Compositions

Chronology


Alright, here we go! A Chronological/semi-autobiographical listing of a huge number of my compositions stretching right back to 1979 when I was 15 years old. A whole block of another 20 or so compositions written for the most part between 1986 and 1990 haven't been included here yet. I will talk more about them below. At one time I considered everything I wrote before 1991 and before Mosaic Op.1 to be youthful works. It has been amazing to revisit all these works, re-evaluate them and enjoy them! (not to mention a lot of work!) Following the early works, the composition of the Opus Numbers took up huge amounts of time. Concurrent to them though I was also composing another diverse body of works. Now currently I am in the middle of a new and completely different body of works including a Symphonic Cycle. We will see where it goes!
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Guitar Solo No.1
(1979) Guitar

I only started playing when I was 12. By the time I was 15 I had taught myself how to play, read and write music. I didn't have the luxury of taking lessons. My first written pieces of music were 10 popular songs (not included here) and a guitar solo. The songs were written out like you would see in sheet music with the vocal line and the piano arrangement below. I thought at that time that the sheet music had something to do with the people performing the song! That is funny! Obviously it has absolutely nothing to do with the performers. It is arranged long after the fact by the publisher so people can buy a copy of the sheet music. Popular music is not performed with notation in mind. It is practically impossible to notate accurately the vocal line of a popular song, not only regarding rhythm but also pitch. And if it could be accurately notated then it would be almost impossible to read and re-interpret that notation. Notation is an odd thing that has practically nothing to do with writing, performing and recording popular songs. Even though it was written for guitar, I first wrote the Guitar Solo No.1 out in piano notation and only later wrote it out in guitar notation.
Guitar Version: Mp3 (1:53) (2.58MB) ~ Score ~ YT
Piano Version: Mp3 (1:52) (2.58MB) ~ Score ~ YT



Six Pieces for Synthesizer
(1979) Synthesizer

For the Christmas holidays I was able to rent my friends Yamaha CS-10 Synthesizer for $50! That was a lot of money back then. I remember bringing it home on the school bus. Being a monophonic synthesizer I could only play one line at a time on it. I had to rig up some way to do overdubs. All I had were cassette players! There were probably a few ways I achieved this. One was to disconnect the wire to the erase head. If I didn't have any syncing issues I could record separate left and right tracks and even overdub right overtop of that. The last part wouldn't be a good idea because if you messed that up you lost your two backing tracks. Better was to take the backing track cassette and play it in a different machine with a microphone up to its speaker while recording the third track. So much for the noise and hiss ceiling! Here's what was accomplished. Of course I didn't write one of the tunes here!

Two Studies
(1979-82) Guitar

Whoa where did the years go? Well they went into partying pretty hard and playing my electric guitar. I really could write alot more here about that! but when I was 18 I traded my electric guitar for a classical guitar. I remember feeling that I wanted to move beyond the straight forward chord structures of popular music. The same sort of thing happenned later when I came to the realization that almost all classical music is bound by the concept of key. I thought how limiting is that and so moved into more complex harmonic and compositional structures. The main problem comes however when one wants to move beyond the bounds of twelve semitones to the octave. For the most part (with subtle variations and exceptions) those twelve semitones are universal to our experience. It has proven elusive to create a universal language beyond that. If you think about it, the straight forward chord structures of popular music are leaps and bounds more universal than the next step of western classical music. So I was striving for a greater complexity. It was only decades later that I realized a blues number could be as complex as a symphony. With music, complexity comes in many forms. There is emotional, intellectual, experiential and even physical complexity. We like to feel, move and dance. You can't scream, move and dance sitting quiet in a concert hall. It is one form of experience but it isn't the full body and mind experience of jumping around and having a good time! So here I am moving into this more complex classical world. The Guitar Solo No.1 has been stripped of its bluesy center section and renamed a study to make it more "classical". I have here put it together with another study from 1982. This study is a little like the main section of Austurias though I am sure I wouldn't have heard or known about that piece at this time.

Prelude and Invention
(1982) Guitar

So here I am in high school with my classical guitar, no formal music lessons and not a clue what I am doing on the compositional front! Well that didn't stop me from trying my hand at more complex structures like a Prelude and Fugue. The Prelude is pretty short and later on I downgraded the name Fugue to an Invention instead. That's funny. The tropical Fugue has been downgraded to a heavy downpour of Invention. It is all over the place but here it is!

