Counterwork concerns itself with dualities: light/dark, optimism/pessimism, extroversion/introversion. Written for and dedicated to Christopher Wilson, it is orchestrated for trumpet/flugelhorn, marimba and piano. Beginning with the extroverted side of this duality, the music is lively, strong and rhythmic. Themes, harmonies and rhythms create a sense of joy and fun along with a bit of mischievousness. After a time, the work sinks into a sense of sadness and loss with the trumpeter changing to flugelhorn which in itself often personifies introversion. We then suddenly revert back to the light and revisit the first section with additional exploration. Later, we are again drawn back into the darkness, but, this time remain for a longer period. Returning for the final time to optimism, there is an added sense of strength and purpose along with a touch desperation. The work ends with a short, mournful return to darkness with a final cry from a muted trumpet.
Powell Trio for tenor trombone, marimba and piano was written in 2009 for Michael Powell, a prominent New York trombonist. It is presented in three movements: Flow, Stillwater and Eddies, aurally depicts various states of water as we experience it in nature. As the piece begins, you can imagine a gently flowing stream meandering through the countryside on a journey to a bay or an ocean. Along the way, there will be moments of stillness contrasted with humor, anger, playfulness and joy. The journey is life itself.