Pyramid was inspired by Jennifer Higdon’s 1726, which was named after the address of her school. Similarly this piece is named after the striking blue pyramid of my alma mater, California State University at Long Beach (CSULB). The second movement of Pyramid uses a limited pitch set determined by the German notation of BEACH (Bb E A C B), also an homage to CSULB.Continue reading Pyramid: I, II, and III
Loki’s Tale is a rhythmic and occasionally swinging piece for Bass Clarinet, Marimba, Vibraphone, Piano, Violin, and Cello. It uses low-pitched ostinatos and interwoven ideas that pass between the instruments, making this a rewarding piece for an ensemble.
This short piece would be a great concert opener or closer.Continue reading Loki’s Tale
Crystal is a three-movement vibraphone and piano duet (Adagio, Moderato, and Presto) centered around the suspended chord, which does not clearly define a major or a minor tonal world. Similar to Marginalia, Crystal relies on tonally ambiguous harmonies such as the second and seventh.
It begins and ends with a dissonant, bell-like vibraphone idea, referencing chord clusters often used in Balinese Gamelan.
Adagio employs a rhythmic canon between the vibraphone and the left and right hand piano parts. Parallel sevenths and cross-rhythms are the building blocks of this movement.
Moderato uses a repeating rhythmic ostinato throughout the movement, which is first introduced by the vibraphone and then taken on by the piano.
Presto opens with a folk-like melody in the vibraphone and then leads into a more lyrical, quartal melody. It uses the parallel sevenths and cross-rhythms found in the first movement. The coda basically repeats the piece’s introduction with slightly less dissonant vibraphone chords. Throughout the entire piece, it is never firmly established whether the piece is in major or minor.Continue reading Crystal
The Candlelight Was Burning Low is a quiet and pensive original Christmas carol describing a dark and cold winter before Jesus Christ was born on Christmas morning. The text paints a picture of the world waiting in quiet darkness for light, unaware that it’s savior and eternal light is about to be born.
This carol would make a wonderful addition to an Advent Festival of Lessons and Carols or a candlelight prayer service.Continue reading The Candlelight Was Burning Low