BROWSE & LISTEN

Orchestral Music

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Works for Full Orchestra

Symphonic Poem: From Forgotten Lands, after a painting by John Hitchens (2017) | 12'10"

    2(II=picc).2(II=eh).2(I=ecl.II=bcl).2(II=cbn)-4.2.2.btb.1-perc(3): glk/vib/xyl-1harp-strings
 

Still quiet, quite still (2017) | 5'

     2.picc.2.eh.2.bcl.2.cbn-4.2.2.btb.1-perc(3): glk/vib/mscym/ltam/sd/cym/tri-1harp-strings

From Sombre Lands, after a painting by John Hitchens (2013) |  5'30
      2(II=picc).2(II=eh).2.2(II=cbn)-2.2.2.btb.1-perc(3): glk/vib/bd/mtam/stri/mscym-1harp-strings

 

Geryon: A Romance in Red for Violin & Orchestra (2011) | 10'
      Full Orchestra: 2(II=picc).1.eh.2.bcl.1.cbn-4.2.2.btb.1-perc (3): glk/chi/mtam/cym/sd/mscym/vib/stri-1harp-1pft-solo vln-strings
      Chamber Orchestra: 1(=picc).1(=eh).1.1(=cbn)-1.1.0.0-perc (1): sd/bd/ltam/lscym/cym-
1harp-pft-solo vln-2vn.1va.1vc.1db
      Piano Reduction available.

 

Works for String Ensemble / Wind Ensemble

Grounds, Retraced for Strings (2021) | 9'

Grounds for Strings (2014) | 11'15

 

Rhapsody for Wind Ensemble (2018) | 9'45"

    picc.2.2(II=eh).ecl.3cl.acl.bcl.bn.cbn-2ax.tx.bx-4.3.2crt.2.btb.1-cel-db-perc(4): chi/sd/bd/lscym/vib/glk/ltam/mar

 

Symphonic Poem: From Forgotten Lands after a painting by John Hitchens (2017)

2(II=picc).2(II=eh).2(I=ecl.II=bcl).2(II=cbn)-4.2.2.btb.1-perc(3): glk/vib/xyl-1harp-strings

Total duration ca. 12'10"

Single movement work

Listen to a recording on Soundcloud

Recorded by the Aire Born Studio Orchestra, conducted by Keith Christopher, sound engineering by Dave Price

This work is the latest addition to a growing catalogue of letters, works of music, paintings, and visits that constitute my friendship with the British artist John Hitchens and his wife Rosy. In response to John's large three-panel painting "From Sombre Lands," I composed a piano work, which I then orchestrated. Inspired to this orchestration, John completed a large painting in 2015. This new piece is in response to that latest painting in our chain of creative correspondence. The title comes from what I suppose is a misreading of one of the captions to a photograph of the painting in progress, which John included in a letter to me. It is perfectly fitting, though. Landscapes have been the primary subject of John's career, first in a loose painterly style like his father Ivon Hitchens, and then in a more geometric, abstracted style, with paintings resembling the patterning and texture of aerial photographs of landscapes. John’s recent work has focused on this rhythmic, linear style, using warm earth-tones for the majority of his palette. This new painting swirls with styles and colors: the aerial style of recent paintings as well as the painterly style of his earlier work, pinks, blues, and teals join the warmer, reds, yellows, and browns in an enormous piece of truly orchestral scope. The reunion of a forgotten or relinquished style with his current aesthetic make for a powerful statement about the arc of an artist’s creative output. In its dense, rich harmonies, its varied moods, gestures, and timbres, this work aspires to be a worthy response to such a beautiful creation.

Purchase this score and parts from

Peter Dayton Music (ASCAP) for: $175.00

Purchase the score (no parts) from

Peter Dayton Music (ASCAP) for: $35.00

"From Sombre Lands, Orchestral Version" by John Hitchens, Copyright John Hitchens

Screen Shot 2020-02-03 at 7.45.22 AM.png

Symphonic Poem: From Forgotten Lands, after a painting by John Hitchens is featured on the independently-released CD "Aspects of Landscape: Music inspired by the world of John Hitchens." Recorded by the Aireborn Studio Orchestra, conducted by Keith Christopher.

 

Still quiet, quite still (2014)

2.picc.2.eh.2.bcl.2.cbn-4.2.2.btb.1-perc(3): glk/vib/mscym/ltam/sd/cym/tri-1harp-strings 

Total duration ca. 5' 

Single-movement work

 

An orchestration of my work by the same name for violoncello and piano, the title of the work comes from a contemplative poem by a friend, cellist Ryan Mahon. Composed between a festival in the Rocky Mountains, and my move from Nashville, TN to Baltimore, MD, the work’s melodic material comes from a musical translation of significant names from that time, both personal and geographic. Beneath the still, quiet surface of the work’s beginning, pockets of deep emotion and impulsive enthusiasm bubble up occasionally. A piece of sometimes unexpected transitions, the undercurrent throughout is one of quiet assurance.