The Shore
(1982) Chorus

Here is my first hand at writing a choral piece. I like this piece. I think it is rather nice, (though the lyrics could use a little tweaking!). I wrote it for the school choir but it never got performed, too bad. On another note I don't like "modern vocal score" notation. It is very confusing to read a four part SATB score on piano when the tenor part is written one octave higher than it sounds. I always write the tenor in the bass clef now as I feel I can forego the extra two staves of piano reduction that one usually finds in a cappella scores. It is way easier to read four parts that way. It is impossible to satisfactorily realize a choral score by virtual means. I have used woodwinds instruments throughout for choral pieces. I have paired this work with the "Motet" to make "Two Choral Works", which go nicely together.
The Shore: Mp3 (2:38) (3.62MB) ~ Score
Two Choral Works: Mp3 (5:12) (7.16MB) ~ Score ~ YT



Three Pieces for Guitar
(1982) Guitar

These are definitely more involved compositions. Still not completely sure of my way around but things are starting to hold together better now. The melodic sensibilities of these pieces far outweigh other drawbacks. At the time of writing these pieces I still hadn't taken a single formal music lesson having pretty much completely taught myself everything! I dedicated these pieces to my Aunt Marja. I was much better at writing these pieces than my abilities to successfully play them but I was working at it!

Sonnet for Solo Viola
(1982) Viola

For whatever reason I have always written more for Viola than Violin. It would be nice if this piece could escape D minor harmonic but no, that's where it wants to stay. After listening to the piece a few times one gets used to that in a nice sort of way. I have also made a version for Cello. On another note there is a lost tape loop from around this time. Lost meaning it broke after repeated playings!
Sonnet for Solo Viola: Mp3 (2:40) (3.66MB) ~ Score ~ YT
Sonnet for Solo Cello: Mp3 (2:43) (3.73MB) ~ Score



Twelve Pieces for Guitar
(1982-83) Guitar

This was originally a set of ten pieces for guitar but I found another Allegretto written around the same time. That kind of broke up the flow of the ten pieces so I just recently, specifically wrote a twelfth piece to make an even dozen. This is a nice set of short pieces for guitar. And I know how to modulate now!

Fantasia
(1983) Flute and Guitar

I have always very much liked this piece. It is the first piece to start to harmonically move away from the functional classical harmony of the previous pieces. Quite surprising really. When you look at things chronologically there are always those pieces that stand out as marks along the way. The piece is subtitled "From a Tiny Grassy Knoll Surrounded by Tall Saplings" and is written for flute and guitar. Realistically I wrote the piece for whoever was around at the time. Later on I arranged this piece for mixed quintet.

Pavane and Galliarde
(1983) Guitar

I used to play these pieces all the time. They were like my signature pieces. When my father took me to play them for a well known Theorbo player they were dismissed. Why? Well they didn't supposedly correspond to the proper ornamenatation of the time! Pretty much the same thing happenned with the Three Pieces for Guitar when I took them to a well known guitarist. They were too I, IV, V based. Even the Twelve Pieces for Guitar didn't escape someone else commenting that maybe they modulated too much! What...? Everybody was on their own trip and didn't really have much time for anything else. None of it was very encouraging but onwards!

Three Little Duets
(1983/85) Various Instruments: Recorders, Guitar, Violin, Harpsichord, Organ

Here are three little duets in various versions. The first one, "Song of Water" was originally written for recorder and guitar. The second, "Dance of the Hungry Cats" for two recorders. I have grouped here a later Minuet I wrote for my cousin Justine. They are lovely and fun pieces. I have also now made a version for Organ!
Various Instruments: Mp3 (6:54) (9.48MB) ~ Score ~ YT
Organ: Mp3 (3:32) (4.85MB) ~ Score ~ YT



Prelude for Solo Violin
(1983) Violin

I was pleasantly surprised by this piece! I thought here are some compositional techniques I can still utilize. Namely an arpeggio melody that can delineate a harmonic progession, all the while transforming itself with interesting rhythmic shifts. This Prelude was written for Solo Violin.

Minuet
Bagatelle in C Minor
Prelude (Reflections on the Water)
(1984) Harpsichord/Piano

When you take harmony and counterpoint lessons, and later on composition lessons you get to write lots of "models". The first piece is a typical exercise piece, the same kind that thousands of students have to write. God knows why I even bother to include it here. The second is a Bagatelle, the kind where in the textbook they give you the opening bar and you have to finish it. The third has a lot of original writing but is a bit of a Debussy rip-off. Moving on..!
Minuet: Mp3 (1:14) (1.69MB) ~ Score ~ YT
Bagatelle in C Minor: Mp3 (1:05) (1.49MB) ~ Score
Prelude (Reflections on the Water): Mp3 (2:56) (4.03MB) ~ Score



Nocturne
(1984) Guitar

This is the last piece I wrote as a teenager! Definitely my writing is starting to get more original. A beautiful opening and closing melody frames a decidedly dissonant center section. This piece would shortly become the last movement of my Guitar Sonata No.1.

