4th place winner in Harrelson Trumpets 2006 Composition Contest.
Prey for The Wise (6:22)
I wrote this piece to enter in the Harrelson Trumpets 2006 composition contest. The requirements were simple: write an original composition for solo trumpet or trumpet and piano. I opted for the latter.
My inspiration for the piece was the owl (The Wise) -- primarily the common barn owl and the burrowing owl (grew up with those little guys in south Florida). The following are the notes I included with my score:
This solo is intended to be very episodic, with three larger sections representing different periods in the day of the owl, and each of these sections consisting of several smaller sections with themes and melodies loosely tied together. The three large sections to the piece are Dawn, Day and Dusk.
Since the owl is nocturnal the intense and powerful trumpet lines along with the frenzied piano in the Dusk and Dawn sections are meant to depict this. The Day section is, of course, the longest. It is more serene and lyrical, portraying the restful, peaceful owl perched over its nest or burrow, calmly observing its surroundings and taking care of its young.
The piano accompaniment serves as a frantic backdrop, essentially the “prey”, while the trumpet is “the wise” itself. The difference in the dotted rhythms juxtaposed to the triplets (quarter and eighth) is critical and must be emphasized and a clear distinction made by the performers. This is to represent the sometimes awkwardness of the owl. While they can be a graceful bird of prey in flight, during capture, particularly while struggling on the ground, their wing flutter can be very uneven and erratic.
When interpreting and performing the piece the musicians are encouraged to take liberties where they feel appropriate. One example is in the 16th note triplets in the piano beginning in measure 7. These could also be changed to two grace notes leading to the third note of the arpeggio as an eighth note, essentially as a broken chord. It does not necessarily need to be played as straight triplets. The rhythm does, however, need to be consistent throughout. Another instance is with the grace notes, as they are preferred on the beat, rather than preceding the beat, but the performers may interpret them as they wish. Articulations are also open to interpretation provided there is artistic reasoning and not simply facilitation to performance.
The award was a from Harrelson Trumpets was a custom trim kit for my horn, valued @ $350 at the time.
MIDITRAX Mighty MIDI Contest Winner December 2000 A Child's Dream (5:54 - 44k)
I wrote this piece one week in the spring of '98. It features the piano and "music box", accompanied by a full orchestra. This is, without a doubt, my most popular composition and gets the most downloads and comments.
As I have updated sound cards, soundfonts and other sound devices I have found that typically a rhodes piano is the most consistent, fitting sound for the music box. I'm just doing quick updates today, but hopefully I will eventually update the midi file to adjust to this.
MIDITRAX Mighty MIDI Contest Winner February 2001 Roswell (3:52 - 16k)
Probably my second most popular piece, this was my first attempt at a new age, easy listening, cheesy soft sounding piece. It was written for a friend who was having an operation. I wanted to cheer her up. I think I did okay.
Of all of my music this is easily my favorite and the one of which I am the most proud. It is a re-write of a pieceI wrote in 1996 following the Atlanta Olympics. It's based on the life of Ukranian gymnast Lilia Podkopayeva. Well, it's based on the limited amount of information I could find out about her during and after the games.
The original version of this piece is posted further down the page. It was set for a mixed variety of instruments. This one is arranged for a full concert band. I used portions of the original and expanded on some of the ideas. Other parts were complete removed.
The original piece started out as one piece with four distinctsections. Before it was done I broke it apart and added more. By the time it was done I had 7 separate movements. The last movement I later broke off as its own stand alone piece. This new version is in 4 movements as follows:
Distress [mvmt. 1] (8:45 - 120k)
This first (1 of 4) movement describes Lilia's early years growing up in Ukraine while part of the USSR. Do a search at google if you want to learn more.
Discovery [mvmt. 2] (5:15 - 49k)
The second movement is about Lilia learning about gymnastics from a poster at a train station. It follows with her traveling to Kiev by train and having immediate success, winning her first competition. The majority of this movement has a light, playful feeling. I also tried to convey the early victories and the struggle of traveling back and forth from her home in Donetsk to Kiev for training.
Mourning [mvmt. 3] (5:19 - 25k)
The third movement is about the passing of Lilia's beloved grandmother just before the '96 Atlanta Olympics. Lilia was in the US and unable to attend her grandmother's funeral. It was Lilia's grandmother who got her into gymnastics and encouraged her. The heavy introduction is to represent the just how hard this news was on Lilia. Soon it sets in, however, and becomes pure sadness. It ends with a familiar theme from the first movement, which is to represent her futile wish to be home for the funeral.
Triumph [mvmt. 4] (4:45 - 92k)
The final movement is about Lilia's trip to Atlanta, parade through the opening Olympic ceremonies and gold medal winning performance. The last drive incorporates all of the main themes overlapping one another, moving together in a celebratory, victorious finish.
I wrote this song over the course of 2 days, February 13th and 14th. It's unlike anything I've written before. Dark sound with piano, violin and cello accompanying the solo voice. Read the lyrics. I've debated for quite a while about whether or not to upload an mp3 I have of myself singing this. Hmm . . . don't count on it happening anytime soon.
