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A Good Understanding (2005)

For Tim Brown & the Choir of Clare College, Cambridge & the Trebles of Saint Thomas Church Fifth Avenue, New York
SATB, trebles, percussion, organ

A Good Understanding was written for Tim Brown and the choir of Clare College, Cambridge with the generous cooperation of John Scott and the Boys of Saint Thomas Church Fifth Avenue.

Bright Mass With Canons (2005)

for John Scott and the Choir of Saint Thomas Church Fifth Avenue, New York

Bright Mass with Canons was written for John Scott and the choir of Saint Thomas Church Fifth Avenue, New York.

Expecting the Main Things from You (2005)

commissioned by the Gabe Wiener Foundation for Judy Clurman
SATB, String Quartet, Percussion, Organ, 25'

1. I Hear 2. Interlude (A Farm Picture) 3. Poets to Come Expecting the Main Things from You begins with a series of exchanges

First Service (2004)

Girton & Clare Colleges, Cambridge
Choir, Organ, 8'

The Magnificat features an anxious two-note octave in the organ, nervously twitching in anticipation. The Nunc Dimittis (which is one of my favorite things written in the English language) starts slowly,

How Soon (2011)

for Treble Chorus (SSAA), Flute, Clarinet, Percussion, Violin, Violoncello and Piano, 10'

How Soon? was commissioned by eighth blackbird, the Kennesaw State University School of Music, and the Anima-Young Singers of Greater Chicago. This commission was made possible by the Dale Warland Singers Commission Award presented by Chorus America and funded by the American Composers Forum. MORTIFICATION How soon doth man decay! When clothes are taken from […]

I Cannot Attain Unto It (2005)

Choir, 5'

I Cannot Attain Unto It is a setting of a section of Psalm 139 arranged such that certain syllables repeat and cycle around each other. The harmonic motion of the piece is through common tones, a method in which a single note is sustained through two related or unrelated keys. The use of the repetition […]

I Drink the Air Before Me (2009)

Children's Choir & Chamber Ensemble, 59'

I Drink the Air Before Me is an evening-length score for Stephen Petronio’s dance piece bearing the same name. Inasmuch as it was celebrating Stephen’s company’s 25th anniversary, the piece wanted to be big, ecstatic, and celebratory. Our initial meeting, in which we discussed the structure of the work, yielded a sketch: a giant line, […]

Like as the Hart (2004)

SATB, Violin, Piano

Like as the Hart is my response to Herbert Howells’s famous setting of this Psalm paraphrase. I have always been obsessed with the length of Howells’s melodies and the way that the harmonies trail behind the tunes like halos. In my version, I invert this relationship, with massive elongated harmonies dragging melodic fragments behind them. […]

Looking Forward (2012)

Picc, Flute, Oboe/Cor Anglais, Bass Clarinet in Bb, 2 Bassoon, Horn in F, 2 Trumpet in Bb, Tam-Tam, Bass Drum, SSAATTBB, Celesta, Violin I, Violin II, Viola, Violoncello, Contrabass, 6'

Looking Forward was written for the 20th anniversary of the Britten Sinfonia. and, at their request, dovetails with Henry Purcell’s setting of Psalm 102. I have chosen fragments from the same psalm to set in a harmonic landscape that alternates between drone-based diatonicism and more confusing chromaticism, stolen from Purcell’s keening and twisted vocal lines. […]

Luminous Body (2011)

Chamber Orchestra & Choir

Luminous Body is a collaboration between me and Craig Lucas, written in the period immediately following our narratively charged opera Two Boys. Luminous Body is, as a result, abstract and poetic in gesture and form. The text interpolates, among other things, stylized versions of the teachings of Christ, Buddha, Mohammed, and Plato; these are scrambled […]

Pater Noster (2008)

SATB and Soprano Soloist, 3'

Pater Noster is just that, a setting of the “Our Father” text. Every composer has to have one of these! This setting attempts to reference Igor Stravinsky’s unaccompanied sacred music, notably, his setting of this same text. I bought a recording of the King’s Singers singing this when I was younger, and listened to it […]

Stabat Mater Dolorosa (2010)

My Stabat Mater is a very simply-constructed piece of music. I knew I wanted to write a duet, a piece of religious music, and something to go along with a bit of Birtwistle.

Syllables (2007)

for Dianne Berkun and the Brooklyn Youth Chorus
Children's chorus, piano, synthesizer, 8'

Syllables is an exploded setting of an old Icelandic text describing the end of the world. I say exploded as I elected to set the text both in English, fragments of Old Icelandic, as well as nonsense syllables taken from both languages. There is a constant, anxious pulse throughout the first section, which ends with […]

The Sweets of Evening

for Dianne Berkun and the Brooklyn Youth Chorus
Children's voices, piano, 8'

The Sweets of Evening (2006) was written for Dianne Berkun and the Brooklyn Youth Chorus. Having worked with this group of musicians many times before, I was honored to finally write them a piece. Having sung in a boy choir myself, I am fascinated and intimate with the changing nature of young voices, and I […]