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String Quartet April 2020 - "Devil's Dream"

Graphite (2020)

two violins, loop pedals + animation by Josh Dorman


Four Terry Severhill Poems (2019)

two singing percussionists


Sand Stack (2019)

two violins + loop pedals


Three Poems Around Thomas Wolfe (2018)

soprano, clarinet, violin, cello + piano


Chaconne (2018) based on J.S.Bach's BWV 1004

two clarinets + two bass clarinets


Two Memorials (2018)

clarinet, violin, cello +piano

Two Bird Poems (2018) text by Treece and Zapruder

soprano + piano


Moth Rust Dance (2018)

haegeum + viola

A Circle for the Head (2017)

bass clarinet + eight clarinets

Cold (2017)

two flutes

On a Flat Stone Over His Grave (2016)

soprano + theorbo

Still Waiting (2016)


track ii (2016)

solo theorbo

track i (2016)

solo piano

tugs at a single thing (2016)

haegeum + viola

under the Presence, whatever there is else is moving (2016)

four bass clarinets

I saw a man pursuing the horizon (2015)

two bass clarinets

Four Poems by Vachel Lindsay (2015)

soprano, flute + piano

Five Poems by Matthew Zapruder (2015)

soprano + piano

I Might Speak (2015)

flute, bassoon + piano

Three Poems by Elinor Wylie (2014)

two sopranos, bassoon + guitar

Four Poems by T. E. Hulme (2014)

soprano + theorbo

Azulåo (2014)

soprano + lute

Diaphonic (2014)

bassoon + track

Entrance (2014)

oboe, clarinet + bassoon

There Will Come Soft Rains (2014)

soprano + track

En Los Bosques (2012)

bassoon + track

Plum Green (2012)

bassoon + piano

A Crazed Girl (2011)

soprano + piano

Aloft (2011)

violin, cello + piano

Maple (2011)

flute, viola + guitar

Mist (2011)

bassoon + track

Molten (2011)

solo viola

Region React (2011)

graphic score

Three Tales for Slime and Scales (2010)

solo bassoon

Legacy for Jack (2010)

solo viola

Zephyr Falling (2010)

solo guitar


In Memory of Rita Francis Sever (1923-2018)


Full playlist

Amy Foote, soprano; Sophie Huet, clarinet; Mia Nardi-Huffman, violin; Bridget Pasker, cello; Naomi Stine, piano

Program Note: Thomas Clayton Wolfe (1900-1938) was primarily an American novelist and playwright who held poetry in such a high esteem that he would not claim to have written it. Wolfe died shortly before his 38th birthday leaving less than half of his works unpublished. John S. Barnes then scoured his novels and plays to arrange smaller sections of writings into verse. It could be argued that Wolfe’s works were hacked into verse by Barnes. I have now since twisted Barnes’ text even further to arrive at smaller snippets. In the first movement, the text describes a narrator in early 20th Century Brooklyn listening out her window to the sounds of her city. She overhears the small talk of two neighbors. One of the neighbors has been away and learns from the other that a fellow neighbor has passed away while she has been gone. The second and third movements are then reactions to the first. The second is light and buoyant, and the third is a form of dance.

Chaconne (2018) two clarinets + two bass clarinets

While collaborating with Jeff Anderle on some virtuosic bass clarinet music, Bach’s Chaconne slipped into the conversation. More than simply assigning the notes to another instrument, I love when the acts of composing, transcribing, and arranging are blurred. Much of my favorite music is when the definition of authorship is obscured.  Continuing in the tradition of great transcriptions by Arno Landmann, John Feeley, and Ferrucio Busoni we decided I should write for the four clarinet faculty members at San Francisco Conservatory of Music. Cary Bell, Luis Baez, Jeff Anderle, and Jerome Simas premiered this Chaconne on January 28, 2019

Two Bird Poems (2018)
soprano + piano [text by Treece + Zapruder]

Written for Winnie Nieh + Paul Dab.

I. Text by Matthew Henry Treece (1911-1966)

"In the beginning was the bird. A spume of feathers on the face of time, Man’s model for destruction God’s defence. Before man, a bird a feather before time, And music growing outward into space, The feathered sheers cutting dreams in air. Before birds, a God, a Nothing with a shape More horrible than mountains or the Plague A voice as large as fate A tongue of bronze. Before this, O no before was there. Where? Among the placeless atoms, Mad as tale the maggot makes locked in the skull. And so I state a bird for sanity My brain’s lips blow the tumbled plume. I see the prophesy the path winds take. Before birds, a God, a Nothing with a shape".

II. Text by Matthew Zapruder (b.1967) "Erstwhile means long time gone. A harbinger is sent before to help, and also a sign of things to come. Like this blue stapler I bought at Staples. Did you know in ancient Rome priests called augurs studied the future by carefully watching whether birds were flying together or alone, making what honking or beeping noises in what directions? It was called the auspices. The air was thus a huge announcement. Today it’s completely transparent, a vase. Inside it flowers flower. Thus a little death scent. I have no master but always wonder, what is making my master sad? Maybe I do not know him. This morning I made extra coffee for the beloved and covered the cup with a saucer. Skeleton I thought, and stay very still, whatever it was will soon pass by and be gone."

