Sightline for tuba and piano was written as a gift for my longtime close friend, Scott Mendoker. The three movement work completed in October 2017 is intended to add to the tuba recital literature with a piece that is certainly challenging but well within the capabilities of so many extraordinary performers existing today. All instrumental capabilities improve with time but I think I have witnessed a greater surge of outstanding tubists than any other instrument. Scott Mendoker is one of those performers. To summarize the three movements, 1. Blink is a stroll with an occasional pause, 2. Soul-window is a look inward while 3. Stare is a mad dash.
The Wind Came In Red for trumpet and piano was written for Matthew Rosenblatt and premiered on the Randolph Honors Recital at the Music Den in Randolph, N.J., May 2016. I taught trumpet in the Randolph School District for eighteen years and would occasionally write music for the various ensembles and highly accomplished individuals. Matthew Rosenblatt was my most accomplished trumpet student who inspired The Wind Came In Red. The title is taken from a poem by Federico Garcia Lorca of the same name. The work is a single movement, multi-sectional composition which alternates between playful banter and introspective ruminations.
Undercurrents Redux began its life as a solo unaccompanied flute piece titled Undercurrents written during the spring of 2007 for Amy Porter, a longtime friend and inspirational musician. It grew into Undercurrents Redux when the Palisades Virtuosi commissioned it in 2010. The inspiration for the work comes from my remembrances of long childhood summers playing in the streams near Camden, South Carolina where I was fascinated with all of the life that happened above and below the waterline. From skeeter bugs to crayfish to minnows and tadpoles, the water, that I seemed to live in at the time, was an entire world unto itself. The work is a single movement with variations based on the original theme. It moves from an opening lyrical and nostalgic mood to a gradually more active and playful texture to a sense of danger, alternating a multitude of tempi and techniques. It all comes to an end with a series of strong flourishes.