Solo




Chamber Music


In Memory of Federico Garcia-Lorca


Electronics


String Quartet

Introspection

How Silent Comes the Water

Soliloquy


Saraband

Spectres

Triptych

Hypnogogic States

Anemoi


Tangents

Nebulae



Still Life






Des Silences, Des Nuits

Zaum: Beyond Mind

Day after Day, Night after Night

Medea

Vocal



Mitslalim


The Hour of Forgetting

To My Lover Boy








Fortepiano

Suna No Onna





Music for Strings

Ukiyo


Large Ensembles




Multimedia


Chlorophilosophy

Precipitating Lights

Anemoi - for flute and live electronics.

In Greek mythology the Anemoi were the personification of the four (or eight) directional winds. Thus they are portrayed alternatively as having individual identifying characteristics and as presenting different aspects of the same essence. This dichotomy is mirrored in the relationship between the flute and the electronics. In each of the four movements of the piece: Boreas, Zephryos, Notos, Eorus, the flute is attenuated (subtly at times, brutally at others) to highlight different aspects of its character. Anemoi is the result of a collaboration with Flautist Helen Bledsoe. Anemoi was premiered by Eyal Ein-Habar in February 2006, here are excerpts recorded at the concert: Boreas, Zephryos, Notos, Eorus.

Chlorophilosophy - for large ensemble.

The initial idea for this piece was a process of clarification - out of a low and murky sound more distinct material gradually emerges. Several short studies for this piece ('fragments') were performed by the Nouvel Ensemble Moderne in august 2002. You can hear a the beta version of the opening of Chlorophilosophy (with apologies for the distortion towards the end)

Day after Day, Night after Night - for flute, mezzo soprano, cello, and electronics.

Written for Trio Atem the piece is based on a few phrases from Virginia Woolf's Time Passes. This is my first venture into using Supercollider for the electronics.

Des Silences, Des Nuits - for baritone with electronic sound.

A set of songs for Baritone with electronics "des silences, des nuits" is an ongoing collaboration with bass-baritone Nicholas Isherwood. The texts for the songs are short excerpts of Rimbaud. Recordings of these, some spoken some sung, are used in the electronic part together with vocal-like sounds (generated using clm's vowel instrument). The first song in the cycle was performed at ccrma (here is a short excerpt) and 3 songs were performed at Brooklyn College in May 2003. A revised version was prepared with the help of Nicholas Simeha and performed by him at Coombehurst Studio, Kingston University in 2010.

Fortepiano - quadrophonic composition.

Utilizing piano sounds as the main source material, two contrasting sections - a loud and dramatic one and a soft and introverted one - enfold in this piece. As these two materials alternate during the course of the piece they also co-evolve, shaped, on the one hand, by their own internal dynamic and, on the other hand, by the presence of the contrasting material. The piece was realized using Bill Schottstaedts’ CLM, and performed in various concert in the US, Columbia, Korea, and in Europe.

The Hour of Forgetting - for Soprano singer, Flute, Oboe, Viola, Double bass, and Harp.

These four songs are settings of texts from the poetry of Rupert Brooke. The connecting theme in all songs is the night - the sunset in the first song; a night journey on a train in the second; An elegiac view of the earth and the stars; and a strange dream in the last song. The songs were premiered at Stanford in 1998 (listen to part of the opening song). In 1999 they were performed in the opening concert of the Musica Nova, Sofia festival. The last two were also performed in Weimar.

How silent comes the water - solo piano.

Commissioned by the Israeli pianist Michal Tal and premiered by her in Jerusalem (Nov. 2000). the title is a quote from Keats, and refers to the fluid like quality of the piece, in which several musical streams meet and diverge again. A section of the piece - performed by pianist Shannon Wettstein - is available here.

Hypnogogic States - solo piano.

The first version of the piece was composed to accompany a silent film as part of the choreographic installation Ukiyo. This version was performed by Kerry Yong at the premier at the Artaud Centre, Brunel University. Subsequently I revised the piece substantially, and that version was performed by Kerry at the 2012 IDAF festival. We used it (again with a B&W silent film this time a section from Vertov's Men with Movie Camera of 1929) in our performance of Zaum at the Logos foundation in Ghent.

