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Strip the Willow

Strip the Willow takes its form from a Scottish dance of the same name. The playful swapping of partners is represented by the eight soloists (four singers and four instrumentalists in this performance). The various chord progressions used throughout the piece are also taken from traditional Scottish music. The chord progressions, form, and general guidelines are provided to the performers, but the actual notes played are entirely improvised.

Soloists: Travis Ciortan, voice | Tanner Pfeiffer, voice | Noah Schwartz, voice Nathan Turczan, voice | Eris DeJarnett, flugelhorn and trumpet

Daniel Lemer, flute | Tate Shoebridge, oboe | Nev Wendell, trumpet

Band: Alberto Cruz, clarinet | Darren Dvoracek, tuba | Björn Gustaffson, horn Juhad Kuri, percussion | Wells Leng, piano | John Pisaro, trombone

Michael Salas, bass clarinet | Armando Wood, bass

The Divine Dark

The Divine Dark is a piece for wind ensemble (or any group of at least four musicians) commissioned by Matt Smoot. It takes its inspiration from the writings of Christian mysticism author Evelyn Underhill; she describes a five-step process of becoming a mystic, the last step of which is Union with the Other. This piece illustrates that step with a demonstration of the necessity of giving back to the community as a part of Union.

“When love has carried us above all things into the Divine Dark, there we are transformed by the Eternal Word Who is the image of the Father; and as the air is penetrated by the sun, thus we receive in peace the Incomprehensible Light, enfolding us, and penetrating us.” —Evelyn Underhill

Voicemails from Braxton

Voicemails from Braxton was originally a sound installation. I kept all the voicemails my best friend Braxton sent me from 2013–2018 and paired them with field recordings and ambient music as well as a cozy space decorated with twinkle lights, chairs, and a rug.

The Voicemails from Braxton EP contains excerpts from the sound installation, presented as discrete tracks. Nostalgia, warmth, sadness, and connection feature in these fragments.


A short clip from Certainty, a film by Candace Nelson I scored in 2017.

Other Compositions

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