Caged (2016) for Full Orchestra (7')

As the title suggests, Caged is a work which is all about the feeling of restriction. The piece begins constrained to a small set of pitches which gradually swells as the clarinet duet pushes against piece’s narrow range, infecting the orchestra with growth and expansion.

Assidua (2012) for String Orchestra (7')

The word assidua translates roughly from Latin as constant or unremittingly. Appropriately, Assidua is a piece which exudes a constant, almost un-relenting energy. Barely ever changing from its initial pace, Assidua spirals out around a singular motif which is all of unsure, light-hearted, furious, and proud.

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Large Ensemble

Herald of an Emerald Sky (2016) for Wind Band (6')

I always look forward to the first Wednesday of the month in Denton, Texas; for three minutes starting at noon, the Denton Fire Department performs a test of the city’s tornado warning sirens. My apartment, in particular, happens to be in range of no less than five different sirens whose clashing frequencies create a shimmering texture which shifts constantly as the sirens rotate, bringing different pitches into prominence. The effect is so striking that the first time I heard it I knew that I had to find a way to write a piece around it.
In Herald of an Emerald Sky, the brass sirens enter against the backdrop of a storm of woodwinds and percussion which has built in density and intensity from a few isolated raindrops to a howling gale before being subsumed by the immersive sound of the shimmering sirens. Pitch material in the brass was gathered from the five tornado sirens surrounding my apartment, while pitches and rhythms in the rest of the ensemble were generated probabilistically using MAX/MSP.

Calliope (2014) for Wind Band (13')

Calliope is a narrative work based off a chapter from Ray Bradbury's classic novel, Something Wicked This Way Comes. A sense of foreboding hangs in the air as storm clouds gather silently in the distance. The stillness is shattered by the sound of a train rocketing out of the night, with the wail of a calliope announcing the arrival of a traveling circus. But this carnival is far more sinister than it appears in the daylight...

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Chamber Ensemble

Untitled Work (2017) for String Quartet (??')

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I Would but I Can't (2016) for Mixed Ensemble (7'-15')

I Would but I Can't is the result of a collaborative effort by the University of North Texas Composer's Forum. The piece comprises 14 measures--each the work of a different UNT composer--which are grouped together with some overlap to form five categories reflective of shared stylistic features. At the indication of the conductor performers pick measures from within these categories, each measure of which can be performed at any transposition, at any tempo, and for any number of repetitions.

Pour 7 Violoncelles (2016) for Cello Septet (4')

Pour 7 Violoncelles is written in consideration of Pierre Boulez’s piece for six cellos and cello soloist, Messagesquisse (1977) and 20th-century literary theorist Harold Bloom's book, The Anxiety of Influence. In his book, Harold Bloom describes six ways--or "revisional ratios"--through which the influence of a poet's precursors can be seen in his or her work. My intention was to compose a new work out of the Boulez through the intentional application of two of these ratios: clinamen--creative misprision or misunderstanding of a work, and apophrades, in which the precursor is implicated in the poet's own work with the possibility that this new work can be heard as a kind of ahistorical influence on the work of the precursor.
Pour 7 Violoncelles discards the S-A-C-H-E-R motive which underlies the structure of the Boulez, focusing instead on the elements which feature most prominently in my "misunderstanding" of the work, in turn providing a different perspective on Messagesquisse.

Points of Light (2015) for String Quartet (6')

The idea for Points of Light came from a rather inauspicious source. While walking back from class, I noticed that someone had spilled glitter on the sidewalk. Although they had tried to clean up the mess, it had left traces of glitter on the path which sprang to life in the Texas sun as I passed like individual points of light. From there, I began to look into the many descriptions and manifestations of light (dim, coruscating, warm, refracted, blinding, etc.), upon which I based the various points.
Stylistically, Points of Light is strongly influenced the sound world and techniques of the spectral (ironically, another way of describing light, meaning made by a range of colors of the spectrum) composers of the 70s and 80s, specifically Gérard Grisey and Tristan Murail.

