome piece. The title is Old English, and roughly translates as Spirit Storm. It is predominantly a highly agitated work that will challenge the most accomplished players. There are no specifically required extended techniques.

Listen:


from MODSEFA SCUR, quartet for Clarinet, Alto Saxophone, Bassoon, and Harpsichord, movement one

from MODSEFA SCUR, quartet for Clarinet, Alto Saxophone, Bassoon, and Harpsichord, movement two

Beatcore: Dance Scene for Dziga Vertov

   for Oboe, Clarinet in B flat, Bassoon, and Piano   (6:30)

(premiered by oboist Michelle Vigneau, clarinetist Carina L. N. Washington, bassoonist Lecolion Washington, and pianist Kevin H. Gray)

Not only among the most accessible, but also among the most propulsive works I have produced, Beatcore wears its rock influence on its sleeve. Though demanding for all instruments, the persistent, driving rhythms should make the piece hugely entertaining, for performers and listeners alike. This piece begs to be choreographed. No extended techniques are required, but the music will benefit from a healthy dose of swagger and attitude.


Entropic Varia II

   for Wind Quintet (Flute, Oboe, Clarinet in A, Horn, Bassoon)   (11:15)

This challenging addition to the quintet literature began as a substantial reworking of an earlier piece for oboe and piano, Entropic Varia. So seemingly new were the results of developing this material for the drastically different forces of the wind quintet, that Entropic Varia II is essentially a completely new piece that happens to have motivic and structural points of commonality with the earlier work. It shares with the earlier oboe/piano work an acerbic quality, and an affinity for propulsive and syncopated rhythms. Modest use of extended techniques is made for all players, except the oboe.


Requiem for Derek Bailey

   for Oboe, Clarinet in B flat, and Bassoon   (5:30)

This trio, an homage to guitar great Derek Bailey, is characterized by highly demanding rhythms, angular, eclectic writing, and independence of line. Despite its brevity, this work must be considered among my most difficult. The composition exists in two versions, and although the bassoon part is the same in both versions, the clarinet part is not, quite.


Requiem for Derek Bailey

   for Flute, Clarinet in B flat, and Bassoon   (5:30)

This trio, an homage to guitar great Derek Bailey, is characterized by highly demanding rhythms, angular, eclectic writing, and independence of line. Despite its brevity, this work must be considered among my most difficult. The composition exists in two versions, and although the bassoon part is the same in both versions, the clarinet part is not, quite.

Listen:




CLARINET WORKS

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Pyrrhic Suite

   for Clarinet in A and Piano (in five movements)   (17:30)

(dedicated to Carina L. N. Washington, premiered by clarinetist Richard Faria and pianist Joshua Oxford)

This unabashedly modernistic suite, which was the winner of the International Clarinet Association’s 2010 Composition Competition, is extremely difficult for both players. The clarinet part uses many extended techniques, though these are confined to the two outer movements. The piano part’s difficulty is mainly (though not entirely) due to the difficulty of the rhythm and the conceptually oblique nature of the piano writing. The two instruments are very much partners here, and the ensemble playing is often quite challenging.

Listen:



Marsyas Conquers the World

   for Clarinet in A and Piano   (7:30)

(The two earlier versions of this piece, one for bassoon, the other for alto sax, were composed at the same time. This version for clarinet in A is a transcription of the version for alto sax.)

Equal parts concert etude and tone poem, MCTW is transcendently difficult for the soloist, and challenging for the pianist, as well. Soloist and pianist are at odds through most of the piece, hopefully creating a tense and unsettling aura for the listener. Jagged, anguished writing dominates this highly complex work.


Burnish Cluster

   for Clarinet in B flat and Harpsichord   (4:45)

I

II

(dedicated to Carina L. N. Washington)

The brief composition Burnish Cluster is characterized by wide leaps (mainly for the clarinet) difficult rhythms, and is overly modernistic in tone. The second movement is the more demanding of the two. The moods range from mild agitation to controlled frenzy, and this work may be considered among my most difficult.

Listen:


from BURNISH CLUSTER, for Clarinet and Harpsichord, movement one

Requiem for Derek Bailey

   for Oboe, Clarinet in B flat, and Bassoon   (5:30)

This trio, an homage to guitar great Derek Bailey, is characterized by highly demanding rhythms, angular, eclectic writing, and independence of line. Despite its brevity, this work must be considered among my most difficult. The composition exists in two versions, and although the bassoon part is the same in both versions, the clarinet part is not, quite.