Little Suite in A Minor
(1984/85) Harpsichord

Regardless of getting more original or not, I have always and still do like working in Baroque forms. It is like an abstract painter doing line drawings. There is something about working with a few pure lines that is really nice. The first two pieces of the Little Suite are a Prelude and a Siciliana. My friend sees Luna dancing with her father to the music of the Siciliana! That is nice as the Siciliana has these beautiful melodic intervals and chromatic passages. I transposed a later minor key Sarabande to fit the key of the suite to make a third movement. One day I should really write a jig and a few more movements to finish it off! (which I have done now!)

Motet
(1984) Chorus

Well here I am working on my craft. Nice four part contrapuntal writing. A nice sounding choral work! Around this time I was starting to take composition lessons from a well known composition teacher. I remember he was a little miffed with my inverted suspensions near the beginning! Not the standard way of using suspensions. As if it really mattered, they sound good. That seems to be the problem. It doesn't necessarily matter if something sounds good, but does it correspond to a theoretical ideology that has been laid down? For example parallel fifths never sound bad but you would think they were the worst dissonance ever possible for the admonishment they have recieved for half a millenia! Go figure. Sure, maybe avoiding parallel fiths might lead to better voice leading but that is a pretty big trade-off, banishing them from the strength of their sonority. Even more ridiculous is the avoidance of octaves in twelve-tone music, as if they are more dissonant than their surroundings! Here it would really be that they are clear and don't grind and violate a certain parity. What are you going to do! I have paired this work with "The Shore" to make "Two Choral Works".
Motet: Mp3 (2:31) (3.46MB) ~ Score
Two Choral Works: Mp3 (5:12) (7.16MB) ~ Score ~ YT



Sonata No.1
(1984) Guitar

Some works you just have a connection with. I performed this Sonata a number of times. I really don't have that much to say about this work except to say that I like it and it is very familiar.

Perpetuum Mobile
(1984) Guitar

Okay, a nice driving rhythmic piece for solo guitar!

Sonatina
(1985) Piano

The Sonatina started off with an Allegro Vivace that I always felt to be the first movement of a Sonata. Only upon revisiting these works, now twenty-five! years later, did I realize that I could put the Allegro Vivace together with two other works written right around the same time. A small set of Variations I wrote for a student, together with an arrangement of my Perpetuum Mobile for guitar, nicely making a three movement Sonatina. Who would have thought it! Well not me for twenty-five years!

Two Pieces by Robert de Visee
(1985) 3 Flutes

I am starting to experiment here. Why is this piece called "Two Pieces by Robert de Visee"? For this piece I have taken melodic fragments from two pieces by Robert de Visee. These melodic fragments are then transformed and used in different Original, Retrograde etc forms to construct the piece. It's a neat piece! Except I can't remember how I did it!

Elegy to Solitude
(1985) Guitar

Ironically I wrote this piece as a lark! How strange that it is probably one of my more emotive pieces. It is a quite beautiful piece of music!

Humouresque
(1985) 2 Guitars

Can't say I have written much humourous music, but here you go! This is what happens when you have a guitar duo whose members are polar opposites! One melancholy and the other ADD!

Music for Flute and Guitar
(1985) Flute and Guitar

Believe it or not this is a twelve-tone piece! I didn't know much about the ideology of twelve-tone composition at the time. I just in a semi-tonal way unfolded my twelve pitches and once they were through unfolded another set of twelve pitches and so on. I don't think there is any one row that I used more than once! This is an interesting piece which I like!

Solo for Clarinet
(1985) Clarinet

Some pieces you just write and file away. I am not very familiar with this piece, which is funny as I wrote it! There are some quarter-tone pitches and metric modulations utilized. Again an interesting piece which I like.

Threnody for Two Guitars
(1985) 2 Guitars

Everybody should write a Threnody as it is such a cool name even if that name means "wailing". There are so many extended techniques in this piece that I didn't have the heart to re-notate it. The scan is of the original score.

Morning
(1985) Guitar

Both my Guitar Sonatas started from a slow movement written first as an independent piece. This is a very atmospheric, oriental inspired piece. This effect is added to by tuning the fifth string a quarter-tone sharp.

Men Are Fools That Wish To Die
(1985) Chorus

I have such mixed feelings about this piece. This piece was the first semi-professional performance I had of one of my compositions with the Cellar Singers and Elmer Isler singers conducted by Albert Greer. In that way it is a mark along the path. The performance is good. My feelings are towards the piece. It is almost as if I wrote a simpler piece than where I was at that time as a composer. In hind-sight that is a good thing as I can write some pretty complex stuff which is not always a good thing for choirs. We even have a live recording this time!

