In the forest, 400 owls discover a giant badger; it's raining
Bb clarinet, piano (2003)
The phrase “400 owls attempting to outwit a giant badger in the rain” first appeared in a story in which I described what it sounded like to shuffle a deck of cards for a game called whiskers six-draw in a saloon in Klegmore, New Mexico at ten past three in the afternoon. (The whole text is here.) This is its musical equivalent.
violin and cello (2004)
Written for Anika James, a member of the Vermont Youth Orchestra violin department. Later played by members of the Taitung University faculty. At least, I think so. The performance program is in Mandarin, and my familiarity with the language does not extend further than “moo goo gai pan.”
2 pianos (2004)
This borderline perpetual motion piece is in in A-B-C-A form. The A section is primarily in 4/4 and 3/4, the B section is in 5/4 and 3/4, and the C section is in 13/8 time – however, the two pianists who premiered it in Ghent, Belgium were often at sixes and sevens. Ergo this is a midi performance.
Les moineaux géants picotants
flute, Bb clarinet (2000)
Written for members of Synergy, a Montpelier, Vt.-based trio, though this performance of “the giant pecking sparrows” is by Laurel Ann Maurer and Russell Harlow in Utah, 2011.
flute, piano (2004, revised 2012)
With a tempo marking of Trending Sultrily, Forbidden Flute begins life as a slowly descending four-note phrase played by the flute. Other musical events follow, until driving rhythms in the piano turn the initial phrase into a technically challenging tour de force that is not for the faint of lung.
Out Of Cahoots
2 pianos (1996)
This performance is of a multi-tracked single pianist. The duo-piano premiere would have been terrific had not one of the pianists’ page turners turned two pages at once at precisely the moment that the other pianist – who was playing from memory because he had left his reading glasses backstage – suffered a momentary but critical loss of memory.
Bb clarinet, violin (1995)
Written for the “Somewhere East of Topeka” CD recording. Another almost but not quite perpetual motion piece.
Somewhere East of Topeka
Bb clarinet, calliope (synthesizer) (1994)
The title refers to: (a) the place where a muffler once fell off of my car; (b) a CD of my music performed by the Vermont Contemporary Music Ensemble; and (c) a miniature exploration of unhurried klezmer music.