Updated: May 28, 2019
1. Our World - (2018)
This has been my project for the past 2 years. Until now, I never felt "done" with the music. I think I feel that way because of the importance of the material. I'm writing this piece as an "homage" to David Maslanka.
In 2016, I had the idea to write a piece that went along with his "Hymn for World Peace". The program note blew me away with how simple but powerful it is.
Here is that Program Note:
"Music making opens hearts and creates peace in individuals and communities.This is a powerful step as musicians that we can take."-David Maslanka: Hymn for World Peace - (used with permission from David)
I emailed him and said that I wanted to use his words in my program notes. He was very pleased that I found such power within his words and gave me the go-ahead to use the quote.
I am ready to let this piece be what it is. I have been polishing it for a while now and I look forward to a premiere in the near future.
The Program Note:
In December of 2015, a shooting took place in San Bernardino, CA that claimed the lives of 14 people and injured 22 others. Within recent years, this kind of thing has become somewhat “normal” in America. In June 2016, there was a shooting at a night club in Florida that left 49 people dead and 53 injured. In October of 2017, there was a shooting in Las Vegas that left 59 people dead and 851 injured. In February of 2018, a shooting took place at a high school in Parkland, Florida leaving 17 dead and 17 injured.
Over the last four years, I have found comfort and hope in the music of David Maslanka. A portion of this piece is an homage to the Bach chorales of which David was very fond of. I use the melody and harmonization of the Bach Chorale, “Come Sweet death” from Bach’s 69 Sacred Songs. I also used this same chorale in my recent piece, “Missoula” for Saxophone Quartet.
This piece is expression in its purest form. It is an emotional plea for peace - Peace that knows no limits. There were many times over the three years of composing this piece where I gave up. I felt that nothing I could do or write could ever bring peace to this world. But there is a quote from David Maslanka’s “Hymn for World Peace” that, on several occasions, gave me hope and determination to finish this music.
“Music making opens hearts and creates peace in individuals and communities. This is a powerful step as musicians that we can take.”
-David Maslanka, Hymn for World Peace – (used with permission from David)
This quote sums up this whole piece in a very simple but meaningful way. We as Musicians have the power to spark peace in this world. And, it is my job to further this effort. I hope this music does justice for an important message.
I respectfully dedicate this music to the victims of these horrific shootings and to their families. I would also like to dedicate this music to Aaron Feis, a coach from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School who died shielding students from gunfire in the February 2018 shooting.
Here is a link to the page on this website for Our World.
2. Mellifluous - (2015)
My first "official" Wind Ensemble piece is titled "Mellifluous". I wrote this piece in Fall 2014 when I was a senior in High School. It was then played in April 2015 by the Rancho Buena Vista High School in Vista, CA and was conducted by Eric Weirather. (My high school and my high school band director)
The Program Note:
Mellifluous, defined as sweetly sounding and pleasant to the ear, was composed in the fall of 2014. This piece was inspired by the very personal and universal emotion of love for somebody who is very special to me. I hope you all can feel some of this inspiration as you listen.
This piece was huge for me as a student composer and the sense of pride and accomplishment that I felt from the premiere is what keeps my composing today.
I want to share some of the things that David Maslanka said about the music when I sent him a recording.
David: "Thanks for sending your piece. It was a great pleasure for me to hear it, and to know that you have made such important progress, not only in composing, but in working with real players and conductor. You have written a real piece that is worth the time that Mr. Weirather and the band gave it, and you have gotten to see that your work can be taken seriously by others."
David is a very important person to me and has been integral to my growth as a composer.
Here is a link to the page on this website for Mellifluous.
3. Iridescent - (2015)
This piece could not be any more different from my first piece. I feel like this one is much darker. When I had my first piece played, I had a sharp decline in happiness and "Productivity". Many things were happening and changing in my life. The end of a long-term relationship. I was accepted into the CSULB music program but, I was not able to attend the school because my high school GPA was not good enough. So, that was a huge blow to my confidence. Transitioning from high school to College was also a very difficult time for me. All in all, It was not a fun time in my life. The piece's idea was based on a song from Linkin Park also called "Iridescent".
The Program Note:
Iridescent. It's one big devastatingly hopeful piece of music. There are moments of pure joy and moments of hopeless desolation. It is a search for revelation and transcendence especially during a difficult time in one's life.
Words from David Maslanka about the piece:
David: "You received a very good performance and there is a lot of good stuff in your piece. Hearing your pieces in rehearsal and performance is giving you a very solid beginning grasp of orchestration. You have a good imagination for instrumental sound, and a clear sense of how to use both small combinations and the full ensemble. This is excellent work."
Here is a link to the page on this website for Iridescent.
Thank you for making my music a part of your day!