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moon east: the halloween blizzard

The Halloween Blizzard for stringsbuy now
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moon east: klang

Klang for viola & chamber ensemble       Buy Now
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I. After a wild introduction, the movement erupts into a rush of activity, with the emphasis on the frenetic solos of the viola. After a brief reminder of the opening, the movement ends with a frenzied toccata.

II. Adagio features long, flowing lines, and gentle counterpoint. There is rarely any sense of accompaniment from any of the instruments, with the viola functioning as a “1st among equals.” The movement is a very loose rondo, but the form is quite free, even meandering.

III. Teaching Piece introduces a very different kind of procedure from the rest of the work. In this movement, the viola introduces a motive or idea and “teaches” it to the next instrument, who picks it up and fashions the idea to make it their own. As the soloist introduces more and more ideas, they are gradually subsumed into the texture. Only occasionally does the soloist emerge to guide the ensemble to the next idea. After briefly losing the initiative in a violent shift of texture, the soloist reemerges as the teacher.

IV. The fourth movement is attacca from Teaching Piece. This somewhat ironically titled movement, Aria semplice, crashes between a simple, folksy motive and a series of highly charged dramatic gestures. The bulk of the movement consists of an immense cadenza. Even when the ensemble is playing, the viola is usually in a completely different sonic world. The movement ends as it began, with a long clarinet tone.

Klang is the German word for “sound.”

moon east: ephemera

Ephemera for viola, cello, and chamber orchestra       buy now
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i. allegro focoso
ii. lento assai
iii. adagio non falsa

instrumentation
flute
oboe
clarinet
horns 1-2

percussion
bass drum, suspended cymbal, tam tam, vibraphone

harps 1-2

solo viola
solo cello

violins 1-3
viola
cello
contrabass

moon east: sunshine

Sunshine for 2 sopranos & strings       buy now
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moon east: the path

The Path for soloists, choir, and orchestralearn more
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moon east: dervish

Dervish winds in 3s       buy now
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moon east: lachryme

Lachryme for strings       buy now
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moon east: janus mask

Janus Mask winds in 3s       buy now
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moon east: river of blood

River of Blood winds in 3s       buy now
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River of Blood is based on a 1980 massacre of Salvadoran peasants at the Rio Sumpul by

US-supported right-wing military forces.

In February 1980, the Archbishop of El Salvador, Oscar Romero, sent

a letter to President Carter in which he begged him not to send military

aid to the junta that ran [El Salvador]. He said such aid would be used

to "sharpen injustice and repression against the people's organizations"

which were struggling "for respect for their most basic human rights"

… A few weeks later, Archbishop Romero was assassinated while saying mass…

On March 7, 1980, two weeks before the assassination, a state of siege had been instituted in El Salvador, and the war against the population began in force (with continued US support and involvement). The first major attack was a big massacre at the Rio Sumpul, a coordinated military operation of the Honduran and Salvadoran armies in which at least 600 people were butchered. Infants were cut to pieces with machetes, and women were tortured and drowned. Pieces of bodies were found in the river for days afterwards.

-Noam Chomsky, from The Crucifixion of El Salvador

River of Blood is not a tone poem mimicking the actions of the day but is rather a collage of images and emotions from that tragic time. Images include violence but also the incredible bravery of Salvadoran journalists who tried to tell their country and their world what was happening, human rights campaigners risking their lives in the face of terror, and the faces of the fishermen who found the bodies of 5 children caught in their fishing traps downstream from the massacre. The work ends with a prayer of mourning and a plea for forgiveness for our complicity.



all posts



2017
June
16pierrot loops
16the halloween blizzard
16inferno
16klang
16ephemera
16sunshine
16steps into stillness
16the sixteenth floor
16on seeing weather-beaten trees
16november night & triad
16may evening in central park
16london thoroughfare, 2am
16five prophecies
16dissonance
16dhammapada
16the bookshop
16the aviary
16veloce
16drum break
16broken consort
16album leaves for trumpet
16album leaves
16monkey king versus the spider wizard
16monkey king battles the generals
16house on the hill
16still harbor
16coupling
16bar for hans sachs
16standard deviation
16cube dance
16windchimes
16rococo suite
16chaconne mercy endures
16blender project
165 preludes
16ravening
16invocation
16a gauze of misted silver
16trio
16the day florestan murdered magister raro
16sturm und drang
16ithaka
16the path
16nativity
16adoro te devote
16hay dias
16agnus dei
16lamentations
16miles and miles
16corde natus
16dervish
16lachryme
16janus mask
16river of blood
16music
13Inferno


2014
July
6new media-old
June
5band