Three Movements for Woodwind Quintet (2013) (13')

I.   Serpentine I
II.  Decay
III. Serpentine II

Three Movements for Wind Quintet is a piece written using an economy of materials. Each movement is comprised of one to three simple ideas which are built on and transformed to make up each movement.
The first movement, "Serpentine I", is built on a single ostinato, which is featured in the beginning by the bassoon. For each proceeding section, the ostinato is shifted and transposed to feature the next note in the ostinato. Because of the design of the ostinato, each transposition is characterized by its own collection of pitches, which are used as the focus for particular section. While this may not be directly noticeable by the listener, some sections are noticeably more minor sounding, while some sound more major. This difference results from some transpositions featuring the F-natural or the F-sharp in the ostinato. This contrast is then realized in the final section of the piece, which combines all of the motives together with a modified “major” version of the ostinato, and closes on the “minor” version.
The second movement, "Decay", is built entirely on one collection of pitches. The piece begins with a focus on how each of these pitches are sustained, and how they decay. The length of the decays and the quality of the resulting harmonies should leave the listener with a suspended sense of time. The movement then shifts to a vertical presentation of the pitches, still focusing on how each note decays, but also how they can function as both harmony and melody.
The finale, "Serpentine II", is based entirely on the three motives which are presented in the opening of the movement. Each motive is examined and transformed in turn, with returns of the initial section occurring throughout the piece. In addition to fitting with the overall focus of this quintet on an economy of materials, this movement also provides a quick, exciting end to the three movements.

Auréole de Hiver (2012) for Clarinet Choir (5')

Auréole de Hiver explores the homophonic nature of the clarinet choir, alternating between the consideration of the ensemble as a single instrument, and a more contrapuntal treatment of the ensemble. In addition, this piece showcases the unique sound produced by chromatic harmonies in such a homophonic ensemble, while at the same time juxtaposing these dense chords with more disjunct, lyrical passages and motivic ideas. The title, 'Auréole de Hiver', translates to 'Winter Halo', which refers to the ring which can be seen encircling the moon on particularly crisp and clear nights, reflecting the contemplative nature the piece, as well as the brilliance of the piece's close dissonances.

Once Upon a Nightmare (2011) for Saxophone Quartet SATB (6')

Once Upon a Nightmare is a narrative piece for saxophone quartet. This work depicts a young child’s dream as he slips from a whimsical dream into a terrifying nightmare. The dream begins with the child discovering his fantastical dreamscape, and features a simple, childlike melody. After a brief glimpse of something in the darkness, the child is distracted by the sight of a flock of fanciful dream birds, and flies after them. But the dream distorts, sending him plummeting to the ground. The dream slowly begins to twist, and the magical fowl transform into horrifying murderous birds, and send the child running through his own imagination. Eventually he is overtaken by the flock, and is jerked out of his nightmare. Scared and unsure, he runs to his parents, who gently comfort him back to sleep.
But the night isn’t over yet…

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Solo Works

Miniatures (2016-17) for Solo Harp (Various Lengths)

Beginning as a simple orchestration assignment, Miniatures is an ever-growing collection of short, stylistically disparate works for solo harp. These pieces were all written in collaboration with the phenomenal harpist Danielle Cordray, whose collaboration and insight into the technical capabilities of the harp proved invaluable.

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Shine/luster (2016-17) Live-generated MAX/MSP (10')

Although I’ve traditionally kept my math and music backgrounds separate from each other, I’ve gradually become increasingly interested in generative music and algorithmic composition. When it came time to work on my first electronic piece, I decided that it would be the perfect opportunity to pursue these interests in my own work. The resultant piece, Shine/luster, is generated through the use of a number of constantly-changing probabilities which control the frequency, duration, intensity, and spatial orientation of dozens of individual sinusoidal oscillators. These probabilities trace pre-determined trajectories across the piece’s duration, moving from one fixed structural point to the next and creating a listening experience which is always different but at the same time always the same.

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Choral and Vocal

Death by Water (2015-16) for SATB Choir A Cappella (6')

Death by Water is the fourth of five movements in T.S. Eliot's long-form poem, The Waste Land. Standing in stark contrast to the lengthy sections surrounding it, Death by Water is only ten lines long and tells the allegorical tale of Phlebas, the Drowned Phoenician Sailor (a reference to the first movement, The Burial of the Dead), urging the reader to recall their own mortality, and to consider the long-dead Phoebas, who was "once handsome and tall as you."

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