Lament
(1985) Chorus

A work for SSATB, pretty straight forward with some nice part writing, which I have also arranged for strings!
Lament: Mp3 (4:28) (6.15MB) ~ Score ~ YT
Music for Strings II: Mp3 (4:49) (6.63MB) ~ Score ~ YT



Divertimento
(1985) Flute, Oboe, Guitar, Cello

This piece really surprised me! I wasn't expecting such a captivating work. For years I just thought of the work as an okay piece. That view point was probably brought about by the neutral reception of my composition teacher. I never thought much of the work after that. Just goes to show how much judgement is based upon bias. Same goes for all the peer judged competitions. With hindsight, separated by the years, I can behold the worth of the piece now. That is a nice surprise even if I say so myself! The guitar part can also be played on the harp or harpsichord. I have also now made versions for woodwind and string quartets as well as string orchestra.
Divertimento: Mp3 (12:27) (17.1MB) ~ Score ~ YT
Divertimento (woodwind quartet): Mp3 (12:27) (17.1MB) ~ Score ~ YT
Divertimento (string quartet): Mp3 (12:27) (17.1MB) ~ Score ~ YT
Music for Strings III: Mp3 (12:29) (17.1MB) ~ Score ~ YT



Wordless Choral Piece
(1986) Chorus

Not all vocal works need words! Later this work became the last movement of my "Three Pieces for Quintet". I've also arranged it for strings!

Two Fantasias
(1986) Flute, Oboe, French Horn, Guitar, Cello

There happenned to be a flute player, oboist, cellist and french horn player around so I wrote a number of works and put on a concert! The first Fantasia, "From A Tiny Grassy Knoll" is an arrangement of the same piece for Flute and Guitar. The second Fantasia is entitled "Echoes From The Hills". Again the guitar part can also be played by a harp or harpsichord.
Two Fantasias: Mp3 (5:27) (7.48MB) ~ Score ~ YT
Two Fantasias (woodwind quintet): Mp3 (5:27) (7.49MB) ~ Score ~ YT
Two Fantasias (string quintet): Mp3 (5:27) (7.49MB) ~ Score ~ YT
Music for Strings I: Mp3 (5:30) (7.57MB) ~ Score ~ YT



Oboe Trio
(1986) Oboe, Violoncello, Contrabass

At the time this was one of my longest compositions. I drove down to Toronto, parked the car and presented my composition to my composition teacher. He took the whole hour reading through my score. Not much was said and I just sat there for the whole hour. Constructive criticism or insight one way or the other would have been good but at the end I just payed my $50 dollars and went home. I don't think there was a lesson that I got as little out of! I keep painting this like it was all a negative thing but it wasn't at all. It was very good and I worked very hard and developed a strong discipline. I did all my Baroque Inventions and Renaissance Motets and Masses etc. I got a lot out of it. One day though I just didn't go back. I was doing two things, all my own compositions and all the models and so forth. The creative side, the composing side was never really a part of the lessons. Discussing current compositional trends and aesthetics and how to develop further as a composer never entered into it. The lessons dealt only with the craft of composing through composing models, analysis and so forth. It was good but after a year or two it was time to move on. The instrumental combination in this piece is slightly unorthodox but I like the two low lines. I have also made versions of this piece for Clarinet, Woodwind Trio, String Trio and String Orchestra! Doubling the two lower lines in the Clarinet and Oboe Trio or doubling all the parts in the String Trio is nice.
Oboe Trio (ob,vlc,cb): Mp3 (15:58) (21.9MB) ~ Score~ YT
Oboe Trio (ob,vla,vlc): Mp3 (15:58) (21.9MB) ~ Score
Clarinet Trio (cl,vlc,cb): Mp3 (15:58) (21.9MB) ~ Score
Clarinet Trio (cl,vla,vlc): Mp3 (15:59) (21.9MB) ~ Score ~ YT
String Trio (vln,vlc,cb): Mp3 (15:59) (21.9MB) ~ Score
String Trio (vln,vla,vlc): Mp3 (15:59) (21.9MB) ~ Score ~ YT
Woodwind Trio (ob, bhrn, bsn): Mp3 (15:58) (21.9MB) ~ Score ~ YT
Sonata: Mp3 (15:59) (21.9MB) ~ Score ~ YT
Music for Strings V: Mp3 (15:59) (21.9MB) ~ Score ~ YT



Three Pieces for Quintet
(1986) Flute, Oboe, French Horn, Guitar, Cello

Continuing on here is another set of pieces I wrote for the mixed quintet. I have also made a number different arrangements of the piece!
Three Pieces for Quintet: Mp3 (9:21) (12.8MB) ~ Score ~ YT
Three Pieces for Woodwind Quintet: Mp3 (9:21) (12.8MB) ~ Score ~ YT
Three Pieces for String Quintet: Mp3 (9:29) (13MB) ~ Score ~ YT
Music for Strings IV: Mp3 (9:25) (12.9MB) ~ Score ~ YT



Transformations
(1986) Piano

This is not a work per se but an exposition on a number of ways the pitches of one piece can be transformed to form a new pitch set. After the exposition I have taken the Sarabande from the "Little Suite" and then applied a transformation to it. I can't say I used this technique very much but it is interesting. I might have used it in the "Two Pieces by Robert de Visee" (I can't remember!). I did use the Sarabande transform however in the Sonata No. 2 for guitar.

