These are short notes about my compositions and arrangements. You can listen to some of the live recording excerpts on the side bar or here.
I wrote this piece for my BMI Manny Albam commission in 2007. The Japanese poet Hakushu Kitahara wrote, “A rose bush is where a rose blooms. I suppose there is nothing mysterious about it, however.” To me, this suggests a rose doesn’t try to be anything but itself. Roses are strong in their beauty as a result of nature’s purity. This piece is about my aspiration and longing to grow in that naturally pure, strong, and colorful way. The image of the introduction depicts plants raising their heads in the early morning, looking up the sun, preparing to grow and bloom. Ascending melody lines appear constantly in the theme to express pure and strong energy to become what you are.
This was the 2006 BMI Foundation Charlie Parker Award-winning piece. It was inspired by the modern art work, Henri Matisse’s “Dance 1.” I wanted to express a metaphor of contrast we have in every way in our lives, as movement and stillness, light and darkness, and happiness and emptiness, etc. The first part through the end of alto sax solo represents the optimistic side and the trombone solo over the repeated motive invokes a more pessimistic mood.
“Dark Paintings” 2009
This piece is a part of the suite is called “Homage to Rothko: Rapturous and Melancholy Colors” that I premiered in 2010 and was funded in part by the Composer Assistance Program of the American Music Center. This suite represents my personal experience with Rothko’s works and attempts to convey his broad range of colors and moods within them. “Dark Paintings” was inspired by Rothko’s works in his late period.
“Dragonfly’s Glasses”(とんぼのめがね) 2008
“Opened, Opened”(ひらいた、ひらいた) 2009
One of my recent interests is to interpret traditional Japanese children’s music through the prism of my ensemble. I re-compose these songs utilizing many of their simple motives for thematic development through the language of my harmonic and melodic concept. “Dragonfly’s Glasses” and “Opened,Opened” are two of my re-compositions of Japanese children’s songs, and they are part of the suite “Re-imaging My Childhood” which I wrote in 2009. This work was funded in part by the Composer Assistance Program of the American Music Center.
“Islands in the Stream” 2004
I wrote this piece when I read Hemingway’s “Islands in the Stream.” He is one of my favorite authors.
“Bumblebee Garden” 2011
It was a really hot August day in Minnesota. It was a very quiet afternoon. Possibly everyone was out at the beach or sleeping in their cool bedrooms to escape from the heat. I was sitting on the front porch with a big black cat sleeping next to me on the blazing stone ground. It was so quiet. The only sound I could hear was the faint buzzing of a few bumblebees fluttering among many pink coneflowers.