Hello my dear reader. I’ve noticed it has been quite a while since I’ve posted something and I must apologize for that. My next premiere is not until October, but I have been super busy writing so much music that I’d like to catch you up on what I’ve been working on.

Omnia-Sacrae – Fantasia on the Kyrie for two antiphonal organs, one obviously bigger than the other

As you can see I have yet to learn about writing pieces that can be performed again. I am very excited about this piece. It will be performed at the Lawrence University Composition Studio Recital on Sunday, Nov. 8. I took a very philosophical approach to this piece, examining the different ways one can view religion, and not in a way where we usually separate Christianity from Islam from Buddhism, but in a way that can only be deeply and tremendously personal to each one of us. I explore ideas of free will by giving the players different options and play with the relationship of 5 and 7 and the relationship of God and humankind. More elaborate program notes will be posted as we get closer to November, along with a downloadable score for your own analysis!

Three Places in NoVa – Concerto for Euphonium and Wind Ensemble

I am currently making the finishing touches on this piece and I’m very excited to get the chance to share this with all of you. I good friend of mine, Sean Jobes, come up to me with the idea. I was talking about a concert that may happen in the future in Northern Virginia, where both of us are from, and he said “well, I’d love to play your Euphonium Concerto, but you don’t seem to have one.” Well, Sean, here’s my response. The piece is in 3 short movements, it’s still heavy with inner reflection and meaning, but it has a lighter character to it than my other pieces. Sean will be entering this piece in the Lawrence University Wind Ensemble Concerto Competition, so everyone wish him luck! No movement lasts more than five minutes, but each one is a portrait of our experiences in Northern Virginia. More info and program notes will be published as we get closer to a potential performance date.

The Arrogance of Time – Sonata for solo piano

This piece will have two performers, Joey Arkfeld, to whom the piece is dedicated to, will give the recording and East Coast premiere. Derrick Hahn will give the Lawrence University premiere. Both of them are fantastic pianists and (I hope) this piece will speak to both of them. I’m an incredibly anxious person, this past spring I faced tremendous mental challenges and various anxiety attacks that greatly weakened me during that time. This piece is a reflection of that, I want to capture the fuzz in your head that comes from constant overthinking and constant worrying over your own social anxiety. I want to capture the default sense of depression and the work it takes to contain your own thoughts, and I want to capture that feeling of hopelessness when your on the third day of your own anxiety attack. Performance looks to be sometime this winter or spring.

Songs of Love and Sin – Encyclical for Voice, Viola, and Oud (or guitar)

I am very excited to announce a collaboration with Lubana Al Quntar, a fantastic vocalist in the DC area. This will be another song cycle, similar to Holy Doubts and Empty Prayers, and I plan on writing many more. I use the term encyclical because I’m making a specific religious assertion in this piece, similar to what the pope does when he announces his encyclical (for example, his last one was on climate). This is entirely my own invention and I may just disown it, but I’ll see how it works out for now. In this piece I will examine the relationship of Middle Eastern and Western Culture, and the particular loneliness that one can be forced into when they’re caught between these two cultures. In some cases, it appears people are ignorant on both sides, one may appear a safe haven from the other, it could be that your own character could have evolved into one that doesn’t fit either culture. I also plan on exploring gender identity in the Middle East and the particular torment that we face on a daily basis thanks to western intervention, the nature of theocracy, the backwards nature of Sharia law, and the particular hypocrisy of close-mindedness defended by a twisted religious assertion. This will be released as a bandcamp album with a concert in a couple years. Yes, it will be in like, 7 languages.

Akasha – Cantata

This I’m also excited about! I am collaborating with Henry Dykstal, a great writer here at Lawrence. I don’t want to give away too much about this except, come to my senior recital and witness it yourself.

Well, that’s it folks! I also have a commission for an organ piece but in honesty I don’t know what to do with it yet, but I will be sure to get more information to you as soon as it’s available. Hope you all had a great summer and are as excited as I am for a great year of music.

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