Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Applications continued

Thanks to all for your comments. They helped reiterate some of my own opinions about my pieces. So, each school will get a slightly different portfolio (depending on if they focus on electronics, requested only 3 pieces, etc.). They will receive some combination of:

Five Pieces for Laptop Quartet
Three Haiku
Obedience School
Five Movements on Mondrian

Looking over requirements once more, I see I had forgotten that UCSD and U of Chicago request two writing samples. Looks like I will be revising either the Schoenberg paper or Sonic Generator paper. You can read those on my site if you are having trouble falling asleep or something.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

CD reviews / Portfolio

Hi readers,

Sorry for the long delay between posts. A lot of non-music work happening around here lately. Anyway, a few updates:

1. My friend Brian Skutle was kind enough to review my CDs. Nice to see what people think of my stuff - as you'll read, it is a fair and relatively unbiased review.

2. I have to take the GRE in 11 days! AAAAH! I shouldn't worry too much - I got a decent score last time (12-something). But I really want to do well, and I keep getting tripped up when I go through my math review book.

3. I'm getting my portfolio together. I have narrowed it down to the following choices. If any of you want to take the time, I would be interested to hear feedback on which pieces seem the strongest or most interesting (even "non-musician" perspectives!).

Gallery (fl, cl, bsn, hn, tpt, tbn, perc, vln, vla, cb)

This is inspired by abstract expressionist paintings. 8 miniatures - I think the writing is pretty strong, although it is a collection of miniatures and therefore doesn't display much developmental skill. Still, it shows some skill with orchestration.

Score Recording

Obedience School (tape)

This is one of my favorite of my electroacoustic pieces, and I think the most technically accomplished. It uses a lot of algorithmic editing, as well as other processes like "improper noise reduction."


Petrichor (clarinet and tape)

This piece has a decent tape part and decent clarinet part. I still like listening to it, and it has become my most-performed piece (... 7 times ....)

Score Recording

Five Pieces for Laptop Quartet

This was a big project, and it displays technical skill with Max/MSP as well as my interest in improvisation. You can listen to all of the pieces at the link above. I also did a video for "Baffin Bay."

Three Haiku (fl, gtr, vla, perc)

This is a 3-movement, 15-minute chamber piece. Some parts need a little improvement, but overall I think it's an interesting piece. I'm really proud of my timbral development, and I think the haiku form works well.

Score Recordings: Mvt I Mvt II Mvt III

Five Movements on Mondrian (video)

This is a little older, and isn't my most technically accomplished piece, but I still think it's very creative.

More Money Than You Know What To Do With (video)

I may include this one to show more improvisation, as well as experience with live electronics. It's fun, too.

Promenade de minuit (sax and harp)

This was commissioned by Turdus Merula (France). They haven't had a chance to perform it live yet, but they made a great demo recording for me. This was written intuitively, unlike a lot of my pieces, but it's still in a similar style to my other chamber works. One of my favorites to listen to...

Score Recording

Searching for Coincidences (flute duet)

This was written for rarescale. It is written for two flutes (they played on altos, my preference). It is an indeterminate piece - they are given 5 choices to play at all times, and create their own paths. It is written in proportional notation as well. Turned out pretty well, although its certainly not the most impressive thing I've done, compositionally. Interesting experiment, though.

Also, I need to fix up the score a bit...

Score Recording

Pachamama (perc. trio)

This was commissioned by the Cerberus Trio. It shows a different side of me, as it is very rhythmic and repetitive. It is all based on 8th-notes, but has different simultaneous meters. The form is based on a magic square - each number corresponded with a number of bars in which a certain rhythm, dynamic, or instrument would occur. Haven't heard it yet, but I think it will be cool.


Thanks for your input!