To Engage

I compose to engage and entertain performers, listeners, and my strong-willed muses.

I started composing for fun at age fifteen, and for a decade and a half I enjoyed exploring a wide range of diverse stylistic materials—from blues and jazz to Renaissance madrigals, and from classical tonality to atonal modernism. Eventually, after composing dozens of pieces, I found I had become deeply fascinated by some stylistic possibilities and surprisingly indifferent to others.

By my early 30s I began approaching style as an ongoing series of explorations centered around a few deep-seated aesthetic preferences. Among the stylistic qualities I find most engaging are captivating melodies, a sense of physical motion, and flexible forms of modal/tonal organization. A few aesthetic traits I find particularly fascinating are strikingness, vivid expression, and a sense of mercurial temperament.

With experience my composing process grew increasingly more intuitive, and the approach to style that emerged became increasingly more unpredictable and difficult for me to rationally “understand.” But working this way felt right, so I learned to follow my rebellious muses and let intuition lead my creative process.