Requiem for Derek Bailey

   for Flute, Clarinet in B flat, and Bassoon   (5:30)

This trio, an homage to guitar great Derek Bailey, is characterized by highly demanding rhythms, angular, eclectic writing, and independence of line. Despite its brevity, this work must be considered among my most difficult. The composition exists in two versions, and although the bassoon part is the same in both versions, the clarinet part is not, quite.

Listen:



Seven Worlds

   for Bassoon and Bass Clarinet   (6:30)

This piece is inspired by Uzbek culture, and the title refers to a work by Uzbek poet Alisher Navoi. While neither of the two instrumental parts could be described as particularly virtuosic, their interactions are often marked by extremely complex rhythmic relationships, making this work very demanding from an ensemble perspective. No extended techniques are required.


Night Hour

   for English Horn, Bass Clarinet, and Piano

A brooding tone poem, of sorts, for this unusual trio. The writing is somber and ritualistic, but colorful, and particularly exploits the low ranges of the two wind instruments. Though not without its difficulties, this work is among the least troublesome to put together of any of the chamber works in my catalogue. No extended techniques are required.


Trinity

   for Soprano Voice, Bass Clarinet, and Prepared Piano   (5:00)

This is a setting of a poem of mine that explores theological points pertaining to the title in an absurdist dialectic. The soprano voice is quite low, throughout. The mood is eclectic and ritualistic. Though odd rhythms are present, the composition’s slow pace prevents their being particularly problematic to the ensemble. An oddly understated majesty characterizes this work.


Schlieren

   for English Horn, Clarinet in A, and Piano

(dedicated to Richard Faria)

This relentlessly modernistic, and structurally obsessive trio is essentially a set of intricate variations on thematic material that only gradually reveals itself, and even then remains as obscured as it does revealed. Numerous extended techniques, rhythmic complexity, and unusual staging instructions are the calling cards of this highly difficult and exciting composition.


Modsefa Scur

   for Clarinet in B flat, Alto Saxophone, Bassoon, and Harpsichord   (8:45)

This overtly avant-garde quartet, of unconventional instrumentation, is structured in two similarly-paced, but nonetheless distinctive, movements. Pointillism, rapid Klangfarbenmelodie, and challenging rhythms are the stock-in-trade of this adventuresome piece. The title is Old English, and roughly translates as Spirit Storm. It is predominantly a highly agitated work that will challenge the most accomplished players. There are no specifically required extended techniques.

Listen:


from MODSEFA SCUR, quartet for Clarinet, Alto Saxophone, Bassoon, and Harpsichord, movement one

from MODSEFA SCUR, quartet for Clarinet, Alto Saxophone, Bassoon, and Harpsichord, movement two

Beatcore: Dance Scene for Dziga Vertov

   for Oboe, Clarinet in B flat, Bassoon, and Piano   (6:30)

(premiered by oboist Michelle Vigneau, clarinetist Carina L. N. Washington, bassoonist Lecolion Washington, and pianist Kevin H. Gray)

Not only among the most accessible, but also among the most propulsive works I have produced, Beatcore wears its rock influence on its sleeve. Though demanding for all instruments, the persistent, driving rhythms should make the piece hugely entertaining, for performers and listeners alike. This piece begs to be choreographed. No extended techniques are required, but the music will benefit from a healthy dose of swagger and attitude.


Entropic Varia II

   for Wind Quintet (Flute, Oboe, Clarinet in A, Horn, Bassoon)   (11:15)

This challenging addition to the quintet literature began as a substantial reworking of an earlier piece for oboe and piano, Entropic Varia. So seemingly new were the results of developing this material for the drastically different forces of the wind quintet, that Entropic Varia II is essentially a completely new piece that happens to have motivic and structural points of commonality with the earlier work. It shares with the earlier oboe/piano work an acerbic quality, and an affinity for propulsive and syncopated rhythms. Modest use of extended techniques is made for all players, except the oboe.


Batchelder Fantasy

   a teaching piece for 4 Clarinets in B flat   (2:30)

(dedicated to and premiered by Carina L. N. Washington and the Audiocubist Clarinet Ensemble)

This teaching piece for a quartet of clarinets will work well with, and is, in fact, designed for, four clarinetists of varying degrees of accomplishment. Third and fourth clarinets both have parts that are quite simple to execute, while the second clarinet part is somewhat more involved. Finally the first clarinet has a still-more complex part. This piece should prove instructive, whether a gifted student or the teacher takes the top part. The music is a fantasy based on the popular American hymn, “My Hope is Built,” by William Batchelder Bradbury. A gentle introduction into modern chamber music.



