Comments: Commissioned by violist Susan Chan for the New Century String Quartet. Inspired by Brahms' String Quartet, Op 67, III; in which the viola plays the leading role while the other strings are muted. Thematic material is taken from opening bars of the Brahms then freely developed along the model of a series of coexisting spirals-some tighter, some looser. Thus, after opening in a relatively brisk tempo, a steady progression from slower to faster tempi leads to an vibrant finale. Among the development techiques employed is a substantial fugal treatment of the Brahms theme, which is also directly quoted near the end.
1. Halaka (5:38)
Comments: Premiered by the Ronen Chamber Ensemble. "Halaka" is a free and jazzy resetting of a klezmer tune. "Lament" alternates between a twelve-tone development of a three-note motive and a rich harmonic treatment. "Dancing" is a groove featuring hammered pizz in the vc, and a drum-like repeated note muted with a finger inside the pno. Individual movements can be performed separately. (Read the Review)
1. Prologue: Toccata attacca (1:03)
Comments: Premiered by the Ronen Chamber Ensemble. Inspired by the neoclassic works of Stravinsky. The first movement provides fundamental motivic material for the entire work. The second movement features shakuhatchi techniques in the flute. The third adapts the opening harmonies into staccato attacks which are sustained by sympathetic vibrations in the strings of the piano. The fourth sets the text of a poem by the commissioner, Ann Bretz-the text appears in the score but the words are unsung. Newly revised for 2006 and to be recorded by the Ronen Ensemble. (Read the Reviews)
Comments: A free fantasy on an authentic dance used in the ceremonies of the whirling dervishes, who are priests in the Sufi sect of Islam. The Sufis are considered heretics, especially in the puritanical forms of Islam (such as the Wahabists who provide bin Laden with his theology), in part because of their sensuality and use of music in their ceremonies. This piece has been broadcast in Israel (Kol Hamusica), Japan (NHK), and several times in America (eg: Wisconsin Public Radio). Dervish has been revised in 2006 to be recorded by Thomas Walsh.
Dervish (1999), arr. for string quartet (10:58)
Dance (1996), vn/pno c. 4'
Dark Matter (1995), fl/cl-bs cl/vn/vc/pno/perc c. 15'
1. (...Dark Matter)
Comments: Winner of the 1993 Michigan Music Teachers Association Composition Competition
Luminescence (1993) fl/ob/cl/bsn/2 hns/2 tpts/tbn/tuba/ perc/pno c. 15'
Trio for Violin, Cello and Piano (1990) c. 15'
Comments: Winner of the Fine Arts Festival at Illinois State University Music Award
Duo for Flute and Piano (1988) c. 8'