Four Silly Rounds
(1986) Voices

Rooting through old scores I found I had also, at different times written a number of rounds. Rounds are just plain old fun!

Fugue and Passacaglia
(1986) Organ

There is only one person I give credit for being a musical mentor. That person is Jim Leonard who was my high school music teacher! So many lunch breaks and after school times were spent jamming with him. He would play keys and synth, I would play electric guitar and we would usually add a drummer. The skill sets I learned there have formed a huge part of how I play and approach music! Jim (Mr Leonard back then! or "The Doctor"!) premiered the Fugue and Passacaglia which I arranged for Pipe Organ from the middle movement of my Oboe Trio.

Sonata for Two Guitars
(1986) 2 Guitars

This is a huge work for two guitars. I must have been listening to the Stravinsky a lot around this time as there are a few quasi-quotations in this work and the Sonata No.2. Listening now I think to myself why did I bother doing that. I almost want to go in and "unquote" them both!

Sonata No.2
(1986) Guitar

Here is the second Sonata for Guitar. Two earlier pieces are incorporated here into this work. The Sonata No.2 and the Sonata for Two Guitars were written around the same time and so are stylistically very similiar.

Rhapsody
(1987) 2 Guitars and Orchestra

Oh the impetuosity of youth! The crazy things we do when we are young, nothing can replace that. This work is for two guitars and orchestra. I really like this piece. It is all over the map bristling with energy. Different sections; tonal, polytonal, chromatic, dissonant rapidly follow one another. I don't know if I could even come close to the abandon of this piece now. O youth!

Songs of Love and Despair
(1987) High Voice, Percussion, Timpani, Harp, Strings

This is a full scale song cycle for high voice, percussion, timpani, harp and strings. The writing is dramatic, rich and lyrical. The cycle is a setting of eight romantic poems. I remember when composing this work I wasn't at all concerned for what one considers contemporary or not. I just wrote expressively and for the most part tonally, tonality being the natural expression of the emotion of the poems.

Simple Variations on a Simple Song
(1987) Piano

This is a not so simple, actually quite virtuostic, set of variations for piano. It is completely tonal in it's language. Somehow when a style or language of music gets entrenched then all the composers become beholden to it and submit to it's tyranny. So if atonal music is in then it is deemed the only possible and acceptable way to compose. If it was the same way with food then we would be eating the same ethnic cuisine for decades at a time. There are hundreds of styles of music and even within classical music diverse approaches, styles and historical periods. Why hold to any one style any more. It's all music so lets do something celtic this week, something classical, something popular next week and stop being just stuck, thinking the music we are focusing on is of the highest form of expression and worth. It's pretty hard to dance to classical music and if you tried it in a concert hall people would get pretty annoyed!

Fall, Leaves, Fall
(1987) Chorus

This is a choral setting of Emily Brontes' poem "Fall, Leaves, Fall". Three more of her poems I as well set as songs around this time. There is also an arrangement for strings!
Revised Version: Mp3 (4:08) (5.69MB) ~ Score ~ YT
Original Version: Mp3 (4:08) (5.69MB) ~ Score
Music for Strings VI: Mp3 (4:16) (5.87MB) ~ Score ~ YT



Three Motets
(1987) Chorus (final version ~ Music for Strings VII)

These Motets were actually originally written for chorus but I would say that only the best of singers would be actually able to pull it off. I have made a final version of the work for string orchestra which is involved enough. The writing is interesting and for the most part quite intricate and contrapuntal. I very much like the music I wrote in my early twenties. While not all perfect there is a lot going on!
Music for Strings VII: Mp3 (14:26) (19.8MB) ~ Score ~ YT



Four Songs
(1987/88) Voice and Piano

I have grouped together four songs from around the same time. Okay, here goes. Three of the songs are arranged from the large song cycle "Songs of Love and Despair" written in 1987 for high voice, strings, harp and two percussion. One day I should probably arrange the other five songs for piano and voice as well. Two of those songs are Emily Bronte settings which can go together with the other independent Emily Bronte setting to make a three song setting of poems by Emily Bronte. (The order of the first two Bronte songs then would have to be reversed). I have made two other arrangements here to accomodate different voice types. Interesting thing is, for the low voice version while the voice has been transposed down a major sixth, the piano has been transposed up a minor third which makes the overall sound different than the other two arrangements. The middle section of the second song has some of my most beautiful writing.
High Voice: Mp3 (16:16) (22.3MB) ~ Score ~ YT
Medium Voice: Mp3 (16:16) (22.3MB) ~ Score
Low Voice: Mp3 (16:16) (22.3MB) ~ Score



The Crazy Birds
(1989) Guitar

Another work for solo guitar that has a lot of extended techniques that would be hard to renotate. The scan is of the original score.