FLUTE WORKS

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Sonata no. 1

   for Flute and Piano (in four movements)   (18:00)

(dedicated to Laura Ezera)

This sonata is highly virtuosic for both players, though its rhythmic structure is much more traditional, compared to the second sonata. Its four movements are also more traditionally ordered; fast-fast-slow-fast. It contains moments of lyricism, and moments that evoke the spirit of jazz, but it is predominantly, (especially in its outer movements) a work of extreme agitation and intensity. Though its difficulty is not to be underrated, no extended techniques are required.

Listen:



Sonata no. 2

   for Flute and Piano (in two movements)   (19:00)

This sonata is both virtuosic in the extreme, for both players, and unapologetically avant-garde in both structure and tone. The two movements are in the same tempo, and the second is roughly twice the duration of the first. The writing is highly complex, both technically and rhythmically. No extended techniques are required, but this work is among my most extreme statements.


The Kineticist and the Rock Garden

   for Oboe or Flute and Piano   (6:45)

This work purports to illuminate a poem of mine which bears the same title. This character piece presents quite a few moments of extremely challenging ensemble, and the piano writing, though often spare, is also often quite difficult, due to quick figuration, and abstruse rhythmic content. The flute’s writing contains (generally) more straightforward rhythms, at least in comparison to the piano, but the flutist must know the piano part as well as the pianist does in order to accurately execute the complex ensemble writing. No extended techniques are required.


Requiem for Derek Bailey

   for Flute, Clarinet in B flat, and Bassoon   (5:30)

This trio, an homage to guitar great Derek Bailey, is characterized by highly demanding rhythms, angular, eclectic writing, and independence of line. Despite its brevity, this work must be considered among my most difficult. The composition exists in two versions, and although the bassoon part is the same in both versions, the clarinet part is not, quite. (The other version substitutes oboe for flute.)

Listen:



Mebasi

   for Flute, Oboe, and Prepared Piano   (5:00)

This work, very much a labor of love, was inspired by field recordings of the Bibayak tribe of Gabon. The title refers to a musical game that belongs to this tribe’s cultural traditions. Playful but driving rhythms and slowly evolving melodic content strive to evoke the proud and joyful sophistication that permeates the original recordings. Though the piano is prepared, it is played entirely on the keys. No other extended techniques are required in this boisterous, yet serene, and engaging work.


Entropic Varia II

   for Wind Quintet (Flute, Oboe, Clarinet in A, Horn, Bassoon)   (11:15)

This challenging addition to the quintet literature began as a substantial reworking of an earlier piece for oboe and piano, Entropic Varia. So seemingly new were the results of developing this material for the drastically different forces of the wind quintet, that Entropic Varia II is essentially a completely new piece that happens to have motivic and structural points of commonality with the earlier work. It shares with the earlier oboe/piano work an acerbic quality, and an affinity for propulsive and syncopated rhythms. Modest use of extended techniques is made for all players, except the oboe.



HARPSICHORD WORKS

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Modsefa Scur

   for Clarinet in B flat, Alto Saxophone, Bassoon, and Harpsichord   (8:45)

This overtly avant-garde quartet, of unconventional instrumentation, is structured in two similarly-paced, but nonetheless distinctive, movements. Pointillism, rapid Klangfarbenmelodie, and challenging rhythms are the stock-in-trade of this adventuresome piece. The title is Old English, and roughly translates as Spirit Storm. It is predominantly a highly agitated work that will challenge the most accomplished players. There are no specifically required extended techniques.

Listen:


from MODSEFA SCUR, quartet for Clarinet, Alto Saxophone, Bassoon, and Harpsichord, movement one

from MODSEFA SCUR, quartet for Clarinet, Alto Saxophone, Bassoon, and Harpsichord, movement two

The Qoshnay Speaks; With Sadness Awake

   for Bassoon and Harpsichord   (9:15)

(dedicated to Jennifer Rhodes)

This work owes its inspiration to Uzbek culture, and makes use of extended techniques for the bassoon. Additionally, the bassoon part’s tessitura is so consistently high, that treble clef would be the most logical way to write it, most of the time, if more bassoonists were comfortable with treble clef. The harpsichord uses the buff stop, (or lute stop, or harp stop) throughout. Areas of agitation notwithstanding, this is, predominantly, an introspective work, marked by moments of plaintive lyricism. The rhythmic structure of the piece is far from simple, though.

