Finding My Way

It’s all in what we choose and not in what we would or could or should.—Dave Hickey

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

As these intuitive preferences emerged, I concentrated on working with different combinations of materials and techniques that I found particularly engaging. By allowing my preferences to emerge intuitively—from bottom-up mental processes—over time a loosely held sense of stylistic direction began to emerge from my continued fascination with particular stylistic qualities and aesthetic traits.

Among the clusters of stylistic qualities I find most fascinating are captivating melodies, a sense of physical motion, and flexible forms of modal/tonal organization. Some aesthetic traits I find especially fascinating are strikingness, vivid expression, and a sense of mercurial temperament.

I hope my finished works will engage performers and audience members. But I’ve learned from experience that to fully enjoy composing new works, I need to work with musical ideas I myself find deeply engaging.