In Memory of Federico Garcia-Lorca - solo percussion

The poet Vicente Aleixandre said of Lorca: "With Federico everything was inspiration, and his life, so beautifully in accord with his work, was the triumph of liberty, and between his life and his work there is a spiritual and physical interchange so constant, so passionate and fruitful, that it makes them eternally inseparable and indivisible." I tried to capture some aspects of Lorca in these four movements. An excerpt from his writings serves as a motto for each of the movements.

Introspection - for Cello and Piano.

Somewhat similar to the Romantic Fragment - each of the 4 movements of 'Introspections' is at once a separate entity and part of a complete whole. Each is characterized by a different mood or emotional state. The first begins in a somewhat nostalgic tone, but then turns dramatic. The second is playful and erratic as the two instruments share a single melodic line distributed between the cello's pizzicato and the piano's staccato. The third movement is for solo cello alternating quick figurations and expressive phrases. The last movement is dreamlike ending with the melody floating in the piano's high register.

Medea - for Mezzo-Soprano, Tenor and Baritone singers, 3 Celli, harp and Percussion.

The text is based on Euripides' play Medea. The focus is on Medea's internal conflict: her rage over Jason's betrayal, her helplessness as a foreigner, her love for her children. The selections I picked from the play try to trace the evolution of her resolution to kill her sons in order to inflict her terrible revenge on Jason and facilitate her escape. A shorter version was originally played in Jerusalem in 1996. I revised and completed the piece two years later at Stanford where it was performed by the AleaII ensemble.

Mitslalim מצללים Music - Oded Ben-Tal; Video - Rees Archibald; Performance - Caroline Wilkins;

The title is a play on the affinity, in Hebrew, between the word for sound (Tslil) and shadow (Tsel). If the word existed in the language it might mean 'sonorities of shadows'. The piece emerges out of Zaum: beyond mind – an ongoing collaboration between composer/performers Caroline Wilkins and Oded Ben-Tal. Zaum is a sound theatre piece particularly interested in the notions of embodied musical performance as it relates to the digital nature of much of the sonic material and the changing relationship between the different types of presence. A chance encounter with Rees in Caen led us to try and extend our collaboration.

To My Lover Boy - for chamber choir (SSAATTBB).

Based on Poems by the early 12th century writer and poet Yehuda Halevi. For me these love songs, written by a Jewish writer, living in Muslim Spain and addressed to a Christian, are at the same time completely foreign and yet also familiar and personal. Ranging from playful to anguished from exhilarated to desolate these highly sensual songs, with their rigid structure and dense layers of meaning, provide a distillation of love echoing from the distant past of a foreign land. Many thanks to David Tsabar for his English translation of the text. You can also listen to David reading the poems.

Music for Stringsquadrophonic composition.

Music for Strings combines recordings of a string section tuning at the beginning of a rehearsal (courtesy of the players of the Royal College of Music student orchestra) with simulated string sound using a bowed string physical model. As any string player will attest learning to bow properly takes time, patience, skill, and a good ear. My aim using this model are a similarly long and delicate process: finding settings of the different parameters that produce 'bad' bowing; locating the points were the model breaks (but still produces sounds); exploring the fascinating area on the edges of this simulated instrument. I am using a CLM implementation (many thanks to Juan Reyes) of the model developed by Stefania Serafin and Julius Smith. The titles of the movements of the piece are taken from the poetry of Lorca:

(1) Prelude to the night (2) Like a shell of light (3) Over the pianissimo of gold (4) We hear through mirrors


Nebulae - for double woodwind quintet.

Launched in 1990, the Hubble space telescope, offers a rare glimpse into space. Many of the images it records are available at hubblesite.org. I found the images of distant Nebulae, extraordinarily beautiful and strange, especially appealing. The piece was written for Kaleidoscope Wind.

Precipitating Lights - concerto for percussion and wind ensemble.

The ensemble acts more as an extension of the percussion than as an opposition. Initially the piece presents abrupt alternations between dynamic and static sections, distinctions that are gradually blurred as the piece progresses.