Listen:



Burnish Cluster

   for Clarinet in B flat and Harpsichord   (4:45)

I

II

(dedicated to Carina L. N. Washington)

The brief composition Burnish Cluster is characterized by wide leaps (mainly for the clarinet) difficult rhythms, and is overly modernistic in tone. The second movement is the more demanding of the two. The moods range from mild agitation to controlled frenzy, and this work may be considered among my most difficult.

Listen:


from BURNISH CLUSTER, for Clarinet and Harpsichord, movement one


HORN WORKS

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Entropic Varia II

   for Wind Quintet (Flute, Oboe, Clarinet in A, Horn, Bassoon)   (11:15)

This challenging addition to the quintet literature began as a substantial reworking of an earlier piece for oboe and piano, Entropic Varia. So seemingly new were the results of developing this material for the drastically different forces of the wind quintet, that Entropic Varia II is essentially a completely new piece that happens to have motivic and structural points of commonality with the earlier work. It shares with the earlier oboe/piano work an acerbic quality, and an affinity for propulsive and syncopated rhythms. Modest use of extended techniques is made for all players, except the oboe.



OBOE / ENGLISH HORN WORKS

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Ausstreuung

for English Horn and Piano   (8:10)

Probably the most difficult chamber work I have produced since Chronaxie, Ausstreuung pushes against the boundaries of traditional instrumental technique for both instruments in an extreme fashion, and contains numerous instances of very involved ensemble writing as well. Its level of rhythmic and formal complexity is quite high, throughout, and though this work may be seen as manifesting an intense emotionality, this element alternates with an aura of resignation and abstract detachment, as well. There is modest use of certain extended techniques, mostly for the piano.

Listen:



Chronaxie

   for Oboe, Bassoon, and Piano   (16:45)

This serious, abstractly dramatic, single-movement composition is a tour-de-force for all three instruments, and, though no extended techniques are used, conventional playing techniques are pushed to their limits in this transcendentally difficult work. Almost certainly my most uncompromising effort, this highly varied piece is frequently characterized by thorny ensemble, difficult rhythms, and unabashed virtuosity. Five years in the making, Chronaxie had the lengthiest gestation period of any of my works to date, and is, among my efforts, perhaps the one that is closest to my heart.

Listen:


from CHRONAXIE, for Oboe, Bassoon, and Piano, structure one

Entropic Varia

   for Oboe and Piano   (10:00)

(dedicated to Michelle Vigneau, who premiered this work with the composer)

This piece, highly acerbic in character, is comprised of very simple pitch content that is subjected to a series of rhythmic deconstruction schemes. The result is a work that is often highly syncopated, generally rhythmically challenging, and that aspires to achieve a taut, relentless feel. No extended techniques are required.

Listen:



The Kineticist and the Rock Garden

   for Oboe or Flute and Piano   (6:45)

(dedicated to Michelle Vigneau)

This work purports to illuminate a poem of mine which bears the same title. This character piece presents quite a few moments of extremely challenging ensemble, and the piano writing, though often spare, is also often quite difficult, due to quick figuration, and abstruse rhythmic content. The oboe’s writing contains (generally) more straightforward rhythms, at least in comparison to the piano, but the oboist must know the piano part as well as the pianist does in order to accurately execute the complex ensemble writing. No extended techniques are required.


Three Points of Death

   for English Horn and Prepared Piano

A tone-poem of sorts, inspired by my cycle of poems of the same title, this music is based on my song cycle for soprano and prepared piano listed elsewhere. The mood of this relentlessly modernistic music, by turns, is bitter, savage, and frozen. The three relatively brief movements may be played without pause, or the poems may be declaimed prior to each new movement. This music, while not always particularly virtuosic, is frequently demanding, both rhythmically and expressively. Some, I think modest, use of extended techniques is made.


Requiem for Derek Bailey

   for Oboe, Clarinet in B flat, and Bassoon   (5:30)

This trio, an homage to guitar great Derek Bailey, is characterized by highly demanding rhythms, angular, eclectic writing, and independence of line. Despite its brevity, this work must be considered among my most difficult. The composition exists in two versions, and although the bassoon part is the same in both versions, the clarinet part is not, quite. (The other version substitutes flute for oboe.)


Mebasi

   for Flute, Oboe, and Prepared Piano   (5:00)

This work, very much a labor of love, was inspired by field recordings of the Bibayak tribe of Gabon. The title refers to a musical game that belongs to this tribe’s cultural traditions. Playful but driving rhythms and slowly evolving melodic content strive to evoke the proud and joyful sophistication that permeates the original recordings. Though the piano is prepared, it is played entirely on the keys. No other extended techniques are required in this boisterous, yet serene, and engaging work.


