Finding My Way

Aesthetic identity—I like that. I’m like that. ...Aesthetic meanings go beyond social signals to personal affirmations of our sense of self.—Virginia Postrel, The Substance of Style

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 I had become deeply fascinated by some stylistic possibilities, and surprisingly indifferent to others. As these intuitive preferences emerged, my stylistic choices instinctively gravitated toward the possibilities I found most fascinating.

Among the clusters of stylistic qualities I find most engaging 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 the process of creating new compositions I need to work with musical ideas that I myself find deeply engaging.