Cascade, Mov. II (2012) excerpt – for orchestra
Composed for the University of Louisville Orchestra, the name Cascade refers to the work’s treatment of melody and motive which play a crucial role in both movements. The word “Cascade” may evoke images of rushing water or even a waterfall. However, this work identifies itself with the shear relentlessness with which a cascade might press.
The second movement presents an opening motive. This motive attempts to become a truth in the form of a completed melody throughout the entire movement. It rhythmically lengthens and disguises itself as a linear passage in the form of a whole tone scale. However, its full realization is never achieved. Eventually a clear melody presents itself and, in great anticipation, is built up before its grand recapitulation. Laced with the interjections of the original motive, the melody that is not a melody arrives at its “tonic” with the crashing realization of its falsehood. It is merely the opening motive, inverted and embellished.
Rustle (2010) – for Horn, Viola, and Piano
Composed in the fall of 2010 for Nancy Waring and Timothy Eshing, Rustle means to evoke a mood of leaves rustling along a dark path. The viola and piano embody a dark nervousness, set against a defiant horn. The horn and viola are set against each other as the piano swells with blurred colors, together reaching a hurried climax. The B section stands in stark contrast to the beginning as the piano plays in its upper range with a light touch on both the Horn and Viola. An ending comes only with a complete change of scenery and a blank wash of sound as the nervous rhythms and dark chords are stripped, leaving only peace and resolution.
Potatoes (2010) – For Wind Quintet
Composed for the Brevard Summer Music Festival, this work is based on the classic folk tune, Whiskey In The Morning, and is an interpretation of the american compositional style championed by composers such as Aaron Copland. The name Potatoes refers to the traditional fiddle feature of a tune involving a double stop (5th) played with one eighth note and two sixteenth notes.
In Praise of Songs that Die (2009) – For Baritone and Piano
A chaotic, “through the looking glass” interpretation of Vachel Lindsay’s poem of the same name.
Ah, they are passing, passing by,
Wonderful songs, but born to die!
Cries from the infinite human seas,
Waves thrice-winged with harmonies.
Here I stand on a pier in the foam
Seeing the songs to the beach go home,
Dying in sand while the tide flows back,
As it flowed of old in its fated track.
Oh, hurrying tide that will not hear
Your own foam children dying near
Is there no refuge-house of song,
No home, no haven where songs belong?
Oh, precious hymns that come and go!
You perish, and I love you so!
by Vachel Lindsay
Ceasium-137 (2015) – For DIY controller instruments
A work composed for DIY-controller instruments and the group Elektrichka. In the year 1986, the reactor core meltdown at the Chernobyl nuclear plant released dangerous levels of radioactive material into the atmosphere. One of the most common radioactive isotopes in this toxic cloud was ceasium-137. This work pays tribute to that event in history.
dm05 (2014) – 4 channel tape
Whenever data is selected for deletion inside of a computer, it is not truly erased but rather flagged on the hard drive as free space which remains silently intact until the computer needs the space and overwrites the doomed bits of information. This overwriting process often fails to completely destroy the information but rather corrupts it, allowing for its retrieval albeit in a damaged state. “dm05” is made from the remains of music that had long since been deleted on my personal computer. “dm05” is the name of an abstract folder contained 131, 6 second audio clips generated by the retrieval software after most of the track’s information was scattered upon corruption.
Passing Scenes (2009) – 5.1 tape
Stepping (2013) – for Cello and Video
Video created in collaboration with Lexi Bass.
The performer should feel as if they were in the middle of something larger, engulfed in sound. We see a cello player seated before us, facing us. They are as much a part of the piece as the video and is presented as a sort of emotional “hand-holder”. Gestures, sounds, and expressions are never leading the piece forward but rather embellishing the video and recorded sounds. He is never separate from the video but represents its physical manifestation.
