In these pages, I mean to introduce the primary aspect of my professional life as a
musician — music composition. I have provided sample audio files and scores of my
compositions written over the past two decades, each of which you are welcome to download.
can be likened to that of an architect -- an artist whose creative efforts
begin with a vision, but are brought to life with materials that serve functional and formal purposes.
Just as buildings are designed to be pleasant, inviting and engaging to the eye, so it is with music,
which is successful in part owing to the beauty of its melodies, its rhythms, and other musical features --
all of which are assembled in such a way as to attract the ear. What is more, a successful musical
composition will transport the listener beyond their daily concerns.
I respond personally to a wide range of composers: from Machaut to Boulez and the current group of
French spectralists; from Bach, the great contrapuntalist and advocate of contemporaneous styles,
to the current group of Austrian composers centered in Graz. I am also drawn to the rich tradition
of Russian music, and especially to the music of Rachmaninoff, and contemporary Russian composers
living in Moscow. Further, I revere the Americans Ives and Feldman. I am also sensitive to the great
impact our folk music and jazz continues to exert in many countries.
While such tastes may seem ecumenical, by me, there is one crucial and critical measure for all music:
does it pass the "goose-pimple" test? has it moved us emotionally? have we allowed ourselves to get
lost in its beauty, and to forget our concerns, in a state where time is suspended?
but only in the broadest of terms — for modernism provides freedom and liberty to
work as an individual. At the same time, we have an obligation to know historical models if we are
to make informed decisions, for it is in the retooling of "old" ideas that "the new" emerges.
I believe that all music derives from the concept of "dialogue," be it among the smallest details
of the inherent qualities of sound — the interval, say, as the relationship between two pitches —
to the interaction between a composer and a performer. The latter association is particularly
essential in a composer's development, for one taps into a wealth of musical experiences when
working with performers. And the relationship is reciprocal, for performers learn to reconsider
performing traditions by gaining insight into a composer's thought processes. The result of these
relationships is a growing body of repertoire that represents and mirrors our lived sets of experiences.