Below you can find my creative portfolio, including links to scores, recordings, and program notes.
Project 1: dredge ii
alto saxophone, electric guitar, percussion, piano
Written for CubeLab 2023; performed by Hypercube.
Suggested Excerpt: 2’30” – 6’00” (score pp. 4 – 8).
“The [Mississippi] river is always switching direction as it seeks the path of least resistance, and the ocean is always fighting it, eating away at the sedimentary land… This watery maze is called ‘the bayou,’ and the individual streams in the maze are also called ‘bayous,’ as though each small waterway contained the complexity of the swampy whole. ”
—Jake Bittle, The Great Displacement
For the last four years I’ve lived two miles from the Mississippi River as it meanders around New Orleans. Nowhere in my life have I been more aware of the local climate, how the environment around me behaves and how it responds to humans. The Mississippi has always navigated its own way through the lower delta and into the Gulf of Mexico, leaving a meandering wake through the swamp. This structured meandering fascinates me, a singular entity pulling water from the entire country splitting and churning through its last inexorable motion. It’s a model that resonates with my sense of sonic material, a mass of content moving through itself and responding to its boundaries, dredging up a path in the process. In dredge ii the performers navigate fragile material through such a journey. The score encourages new movement and uncovers novel sonic behavior, letting the performers dwell with their sounds and the complex environment in which they find themselves, each sound simultaneously independent and part of the swampy whole.
Project 2: lullaby, for
natural water source, hydrophone, small speaker, collected trash, field recording
Suggested excerpts: 2’20” – 2’45”; 4’10” – 4’55”; 7’10” – 9’30” (total duration 3’30”)
The excerpts were selected to showcase the progression of a performance: feedback with just water, addition of items, and subsequent feedback system. The full unbroken performance maintains a more meditative quality.
lullaby, for is an experimental improvisation environment. The work deploys a hydrophone in a jug of water, a Bluetooth speaker, a field recording, and collected litter to create an evolving feedback system. The performer must move the Bluetooth speaker (playing the field recording) around the jug to generate and explore different feedback tones; the trash when placed in the jar interferes with the wave patterns, generating new tones in the field recording playback. The piece not only combines performance instructions, electronic systems, and field recordings, but posits an indirect relationship between feedback as “noise,” as a sonic pollutant, and the damaging effects of human waste on natural ecosystems. Every performance of this piece is a new opportunity to listen patiently to the system, and respond to what it shares.
This performance was presented for the OPEN Improv: ONLINE Facebook series during the COVID 19 pandemic.
PROJECT 3: FREE IMPROVISATION with Justin Peake
As an improviser I’m interested in texture and the microsonic behaviors of subtle sounds. I explore this through extended vocal technique practice, which I augment with a max/MSP patch (see linked document for a technical patch overview). My performances center gestural interaction and processing “feedback” that encourages the exploration of new spaces with both my voice and electronics.
Much of my compositional inspiration derives from these improvisation: I can feel very distinctly the shift between a stable vocal fry and multiphonic, between harsh vocal distortion and resonating tone, and those moments of slippage are where I find the most interesting sonic materials. As discussed in my personal statement, I try to mirror these material breaks in formal development in my improvising. This is especially exciting when performing with others, as my or another’s singular gesture can drastically reshape the trajectory of a performance. My composing has been greatly enriched by maintaining this practice and attending to its lessons outside of improvisation.
I’ve performed with wonderful collaborators, especially in New Orleans; this particular recording excerpt is with percussionist, composer, and programmer Justin Peake. You can find further improvisation examples using this setup in my Supplemental Material.
Project 4: Zaira and Irene
3(III dbl. picc).3.3(III=B.Cl.).3(III=C.Bsn.). 184.108.40.206. 3perc.hp.pno. str.
Written for the 2018 Huang Commission with the University of Louisville Orchestra; performed by the UofL Orchestra. The recording is representative but misses certain details in the score.
Suggested Excerpt: 3’20” – 7’20” (pp. 6 – 13; ~mm. 52 – 114)
Zaira and Irene takes its name from Italo Calvino’s Invisible Cities, in which Calvino imagines fictitious exchanges between Marco Polo and Kublai Khan about the fantastic cities Polo has encountered in his travels. What would an iterative, self–reliant space like Zaira sound like? How would the distance and intangibility of Irene affect sonic ideas? What if, as Calvino suggests, Zaira and Irene were one and the same—could I imagine the plain over which travelers view this one city? I let Calvino’s vivid descriptors of distance, time, and relationship guide my material, so that the piece cycles through different combinations of a core set of noises, textures, and spatial relationships.
Please find additional creative work below should the committee require further review.
fixed media track and free improvisers
thin places uses both an aural and graphic score to create an improvisation environment for performers. The aural score comprises processed field recordings and synthesizers. The resulting video was generated with max/MSP, and responds to the performers’ tracks.
at least 3 percussionists
Commissioned and premiered by Adam Groh and the Western Carolina University percussion studio.
This piece was inspired by the foundational work of Bernie Krause in acoustic ecology and role sound plays in the natural world. I used this research as a model for sonic interactivity. anthrophony thus asks performers to bring themselves into this sonically interactive space by improvising the piece and their percussion setups.
glances full of muted colors
Written for the 2020 Louisiana Music Teachers Association commission; performed by Will Yager.
This piece leverages Yager’s facility in both contemporary classical and improvised music with specific, interfering performance techniques.
Bayou La Terre + Gliogarnach
Bayou La Terre was a weekend-long collaborative workshop in the spring of 2021 led by studio artist Cat Gambel and me. Participants formed and fired clay rattles, then performed a text piece I devised for the weekend, gliogarnach. Throughout, we discussed identity in art making, the body in relationship to material, and land.
Additional free improvised performances with Justin Peake (drums) and Byron Asher (saxophone + electronics).
In the duo set with Byron Asher (saxophone and electronics) I am panned center-right—throughout, you hear my voice interacting with autotune, vocoders, repitched/frozen loops, and field recordings. Byron is playing a no-input mixer and synthesizer for the first two-thirds of the set, then switches to saxophone for the remainder.