|Tuesday, April 19th|
3:45 PM - 4:00 PM
Composed this past fall, “A Suite On the Wing” is a set of character pieces for solo piano. Each piece aims to convey the essence of a specific bird and its habitat. “Eagle of the Frozen Crags” begins with variations on three minor themes, superimposed upon the rhythm of a heartbeat to evoke the mystery of a mist-enshrouded eyrie. The second composition, “Thrush of the Autumn Leaves,” brings a contrast of tone and pace in a sweet, wandering melody, all captured by broken major sevenths, quintuplets and feathered triplet passages. The suite concludes with “Swallow of the Summer Skies,” a lilting, joyful song that glides through highly syncopated passages and descending chromatic progressions in tribute to the grace and speed of the swallow. I will speak briefly about the conception of the piece and my working process in creating it before it is played.
4:00 PM - 4:15 PM
“A Suite of Insects” consists of three pieces written for solo piano. The suite is based largely on a changing metrical structure, with each piece incorporating compound and shifting time signatures aimed at a cohesive musical texture. Each of the three pieces is dedicated to a specific insect or group of insects. The first piece seeks to represent the seemingly erratic movements of a bee swarm. The second captures a lone moth in its melancholy drifting. The third piece is modeled on the agile, collective movement of a centipede’s limbs. Before this debut suite is performed, I will speak briefly about its conception and my working process in creating it.
4:15 PM - 4:30 PM
My composition, written for alto, tenor and baritone saxophones, opens with a quiet melodic theme voice by alto sax supported by chords in the tenor and baritone saxes. The theme has a moderate tempo and simple rhythmic structure. The melodic content is repeated and reworked eight times. The variations introduce new tempos and varying rhythmic structures. The harmonic relationships within the theme begin simply and then turn in surprising directions. This transition from simple chord progressions to unexpected, off-balance chords characterizes the theme and is noticeable in throughout the variations. I titled the composition Learning because the piece tries to learn from itself while exploring many different moods. As humans, we are constantly learning, and we are constantly forgetting. Before my composition is performed, I will speak briefly about my working process in creating it.
4:30 PM - 4:45 PM
This past semester I worked on a theme and variations for a unique quintet featuring English horn, tenor saxophone, cello, piano and djembe (African hand drum). These five instruments, not frequently combined in a small ensemble setting, nonetheless match the tonal colors of each other. My composition, titled Simple Shift, is actually anything but simple due to difficult rhythms, untraditional tonality, and other complexities. Before the piece is performed, I will speak briefly about the conception of the piece and my working process in creating it.