Music for Viola and Piano
Four Interludes
Cafe Scene
(1989) Viola, Cello, Piano, Accordian, Percussion

Here is some of the incidental music for a couple of theater/performance art pieces I wrote around this time. I have also made a version of Music for Viola and Piano for Cello and Piano. More on these theatrical pieces below.
Music for Viola and Piano: Mp3 (6:27) (8.84MB) ~ Score ~ Vla Part ~ YT
Music for Cello and Piano: Mp3 (6:28) (8.88MB) ~ Score ~ Vlc Part
Four Interludes: Mp3 (5:07) (7.04MB) ~ Score ~ YT
Cafe Scene: Mp3 (3:46) (5.19MB) ~ Score ~ YT



1986-1990

Between 1986 and 1990 there are 20 more compositions that haven't been included here yet. These compositions cover a wide range of styles, approaches and media. I will try to give an overview of what is here. I will start with the most accessible pieces and move towards the more experimental pieces. Definitely I am working hard at pushing my boundaries. Some works I haven't included yet in the chronology as they are larger scale chamber pieces that would take even more time to re-notate. I will leave that task to the future and try to do a little bit at a time. There are also many large scale choral works. I really would have to sit down and take some time to evaluate their feasibility. There are experimental works, chamber works, electronic works, and theater works as well as a whole handful of other miscellaneous works. The further out there they get, the less sure I am of how realistic some pieces are. The track record so far is pretty good so I imagine there are some interesting pieces here. But then again who would want to perform a piece that requires throwing something through a pane of glass?! The accessible pieces to start with.

From North, Algonquin: (1987) for solo cello. Duration 16 min.
Five Pieces:(1987) for solo double bass. Duration 9 min.
Azul:(1988) for accordian quintet. Duration 6.5 min.

Next the Choral works:

Passion Brevis:(1987) 2-SATB, 4 soli, childrens choir. Duration 16 min.
Etera:(1987) SATB(16 parts), 2 percussion. Duration 7.5 min.
The Great Night:(1989) SATB, childrens choir, brass quintet, organ, timpani. Duration 16 min.
Dream:(1990) tenor soloist, SSATBB. Duration 5 min.
The Kiss:(1990) 6S,4A,4T,6B, violin, piano. Duration 28 min.

There are three Theater/Performance Art works that I wrote, directed, performed in and did all the music and sets for etc.

Angelika:(1989). Duration 15 min.
Two and a Half Stages of Man:(1989). Duration 45 min.
In Search of Ophelia:(1989). Duration 60 min.

Experimental Works:

On the Sensations of...:(1988) 13 strings in eighth of tones. Duration 14 min.
phases...-ation...aphorism:(1988) 11 performers and 1 technician. Duration 15 min.
Piano Work I:(1989) 1 pianist with 1 assistant. Duration variable.
Piano Work II:(1990) 1 piano/4 hands. Duration 4/8 min.

And a whole bunch more works including a few pieces for guitar quartet and quintet, a couple of tape works and four popular songs for voice, guitar, viola, cello and percussion.
Enough! Onwards!





Piano Work I
Piano Work II
(1989) 1 Pianist and 1 Assistant
(1990) Piano - four hands

The first realizations of some of the scores mentioned above. Looking at these two scores now, I would say that they would be pretty much impossible to perform with any degree of the accuracy that the notation demands. Maybe some sections can be approximated but that would be about it. But a human performance is no longer necessary to realize the scores. What was not possible when the scores were written can now be virtually realized.

~Piano Work I for now is only partially realized with the opening and closing sections. The middle sections themselves require the performer to contribute to their realization. I will undertake this at a future time! A scan of the original score and analysis is also given.

~Piano Work II is fully realized. The two parts A and B are available to be performed in four possible forms. As well, a scan of the original score and a structural analysis is also given.

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Mosaic Op.1
(1990) Orchestra (Dur 12')
Scotia Festival Orchestra - Pierre Boulez conducting
June 3/1991

Here we are at the great divide! I finished Mosaic Op.1 in December 1990 and submitted it to the Scotia Festival of Music Boulez Competition. Pierre Boulez was to do a tour of Canada with his Ensemble InterContemporain the following year ending with a two week residency at the festival. For me Mosaic was light years beyond anything else I had written and a culminatation of years of work. Because of that I designated it Opus 1 and in my mind designated everything before it to be juvenilia. A bit of a harsh sentence! Low and behold I won the competition! Pierre Boulez was the sole judge and he conducted the premiere which was incredibly exciting with lots and lots of enthusiastic applause and response! Following that were the interviews, broadcasts and newspaper reviews. And that was that in a nutshell! My first professional outing from pretty much nowhere right into the limelight!

