Midnight Toccatas

When I attended Oberlin in the mid-1990s, it was a regular tradition among the organ students to hold a monthly ad hoc recital at midnight on a Friday. These recitals were collectively called the “Friday Night Organ Pump,” and it is a tradition that continues even today. At the time, I flirted with writing a … Read more

Songs of Loss

In 2005, I had the idea of taking a set of 3 songs of mine and ‘arranging’ them for solo piano. The result was ‘Songs of Loss,’ based on two poems by Stephen Crane from his cycle ‘Intrigue,’ and a poem by Paul Celan called ‘Coagula.’ Each poem is concerned with human loss of some … Read more

Three Pieces for Organ

One of my earliest works, the ‘Three Pieces’ are snapshots of short poems by Stephen Crane. The three poems are: Black Riders, Here and There, and Upon a High Place. The pieces were premiered by organist Damin Spritzer and have enjoyed numerous performances by various organists over the past twenty odd years of its life. … Read more


‘Exodus’ for solo organ was commissioned by the Barlow Endowment of Brigham Young University as part of the 2002 Barlow Prize in Composition. Later in 2014, it was completely revised and rewritten, the second and third movements scrapped and replaced with a new movement. That version was premiered by Randall Harlow at Rockefeller Chapel in … Read more

Especes Perdues

Written for guitarist Nemanja Ostojic, ‘Especes Perdues’ (Lost Species) is a small statement about the perils of human-induced climate change. The first movement, ‘Lament for the Seas,’ is an adagio that ebbs, flows, undulates, a chorale with melodic fragments weeping for what the oceans have lost. The second movement, ‘Against the Earth,’ rages and froths. … Read more

Olcott Park

Olcott Park is a place in Bloomington, Indiana, not far from where I live. I used to enjoy going there with my children, who would play soccer or run around on the many paths. I would also take my camera and look for birds to photograph, especially in the spring when prairie warblers, parulas and … Read more

Reve 3

‘Reve 3’ for solo cello is the first of the series to be commissioned, in this case by cellist Isabel Kwon. The piece oscillates back and forth between two kinds of music. One is a rhythmically active, animated sort featuring ricochets, quick 16th-note figures, and strings of pizzicati, and covering the entire range of the … Read more

Reve 2

‘Reve 2’ for bass clarinet, like its counterpart, ‘Reve 1,’ is based on the concept of sleep and dreams. In this case, the metaphor is taken literally, with various sleeping sounds (yawns, snores, smacking of lips) integrated throughout the piece. It was premiered by Nick Morandi and recorded by Louis Goldford.

Reve 1

‘Reve 1’ for solo flute is the first of my series of solo pieces for different instruments. Each has a different take on the nature of sleep and dreams (‘reve’ means dream) and unfolds in a stream-of-consciousness fashion. This piece utilizes a variety of extended techniques, including air tone, harmonic glissandi, tongue rams, key clicks, … Read more

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