“Transit” was inspired by listening to the music of Terry Riley to create a work that involved long feedback delay lines. I began with a mental image of performers in a space working with electronics and worked to develop a virtual system to mimic what I had in mind. Once the setup was developed, I experimented with improvising material live and notating what felt right. I then continued this cycle of improvisation and notation to extend and develop the work.
“TimeSphere” is inspired by the idea that time is not infinite but bounded, like a sphere, and that there are inifinite possible projections through time within this sphere. (I don’t remember the exact origin of this thought, but I believe I may have derived it from Stephen Hawking’s idea of a closed universe in “Brief History of Time”.)
I’ve always found the world to be filled with many strata of time. Things move together, alone, and somewhere in between, moving from one time flow to another. The idea of a sphere of time in which the world moves was an inspiration for this work, and not interpreted literally. While composing this piece, I was very aware of the the interplay between rational development and the exploration of where intuition guided me.
“The Living Ocean” is a piece inspired by Stanislaw Lem’s “Solaris”. I was struck by the humans encounters with the living ocean on the planet, their fascination and draw into it, and their ultimate inability to rationalize and understand it. Their experiences often left them with more questions than answers, not only about the living ocean, but also themselves and the nature of their own existence.
For me, the story of “Solaris” holds many parallels to the experience of art that I search for when composing. Listening: drawn in, fascinated, the rational mind at rest, only an irrational experience is left. Afterwards: awe, questions about the work, questions for myself, curiosity.
I often find myself lost in reminiscences of the past, observing not only the the memories themselves but also the experience of remembering those times. I am fascinated by how the happenings of today become the memories of tomorrow, how the passage of time transforms these memories, and how our relationships to these life events change as time passes. This piece is but a small meditation on the journeys within the times of our lives.
This piece was composed using the equal-tempered version of the Bohlen-Pierce Scale.
For more information about the Bohlen-Pierce Symposium and scale:
This piece was premiered on March 8, 2007, at the National University of Ireland, Maynooth.
It is difficult sometimes for me to talk about pieces as to me they are less about a subject and more of an object in which to experience. Perhaps, though, I can mention some ideas that were on my mind when composing this work. The initial work came from exploring the Reson 6 instrument. When I found a sound I was drawn to, I studied and experimented with it, eventually discovering a way of building symmetrical chords from two related subchords that deeply interested me. As I continued to study these chords, I became increasingly attracted to their sound. After trying out a number of different paths to take with the form and with other material, I later found myself removing the different sounds and other musical ideas until there was just the chords and the whistle left. I found in the end that the two together really brought out the flavor of the other, achieving a lovely balance and character.
As is usual in my process, after finding some initial material there was a great degree of technical study of it, analyzing pitches, intervals, and relationships, and how working with these affected the sound of the piece and the experience of the music. That is only a part of the compositional process for me, however, and moving on is often more by feel and touch rather than by design.
Sitting here and listening to this piece, I find myself as close as I have ever been in finding a music that can be bright and colorful and yet at the same time be very serious. I have a found a great deal in this piece and hope others will find something in it for themselves.
Notes: On the Sensations of Tone marks the beginning of a new period of actively composing in my life. The years that have passed between the last finished piece and this one were filled with many musical explorations as well as many life experiences. The time spent establishing a career as a programmer, experiencing the world’s events, and simply living life has been rich and rewarding. The exploration of musical ideas has provided many lessons from which I feel I am only now beginning to understand within the context of my own music. It’s been an amazing journey to arrive at this piece, and I am looking forward to the music to come.
for verge (a remix of music by Robert Duckworth)  – ca. 35:00
Ensemble: remix of music by Robert Duckworth
OGG: click here
MP3: click here
Notes: I was asked by Robert as a favor to do a mix of his music for the verge dance company. He had given me the project files to alot of his electronic works, and I went to work in the studio. What came out of it was something very robert, and yet, very much myself.