Arms Against a Sea (2017)
Bass Clarinet Quartet and Open Ensemble
4/23/17 - Mike WT Allen, Ridley Bishop, David Brown, Johanna Hauser - Bass Clarinets; Clara Sze, Andrew Chavez-Kline,Tegan Wahlgren, Joel Mackenzie, Nicholas Marriot - Open Ensemble - Stylus Records, Vancouver, BC - Presented by Ecstatic Waves
Clarinet, Cello, Piano, Two Electric Guitars, Invented Instruments, Music Boxes, Cymbals
Antiphons is a work that attempts to create a sonic environment that envelops the listener both physically and mentally. The main structural impulse of this piece is an exploration of the first 65 partials of the harmonic series based on C. It begins with the low partials and adds prime numbers until it reaches 65, at which point the system briefly implodes before slowly drifting back down the harmonic series to end where it began. This structure creates a sense of movement from consonance to dissonance to noise and back. The title is based on an early form of spatial music that was used in religious services. Antiphons encourages a ritualistic surrender to sound, similar to the way one would listen to plainchant performed in a large, resonant church.
4/23/15 + 4/24/15 - Alexandra Spence, Clara Shandler, Cale Plut, Alex Mah, Ben Wylie, Paul Paroczai, Lee Cannon-Brown, Kivanc Tatar, Annie Therrien-Boulos - Simon Fraser Universtiy, Vancouver, BC - Presented as part of the MFA Spring Show "Mixed Greens"
Invented 24 String Instrument and 4 Performers with Cell Phones and Monochords
Aliquot is the result of a collaboration between myself, the composers collective Dissonant Disco, and visual artist Emily Starkey. Emily designed a series of instruments based on furniture, this piece was written for a crib to which 24 guitar strings had been attached. Two people performed on the crib, while 2-4 people played monochords and cell phones while walking around the audience.
3/7/15 - Ben Wylie, Emily Starkey, Alex Mah, Remy Siu, Maren Lisac - Astorino's, Vancouver, BC
begin again, in earnest (2014)
Concerto for Prepared Electric Guitar and Chamber Orchestra
begin again, in earnest is about transformation. Transforming noise into pitch, dissonance into consonance, and one mental state into another. The work is a slow move from extremely noisy sounds into a single harmonic series, these changes are defined by the techniques used by the prepared guitar. These techniques are sounds that I have developed as an improviser and they are used as a connective and guiding device in moving the piece forward. All of the ensemble's sounds come from the guitar, despite times when they may appear to overtake the soloist. The title is intentionally vague, allowing the listener to make any connection they may create between the idea of transforming or clarifying a sound and how that can relate to the concept of beginning anew. This work was written as my thesis for my Bachelor's in Composition at the Boston Conservatory.
4/20/15 - Leia Slosberg, Chuck Furlong, Stephanie Clark, Shelly Mohr, Jordan Kabat, Cameron Perry, David Vess, Taylor Ambrosio-Wood, Hannah Bureau, Dillon Robb, Josh Newburger, Danny Hoppe, Andrew Harlan, Ben Wylie (Soloist), Indervir Singh (Conductor) - Boston Conservatory, Boston, MA - Presented as part of my Senior Recital
Flute, Clarinet, Violin, Cello, Percussion, Piano
In Bridge, I attempted to translate certain acoustic phenomena into instrumental gestures. Some of these processes include shaping the spectrum of noisy vocal formants through the resonance of the mouth, translating that shaping into bow position and colored noise, notating the rhythm of beating between closely tuned pitches, and highlighting certain partials of overtone-rich noise. The title is a double entendre referring both to bridging the gap between acoustic property and instrumental gesture as well as the fact that the string players spend the majority of the piece with their bows on varying degradations of the bridge.
3/7/14 - Boston Musica Viva - Boston Conservatory, Boston, MA - Presented as part of the Boston Conservatory's Composer Recital Series
Soprano, Clarinet, Harp
Catalyst is an attempt to allow personal emotional content to influence my music in a more explicit way. The poetry was written by Ashley Pietro. I took verses 2, 4, and 6 from a poem entitled Catalyst, with the others coming from various haiku. The harmonic, formal, and timbral content of the music reflects these divisions in the text. For the haiku, there is a repeated scale that moves down a half step with each repetition. The music for the text taken from Catalyst is defined by a different scale that modulates up a major third at each stanza. These scales slowly lose pitches as time moves on, blurring the lines between the two and reflecting the increasing darkness of the text.
3/26/14 - Sophie-Nouchka Saibi, Kayondra Reid, Mariela Flores - Boston Conservatory, Boston, MA - Presented as part of the Boston Conservatory's Composer Recital Series
4/20/14 - Sophie-Nouchka Saibi, Kayondra Reid, Mariela Flores - Boston Conservatory, Boston, MA - Presented as part of my Senior Recital
3/27/15 - Heather Pawsey, Liam Hockley, Albertina Chan - Pyatt Hall, Vancouver, BC - Presented as part of Vancouver Pro Musica's Sonic Boom Festival