I n s t r u m e n t a l W o r k s
for Flute, Clarinet (Bb), Violin, Cello, Piano
Performed by Helix! New Music Ensemble live at Le Poisson Rouge, April 2015
Conducted by Heejin Oh
The very first eight-measure theme that you will hear played on the piano has actually haunted me for a few years. Only recently have I finally had the opportunity to put it down on paper and develop it. The piece comprises two contrasting sections – the first is characterized by the ‘misterioso’ waltz theme, and the second section breaks open from its harmonic and time-steady shackles to a free flowing motion in and out of harmonies, ebbing and flowing through triplets and tuplets. After culminating to a climax, echoes of the misterioso theme gently appear, after which the first section is reimagined and resounded.
Sycamore (for Kiki) (2014)
Performed by the Rutgers Symphony Orchestra
Conducted by Maestro Kynan Johns
For my grandmother, Kiki.
Dances with Strings
for String Quartet
ii. Pizzed Dance (or Pizzicato)
ii. Take a Bow
I did not know it at the time, but writing this string quartet was a reaction, a catharsis, to my grandfather's sickness after he underwent a serious operation. Thankfully, after some very close calls, he made it out very well. Lanos, his name, was the music not only in my life but in my family's life, literally and figuratively, as he serenaded us at the piano with Greek songs from his youth and the latest love songs, while coloring many moments with his cute, well-intended inappropriate jokes, always trying to make an un-smilable stranger smile. (And always succeeding in his purpose!) I realized much later how therapeutic composing this piece was for me, in dealing with the stress of his mortality and with the reality of losing his music from our lives. He lived six wonderful years after that. I dedicate this piece to his memory, for without him, my life would have existed without song, and without the music that has filled my world with so much meaning and joy.
A short excerpt of Pizzicato
The Crystal Shop
for Percussion and Orchestra
Inspired by an image from the book The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho, when Santiago, the protagonist, gazes into a window of a crystal shop. He senses that this shop will play a vital role in fulfilling his unique destiny; it is a stepping stone to moving onto his bigger life-purpose. What I had in mind was actually more of my own imagination than was ever described in the book. I contemplated and expanded the instant when Santiago gazes through the glass at these crystals. In a split-second, he sees all the potential held within them. I envisaged all types of crystals: their rainbow colours and reflections, their playful conversations, and of course their tinkling and crashing sounds - everything these crystals could be; their hidden secrets. A single moment that contained the potential of forever.
I dedicate this piece to every individual. We are all crystal shops, with hidden colors, reflections, shapes and sounds within us - potential that is waiting to be awakened.
Piece X Piece
for Two Pianos
A rhapsody on black notes for two pianos.
A short excerpt performed by
Heloise Murdoch and Christo Jankowitz.
for Two Flutes, one doubling on Piccolo, Oboe, Clarinet (Bb) and Piano
A dedication to a musical and cultural hero in my life, Mikis Theodorakis.
A short excerpt performed live.
for Harmonica in C, Harmonica in G, Clarinet (Bb), Electric Guitar
Performed live by Angelique Mouyis (Harmonica in C), Samora Ntsebenza (Harmonica in G), Morne Van Heerden (Clarinet in Bb), Jonathan Crossley (Electric Guitar).
Sketches of Note
i. Voices worth ‘A’ note (for Four Voices and Oboe)
ii. Inter-A-ct (for Two Pianos (Four Performers and Marimba)
iii. Opa! (for Two Pianos)
Sam Sings Song
for Saxophone Quartet
dedicated to the Stockholm Saxophone Quartet