Purchase this score and parts from

Peter Dayton Music (ASCAP) for: $175.00

Purchase this score (no parts) from

Peter Dayton Music (ASCAP) for: $50.00

 

From Sombre Lands, after a painting by John Hitchens (2013)

2(II=picc).2(II=eh).2.2(II=cbn)-2.2.2.btb.1-perc(3): glk/vib/bd/mtam/stri/mscym-1harp-strings

Total duration ca. 5'30"

Single movement work

Listen to a recording on YouTube

Purchase this score and parts from

Peter Dayton Music (ASCAP) for: $175.00

Purchase the score (no parts) from

Peter Dayton Music (ASCAP) for: $50.00

"From Sombre Lands," by John Hitchens, oil on canvas (50" x 192" / 127cm x 487.5cm)

I had originally conceived From Sombre Lands (2013) as a work for solo piano. It was requested by a dear friend and fellow composer for a recital which would connect Rachmaninoff’s Etude Tableau in D Minor Op. 33, No. 4 and Chopin’s Nocturne in B Major Op. 62, No. 1 on her program. I turned to the work of British semi-abstract landscape artist John Hitchens for inspiration, as works inspired by or responding to pieces of visual art have figured largely in my creative impetus, and I had already composed a piece based on the paintings of John’s father, Ivon Hitchens, himself a well-respected modern landscape artist. While the painting was integral in beginning the piano composition, upon completion it seemed that the work had taken a different direction. However, when I orchestrated From Sombre Lands, I felt I recovered some of my original intentions, the use of varied timbres better matching Hitchen’s own tactile, almost textile, textural variety and choice of warm colors than the piano’s timbral limitations. From Sombre Lands is dedicated to Shelby Flowers and to Matthieu Cognet, who near-simultaneously performed this work at Vanderbilt University and as part of (SUNY) Stony Brook University’s 2013 Piano Project respectively. The piano version was awarded first prize in the national division and fourth prize in the international division of the Golden Key Music Festival Piano Composition Competition. I am grateful to John Hitchens for the lively correspondence we have maintained, partly thanks to this work. This work has been recorded and is available for purchase on Amazon and iTunes on the Ablaze Records CD “Orchestral Masters, Vol. 2”.

Recorded by the Aire Born Studio Orchestra, conducted by Keith Christopher, sound engineering by Dave Price

Screen Shot 2020-02-03 at 7.45.22 AM.png

From Sombre Lands, after a painting by John Hitchens is featured on the independently-released CD "Aspects of Landscape: Music inspired by the world of John Hitchens." Recorded by the Aireborn Studio Orchestra, conducted by Keith Christopher.

From Sombre Lands, after a painting by John Hitchens is featured on the Ablaze Records CD "Orchestral Masters, Vol. 2" (AR-00017). Recorded by the Brno Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Mikel Toms.

 

Geryon, A Romance in Red after Anne Carson's "Autobiography of Red"

for Violin & Orchestra (2014)

Full Orchestra: 2(II=picc).1.eh.2.bcl.1.cbn-4.2.2.btb.1-perc (3): glk/chi/mtam/cym/sd/ mscym/vib/stri-1harp-1pft-solo vln-strings

Chamber Orchestra: 1(=picc).1(=eh).1.1(=cbn)-1.1.0.0-perc (1): sd/bd/ltam/lscym/cym-1harp-pft-solo vln-2vn.1va.1vc.1db

Piano Reduction available.

Total duration ca. 10' 

Single-movement work

Listen to a recording of this work (Violin and Piano Reduction) on Soundcloud

Performed by Nathan Lowry (Violin) and Sean Calhoun (Piano)

Geryon is the titular character of Anne Carson’s verse novel “Autobiography of Red,” a radical reimagination of the ancient Greek poet Stesichoros’ radical reimagination of the myth in which Herakles kills Geryon (a red, six-winged monster) for his red cattle in one his 12 labors. Carson (following Stesichoros’ lead) moves Geryon from the periphery into the heart of the story, casting him as an artist in a world whose cruelty and moments of beauty make it eerily resemble our own. Herakles still appears and gives Geryon a mortal wound, but it is nothing that we would expect. “A Romance” is the way Carson herself describes her verse novel, a word whose musical resonances form the basis of my own composition. The piece attempts no literal depiction of events (which would be difficult given the frequent jumps in time within the narrative), but instead tries to convey my impressions of the imaginative and moving language with which Anne Carson recounts this romance.