MOTH RUST DANCE (2018) haegeum + viola

In February 2018 while writing sketches of music in my San Francisco apartment, I noticed a moth flying near my bookshelf of musical scores. While I stared at the moth that seemed like me to be nourished by my favorite music, I remembered the ancient text from Matthew "Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt". I was transfixed by the rhythms heard from the moth's flapping and watched as it repetitively yet unexpectedly danced about my room. The moth's alternating between a stately march and a delicate twirl inspired this piece for haegeum and viola. It was specifically written for the beautiful playing of Soo-yeon Lyuh and Ellen Ruth Rose.


clarinet, violin, cello + piano

Sophie Huet, clarinet; Mia Nardi-Huffman, violin; Bridget Pasker, cello; Naomi Stine, piano

Full playlist:

Program Note:

Two Memorials is based on two tunes from the 1835 hymnal “Southern Harmony”. The sketches against these two hymn melodies, In Adam We Have All Been One + What Wondrous Love, were written shortly after two of my uncles’ deaths and then fully composed in August 2018 as a tribute.

The piece is in loving memory of
Roy Queen (1953-2015) + Terry Severhill (1950-2017).


Much of my time in the Spring of 2017 was spent sketching music while watching my daughter Alice, then three years old. She too was sketching and would happily draw for hours. When Jeff Anderle commissioned me for a new piece featuring bass clarinet accompanied by eight Bb clarinets, it was written entirely while I played with Alice. I asked her where I should begin. She responded, as she always did for every portrait she drew, “a circle for the head…”  

This work was commissioned by Jeff Anderle with support from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and was premiered at his April 3, 2017 Faculty Artist Recital "History of the Bass Clarinet, Part 3, America, 2007-2017”.

COLD (2017) two flutes

“cold” was premiered by the Siroko Duo on January 27th, 2018 at Seventh Avenue Presbyterian, presented by Seventh Avenue Performances.



This piece was written for and commissioned by Jarring Sounds (Danielle Sampson + Adam Cockerham) for their June 2016 “Elegy” themed concerts in the San Francisco Bay Area. The text is adapted from a portion of the Latin inscription above the tomb of Henry Purcell.

Applaud so great a guest, Celestial powers.
Who now resides with you, but once was ours.
Dy’d! No, he lives while yonder organ sounds
and sacred echoes to the choir rebound.

Still Waiting (2016)

Program Note: This piece was written for and commissioned by Jane Spencer Mills. The text was written by Jane’s mother Judith Spencer.

Still Waiting text by Judith Spencer

"Couldn’t wait to grow up, So I could play with the big kids Mummy said “wait“. You’ll get there. Couldn’t wait to start school, Ride on the bus like the big kids. Mummy said “wait“. You’ll get there. Couldn’t wait to wear lipstick, Maybe eyebrow pencil like the popular girls. Mother said “wait“. You’ll get there. Couldn’t wait to get a driver’s license So I wouldn’t have to wait for the Parents To retrieve me from the dance. Mother said “wait“. You’ll get there. Couldn’t wait to go “away” to college, New world, no Parents, no curfew. Mom said “wait“. You’ll get there. Couldn’t wait to get a job, Share an apartment, Maybe loose my virginity. Friends said “wait“. You’ll get there. (Didn’t ask Mom) Couldn’t wait to marry my guy, Have children, become a real woman. My guy said “wait“. We’ll get there. Couldn’t wait for the youngest child to start school, So I could pick up on a career. My guy said “wait“. We’ll get there. Could ‘t wait to finally retire, my guy and I, To see some of the bigger world and discover ourselves in it? My guy said “wait“. We’ll get there. Well, life happened and he passed on before me. I wish he could have waited. But I’m still here And I can’t wait for this day to open itself to me. Don’t worry. I’ll get there."

TRACK II (2016) solo theorbo

Commissioned by Adam Cockerham and Mutable Music. Recording from the Interpretations series at Roulette in Brooklyn May 5, 2016


Program Note: In the Fall of 2015 I wrote a solo piano piece for Sarah Cahill titled “track”. That work was inspired by this quote often credited to Henry David Thoreau: “As a single footstep will not make a path on the earth, so a single thought will not make a pathway in the mind. To make a deep physical path, we walk again and again. To make a deep mental path, we must think over and over the kind of thoughts we wish to dominate our lives.” When granted the opportunity to write a work for Adam Cockerham this text still lingered in my mind. I have since discovered that my book had misattributed the text to Thoreau when in fact it was written by Wilfred Arlan Peterson who was rehashing a concept he claims to have gotten from Thoreau’s “Walden”. While this new theorbo work shares some features of the piano piece written for Sarah Cahill, it may be more appropriate to do my own paraphrase of Luciano Berio. “The completed work is the ritual and commentary of other works preceding it, of more works that will follow. The question does not provoke a response but rather commentary and new questions”.


