Chalk Line

for piano, bassoon, violin, viola and cello (2007)

This piece began as an image of a dark, assured pencil line meandering horizontally across a sheet of paper through a dense, yet translucent cloud of smeared graphite. As is the case often for me, this image proved very unreliable as an indicator for how the piece would unfold. And yet, as the piece ends the same image comes to mind with the bassoon in the role of the assured pencil. I dare not attribute this happenstance to anything other than fortuity, but I marvel at the surprising nature of intuition and hope it feels equally as exciting and revealing from the standpoint of a first listen.

(Performance by Till by Turning: Erica Dicker – violin, Katie Young – Bassoon, Sarah Biber – cello, Amy Ciimini – Viola and Emily Manzo – Piano)

[audio:Chalk_Line.mp3]

Estuary

for solo vibraphone (2007)

[audio:Estuary.mp3]

Work in Manufacturing

for 15 percussionists (2006)

[audio:Work In Manufacturing.mp3]

Turned on the Sun

for violin, speaking voice and video (2006)

(Sabrina Schroeder – violin, Aaron Siegel – Voice)

Every Morning, A History

for vibraphone, flute, clarinet and viola (2006)

Every Morning, A History was composed in short phrases over the Fall and Winter of 2005-06. I was very interested in forgetting the material I had written the day before so I could start from scratch as much as possible. When I finally stitched all of the material together, I discovered that the quick and continual passage of each short section into the next creates a dramatically shifting context from which to understand how all of the phrases relate to each other. When change is in abundance it becomes a stabilizing force.

(Jessica Pavone – viola, Leah Paul – flute, Matt Bauder – clarinet, Aaron Siegel – vibraphone)

This recording can be found on Every Morning, A History (2006, Peacock Recordings)

[audio:Every Morning A History.mp3]

Wait

for string quartet (2004)

Wait is essentially an attempt to access a kind of musical time that is not based on strict meter as much as it is based on the coordination of events. The piece progresses as specific goals for each of the players are achieved.

(FLUX Quartet: Tom Chiu and Conrad Harris – violins, Max Mendel – viola, Dave Eggars – cello)

[audio:Wait.mp3]

A Study in Gravity

for 30 players (2004)

A Diminished Thing

for solo piano (2004)

I started A Diminished Thing while living in Vermont in the summer of 2004. The forests in Vermont are thick with deep greens in the summertime and tall canopies block out most of the sun. During several long walks through the shadowy forest, I was surprised to find myself suddenly in a field of only low-growing ferns and filled with the bright light of midday. A Diminished Thing, which relates to the perception of change I experienced in Vermont, consists of seven sections, each with a fairly homogenous identity, quickly juxtaposed without transitions. The title is from a poem by Robert Frost.

(Emily Manzo – piano)

This recording can be found on Every Morning, A History (2006, Peacock Recordings)

[audio:A Diminished Thing.mp3]

For Distance

for solo piano (2003)

From the instructions:

“Play through the piece as written, observing all note durations in relation to one another. Roughly speaking, one inch of space is equal to 3 seconds.

Groups of notes that are surrounded by a box are played simultaneously.

Events that are connected by lines should be played as close together as possible without having the events sound simultaneously.

All note lengths should be as short as possible, without pedal, and with an aggressive percussive attack.

The dynamic for the entire piece is Forte.”

(Emily Manzo – Piano)

[audio:For_Distance.mp3]

15 Minutes

for open instrumentation and computer (2000)

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