Trillium Ensemble at American University

Conversations w/ Ligeti & Heidegger & Mom in the Background will receive a repeat performance by Trillium Ensemble at American University on March 27, 2015. Trillium commissioned the piece and premiered it back in May of 2014 at the Pittsburgh Festival of New Music. A recording of the premiere can be heard on my soundcloud. … Continue reading

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Considering the Fourth, Considering Time

A friend of mine recently posed the question on Facebook, “WHY IS A FOURTH CONSIDERED DISSONANT IN TWO-VOICE COUNTERPOINT. THAT’S INSANE.” The answer depends on the time period and the 4th’s function. Medieval music uses fourths, fifths, and octaves in parallel motion. Stable fourths abound in the music of Thomas Adès. In species counterpoint à la Johann … Continue reading

“Once Upon a Time…” Part I

“Once upon a time…” Encountering these words, we already know a lot about what we are going to read or hear. We know are in for a narrative. It won’t be just any story but something fantastic. It will be a Fiction. The ordinary restraints of reality need not apply, although they might.The symbolic may take … Continue reading

Uqbar: Confessions Part II (of II)

The first Uqbar post was written in an earnest tone. Now, I will confess: Uqbar is a fiction. Literature is one of my main nonmusical influences. The foundation of my approach to musical form is rooted books like Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse V (look for a post on Vonnegut and form coming soon). It was Jorge Luis Borges who initiated my fascination with … Continue reading