TRACK (2016) solo piano

Published by Imagine Music Publishing SheetMusicPlus

This piece titled track was inspired by a quote often credited to Henry David Thoreau: As a single footstep will not make a path on the earth, so a single thought will not make a pathway in the mind. To make a deep physical path, we walk again and again. To make a deep mental path, we must think over and over the kind of thoughts we wish to dominate our lives.

The piece was written for and premiered by Sarah Cahill. track is dedicated to my good friend, Danny Clay.

TUGS AT A SINGLE THING (2016) haegeum + viola

Live recording from the September 14, 2016

Noontime concert at UC Berkeley

Program Note: This work for haegeum and viola was written specifically for Soo-yeon Lyuh and Ellen Ruth Rose. The title was plucked from the common misquote of John Muir. "When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world."

Soo Yeon Lyuh, haegeum

Ellen Ruth Rose, viola

under the Presence (2016) bass clarinet quartet

Published by Forton Music

under the Presence, whatever there is else is moving (2016) 

The title of this work is a line from the poem “The Well Disciplined Bargeman” by William Carlos Williams (1883-1963)

Jeff Anderle

Kevin Tang 

Sophie Huet

Dan Ferreira


Five Matthew Zapruder Poems (2015) soprano + piano

Five Matthew Zapruder Poems (2015) soprano + piano

1 - When It's Sunny They Push a Button

2 - Poem for Japan 3:41

3 - Dobby's Sweatshirt 6:40

4 - Screaming Skull 9:00

5 - Before the Poem 11:53

Recorded at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, San Francisco December 15, 2015 by Jill Morgan Brenner, soprano + Anne Rainwater, piano Poetry used by permission from Matthew Zapruder's books including: Come On All You Ghosts:

Homer Collyer Blind (2015) bass clarinet + bassoon

Program Note: In E. L. Doctorow’s novel “Homer and Langley”, based on Manhattan’s notorious Fifth Avenue compulsively hoarding Collyer brothers, Doctorow first introduces his character Homer as he is losing his sight. Homer is keen to notice the gradual fade out. Individual details are lost, then whole images are distorted, and finally he is completely blind. In the darkness he can hear a sound made by an ice skater that was always present but never noticed: “a soft sound though full of intention, a deeper tone than you’d expect made by the skate blades, perhaps for having sounded the resonant basso under the ice, scoot scut, scoot scut.”

My deepest thanks to Lara Mitofsky Neuss and Justin Cummings for commissioning this three movement work.


Four Vachel Lindsay Poems (2015) soprano, flute + piano

Vachel Lindsay (1879-1931) was briefly famous in the 1910’s as a traveling singing poet who would chant or sing his own poetry while wandering through the United States. Yet later in life he faded into obscurity, often bartering his pamphlet “Rhymes to Be Traded for Bread” in exchange for food. Lindsay eventually commit suicide by ingesting Lysol. This setting of four poems was commissioned by Carrie Zhang and her Classical Trio Impromptu for their performances in the Bing Music Series at Stanford Hospital.

Three Elinor Wylie Poems (2014) two sopranos, guitar + bassoon

The Eagle and the Mole

Atavism 2:51

Village Mystery 6:02

Premiere performance at the Center for New Music, San Francisco September 5, 2014 by Amy Foote, Jarring Sounds (Danielle Sampson and Adam Cockerham), and Alexis Luque

Score published by Imagine Music


Four T.E. Hulme Poems (2014) sopranos + theorbo

I - Susan Ann and Immortality

II - As a Fowl 1:15

III - Conversion 3:12

IV - The Man in the Crow's Nest 5:02


Premiere performance at the Center for New Music, San Francisco September 5, 2014 by Jarring Sounds (Danielle Sampson (Reutter-Harrah) and Adam Cockerham)

Azulão (2014) soprano + lute

Performed by Jarring Sounds ( and written in conjunction with the Guerrilla Composers Guild (

Danielle Sampson (Reutter-Harrah), mezzo-soprano

Adam Cockerham, lute

There Will Come Soft Rains (2014)
feat. Amy Foote

Premiere performance at the Center for New Music, San Francisco September 5, 2014 by Amy Foote


Based on the poem by Sara Teasdale, “There Will Come Soft Rains” is a dialogue between soprano (Amy Foote) and prerecorded audio. The track to “There Will Come Soft Rains” is a mix of collaborative recordings between myself and Amy Foote. Piano, field recordings, and Miss Foote's voice are mixed to form a unique landscape representing Teasdale's poem.

Entrance (2014) oboe, clarinet + bassoon

“Entrance” was written as an opener for the Twin Cities Trio and their regular tours in elementary schools. Wishing for a short piece that could act as a bridge between contemporary and classical music, Handel’s “Entree” from the Aylesford Pieces comes in and out of focus. This work is now published with Imagine Music Publishing.

Plum Green (2012) bassoon + piano

"Plum Green" is the clashing and blending of two distinct colors. The piece was written in December 2010 as a commission from Benjamin Opp to be premiered at his 2011 Faculty Recital.


Benjamin Opp, bassoon Samantha Opp, piano

California State University - Stanislaus Turlock, CA

February 18, 2011 - World Premiere

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