BREATHE, BREATHE! for soprano, string trio, and percussion      

PROGRAM NOTE
For some time I have wanted to set Breathe, Breathe! a poem written several years ago by my brother as he began his career in the military.  To me it speaks of a desire for normalcy in times of great trial and hardship.  No matter the endeavor, what is cherished and remembered in the end are the relationships formed both near and far.  Breathe, Breathe! in its development strives to frame these words of support, honor, and camaraderie in a journey of love, loss, and enlightenment.

DURATION
7 minutes

PREMIERED BY
Justine Aronson, soprano, Brightwork New Music, Boston Court Performing Arts Center, Pasadena, CA.

Breathe, Breathe!
They cried.
To men who held roses
To men who lost tears
To men who sang dirges
                To men, just men.
                 Breathe.

DUALISMS for violin and violoncello      

PROGRAM NOTE
Dualisms for violin and violoncello in its development reflects the dramatic interplay that occurs when two opposing or harmonious lines are juxtaposed with one another.  Dualisms arise in all facets of life and throughout the centuries have occupied the minds of thinkers both great and small.  While there are no definite answers, what can be observed from these eternal discourses, is the fervent passion for truth in living.

DURATION
14 minutes

PREMIERED BY
Robert Uchida, violin, and Alon Bisk, violoncello, New York, New York.
 

“but expressed in language completely its own— was the “Dualisms for Violin and Cello” by Frantzen. In three movements, violin and cello wind around each other in wrenching canonical figures. The central movement— a ghostly, pizzicato scherzo— was especially impressive – its music tough, challenging in a way that the work of Wallingford Riegger and the early Morton Feldman could be. But it was also deeply satisfying with the composer’s sureness of touch evident throughout.”
— Ted Ayala - Crescent Valley Weely

EBB and FLOW for solo guitar      

PROGRAM NOTE
Ebb and Flow was commissioned and premiered by the Australian guitarist, Rupert Boyd.  Rupert is a passionate Beatles fan and has recorded arrangements of their songs for solo guitar.  With this in mind I began listening to not only the Beatles catalog but also to one of my favorites genres of popular music, alternative/progressive rock.  Both of these music streams and their respective essence are reflected in the two movements: Ebb, by the folk ballad styling of the Beatles and Flow, by the angular guitar riffs and power chords of alternative rock.

DURATION
11 minutes

PREMIERED BY
Rupert Boyd, guitar, Davenport, Iowa.

Ebb and Flow is dedicated to Rupert Boyd.

FLASH for string quartet

1. Flash
2. Blue
3. Skronk

DURATION
12 minutes

PREMIERED BY
Skronk premiered by the Argus Quartet, New Horizons Concert Series, Chapman University.

The piece opens with a lively pizzicato that delivers a sense of rapid movement and continuous activity. The uptempo feel and groove is distinctly urban, and solos by the violins add to the sense of motion and purpose. The infectious rhythms and complex texture compliment the driving beat and the playing here by the Argus Quartet was invigorating, yet precise. Skronk nicely captures the intensity and excitement of a casual stroll through a colorful New York neighborhood.
— Paul Muller, Sequenza 21

FROM MAIN STREET for chamber octet      

PROGRAM NOTE
In small towns across the United States, even to this day, Main Street is often the cultural focal point of a community.  “Going to town” often meant heading to Main Street to check out the latest happenings, be it shopping, seeing a movie, or sitting on the curb to watch the county fair parade.  From Main Street in its development celebrates the bustling Main Streets of yesterday and of today, the heart of small town U.S.A.   

INSTRUMENTATION
Flute, Oboe, Clarinet, Horn, Violin, Viola, Violoncello, Piano

DURATION
4 minutes

COMMISSIONED BY
Subito Grant from the American Composers Forum.  Premiered by the University of Maryland Chamber Players, Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery, Washington, DC.

IN CONCERT for solo guitar        

PREMIERED BY
Rupert Boyd, guitar, Florence, Italy 7/27/2006

CONCERTO FOR TROMBONE and orchestra
piano reduction       

PROGRAM NOTE
Concerto for Trombone and Orchestra was written with the aim of featuring the lyric and dramatic qualities of the trombone.  In its development, the soloist weaves through a variety of reflected emotional states revealing a journey filled with both darkness and light.  It is a journey sustained by faith and the hope that each day presents an opportunity for a new beginning.

DURATION
24 minutes

PREMIERED BY
Matthew Wright, trombone, Amir Khosrowpour, piano, New York, New York.

WHERE RIVERS BEND for chamber octet       

PROGRAM NOTE
The inspiration for the title Where River Bend came from my many walks over the years along the Maquoketa River. During these walks I would reflect upon past memories mixed with present musings while at the same time keeping an eye out for a good fishing hole.  The winding bends and channels of the ever flowing river reminds one of the winding bends and channels in the ever flowing time of life. As we flow through our lives we can never be too sure what is around the bend, but it’s the journey that counts, and if fortunate a journey sustained by the ever flowing support of family and community.  

INSTRUMENTATION
Flute, Clarinet, Bassoon, Horn, Violin, Viola, Violoncello, Piano

DURATION
15 minutes

COMMISSIONED BY
The Oakwood Chamber Players, Madison, Wisconsin.

AWAKENING for flute choir and percussion       

PROGRAM NOTE
Awakening for flute choir and percussion is an exciting work commissioned and premiered by the South Shore Conservatory Flute Symphony in Massachusetts. Full of rhythmic vitality and color, it explores a wide range of flute techniques while at the same time remaining accessible to performers and audience alike. Awakening in its development, loosely reflects the process of encountering and assimilating a new idea, exploring it from a doubtful beginning shrouded in a haze of mystery to a joyful assimilation into one's life.  

DURATION
5 minutes

COMMISSIONED BY
The South Shore Conservatory Flute Symphony, Hingham, Massachusetts.