Two screens, one larger and one smaller, are used to display two separate videos with the Cello player seated in between the two. The tape portion requires stereo output and is attached the larger project video which means that the system playing the larger video will need to output to the speakers. The smaller video contains no sound although some elements of the tape are linked to it. The Cello is amplified.
Echo Etudes Mov. IV (2012) – for Piano and Live Electronics
The Echo Etudes for solo piano and live electronics require two performers, one pianist and another to run the electronic portion. The electronic setup requires stereo output facing the audience in a traditional manner with a single microphone input directed into the opened piano, set up in traditional performance fashion. The audio interface is to be connected to a computer able to run the latest version of the software “MaxMSP runtime” and maintain the capacity for mouse/keyboard input. If possible, the speakers should be set behind the piano so that the pianist can reasonably hear any sound coming through, otherwise a monitor should be provided.
Zombie, Mov. I (2015) – Last Man on Earth
Last Man on Earth is credited as being one of the first zombie movies ever made. This 1964 adaption of the Richard Matheson novel, I am Legend, introduced many of the themes associated with today’s more established genre despite never once uttering the word “zombie.” My work with the same title pays homage to the genre by playing with a few of its most identifiable themes including pseudo-science, the frailty of women, the inherent humanity within zombies, kill or be killed, and mindless death. The video and audio are both created from portions of the original film.
Zombie, Mov. II (2015) – The Walk
Walk is the second movement of a larger piece entitled Zombie which playfully uses aspects of the zombie genre as inspiration for an audio-visual work. In the style of Martin Arnold, a short video clip is looped and repeated in rapid succession with similar treatment of sounds based on atmospheric material. It is this rapid repetition of what is otherwise passive material that opens up a new appreciation for the mundane, forming the basis of the work.
Atomsphere (2015) – 4 channel reactive audio installation
A 4 channel reactive audio installation designed to be exhibited during the Desaturated event in Graz, Austria in April 2015. The development of the sound material was influenced by input from another installation present at the event (Voting Station). The sound was meant to abstractly reflect the participants choice of white or black voting cards.
Dinner Party (2015) – interactive video projection installation
An interactive video installation that incorporates live video from a ceiling mounted camera with processed video of 1950’s era dinner party scenes. The participant stands on one of the 9 squares which triggers a process reaction in the video. These processes include pixel distortion, bending, mixing of live and cut videos, and saturation level change.
Come & Go (2015) – video projection installation
In a collaboration with the media designer Anahi Meyer, this video/projection installation was exhibited at the 2015 Desaturated event in Graz, Austria. A video recording of the Desaturated event participants was made as they entered the space. In real-time, this video is horizontally flipped and the saturation reduced. Only through motion in the video are the hidden RGB channels revealed in a delayed, ghosting effect.
Courage to Voice (2012) – for the University of Louisville, School of Music building.
“We live in a democratic world where anyone can say anything, where wisdom and ignorance abound in the cacophony of humanity. Who is to say what is right or wrong? How can citizens of a modern society sift through that which is “valid” and that which is “pointless?” How does one formulate their own opinion or voice?” – Jonathan Carter
Inspired by the idea that voicing one’s opinion is crucial to a democratic society, Courage to Voice (2012) is an audio-visual installation that allows the spectator to be a contributor. Hundreds of pieces of paper lined a corridor of the University of Louisville School of Music that contained word clouds on topics ranging from socioeconomics to random Facebook posts, the environment to Ayn Rand quotations, morality to taxation, elected officials to political philosophy. This immediate visual stimulus evokes an emotional response from the passerby and as a result hopes to spark an initial interest. Speakers placed along the corridor aurally introduce many of the same ideas as are written on the pages. The amplitude, density, and frequency of these recorded statements increases in concurrence with the number of passersby. A “Your Opinion Station,” where participants at a microphone setup record their own thoughts and ideas which are then placed into the buffer of floating aural ideas which are then randomly played as people wander through the installation. It is important to note that none of the responses, outside of accidental recordings, are filtered. This aims to show us and unfiltered, authentic micro-view of society.