Shine On My Path (4:14 - 5k)
Piano solo - It has nothing to do with God or any religion for that matter. It was when I wrote this piece that I knew I wanted to write music for the rest of my life. The very next week I changed my major from education to composition. That's not to say that this is some kind of composing masterpiece, but I really enjoyed it.
Hilton's Theme (3:28 - 10k)
No, I didn't steal someone elses music and write it off as my own. Hilton was my composition professor at the University of South Florida. I wrote this theme while studying with him. For the assignment I had to write a short piece, but I had to do it all sitting at the piano, and I wasn't allowed to write down a single note. I had to be able to play it myself (my piano skills suck) and I had to remember every note, dynamic, and little nuance. He felt that I was writing music that was just too complicated at the time, and this was his solution. I took the main theme from that assignment and turned it into this.
This Is Me (5:05 - 19k)
I wrote this rather hastily, and some spots of it show. I'm sure one day I'll clean it up, but not now. As far as this piece goes, it's pretty simple. It's a little New Age-y, though, so deal with it.
Missing (2:55 - 7k)
piano solo - I wrote this one lonely night while thinking of someone.
Thoughts of Being a Father (3:48 - 7k)
Some of you might remember this one from The Junkyard of this site. And I don't like spilling my personal issues over the site as much as I used to, so that's all you get.
Within - Movement 1 (2:52 - 5k)
Movement 2 (2:35 - 6k)
Movement 3 (2:53 - 6k)
woodwind ensemble - This multimovement piece took me about 3 years to complete. I wrote the first and third movement in less than a week, and struggled through the second movement up until December, 2000, when it suddenly came to me one night. The truth is that I still don't like the middle movement as much as the other two, but at this point I figure it's best to leave it alone. The theme is "beautiful dissonance". It's within us all.
Joshua (Yodi) (3:01 - 12k)
I wrote this one day during my son's nap as sort of a lullaby. He used to love and would go to the computer and ask us to play "yodi". I have no idea why he called it that
I threw this oriental spoof together one morning after breakfast. It's moderately funny and extremely annoying. Enjoy!
for piano-four hands
(4:51 - 26k)
This was an assignment in my first semester of music composition. I originally wrote it for piano-4 hands, then orchestrated it for a brass ensemble as another assignment. The brass ensemble arrangement doesn't really work that well. It's another one of those things I'd like to fix one of these days. I just don't know when "one of these days" will actually be.
(2:23 - 10k)
piano solo - This one is about probably my favorite friends who I hardly even talk to or hear from anymore. I wrote it a few years ago when we went out . . . for a day. She probably doesn't even remember it.
(2:38 - 15k)
Originally written for a video game, the first movement was rejected by the game designers. They wanted something "darker". I had already been working with this team for a couple months, and in that time I deduced that they were all idiots and knew nothing about music, so I translated their idea of "darker" and came up with the second movement, which they loved. Both movements are mostly atonal. It's been a while since I've looked at either one, but I believe the only exception is a short portion of the first movement, which contains some whole tone scales.E3
(3:06 - 9k)
This piece was inspired by the letter E. Damn thing just popped right out of my head.She Is
(1:47 - 6k)
clarinet solo - I liked a girl. I wrote a song.
Damn Dam (1:05 - 30k)
I wrote this for the 2004 TMC Young Film Composers Contest. It accompanied a silent film. I don't think I even have that clip around here anymore.
The More I Know
(4:43 - 9k) lyrics
Piano and voice - These lyrics were partially taken from a poem I wrote to a friend. The meaning has changed. I just stole some lines. I'm not particularly fond of the chorus melody, so maybe someday I'll re-write it. For now it stays.Yo Naci Un Dia
"The Day I was Born" (3:33 - 3k) lyrics
For soprano voice and alto saxophone - This was my second assignment in my first and only semester at North Texas as a music composition major. The text is taken from a 20th century Spanish poem. I may post the translation to the lyrics up here someday . . . when I feel like it. The basic translation of the first line of the original poem is "The day I was born, God was sick." It's an "artsy" piece and helped me get an A for the semster.
Accident Prone(4:04 - 8k)
For trumpet and piano - Yes, this is yet another trumpet solo. It was my first comp assignment at UNT and is a little complicated. Like Yo Naci Un Dia, it might be considered "artsy". The motive orignally stemmed from the idea of "incomplete measures" with 7/16 bars trying to sound like 2/4 with a fraction of the beat missing. This missing piece floats around from measure to measure throughout the piece. However, this can easily be overlooked by the turgid ostinato bass line in the piano that provides the dark background feel I was looking for. The solo trumpet cadenza is merely a guidline for the soloist. If performed I would expect them to write their own personal cadenza, or improvise one. I spent more than 2 months working on this piece, rewriting passages several times, moving parts all around the score just trying to get it all to fit together. I'm actually somewhat happy with the outcome, considering this was an assignment I never wanted to do.
Dance of Tears (3:53 - 10k)
At the time I thought this piece was a great idea, and it got a terrific response from my peers. In retrospect, however, it's quite silly. This is my mus