Untitled 1993
(1993) Piano

Which I guess then is it's title! This is a short abstract self-similiar serial piece which I like. I would have to spend a little time analysing it to remember the process I used to compose it!

Unfolding (Epigenesis) Op.2
(1994) 12 Instrumentalists (Dur 8.5')
New Music Concerts - Robert Aitken conducting
November 19/1999

Following Mosaic I didn't write at all for three years! You would think that I would get out there and hustle while the iron was still hot. I am such a poor self-promoter! Basically there were two reasons. One reason was that Mosaic was a culminatation, not a new beginning. Having written some 80 works before it I needed a rest. The second reason was that I didn't want to keep writing works just like Mosaic. I really started working hard at developing numerical algorithms that I could use to organize the materials of my compositions. It is what probably flawed some of the experimental works before 1990, in that I hadn't developed structural control. When you have a zillion notes flying around in a world of texture something has to hold everything together. It is very hard to develop a system that ties all the microscopic and macroscopic elements together. Unfolding (Epigenesis) Op.2 was the first piece in that direction. On another note when Robert Aitken premiered the work five years after I had written it, one comment of his was "here is a piece that was written for it's own sake, not just because it was a commission!".

Six Traditional Melodies (1994)
Eight Duets (1992-98)
Tremolo Etude (1999)
Piece Rhythmic (1994)
Five Blues Pieces (1993-97)
(1992-99) Guitar

Over the years I have written many pieces for my students!
Six Traditional Melodies: Mp3 (4:24) (6.06MB) ~ Score ~ YT
Eight Duets: Mp3 (14.15) (19.5MB) ~ Score ~ YT
Tremolo Etude: Mp3 (1:20) (1.84MB) ~ Score ~ YT
Piece Rhythmic (guitar): Mp3 (1:41) (2.33MB) ~ Score ~ YT
Piece Rhythmic (piano): Mp3 (1:41) (2.31MB) ~ Score ~ YT
Five Blues Pieces: Mp3 (6:25) (8.82MB) ~ Score ~ YT




Amores I
(1995) Violin, Viola or Cello

I originally wrote this piece for solo cello. I have also made arrangements of the piece for viola and violin.

Five Fall Poems Op.3
(1995) Mezzo-Soprano and 17 Instruments (Dur 20.5')
Autumn Leaf Performance - Fides Krucker mezzo-soprano
Dairine Ni Mheadhra conducting
February 9/1996

All I can say is the intensity of this work blows me away every time I listen to it! The words can be found here.

The Waterwheel (A Tale of Tears)
(1997) 2 voices and piano

I love this work. It was written in a few short intense hours as part of the Tapestry Music Theatre - Composer/ Libretist Labratory in 1997. Paul Yee crafted a beautiful poem which so simply and naturally goes with the music. This piece could be so beautifully animated! Colours, imagery and story all come alive here!

Piano Sonata in D Minor
(1997) Piano

Here we have a virtuostic romantic Piano Sonata of huge proportions! The work is over half an hour long and has some really nice writing. When working with large abstract scores it is nice to also be able to do this. All is good! I may tweak the development section of the Allegro a bit. Enjoy!

Lunaria
(1997) Viola or Cello and Piano

This piece exists in two version. The first version is for solo Viola and the second slightly different version is for Viola and Piano. I have also arranged the two versions for Cello and Cello and Piano. This is an interesting work. My earlier works used to integrate tonal and more dissonant elements and so it is with this piece.
Viola: Mp3 (2:44) (3.75MB) ~ Score ~ YT
Viola and Piano: Mp3 (2:41) (3.66MB) ~ Score ~ Part ~ YT
Violoncello: Mp3 (2:44) (3.75MB) ~ Score ~ YT
Violoncello and Piano: Mp3 (2:41) (3.66MB) ~ Score ~ Part ~ YT



Soliloquy (Echoes of Emptiness) Op.4
(1997) Soprano and Piano (Dur 23')
Queen of Puddings Music Theatre
Jane Archibald soprano - John Hess piano
June 14-17/2001
(first performed by Stacie Robinson and John Hess - February 7/1998)

I really don't know what to say about this work. I am just thankful for the amazing performers who so incredibly performed this difficult and long work. Thank you! The words can be found here. The work was written in memory of the Czech writer Lukas Tomin.

Amores II
(1997) Violin, Viola or Cello

I originally wrote this piece for solo viola. I have also made arrangements of the piece for cello and violin.