Night Hour

   for English Horn, Bass Clarinet, and Piano

A brooding tone poem, of sorts, for this unusual trio. The writing is somber and ritualistic, but colorful, and particularly exploits the low ranges of the two wind instruments. Though not without its difficulties, this work is among the least troublesome to put together of any of the chamber works in my catalogue. No extended techniques are required.


Schlieren

   for English Horn, Clarinet in A, and Piano

(dedicated to Richard Faria)

This relentlessly modernistic, and structurally obsessive trio is essentially a set of intricate variations on thematic material that only gradually reveals itself, and even then remains as obscured as it does revealed. Numerous extended techniques, rhythmic complexity, and unusual staging instructions are the calling cards of this highly difficult and exciting composition.


Beatcore: Dance Scene for Dziga Vertov

   for Oboe, Clarinet in B flat, Bassoon, and Piano   (6:30)

(premiered by oboist Michelle Vigneau, clarinetist Carina L. N. Washington, bassoonist Lecolion Washington, and pianist Kevin H. Gray)

Not only among the most accessible, but also among the most propulsive works I have produced, Beatcore wears its rock influence on its sleeve. Though demanding for all instruments, the persistent, driving rhythms should make the piece hugely entertaining, for performers and listeners alike. This piece begs to be choreographed. No extended techniques are required, but the music will benefit from a healthy dose of swagger and attitude.


Entropic Varia II

   for Wind Quintet (Flute, Oboe, Clarinet in A, Horn, Bassoon)   (11:15)

This challenging addition to the quintet literature began as a substantial reworking of an earlier piece for oboe and piano, Entropic Varia. So seemingly new were the results of developing this material for the drastically different forces of the wind quintet, that Entropic Varia II is essentially a completely new piece that happens to have motivic and structural points of commonality with the earlier work. It shares with the earlier oboe/piano work an acerbic quality, and an affinity for propulsive and syncopated rhythms. Modest use of extended techniques is made for all players, except the oboe.



ORGAN SOLO WORKS

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Three Advent Fantasies

   for Organ Manuals

I   (3:00)

II   (5:45)

III   (4:15)

These pieces are designed for liturgical use, and are among the most tuneful and conservative outings in my entire body of work. Any of the three should be within reach of a talented college student. The writing, at moments, is difficult, to be sure, but only moderately so.

Listen:


from THREE ADVENT FANTASIES FOR ORGAN MANUALS, number three

Et in saecula saeculorum

   for organ manuals   (6:45)

This overtly modernistic piece may be considered my most extreme statement thus far for the instrument, and, despite its being for manuals only, is quite difficult, both conceptually and technically. The highly dramatic writing is characterized by wide leaps, rapid passagework, and abstruse rhythmic content.

Listen:



Lux aeterna

   for organ manuals   (6:45)

Angular, irregular, and awkward, this piece is quite difficult, and will challenge the most accomplished players. Even though its rhythmic structure is unusual, there is considerably more repetition of rhythms here than in the more improvisatory-sounding Et in saecula saeculorum.


Two Voluntaries

   for Organ Manuals

Dies irae   (2:30)

Mater dolorosa   (3:45)

These pieces are slightly more involved, technically, than the Advent Fantasies but considerably simpler to learn than either Lux aeterna, or Et in saecula saeculorum. Compositionally, as well, they stake out a middle ground between the more straightforward Advent Fantasies, and my more extreme works for organ.


Slowly Turn the Celestial Bodies

   for organ manuals   (5:00)

This piece, slow-paced and introspective, is reminiscent, in both mood and difficulty level, of the Two Voluntaries. It makes an effective offertory.



PIANO WORKS (SOLO AND DUO)

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Kurago Tableaux

for Prepared Piano   (19:15)

(dedicated to Myron Myers, Charles Mosby, Samuel Viviano, and Joshua Oxford)

This relentlessly avant-garde, extended work for prepared piano is constructed of materials gleaned from my chamber ballet, Kurago Katsu. Kurago Tableaux requires the utmost from the pianist in terms of rhythmic control, technique, and complexity of expression. The preparations, though relatively simple, and uniform throughout the applicable range, effectively alter the response and projection of the instrument to the point that the pianist may find himself playing an essentially unfamiliar instrument. The work’s sectional design is realized in a single, uninterrupted movement. Highly agitated music alternates, in seemingly stream-of-consciousness transitions, with dream-like passages. Other than the piano being prepared, no extended techniques are required.