Purchase the orchestral score and parts from

Peter Dayton Music (ASCAP) for: $175.00

Purchase the orchestral score from

Peter Dayton Music (ASCAP) for: $50.00

Purchase the piano reduction and parts from

Peter Dayton Music (ASCAP) for: $15.00

 

Grounds, Retraced for String Orchestra (2021)

(String Ensemble: min. 16, 14, 12, 10, 8)

Total duration ca. 9'

Single movement work

Grounds Hitchens.jpeg

"Grounds" (2018) by John Hitchens, 33"h x 104"w

The creative exchange I have enjoyed with British artist John Hitchens, creator of the painting which inspired this work, has been one of the great honors of my life. As our friendship, correspondence, and collaboration nears the ten-year mark, we now have created two chains of mutually-inspired paintings and musical compositions. In this case, the Grounds series began with my 2014 string orchestra piece of the same name that was inspired by the John Hitchens’s pastoral surroundings in West Sussex. This musical composition inspired John to create a gorgeous painting called Grounds in 2018. This work is then both a response to John’s sprawling creation, but a sequel to my own years-old composition. The energy and movement inherent both in the lines of John’s painting and in the painterly style of the art (in contrast to much of his work in the past decade) became a point of inspiration in the surging energy that opens my ‘retraced’ sequel and returns throughout. While a painting is a simultaneous experience, the long band of canvas suggests a narrative reading, and so I found that the fields of cool and warm colors  read left to right served as a template for my music’s expansive form, with a bright and airy opening, a darker, subdued section, and a glowing, pulsing conclusion. The fields of West Sussex and the rhododendron jungles of Greenleaves are, for me, spaces of infinite novelty and discovery. Even as the path that this piece traces through them overlaps a few times with the original course I plotted in Grounds, this work examines old land formations from new angles, in new light, in a different season. This work is dedicated to John and Rosy Hitchens and to their friend the photographer Anne Purkiss who has been of transformative assistance to John in his recent endeavors, and another dear friendship to emerge from this creative exchange.

Purchase this score and parts from

Peter Dayton Music (ASCAP) for: $175.00

Purchase the score (no parts) from

Peter Dayton Music (ASCAP) for: $50.00

 

Grounds, for String Orchestra (2014)

(String Ensemble: min. 16, 14, 12, 10, 8)

Total duration ca. 11'30"

Single movement work

 

Listen to a performance on YouTube

Performed by Alan Buxbaum & the Peabody Symphony Orchestra, February 2017

Photo: Greenleaves, Petworth, UK, June 2014

Listen to a recording on Soundcloud

Recorded by Mikel Toms & the Brno Philharmonic Orchestra, July 2015

The title of the work, Grounds, touches several different points of reference, some musical, some poetic, some personal. ‘Ground Bass’ forms such as the Passacaglia and the Chaconne feature contrapuntal interaction with recurring or ostinato bass-lines, and in its unfolding Grounds makes use of, or recalls, the ‘Ground Bass’ idea in several places. In a more evocative sense, the pastoral associations of the title suggest a journey through an aural landscape, with particular motivic or gestural figures serving as landmarks, rather than sections of a conventional form, which we may recognize as we pass by a second time or double back. My own personal overlay on this more imagistic approach to Grounds is my experience spending a too-brief time in West Sussex visiting the British painter John Hitchens, whose work and whose father’s work has inspired some of my compositions, and his wife ‘Rosy.’ My ambulatory experience of the vast grounds of Greenleaves (the site of John’s studio) and Petworth House, the surrounding countryside, and Bignor Hill, serve as geographical touchstones for this piece - though like many of John Hitchens’s own paintings, the resultant creation is itself a landscape of abstraction. For their hospitality during my visit and their continued friendship, this work is dedicated with love to John and ‘Rosy.’ This work was recorded by Mikel Toms and the Brno Philharmonic for “Orchestral Masters Vol. 3” produced by Ablaze Records. It was the winner of the 2016 Peabody Conservatory Macht Orchestral Composition Competition.

Purchase this score and parts from

Peter Dayton Music (ASCAP) for: $175.00

Purchase the score (no parts) from

Peter Dayton Music (ASCAP) for: $50.00

Screen Shot 2020-02-03 at 7.45.22 AM.png

Grounds is featured on the independently-released CD "Aspects of Landscape: Music inspired by the world of John Hitchens." Recorded by the Aireborn Studio Orchestra, conducted by Keith Christopher.

Grounds is featured on the Ablaze Records CD "Orchestral Masters, Vol. 2" (AR-00026). Recorded by the Brno Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Mikel Toms.

 

Rhapsody (2018)

Wind Ensemble: picc.2.2(II=eh).ecl.3cl.acl.bcl.bn.cbn-2ax.tx.bx-4.3.2crt.2.btb.1-cel-db-perc(4): chi/sd/bd/lscym/vib/glk/ltam/mar

Total Duration: 9'15"

Single movement work

Listen to a performance of a 2-piano reduction on Soundcloud

2-piano reduction performed by Valerie Hsu and Teodora Adzharova

The Rhapsody is dedicated to my good friend the violist and composer Christopher Lowry, who encouraged its creation, and was a constant resource for writing in the particular idiom of the wind ensemble. A sweeping piece, filled with contrasts and changes in tone and mood, it is an exploration of the emotional landscapes that this body of winds and brass can traverse through processional music, fast, contrapuntal textures, lyrical sections, militaristic music and a boiling combination of these elements in the work's dramatic conclusion. 

Purchase this score and parts from

Peter Dayton Music (ASCAP) for: $175.00

Purchase the score (no parts) from

Peter Dayton Music (ASCAP) for: $35.00