Saraband - for flute, clarinet, violin, cello, piano, percussion and tape.

Like the French Baroque saraband, my piece is a kind of slow dance in 3. 3 repeating sound events form a kind of matrix through which the music flows, focusing on dialogs between and within the instruments. somewhat like the earlier Saraband the music is ornamental and highly stylized. though inspired by the Baroque form there are no specific baroque allusions or stylistic quotations in the music itself. A short excerpt - recorded by the Sirius ensemble.

Soliloquy -for cello and tape.

Soliloquy was written for cellist Julie Regan, and premiered by her in Feb. 2000. The close collaboration began with the initial recording of cello sounds to be used in the computer part and than working through successive versions of the cello part before arriving at its final form. Essentially the piece is in 2 parts - a dramatic and turbulent opening followed by a long contemplative section dominated be a melodic line meandering through the cello register. The electronic sounds are a fixed 'tape' part created in Bill Schottstaedts’ CLM. Using transformed cello sounds the electronic and the live playing shift foreground/background positions throughout the piece. Since its premier it was performed numerous times in concerts in the US and in Europe.

String Quartet

The 3 movements of this quartet were conceived as windows into a larger, imaginary single movement piece. In the first movement the players are almost independent each presenting its own unique material. These continually evolve and converge in the following movements. It was premiered at Stanford by the St. Lawrence String Quartet - you can listen to the first movement from that performance.

Spectres - for violin, cello, and piano.

Spectre: (1) a visible disembodied spirit (2) something that haunts or perturbs the mind. The opening movement of Spectres asks the string players to be acoustically distant (from the audience as well as the piano). The music they play is haunted by allusions to late medieval musical technique. The layering of the delicate piano music with the strings enhances the sense of distance - both acoustic and historic. In the second movement the cellist joins the piano for a slow, expressive music while the violinist is still hovering in the distance. Only the third movement see the trio reconstituted for a final fast movement.

Still Life - for Trumpet and live electronics.

Written for Stephen Altoft and his microtonal trumpet. The Electronic component includes both pre-composed 'tape' tracks and live responses. Using pd, the computer analyzes the trumpet input and tries to identify simple types of patterns: long notes, rapid passages, and steady pulses. The computer than generates an appropriate response based on the trumpet notes. Inhabiting this world is the trumpet whose fragmented sound gradually transform into a slow melody. Both melody and fragmented calls become submerged into the electronic sound towards the end of the piece.

Suna No Onna - Interactive multimedia performance.

Adapted from the Japanese novel and film by the same name ('Woman in the Dunes'), this collaboration with Dans Dans Joux involves three dancers wearing sensors interacting with video and animation. The music was developed in close collaboration with the dancers and the rest of the team aiming to connect the physical environment of the story with the psychological drama of the characters. Thus, Suna's sound world incorporates both environmental sounds and musical sections weaving a sonic tapestry that aims to blur these cinematic categories. The audio sources for the score range from recorded sounds - filtered, granulated, modulated – to sounds synthesised using a variety of old as well as new techniques of computer music. Images, short videos about the piece and more information.

Tangents - for flute, piano, and tape.

Commissioned by the calliope duo, 'Tangents' is most closely influenced by my research into sonification of complex data. The tape part of the piece was composed using methods developed for that reason - stretched and overlaid to mask their representational aspect. The three participants in the piece - flute, piano, tape - are only tangentially related, meeting briefly and diverging again.

Triptych - for violin, baritone saxophone, piano, and percussion.

Written for the dutch Rosa Ensemble and premiered by them in December 2004. The piece consists of three connected episodes and is inspired, to a certain degree, by early medieval counterpoint.

Ukiyo (moveable world).

A choreographic installation with dance, film, 3D animation and too many computers. About the piece and the creation process. A video excerpt compiled from rehearsals and performances.

Zaum: Beyond Mind.

An ongoing collaborative project with Caroline Wilkins. A sound theatre piece incorporating voice, bandoneon, piano, and electronics with staging, lights and video projection. Some information about the project and the composition process.