Punk • Truck • Lo♥e (2010) 
for bass clarinet and electronics
written for Ben Mitchell

Punk-Truck-Love began through imagining how to start a clarinet piece. As I worked through various versions a ‘punk’ opening became the most interesting to me. There are basically three large sections to this work, and the title generally reflects those. In addition, the title also helps explain the sonic territory of the piece..

Dinosaur (2009
for piano and electronics


“Dinosaur” is my response to the drum and bass music of English composer Tom Jenkinson, aka. Squarepusher. Inspired by the way J.S. Bach borrowed from Buxtehude in some of his early works I began composing this first, as a variation on a theme. However, it quickly developed into a mostly original piano solo. The work consists of three main sections in a moderately fast, slow, fast arrangement.

Ebb (2005)
for 13 musicians and electronics


Imagine a dried up old porch swing creaking away in the middle of an overly green field of grass. Suspended somewhere beyond the clouds, the swing is a symbol of nostalgia and sentimentality. Moving erratically at times, and others not at all, this swing bends and pulls the world around it; a world that bows to the swing’s fading will.

Premiered by: Gina Sexton, flute – Celina Tamez, oboe – Reshanda Billy, clarniet – Lynn Moncilovich, bassoon – Nathan McCarter, horn – Brad Coker, tuba – Taylor Kami & Matt Ehlers, percussion – Davina Hong & Su-Yeon Park, violin – Colin Meinecke, viola – Jeff Hartick, cello – Michael Hartery, bass – Stephen Lucas, electronics – Hsiao-Lan Wang, conductor
8PM March 6, 2006 at The University of North Texas, Recital Hall


Awake (2010) 
for laptop ensemble


Awake is simple exploration of the opening lines of a character (the maiden lady) from American playwrite Thornton Wilder’s work Pullman Car Haiwatha.

“LOWER ONE (the maiden lady): I know I’ll be awake all night. I might just as well make up my mind to it now. I can’t imagine what got hold of that hot-water bag to leak on the train of all places. Well now, I’ll lie on my right side and breathe deeply and think of beautiful things, and perhaps I can doze off a bit.”

I have always been drawn to theater, and this special theatrical situation (nine laptops on a stage) presented me with a great opportunity to explore sound and theatre together in a different way. In addition to building on this text through computer processes, Awake also incorporates train-like sounds and singing in order to provide contrasting musical elements in the work. The work uses a software instrument that I designed using the interactive graphical programming environment Max/MSP, and each player was given a series of instructions that help guide the various stages of the work, and hopefully give way to a nice dramatic arc. Although the work takes it’s origins from the Wilder text, it may be understood broadly through the context of a journey through a sleepless night.


And the stallion put on my pants and began to sing. (2008) 
for stereo audio

The zipper was difficult to use, but he managed. His large hooves were clumsy. And amazingly, after they were securely around his waist, he opened his slender mouth and…well it was a strange and beautiful sound. As he galloped off the ocean roared, and I returned once again to my chair.

Premiere: Sound Box 08′, Rice University
8:00 p.m., Tuesday, April 22nd, 2008

Vague Speech (2003-04) 
for 8-channel tape


I’m very fond of talking while saying nothing. I think it’s very musical.

Premiere: CEMI: 40 Years on the Edge Concert IV, 5:00 p.m.
Tuesday, April 20th, 2004

Rituals (2002) 
for tape

Several summers, when I was a teen, my family traveled to Edisto Island off the beautiful coast of South Carolina. Each summer we rented a small beach house for a week, caught crabs, boogie boarded, and basically stepped out of our Midwestern lives and jumped into another. The thrill of banging around in the ocean quickly mesmerized me. In fact, I got so used to seeing the beach that when I entered college my mind began to wander there whenever it needed a break. Sometimes, I try and trick myself, imagining that somewhere beyond those trees or those buildings, the water is there, effortlessly breathing its frenetic energy. Or, maybe close my eyes and take a deep breath, remembering the dense salty air near the shore. Whether or not it is actually there never matters, because the ritual of remembering is always enough to take me where I need to go.

Premiere: SPECTRUM V, University of North Texas
8:00 p.m. Tuesday, March 25th, 2003

Tegami (2003) 
for tape