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Holophrasms

for Piano   (ca. 11')

  1. To a Mayan lobster effigy
  2. The Grand Institution
  3. Euthyphro
  4. The hanged sparrow
  5. Jumpei's Dilemma

These short but extremely demanding piano pieces are designed to be played as a set. The pieces are inspired by various works of art in sundry mediums, and all display etude-like elements, though abstruse rhythmic content accounts for the lion's share of the difficulties that will be encountered by the (of necessity) adventurous pianist. Impassioned, highly abstract, angular, and acutely dissonant writing dominates this varied set. No extended techniques are required.

Listen:


TO A MAYAN LOBSTER EFFIGY, No. 1 of Holophrasms, for Piano

THE GRAND INSTITUTION, No. 2 of Holophrasms, for Piano

EUTHYPHRO, No. 3 of Holophrasms, for Piano

THE HANGED SPARROW, No. 4 of Holophrasms, for Piano

JUMPEI'S DILEMMA, No. 5 of Holophrasms, for Piano

Flocculent Vectors

for Piano   (8:15)

Likely the most extreme of my piano works insofar as the technical demands made on the pianist go, Flocculent Vectors is also charaacterized by a dense, complicated, and uncompromising structure that adheres to, and is also partly generated by, a protocol of hybridized perpetual variation whose development and refinement has been an increasingly central obsession of mine in recent years. The work is starkly abstract and angular, yet driving, emotionally charged, and organic.

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rituali mundo venenatis

for Prepared Piano   (8:05)

A musical indictment of mankind's ongoing destruction of his own environment, rituali may be considered among my least technically demanding works for piano, though it is far from easy. Its difficulties lie about equally in the projection of its vivid but often restrained emotionality, and its odd and rather oblique rhythmic construction. The preparation scheme is the same as that used in Kurago Tableaux, and elsewhere in my oeuvre. Other than the piano being prepared, no extended techniques are required.

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Das Seufzen der Zahlen

for Piano   (5:00)

This relatively brief but challenging work, with its exacting, variation-based structure, obsessively explores the possibilities arising from its motivic content within a purposefully constrained pitch continuum and often spare textures. The work is generally quite propulsive. Though far from easy to execute, Das Seufzen is somewhat more rhythmically straightforward than most of the other piano music listed here. No extended techniques are required.

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SAXOPHONE WORKS

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Marsyas Conquers the World

   for Alto Saxophone and Piano   (7:30)

(dedicated to Allen Rippe)

(There is also a version of this piece for bassoon and piano, that was composed alongside this work. Since then, I have also transcribed this sax version for clarinet in A.)

Equal parts concert etude and tone poem, MCTW is transcendently difficult for the soloist, and challenging for the pianist, as well. Soloist and pianist are at odds through most of the piece, hopefully creating a tense and unsettling aura for the listener. Jagged, anguished writing dominates this highly complex work.

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Modsefa Scur

   for Clarinet in B flat, Alto Saxophone, Bassoon, and Harpsichord   (8:45)

This overtly avant-garde quartet, of unconventional instrumentation, is structured in two similarly-paced, but nonetheless distinctive, movements. Pointillism, rapid Klangfarbenmelodie, and challenging rhythms are the stock-in-trade of this adventuresome piece. The title is Old English, and roughly translates as Spirit Storm. It is predominantly a highly agitated work that will challenge the most accomplished players. There are no specifically required extended techniques.

Listen:


from MODSEFA SCUR, quartet for Clarinet, Alto Saxophone, Bassoon, and Harpsichord, movement one

from MODSEFA SCUR, quartet for Clarinet, Alto Saxophone, Bassoon, and Harpsichord, movement two


VOCAL WORKS

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Trinity

   for Soprano Voice, Bass Clarinet, and Prepared Piano   (5:00)

This is a setting of a poem of mine that explores theological points pertaining to the title in an absurdist dialectic. The soprano voice is quite low, throughout. The mood is eclectic and ritualistic. Though odd rhythms are present, the composition’s slow pace prevents their being particularly problematic to the ensemble. An oddly understated majesty characterizes this work.


Three Points of Death

   for Soprano Voice, and Prepared Piano

A brief song cycle setting three poems of mine to music. The songs are performed without pause. The music is relentlessly modernist in tone, and requires a singer with extreme pitch sensitivity. A voice that doesn’t abuse vibrato is preferred in this highly chromatic music. Moods range from bitter, savage, to frozen.