Sundry Canons Upon A Ground
(1999) 2 Instrumental Lines upon a Ground

This is an amazing piece even if I say so myself! It is hard to imagine a more complex set of canons. I know of no other piece as canonically intricate and involved. This piece would be the equivalent of playing tennis in a strait-jacket! The score may be realized in any number of ways; firstly as a supremely virtuostic piece for organ, for two harpsichords, for two violins and continuo or as an arrangement for Baroque orchestra (among other possibilities, including a version for two guitars). I love the continual flow of notes in this piece! I have made five different realizations of this work as well as including five different scores, which mainly offer different octaves and orders of the two instrumental lines.
Sundry Canons Upon A Ground A: Mp3 (6:57) (9.54MB) ~ Score ~ YT
Sundry Canons Upon A Ground B: Mp3 (6:53) (9.45MB) ~ Score
Sundry Canons Upon A Ground C: Mp3 (6:53) (9.45MB) ~ Score
Sundry Canons Upon A Ground D: Mp3 (6:53) (9.45MB) ~ Score ~ YT
Sundry Canons Upon A Ground E: Mp3 (6:53) (9.47MB) ~ Score ~ YT



Two Lovely Songs
(1996/99) Various Instruments: Piano, Guitar, Violin, Voice

These are two very simple but beautiful songs. They can be played in a number of different versions.

Book of Jigs (1997-99)
Sarah's Return (2009)
(1997/2009) Fiddle

Everybody I wrote a jig for had to pay me with a pint of Guiness! so they were a lot of fun to write! "Sarah's Return" is a nice tune written for the fiddle player in my band Pagan's Folly and also Celtic Sky . I have been playing, writing and recording a lot of Celtic music in the past few years as well as playing the Highland Bagpipes in the local Pipe and Drum!
Book of Jigs: Mp3 (14:35) (20.0MB) ~ Score ~ YT
Sarah's Return: Mp3 (2:09) (2.46MB) ~ Score ~ YT



Presto for Solo Violin
Invention (C+)
(1999) Violin / Harpsichord

Here I am still with my Baroque forms!
Presto: Mp3 (3:29) (4.79MB) ~ Score ~ YT
Invention C+: Mp3 (1:05) (1.5MB) ~ Score ~ YT



Metamorphosis (Dream or Becoming) Op.5
(1999) 3 Voices (Dur 13')
Queen of Puddings Music Theatre
June 15-18/2000

Here is a sorry ommission! I really wish I had the live recording of this work but after trying a few times I haven't succeeded yet! If you don't get a recording the first time out you might never hear the work again! The whole commissioned and funding system is pretty much based on the one time out. You could probably paper the Earth with commissioned pieces that have only been performed once. There is no sustainability like you have with popular musicals, concerts and so forth. The whole classical world has to be externally funded. It has always been that way. To make up for not having the live recording I have realized the score as best as possible. A cymbal sound substitites for the sustained unvoiced consonants and flutes for the pitch material. I wonder if technology will ever get to the point that one can virtually realize sung voices including all the consonants and vowels? Another interesting possibilty would be to make a version for three flutes. The score is also here.

Northern Songs Op.6
(2002) 9 Instrumentalists (Dur 21.5')
New Music Concerts - Robert Aitken conducting
March 7/2004

Thanks to Robert Aitken and New Music Concerts for coming to the rescue with this piece! It was originally commissioned by another ensemble that didn't have the resources or credibility to perform it. The work is pretty much completely based on and around bird songs. I tried to transcribe the bird songs as accurately as possible including register! That meant that the piccolos are playing some pretty high notes. Piccolos are loud when they are playing high. Ear plugs therefore were available for the audience members. There is a delicious irony in having to wear earplugs at a new music concert! When I was younger I performed Cage's 4'33" and got a house shaking applause half way through. That is another story for another day, I just wish I had conveyed that story him! This work and Opus No.7 probably took a year each to write. I think in time I will revise both these pieces.

Of Sky and Water (Transformation) Op.7
(2003) 6 Instrumentalists (Dur 23')
Continuum Contemporary Music - Rosemarie Thomson conducting
April 21-22/2003

This piece starts from absolute silence (except the extraneous street noises from Queen St. in the background!) and proceeds slowly towards the "World Chord". There are only seven opus numbers so far. These works just take so much time, energy and life to write. They are so intense and complex. We will see when I continue on from here!



Time goes by. Certain chapters open and other chapters close. The last few years have been spent playing, recording, writing and studying traditional musics. There are hundreds of styles and languages of music. Classical music and contemporary classical music are just a few kinds of music among many, not better or worse, just their own language and world. They don't contain within themselves everything else. There is a lot out there to explore, discover and have fun with. I always think it would be fun if you could drink, hoot and holler during a Beethoven symphony. Of course I'm not finished by far with this language but why limit yourself to only one experience. Playing and performing popular and traditional music is a huge amount of fun (and pretty good excercise) when you are dancing away all night!
So for now ends this Chronology which has taken an unbelievable amount of time to put together!
Time to continue populating the New Works page. Onwards!